Week 10

I feel disingenuous. I say I’m going to leave social media, and within no time at all I’m back to using it. I guess I should stop making such claims. Even if they make me feel good in the moment, I should exercise more control and discipline. In more areas than one, if I’m being honest.

BUT lets not dwell on that too much.

Let’s see what’s new this week? It was Anime-Expo last week. I’m a little sad I wasn’t able to go. Not that I had any specific plans for it, I just like the idea of a large convention in theory. Given previous accounts of AX, I always felt a sense of a relief for not going (particularly with how badly they managed crowds) but I heard this AX was actually decent for that.

Though a lot of the desire, I’ll admit, stems more from wanting to be a part of the people I see go there more than the event itself. I see a lot of attractive/influential people posting about their experiences and part of my brain goes “I wish I was part of that group” I know if I just went by myself it would be a mostly average time as I speak to no one and spend way too much money in the exhibition hall. That’s been my pattern of behavior in past anime conventions when I’ve gone by myself after all.

Apart from that, it was also the week of the 4th. Not much going on there apart from the usual “stay indoors and away from fireworks” Not that I don’t enjoy fireworks visually, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the noise or the smell of smoke in the air. I’d also probably enjoy it more if I had people to really spend it with, but nah

BUT again lets not dwell on any of that. God it seems like I can’t help just settling into that melancholy mindset today. I blame a lot of the shit that’s going on in US politics right now.

We got a new fridge in our house. I was super excited to finally get a working ice maker (rather than having to use the trays) but it seems that it leaks for some reason (pretty badly too)

Next week I go to see a neurologist. Fingers crossed that he can shed some light on my medical situation or get the ball rolling more than my primary care doctor (who has been mostly unhelpful)

Media-wise, I’ve been playing Lies of P without using summons on bosses. The first time in souls-like or even souls games that I’ve ever not used the summons. No I don’t really care about the people who say summons are cheating, Lies of P is just the only game where I’ve felt like “Yeah I can get behind some additional challenge”

I’m almost through Mushoku Tensei volume 8. It’s going well.

Bleh, I’m just not up to it today. Going to just write it off as shit and do something else. Sorry folks

A 4th of July Miracle

After yesterday’s post, I spiraled a bit. If you can’t figure out what that means, basically I found myself engaging in repetitive unproductive behaviors that brought my mood way down. It sucked. I think I only got one thing accomplished.

Today was looking to be much the same, but I guess I reached the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I just forced myself to deactivate all of it, and now I’m convincing myself that there’s no value in it. It’s just an endless stream of shit an algorithm spits at you for engagement. It’s all feces people shit out for engagement. None of it’s good for accomplishing anything.

I want friends, but meeting them via places like Twitter and Reddit doesn’t work. Rather it gets me engaged in a lot of stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter. What’s the point arguing with other souls fans about why a pause button wouldn’t ruin the game series or about the merits of media they have no intention of approaching with an open mind? Even when you engage in more positive focused things, it’s not like someone is going to follow you or make you their buddy. No matter how much you might engage with them. At best you might get a like to your reply, but there’s never any kind of “Hey I recognize you from the other posts you commented on”

I’ve known for a long time that I’d have to change my approach. The reason I haven’t until now is because it’s easy. It’s minimal investment. It’s literally like a slot machine. You put in a small investment hoping for a big payout, and before you know it, you’ve invested a lot for almost no return (Or you hit jackpot I guess, but then you still keep playing)

In any event, it’s time we get things back on track here. I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to do, and I’m not getting any younger. Either I work hard and change something or I fall into greater misery. It’s not a hard choice, even if it’s a difficult thing to put into action.

First step is to stop talking and start walking. I’ll see you for the regularly scheduled post next week with what happens next.

Week 9

Almost forgot my weekly post this week. To be honest, I think I’ve been getting caught up too much with shit that shouldn’t matter again. Reintroducing myself to social media obviously was the main mistake, and I’m ” this close to just deactivating it all again. The thing stopping me? As always it’s the overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation

I like feeling like I’m part of something. Sadly, it feels like even when I’m engaged with social media, it’s a struggle to feel connected to anything. People will either ignore you or at best you’ll get a like that stimulates the dopamine for a few seconds. It’s hard to form genuine bonds. Mostly because everyone already has that or it isn’t as important to them.

Sometimes, too, I think, there’s a lot of hesitation on my part when it comes to people to engage with. Of course, the immediately cool people aren’t really in need of you. Though the real problem is that even when you engage with the areas you’re interested in, it’s hard to find people whose values align with your own.

Take my interests in Japanese media. At one point in my life, I was naive enough to believe that most people into the things I was would be a lot like me. When I got older, reality taught me that people can be quite different (including myself) Just because they shared an interest didn’t make them my people.

For example, the amount of people into anime who voted for Trump or lack sensitivity. The amount of people into VNs that are pure degenerates or are completely against any degeneracy. I know probably not all people of those groups are ones sitting on the extremes, but they’re the ones that tend to float to the top. Which makes it harder to sort through to the people with more reasonable takes

Though even when I’m not dealing with extremes (like when I’m in a Discord chat) I still seem to run into people that sort of give off this incompatible aura. That could just be me being too judgmental. I do try to find a wavelength that I can approach people on, but it’s difficult… Most of the time, I try playing to crowds online out of hope someone will approach me, but obviously that’s not really happening.

This weekend is Anime-Expo, and I wish I was there. Not for any specific reason. It’s just always been my dream to go to a big anime convention and do a whole lot of stuff revolving around my enjoyment of my hobbies. This despite the fact that I’ve been to several conventions before (including expo) and that nothing close to my dream has ever happened to me.

However, that’s also my fault. One because I convince myself others are having as much fun as they say they are (afterall if I’m not having fun, someone’s gotta be right?) Two because I don’t push myself outside my comfort zones enough. If I could not do as much of either, I might actually enjoy an anime convention a lot.

Obviously, money-wise there’s no way I could have attended this year, and I do not feel bad about not having to deal with massive crowds of people. Though I would still like to get out to a convention again somewhere away from home. If I can find someone that would be willing to share that with me that is.

Speaking of money, I’ve mostly been doing pretty good at not spending much. Steam sales have caused me to deep a bit, although most of that money is credit I already have on my Steam account from buying my PS5 (Trying hard not to use it all up but it’s tempting) Though my monthly check this month is pretty much entirely going towards paying off special financing from the past (which sucks)

Right now, I’ve bought Lies of P, Until Then, and Sleeping Dogs. Lies of P because I loved the game on game pass and figured I should own it before the DLC (Also wouldn’t mind replaying it again) Until Then because I really liked the look of it. Sleeping Dogs because it was only like 2.00 (on Greenmangaming) and I’ve seen people compare it to GTA (I’ve been hungry for something GTA/Saints Row like for a long while)

I’ve been considering also picking up Chrono Ark and some English VNs. My hesitance comes from not wanting to eat up all my Steam credit and the fact that I probably wont play everything I buy too soon. Even if I plan to start making a concentrated effort on my backlog (I’m currently juggling multiple things) We’ll see. Still have some time to think before the summer sale ends.

