Books + Music + Movie recs for Each Hogwarts Houses

Hullo, world! 

I do so apologise that I forgot to post last week. I was at a 3-day intensive karate camp feat. 6 training sessions which was each around 2 hours long. Yes, it sounds kind of gruelling, but it was super fun! I learnt two new katas–Saifa and Tekki 1. Plus, if you remember me going on about the Tokyo Olympics’ karate results, you can probably piece those two together…

Today, I wanted to do something fun and light! I was initially planning to write a Complete Narnia Review since I re-read the entire series for the umpteenth time, yet realised that’s kind of…also intense? So, instead, I’ll be sharing the Books + Music + Movie recs for Each Hogwarts Houses from another fandom I’m re-reading–Harry Potter!

🦁Gryffindor🦁

– The Illuminae Files

-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

– My Hero Academia

– Stand By Me/Dead Poet’s Society

– Attack on Titan

– Beethoven Symphony no. 5, Dvorak Symphony no. 9

> My thoughts

A. This was one of the most fun lists to come up! I love the Gryffindor energy and their Shonen Jump vibes. 🙂

B. At the same time, it’s probably the second most-removed from my own personality…which is another reason it makes me kind of excited about it.

C. Random thing, but my fav. Gryffindor character is probably Hermione and the Weasleys. (Sorry, Harry!)

🦡HUFFLEPUFF🦡

– To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

– I Capture the Castle

– March Comes Like A  Lion

– 100 Days of Sunlight

– The Sound of Music/To Kill A Mockingbird

– Tchaikovsky Waltz of the Flower, Delius Coppelia

> My Thoughts

A. This one has the warm, fuzzy vibe that I totally want to stay soaked in!!

B. I think that Hufflepuff is the most removed from my own personna–although I’m still a nice person, I do swear–so I wish I can be more relaxed and be at-home. ☺️

C. My fav. Hufflepuff is Newt and Cedric. Obviously.

🦅RAVENCLAW🦅

– The Secret History

– The Picture of Dorian Gray

– Sorcery of Thorns

– The Promised Neverland

– Inception/Interstellar

– Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no.2, Debussy Clair de Lune

> My Thoughts

A. This is my house!! So obviously, a lot of my tastes and favourites are reflected in the recs…

B. I really love the intellectual and magical vibes of Ravenclaw. I also love the pursuit of wisdom and ideas, too!!

C. My fav. Ravenclaw of all time is Luna. She’s also probably my fav. character in all of HP 😉

SLYTHERIN

– Six of Crows

– Crime and Punishment

– Wicked Saints

– Tokyo Ghoul

– Schindler’s List/Goodwill Hunting

– Verdi’s Requiem, Chopin’s Funeral March

> My Thoughts

A. Personally, I think that Ravenclaw and Slytherin are THE dark academia houses in HP. Which, btw, is saying I loved them to pieces 😆

B. If I was not in Ravenclaw, I’d love to be in Slytherin despite their bad rep. I love the grungy-vibes and everything angsty about this house.

C. My fav. Slytherin character is Draco and Severus and Regulus!!

And that’s it for today! 

Thank you for reading! Which Hogwarts house do you belong in? Do you have any favourites in the list? What books/movies/music would you recommend in your house? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

7 + 1 Studio Ghibli Movies to Watch This Summer

Hullo, world!  

I’ve been waiting for this week to come because…

  1. Ghibli is my life
  2. It’s almost my blogiversary!!!

Yes, this is actually happening. I still can’t believe it’s going to be two years since I began blogging here at SJ Barnard and I’ve loved it all the way, albeit the earlier days when I was floundering. I’ve met so many fellow bloggers who share a passion for reading, writing, and screaming about fandoms, I can’t quite fathom what I’ll do without it. 

I’m thinking of doing a Q & A, so shoot me your questions in the comments section at the end. 🙂

Now that the introductions are underway, let’s dive straight into today’s post! 

1. The Wind Rises (2013)

Rating: PG, Romance, War

This is one of my absolute favourite Studio Ghibli films! It’s loosely based on the life of Horikoshi Jiro, who designed the famous Zero fighter plane during WWII. 

