Pride Month 2020 Recap + Aftermath (WE DID IT!)

Hey guys!

I decided to take a week off following my last Pride Month post to refresh myself after reading and writing for 30 days straight! While on my little holiday, I also filmed, edited, re-filmed, and re-edited a YouTube video recapping my month’s reads and watches for you all. YES, after much exporting headache, WE DID IT, and I can finally rest having delivered on my promises! If you haven’t seen it yet, you totally should! 😉

I’ve had a lot of fun recording videos this past month. To think that 39 people have already subscribed makes me so happy! I put a good deal of work into this one, so if you have watched it, I’m extremely grateful. (Thank you!!!)

What started off as a small feat of tackling my shelves (mainly to validate having bought all this LGBTQ manga) ended up becoming a journey of self-searching and enlightenment. This past month brought with it lots to read, of course, but also lots to learn. These characters and mangaka come from all different walks of life, and as such tackle LGBTQ themes in slightly different lights. No two stories were the same; similarly, I found that all of these reads were worth having on your shelf. Truly, I had an amazing time!

Here is a list of everything I reviewed for Pride Month 2020:


Ten Count: My First Yaoi Manga Series || Review

Seven Days: Will You Still Love Me When Monday Comes? || Review

Candy Color Paradox: Sweet Yet Sour || First Impressions

Claudine: Sexuality, Tragedy, & Growing Up Transgender || Review

Melting Lover: The Shadowy Side of Affection || Review

That Blue Sky Feeling: Preciously Queer & Wholeheartedly Delightful || Review

Love Stage!! – A Coming-Out Worth Celebrating || Review

Escape Journey: Chasing After Love in a Heteronormative World || Review

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up: Gentle Romance & Silly Humor || Review

Hitorijime My Hero: Unrequited Feelings & Forbidden Love || Review

Goodbye, My Rose Garden – A Poignant Victorian Romance Between Women || First Impressions

Our Dining Table: Growing Closer One Meal at a Time || Review

Our Dreams at Dusk: Ending Pride Month on a High Note || First Impressions


Every like, comment, share, and follow gained over the last month became fuel for me to try my best and to not give up. Some days I just woke up not wanting to write, but it was reading your kind and supportive words that encouraged me to get the next post out. Really, we did this together. THANK YOU for following me on this journey!

Lastly, I want to let you know that I’ll be archiving these works (in addition to their respective review category in the menu) under the “Projects” tab for future reference. (I mean, it is a series of 13 posts PLUS a 28-minute recap video!)

While I’m here, what can you expect next? Well, I’ll be posting my big quarterly update in the next day or two, which will tell you everything that I’ve been doing behind the scenes, as well as what big things I have coming right around the corner. It would seem that now, at the end of a wonderfully long month, new things can finally start to take root. Please look forward to it, as you have my June Pride Month posts! Thank you again for reading this, and ’till next time!

– Takuto

I MADE MY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO!!!

Hello all!!

I’ve got some pretty big news to share today! As of a couple hours ago, MY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO WAS UPLOADED TO THE INTERNET. Crazy, right?? I never thought I’d make the leap to YouTube, even though I’ve been wanting to for probably a decade now. WELL, things change, and people change, and I finally mustered the courage to sit down in front of my camera (that is, my iPhone XR) and film myself.

What is the video about? I wanted to make my first video something relatively easy that I wouldn’t regret making. SO, I filmed one of my favorite types of videos to watch: an unboxing video! It’s pretty basic, I realize, but I have plans to expand, absolutely. It’d be cool to make video essays about my favorite anime, discussions over the manga I read, video diaries about collecting and being an otaku (or a K-pop fan)—anything and everything, really!

Basically, I want to expand into video-making because it looks fun. As much as I enjoy blogging, there’s something very personable and relatable to seeing someone’s face and hearing their voice—aspects which can’t be attained with online writing alone. I don’t just want to archive my words anymore. I think I’m ready to be seen, to be heard, and to finally get out of my comfort zone.