Media

I finished reading volume 6 of 26 of Mushoku Tensei. This covers the anime’s first season. My brief thoughts: The anime did a pretty good adaptation. Although they left out one somewhat major plot element that I’ve yet to see (even in season 2) Wondering if that’s something they’re just going to write out or what?

I still really enjoy the series though. Can’t wait to get through the next set of 6 so I can get to the stuff the anime has yet to adapt. Hoping I can get through 7 and 8 this week.

In Japanese, I’ve started reading the visual novel Kanon. Kanon is one of Key’s earliest works (the same developer who made Clannad, Little Busters, and Summer Pockets) Mostly been reading this one because it’s actually really easy to read without looking much up at all. It’s a huge confidence boost in comparison to some of the harder stuff I was trying to read (Sakura Moyu and I also tried to read Nukitashi)

(Speaking of Summer Pockets, I’m super excited for the anime they announced for it next year)

I’ve been trying to play both Shin Megami Tensei V Vengeance and Trails in the Sky part 1. It’s been slow going for both, mostly because they’re both essentially retreading stuff I’ve seen already. I’m also very much not really digging turn based RPGs lately. So much so that I’ve been thinking of just using cheat engine to speed through the content.

I’m reluctant to do so for a couple reasons. First I’m worried that going through it too fast will make me not appreciate the content as much (Something that I think is a real problem people experience when they try to rush an anime or VN) Second because, well I bought the games, and in SMT’s case, I bought them fairly recently. I don’t want it to feel like a waste.

Yet its hard. There’s way too much I want to do and not enough time. If I didn’t play through them now cheating, I might never play them. At that point, would it really be a bad thing to just cheat so I could experience them? That’s my inner turmoil in a nutshell.

I also started reading Mahoyo last night. Initially, I was going to read part one of the Tsukihime remake that just came out, but after meeting Aoko (Mahoyo’s MC) and remembering Mahoyo had been translated, I thought “Well fuck maybe I should wait on Tsuki:re until I finish that” So now that’s a thing on the docket

Anime-wise I’ve watched a bit more Zeta Gundam and finished Mushoku season 2. Going to kick that up soon. I feel like I’m losing track of what the fuck was going on in .hack//sign when I was watching that. Also I want something to actually happen in Zeta, so I’m going to have to sit down and watch.. Oh and there was 86 too that I was supposed to be watching when I worked out…

Which I actually haven’t been doing recently. I think I’ll go do that now and end the post here..

Week 8

I wasn’t feeling the greatest last week. I don’t remember exactly what set me off, but it’s probably better off I don’t try to or it might put me in a funk again. I am a bit disappointed that I never ended up making an addendum post though.

I’m feeling much better this week though. I’ll just have to write a bit extra to make up for it.

I’ve been feeling a bit of the writing bug as of late. I often get this way when I’ve been reading a good book or experiencing a good story. That’s certainly been the case reading the Mushoku Tensei light novels (just finished the 5th of 26th last night) I’ll talk about those a bit later, but the more pressing question now is am I going to do anything about this bug.

I’m of two opinions about this. Of course, I’d like to take advantage of this spur of creativity, but the issue is I have two old ideas that have been rattling around in my head for years that I’d like to do something with. One is an idea for a light novel series and one is an idea for a game I’d like to make.

It might seem obvious to go with the light novel idea since that’s what initially gave me inspiration. Though I feel some hesitation because I’ve also been wanting to try some game development as of late after seeing a lot of Youtube shorts of Pirate software over the past couple months (if you haven’t heard of them, I recommend checking their shorts. Pretty inspirational stuff)

One of my life’s dreams is to create a story in some kind of medium that people can enjoy. I actually dabbled in both writing and game creation when I was young because of it. While I got some praise for my ability (praise that might have gone to my head back then), I never took it beyond an amateurish level. Instead I got lazy and let the skills rust.

In the past I’ve often been worried about what it would take to fix up those skills or whether I could ever recapture that talent. I realize that’s the wrong mindset though. My skills definitely need polishing again, true, but like learning Japanese, it’s a lifelong process. It’s not about a destination. It’s not about being too far or never being able to catch up. You just keep learning and moving forward. Doubting oneself is never going to help.

Though talk is cheap. I can say these things, but I need to actually start doing. In which case, I’m going to stop talking about it and start doing.

Here’s what is going to happen. I’m going to start work on both this week. I wont commit to anything major, it might even only be an hour for each, but I promise to do something. Next week I will try to do the same amount or more, and I’ll do that until eventually something is done.

I can’t promise I’ll have much to show here (at least at first), but I will try to mention what I am doing each week. Just like I do with everything else.

Japanese

I’m not sure how much I mentioned it before, but I’d been working on an Anki deck based on Wanikani’s content. In the past, I had reached level 60 on Wanikani, although I was going through the content again from level 0 as I wasn’t confident in my retention of it all. The problem is that Wanikani’s review system only lets you level at a certain rate (I’m level 33 now after restarting) and I needed something a bit faster, thus the Anki deck.

I just finished the deck. What that means is that I’ve learned all the words from the deck, and from here it’s mostly about reviewing to solidify what I’ve learned. Right now, the system gives me about 500 cards (words) to review a day, but once it gets down to double digits I’ll think about starting a different vocabulary deck

If you don’t understand that, don’t worry about it. It just means I’m keeping consistent and that I’m looking to add more to it when it gets a little less overwhelming.

I haven’t been playing much of VNs in Japanese. I was trying to read Sakura Moyu again, but it’s just not been grabbing me. Instead I find myself wanting to try Rewrite again or the newly rereleased Kanon (I even did a couple test runs on both) Maybe I will switch over or maybe I’ll pick up something completely different (would kind of like to read something I haven’t read before)

Anime

I haven’t been watching a whole lot of anime. Though I still try to watch at least an episode or two before bed.

No real progress on 86 or .hack. Still intending to finish both, but I’ve got too much other stuff that’s been eating my time.

I’ve been primarily focused on Gundam Zeta and Mushoku Tensei. Mushoku Tensei I initially wasn’t going to watch S2 in favor of reading the light novels, but unfortunately the internet started spoiling me on stuff that was happening. Thus I had to quickly (over a few days) catch up to the recently airing episode.

I will say that right now in the light novel (after book 5) I’m almost done with seasons 1 content. While mostly a retread of what I know, there are a few things the anime fails to cover. Also, I think I like it more. Maybe it’s because the source material is always best or that I’m just naturally fond of reading. I don’t know.

It looks like each season covers about 6 books worth of content. Meaning I wont catch up with where I am in the anime until book 12. Though it also means that there’s going to need to be at least 2 more seasons of the anime before it finishes.. Which means it’s going to be hard to recommend friends see it.

