It feels like I have unfortunate luck with therapy. The first therapist I ever felt like I connected with was when I went to school for a semester in Moorhead Minnesota. She was younger than a lot of my therapists had been at that point, and I felt like she could understand the issues I had a lot better. Unfortunately, she was only there as part of her own program to become licensed, and would not be sticking around after that semester (If she had, I might have reconsidered my decision to leave some)

When I started seeking counseling in Eau Claire, I ended up seeing this one guy, and despite my apprehensions of a male therapist, he showed me so much kindness and empathy that I couldn’t help developing a liking of the guy. The problem, however, was that he had MS to a serious degree, and often he would need to cancel appointments due to being in too much pain. I could and probably should have requested to see someone else, but it was hard for me to make that choice. Both because seeking therapy itself is a lot more work than people realize, but also because it felt way too awkward.

Then when I moved back home I got a referral to see someone locally. The woman I ended up with was nice, but I wouldn’t say that therapy with her was very effective. It was good for getting things off my chest and examining how hard I was on myself, but the solutions she offered often felt a bit too far out of my comfort zones. I don’t know. Maybe we could’ve gotten somewhere, but unfortunately due to COVID we had to stop. It wasn’t until many months later they reopened, but at that point I really wasn’t feeling it anymore.

Most recently, as I think I’ve discussed here, I’ve started therapy again. Initially it was partly to get an assessment to apply to a state program (a program I didn’t qualify for according to the “algorithm”) but I actually ended up continuing because it felt like I made some progress. The guy I was seeing, despite still being apprehensive about male therapists, seemed to have ideas more congruent with my own and what I knew about psychology (Keep in mind I studied psychology) I thought, if nothing else, it could maybe be a good thing to keep seeing him.

Today I was informed, rather offhandedly, that he was going to be leaving to form his own private practice. He seemed to think he had mentioned it before, and he mentioned he had told his employer a month in advance. Yet I only learned about it today. Apparently he’s going to be gone after next week, which means I have one more appointment with him.

This leaves me in a bit of a delicate situation. Essentially, there’s a total of four different options. Option 1 is I continue to see him at his new practice. Option 2 is I see someone else at the place he’s leaving. Option 3 is I seek out a different place. Option 4 is I stop therapy for the time being (either to be permanent or picked up later)

Option 1 wouldn’t be terrible, but I’m not sure if insurance would go for it. Much as I like the guy, I’m not really comfortable with the idea of paying for therapy. My finances aren’t really equipped for it either. At least not on a weekly basis like I’m doing now, and if I can’t do weekly, it doesn’t feel like it would have the same effect.

Option 2 and 3 is the crapshoot. Do I manage to get someone I like or do I end up in a situation like the one I did before COVID? Where I don’t dislike the therapist, but nothing ever seems to change? Do I feel comfortable with the idea of potentially spending a lot of sessions shopping around? Is that really a productive use of my time.

Option 4 might seem bad at first glance, and there are of course some negatives. Chief among them is I’d have to make sure what I’ve gained out of these past sessions doesn’t go to waste. I’d have to go it all alone rather than having someone to show me where I’m maybe not looking at an accurate picture of reality. That can be a lot for someone to burden themselves with while they’re on the road to better mental health.

That all being said, I am in a better state than I have been in the past. While I’m not going to pretend to be completely mentally healthy (something I don’t think anyone can claim), I can say that I do have a more accurate framework to work from than I have in the past. I feel like change can potentially happen now, whereas in the past it couldn’t. The only difference is now is whether I go it on my own or whether I feel the need still to have someone there with me.

Something that I’m 50/50 on right now. I probably wont make a decision until we have our final session next week. I’ll keep people updated when I know more.

That’s not all I wanted to talk about in this post. I’ve actually been wanting to make a post for a while about some things, but it’s been difficult for me to sit down and do so. Now that I’ve got something tangentially related, however, it seems like a good chance for me to talk about the current me.

If you’ve never been to therapy, or studied much psychology like I have, you probably don’t really understand a lot about what it is. Even if you support the idea of it (which I’d hope most reading my blog would) you might not fully get what happens or how it works. Let me demystify it a bit to give some context for stuff.

People who need mental therapy, in most cases, know something is wrong, but do not have the ability to get an accurate picture of it. Since they can’t get an accurate picture of what’s wrong, they fail to find solutions to those problems, and as a result tend to create even more problems. Up until the point where it gets so overwhelming that eventually something has to give. Often resulting in downward negative spirals.

