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ming hua deserves more fanart.  i really love her design.  please ignore the sad attempt at water-arms; i can’t draw water.

also, here’s a vague attempt at a walkthrough!  i’ve had a lot of requests for livestreams and/or video walkthroughs, but i don’t currently have the programs to do that.  i wish i could put together a more comprehensive tutorial, but it’s difficult to remember to take screenshots when i get into the painting mode.  i also realize that this is a very “step one, sketch, step two, finish the painting”, buuuuuuut hey.  (it’s probably because i tend to work quickly on everything at once.)

my art

commissions (i’m still open!  let me draw pretty things for you!!!)


Launched last month, Wafrica — Africa plus wa for Japan — has unveiled a range of kimono handcrafted in an array of African cotton fabrics that would seem to be a million miles from the subtle silks more commonly associated with traditional Japanese dress. Yet despite the orange comets and flashes of lightning tearing across a moss-green background, and the tribal swirls in colors that recall the sun-drenched African soil, the prints blend seamlessly into the kimono form before they surprise Japanese shoppers with their foreign origin.

The cultural cocktail is the brainchild of Serge Mouangue, a Tokyo-based concept- car designer for Nissan, who joined forces with Kururi, a Tokyo-based kimono- maker, to produce the traditional Japanese attire in 18 African prints sourced in markets from Nigeria to Senegal.


Serge Mouange introduces the WAfrica concept and kimono (Fashion show)

Le kimono Africain: Serge Mouangue TED talks


Of all the female fictional characters there is, Kamiya Kaoru is the nearest and dearest to my heart.  I love her and care for her the way I would a dear friend or sister, and of all the characters in the world, she is the one I am most fiercely protective of.  And perhaps next to Kenshin, I am the one who loves her most.

So as I was anticipating watching Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, I have to admit that I had been most anxious in seeing how they’re going to handle Kaoru’s character, because I was sure that I would have been either incredibly heartbroken or downright furious if they had degraded her in any way.

And now that I have finally – FINALLY!!!! – watched, the only thing I can say to the creators of the live-action movie is this:

… Thank you.

Thank you for giving her the fight scenes she was denied in the anime and (most especially) the manga.  Thank you for showing that she is not a helpless girl who constantly needs protection, but that she can in fact hold her own against men twice her size and age but who aren’t half the swordsman she is. 

Thank you for showing her as a respectable and remarkable teacher in her own right, for emphasizing that the students look up to her and follow her, and that they aren’t just there because of Kenshin. 

Thank you for showing how she stood by her values, how – even in the midst of war – she opted to use a wooden sword, and implored even her enemies not to kill.

Thank you for showing how she is not a slave to her emotions, but is strengthened by them.  Thank you for showing that she is not weakened by her emotions – unlike the depressed state the manga and anime showed – and for showing how brave she is, for showing how, despite how utterly shattered she must have felt inside, she pulled it together for the sake of her family, for the people relying on her.

Thank you for showing her wisdom, her knowing when to push her opinions and principles when she should and to pull back when the situation needed her to.  Thank you for showing that she is understanding without being passive, giving without being naïve.

And most of all, thank you – thank you so much – for showing that she matters.

Thank you for showing that she is respected and admired by Megumi, Sanosuke and Yahiko, for showing that she is cared for by them.  And while some may balk at how she was shown towards the end of the movie as a damsel in distress (AGAIN), I still want to thank you so much… for showing that she matters… to Kenshin.

Thank you for showing that she is not someone Kenshin conveniently discards and leaves behind. She is someone that Kenshin cannot help but love, no matter how much he fights against his own heart.  Thank you for showing that even when her own life is at stake, her primary concern is that Kenshin does not kill, especially if it’s because of her.  Thank you for showing how selfless she is in loving Kenshin, and at the same time selfish because of it, because she cannot love any other way than this.

Because for a character whose biggest fear is perhaps that she is not good enough, that she will let her love ones down, that she will only get in the way, that she isn’t helping enough, that she is someone easily forgotten…

Thank you – thank you so much, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno — for showing that Kamiya Kaoru matters.

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