Though I want to emphasize, it’s really good. I know some of my friends are sick of isekai, and I can empathize (despite mostly enjoying it) But this one resonates with me a lot. Mostly because while the protagonist has a lot of bad qualities, he’s trying harder to do more with his life and be a better person. Which I think is something that is lacking from a lot of stories (Most of the time you get a protagonist that has strong morals/sense of justice or is super thickheaded)

Gundam Zeta is weird. The characters don’t feel as well written as the original. A lot of the time they’ll do or say random things out of nowhere. Kamille says in one episode that he’s autistic (not sure if that was an accurate translation) which might explain some of his randomness (while other things might be explained by his new type thing) However that’s kind of being generous, and it doesn’t explain the other 99% of the cast.

It’s not bad. I’m obviously still watching it. However, I’m kind of missing the first series. While it wasn’t perfect with issues like this, things felt a lot tighter?

I’ve also had an urge to watch Record of Lodoss War recently. Though I’m going to try not to start it before I at least work through some of the backlog more. Though between reading Mushoku Tensei, game playing, Japanese, and now the projects I’m starting.. It’s going to be a challenge!

Games

After finishing Eiyuden, I thought about starting my replay of the Trails in the Sky series. I even went through the effort to figure out if there was a way to play it in Japanese (there is but no way to do it with voices unless you do the vita version) I tried to play a bit, but something wasn’t clicking.

I think I still don’t really care for it’s gameplay. I’m contemplating cheating again (like I did my first time) but I’m worried that might not get me as invested (A problem that I ran into my first time trying to play it) Not sure what I’ll end up doing, but I DO want to play through it considering I have all the game and the Cold Steel series (as well as one of the ones that comes after that) I’m tried of hearing people praise the hell out of it and feeling like I’m missing something.

It’s kind of how I feel about FF14. Though it being an online game, and one you have to pay for, it’s a lot harder for me to indulge in my curiosity for it (much as I have tried to get into it before) If I had some friends to play with, maybe things would be different. Though as it is most people I know who play it already have established characters and it’s a lot harder to really do much with them.

Anyway, apologies for the slight digression there, the main reason for not getting into trails however has more to do with the Elden Ring DLC coming out. As you can imagine, as someone who both attained 100% steam achievements and platinumed the game, I was at least interested in checking it out.

As to how it is, I’m afraid that I can’t really sing many praises for it. Partly because playing Elden Ring at this point feels more like a routine rather than something I do because I enjoy it (just because I think I played it too much in the early days) Partly because the DLC doesn’t really do anything different, it’s just more of Elden Ring.

Which might seem like a good thing at first, but it’s actually making the flaws a lot more apparent. Namely the story and quests being hard to follow because of the open world nature (and sticking to that Dark Souls way of never telling the player anything they don’t seek out) That paired with the way some bosses are tuned to be more bullshit than before… It’s just not very enjoyable

I keep thinking I should probably stop and do something else, but then I’ll load up Elden Ring and play it until bed time. It’s a complicated relationship I guess. I’ll probably still try to beat it before I start anything else, though I hope I can either start enjoying it or finish it quickly and be done with it.

That’s all I got for today. Been writing for a couple hours now and I still need to finish my Japanese reviews on Anki. I also got some projects I need to start laying the foundation for.

Week 7

To be completely vulnerable for a moment, I’m always concerned I might not be accepted for who I really am. While I try to tell myself that’s not true (by remembering certain family and friends), it’s never quite convincing enough to shake the insecurity. Past trauma along with insecurities I’ve developed over the years has made it difficult to ignore.

I know, logically, I need to stop that behavior, but ironically it takes a lot to not give a fuck about something. Though maybe the key is rather than not giving a fuck about these things, I need to give more of a fuck about not giving a fuck. Maybe I need to actually practice being overconfident where I’m not. Maybe I need to fake it more until I make it.

I’m honestly not really feeling up to writing much right now for this week’s entry. I might do an addendum post later this week, but today I’m feeling kind of like I need to make myself do something else to avoid the pit of frustration/depression I find myself wallowing in at the moment.

Week 6

I did the bad and reactivated my Twitter. Did I have a good reason for it? No. I could make up a couple justifications for it: I was feeling lonely (which I probably was), I need to it to keep up with news relevant to my hobbies, I need to see certain accounts recent tweets for stuff I’m working on (something that’s been the case a couple times) In the end though, all of it is just making excuses for weak will.

If it gets to the point where I feel like it’s taking too much of my time, I do have the confidence that I can deactivate again. I only have two followers (one of which I’m not even sure reads my Twitter posts) Not a huge deal. I can also just install social media blocking plugins again.

I’ve been thinking though. I would like some more online friends. While I know they’re no substitute for real life relationships, not having a huge amount of freedom to move right now really limits my capabilities for making real life connections. Rather than sitting here feeling like I can’t do anything, I’d rather be doing something.

I used to have a very strong online life before I finally was able to settle into college. While I don’t necessarily regret prioritizing my real life, I do sometimes regret the ways I parted with some of my online connections (mostly just disappearing and never reaching out) I’ve thought about rekindling those relationships, but I’ve accepted that even if I knew how to contact some people again, it probably wouldn’t lead to what I’m hoping for.

While I still have a few online friends I do keep in contact with, the prospect of making new ones is a bit hard as there’s no venues I’m comfortable with anymore. Gone are the days of web forums, irc chatrooms, and weird niche community sites. Today people meet via Discord and social media. While from a distance it might not seem that different (IRC and Discord are pretty similar for example) it’s an entirely different ballgame for me. Call me a boomer I guess.

If I was living somewhere with a better net connection, I might consider doing streaming again. From both actual streamers and from one of my online friends who streams, I’ve seen that it can work, and I think that I could actually have fun with it (or at least I have some real ideas for it) Unfortunately it’s not an avenue I can pursue right now.

Though I can’t do anything live, I’ve considered doing Youtube as an alternative. It’s not the first time I’ve considered or even tried it, but in the past I’ve always backed out from being uncomfortable. Now I feel more like I can push past the uncomfortableness to maybe put out some content.

Granted it wouldn’t be the kind of content you’d expect someone trying to be a Youtuber would make. Instead, I’d make content talking about myself and the things I love. Kind of like what I used to/try to do with my blog. Except that it’d hopefully be way more approachable than a wall of text for the average internet user.

The only thing holding back is my unfamiliarity with video software. I’m not really looking to learn to be a full-time Youtuber, but I do know that you have to have some skills to get people to look and sit through your videos. Much as I’d like to keep it just audio recordings of me, I don’t think that’s going to cut it. I’m going to have to add images/video and maybe even show myself (insecurities >_<)

That all being said, I guess I just have to push myself. Nothing ever gets done hemming and hawing about it. The worst thing that can happen is I try and fail, but even then at least I’ll find out that it’s not for me, and that might be worth it on its own over it eternally being a what if.

I’ll keep you posted on what I do when I do it.

Studying Japanese has been fairly consistent, although due to the sheer number of Anki reviews, I’ve found that I haven’t really been able to take much time to read VNs or start any games in Japanese. I guess I could make the time if I tried a bit harder, but I’m hoping that soon I’ll get through this deck (I have 3000 unseen cards going at a rate of about 400ish new ones each day) and the reviews will be down to more manageable levels.