A therapist isn’t really there to do anything other than to help you look at yourself more objectively. They can’t solve your problems. They can offer you ideas, just like any other person, and sometimes those ideas are good because they’re based on what they know of you. However, it’s nothing more than an idea. Their real benefit is for confirming things you know about yourself and for pointing out unproductive/unhealthy thinking that’s muddying your own capabilities to take action.

To put this in the context of me, one of my big problems is that I tended to deal in absolutes. Saying or thinking things like “always” or “never” whenever something triggers my anxiety. Like if I fail at doing something, I might think “This always happens” which doesn’t help for setting me up to try something again. It just creates this persona of defeatism.

I’ve been attempting to correct that lately by being more cognizant of the language I use. Simply from doing that, I’ve noticed a lot of spots where changing what I say has changed how I feel about a lot of things. I now feel like I’m getting a far more accurate scale of who I am than I’ve had thanks to being a little more open minded about things when it has to do with myself.

I am a highly sensitive person. This means I often feel emotions in higher capacity than others. Sometimes it has brought me at odds with other people, particularly when I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions and when I saw others not acting the same way. Often times it dictated how I dealt with situations, and brought me a lot of problems (particularly when I got in fights with others who I might also consider to be highly sensitive)

At the root of emotions is anxiety. An evolutionary adaptation meant to perceive and protect us from potential threats. An adaptation that largely fails in today’s modern world due to the threats being much different and largely unforseeable, and we now find a lot of people struggling to differentiate the real threats from things this old system perceives as threats.

It’s hard to control anxiety. You can’t control what will make you feel anxious. The only thing you control is how you process it. Do you let the anxiety kick up negative emotions for a fight or flight response, do you ignore it and face the potential danger? If it was always a conscious thing, it might be easier, but unfortunately sometimes you just have to default to how you’ve always handled it.

For me, I’ve never been able to deal with anxiety properly. At first it was because I wasn’t sure where it was coming from because I didn’t understand it was something biological I didn’t control. Then after some point, the only way I knew how to deal with it was to either avoid a situation entirely or explode (again dealing with absolutes)

I remember back when I was dating a girl online named Candace. The relationship, despite lasting only a week or so, destroyed me. Lots of emotions ran hot and while I wont feel bad for being so upset, I always felt bad about the way I handled it. Because I knew somewhere there was a better way I could have handled it if I didn’t let my anxiety go crazy, and now with hindsight I can agree that there was so much I could have done.

Some of my arguments with good friends (and some no longer friends) also relate to this. The emotions I felt were valid, but the anxiety of the time being handled poorly, made the expression of these emotions cause a lot of conflict. Conflict that either broke the relationships or put them so far off how I wanted them to ultimately be.

I guess, what I’m ultimately trying to say here is that I do understand my anxiety now. Not only do I understand it, but I can actually recognize it. I also know that I tend to feel emotions at a higher capacity and that sometimes I need to be a bit more mindful about the expression of those emotions. I’m more aware of how I shouldn’t let anxiety take control of those.

So what’s next?

For a while now, I’ve been sort of stuck. Thinking too much about the future and the past. Thinking too much about what I can do or can’t. Thinking too much. One of my biggest problems.

It’s a common saying that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, but like most sayings it’s not applicable to everything. Trying to think out every action I’ve done or think ahead about every action I’m going to do is pointless because nothing ever works out the same or in a specific way. You have to give up on this idea that thinking is going to give you an edge in future problems. You can only use it to work about present problems.

And sometimes you’re going to make the same mistakes over and over. Another common thing is parents saying they don’t want their kids to make the same mistakes they did, only for the kid to make the same mistakes. It’s not that they necessarily couldn’t have been avoided or that the parent failed, sometimes we just have to make mistakes and fail to see what’s truly important.

I’ve been making some decisions lately to change the situation I am in. I mentioned to a few people that I started selling a lot of stuff to pay off credit cards. This is partly true, but I’ve also been thinking I don’t need the amount of stuff I have. I’ve been thinking about how I have so much stuff I’ll never do, and I’ve decided that I need to stop putting things I’ll never get around to on my “to-do” lists.

