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Admittedly, this post is largely bereft of original work this time around. Studies are the name of the game for this post. We'll kick off with a status update on the Arceus Project.

After many... long hours and a lot of frustration, these (simplified) anatomical study guides are finished. They have already proven to be worth the investment as instead of hauling out heavy study volumes from my personal library, I can just pull these up in the midst of work and get exactly what I need without attempting to make space on my meager work desk. Eventually, once the project for which these were made is done, I'd like to expand this pair with more animals, namely with dog, cat, and bird studies, to complement and expand my "instant access" resource library. If I ever do get a studio job, these will be the first things to get pinned to my cubicle walls.

Also for the project, various bird and horse studies. Or rather, just more of them in general to add to what was made before. Some are stronger / better than others, but they've all been helpful. At long last, I finally have some basic grasp on how to draw bird wings without pulling up 20 images off of Google to help me out. They don't look it, but the first set of bird studies was a solid four hour time investment. The bodies were of no problem, but a concentrated effort was put on the wings specifically, which involved... a lot of ctrl+z, deletion, restarting, and generally getting annoyed.

The result in completing all of these was a brief consideration to change Arceus' design for the project:

Giving Arceus eight legs as opposed to four sounded like a fun idea, and with some creative problem solving it's perfectly doable. However, despite the background mechanical considerations that were done in the midst of this to make it work on the physiological end, visually it's not very fun to look at,which rather made the whole endeavour feel like a bit of a waste. If I were going more for a mutation direction with the Pokemon, I would have likely soldiered through and kept the concept, but since, in relation to the project, Arceus is being interpreted as a bioengineering "Work of Art", the wacky leg layout would be inappropriate.


Hi, Anon! I have just added an "Archive" link on the main blog page (and the blog now comes with a refresh button). If any of the link break somehow, please let me know!




Hey, Robots! There is actually a reason for that! The reason the link is missing from the front page is because I am a weenie and don't want the casual blog portion of the site to be available via general menu access just yet. I don't feel it's appropriate to have it linked directly from the front page at this stage. This may change in the future, but for the time being the only way to get to the blog is to manually type in or bookmark the url extension from the site. The address will never change, so for as long as folks remember the extension they'll be able to get to it.

As for help with skeletons, it can go either way! It honestly depends on how much legwork you want me to do with the skeleton. I'm happy to do either, but if you're just looking for a little bit of help, I can probably blast out a redline for you in a couple of minutes and give you a short bit of justification for my choices in a small text block. HOWEVER, how much help they may be might be affected by your own understanding of how skeletons work in tandem with muscles - but that too depends on how much that side of things legit matters to you for the end result. If you're just looking for something that looks believable, then a redline will probably be all you need. If you're looking for something more in-depth, then I'd probably ask for some level of pay for the extra work involved.

To expand on this for anybody who might be interested - making a believable skeleton isn't as hard as it looks. It's time-consuming, but not too difficult. However, what it does require is a basic understanding of the purpose of a skeleton, which is to protect vital organs and provide anchorage for muscles to further permit movement. Form fits function in a skeleton, and generally function is accomplished in a "path of least resistance" manner (generally through the marvel of refinement via evolution). Unless your design is really wild, the skeleton will be the least of your concerns, it'll be the muscle layout that give you a run for your money!




Hi, Erin! The change in Lemmy's hair specifically does play into his species. To justify the colouration of his hair in the official design, I decided to go with the idea that in Lemmy's species males would have colourful quasi-manes as a display tactic or general form of sexual dimorphism. If his hair were permitted to fall naturally, it would look like something like this:

The secondary reason for changing his hair was that I couldn't think of a convincing justification to give him a naturally vertical-rainbow mohawk. I could have gone with dye / manual colouration, but it didn't fit his character or the culture of the Koopa monarchy in which he was involved. Since so many of the Koopa children were becoming very colourful overall anyways, I shifted the concept a little for the least amount of trouble.

Other things:

For whatever reason, I felt driven / inspired to take a half-a-gigabyte's worth of screen captures from Predator and Predator 2 one day, and do a bunch of studies from them (with some Monty Python in between). Ever since I was but a booger, I was enthralled by the design of the Yautja, and the unique differences in facial / cranial construction between the Jungle Hunter and the City Hunter from the two films. Both creatures have a very specific facial arrangement that for years I could never get right, which bugged the absolute shit out of me even until today. Why it bothered me for over 15 years to the present is anyone's guess, but here we are.

