WOW has it been a minute. Just three months ago, we were living in an entirely different world from the one we are in now. Lots has changed, politically, socially, and otherwise. Plus, school started up again, and that’s never been good for the health of this blog. Still, though, we manage to find time for our hobbies, and so I’d like to share with you all what I’ve been going through the past few months. I imagine I haven’t done too keen of a job on keeping up with them, but let’s begin with a bit of goal reflection.
#1 – Read More Posts
Nope. I’ve been a terrible blogger buddy, and I’m sorry. While I technically have been popping in on any blog posts that I like and retweet on Twitter, I haven’t personally made my way to the WP reader in quite some time. It doesn’t help that WP is not letting my account leave likes, but I’m finding ways around that. I’ll try harder.
#2 – Write More Succinct Posts
It’s hard to say on this one. I wrote but TEN measly blog posts since last update, and only half of those were my typical review-type posts. Given this, my other announcement-y posts were technically on the shorter end, so I’ll give myself this one.
#3 – Read & Review More Books
With all the manga I’ve been talking about here and on my YouTube channel, it would seem that I hardly review anime anymore! While not entirely untrue at the moment, I do want to get back in the anime game. As for manga, I’ll be reading Yona of the Dawn and Fire Force with you guys, reviewing volumes as I go here on the blog. Soon, I’d like to start up Requiem of the Rose King, Snow White with the Red Hair, and Seraph of the End. If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on any of those titles, do stick around for the coming months!
#4 – Write More About Me
In September and early October, I celebrated 6 years of blogging here on the cafe (thank you to all those who left me kind words) and also shared five anime that I love rewatching just because all I had been doing then was rewatching my favorites. Otherwise, I need to get back into fulfilling these tag and award posts that have been piling up in my drafts. More posts about me coming soon!
#5 – Build Up My “Personal Brand”
Like I’ve covered in previous updates, this goal took the form of my YouTube channel, Takuto. Since July, I have gained 130 new subs (we’re up to 170!) and have uploaded, like, 20 new videos. The success hasn’t gone as planned, admittedly, but I’ve never played the numbers game—neither here on my blog, nor on the channel—and I don’t plan to start anytime soon. That said, if you (or a friend) may be interested in vlog-style manga and K-pop rambling videos, consider checking the channel out! I’d greatly appreciate it!
What I’ve Read
Although I haven’t read nearly as much as I would have liked to, I’ve since (as in the past week) picked up my manga game SIGNIFICANTLY. That is, I’m currently pacing myself at a volume of manga per day. I’m not sure if this kick will last just for the Halloween festivities or if it’ll carry over long after, but regardless, I’m currently enjoying reading a bit of manga to wind down each night.
Way back at the beginning of July, I shared my thoughts on Fire Force volumes 10-12. It took me a bit to get back into the series, but very soon I’ll have reflection posts for volumes 13-15 and volumes 16-18, respectively. Guys, I love me some Fire Force, and while I’m not sure why I hesitated on reading more for so long, I’m glad nevertheless that I’m back with Company 8!
I FINALLY started reading Yona of the Dawn, which has led me to also doing 3-volume reflections over the series. I find these characters to be some of the most supportive, heartwarming kind in all of shoujo manga. Seriously, the four dragons are too good for us! Anyway, expect more Yona here soon, as with some of the other shoujo titles I mentioned above!
What I’ve Watched
Despite the sparse number of reviews that I’ve posted, I actually watched more anime this summer than I had in a long time. (And trust me, it sure felt good.) I took a general break from seasonal content to hammer away on the backlog, and thankfully the results were somewhat fruitful.
Starting with the most notable one, I finally got around to watching Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, which I even talked about here! And what would you know—it was exactly as good as everyone had been telling me it was. Glad to have this one under my belt after all these months of endless conversation and fame the series has gotten!
I took to my Blu-ray shelves for this next one, that being DEN-NOH COIL. You can read my review of this mid-2000s sci-fi adventure, but this series is easily one of the most underrated, least-discussed sci-fi anime out there. Sometimes it’s silly, sometimes it’s sad. But always is it smart, fascinating, and thought-provoking when it comes to humanity’s deepening relationship with technology. Check it out sometime!
