Keeping Busy in Quarantine || Quarterly Update (Spring 2020)

Evening all,

I realize I recently posted an update a couple weeks back on how this whole pandemic has suddenly impacted my life, but I figured I’d keep consistent with my quarterly updates anyhow. In case you forgot how these things go, in my quarterly updates I will be reflecting on the five blog resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of 2020. This was a pretty successful system that I gave a trial run for last year, and it’s certainly less redundant than the monthly updates I used to do. Plus, it puts my resolutions into perspective each season, which helps reaffirm what I want to do better and how far I’ve come. Let’s see how 2020 has treated me thus far!

Goal Reflection


#1 – Read More Posts

Ok, so I was on top of this one until about mid January when school started up again. Then I was pretty much off the WP grid until this past week where I spent a couple afternoons scrolling through the feed and checking out all the content I missed. I guess you call this one a flop on my part, but I do have intentions to do better—and with all this social distancing, I plan to spend a lot more time online. So yeah, fear not, I’ll read your stuff!!

#2 – Write More Succinct Posts

Except for my big SAO Alicization review and my lengthy Weathering With You write-up, I don’t think I’ve gone over the 1,500 word mark on any of my posts (or at least not more than a couple hundred over). I hope this helps make my content easier to stomach, as I know long posts can lead to blog fatigue (for both you and me). I realize it will “always depend on the content” yada yada, but what do you generally prefer, longer or shorter posts? I personally like short reads, but I understand it excruciatingly difficult to evaluate every single quality of a piece in a review with less than a thousand words. It’s just not possible. For now I’ll take the win, but I’ll try harder to write more frequent, quicker reads for you all.

#3 – Read & Review More Books

So I DID actually review one book this month, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, and I had a lot of fun just sorta free-writing my thoughts away. Such a cool read. Thanks to self-quarantining, I’ve done a lot more reading—and I don’t plan on stopping. I’m trying to read all the manga and light novels I’ve accumulated over the past couple years that I bought but never read (DON’T DO THAT). If it all works as it should, I’ll have several manga reviews and first impressions posts coming your way here shortly!

#4 – Write More About Me

Interestingly, this has taken the form of me trying to fulfill those award/nomination/tag posts that circulate around the community. Do y’all like reading these? Cause they’re SUPER easy to write, and lots of fun! I’ve made sure to do one of these each month, so if you’re wanting to know more about me, here’s January, February, and March’s nomination posts. Thanks to the bloggers who keep tagging me in these—I’ve got more coming, just wait!

#5 – Build Up My “Personal Brand”

Like with the blog nomination posts, I’ve found myself writing at least one non-review/analysis post each month (that is also not an award or haul post). In January, I shared some of my anime and book collecting tips with my readers (specifically, what you shouldn’t do). In February, I used a tripod that I recently bought to do a little photoshoot for my first-ever clothing try-on. It was really fun to experiment with, even if not many people read the post. Hey, something different. And just a couple days ago I did the whole social distancing and what I’d been up to update where I just kinda unloaded some of my stressors and aspirations alike for the next coming weeks. Maybe I’m not as interesting as a thought (*laughs*) but I hope they’re still posts worth reading!

What I’ve Watched


Back in January when I was on my idol grind (still am, BTW), I watched iDOLM@STER SideM and discussed the nature of idol culture and personal branding for my OWLS post. I even started watching IDOLiSH7, which I still need to finish. Then, as previously mentioned, I went out to theaters and thoroughly enjoyed Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You. Lastly, I started the K-drama Cinderella and the Four Knights on Netflix. I’ve been holding off on the end because, well, I don’t want it to end!! But, perhaps it about time I finished it LOL.

We skip most of February because I wasn’t in the mood to watch anime. This was carried over from the end of 2019 though, so I wasn’t surprised; I just didn’t want to force myself. So I took a break, which also affected my Gunbuster marathon. Don’t worry though, it’ll still happen, just at a later date!