In case you’re worried, I WILL NOT be neglecting the blog in favor of my YT channel. Blogging will always come first. Whether I make 10 videos, 100 videos, or even stop after the first, I will always return to blogging at the end of the day. This is my home. BUT, I hope YouTube will eventually yield its own fruit. Give it time, I suppose.

What can you expect? Pretty much the same stuff I do here, just in video form. AKA, you’ll HAVE to look at my ugly face, muahahaha. I’m honestly not sure how long I’ll last, but at least I can cross “Make a YouTube video, you coward!!” off the bucket list, right?

So, that all said, below here is THE first of hopefully many videos to come. And did I really decide to make this first K-pop related?? YOU BET I DID!!

To my readers, followers, and my friends, thank you for all your encouraging words—especially my fellow anitubers out there. You are my endless inspiration, and—wherever this journey takes us—I hope we’ll stick with each other. It’d mean the absolute world to me if you decided to subscribe to Takuto (channel link) and kept him company as he explored this wild new land.

Thank you for reading, and (if you clicked the link) thank you for watching! 🙂

– Takuto

Pride Month 2020 Celebration Announcement: Anime & Manga Edition!

Hello all!

I realize that these are some of the most important times we are currently living in. Crazy times, but crucial nonetheless. However, it would be a crime to forget the importance of June to the LGBT+ community. After all, they make up a huge part of our own anime and manga community, as well as include some of my dearest friends.

In honor and celebration of gay pride and equality, I’ve decided to dedicate the entire month of June to posts about BL manga and anime! These posts will range from soft shounen-ai to some of the, well, harder subjects in yaoi and BL. Such posts may be full series/book reviews, first impressions, or anything in between. Really, I haven’t figured out how I want to talk about all these works. But, I do know some of the titles I want to recognize on my blog.

I’ve never celebrated pride month in such full capacity. Truly, though, I owe it to the LGBT community for being a pillar for acceptance and visibility of all people on the sex and gender spectrums. I want to highlight some of the prominent works being discussed, not only because I have a lot of BL manga sitting on my shelf just waiting to be talked about, but also because I love and support this community and what it stands for 100%.

I also want to recognize all the people and companies working their butts off to bring these works to us. Really, I’m thankful to be able to buy these kinds of books and be part of a discussion that is much larger than myself.

So, in addition to my usual reviews and shenanigans, please look forward to this exciting month of content ahead of us! If you’re also doing some pride month posts, feel free to link those below or tag me on social media so I can share them.

Stay wonderful, and stay safe, my friends.

– Taku

Give it a Light Novel Title Challenge (Keni’s Nomination)

Hello all!

I thought I’d mix this up a bit for today and do a tag post. This one comes from Keni (The Anime Basement) and it’s the Give It A Light Novel Title Challenge. Reading through other bloggers’ posts, this challenge seems like a lot of fun, so thanks Keni for tagging me! Be sure to follow The Anime Basement if you haven’t already!

Rules:

  • Choose up to five anime, manga, or visual novel series with short titles
    • Light novels are allowed
  • Give these series a new title based on those incredibly long and ridiculous new anime/ manga/ light novel titles!
  • If someone already picked the anime, don’t worry! You can still challenge them to a fun showdown.
  • Link back to the original post.
  • Include Give it a Light Novel title in your tag so everyone can find them easily.
  • Nominate around 1-6 bloggers

To make this even more challenging, I’ll try to stick with titles I’ve recently been watching. Alright, let’s see what I can come up with!


shirobako ln

Shirobako

So Long As I Have My Friends, Working In Anime Can’t Be That Hard!


shinra smile ln

Fire Force

I Want To Be Called Hero, But My Fiery Feet Make Me The Devil!


princess principal ln

Princess Principal 

We Wanted To Save The Country, So Our Princess Became A Spy!?


karneval ln

Karneval

I Joined The Circus To Find My Long-Lost Friend


penguindrum ln

Penguindrum

To Save Our Sister, We Have To S-Serve The . . . P-PENGUIN QUEEN??


Nominations:

(If you’ve already done this, feel free to pass or reply with your post!)