Doing these lead to considerations on the Yautja homeworld and what evolutionary pressures could have lead to such a strange facial arrangement, sensory range, and culture. Using the original 80s - 00s era body of material (re: chucking out everything that came after the AvP movie [except Predators] because fuck that hot mess and the further messes it created) from both Fox and Dark Horse, I came to some conclusions that I felt were quite plausible. Once I have some more material built off of what I came up with I'd like to share those ideas here.

Two new additions to the height chart: twins Lelial and Vovere, and a Zobsk.

Lelial and Vovere were introduced sometime last year. While living, the pair swindled the church and preached worship to God through destruction of the body. Damned, they are chained to the doors of Pride's Fortress, deformed and awkwardly bent, guarding it against mortal intrusion and damned attempting escape. In being partners in crime in life, the pair cannot be truly separated in Hell. Should one brother die, the other will deliver them back into Hell through their own body. Should both die, the remaining gore will coalesce and nurture the reformation of the damned.

Zobsk are natives of Wrath, endlessly patrolling the Sea of Tar. They are an aerial species harbouring nothing but suspicion towards their fellow demons, answering only to Wrath's ruler, the Conflictor. Zobsk land only to court and deposit eggs. They remain airborne until death, plummeting from the sky to explode upon the ground. Zobsk breathe through their tendrils, performing gas exchange throughout the length of each. Their innards are delicate, collapsing upon the demon's death, even before catastrophic connection with the horizon.

More Sonic, because I sure do like comfort zones (act 1 and 2 haaaaaa). Because I refuse to just use Modern Sonic's design, here I am trying all over again to make a less uncanny-looking style-mashed Sonic so I can justify all the work I put into Metal Sonic. I'm sure if I just changed the face all my issues would be solved but for whatever reason I can't bring myself to do that. "Listen, this will work" I keep telling myself. What's even more hilarious is that technically he works on an anatomical level, he just looks fucking creepy, which probably reflects on me in a staggeringly terrible way with the reputation the fandom has.

I could just use this redesign from 2015, which would eliminate all of my problems instantly:

BUT, then I'd have to redesign Metal all over again. This redesign is meant for an entirely different project anyways and I'd rather not mix the two.

Speaking of projects, once the Arceus project is done and delivered to donors, I have a few other small-scale projects in line that I'd like to immediately jump into afterwards. In relation to TUZ specifically (all... three versions) there are some ideas floating about that I'd like to tackle, but I'll speak of those closer to when work on them actually starts.


A pair of sketch commissions! The queue now consists of just two more jobs before it's completely clear, not including the Arceus donor project.


Well it's been a while! After letting it sit for some time, the Grey Imp has been finished - considerably better than the original Red Imp design, more mechanically sound and overall more plausible.

It's also been serving as a first foray into 3D modelling, something I've been wanting to do for some time. Progress is slow, but for a first model it's not shabby. In the process however I have been running headlong into the limitations of ZBrush Core, which may make some of the more ambitious follow-up projects difficult to execute without some creative problem solving.


[Working on a half-decent format to post these in - bear with me!]

I'M EXCITED, TOO! Answering Asks was easily my favourite part of being on Tumblr.

Heaven is pretty anemic in both the written and arted department, alas! That's my fault because for the longest time Heaven was relegated to "it's just full of bird people" because I didn't really know what to do with it beyond filling it with snobby assholes. That's begun to change, though not especially quickly. The recurring concept since the project's inception way back was that Heaven was a mineral plane, unlike Hell which was organic, but there was a lack of personal understanding to allow this to work. There is still lacking info, but some new research has let this idea actually go somewhere, which is letting Heaven as a location ferment and grow overall in the project. The best compact information regarding Heaven and Angels overall I can give currently is the following:

Heaven is sterile, its people grown from minerals [silicon-based]. Angels function by way of absorbing energy from almost any external source. Depending on the species, the type of wavelengths compatible can vary. For so long as there is energy to be absorbed, an Angel can survive or otherwise be active, though by how much is dependent on the strength of the energy source.

ORACLES / AURACLES are Angels that gain considerable energy from and further emit mechanical waves. The most common of these are the Ouroboros, ring-shaped abstract Angels.

PRISMS are Angels that gain considerable energy from the further emit electromagnetic radiation. The most common of these are the Pyramids and Hydrons, abstract Angels that develop in polyhedron formations.