Most of my winter stimuls joined my watchlist in March (none of which I’ve completed yet because I’m waiting on the last few simuldub episodes). These are A Certain Scientific Railgun T (watching this one subbed, but waiting for more episodes to air so I can watch it all at once), ID: INVADED, Darwin’s Game, and Smile Down the Runway. I love all these shows a lot, actually, and cannot wait to see how they end—especially Smile Down the Runway and Darwin’s Game for some reason! I already know Railgun T will be great, so there’s no worries there.

I also ended up starting a lot of random shows cause of spring break, one of those being Hozuki’s Coolheadedness. I actually had no plans to watch this until Simply Gee brought it up in a recent haul vid, but it’s alright so far. I also decided to watch the Azur Lane (review here!) anime on Funimation cause the poster art was so epic looking, and it ended up being much better than everyone was saying it was.

I even dug into my personal backlog with the first K-Project anime, which I just reviewed. Now, had I watched this series a couple years back, it’d probably be one of my all-time faves. But in 2020, it’s just a good little series. Excited to explore the rest of the franchise! Oh, and I FINALLY STARTED Shirobako—unsurprisingly, it’s GREAT SHIT. Defs planning to review it.

Just a few days ago I published my March OWLS post, which gave spotlight to Millennium Actress, one of my favorite watches of the year so far. I loved it so much that I even hung up the exclusive lithograph that my preorder from Shout! Factory came with, so that’s cool. In other news for films, I finally busted into the Code Geass film trilogy, having watched all but the third. It’s quite good, surprisingly!! I just need to pick up the final film ASAP cause I know I’ll want NO breaks between the third film and the grand finale. Looking forward to seeing how this new iteration comes to a close.

Finding Enjoyment in Solitude


That’s pretty much all I’ve been up to these past three months. I’ve learned to balance my rekindled spark for K-pop with my long-time love for anime a lot better, so expect more anime content here soon. I gotta say, it’s been immensely pleasurable just being able to throw a random watch on screen and binge it all the way through. It feels like I haven’t done that in AGES. Man, anime is good.

Beyond idols and anime, however, I’ve been trying to monopolize on this time by reading as much as I can. I’ve read all of Ten Count (boy, that was a thing), picked up Snow White with the Red Hair once again, and also started Yona of the Dawn since I bought the first NINE FREAKIN’ VOLUMES a year ago cause I have NO restraint apparently. In times like this, though, I can only be thankful that I picked up what I could, as it’s wonderful being able to read a little Yona each night with no fear of running out anytime soon. (And if I do, there’s, like, 15 more volumes I could pick up—and THEN I could justify spending more money on books.) Until that time, I’m just enjoying what I have.

I hope you’re all managing yourselves well during this time. Do you find yourself picking up any old hobbies, or perhaps starting new ones? I haven’t watched, read, and written this much since I started blogging years ago, so that’s the biggest thing in my life. Are you getting enough sleep? Enough food to eat? I hope you and your friends, family, and loved ones are staying safe.

Although spring is here, the cool weather has continued to linger. I’m fine with it though, as I love the fresh chill and cloudy skies. As we move forward these next couple weeks, I’ll try to update you on any big changes in my life—as I’d hope you would, too. Until the next post, friends, stay well. Much love for all your support. ❤

– Takuto

Expect the Unexpected: Social Distancing & Being Jobless || Update

Hi all,

I almost don’t know where to begin. It’s been a wild past couple weeks (as I’m sure you all can attest to). Here’s what’s up . . .

School & Work

I got the announcement that my university would be officially shutting down on-campus classes for the remainder of the semester just a couple days ago, but that we would still meet for this week before transitioning to spring break. Well, things change, and now all classes are cancelled starting today, extending break another week. Naturally, the pool that I work at on campus also closed.

So yeah, just yesterday I was a full-time student with two part-time jobs. Today I’m out an education AND a job. Life’s gonna be a little different for a while.