Mel (Mel in Animeland)

Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews)

Miandro (Miandro’s Side)

Matt (Matt in the Hat)

Megan (Geeky Gal)

Lynn Sheridan (The Otaku Author)


This was such a fun little post to make, so thanks again Keni for tagging me! Which one of these titles would you be most interested in watching? Be sure to let me know in the comments. ‘Till next time!

– Takuto

 

I’M BACK + Celebrating 600 Followers Giveaway!

Hello all!

I’ve missed you guys! I thought multiple times these past several weeks to come on and say something, even if just to tell you that I’d need a couple more weeks until school was done. Buuut, you know how these things go. Time and energy got the best of me, and before I knew it, five weeks had passed.

But school is DONE now, or at least till the fall rolls around. It’s crazy how time flies—I distinctly recall those early days of blogging in the library during my sophomore year of high school. And now we’re here, ready for my senior year of college to begin. Oh how far we’ve come together!


Speaking of time and progress, Takuto’s Anime Cafe has officially hit 600 followers!!


I’ve been averaging a (slow) pace of +100 followers per year, but here we are hitting the 600 milestone before my next blog anniversary! It’s this kind of unexpected success that has me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can hit my ambitious goal of 750 followers at the end of 2020. Who knows, but it’d be so cool, wouldn’t it!?

In celebration of 600 followers, I’ve decided to do a little daily giveaway of sorts. (My first ever!) Nothing big, just a chance to express my gratitude to you guys!

Starting tomorrow, May 18th, 2020, and each day after for about a month, I will be posting the Funimation Digital Copy Code for one of my favorite anime titles. From the website, Funimation Digital Copy is “a digital streaming version of episodes or movies included in a DVD or Blu-ray release. A Digital Copy can be added to My Library by entering the code found in the DVD or Blu-ray release.” (NOTE: You do NOT have to be a Funimation Premium Subscriber to unlock the Digital Copy.)


Anime you can expect to see include . . .

Steins;Gate, Free!, My Hero Academia, Attack On Titan, Code Geass, Space Battleship Yamato, A Certain Magical Index, and more!


How can you enter to win? Easy, just follow my Twitter @TakutoAnimeCafe and each day on Twitter I’ll randomly upload a pic of a Digital Copy Code from the little stack I have. THE GIVEAWAY WILL BE ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. In other words, your chances of winning will be solely based on how quickly you can see and unlock the code before someone else takes it! And yes, I will tell you the series title so you know if it’ll be a show you want to download.

Now, you can increase your chances of winning by also following my Instagram @ takutoac! On my Insta story, I’ll tell you the EXACT TIME that day in which I will be uploading the code to my Twitter. Since the times will be random, this will be the only way to guarantee your shot at winning the code. If you’re playing to win, following my Insta will be the way to go!

takutoac


Those are the terms of the giveaway. Pretty simple, right? Since I personally don’t utilize Funimation’s Digital Copy service, I figured this would be a nice way to use the codes besides just tossing them. Plus, it’s ENTIRELY FREE to participate! The giveaway will end when I’m out of codes to share.

Should you be the lucky winner of a Digital Copy Code, PLEASE, tweet me in the replies or message me so I can share your blog as well. After all, it’s thanks to you guys that I’m here where I am today! 🙂


Regularly scheduled blogging will resume in a day or two. Since I’m kind of wanting to try new things with the blog, I’ve been gathering a lot of good info about what you guys may be interested in reading on Twitter. (I appreciate the feedback!) While I do have some anime reviews planned, more manga and collection-related content will be on the way, so please look forward to it!

I’m eternally grateful for these years I’ve been able to blog for you all. Blogging really has helped me grow as a writer, but also as a curious human. The writing skills and experience I’ve gained through blogging have helped me learn how to express my feelings and opinions while social networking. These are irreplaceable skills. Truly, I believe everyone should try blogging at least once in their life.

I’m just amazed that 600 people (and bots, probably) were willing enough to hit that follow button for more content. Blogging can seem like a difficult platform to get your work seen, but when you’re not doing it just for the likes and views, it can be one of the most rewarding art forms. Going forward, I hope to show you an even better side of me, as well as strive to learn more about this crazy medium we’ve all fallen in love with.

