Natsume’s Book of Friends – an anime/manga recommendation

Work experience student Jasmine recently spent a week with us at Tea Tree Gully Library – she loves anime and highly recommends the series ‘Natsume’s Book of Friends’ .

Here’s Jasmine in her own words:

Hello, my name is Jasmine and I have just completed one week of work experience at the library. I chose to come to the Tea Tree Gully Library because of my passion for books – being surrounded by them for a whole week is a dream come true. After school I usually come here for many reasons, mainly to read and borrow books from the vast collection. I also place holds from the many other amazing libraries in South Australia. I enjoy reading many different genre books such as fantasy, horror, action and comedy.

My absolute favourite kind of books to read are manga books: a Japanese light novel of sorts, with a unique and distinctive art style. Manga is closely connected to anime, which uses the same art style as manga in an animated show or video format (which I am also obsessed with). More often than not, manga has an anime adaptation and vice versa, in the case the anime was created prior to the manga. This is to engage viewers who prefer either media, as it can also show different story directions. For example if an anime had two seasons, in the first half of the manga almost all of the same events occur and then in the second half of the manga, the second season of the anime commences. The story takes a different direction, creating a different result for the conclusion.

It is impossible for me to pick a favourite manga series – however I would like to share with you a series I am currently reading. I would like to show and suggest to you Natsume’s Book of Friends, a fantasy series depicting the life of Takashi Natsume. Not having any parents around from a fairly young age Natsume was shuffled between many family members throughout the majority of his life, none of whom cared for Natsume and were simply looking after him because they had to. Natsume did not have any friends while being shuffled from house to house for two simple reasons:

a) He wasn’t in one place long enough to keep any

b) Because he could see creatures called yokai

Yokai are a kind of spirit that cannot be seen by most people, however there are a select few who can see them. Some yokai are malevolent – others are quite passive. Each of the yokai look unique and bizarre, apart from the humanoid-looking yokai who wear yokai masks.

Most of the people who can see the spirits either:

  1. Ignore them
  2. Research the yokai
  3. Become exorcists

Throughout his childhood Natsume repeatedly tried to explain to his classmates and family about the creatures nobody else seemed to be able to see. Everybody, including his family, thought he was imagining it or was making up things for attention, Natsume was left alone to figure out what these creatures were and why he could see them when no one else could. This was until he moved into his aunt and uncle’s house, when he decided not to mention his ability to see yokai at all to his new classmates, or to his aunt and uncle. By not telling anybody about his ability at his new school allowed him to make friends, however he still remained a bit of an oddball.

The main plot line of this manga/anime series is driven by the events following Natsume’s discovery of a special book ‘The book of friends’, which belonged to his grandmother Reiko Natsume. It is a small book containing names of many yokai. The names contained in the book symbolise contracts that were made between Reiko and the yokai, which ruled the yokai do anything at her will. After Natsume found the book it was his responsibility to return all the names to their owners, break the contracts and defeat any yokai cruel beyond reason. Soon after being burdened by the responsibility of returning yokai names, Natsume met a yokai who resides in a ceramic cat body known as Nyanko – sensei.

While residing in the ceramic cat, Nyanko-Sensei can be seen by all humans, but cleverly hides the fact he is a yokai to most people. After running into heaps of danger and odd situations, Natsume makes a few more friends who can see or at least know about yokai and they go on yokai adventures together throughout the series.

As the series progresses Natsume starts to learn about his grandmother and discovers secrets about his family. Eventually it becomes an objective of his to know as much as possible about his family.

 

 

 

I enjoy this series in every way, from the characters and character development, the art style, plot line and many other things. It is a series I definitely recommend looking into. Personally I have been unable to watch the anime at this point but am up to date on the manga. I have been told the anime is of great quality and quite popular in Japan and among western audiences. I absolutely can’t wait to watch the anime considering how amazing the manga is.

That is it for my blog post, I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Way back when, Wednesdays

Pizza delivered, hot and fresh

Safe driving pizza delivery

In the first part of the 1980s, getting a pizza meant dining-in at a Pizza Hut restaurant or picking up a takeaway from your local Italian pizza bar. Everybody thought it was fantastic when you watched an American movie and somebody picked up the telephone to order pizza (usually pepperoni) and it was actually delivered to their door! In 1984 Dial-a-Dino’s commenced its revolutionary pizza home delivery service in Adelaide. On page 5 of the edition dated 25 February 1987, the Leader Messenger featured a story about Dial-a-Dino’s sending it’s young employees on a safe driving course.

