Blog Goals & Resolutions for 2021!

Happy New Year, my friends!!

We’ve made it through the fog of the terrible year that was 2020, during which I pretty much stopped blogging and even went unemployed for a bit. For many personal reasons, it wasn’t a great time.

BUT NO MORE will I let the shadows of 2020 overcast my ambitions and goals for the new year! Many things are changing for the blog in 2021. First, the monthly updates will make a comeback! Sticking to a quarterly basis (though helpful in times of low productivity) felt somewhat cold and distant. I want to remove that gap between us and go back to how I used to run this place. Second, I’m going to be synthesizing my blog and YouTube content much more than I did in 2020. This may help my content reach those that don’t operate much on YouTube. Third, I’ve got five new blog goals for 2021, which we should talk about next!


#1 – Write Five Posts Each Month

Unlike the unfulfilled promises of 2020, I plan to go seriously hard in 2021. And really, it’s not all that different from what I used to do three or four years ago. I want to write more posts, even if they’re not the full series reviews and informal analyses I’ve been known for. Maybe I’ll talk more about individual episodes or characters from a series. Or, perhaps, certain themes or musings I happen to grasp from these works. Whatever these posts end up being about, you can certainly expect more than what I wrote the past six months. And, when troubles do inevitably arise (what with college and all), I’ll simply adapt this slightly. 🙂

#2 – Review More Anime

When you watch more, you can review more. Naturally, these two ideas go hand in hand. Although I took a pretty big break from anime the past year, I want to get back on my anime game in 2021. Specifically, I want to go back to how things used to be. I spent so much time reflecting over whether I wanted to even do this, and my mind finally told me “Screw it: Go for broke and watch more stuff.” And so I will.

#3 – Continue Writing Manga Reflections

Writing over manga in general became the blog’s saving grace in 2020, and I want to keep that up. I especially made a lot of new friends in the mangatube community, and I don’t want to lose their company. More manga content to come!

#4 – Write Posts for Video Content

I started talking about this at the beginning of the post you’re reading right now. Basically, if I were to film four or five videos in a month (which is one of my channel goals), I want to write individual posts with respective links to each video. This will no doubt aid in keeping blog traffic up, but also allow for potentially greater outreach through my blog audience. So, with the five regular posts each month, hopefully you’ll be getting roughly two posts each week.

#5 – Achieve 750 Blog Followers

As you know, I’ve never paid much attention to blog stats, views, followers, likes, etc. Well, after seeing the success of my blogger and YouTube friends over the course of 2020, I want to try setting numerical goals like this for once. The numbers game was never one I played, but maybe I should. Anyway, 2021 will be the road to 750! Given we’re already at 685 followers, it’s a pretty achievable goal in my eyes. Now, let’s see if we can make it happen!


This is going to be a tall order, I realize this. But, after deep meditation over what I wanted from the future of this blog, I decided on this return to form of sorts. I can’t give this up now—I’ve gone too far with this blog, and losing it would hurt me beyond words. More than anything, however, I just hope I can still count on you all, my friends, for your generous support that you’ve continued to give me for years. YOU are the reason I can do what I do now, and I never want to forget that for a second. It’s going to be a challenging year, absolutely. But, knowing that you’ll be there with me will make the fight all the more worthwhile. Blogging is something I still want to do, and I hope my posts are still ones you want to read!!

All this said, THANK YOU for an incredible 2020. Even during those rough patches when I was gone, you guys kept showing up to read my stuff, comment, and even share it, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I’ll admit I wasn’t the best blogger buddy in 2020, but I plan to change that going forward—this much, you can count on.

What is something you wish to improve on in 2021, either for your blog or your own personal life? Let’s talk resolutions down in the comments. I said the same thing here as I did last year, but I have even higher feelings about 2021! Thank you so much for reading, stay safe, and I wish you all a Happy New Year! ^ . ^

– Takuto

Memento Mori

All good things really do come to an end, don’t they?

Well, in part, yes. But really, ALL things in general will have an ending, good or bad.