Being back has never felt better.

Thank you for 600!

– Takuto

My First Time Using EVA Foam! || Cafe Talk

Evening all!

I finally decided to get off my butt and take some half decent photos of that sword I previewed on Twitter a while back. Eugeo’s Blue Rose Sword from Sword Art Online: Alicization, and I wanted to make it because I love both the look of the blade and the good boy who wields it. 🙂

Here are some before pics:

And here’s after it was painted. My dad helped with a lot of the highlighting since he uses an airbrush all the time!

These all have slight filtering on them since I posted them originally on Insta. Here are some pics with a different filter:

Here is a cool filter that makes the sword look like it’s straight out of a live action film, so cool!

And lastly, here is an environmental shot with the sword floating in our little river of rocks. 🙂

I had a really great time putting the sword together. Surprisingly, fewer things went wrong than I thought, but perhaps that’s because I did lots, and lots, and LOTS of research prior to buying all the right supplies and getting the right techniques down.

Kamui Cosplay on YouTube was a HUGE resource in learning about the nature of EVA foam, how to heat and cut it, and how to properly seal and paint the material. For the basic shape of the sword, I actually used another tutorial on YT that I can share if you’d like it!

From the base shape, I incorporated elements from the anime’s design, the game, the figures I own, and even my own creative background to bring Eugeo’s sword of ice to life. For example, would you believe that the rose is made entirely out of origami? Took me just five minutes to fold! It’s not bad for an amateur build though if I do say so myself!


Have you ever made cosplay materials out of EVA foam? I definitely encourage using the stuff, as it creates smooth, beautiful, and sturdy crafts like this one. Let me know if you have any crafting tips for future builds, as well as if you’d like to see other cosplay creations on my end. Thanks for sittin’ with me, I hope you enjoyed reading. Oh, and it’s April 10th—Happy Birthday, Eugeo! 🥳

– Takuto

The Joy of New Shelves || Cafe Talk

Hello all!

I’m really happy today. Actually, I have been for the past couple days now. Why the sudden cheery mood? I finally decided to replace my desk that I never sat and worked at (like a proper human should) with some new shelving for my collection.

But these aren’t your ordinary shelves. No, these are those little white cube shelves that all those “manga aesthetic” people have (you know the ones). Well, now I can proudly call myself one of those people. Drumroll please!!

BAM. Aren’t they just the most beautiful things ever?? They’re so friggin’ cute next to each other. And yeah, SUCH an aesthetic boost. It occurred to me just the other day that I had a box of old Pokémon figures and such tucked underneath my bed. So, I dug it out, thinking they’d add a pop of color and fun to the area. Plus, it’s nice to see some old friends again. 🙂

It’s nice when spontaneous decisions work out, am I right? I literally had no plans to do this. At least, not for a while. But with the whole stay-at-home order, it became necessity for me to maximize my living quarters if I’m going to be here for a while.

Oooooh I just love ‘em! I’m so thankful to be able to own such nice little shelves to display parts of my collection. I’ve found myself sitting on the rug more these days, just quietly flipping through volumes of Yona of the Dawn and Snow White with the Red Hair. Having more white has done wonders to improving my mood, too! Eventually, I’d love to fill these shelves with new manga. But that won’t happen until I read what I’ve got first, of course. ^ . ^


When was the last time you bought (or made) shelving for your collection? Do you use hand-me-down furniture (hey, if it ain’t broke, take it!) or do you have fancy shelves from Ikea or some other store? We always talk about the books and Blu-rays we own, but never about where these items sit! Comment below what your shelf status is like, and hey, if you guys like this kind of stuff, maybe I’ll post more collection pics here on the blog!

Thanks for sitting down with me for a sec and listening to me ramble about the joys that new shelves bring—the conversation is always appreciated. Till our next tea time together~!

– Takuto

My First Mystery Blogger Award (Megan’s Nomination)

Hello all!