To top it off, I’m in the process of prepping myself for grad school, which has been scary as hell. Why? Well, I’m basically jumping ship on psychology (still getting my BS) and pursuing a Master’s in English. Or at least, that’s the new plan. If I can get lucky, I’d love to do something in the fine arts, maybe screenwriting? Otherwise, I’ll eventually try and take on the editing and publishing world. Any advice for a panicking undergrad?? o___o

Film Journey

I haven’t let quarantine life stop me from trying to make the best out of this all. I’ve made it a mission to watch as many films (that I bought but never got around to) as I can, and it’s been so incredibly freeing and fulfilling to just be able to sit down and watch movie after movie.

Hopefully I can muster the energy to review some of these for you all, as there’s a LOT of underrated anime films out there that kinda just went under the radar.

I’m chronicling my film journey over on my Instagram (@takutoac) for anyone wanting to follow along! ^ . ^

Back to Reading

As with my slowly getting back to anime (primarily with films at the moment), I’m also gradually creeping back into reading my manga and light novels what with social distancing and all. I blind bought all these books and series, and it’s been pleasant reading all this stuff for once. I’ll try to share more of what I’ve been reading on Insta.

Making Music

I’ve found other ways to occupy my time, one being that I started a TikTok just for the heck of it. It’s been fun covering my favorite pop songs and playing around with video editing. I’ll have lots of time to film those now!

And of course, my love for BTS only continues to grow stronger. After three years, it feels weird to finally be collecting my favorite photo cards and albums. But in many more ways, I just feel happy I can celebrate these passions I’d held mostly hidden for years. I hope it’s not too annoying for you all. >.<

Cosplay Endeavors

With Naka-Kon (and pretty much all anime conventions) getting cancelled or postponed, I’ve been left with all this cosplay and no place to show it off at. Or maybe I do . . .

FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM. It’s where I’ll be posting all my cosplay pics, in addition to the books I’ve been reading and the movies I’ve been watching!! I’ll try to get on here and blog more, but it just seems silly to publish a post with just pictures on it. BUT, if it’s something you’d really like to see here, I’m willing to make it happen. 🙂


In these long, lonely, quiet days ahead that we’re about to have, I’ll be reading, watching, and posting more than I ever have before. If you decide to stick around with me, I’d be eternally grateful. Heck, I already am, you guys are too awesome.

I’ve missed a lot in just a month, and I apologize. As I (we) get back into the swing of things, I look forward to seeing all the great work you all have been creating!

So, until the next post—whatever it may be—stay busy, and stay well! We got this!!

– Takuto

The V-Day Sci-Fi Special Returns for 2020!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

It’s that joyous time of the year again, a season of love and spending time with the one you cherish most—or in my case, locking myself in my room and binging anime until the wee hours of the morning!

The mecha gods also bless the cycle with back-to-back giant robot franchises for this annual celebration. Can’t remember what we’ve done in the past? Here’s a refresher for ya!

2013 ~ Steins;Gate

2014 ~ Kokoro Connect (I think . . . )

2015 ~ Neon Genesis Evangelion

2016 ~ The Rose of Versailles

2017 ~ Ghost in the Shell

2018 ~ Haikyuu!!

2019 ~ RahXephon

And for this year, the big 20-20, we’ve got an extra special title on the menu. Give it up for . . . *drumroll~~~~~*

2020 ~ Gunbuster

YAY!!! There it is, my next adventure awaiting me ahead!! Guys, I’ve been holding off on this precious piece of Gainax history ever since watching the groundbreaking Evangelion as the V-Day feature for 2015. FIVE years later, Gainax takes the stage once again with a classic mecha title that I’m sure to enjoy with all my heart.

This year’s V-Day special will actually take place during next weekend, February 21-23, on account of the fact that I am busy performing at a Valentine’s Concert this weekend!

In terms of watching methods, fear not! I recently picked up all of the DVDs and Blu-rays I’ll need to marathon the Gunbuster franchise in the RightStuf holiday sale (with exception to the 1988 series, which I’ll hopefully find online) so everything will be viewed in the best quality that I could get a hold of. Oh yeah, we’re ready for this one.