I’m not sure if this extensive focus on vocabulary is any more effective as using that same time just immersing. Part of me says it will be and part of me thinks it’s not. I know whichever I do it wont be a waste, but finding where I need to work on in my Japanese is rough. Especially when I’ve come all this way by myself.

I have considered talking to natives, or even other Japanese learners, but I lack confidence on producing Japanese in a real-time conversation. Though again, it’s probably just something I need to get over and push myself into doing.

Been working out a bit more. Not sure if it’s having a positive effect or not. One issue is that I can’t seem to gain much bulk to build into weight. I think I need more fat in my diet, but then there’s a bunch of things I shouldn’t touch (mainly chocolate) because of my GERD. It’s kind of a nuisance. I wish I could just get rid of that.


In regards to media

I finished watching the Gundam 0079 series (the first Gundam) In the past I had watched the three compilation movies in order to watch the sequel series, Zeta Gundam, with some friends. However, due to getting a girlfriend at the time, I never really took to Zeta Gundam (neither did my friends, although I think it was for other reasons) Later I would try to rewatch Zeta Gundam in an attempt to watch “all of Gundam” and while I would get through it and ZZ (double Zeta) I eventually stopped at Victory Gundam.

I don’t hold any grandiose ideas that I’m going to watch the entire Gundam franchise anymore. However, I decided I would still like to try. Although as it had been a while, I decided I could use a a rewatch of everything from the start. A lofty undertaking, but if I couldn’t do it then I probably wasn’t going to be able to do all of Gundam.

I went with the original series over the compilation movies because I remembered not remembering anything from those movies after a short while. I thought maybe the series could do a better job at getting me invested into the universe. Lo and behold, I was right.

The original series isn’t bad. I would even say it’s quite good. I think all the people recommending the compilation movies as a fast track at getting into Gundam are probably ignoring how it takes time for a lot of the characters/events to grow on you. They’re also probably not thinking about how if you’re looking to get into it fast, Gundam probably isn’t the series for you (given the sheer amount of content out there)

It’s also an interesting thing to watch for people who are interested in Japan animation in general. Given the amount of influence it had, I think there’s something to appreciate from that end.

I did start my rewatch of Zeta, although there’s not much to say as I’m only an episode in.

I’m still watching .hack//sign and 86 (yes I’m sticking with it) Progress on both has been slower due to prioritizing 0079, Mushoku Tensei light novel, and a new anime Goodnight World.

I heard about this anime via my alma matter’s anime club discord. A couple people were talking about it being really good Netflix series, and me being a sucker for good Netflix anime, I decided to check it out.

I want to say I was LOVING it up until episode 6, but when episode 6 hit I became conflicted. It looked very much like the show was going to be about one thing (which I was totally down for) and then it ended up being something completely different (which I haven’t made up my mind on) I really wish I could go into what I mean, but it would probably spoil the series.

Game-wise, I’m still playing Elden Ring to prepare for the DLC. Not enjoying it very much. I think both because I overplayed it when it released (I platinumed it on PS5 and got all steam achievements) and I’ve been used to Lies of P combat (which is much quicker paced and relies on parrying) I just find myself feeling sluggish and getting hit by everything.

If I hadn’t already bought the DLC (albeit at a deal) I might be tempted to uninstall and give up on it. That’s how bad it is.

I’ve been considering looking at Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door on the Switch. I’ve also been considering giving Trails in the Sky another shot and Unicorn Overlord. Honestly, no shortage of games. Just not enough time to play them or to even sit down and figure out what I’m interested in playing x_x

I should probably wrap this post up soon and get back to reviewing my Japanese. I get to see my best friends this weekend, and I’m super hype for that.

Week 5

The mosquitos here are terrible. I kill about 20 a day, and I’ve been killing them for the past week+. I had bought an electric swatter off Amazon, although that can only do so much. I’m hoping that we’ll be over the worst of it soon. Not fond of getting eaten alive night and day.

Japanese has been my prime focus this week. Let me walk you through what I typically do for it.

First thing I do is Wanikani reviews. The way Wanikani works is that every level you learn a certain number of radicals (the parts that make up the kanji), kanji, and vocab. When you manage to successfully recall enough of the radicals and kanji enough times (usually takes around a week of reviews) you get enough to unlock a new level.

Previously I had gotten to the max level (level 60) at least once, but I didn’t feel confident about my retainment of the information. Thus last year I reset myself at level one to start the journey again. Right now I’m currently about half-way through (level 30) and should level up later today.

That’s not all though. Next I open up Anki, which is an electronic flashcard app that schedules things based on your ability to recall them. In Anki I have an unofficial Wanikani deck that I’ve been using to study things ahead (because the rate of unlocking new stuff on Wanikani is slow) Through that, I’ve been doing 400 new items a day (radicals, kanji, vocab) and my reviews daily is between 800 and 1000 items.

Usually it takes me from when I get up to about 2-3 in the afternoon. Then I tend to load up whatever Japanese VN I’m reading to try and get through some of that. Most recently I finished a pretty bad one named Korehano (it was a mess) and I’ve started up one I had already started previously called Sakura Moyu.

The amount I read varies, but I’d say I’ve been averaging at least 500 lines. I’d usually do this until 5-6 in the evening assuming there aren’t any distractions.

I’m actually looking to do more, if you can believe it. It’s hard to put into words, but you know when Goku turned Super Saiyan for the first time? I feel like I’m on the cusp of reaching that kind of plateau as of late, and I’m looking for whatever training that finally lets me reach it.

I could be wrong and maybe I’m being a little impatient. I really want to reach a level where I can more naturally just pick up Japanese and not have to worry about looking up much. Some days I feel incredibly close to that, while others I feel like it’s more far off than ever. It’s quite the inner turmoil.

Though speaking of feeling close to it, I had an experience last night that made me feel like that. I decided to turn on the anime channel on Pluto TV (basically free internet TV) for shits and giggles. They were playing Inuyasha, although for the first time it was the Japanese version rather than the English dub version. I noticed that not only was I recognizing what was said more often, but that I was also able to read the Japanese subtitles of the ending song (which is still a banger by the way)

It’s little moments like that happening more and more frequently that make me feel like I’m about to reach a new level. Of course, I don’t expect it to be the final one for fluency, and I entirely expect another huge mountain to climb once I’m over this bump. However, that doesn’t make me want it any less.

One thing I’d like to do in Japanese actually is read some light novels. Initially I wanted to do both light novels and manga, but after getting annoyed with font-sizes in manga, I decided mostly to stick with light novels. The big issue is that I don’t have a handy tool to look up things like I do with visual novels (at least not if I want to read them away from my PC) Thus I find myself struggling a lot more than I’d like (I remember trying to read Re:Zero and spending like half an hour on the first couple pages)

I’d also like to start a game in Japanese. This should theoretically be pretty simple now that I’ve got a subscription to an OCR (onscreen character recognition) program, the issue here is finding the time for it. You might think it’s because of the stuff I just mentioned, but actually I’m doing a lot of other non Japanese stuff that takes time too.