I’m back today with another one of these cool award posts. The blogger who was kind enough to nominate me was Megan (A Geeky Gal), who is known for writing all sorts of fun and nerdy posts. She’s a prolific blogger, and someone who I always have a ball talking to. If you aren’t following her blog, you’re missing out on a great time and a wonderful person!

Now, of all the award and tag posts that have been floating around these past five years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve yet to receive the Mystery Blogger Award—until now, of course! According to its creator, Okoto, this award denotes a blog that “not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get.” High words to live by, so I’m grateful to Megan for noticing what I do here. 🙂

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • List the rules.
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  • Answer five questions from the nominator.
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  • Nominate from 10 to 20 bloggers.
  • Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Share the link to your best post.

I won’t be nominating anyone in specific because I know this award just went through the community. However, I’d love to see how you would answer Megan’s questions down in the comments!!

Three things about me:

  • I started learning the viola da gamba this semester just to shake things up
  • I bleached and dyed my hair for the first time a little over a week ago and it’s been fun having light-colored hair
  • I’m currently in the middle of switching my educational focus from psychology to English (wish me luck!)

Megan’s Questions:


If you could meet any anime/book/TV character, who would it be?

Oof. This is always a question I never give much thought to because, you know, characters are fictional. BUT, I wouldn’t be opposed to sitting down with Shinji Ikari of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame just so I could give the poor kid a hug. He doesn’t deserve half the shit people give him—and *tea* the people who dislike him for being a depressed whiny kid kinda miss the entire point of the series.

Name your top 3 favorite websites.

Excluding app services, I often find myself looming around the sites I use the most: RightStuf Anime, MyAnimeList, and this place, Takuto’s Anime Cafe. Is that too conceited? Well, even if it is, I love this place; it’s my home away from home.

Which anime/book/TV character would you marry?

Hmmm, again, I don’t have much to comment. BUT, some of my waifus are Mami Tomoe (Madoka Magica) and Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Moon), my husbandos being Makoto Tachibana (Free!) and Todoroki Shouto (My Hero Academia).

What anime changed your life?

SO many. EvangelionSteins;GateFree!Yuri!!! On ICEGhost in the Shell, and Sailor Moon are some of the ones that immediately jump to mind.

What’s the background on your phone/computer right now?

Well this will be revealing. No surprise to see this lovely Eva fan art for the lock screen. The home screen, however, is the boys of Tomorrow X Together, a junior K-pop boy band that I happen to be very fond of. No, it’s not a phase. >.<

IMG_0630


Again, I won’t be nominating anyone in specific just because I know many of you already recently participated in this award; however, I do want to thank Megan again for the nomination—I enjoyed answering your questions! Till next time, everyone!

– Takuto

Takuto WILL be Attending Naka-Kon 2020!

Hello all!

It seems that time is slipping through my fingers with each passing day. And yet, I have managed to find a little time for anime and cosplay still—at the cost of time spent blogging, that is. I’ll have a more formal update here at the end of March, but I suppose I should address the topic of this announcement first:

I WILL be attending Naka-Kon 2020 this weekend!

While school, life, and other fandoms have been on my mind lately, I won’t let that stop me from having a great weekend ahead. Oh yeah, and I’m gonna be cosplaying too!

I’ll for sure be cosplaying villager Eugeo from Sword Art Online: Alicization and Rantaro Amami from Danganronpa V3, with Shinra Kusakabe from Fire Force as a potential alternative (assuming I can finish the adjustments I’d like to make). I can’t wait to show off Eugeo’s Blue Rose Sword—it’s my first build with EVA foam, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. Pics will be coming soon (also, check out my Insta for more)!

As for guests, I hope to meet Amanda Celine Miller so she can sign my big Danganronpa art book for her fabulous Junko Enoshima performance (and potentially my Sailor Moon VIZ DVD for Sailor Jupiter). Zach Aguilar will also be present, so if I could get him to sign my second Aldnoah.Zero DVD for Slaine Troyard (as Max Mittleman signed for Inaho Kaizuka a couple years back), I’d be more than thrilled!