What I Love About This Story:

  • The Sky. Miyazaki’s love for planes are displayed at its best here
  • Taisho~Showa era vibes. Esp. the fusion between the western and Japanese culture
  • Undertone wars. The way it slowly encroaches upon every aspect of the story is haunting

2. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Rating: PG, Romance, War, Magic

This is the famous (or infamous) movie loosely inspired by Diana Wynne Jones’ book of the same title. I know there’s a lot of opinions out there, but can we just all agree on Howl’s supremacy??? 

What I Love About This Story:

  • Howl & Sophie. I don’t care if it’s book Sowl or movie Sowl. Or is it Hophie??
  • The Moving Castle. I mean, come on, it’s pretty cool you get to see it cranking and puffing along!
  • The world & soundtrack. HWC’s OST is one of my favourites!!!

3. From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

Rating: PG, Romance, Thematic Elements?

Set a year before the  1964 Tokyo Olympics in port city Yokohama, FUOPH follows Mel and fellow classmates trying to save a wartime relic clubhouse from destruction. 

What I Love About This Story:

  • Mid-Showa vibes. I know, I’m kind of obsessed with the 20th century. 
  • Retro-Vintage Academia vibes. The “Latin Quarter” is absolutely the best club house in the world. I want to live there!!
  • Yokohama. I just love that city. I miss it. 😭

4. Ponyo (2008)

Rating: G, Thematic Elements, Magic

Okay, before anything, this was my childhood movie along with My Neighbour Totoro. I was a kid when it came out in the theatres, and I still remember we sang this for our sports meet in elementary!!

Ahem.

Anyhow, it’s a super cute story about a goldfish princess who wants to become human meeting a boy named Sousuke, very loosely inspired by the Little Mermaid and Japanese legends, IDK.

What I Love About This Story:

  • The Ocean. Hands down, the ocean town is the best thing in this movie
  • Sousuke & Ponyo. They’re just so cute together!! I mean, they’re probably going to be the best childhood sweethearts. Like, ever. 
  • Ramen. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Every time I watch this movie, I want to eat Nisshin’s Chicken Ramen. Shockingly expensive here…

5. When Marnie Was There (2014)

Rating: G, Thematic Elements

Also based on a book (that I love as well!!) WMWT chronicles the otherworldly summer of Anna, who is always on the “Outside” but meets a mysterious girl–Marnie, who changes everything. 

What I Love About This Story:

  • The Swamp House. There’s no other way to put it. 
  • Marnie. She’s just such a strange character I can’t really categorise her, but I would want to be friends with her!
  • Anna’s drawings, They’re so alive and a nice touch only the movie has. 

6. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Rating: 14A, Thematic Elements, Violence

Set in the late Muromachi period (14th century), Ashitaka, who was on his way to find a cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and the mining colony, Tatara…

What I Love About This Story:

  • Historical Fantasy! I like how I can’t really place the story in an exact historical period, it’s like it’s a step removed from there.
  • Ashitaka. We all wish modern guys were like him…
  • Tatara. I guess now that I think about it, it’s steam-punk! (Also, the forest. It’s purely magical–or mythical, I should say.)

7. Ocean Waves (1993)

Rating: PG, Romance, Thematic Elements

This is an older movie also based on a book that even my Mum watched when she was younger. It’s not directed by Miyazaki or Takahata, but the toned down vibes and simple storyline is still captivating. 

OW follows Taku Morisaki’s recollection of his high school days as he travels back to his hometown from Tokyo. 

What I Love About This Story:

  • Showa vibes. Okay, I should stop, but Showa is the thing for us Heisei kids. Just wait until the Reiwa gen. grows up and starts talking about Heisei like a big novelty. 
  • Obviously, the ocean. Unlike the other movies on the list, I love how faded it feels because it’s a memory of bygone days. 

8. Grave of the Firefly (1988)

Rating: PG, War, Violence, Thematic Elements

The very last one on the list is probably the most gut-wrenching one partly because it takes place during WWII head on and partly because the main charcters are children. Every summer of my elementary years, schools and after school care would show this movie as a reminder of the great Tokyo air raid, and I have not forgotten it since. 

What I Love About This Story:

  • Realism. They really went all in with this movie, and it tends to get scary for younger audiences because of it, but I think it was necessary.
  • Sakuma drops. Literally every kid in Japan will buy one can at one point in their lives and keep it for eternity. Plus, it’s really good!
  • Fireflies. The way they wove it into the story is just… I can’t even. 

And that’s about it for now!

Thank you for reading! Have you watched any of these movies? Do you like Studio Ghibli? (It’s a loaded question, lol.) Tell me your thoughts & questions you’d like to ask me about my upcoming blogiversary below! I’d love to chat with you!!