Like speaking of light novels, I’ve actually started to read the light novel for Mushoku Tensei. I actually bought the entire series (don’t worry, I can handle it) I was surprised at how beefy these novels were despite being referred to as “light novels” While you could still very much read one a day, I would argue that they’re pretty substantial.

It’s hard to overstate my love of this series. I previously had only watched the first 12 or so episodes of the first season a couple years ago, and while I enjoyed them, it didn’t hook me enough to immediately pick it up again when it came back with the second half of season one. Upon rewatching those initial 12 plus the second half of the season, however, it consumed my entire being.

It’s not just that the second half of season 1 is crazy good, but I had honestly forgotten how good the first half was. I guess I must have just gotten tired of waiting for the second half and forgot. Either way, despite there being another part season (season 2 part 1) and a currently airing season (season 2 part 2), I find myself wanting to read the light novel before I watch them (that way I don’t ever let this series fly under my radar again)

Other stuff I’m watching/impressions:

Fallout: Finished watching Amazon’s fallout. I definitely enjoyed it, but I also am kind of annoyed at having to wait for a new season. Reminds me of why I’m reluctant to watch things like The Boys, Invincible season 2, the Mandolorian etc. I just don’t want to be in another situation like I am still waiting for the last part of Stranger Things (which I’ll say has fallen off, but I still want to see it end)

Gundam 079: I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I actually regret watching the compilation movies for this back when. I feel like while it may give a good overview, the fact that I remember practically nothing about them all these years later show how poor compilation movies are at actually investing you in a series.

While I’m no Gundam afficionado, I do think if people have a desire to get into it, that the original series is the way to probably start. You might be tempted by the movies as it’s quicker, but I feel like if time is a concern, Gundam probably isn’t the best thing to get into (given how many series run for 50 episodes)

.hack//sign: This one is a blast from the past. No joke, I somehow forgot this series existed until I heard a streamer friend of mine talking about his love of .hack on stream. Upon hearing that, it reminded me that I had never properly seen the series and I decided right then and there to try and get into .hack stuff.

It very much makes me think Sword Art Online met Serial Experiments Lain. Okay maybe not that fucked up, but it’s quite a different series. I’m amazed people even watched it on Cartoon Network for how much talking and general seriousness there is in it.

I’m also watching it in Japanese for the first time. While I do have a lot of nostalgia for the dub, I’m a bit concerned about potentially missing important stuff.

It’s thus far been pretty good

86: I think I might have mentioned this before, but I haven’t made huge progress on this series. The premise is there’s this utopian society of racist white haired people that are fighting a war with “unmanned drones” except the drones are people. The main character is one of the white haired people who serves as a remote commander to one of these forces. The thing is she claims to see the people fighting as real people

The big issue is that in the three episodes I watched, the main character is far away from the rest of the cast. While it makes sense in the setting they have, I’m having trouble feeling interested in the “naive girl gets a dose of reality” dynamic they’re pushing thus far. I don’t know, I still hear good things about it and want to see it, but I’m having trouble wanting to load up an episode..

With video games, I’ve started a new game in order to prepare for the Elden Ring DLC. My only other save is a new game ++, and I’ll be fucked if I’m going to start the DLC on the higher difficulty. Thus far, I’ve made a character named Eris (after Mushoku Tensei, although she only bears a 10% resemblance) and beat Margot (I started as a wretch, so a lot of the game has been spent getting me to non-wretch status thus far)

I guess the DLC requirements are to beat Mohg and Radahn. Thus I’ve got plenty of time. Which is good considering how much I’ve forgotten about how to play the game (seems like every other time I’ve used an estus flask when I meant to call torrent)


Summer games fest comes up this weekend. I wonder if I’ll see anything interesting. Though only having a PC and a hacked switch, there might not be much to really look forward to for me. We’ll see though

That’s about all I got for this week. I got to get back to these reviews I’m doing

Week 4

Lately, I’ve been focusing a lot more on my Japanese. I actually spent most of this past week, including memorial day, going through an Anki deck based on Wanikani. Ended up putting at least 5-8 hours every day in reviews, to where I can somewhat confidently say I know half of Wanikani’s content fairly well. I’m hoping by the end of June to know all of it (perhaps even earlier if I push myself)

Once I work through Wanikani’s words content, I plan on switching over to the core deck again. I’m hoping I can get an Anki extension working to take out all the stuff I know from Wanikani. Though if that doesn’t work, I might just suspend cards I know until I find newer stuff.

I also want to start practicing handwriting the kanji characters. My logic is that it will help better at recognizing the individual radicals in each character. Though I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that wants to do it just because it would feel cool to have a notebook filled with kanji I can show people and be like “Look at the Japanese I studied”

I’m still trying to decide if I should focus on reading a VN, play a game, or read a light novel to work on my immersion. Part of me wants to do all three, but there’s obviously time constraints along with what I can focus on. Hopefully after this post I’ll have something figure out.

In regards to my mission to stay away from social media, it’s been about the same as week 3. I find myself watching some more YT or browsing more Reddit than I probably should. I even ended up making the mistake of engaging on YT. Not good, but also not that bad either considering I’m still accomplishing things.

Ditto to my mission not to buy things. I haven’t been doing a great job with that. While not entirely frivolous, it still feels like I’m out of control anytime I need to load up Amazon for something. That is, when I order one thing I start thinking about all the other things I could use and that often gets me ordering stuff I might not need right away.

Like last night I was on to buy a lighting solution for my room (basically needed something that wasn’t as bulky and in the way as my floor lamp to keep the room lit) Which got me buying supplements for my stomach and then buying a new monitor to replace the one that broke (My current ones are okay, although I’ve been having one of them glitch out somewhat often)

It’s better than a ton of anime crap that I just pile up in my room, but it still feels like I lack control. Going to have to watch myself a bit. Though speaking of anime crap, I also bought more of that too. I ended up buying some Tales of Symphonia plushies because I saw they were finally making plushies of Sheena and Raine (my two waifus from that game) I also ordered Collette and Presea… Yeesh. Yeah, I need to stay away from sites that I know will probably tempt me

I do want to acknowledge that I have made efforts though. I’ve been taking better care of myself than I have in years and I’m working on trying to improve myself through my Japanese efforts. I’ve been acquiring various life skills along the way as well. I just have to remember not to get complacent and keep working on things.

Far as other matters go, I beat Eiyuden Chronicles. If you want my impressions please see the previous post. Not sure what I’ll play next, but it might Elden Ring in order to prepare for the upcoming DLC that’s coming out next month.

Anime I’m still chugging through Gundam 079 and Mushoku Tensei season 1 part 2. I have to say Mushoku has really caught my interest now that I’m finally watching episodes I haven’t seen before. I think it has potential to be my favorite isekai and maybe even one of my favorite anime series. Gundam is not bad, although I’m starting to get annoyed by the next episode previews spoiling stuff (I’ll probably stop watching those)

I’ve also been watching 86 whenever I use my exercise bike. Not much to really say about it. I’m not even sure if I like it.

Well that’s about all I got to say for this week.