Depending on its molecular construction and formation, Angels can theoretically be "indestructible" by conventional means, requiring extreme measures to destroy or otherwise defeat. Extreme kinetic force, rapid temperature fluctuation, and "overloading" are considered the most "effective" means to destroy an Angel.
All Angels possess a heat tolerance range, and the exceeding of either end of the spectrum will result in freezing or melting of the external structure, leading to structural and systematic failure of the entity's external and internal components. Depending on the species, the tolerance of an Angel's internal structures can differ from that of its external parts, which can result in "cooking / boiling / melting / freezing from within", or the exposure of the intact internal systems as the external layers shatter, peel, or evaporate away.
While many species can be accurately described physiologically as "machines", others manage to ape the appearance or "fluidity" of organics. These particular Angels are still composed entirely of minerals, but manipulate their outer layers as a malleable clay purely by way of maintaining internal temperatures that near the external layer's melting point, making the "skin" pliable. It is for this reason that upon death, many Angels "turn to glass". These same species can also enter a protective or hibernative state in which the outer body "freezes" to preserve the interior during times of low wavelength absorption. This state can be maintained for extended periods of time, but the creature will eventually die of deprivation.
The cracking of the external shell is often enough to destroy some species of Angel, as the internal materials can oxidise in catastrophic ways, resulting in exposed inner layers turning to sand or immediately combusting. For some other select species, envelopment in total darkness will destroy them.
The blood of most Angels is clear, with some sporting chemical blue, yellow, or orange. Red is uncommon. Some Angels will overall possess no "colour", instead possessing a general staggered translucency / opaqueness to their bodies from layering of internal and external structures.

If these points bring the screaming hydron from Evangelion to mind, you're on the right track. Seeing the series for the first time way back in 2008 implanted the idea of abstraction for Heaven's inhabitants, and it's stuck ever since. However, it never truly went anywhere because abstraction as a design foundation was incredibly difficult to grasp for me overall as it was beyond my artistic approach and understanding in terms of execution, very "where would the organs go?" and etc at the time. As an issue this is steadily subsiding the more I learn about unconventional / non-traditional life forms. Single-celled and generally incomplex organisms are the primary source of inspiration for Angels at large. Brutalism in architecture is also an inspiration.

Because Heaven's role in IO isn't especially highlighted in the primary narrative (for now), I can't say when designs will start showing up. For now only the Pherim exists in visual format, and some others are so simple in appearance I don't see myself really depicting them when a basic written description will do just fine. However, since many are based in multi-lateral repetition, some designs will probably start getting spitballed once I begin to learn 3D, where repeating shapes can be dealt with easily and quickly.


You're pretty close! Hell is stacked much like a tower of disks, but each Level down gets smaller. Altogether, hell looks a lot like an inverted triangle.

If you're first instinct is somewhere along the lines of "that's very Dante", you'd be correct. This layout is pretty much directly based off of the Divine Comedy, but with a slight twist. Each Level is more or less enclosed - Hell isn't a massive pit mine. Each Level does have at least one pit that will open into the Level below, which is generally located in the centre of the disc, and by association, the centre of that Level's Capital (if it has one, only the first seven have a capital city, while the eighth disc, Dis, is a city in its entirety).

The size of the discs themselves can be measured in light years. Hell is immense, and it needs to be to accommodate so many sentient species of life that find themselves there. Its layout is the result of Hell tearing itself apart in the far past, back when it was just one disc divided into states and provinces. When it split, it tore multiple cities apart, destroyed cultures, sent entire species into extinction, and rewrote the geography and ecology of each sundered landmass. While the discs no longer shift, they do move. Each one rotates in place, going clockwise or counter-clockwise, each at a different speed. The speed of a disc's spin contributes to its weather, its ambient heat, and its geographical stability.


Hi, Anon! Haha, hopefully you don't mind this answer being late.

There's a couple of ways to tackle this. For your first point of "a human rib cage with the ability to press into a deep chest", one solution could be the use of the diaphragm to extend or "move" the base of the lungs and stomach lower into the body, permitting them to largely operate as they had before at the expense of a compressed intestinal tract. Another would be to eliminate conventional breathing altogether and incorporate what crocodiles use to respire, which is to breathe via movement of the diaphragm. Crocodiles don't breathe the same way we do, which is the expansion and contraction of the rib cage; to breathe, they move their diaphragm up and down in the body to force intake and expulsion of air from the lungs. These two suggestions, thankfully, would not involve much alteration of the spine, this is all internal. The only surface alteration would be how the creature would appear to respire from the outside in terms of the second suggestion - taking breaths "into the gut" as opposed to "into the chest", something you may be familiar with as a concept if you have ever taken classes in choir or playing band instruments.