Thankfully, I can call the efforts of Mark (Markiplier) and Ethan (CrankGameplays) a good thing, as they’ve toiled away for the past 365 days to deliver nothing but wild, cynical humor and an endearing acceptance for “the end.” With their grade-A act as a duo and lovable, contrasting characters, my 2020 has been made a little easier to bear.

And to think that Unus Annus will end in less than 14 hours from the writing of this post. I’m not gonna lie—for as long as they’ve poked fun at and prepared us for the end, I’m not ready for the channel to go.

In case you didn’t know, Unus Annus is (was) a YouTube channel created by two gamers, Mark and Ethan, in which they upload(ed) one video each day somehow related to (or shoehorned to be so) the inevitability of death. Through their silly bits and skits, obscene dares and challenges, and downright weird and stupid dialogue, the two have amassed a *literal* cult following, of which I’m proud to be a part of.

It’s too late to watch all of 365 of their videos now. But, perhaps this is for the best, as I’m sure you’d only end up spiraling down into sadness upon realizing that these two heartwarming personalities will cease to exist together as we know them now in less than 24 hours.

So, I just wanted to leave behind my own love message for the channel. (Special thanks to Megan over at Nerd Rambles for inspiring me to write this through their own post!) I’ve shared many a laughs with my siblings watching Mark and Ethan do dumb shit every day this year, and my only regret (ironically, and cruelly so) is that it all had to end so soon.

Indeed, it is time to say goodbye.

If the channel has proven one thing to me, it’s that we really don’t have enough time to do everything we’ve ever wanted to do. BUT if we can start somewhere—and maybe take a friend with us for the ride—we can hopefully make the most out of the time we’ve got. Heck, having started a YouTube channel myself in 2020, I can only thank people like Mark and Ethan for pushing the boundaries of expectation and collaboration. You guys absolutely KILLED it!!

For all their celebration of death and the great beyond, no channel will ever be able to match the unique energy and sheer spirit of Unus Annus. I’ll miss these two so much.

So, my most sincere thanks to Mark, Ethan, and Amy for giving us a year of laughs, inspiration, and memories to last a lifetime. Every video was a delight, and I wish only the best for all the exciting projects next to come! Memento Mori!

FIVE Anime I Love Rewatching

Hey guys!

It’s been too long! I ended up taking the rest of September off simply because of school and work. Also, I wanted to make sure my YT channel got a bit more off the ground while I had at least some time to film videos.

BUT it’s good to be back here at home, where all of you are!

Today I just wanted to share a little topic that’s been in the back of my mind: rewatching anime.

While in the midst of rewatching one of my favorite anime (that being Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), I had this idea to share a few Blu-rays and DVDs from my collection that I love rewatching with you all. So, I quickly filmed a video, edited it a couple days later, and here it is now!

Let me know if you also have “that one” anime you love rewatching (probably more than you should 😉) down in the comments! I’ve got dozens more (trust me), but I think sharing 5 is a good start for now.

I’ll be back to regular blogging *hopefully* sooner rather than later. I’ve never taken two literature classes at once in college, and anymore, I’ve pretty much exhausted my reading and writing energy by mid-afternoon. I

’ll likely start small, maybe with a simulcast line up since FALL IS HERE I guess!?? Wow, where does the time go!

Anyway, thank you for all your support during my absence. I’ve got lots of kind comments to catch up on, so apologies in advance if I start digging up a conversation we had weeks ago! 😛

Hope your fall is going well! ‘Till next time!

– Takuto

Happy 6 Years, Takuto’s Anime Cafe!

Hey guys!

I hope you have all been staying well these past couple weeks. I’m finally starting to get a grasp on how school is going to roll this semester. I’ve never taken virtual classes before, so it’s been a test of my time management, that much is for sure. But, after a month now, I think I know where blogging fits within all this.