Eiyuden Chronicles review

Let me start with the conclusion: Eiyuden Chronicles is a game you can tell had a lot of heart put into it. You can tell the creators had passion and had a vision. That alone however can’t overshadow its numerous faults, and sadly at the end of the day, it fails to live up to its potential promise. While not a totally irredeemable game, it’s very hard to recommend to anyone but maybe the people desperate for the tiniest glimpse of a new Suikoden game (although even that is stretching things)

I first played Suikoden II back in 9th grade. An online friend that I felt close to at the time said Suikoden was her favorite RPG series, and I was eager for things I could talk to her about. I got Suikoden II because it was the rarest and most expensive of the two (even back then) Though I should mention that in those days “expensive” was a used copy going for close to 70 bucks (now you’d be lucky to find a good complete condition for less than 200)

I ended up enjoying the game so much that I immediately played it back to back for a total of three times. Then I wound up getting the first Suikoden and after playing through that, played through II for a 4th time. Pretty crazy to think about these days, but I was also a kid with a lot of free time and no real life friends at that time.

From there on, I followed the Suikoden series religiously from 3 all the way to it’s final entry 5. Though I didn’t end up finishing 4 (due to how poorly done it was) until this past year, it’s still remained my favorite JRPG series to this date. My ranking goes something like 2=5 > 1 > 3 >>> 4.

I’ve always hoped Konami would bring back Suikoden. I remember buying the shitty DS game, despite it not being related, hoping that it would somehow convince them there was still a market for the series. However, Konami, as most know, went through a period where they essentially said “Fuck videogames, we’re focusing on pachinko now” Thus as the years went by, that hope grew more and more distant.

Then one day I see the original creator of Suikoden has formed his own studio, Rabbit and Bear, and was looking to make a new game. One that looked an awful lot like Suikoden in concept. This news came by way of a Kickstarter for this game which was called Eiyuden Chronicles.

I know of many Suikoden fans who jumped on funding the campaign. Unfortunately for me, as excited as I was, I was also wary. My experiences with Kickstarters then was not great due to several games that had turned out not so great and a few visual novels that had not even delivered (funnily enough they still haven’t delivered) I struggled between supporting it and not, but at the point when the higher tiers had all been bought up, I decided I would just pay for the game when it came out (it had no problem smashing it’s stretch goals without me after all)

Close to release, I heard plenty of people who had gotten their hands on the demo singing praises about it being the true successor to Suikoden. I was excited, but at the same time still fairly skeptical. It didn’t help that I had recently been disappointed by another Kickstarter game, Sea of Stars, or that I felt disillusioned by hype Twitter which had burned me over several games since (Final Fantasy XVI comes to mind) Still I pre-purchased it on Steam (as I was going to play it despite what anyone said) and waited for it to come out.

Before I get into what really let me down about the game, let me talk a bit about some of the positives.

A lot of the design is good. Music is good. If there’s anything that promotes the image of a new Suikoden game, they definitely nailed it with those. I also really appreciated the Japanese voice acting (this is not a budget cast by any means) Like I said at the start with my conclusion, you can tell the developers had their hearts in this

Now about where things go downhill.

The protagonist is often the most important character. In Suikoden, despite being silent (aside from choices you can make), they have strong connections with others. Despite being reluctant, the events they experience builds conviction in them. They all want to bring things back to the way they were, or at least to a point where people aren’t suffering.

Eiyuden’s protagonist Nowa isn’t silent, and while I wouldn’t count that as a bad thing on it’s own, it does come with it’s own downsides. Namely that a lot of your impressions of him come down to what he says rather than his actions or how other characters play off him. This makes his writing way more important than anyone else.

I, however, didn’t get a very strong impression of him until probably close to the end of the game. Even then it wasn’t as strong as I’d like. More of a “Okay I guess this is just how he is”

A big part of that is probably due to the game’s events. I don’t want to spoil anything specific, but if you’ll allow me a somewhat general spoiler, nothing in this game is quite on the level of the shit that happens in a typical Suikoden game. Because Nowa never really goes through shit, it’s hard to really understand his motivations for being how he is

There is one scene that comes towards the end of the game that tries to shed some light on it, but it’s a classic example of “too little too late” If it had happened earlier, maybe I could see them spinning something from that. However, the way they pulled it off felt more like putting a band-aid on a huge scar.

If that wasn’t bad enough, technically the game was sold as a game of three protagonists. Nowa, Seign, and Marisa. The problem is the other two get even less development than Nowa. While they do try to incorporate them into the story, the player never controls them for very significant portions and their development is similarly small (Marisa is the worst in that they barely give her anything)

This is a symptom of something that will come up again and again in this review: being too ambitious. Whether that was due to being a Kickstarter title or trying to to live up to being a new Suikoden, I can’t say for sure. What I will say is that maybe if they had another year to flesh out the story or had not tried to mimic Suikoden, that this might have been a much stronger game.

While the protagonists were lackluster, I actually don’t have many complaints about the rest of the supporting cast. I definitely would have liked to see them play more of a role, but none of them would feel out of place in Suikoden, and many were pretty entertaining.

I will say the villains were very underwhelming. It might have something to do with there not being anything on the scale of the things in Suikoden’s universe, or it might also have something to do with them not explaining their goals very well. Probably both, it all just feels lacking. I’m used to there being some intrigue with what’s going on with the antagonists, but in this game I felt like so little was offered that I stopped caring.

Characters aside, the plot is.. Not that interesting. You can tell a lot of it is trying to build up a new world to replace the one of Suikoden and it has a lot of the pieces, but rather than having them put together, they all kind of feel like they’re left on the table. Plenty gets teased, but nothing gets explored and it all just falls flat.

I remember reading somewhere that the first Suikoden game was made to give a setting and some background for the second one. I’m not sure how much that was really needed in retrospect, though if that’s true, I think it did help. Hearing now that this game apparently had plans for a sequel, I somewhat wonder if a lot of this stuff was planned for that.

I feel like if they had another year to develop it, they could have worked at strengthening the plot itself and fleshing out the world. If it turns out they made this to set up interest for a later game, then I would say they did a poor job. Not that I wouldn’t give a sequel another shot, but as a result of their efforts I have almost no interest in the world. Something they should have put a bit more effort into

While all that might sound pretty bad, I still think even with all that it’s an okay game. It’s the gameplay stuff, which I’ll go over now, that I think ultimately brings it down to being kind of a meh.

Full disclosure, I can’t comment much about how well they did with combat in terms of balancing. Apart from saying that the first couple of bosses and areas weren’t very enjoyable. Too many random encounters and difficulty felt skewed to where they took too long (Random battles should be snappy)

That alone is pretty bad, but when you add onto it the battles being really sluggish (They should have took a bit more inspiration from how Suikoden speeds up a lot of the battles) I couldn’t take it. I had to cheat to be able to push myself through most of this game.

I know some people don’t look positively at cheating, even in a single player game, and I will acknowledge it does make my criticisms on gameplay potentially hold less water. Though I’m going to try and mostly address issues that should be irrelevant to whether someone cheats.