So until next weekend, spend these next couple of days with the ones you love most. And if you’re rockin’ it single like many of us are, TREAT YO SELF, and use this holiday for some self-care—you deserve it!

Much love and chocolates from me~!

– Takuto

Blog Goals & Resolutions for 2020!

Hello all,

We are officially one full week into 2020! Crazy, right? I remember the holidays like they were yesterday, yet behold, two weeks have passed since. In case you missed my last quarterly update, I achieved ~3.5 out of my 5 goals. (Not bad considering it was my first time actually setting AND making plans to stick to my goals.) Given my low standards, I’m gonna say I kicked 2019’s ass pretty hard.

But the coming of a new year brings with it a new set of blogging goals and resolutions. And so, with your blessings and support, here are five goals I’d like to achieve in 2020.


#1 – Read More Posts

Yeah, kind of a cop-out choice given that it was also last year’s first goal, but it’s something I really do need to improve on. I love being a part of this community and writing for it, but that also means that I need to do my part and read your guys’ stuff. I’ll work harder in 2020!

#2 – Write More Succinct Posts

I know what you’re thinking, “Not another duplicate goal!” Nah, it’s exactly as it looks. On top of reading more posts, I’d like to write shorter posts myself. This may encourage you all to read my stuff more, sure, but I like the prospect of having more posts that chunk up my ideas as opposed to one mammoth-sized write-up that frankly even I don’t want to read. More posts may also increase blog productivity, so there’s that too.

#3 – Read & Review More Books

Within this past year, I’ve noticed myself gravitating more towards manga and light novels than anime. Hell, lately I’ve even watched more K-drama than anime. Yet, it it would seem that I never write about the books I’ve read. So, starting in 2020, I not only want to read more (to justify all the money I’ve spent on books in 2019 that are slowly accumulating dust) but also share my thoughts on what I’ve read here on the blog.

#4 – Write More About Me

In the least self-centered way possible, this goal is basically saying “Make this blog more about Takuto, the writer.” I want to write more posts about myself. You’re all my precious readers, but also my dearest friends. And after doing this for FIVE years, you deserve to know more about the guy behind the keyboard. You can look forward to more log/diary-like posts chronicling my thoughts and feelings as I go through life, be it in the form of Cafe Talks or other spontaneous write-ups. I hope we can get to know each other better in 2020.

#5 – Build Up My “Personal Brand”

This is more of a fun bonus goal, but working on my “personal brand” entails me building up my Instagram. (Follow me @takutoanimecafe if you haven’t yet!) Ever since I started blogging I wanted to become someone personable, someone who you feel like you know and can relate to in your own lives even though we’ve never physically met before. I don’t just want to be some faceless blogger anymore—I’ve outgrown that mentality, and firmly believe I can become someone you and I can both be proud of. Essentially, I want to become closer with you all by presenting a better, more true version of myself. Opening up the Insta is one way I can do that. Looking forward to sharing our life adventures together one photo at a time!


We are healing in 2020, and working on presenting the best, most true versions of ourselves that we can.


Or, at least, that is my main goal. I want to connect with this community more than I have in the past. I realize that I’ve kinda been isolating myself in No Man’s Land for all these years, and I apologize. 2020 will be different, I assure you—I feel like a new person, reborn and refreshed to take on whatever comes next!

But there you have it, five new goals for a brand new year—and the start of a new decade at that! What is something you want to improve on in 2020, either for your own blog or in your personal life? Let’s talk resolutions down in the comments. Until the next post, I hope you’re all having a fantastic 2020 so far!

– Takuto

I made an Instagram (and You should follow it) || Celebrating 500 Followers

Hello all, welcome to 2020!!

Happy New Year to everyone out there! It’s crazy how much I’ve resolved to change myself in this new decade within the past couple weeks. It is as if a light just suddenly clicked on and I was like, “Wow, ok 2020, let’s NOT keep on doing what we have been our entire lives and try something new for once!”