Young driver training

Adelaide entrepreneur Richard Westcombe founded Dial-a-Dino’s. Pizza delivery proved to be a commercial success in Adelaide. It was easy to order over the telephone and people enjoyed the novelty value of experiencing a delivery. You would eagerly wait and look out the window to see the distinctive delivery vehicle arrive, a bright yellow Daihatsu with a large red illuminated telephone receiver on the roof. Dial-a-Dino’s expanded its business with outlets in five other Australian states. The company grew to operate 110 stores nationally with a fleet of 220 cars.

You can view old television advertisements for Dial-a-Dino on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com

You might also remember Pizza Haven. The Pizza Haven delivery service was also established in 1984. Financed by their parents, Adelaide brothers Evan, Louis, Bill and Gabriel Christou were opened the initial pizza outlet in Glenelg and established a franchise. Pizza Haven’s blue delivery cars featured an effigy of their mascot, the Pizza Parrot, on the roofs. Pizza Haven provided some competition for Dial-a-Dino’s. People would argue about which company made the better pizza. The Eagle Boys Pizza chain bought out Pizza Haven in July 2008.

In March 1989, Pizza Hut, which was part of PepsiCo Australia, bought out Dial-a-Dino’s and abolished its brand. Pizza delivery outlets were renamed Pizza Hutt Delivery. The advent of pizza delivery in Adelaide effectively put an end to the dine-in Pizza Hutt family restaurant. It was more convenient to eat at home. Pizza Hut became the leader in the pizza delivery market. However, strong competition arrived for Pizza Hut with the opening of Domino’s Pizza in Australia. Pizza Hut would buy out Eagle Boys in 2016 to try and increase its share of the market.

Now pizza eaters are spoilt for choice, with the advent of restaurant delivery services such as Menulog and Uber Eats. Many small pizza restaurants have entered the online environment by entering into partnership with these companies.

1a3d7659c53f2e53b2968dc6dfcd8bcd pizza

Image: Herald Sun

Despite the promotional image above, Dial-a-Dino’s delivery drivers were quite young. In South Australia the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 made it illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of age, which included discrimination in employment (http://www.hebtechstaging.com/resources/discrimination-laws/south-australian-laws). So it is disappointing that this article states that Dial-a-Dino’s drivers were all aged between 16-18 years of age, a statistic that reflects poorly on this company.

The speed limit has also changed in South Australia since 1987. The default speed limit in urban areas in South Australia was reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on 1 March 2003 (casr.adelaide.edu.au/publications/researchreports/CASR005.pdf).

#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: winter warmer veggie soup

 

soup 2

I don’t know about you, but this weather makes me crave soup: packed full of flavour and healthy veggies, served hot with a buttery piece of bread or a savoury scone… yum!

The cafe here at the Library, Bake & Brew, were kind enough to give us their recipe to share with you all. Happy soup-making!

Ingredients:

2 Turnips

2 Swedes

1 Pumpkin

2 Zucchini

1 Celery head

4 Carrots

6 Potatoes

Vegetable stock (the amount of stock will be the amount of soup liquid you get)

(This the Bake & Brew suggested veggie combination, but the great thing about soup is that you can chuck so many different ingredients in! Experiment with different veggies if you like)

Note: The veggie amounts in this recipe is for a big serve of soup, if you are cooking for a small group of people, adjust the recipe for less veggies and less stock.

 

Method:

1: Dice all veggies in even sizes.

2: Take pumpkin, swedes, carrots, potato, celery, turnips. In a large saucepan or pot big enough for your soup, saute off in a little butter.

3: Add stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Add zucchinis in last few minutes.

4: Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with fresh chopped parsley. Serve with savoury scone or bread with butter if you like.

5: Enjoy!

Soup 1

Way back when, Wednesdays

A window on the heavens

How many of us have gazed up at the night sky and dreamed? If only you could see the rings of Saturn and the storms on Jupiter. Did you know that you can get a closer look at the celestial bodies right here in the City of Tea Tree Gully? On page 9 of the edition dated 23 August 1989, the Leader Messenger reported on the upcoming opening of a local observatory with a powerful telescope. The observatory had been constructed at the Heights School campus on Brunel Drive, Modbury Heights.

Heights observatory

The Heights Observatory is a joint facility operated by The Heights School and the Astronomical Society of South Australia. It was established with the aims of providing students with practical experience in astronomy and also to promote astronomy to the general public (http://www.adelaideobservatory.org/history.html).