Before I get back into the swing of my reviews and such, I did want to share this little announcement with you all that I accidentally missed a couple days ago:

That’s right! Takuto’s Anime Cafe is officially SIX years old, I can hardly believe it! 🥳

It was during my sophomore year of high school when I first set up shop here on WordPress. Back then, I did most of my blogging in the mornings before class in our school’s library. I can distinctly recall the table where I sat, and I reflect back on those early days with a warm fondness.

I’m now in the fall of my senior year of college—I know, where did the time go?! Well, I spent most of it here, of course (or at least, as much as I could). The WP aniblogger community is where I get my roots, and it’s honestly where most of my dearest friends come from. We’ve been through so much together!!

Thank you for sticking with me all these years. Even through my long absences and silences, you’ve sat here keeping my seat warm. This cafe wouldn’t have much business without my lovely guests. Likewise, I wouldn’t be who I am today were it not for your continued kindness, patience, and generosity. Really, I can’t thank you enough.

As we head into the blog’s seventh year (wow, that still sounds crazy), please continue to support me on here with my writing. To those who have also graciously extended their hand towards my YouTube and Insta, I can’t thank you enough. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed all that you‘ve read and watched, and I’m looking forward to making more content on all these platforms. I aim to work hard, and show you an even better side of myself!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for six wonderful years together—and here’s to a merry seventh~! 💜

With love and gratitude,

– Takuto

Starting Index/Railgun in 2020: A TOARU GUIDE || OWLS “Mini Con”

Chances are that if you were linked here from another blogger pal, then you might be new. To those first-timers, “Hi, I’m Takuto, welcome to my anime cafe!” For the OWLS blog tour’s seventh monthly topic of 2020, I decided to take it upon myself the grand task of reading and rewatching all of Kazuma Kamachi’s famous Toaru franchise—and then tell you how to get started yourself!

This post will be a bit different from the normal OWLS write-ups, however, as instead of a blog, it’s a vlog—a video! But before I get carried away, let me have OWLS tell you why we wanted to try something new for July:

For July, we are doing something completely different and have never done before. Right now, our lives are tough as is, and we’ve all lost something in the process no matter how small. Speaking for anime community, we all have lost one thing: Something that makes us feel united and part of one community—something that bring can bring happiness and connection. That “something” across the world has been cancelled all over globe—anime—and we’ve had to readapt that idea.

So, we present the OWLS Mini CONmmunity – Anime is Never Cancelled!

Anime can never be cancelled: It’s daily, it’s life! We’re so excited to run our own mini virtual con, and all our members have lined up some cool projects they have worked tirelessly on just for you!


We literally got to choose ANYTHING that we were passionate about, and so, I’d like to present to you my personalized guide through one of my favorite anime franchises ever, the Toaru series! I’ve been a huge “RailDex” fan ever since I first started watching anime and, almost a decade later, I’m happy to be able to repay my love with this video that will hopefully help others enjoy this beloved franchise, too!

(PLEASE NOTE that I do not dive into synopses for any of the mentioned titles. This video assumes that you’re already interested in the premise of the show, and that perhaps you just need a push to get you started—to which no worries, I got you.)



When Science & Magic Cross Paths

I spent the whole past MONTH reading and rewatching the entire franchise in preparation for this video project, along with doing side research through Wikipedia, MyAnimeList, and the Toaru Wikia. From research to editing, I put a lot of work into this one. I hope it may be of some use to you. I’m pretty sure I’ve got my facts straight LOL but in case I’m wrong about anything, feel free to drop a comment and let me know.

But YES, I’ve been teasing this project all for weeks, and I’m thrilled to see the completed product! Let me know your thoughts on this video either in the comments here or over on my YouTube channel, Takuto!

This video project encompasses my July 22nd entry in the OWLS Mini Con. Don’t stop here though, as there are plenty more great projects to check out!! My good friend Pinkie (Pinkie’s Paradise) went right before me with an amazing post on supporting your dealers that you can check out right here! Now, look out for Matt (Matt Doyle Media) as he walks us through game creation basics and point-and-click puzzles in his own video this Friday, July 24th! Thank you so much for reading (and watching!)—’till next time!

– Takuto

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