Something else you could consider, especially in regards to quadrupedal movement, is the removal of the collarbone to your creature (assuming this is not a werewolf). If you look at any four-legged animal, such as the cat, dog, or a horse, you're notice that they do not possess collarbones. This in part facilitates effective quadrupedal movement. The leg and scapula is given a limited amount of free movement against the rib cage.

It is important to note though, that this is not the same for monkeys and apes, which still possess a collarbone.

Monkeys and apes are not especially fast or powerful long-distance runners - if they do move about on all fours quickly it's generally for a brief amount of time, and it is not their only mode of travel.

Another thing you could consider, is that along with a deepening of the chest, there is also a widening. if you look at a cat, dog, or horse's skeleton from above, you'll notice that the chest starts off quite narrow and widens considerably towards the base. You could incorporate this into your creature for, probably, the least number of headaches. This would still shift or compress the organs of the chest towards the top somewhat, but we'd be banking on them either shifting with the rest of the body, or just being able to adapt to the new constraints with limited trouble if any.

Another thing to keep in mind is center of gravity. As the chest itself changes and organs are shifted about, the center of gravity in the body will move, which will affect stance.

In terms of the spine, depending on how your humanoid moves, you may not need to change too much. What you'll be more concerned about is the construction of the pelvis, which anchors the grand majority of the leg muscles. If the muscles aren't properly originated from a location that essentially permits quadrupedal locomotion to happen, your creature's not going to get very far because they won't be able to run on all fours very well! To help illustrate this, take a peek at the studies below:

The studies are colour coded to help recognise the same bones and muscles altered to fit the animal's evolutionary path and adaptations. You're going to notice that the construction of the pelvis is way different between the bipedal man and the quadrupedal horse - one is fanned in a bowl-shape while the other rather looks like a horse shoe. Outside of the general shape, something you'll really want to pay attention to is the crest of the pelvis, highlighted in red and blue:

The crest is where muscles and fascia that power the movement of the legs anchor. Where these muscles and sheets of fascia anchor greatly, greatly affect how the legs move and how much power they will have when making that movement. It also affects the diaphragm. If you try bending over to stand like a horse, aside from your arms not being long enough to touch the floor with your back parallel to the ground, you're going to notice that your legs really don't feel very good and will have trouble moving forward to let you make a step. That's because in this position the muscles in your legs can't accommodate much further contraction or relaxation to swing forwards to make that step. If you do manage to make a step, you're probably swinging your legs in an awkward waddle-step, or the step itself feels "weak", or that your breath is affected. This is a limitation of the human pelvis, which is shaped specially to help with bipedal travel! If your creature is adept at moving on all fours, it will need a pelvis that permits its muscles to work well when in quadrupedal stance. A hybrid between these two would probably be just what you'd be looking for!

Overall, in terms of a general humanoid more suited for quadrupedal travel, I would definitely say an animal like the baboon or similar would be a very good place to start design-wise - thankfully an animal like that has a lot of relevant questions related to yours answered! As a creature this humanoid wouldn't be much for long-distance four-legged sprinting, its anatomy wouldn't afford it, but it could climb and still travel long distances at a moderate walking pace on all fours. It could still walk and move about on two legs, but a lower center of gravity would mean it would be most at home on all fours when in motion.

I have, too, a suggestion for two catch-all explanations for a metamorphosis to help shove away the "cop-out" feeling that magic can give, and those are "apoptosis" and "ossification". Apoptosis is programmed cell death - this is not necrosis, but a natural process. A tadpole loses its tail thanks to apoptosis! Ossification is the remodeling and growth of bone. If you wanted to be a heretic (like me) and proclaim that magic is b.s. and boring, you can throw these two concepts around and more or less get away with it. Obviously, to make either work you'd need energy, and if your subject was, say, a werewolf, this could mean that they become ravenous to feed the immense energy need to fuel the transformation, and that a lack of needed energy results in botched, stalled, or a straight-up failed transformation that causes death.

There's a lot of options for you to consider, Anon! I hope this helped at least somewhat; if it didn't and I missed the mark of your question by a mile, definitely let me know and I can take another shot!

Other things:

Sonic has resurfaced art-wise - as he tends to do around my birthday if I don't simply settle for a personal Game Gear marathon. I was sharing these on Twitter for a short while before deciding to keep the newest run of fanart off of the platform. The visual clash of the characters' original designs versus my working style creates some pretty uncanny results, which started to drag in weird and unpleasent / unwanted commentary on the work that I have no interest in encouraging.