An observatory had been built on the grounds of The Norwood Boys Technical School (now Marryatville High School) which was offically opened in 1964, but by the 1980s the  building in which it was housed had started to deteriorate. (http://www.marryatvillehs.sa.edu.au/_r24/media/system/attrib/file/14/MARRYATVILLE_History_new%20format.pdf

Parents and students at the Heights were keen to provide a location for a new observatory, raising funds for the telescope’s relocation. Science teacher Emanuel Papaelia, who is pictured in the Messenger article, was instrumental in getting the traditional domed observatory built on the school grounds. In recognition of the great amount of work that Papaelia put into the project, the observatory was named after him.

The Papaelia domed observatory was mainly built by the parents of students. As stated in the newspaper article, local businesses and industry organisations donated materials and assisted with its construction.

Since the time of this article’s publication, there have been upgrades to the observatory. In 1996/1997 another building with a roll off roof was constructed near the dome to accomodate a second telescope and a classroom for students. The ‘Ingham Family Rooms’ were named in honour of the dedication contribution by members of the Ingham family.

1280px-Theheightsobservatory

From left:  The Ingham Family Rooms and the domed Papaelia observatory

Once a month you can attend a public viewing night run by the Astronomical Society of South Australia at the Heights Observatory, for a reasonable entrance fee. Knowledgeable, dedicated current and former students from The Heights School’s Star Group also conduct the education and viewing sessions.

For those who are technically minded and know their telescopes, the Papaelia Observatory houses a 14-inch f/10 Meade LX200 GPS ACF Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. The Ingham Family Room observatory contains a scientific quality 12.5inch Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain telescope on a Losmandy HGM 200 mount. You can also experience using portable telescopes as well as a selection of other astronomical equipment on the viewing nights.

The next Heights Public Viewing Night will be held on Friday 18 May, providing the weather is good. Bookings are essential.

Find out more at:

https://www.assa.org.au/facilities/theheights/

http://www.adelaideobservatory.org/

https://www.weekendnotes.com/heights-observatory-astronomical-society-south-australia/

 
#waybackwhenwednesdays

Avengers: Infinity War – a staff review

Avengers VS ThanosGreetings library land,

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to an advanced screening of Avengers: Infinity War. The follow up to Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, this movie is directed by the Russo brothers (Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War) this movie is the culmination of everything Marvel have done with their Cinematic Universe to this point.

Please note, I shall try and avoid spoilers as much as possible.

Based on Thanos Quest, The Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity graphic novels, the movie picks up where the mid credit sequence from Thor: Ragnarok ended and sets you off on an incredible journey, culminating in one of the largest cinematic battles since Lord of The Rings!

All of the cast are great, but the standout has to be Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin. One of my big concerns going into this moview was Thanos’ portrayal. In the comics, it often seems that there are two versions of The Mad Titan: highly intelligent, calculating and capable of character growth (as written by his creator Jim Starlin and to a lesser extent Dan Abnett and Keith Giffen) or a meglomaniacle destroyer and conqueror (most other writers and the Avengers Assemble cartoon). Thankfully, Brolin plays Thanos closer to his creators writing than others. You can almost, almost understand where Thanos is coming from and the justifacation of his actions (as horrific as they are). In many ways, this is Thanos’ movie and he owns the screen.

The interplay between the vast cast is really good, particulary Tony Stark, Doctor Strange and Star Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are many touching moments, particularly in the final act.Infinity Wars Insta pic

If I have a complaint, it is that Adam Warlock, a character who (in the comics) is intimatly linked to the Infinity Stones was not introduced in time to play a roll in this film. In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, Warlock was an essential part of the plot, rallying not only Earth’s heroes, but the various cosmic abstracts (such as Eternity, Chaos, Order and Galactus) against Thanos.

A solid 9/10 and don’t forget to stay until the very end of the credits!

High School texts that had a long-lasting impact

Do you remember what books, plays, or films you had to analyse for school or university? While most of us would rather forget the stressful times of homework, study, and cramming before a big test or essay, there is something to be said for casting your mind back to that period.

For me personally, I remember the frustration of getting through the seemingly never-ending Othello. However, in a sea of boring or dry texts I had to read for school, there is a particularly great one that far outweighs the bad ones. I asked myself, and fellow Library staff, about what high school texts we read that really had an impact on us, whether it be a positive or negative one.

Eleanor (me!)

cosi

“I had to read the Australian play ‘Cosi’ by Louis Nowra for year 12 English. The play was set in a mental hospital, where the lead character Lewis directs a play that the patients star in – so it’s a play within a play!

The morals of the story were: there is no ‘normal’, everyone is ‘crazy/different’ in their own way, and that friendship, love, and understanding bridges the gaps and differences between people.