May Afternoon Tea with SJ + Bujo!

Good afternoon!

As you can see, I’ve slightly recovered from my battle with the influenza. (At least well enough to sit up on my bed.) Today, we’ll be doing something a little unconventional.

Since I’m still feeling woozy from the past week of high fevers, we’ll be having tea out in the front porch, where I’ve set up a recliner for me and some nice wicker chairs stuffed with cushions for you. From where we are situated, we can observe the quiet street in front of us and the neighbouring gardens all verdant and luscious. A quiet wind flutters in our faces. We’re having various mint teas from a glass teapot, and simple finger foods like vegetable sticks with miso-mayonnaise. 

Ready?

Here we go…

Easy Guide to Bujo:

May brought many unexpected changes, and it also brought me bujo. For those of you who do not know, bujo is short for bullet journal, something I have been obsessed with as of late. I sat down one day and thought, “I’m not getting things done either with my Google calendar or calendar blocking. Perchance I need a third method…” 

And voila! 

I had a bullet journal created in one afternoon, and I will not be going back to life without it. 

It’s quite simple to create (in fact, it only takes you one afternoon), so let me show you just how you can do that…

1: Cover 

You start with a right turn page in your notebook, where you create a cover. Mine looks kind of hastily done, because it was done hastily, but it doesn’t have to be super opulent or anything. You just need a page telling you which month is starting. 

2: Monthly Spread 

This is probably the page that takes the most time. You should probably use a ruler when creating this page, as that gives you a nicer, crisper look. You can add Goals of the Month and Notes like I did, or use up the entire space for the spread. 

3: Weekly Spread + Everything Else 

Next comes the Weekly Spread. This is the most practical thing about bujo, where you fill in daily goals with a little tick box next to it after you finish. You can also add pages for things like Mood Tracker, Music, and Book/Movie list. I also added a Prayer list at the end. 

This month, I listened to songs like:

  1. セカイはまだ始まってすらいない (The World Hasn’t Even Started Yet)–PinocchioP
  2. Little Astronaut, Big Dreams.–Dreamy
  3. さよなら、僕のヒーロー (Goodbye, My Hero)–傘村トータ/Tota Kasamura
  4. いのちの食べ方 (How to Eat Life)–Eve
  5. Brigg Fair, An English Rhapsody–Frederick Delius
  6. 豚になってyeah yeah (Become Pig yeah yeah)–Neru
  7. YELLOW–神山羊/Yoh Kamiyama
  8. Coppélia–Léo Delibes

(I know, I know, I’m a weird person. I listen to classical music and vocaloid and lofi.)

I watched a grand total of six movies, all of them Japanese:

  1. 帝一の國 (Teichi no Kuni)
  2. 太平洋の奇跡 (Pacific’s Miracle–The Man they Called Fox)
  3. 君の膵臓をたべたい (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas)
  4. 日日是好日 (Nichi-nichi-kore-koujitsu)
  5. 恋は雨上がりのように (After the Rain)
  6. BAKUMAN

For May, I managed to read 13 books! Finally got back on reading over ten books a month!

  1. A Winter’s Promise–Christelle Dabos
  2. My Plain Jane–Fland, Meadows, Ashton
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children–Ransom Riggs
  4. What I Like About You–Marisa Kanter
  5. Wayward Son–Rainbow Rowell
  6. The Wicked King–Holly Black
  7. The Great Divorce–C. S. Lewis
  8. As Many Nows as I Can Get–Shana Youngdahl
  9. The June Boys–Court Stevens
  10. Wilder Girls–Rory Power
  11. Bridge of Clay–Markus Zusak
  12. Suggested Reading–Dave Connis
  13. Sorcery of Thorns–Margaret Rogerson

And right now, I am reading The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. 

And that’s it.  Bujo is a super fun and easy way to keep track of where all your time goes and help you be more aware of yourself. (When adequately motivated enough, I can read more, pay attention to where time goes, and listen to music I love!) I wrote around 30K+ for my WIP and short stories that I wrote for various contests. Hoping to get more writing done next month!

Thank you for joining me for a brief tea and bujo session. Quite enjoyed it!

What are some things you did this May? Do you bujo? If so, has it helped you stay more focused? What are some media you enjoyed this month? Let me know in the comments below; I love chatting with you!