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

Where are the Posts??? || Quarterly Update (Fall 2020)

Hey guys!

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.

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! ❤

– 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

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

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. >.<

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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

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