I really enjoyed the play at the time, and as much as we students hated to admit it at the time, we thought it was really clever and funny. I still have Cosi in my bookshelf at home. It is apparently intended to be the sequel to one of Nowra’s previous plays, ‘Summer of the Aliens’, but Cosi works perfectly as a standalone.

Cosi was made into an Australian movie starring big Australian names such as Ben Mendelsohn, David Wenham, Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Barry Otto, Jacki Weaver, and Colin Hay – of Men at Work”

 

Symon

wuthering

“I read Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte  in Year 11.

It ruined classic English literature from that period for me. I found it to be the most boring book I’d ever read at that stage of my life, and felt it was barely a step up from TV soap operas. That being said if I think of dysfunctional relationships I sometimes think of this book. And whenever I think of English moors. Which isn’t often”

 

 

Hayley

z for zac.jpg

“In year 9 I was allowed to read the novel Z for Zachariah as a reward for finishing my assignments early. The book was knocked the wind of me and planted the seed a life- long love of dystopian sci-fi. After a nuclear war teenager Anne lives alone in an isolated valley until one day a stranger in a radiation-proof suit arrives.

The book is tense and frightening. As a reader I couldn’t put this book down”

 

Penny

conrad.jpg

“For me it would be ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad.

It is truly a painful book to read – in every sense. It is long-winded and tedious to start with, you really have to push yourself to get through it. And then it drops – you are in, and it is so wild and lush and sick, you want to stop reading but you can’t because it is so gripping. It’s about a voyage up the Congo River in Africa, where the main character, Marlow, is on a mission to meet the ivory trader Kurtz. Kurtz initially has great plans to colonise the natives and make a better life for them, but in time he succumbs to jungle fever and develops a ‘win at all costs’ mentality. Marlow is mesmerised by Kurtz, who is eloquent and articulate. And yet a barbarian, a total monster.

It’s really painful stuff to read, even today, as you think about what it has taken to have the clean, safe and aesthetically pleasing world we live in here in Australia, and those who have suffered for it”

 

David

mock

For David, high school was a boring time, so it took something special to stand out to him. He was always complaining to the teacher about the books on the syllabus, so his teacher assigned him a few books off the syllabus: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Looking back, these were monumental moments.

Catch-22 became David’s favourite book of all time, and To Kill a Mockingbird had a lasting significant impact on him too: his daughter is even named Jean-Louise, after the narrator, who goes by the nickname Scout.

 

Katy

good

“I first came across the play Our Country’s Good by British playwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker,  in my high school drama class. We had only ever performed Shakespeare plays at high school level but our new and energetic Drama and English teacher was keen to do something different. He opened the class by quoting one of the parts in the play;

“A play should make you understand something new. If it tells you what you already know, you leave it as ignorant as you went in.”

The play depicts the harsh realities of settlement for a group of convicts and British soldiers after transportation from England and is an adaption of the novel ‘The Playmaker’ by Australian author Thomas Keneally (which is available to borrow for our library – click here to place a hold). Whilst there are some comedic and romantic aspects to keep the play light and lively for the audience, it was the clever dialogue and powerful themes that particularly intrigued me. As we studied it more, it made my peers and I really think about the concept of law, order and justice and who holds the moral compass of a society.

My favourite character was the convict, and proud Englishman wordsmith, Mr John Wisehammer, who although considered inferior by the British officers was more often the voice of reason and justice over any of the law makers and enforcers in this new colony. He delivers a closing monologue which highlights the double meaning of the play’s title, ‘Our Country’s Good’ to not only refer to the beauty and bounty of their new country but also the sense of benefit colonialists gained by trading human beings, even its own citizens, across the seas; “true patriots all, for be it understood, we left our country, for our country’s good.”

 

Adrienne

Sartre

“I have not forgotten the play Huis Clos by Jean Paul Sartre, which I read while studying French at University.  Huis Clos is often translated into English as In Camera, which is a legal term referring to a discussion held behind closed doors.

In this play three evil and unrepentant people die and go to Hell.  I love the theatre and I remember Huis Clos because I thought Sartre’s concept of Hell was simple but strikingly original.  There are no devils with pitchforks, fire or showers of brimstone raining down on the damned.  Yet, Sartre manages to create a powerful image for his audience.  All of the action in this play takes place on one set, in just one room.  The three characters enter the room at different stages.  They gradually come to realise that they have gone to hell and admit why they are there. Joseph, Estelle and Inez are in this room to torment each other emotionally and mentally for eternity.  The Valet comes into the room periodically during the first part of the play but there is no escape for our principal characters.  That is their punishment.