Next we had more Blu-ray watches from my shelves, including Sakurada Reset (review here!). This one was understandably swept under the rug, as it’s not only slow but features some of the most BORING characters ever. For a show about esper abilities, this was a crime. On the bright side, I ended up enjoying Knights of Sidonia and its sequel Battle for Planet Nine quite a bit. They’re still on Netflix, so if I fail to review them, just know the series gets the OK from me.
Then I watched The World is Still Beautiful, which was perhaps one of the most enjoyable watches of the entire year. Although I came in with few expectations, I came out wanting so much more from Princess Nike and King Livius’ hilarious yet endearing relationship—I love them!! Defs still want to review this gem if I get the chance.
Also one of the most wholesome watches in recent years was Barakamon. YES, I finally watched the calligraphy anime. And yes, the Blu-ray is staying on my shelves. On the other hand, the Handa-kun spinoff was a total waste of time. The humor just didn’t stick with me, but I did finish it out just to give it a fair chance.
My most recent watches have all been superb ones: PROMARE (which was literally fire), Fog Hill of Five Elements (which I don’t remember much of, but it was hella good-looking), and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power seasons 1-3 (which, UGH, I freakin’ love this series)! As I near the end of She-Ra, I will also finally share my thoughts on the Netflix beauty Violet Evergarden. Hopefully I will have reviews for each of these titles SOONER rather than later!!
What Comes Next for the Blog?
The short answer: I’m not sure. School’s been kicking my butt since mid-August (hence the sudden lack of posts starting there), and any energy I do have left is divided between writing for classes and filming videos for my YouTube channel. I have considered taking a formal break from blogging, but you may want to hear the long answer first . . .
Really, I just need to manage my time better. I take plenty of naps, snack breaks, and YT breaks throughout a given day, and much of that energy could instead be redirected to the blog. The only big problem is that, when I do have the inspiration to write, it isn’t over anime. In fact, much of the shows I recently watched come from the dangling weeks of summer. Anymore, I average a couple episodes per week, which is why it’s taken me nearly a month now to finish a short title like Violet Evergarden.
So I guess the real question is not if I should blog, but rather what should I blog about? Should I really write posts about manga and K-pop and whatever else is going on in my life? (Does anyone even care about that stuff?) Or should I keep trying to make the anime thing work? It’s not that I’m tired of reviewing—I just want to make sure that I have fun writing every single post. I’d much rather avoid writing altogether than struggle to push out content. Maybe someone out there can relate, idk. But this is where we currently are, and I want to stay transparent with you all.
When I’m not writing papers, posting for class discussion boards, reading journal articles, or lifeguarding at our university’s pool (I GOT MY JOB BACK BTW!!), I really am watching YT videos, filming YT videos, and editing YT videos. And sleeping. And snacking. (Which reminds me, I ought to get back on the workout game. Yikes.)
But overall, I’m still healthy, physically and mentally, if but ~slightly~ more inactive on the blog than I usually am. How are you doing? Are you getting enough sleep? Drinking enough water? Making enough time for yourself? It sucks that we chose to adapt to this pandemic rather than fight it, but I’m sure you tried to do your part (as I did). Who knows how much longer things will last this way . . . But what I do know is that the world keeps moving, and so should we.
Whenever you can, I encourage you to watch more anime, write more posts, listen to more of your favorite music and podcasts, read your favorite manga and novels—whatever can bring you happiness and connect you with that positive and creative synergy. We need that sense of connection—either to art or the artist—now more than ever.
In the meantime, I will actively try to stop in more often. No promises, what with school pretty much ending for me in a month. But I’ll try, and I hope that will be enough to tie us over until I can get back to this full-time like I was this past summer. What a great summer that was. Man, I hate this gloomy cold. It’ll be a long winter—but knowing that you’ll be there with me almost makes the thought a tad bit warmer.
Have a Happy Halloween (I’ll be watching Fire Force Season 2 to celebrate the spooky weekend!) and stay safe, my friends! Thank you for reading, and much love for all your support! ‘Till next time! ❤