Apart from the normal party battles, the game also tries to do army battles and duels like Suikoden. Unlike Suikoden though, they either don’t control as well (in the case of army battles) or are as satisfying (for duels) as Suikoden. They’re nicer looking (the duels especially have some flair) but neither offer the break in the normal random battles that the ones in Suikoden did.

I think it’s also because they went too ambitious with it. Like I said, they’re nicer looking, and it feels like they wanted to make them more complex than they were in Suikoden. However neither operates quite as satisfying as the older games.

Outside of combat, we come to the other main mechanic of Suikoden, recruitment and HQ building.

In Suikoden, your HQ develops as you recruit characters. Eiyuden seemed to want to evolve this by changing it so that in addition to requisite characters you would also need to collect materials. An idea probably inspired by other resource management games.

In theory, it’s not a bad idea. In practice, it’s not really implemented very well. For most of the materials in the beginning you’ll be visiting one of two little dungeon areas near your castle to gather them. If that doesn’t sound very interesting, it’s because it’s not. Eventually you do unlock a way to send spare hero’s to collect them, but then you have to also contend with set space for resources.

Again, it’s another area where there was probably too much ambition. Though at least it’s not too annoying as other areas..

A real problem, however, is one that comes with the recruitment of certain characters.

In Suikoden, there can be some characters that are a little unfair. In Suikoden II, for example, if you spend too much time lollygagging you can miss one of the characters. In Suikoden IV there’s a mini-game that requires you learn a simplified version of Mahjong. However, these pale in comparison to a couple of characters in Eiyuden

The first character that gave me trouble was the one who you put in charge of fisheries (and is also responsible for upgrading your fishing ability) Arguably one of those essential characters that you’d think be pretty easy to get for the basic functions. Yet his recruitment requires you catch a certain fish that can only be caught at two spots.

The problem with that lies in Eiyuden’s fishing mechanics. You can only fish at a spot a limited number of times before it’s fished out. You’re then required to wait an amount of time for the fish to “respawn” This takes somewhere around 15 minutes if you’re not using a cheat or save scumming(which also takes time), and you can fish out a spot multiple times before you finally catch one.

It took me around 40 minutes to get one while keeping the fish respawn time low with cheats. While there’s been some that have been lucky to get it on the first cast, I’ve seen some posts about people spending several hours before they got the fish.

That’s unreasonable. I could maybe let it slide (somewhat) if this was for some broken character late in the game, but for someone that’s essential for your development of one of your castle’s basic facilities? Way too much.

The other thing that’s way too much is there are two characters locked behind late minigame progression. Previously there had been Suikoden games that have required beating a character in a minigame (the worse being the mahjong one from 4 that I mentioned) but most of them were a matter of saving right before and were accomplishable in a short period of time.

The two locked behind minigame progression require you to not only play the minigame once, but play them multiple times. The first being a “beyblade” style game where you have to go around challenging people and working your way past the “elite 4” The other being a cooking minigame that you need to complete like 10+ matches before you’re able to battle the character you recruit.

I cheated for these two. For the top one I just gave my top infinite health, and for the cooking one I set it so cooking battles could be done instantly and I would always win. I have no idea how difficult they would be without the cheats, but given that I was still forced to go through the motions, I can tell they most likely take a fair bit of time and energy. Way more than 99% of the characters in the game and way more than Suikoden ever required

Collecting characters is optional, technically, but like Suikoden Eiyuden requires you to collect all of them to get the “best” version of the story. Thus for people looking for the optimal story don’t really have an option to skip them

Another, somewhat dirty, thing the game does, in regards to character recruitment, is for the final 2 characters you have a VERY small window in which to recruit them. There’s literally a scene, and then if you don’t choose that moment you can control to teleport to where they are (and instead go outside), you will get another scene and hit the point of no return.

I can’t remember if Suikoden was ever that bad, but it feels like while there were missable characters, the window to get them was never as small as the 10 seconds of control you get between scenes.


The final thing I have to say about Eiyuden is its localization is not that great.

I’m not one of those “chuds” who can’t stomach some things being localized. I understand changes are sometimes necessary. However, there are things that still end up bothering me when it comes to the practices some localizers use.

Number one is when localizers change names for no reason. This is one of my major complaints with Xenoblade 2. While this doesn’t happen a lot in Eiyuden, it does happen a couple times (Like changing the last name of “Perry” from Grim to Grum”)

Number two is when they change something and it no longer fits the tone the creator was probably going for. For Eiyuden, this happens quite a bit with the language taking on a pretty “childish” tone. The worst offender being when one of the adult characters calls this other guy a “farthead”

Number three is when they change something and it’s inconsistent. There’s a scene where one of the characters says “She’s like a sister to me” in English when in Japanese the character says “she’s my cute little sister” Later the MC asks the girl “Is he really your brother?” in English which given what was said before in English doesn’t make sense for them to be asking.

Like I said, I’m not someone who can’t stomach changes. Nor am I someone who thinks the localization is a disaster that ruined an otherwise great game (honestly the other things I mentioned bring it down more) However, I can’t pretend that it didn’t bother me or that it couldn’t be better.

I’ve already offered my conclusion at the start. Rather than restating that, I’d like to just say what I think might have made the game better. IN MY OPINION.

Firstly, I think trying to make a new Suikoden game/series was a bit too ambitious. Especially when you have to create a whole new universe for it. I think this game focused too much on putting everything Suikoden had and trying to one up it (ie: too much ambition) rather than starting with something much more modest but refined.

Suikoden didn’t have multiple protagonists until the third game. By then the world had been sufficiently built up from previous games. You also constantly switched off between them as they were all dealing with their own stuff. I’d say if you have to have three protagonists, you should give them more, and if you can’t you should probably stick to focusing on one until you’ve built up a more established series.

Combat should be fast if you’re going to maintain the 6 character party system. It’s not really a hard problem to overcome. Just make it so multiple characters can act at the same time and that will save a lot of the time on its own. Also adjust the random encounters to happen less frequently

Screw resource management and limited inventories. Resource management can be fun, but there needs to be more structure put in place for it. Limited inventories weren’t ever a great mechanic and no one really finds them fun.

Those are just the main things off the top of my head. I did have more, but I’ve been writing this for several hours at this point. I’m starting to feel tired talking about it for one day. Maybe in the future if someone asks, I can try to go more in-depth on what specifically I’d change. For now though, I think this is good

Week 3

A few things to come clean with this week: I spent more money than I probably should’ve, I found myself on social media more (though I didn’t participate directly), and I’ve stopped writing in that notebook I showed in week 1. While I’m not thrilled with that regression, I’m not going to let it get to me and I’m going to try to rectify all that this next week.

What did I do this week?

On Sunday, I went on a trip with my brother down to Eau Claire. Despite having gone down only a week before, I had been wanting to go somewhere with him and among our options for a day-trip, Eau Claire was the best one. I comforted myself thinking I wouldn’t buy as much since I had already been down there once before.

We didn’t end up caring much for the mall, so we ended up over at Books-a-Million shortly after. I was almost prepared to get a lot of manga, but upon seeing a lot of the retail prices I ended up putting 90% of the stuff back (go me!) Plus I tried to keep in mind that I had just recently gut my entire manga collection in favor of digital. I still ended up with a copy of Initial D Omnibus 1, some discounted Light Novel, a cheap POP keychain of Toga from MHA, and 3 Chainsaw Man blind gacha things.