As I get my card paid off, I’m trying hard to keep to a budget. It’s not tight, by any means, but I am trying to make sure I don’t fall into old habits. Despite wanting collectors edition of FF7 Rebirth, I’ve been trying really hard not to buy it (despite FOMO) I’ve also been keeping myself from buying other FF7 memorabilia (crap like a 60.00 steelbook for integrade) which keep popping in my head as I think about the game releasing at the end of the month (I’ve got the standard edition ordered with partial Gamestop credit)

I intend to finally start saving in earnest from here on out. Before I talked about saving, but I think one of the reasons I never did was that I didn’t have much of an idea what I was saving for. This time is different as I have two major expenses that I’m considering

The first is that I’m going to be needing a different car at some point. While mine still contains considerably low mileage and mostly still runs good, after driving it for a few years, I can’t help but feel I could use something a bit more tailored to me. Something with a bit more tech (like a backup camera) and something better for driving in the snowy conditions here. Not to mention something where I can reliably use the cigarette lighter for power or the battery could hold a charge. Would be nice

The next is that I’m planning to go to Japan. I’m not sure exactly when or under what circumstances, but I’m adamant that I need to at least go once in my life. If I do go, I’d also rather it be as soon as possible rather than be something I say “someday” to (Like what I originally planned on doing with some friends of mine before we started drifting a bit)

Treating those both as inevitabilities, now the purchases of things I might want become a lot easier to ignore. Obviously there’s still going to be things that have me forking over my money (like I recently bought an Omori figure and will be buying some certain nendoroids over the next few months) but I’m thinking they’ll be much more meaningful purchases than the past.

I’ll be living with my parents a bit longer, but I have no intention of sitting completely still. While I can’t say I have any concrete plans to move anywhere at this time, I do think I might go to an anime convention or two. My intentions being less focused on visiting the vendor halls, like most of my previous conventions, but possibly volunteering and maybe trying to experience one in a less antisocial capacity.

The specifics of that are still up in the air though as it depends on several factors (like whether certain conventions will still require masks or not since I can’t stand masks) Even if it falls through though, I’d like to get out more.

Potentially, I’d like to start dating. If I could find someone that aligns with me on enough stuff. However, most of that is dependent on a lot of things I can’t necessarily control. Though I do think I am actually in a place where I’m ready and not simply searching for the exact copy of what Candace was to me anymore.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ve been writing this over a couple hours now, and I don’t think I can keep myself from playing Infinite Wealth any longer. I’ll keep you all updated on anything BIG, but other than that you might not see much from me for a while. Not making any promises. Just saying

A couple months ago I was contacted by a woman from my HMO whose job it was to make people aware of the mental health resources that were available and then connect people to them. I don’t remember how the conversation went, but it generally ended up with her mentioning that the state had a program that might be able to help me with all kinds of things. She told me that she would get a hold of them and have them contact me.

It took a while for her to get a hold of them and to get them to contact me. By a while, I mean it was over a week, closer to two weeks even. When I finally got a hold of someone they set up an appointment shortly after, and I thought the ball was finally moving. Until I got to the appointment and found out in order to even be able to apply for the program (what they call the functional screening) I had to be evaluated by one of their certified mental health professionals and have their medical person sign off on the process.

I ended up making an appointment with their approved counselor a week or two later, but unfortunately the woman for the state who was handling this couldn’t get a hold of the person on their end that needed to sign for it. This went on for several weeks until they finally said that it wasn’t likely they’d be able to get a signature and asked if my primary care physician could sign it.

I said okay, but at the time I felt a bit perplexed as to why we didn’t do that in the first place. This all led up to the day I would go in to do my functional screening, which despite the impressive name, was nothing more than the woman who worked for the state entering in a bunch of info based on questions she asked me. All of which would be run through an algorithm and a decision would be made in 7 seconds (as she told me)

Not to keep anyone in suspense, but the algorithm determined I was ineligible. I left feeling pretty bummed. Despite not putting a lot of stock in it initially, the amount of waiting and hoops I needed to jump through had put in an expectation. Maybe I thought they could do something, or maybe it was just because it felt like I was finally doing something. In either case, I was not in a good spot that day.

I have all matter of opinions on why I think I was rejected. Mainly that I think their algorithm is a crock of shit that’s probably looking for the least amount of people to help that it can, because this is a state funded program and we know what state republicans probably think of that. No handouts.

It didn’t take me very long to get over it. In truth, I wasn’t sure what it could do for me. I was just doing it out of hope that it could offer something that could get my life moving forward. Something that it might have actually did by sheer accident of getting me to seek counseling again.

I’ve had close to half a dozen sessions and compared to the therapy I’ve had throughout life, they’ve been the most effective to date. Though that could just be an effect of where I am now versus where I was when I had therapy in the past. I do acknowledge that a lot of things have changed both because of therapy I’ve had and experiences.

Going to keep sticking with it and see where things go. There’s a couple of things I want to share about in regards to my sessions, but I’m going to hold off until I feel like I can be a bit more coherent with what I want to say. I don’t feel like it will be long though before I do share. Just wanted to let people know what I’ve been up to

Media round-up December 2023

I love sharing what I do and what I think about the things I do. However, I’ve come to realize that I’m not really cut out for essay-length posts on those things. Too much work. Thus, I’ve come up with what I’d like to dub “media round-up” posts.