So I am: I’m taking the plunge into the world of Instagram in celebration of 500 blog followers. I only briefly mentioned my gratitude for achieving this milestone in a quarterly update post. But, to reiterate, I am eternally grateful for all of your support.

Every single like, share, or even comment just to say “hi” brings me so much happiness. At the same time, I can only wonder, you must have a lot of time on your hands if you’re willing to stop by my little blog, haha.

500 followers

Seriously though, thank you for sticking with me these past five years. I love interacting with you all, and I hope the Insta can bring us that much closer into each other’s lives. Many of you have been begging for me to get this, and I hope I can deliver the content you deserve!

You can follow my Insta adventures at the handle @takutoanimecafe

Thank you for a wonderful 2019.

Cheers to 2020.

Love you all!

– Takuto

Chasing After the ~Vibes~|| Quarterly Update (Winter 2019)

Evening all!

As the title of this post suggests, I have for you all the final big update post of 2019. In the last update, I spoke briefly about how I hadn’t watched much anime due to school and, well, not much has changed since finals haha. Goal reflection in general will be pretty weak this time around, but hey, it’s the last couple days of 2019—new goals will be on the way before we know it!

Goal Reflection


#1 – Read More Posts

If any of these goals had the greatest crime done to it, it’d be this one. Guys, I am criminally behind on keeping up with the community. My phone home screen is once again backed up with posts I’ve been wanting to read, and that doesn’t include all of the OWLS posts I’ve missed out on since January. Yeah, not good. But with the New Year, hopefully I’ll dedicate some time to some much-needed housekeeping.

#2 – Write More Succinct Posts

You know, just scrolling through the site’s main page at all of the posts, I think I have done a better job at keeping things on the short and sweet side. Between October being nothing but Animanga Festival posts and November and December being full of hauls, there hasn’t really been too much to say for each post. Thinking in terms of the entire year, I’ll count this one as a win.

#3 – Post More Often

Ten posts in October, four posts in November, and so far five posts in December makes my initial four-posts-per-month goal a success! Productivity definitely slowed down for school, but even with a three-week study hiatus in there, I’ve still managed to blog as often as I wanted to in 2019. Maybe I’ll kick things up a notch in 2020, who knows, but for now—WE DID IT Y’ALL.

#4 – Bring Back Cafe Talk

Hahaha nope. I don’t know what’s stopping me from writing these kinds of posts, especially when they can be the easiest things in the world sometimes. But here we are. Overall, this was 2019’s most-failed goal.

#5 – Write More Haul/Collection Posts

Guys, GUYS—I’ve done like SIX haul posts this winter season, and honestly, I could totally throw together another one if you guys were interested in seeing the straggler TOM pick-ups or what I got for Christmas. If goal #4 was my worst-achieved goal, #5 is 2019’s big winner. Hooray for hauls!

What I’ve Watched


Well this part isn’t gonna take long (LOL). For Halloween this year I binged all of Castlevania seasons one and two on Netflix. Excellent series, full of incredible action sequences and bloody good comedy (surprisingly). It was easily one of my favorite watches of the year, especially for the spooky season, and I honestly can’t wait for season three. I’ve actually got notes for the entire series ready to be transformed into a review, so hopefully I’ll muster the energy to finish that and get my thoughts out there.

Around the same time before finals started hitting hard, I picked up a little extra time to watch Fairy gone in the mornings. While I’m only five or six episodes in, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone said it was when it aired. Plus, the dub is really good. (Special shout out to Caitlin Glass for making that one of the show’s redeeming qualities!)

Skipping ahead to the colder days of winter, I began an unexpected watch with Yumeiro Patissiere, which I actually featured in my November OWLS post that you can read right here! Most of my thoughts on the series are contained within that, but long story short: Watch Yumeiro Patissiere. It’s light-hearted and fun, but also sometimes bittersweet and full of heart. Easily a better food competition series than Food Wars! in my humble opinion.

