WOOHOOO !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OHAU !!! Here's to another year of insanity !!! I'm so so happy with how far this silly little story has come. It's nowhere near finished with so much of the priorities shifting around and things being rearranged and yadda yadda, but we've made more progress on it than we have altogether in its previous 3 years. It's insane to me! 2023 has just been such an amazing year in general. I don't know that I could ever be happier and I am so grateful to be where I am now. OHAU has grown up and gotten better with me in that way. It's a pretty special feeling.

  In this entry I want to indulge a little in the story's history. Every year that it's grown is a special one, but I feel like this is a milestone in particular, so I want what I say about it to be special.

  First off ! The video I made for the occasion !! :-D

  THIS ??? SONG ???? I used to be so obsessed with aishite aishite aishite when i was younger. Literally the best cover for it I have ever heard. I stumbled across it and had to do something about it Immediately. So! Here it is! And impeccable timing too! This took me a whole month to complete altogether, and most of that time was spent on the artwork. In the past, with these videos, it usually takes me less than a week, because the artwork has always been sort of quick and dirty? Easy to animate with. But this time I wanted it to look REALLY nice, and I tried to make it a lot more articulate. Like, a bunch more moving parts. I also invested a lot of effort into making all the shots more dynamic. I had well over 350 layers by the time I had finished all the artwork. I'm really proud of how it all came out. :-) I'm going to have to upgrade to a better editing program sometime in the future I hope, because wow. Alight motion crashed. so so many times while I was trying to put everything together HAHA

  This is the first video I've gotten to make with the bigger changes that have been put into place! All that stuff about the band! There is so much symbolism squished into this thing it's crazy. Especially with the usage of sunflowers and forget-me-nots. They're both flowers that represent loyalty... Isn't that interesting?

  I don't really know that I can dissect what's going on in here in particular, but, as with most of my dedicated videos, there's a lot of thought behind it! A lot of very intentional scenes and composition and suchandsuch. I think what I can say is that Beau's journey into decay is dreadfully interesting to me, as is how it ultimately gets resolved. Everything that he does is for a reason, and, when you really understand what's going through his head, it could seem very logical. He isn't acting out of malice as much as he is responding disproportionately to insecurity. Not that most of the things he does aren't... really bad. But it's a little more than just being a Bad Guy.

  I like to think that this video in particular is a nice contextual piece for Ghost of Chicago. The part in that video showcasing where things go wrong happens to go by very quickly, so it isn't super clear the reason why there's such a shift in tone. I've been thinking of it like... a more in-depth view. The latter half of Ghost of Chicago is much less explored in terms of the story behind it, so I think having this deeper setup might help with better understanding any future videos that might touch on it? Not that the story is really understandable at all in video format, but I mean... just being able to recognize what could be happening on screen. And hey, maybe it'll make Ghost of Chicago a little easier to understand on rewatch? I dunno! My videos are ultimately really vague and fast-paced.

  Otherwise! Little bit of OHAU history! When I first made the story, I celebrated the 18th of every month from its creation up until its first year, if I remember correctly. It is like my baby :-) I don't really know why I did that considering I've never done that for a story at any other point, but maybe that just goes to show how special it is to me. It's come a really long way. 4 years in the making is a pretty long time to be creating a story, but I think that's mostly the fault of stagnation in previous years. OHAU wasn't entirely mine prior to 2023; it was a partner project, and over time I hadn't really been able to push it to the extent that I wanted. I was almost embarrassed of it, to be honest, for as much as I loved it. Not only was I not able to change it to fit my growing standards (since I had made the story when I was a whopping 15 years old,) but I wasn't able to be nearly as open about it as I am now, so there was no way for me to get proper feedback. Most of the changes going into 2023 have been me combing over the story with fresh eyes and trimming the fat (so to speak) now that I'm allowed to have a more refined palate for it. I've been operating this year under the mindset that this is its first year as a new and overhauled story, as much of the previous narrative work has been either discarded or totally revamped.

  OHAU is still a partner project, but it's more that the team got knocked down from 3 to 2, and I have full ownership of the story. It's going better than it ever has! I'm really happy about it and I hope that things will continue to prosper this way in the years moving forward :-) Ultimately I hope that we can make it into a book someday. It's not nearly there yet, as the narrative cohesion is pretty discordant when it comes to the focus and where the story is headed, since we've been trying everything we can to distinguish it from what it used to be before I was able to acquire full ownership, but we're going in a really good direction. It's gonna be awesome !!!

  I do have some new developments that I can discuss, but I think I'm going to save it for a different entry, because right now I have been awake and moving for several hours and I have already written so so many words. I am Tired. I need to get onto the X axis. Soon! Probably later this month if I can remember! Look forward to it it's really cool !!!

- Kyu; HAPPY OHAU DAY !! I am going to go lay down