Again, a bigger update will be forthcoming from me, which will detail the simulcasts I’ve been watching (and what happened to my Valentine’s Day Gunbuster marathon . . . oops!). I hope the spring season has found everyone well, and until next time, thanks for stopping by!

– Takuto

“What’s My Favorite ____?” Real Neat Blog Award || Keni’s Nomination

Hello all!

I found myself here with a couple minutes to spare and figured I’d answer one of these tag posts. This Real Neat Blog Award comes from Keni (CrackerzAnime) whom I honestly haven’t interacted with much, but hope to get to know more of. I’m over a month late with this reply, but I hope you know I appreciate the nomination—Thank you Keni!


RULES:

The following is the rules for those who received and will receive the Real Neat Blog Award.

  • Display the Award logo
  • Thanks the blogger for the award
  • Answers the questions given from the one who nominated you
  • Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers
  • Ask them 7 questions

Since this award has already made its rounds several times within the past couple weeks, I’ll refrain from tagging anyone this time around!


Keni’s Questions:

1. Who is your favorite singer/artist?

Are you all sick of me plugging my love for BTS yet? Cause yeah, they’re my favorite. However, since the question seems to indicate a single vocal artist (and they are a septet of idols), I’ll go with Kanako Ito or Utada Hikaru. ASCA’s songs have also been making their way up my playlists list, though.

2. What are your goals for 2020? (can either be short or long term)

Easy one: 1) Read more posts. 2) Write more succinct posts. 3) Read and review more books. 4) Write more about me. 5) Build up my personal brand. I’ve outlined them in detail right here if you’re interested in my angle for 2020!

3. What are your 3 best anime of all-time?

Best specifically for me? Neon Genesis EvangelionFate/Zero, and Steins;Gate. Now, what has been best for anime’s history? Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. A basic answer, but you can’t deny the impact of these classics. Other favorites of mine include: Ghost in the Shell (all of it), HyoukaYuri!!! On ICEKILL la KILL, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Sailor Moon, A Certain Scientific Railgun, and Eden of the East. 

4. What are your thoughts on blogging BEFORE starting one vs AFTER? Did you debunk any myths made up in your head? etc…

This is such an intriguing question. Over the past five years I have been blogging, I’ve realized that this can often times feel like such a lonely sport. You really have to put yourself out there, and even when you think you’ve followed all the right people and have posted just the right content that’ll get you “views,” you still may wind up with only a handful of followers. BUT DON’T GIVE UP. If you do it solely for the “fame,” you’ll never make it. While I think it’s admirable to try to increase your blog’s traffic and success (heck, more power to ya), I think it’s perfectly fine to be content with having a small group of blogger friends. So long as you put good energy out there, good things will come your way in due time.

5. What are your most favorite and least favorite anime genre?

Least favorite: that harem fantasy school stuff. I’ve had just about enough of it. My favorite genre is sci-fi thriller. Anything with a battle royale/mystery element to it will also likely catch my attention. Psychological mysteries in general are just, oof, *chef’s kiss*.

6. Who is your current best waifu/husbando?

I don’t often think about waifus and husbandos, but if I had to pick . . . Fate‘s Saber as best waifu and Free!‘s Makoto Tachibana as best husbando. Yet another basic answer, I know. (But c’mon, those back muscles tho ~)

7. If you play video games, what is your favorite gaming genre? Name them!

As I’m sure many of you already know, I actually don’t play games that often! But I do enjoy a good night of Smash and Mario Kart. On a more serious note, I really love the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of JourneyPortal 2, and Nier: Automata. Each have this psychological mystery element to them that I just can’t ignore (and given my tastes in anime, imagine that LOL).


And that’s all Keni’s got for me! Thanks again for the nomination, and since I’m not nominating anyone myself, please feel free to provide your own answers to any of Keni’s questions in the comments. I’d love to read them! Speaking of reading, please check out my latest announcement for the return of the V-Day Sci-Fi special. Not sure if everyone was busy over the weekend or if I fudged with the publishing again (DOH!), but the post could really use some love. My thanks to those who give it a read. Until the next one, this has been

– Takuto, your host