Anyways, Sonic is getting a revisit. Some of you may recall there was a short-lived transitional period between TUZ The Original and TUZ The Remix that involved uncanny-valley Sonic and an incredibly ugly rendition of Super Sonic. This brief time frame resulted in a small smattering of never-finished fanfiction that was more or less "what if the Sonic-verse was just a little bit more 'real'?" and by "real" I meant "uncharacteristically violent" because that's obviously what "real" means. Metal Sonic featured prominantly in this Alternate Universe switch, because I found (and continue to find) his character to be a fascinating hotbed of possibilities.

I won't speak too much regarding the "point" of revisiting Sonic and the Unknown Zone other than to pick up and dust off some old ideas that I thought still had some creative, artistic, or narrative merit.

Unlike what's shown here, Stirba is shorter than Matilda by a fair margin - at least three feet if Hell 2525 maintains the general scale of species from IO's primary narrative or not. This is just a sketch mash-up. The two are flat-mates, doing dirty work for money in the midst of a struggling economy filled with angry, frightened demon-folk.

Something a tad different style-wise. I haven't been happy with my work for a long time, in part because a certain itch of sorts was just never getting scratched with how I approached my work in general. As a personal outlet, I wasn't letting it do its job outside of a portion of what needed to get out, as it were. This is the start of a new personal project, an off-shoot narrative for IO called "Hell 2525". In terms of style the "point" of Hell 2525 is to develop something I always wanted to see in own work, exaggeration, "anime", more Rule of Cool, and a lot of trash. I want something that compliments and makes use of the knowledge I've gained, yet at the same time "goes against" my standard body of work - the approach and end-goal aren't the same, etc. It's an entirely self-serving project that just acts like a dirty playground more than anything else. It's the only project I've made that plays host to distinctly R18+ material as opposed to just being "suggestive".

Below is the original set of style explorations done for Matilda the Great, reincarnated as a prostitute in the fringes of Dis who works part time as a mercenary alongside similarly reincarnated Queen Stirba. Exaggeration is more or less the name of the game for the project. I'm not entirely where I want the style for Hell 2525 to be, but it's close.


A few sketch commissions were taken over Twitter over the course of the last few months. No real plans for taking bigger or more regular commissions, these are very much "every so often". Completion times are slow to accommodate working full-time. I have been toying with the idea of keeping digital sketches open as a permanent fixture to be done as time allows, but that will depend on what happens after my current contract expires at the end of July. I don't see taking anything heavy for the remainder of the summer overall, as the heat has been ramping up throughout the month and will keep doing so until the end of August. The strain on the power grid has resulted in unscheduled blackouts already.


An inaugural post! And it only took five months.

Disconnecting from social media has permitted a reconnect with IO, which I have been very appreciative of. Focus has been turned back to Gluttony and Wrath, with some attention being given to a related side-project that will be introduced at another time. Gluttony in particular is being given a shake-down, as out of all of the locations in Hell that could be considered "major" in terms of the narrative, it possesses probably the least clarity for its people, history, and makeup. Gluttony is best described as barren; little will take root upon its surface and its tough mantle will suffocate most of what can. The flatness of its expanses have made it amongst the most difficult wildernesses in Hell to chart, with too few landmarks or changes in elevation to prove of any use to map-making. Getting lost in Gluttony is an invitation to assured starvation, with corpses swallowed by the mantle in mere days if not scavenged by the Level's ravenous inhabitants.

Gluttony possesses two sentient native races, the Motherkin, and the Nigrim, the former of which will be lightly touched on here. Motherkin belong to the family Matriarcha, a genetic branch hosting a small zoo of species and subspecies, most of which can interbreed. All species are single-sex, separated only by physical class, which is dependent on hormones. Any individual is capable of conceiving or siring offspring, though their ability to accomplish either is heavily dependent on their class and the class of their partners, which affects genital formation and compatibility with other Motherkin.

Two Murder Chefs of two physical classes. The species possesses the widest range of classes and individual variation currently known to Hell at large. They are the most well-known and wide-spread of the Motherkin Species to be trafficked as slaves and hired hands, prevalent throughout many of Hell's cities as "gifts" from Yomesh to his neighbours. Murder Chefs are most common in the kitchens of Hell's ruling class, easily trained and easily replaced in the event of injury, abduction, or death.