Side note about BAM: There was a woman with about 10 kids that came into the store while we were both looking at manga. The kids were hellions. She apparently told them they could get two things and there’d be one or two of them that would throw some pretty bad temper tantrums. Though the worst of it is one kid who kept playing with this toy that constantly said the same phrase (Something like “Can you say that again?”) They had it say that, and I exaggerate not, like 100ish times.

After BAM, we strolled over to Gaming Generations. I initially did not expect to get anything here as I was about to have no consoles after this trip (more on that later) but I didn’t account for them to have giant Sailor Moon plushies. They had two in fact, one of Venus and one of Neptune. I looked them up online and they apparently were going for 40 something, while at GG they were only 27. I decided to grab Venus because she’s one of my favorites (incidentally favorites are Mars, Pluto, Venus and Moon) I would have gotten Neptune if she looked a little nicer (though I also didn’t want to get her without Uranus there) or if I wasn’t already planning somewhere in my head to get some of the others online later >_>

After that, my brother wanted to visit some card shops. He’s pretty into both the Pokemon TCG and the One Piece one. I don’t know if he plays it much online (he certainly doesn’t play it at home) or if he simply just enjoys collecting (I’m thinking it’s more of the later) I ended up taking him to two places: Legendary D20 gaming and Undercity games. Both of which were in these really tucked away corners of Eau Claire (not hard to get to driving wise, but the buildings they were in were more complex than a simple store on the street) He didn’t find much at d20 but I guess he managed to find a few singles at Undercity (which made me happy because up to then he hadn’t been getting much and I wanted the trip to feel worth it to him)

That was the extent of our trip about Eau Claire. The driving was good and the trip was pretty good apart from that family in BAM. Though that wasn’t the end of our road trip. On the way back, I ended up going into Gamestop in Rice Lake and trading in my PS5 along with my piddly Playstation collection. Got 200 of it put on Steam cards because that was all they were allowed to do. I had been told to come back tomorrow or that I could do it online. I wasn’t going to do the former (after such a big day trip) and I knew the online thing was bullshit because I’ve tried it before. Thus I’m going to have to wait until the next time I have to stop in Rice Lake (probably in July)

I toyed with getting a Switch Lite with the rest, but I couldn’t really justify it. I did, however, end up getting 3 more of the Chainsaw Man blind bag things that I got from BAM. My reasoning behind getting 3 at each location was that there was a third of the characters that I wanted and that if I had a multiple of three, I was guaranteed to get one (No I didn’t seriously think this, but I joked about it)

After Gamestop came a trip to the Wal-mart that was across the street. There I picked up a bluray set of Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and the two movie set of the Rescuers. I thought about getting more but I remembered that without my PS5, I was without a bluray player (I do have workarounds) Thus I held myself back (I also almost got an Initial D mousepad out of the novelty of it being there, but I managed to hold myself back)

When we returned home, I opened up my 6 Chainsaw Man figures and got: Kobeni, Power, Himeno, Makima, Pochita, and Meowy. Considering I only wanted girl characters and I didn’t get any repeats, I would say that I was really lucky. Too bad I wasn’t playing the lottery eh? 😛

I also immediately went online to try to track down some of the other Sailor Moon plushes. I ended up snagging one of Mars, Saturn, and Pluto. Pluto only because there was a good deal with her bundled with Saturn. I thought about Moon and some of the other main scouts, but at around 40 a piece, that would really add up. Something I might look into later.

Of course, I had to lookup a lot of the manga I wanted to buy at BAM on CR to see how much it was, and most of it was significantly cheaper there. I didn’t end up buying any, but unfortunately I did get a little caught up buying some Chainsaw Man figures that were on sale (I guess the blind bags really got me craving Chainsaw Man shit)

Thankfully, that was the end of my spending that day. Though I have had to stop myself from spending more (I swear once you visit those sites, you find yourself on them again and again) Going to TRY hard not to buy anything else (that’s not already planned) for at least the next month or so.

Speaking of almost buying stuff. I’ve been fluctuating between buying a new monitor since one of them broke when I was installing my new standing desk. Actually did I mention I bought myself a standing desk? I thought it might help some of my constipation issues (not being seated all day) and I needed a somewhat bigger desk. It’s really nice.

Anyway, one of my monitors suffered a minor dent. You can’t see it very easily if you examine it while it’s off, but when it’s on, it’s clear as day that’s its unusable. Fortunately, it is only my second monitor of my two monitor setup and I do have an older monitor that I’m using in the meantime. Though neither of those are as good as the one that broke (either the color is not as good or the refresh rate is meh)

Might still keep an ear out for a good deal for one in the future. While I mostly play games that don’t require much, I did notice some screen tearing trying to play Eiyuden Chronicles yesterday. I can circumvent it playing on my TV, but I don’t always want to be sitting in my bed when I’m playing games. We’ll see.

Speaking of Eiyuden, as of yesterday I’ve played a good chunk. My overall impressions so far are mixed. On the one hand, the music and graphic styling is pretty reminiscent of Suikoden. On the other, it’s nowhere near as good as Suikoden with any of the mechanics. The game runs too sluggish in comparison to Suikoden’s snappy nature, and it’s slow to get into a real hook as far as the story goes.

I’m also not one to bitch about localization, as I understand that there needs to be changes to suit different audiences. However, the choices taken just don’t fit. One particular case that jumps out at me is when a character (an adult with a gruff Japanese voice) calls another adult a “farthead” I understand others were getting upset at stuff like “chud” but for me, I find this a much worse offender.

Since I didn’t mention it in my previous post, I did finish both Mob Psycho season 3 and Made in Abyss season 2. My ultimate verdict is that both were good, although I’d say I enjoyed Made in Abyss a lot more. Mob was comfy and heartwarming, but Made in Abyss just made me feel a lot more everything else.

Sad that Made in Abyss doesn’t have much more beyond that. I kind of wish it was an RPGMaker game instead of an anime/manga. Much as it probably wouldn’t share the same kind of popularity, it really gives me the vibe of some of the games I’ve played on there before. Not to mention that if it was a game, it probably be complete by now.

Since finishing those two, I started rewatching Mushoku Tensei and watching Gundam 0079. I chose to rewatch Mushoku as I hadn’t seen it since I saw the first 12 episodes when it came out and I wanted to go in with the plot fresh when I watched the stuff that had been released since. Gundam, I’ve been interested in watching all the various series, and despite watching the compilation movies of the first series, I found I retained nothing.

Gundam 0079 is actually a lot better than how I had it sold to me initially. I know it probably had to be pretty decent for becoming such an iconic show, but back when I watched the compilation movies, that’s what everyone was recommending. I guess because it made things easier/quicker to get into Gundam. However, I think in terms of developing characters, the original series is leagues better

I’m debating starting other series. Thinking about starting 86. Though it depends on where I find the time.

Planning on posting some pictures of my various setups next week. Stay tuned