Fall simulcasts have also been slow for me. Like, really slow. Notice how I never posted a fall seasonal line-up post like everyone else did? Yeah, it’s cause the only show I’ve managed to keep up with has been Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia, and my motivation for watching that namely stems from seeing anime Gil once again. Even still, it’s also been one of my favorite watches in years, and just might end up being my favorite Fate anime besides the glorious Fate/Zero where my love for the franchise all began. Can’t wait to see how it ends!

While we’re still on Fate, I’ve rewatched the first 12 episodes of Apocrypha since the entire series is on Netflix. Only this time it’s dubbed, and the English dub is FANTASTIC. I think all the VAs were perfectly cast, and I’m excited to watch the epic second half!

Obsessed With BTS


In case I never make it apparent, I’m a half white, half Korean 21-year-old currently residing in the U.S. I’ve liked K-pop ever since I became an anime fan, but never really rocked out to it as much as I did J-pop or even Western pop music. Until now.

To make a long story short, I’ve fallen back in love with BTS. They’ve had my heart since 2017, but this time I tripped BIG and fell down several flights of sparkly stairs into K-pop hell. And I have no regrets. I’ve listened to BTS, Super Junior, Girls Generation, NCT Dream, and Red Velvet albums literally every second of the past two weeks, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Please share your K-pop recommendations with me in the comments!!

Naturally, my rekindled love for K-pop brought me to K-drama and idol culture in general, so I’ve been bouncing between Hello, My Twenties on Netflix and The iDOLM@STER SideM on Crunchyroll. If you have any K-drama/idol recs (and the places I can watch them), please send me those too!

I feel like I’m chasing a vibe whenever I do my daily workout to these pop icons, or even unhaul more parts of my collection to make space on my shelves for some added greenery. For sharing these personal parts of my life, I think these quarterly updates work the best both for me as the writer and you all as readers. So, expect these to continue throughout 2020. A goals and resolutions post for 2020 will be out very soon, along with a very, very special surprise announcement for all my followers!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrated it. Mine was quite pleasant and relaxing—in fact, I’m still in vacation mode, which is why I haven’t done much of anything (besides listening to BTS, of course)! I’ve got one more post for 2019, so please look forward to that. Till then, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Why the Hiatus? I’ve Been Prepping for CANADA! | Update

No, I’m not moving. I’m doing this for science—literally!

Hello all, been a hot minute (or a really cold one since winter’s basically here already), but I figured I’d stop by between my studies to address the sudden silence.

After an exciting month of Animanga Festival posts and series reviews, in which I published the most amount of posts I have in MONTHS, I’m now taking this time to prepare myself for the end of the fall semester here at uni.

A little less than a year ago, I was approached as an undergrad by my cognitive psychology professor to do some research with her. While I was uncertain of my career path at the time, I immediately said yes to put my foot in the door. Little did I know that this one small step would snowball into a trip outside the country!

Long story short, I’ll be presenting my poster research at a judgement and decision-making (JDM) conference in Montreal, Canada with just two other professors in, like, four days. This conference is pretty exclusive to PhD students and professors, so it’s kind of a big deal as a tiny undergrad kid! Also, I’ve only been to a handful of states in the Midwest, let alone LEAVE THE COUNTRY. I’ve never traveled by plane either, so this experience is full of firsts for me!

That said, you can probably understand my recent stress and decision to hold off on blogging for a few weeks until the dust (or the snow) settles. I’ve still got a couple reviews and hauls planned for November, as well as the monthly OWLS post, so I’m not totally down for the count. Just a bit busier than normal, which doesn’t really say much since it seems I’m always busy! Hah!

Anyway, sending positive energy and motivation to all my fellow scholarly bloggers who are pushing through academia during these bitter cold months. Wish me luck on my first flight, my first ventures outside the U.S., and my first opportunity to share all the hard work we’ve put into our research!

Cheers!

– Takuto