Jean Paul Sartre was an atheist and an Existentialist who believed that we define ourselves and our sense of morality by our choices and actions.  Our torment is that we may rely too much on the judgement of others.  I think the appeal of this play is that most of us like to think that there is some form of justice awaiting those who make other peoples’ lives miserable; we say that “what goes around, comes around.”  The characters do not and cannot change their shallow natures as they are already dead.  This is not a play about redemption or forgiveness”

 

Which novels, plays, poetry, or films did you have to study in school that have left a mark on you? 

Way back when, Wednesdays

Lest we forget – Anzac Day 25 April 2018

In the time of the Vietnam War, the North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper photographed handsome Private Don Goodcliffe of Tea Tree Gully while on active service, on page 3 of the edition dated 3 April 1968.

Vietnam tunnel

Australia committed a contingent of 60,000 personnel to fight alongside the South Vietnamese and American forces in Vietnam from 1962 to 1972, with the aim of suppressing the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Communism in Asia. The Viet Cong (or National Liberation Front – NLF), a common front aided by the North, engaged in guerrilla warfare against anti-communist forces. The Viet Cong fought to unify Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh’s Ho’s Lao Dong (Worker’s Party).

Men fought mainly in the army but navy and air force personnel and some civilians also served in the long conflict. Women went to Vietnam working as nurses in the military,  as civilians working with the Red Cross and as journalists.  There were also Australian Embassy female staff and entertainers.

In 1964 the Australian Government led by Robert Menzies had reintroduced conscription through a National Service Scheme. If you were a male aged 20, you had to register with the Department of Labour and National Service and your name could be randomly selected for national service by your date of birth. This was basically a scheme to increase the number of military personnel the Government could send overseas to 40,000. If you were unlucky enough to be selected, it was likely you were going to fight in Vietnam (https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/encyclopedia/conscription/vietnam). Just about everybody would have known somebody who was conscripted, sometimes even a brother or a friend. Australians who resisted the draft were jailed.

The North East Leader makes reference to Operation Pinnaroo in the caption accompanying the photograph of Don Goodcliffe and the Vietnamese interpreter. The Long Hải Hills where Private Goodcliffe was deployed are situated near Long Hải, in the Long Điền District of the Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, in 1967 Brigadier Stuart Graham had ordered Australian forces to plant 21000 M16 mines throughout the hills. The deployment of the mines was supposed to form a barrier to stop the Viet Cong from gaining access to and infiltrating nearby villages in the vicinity of the Australian army task force base at Nui Dat. The Australian troops failed to adequately defend this rugged territory, which was full of thick scrub. The Viet Cong seized control off the Long Hail hills. Their recruits dug a network of tunnels to store supplies and establish a military stronghold from which to plan and stage attacks. Viet Cong troops had learned to reposition the mines and use them against the enemy.

Operation Pinnarro led by Brigadier Hughes in early 1968 was terrible. It was designed to be a reconnaissance and attack mission, to destroy the Viet Cong’s military installation along Long Hai. However, the Viet Cong had anticipated the Australian attack. They did not even need to shoot the Australian soldiers. 15 Australians were killed and 33 wounded by walking in the terrain. 42 allied soldiers were also killed and 175 were wounded. And of course the mines did not just disappear. We have no statistics to tell us how many local Vietnamese people had their lives ruined by encounters with the land mines (http://vietnamswans.com/revisiting-the-long-hai-hills-43-years-later/) More Australians would die or be maimed by the time our forces withdrew from Long Hail and left Vietnam.

By 1969 many people believed that Australians should not be fighting in Vietnam with the United States and that it was a conflict that could not be won. Rallies in the streets against the War and conscription became violent and protesters were arrested. The antiwar sentiment was so strong among the Australian public that our troops who had bravely served in horrific conditions in Vietnam were reviled and they were abused upon their return to Australia. 521 Australians died as a result of the Vietnam War (496 of these were from the Australian Army) and over 3,000 were wounded.

Since Don Goodcliffe’s name is not listed on the Australian War Memorial site among the fallen, we may assume that he came home.  In 1997, the Australian Government signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction which is also known as the Ottawa Agreement.

To find out about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, logon to these sites:

Australian War Memorial website: https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/event/vietnam

https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/history/conflicts/australia-and-vietnam-war/australia-and-vietnam-war/vietnam-war

Read one veteran’s account of Operation Pinnaroo: http://lachlanirvine.tripod.com/lifestory/id5.html

#waybackwhenwednesdays