The Scissorface is a descendant of Mortebrala, the "escapee" Matriarch who managed to avoid Yomesh's genocidal Epicurean War by growing a set of functioning wings and simply flying away to other, more remote environs of Hell. The Scissorfaces are her children. While not strictly natives of Gluttony, having been born as a species in Pandemonium, they, like their mother, carry the spirit of Gluttony, and if ever introduced there would be very much at home.

White Courtesans are the daughters of Mogura, presented in three stages of adulthood. Courtesans are a blight upon Nis, being obtusely difficult to locate, control, and destroy. Unlike other species of Motherkin, White Courtesans do not reproduce sexually, requiring only food to fuel their spread. The space afforded by the pot-belly is not occupied by vital organs, but rather offers its considerable real-estate to the constant development of offspring. Forever ravenous, the Courtesan is unapologetically cannibalistic.

Since the colonisation of Gluttony by Yomesh, the Motherkin are commonly traded as a slaves under the umbrella derogatory term of "Chef", the many species either exploited or slated for elimination to preserve the current rule in Gluttony under the Crown of Teeth. The exploitation of the Motherkin during the tenure of Yomesh's rule was supported in part by the lack of historic records-keeping by the species at large:

Motherkin history and cultural heritage is oral. There is no known written component of Mothertongue, the linguistic umbrella of the Motherkin language. The language and its dialects are not given extensive study until the second fall of Gluttony, Yomesh's death, and the reopening of Gluttony's borders to greater Hell. By this time, many unique dialects have been lost.
In general, Mothertongue is not spoken by anyone outside of Motherkin heritage due to the prevalence of Motherkin being generally fluent in Common or Low Infernal. As Motherkin history is oral, with no written records kept until after Yomesh's death, historical distortion and erasure of opposing or otherwise conflicting opinions and retellings through accidental or deliberate "History by Committee" is common. This is not resolved as a records-keeping blight until the rise of the Golgulta in the New Matriarchy and a written component to Mothertongue is developed. Written records claiming to be of Mothertongue prior to this change are merely phonetic transcriptions dictated by exterior parties.

Other things:

A tentative (disproportionate) interpretation of Silvally. After several months of thematic burnout, Pokemon does not inspire (as much) existential dread as a subject as this time last year. I'm looking forward to picking up paused pieces and meta-content that was affected; in particular the theoretical meta-analysis of Exeggutor which, as a piece of writing, managed to grow to 13 pages of text. Once it's completed I'd like to see it hosted here under the NERD 9000 sub-gallery on its own page, accompanied by thematically appropriate art. If successful, other meta pieces on other Pokemon species will definitely follow.

Studies are progressing. Admittedly, the process of these (incomplete) studies has been relatively unenjoyable, only due to a personal disatisfaction with my 2D work, which I hope to resolve soon by investing time into a new program that will permit me to explore a venue I've only really conceptualised up until this point.

Briefly, I entertained the idea of making adoptables for Flight Rising as a fun, inconsequential way to be involved with the community on the site. Unfortunately, the amount of work involved to make a base with interchangeable genes (with accessories not even touched on yet) has proven to be more than what I'm realistically willing to invest, especially considering I had wanted to do most if not all dragon breeds featured on the site. As an experiment, I was pleased to find that the processes I had developed did work quite well, however.

And, not too long ago I decided to rewatch My Neighbour Totoro / Tonari No Totoro and a few other Ghibli films. As a movie I hadn't seen in over 15 years, Totoro struck me as a film that embodied many things I find myself missing increasingly each year I turn over another number. The texture of the picture to the colour of the soundtrack brought back many memories that are sometimes hard to entertain if only for their distance and untouchability. In being so moved at the time, I thought I would have some fun with the catbus as a brief, self-indulgent study of my favourite character from the film.

Despite not having watched Totoro for over a decade and a half, I found that it had been so heavily ingrained in my memory that in watching the Blu-Ray copy I had purchased some time ago (but never opened), I found my ears perking at what I was sure to be inconsistencies with what I remembered, very clearly, to be the dialogue in the dub 15+ years ago. Tones and words seemed different and though largely insignificant, this had me wondering as to the version I was watching. Afterwards I thought to look into what I was sure to be a difference, wondering if I was having a Mandela moment, or if the version I possessed was potentially an inferior dub or translation to the one I recalled watching on VHS way back. As it turned out, there were indeed two versions of the film that had been released in the West, with the Disney Blu-Ray in my collection being the most recent and allegedly the most true to the original Japanese release in terms of translation. My only beef with the release I own is, insignificantly, the reduced vocals / foley for the catbus, which I remembered so fondly as being quite loud and energetic.