The way it works is every month I write up about the media I was consuming the previous month. From music to games to anime to books, anything and everything goes. That includes things I don’t finish or things I start as well (unless I want to keep them a surprise) The contents will range from a paragraph to many depending on what I want to say, and all spoilers will be hidden behind a spoiler tag. Though I wont be spoiling anything for this first post.


Fate CCC – The fan translation which feels like it took eons is finally out. I’ve started playing this on my hacked PSVita. Not very far into it, but my impressions thus far are that the gameplay isn’t very fun and the story is nothing close to what Japanese readers used to claim was kamige. There’s of course still room for it to improve, but I’ve pretty much checked out on the gameplay and decided to cheat through it instead.

No clue on when I’ll finish it. Low priority right now

Baldurs Gate III – This won game of the year at several different game award shows, and while I recognized it was a smash hit based on the number of people I saw playing it, I didn’t quite understand at the time why it was. Now that I’ve started playing it though, I’ve started to understand.

It took me a little bit though. At first I was just content to check it out via a copy of my brothers game (DRM free), and in the early stages I had trouble getting used to the various systems. Over time though I got better at the gameplay and I noticed my game was having a ton of issues that had been patched out. I then decided to get the game on Steam so I could get updates and ever since then I’ve been playing a lot.

Currently I’m still on act 1 or part 1 or whatever it’s referred to as. Despite playing a morally ambiguous campaign, I’m surprised at how much I’ve been inclined to pick the good options. Maybe it’s because I’m too worried about Shadowhearts affection (which at first seemed like it was more neutral but now seems to favor more goodhearted acts)

My party is my OC (rogue), Shadowheart, Astarion, and the gith character. I wasn’t a huge fan of the gith woman (which might explain why I can’t remember her name) The first time I started playing I even rejected her “desire” to join me. However, I found myself needing a fighter/meat shield somewhat badly through my first campaign and thus recruited her my second time (I deleted my first campaign because of that and other poor decisions) Now she’s kind of growing on me a bit.

Right now I would say my biggest complaint is loading is kind of bad. I know it’s probably an effect of me save scumming, and I wouldn’t do it so much if it weren’t for the terrible rolls I seem to get constantly (Like a success rating of 10 and constantly getting single digit numbers multiple times) Maybe when I play through it again (and yes I can forsee myself doing multiple playthroughs at this early stage), I’ll try a game where I just roll with everything. Though for now I’m having plenty of fun doing things this way

Yosuga no sora – My last VN of 2023. Initially, I had been waiting for the English fan translation of this like Fate/CCC. Unlike Fate/CCC it was taking a much longer time, and at this point I had both the ability and tools to read it. I decided to go for it, and I’m happy that I did (for the most part)

I like stories that are set in the rural Japanese country. I think because it makes the relationships between characters feel a lot more intimate. Whether it is or not, I couldn’t say. Though I feel like the same thing also happens in real life too. Smaller communities are just more interesting.

Of course, if you Google Yosuga no Sora, you’re most likely going to see things about the anime and the incest in it. While I haven’t watched the anime, I feel like the amount of talk about the incest does the title an incredible disservice because that’s only one of the five routes, and while it does come at the end (where a true route typically would) it’s not necessarily a longer or more fleshed out route than the others (making me consider it less as the definitive story and more as just the last route I played) Though I guess technically her name is part of the title (Sora) So maybe they meant it to be, but again I don’t really see it as anything special

The other routes are pretty decent to good. The best, which I unintentionally started first, is definitely Akira to me. The worst depends on whether you’re talking about the character or the substance of the route. The worst character was definitely Nao for me, but the worst substance was probably Kazuha’s route.

I’d really like to post the full OST for the game because I found it to be quite good. Sadly I can’t seem to find any music from it aside from the title music or music used in the anime (which is entirely different)


Attack on Titan – Initially I watched the first season 10+ years ago. My first impressions of it were, to boil it down into simplistic terms, Eren sucked and Mikasa was a waifu. There were other thoughts, I’m sure, but I didn’t write any of them down for reference and I don’t really remember them. Apart from some vague things like the memes and general feelings.

The long wait for season two paired with the huge popularity kept me away from Attack on Titan for several years. I don’t like admitting it, but for a while there, I viewed Attack on Titan as a “normie” anime and didn’t want to associate with it. The reasons why are stupid, and maybe some other time I can talk more about my anime elitism phase. However, what’s important is that I’m no longer that way. I haven’t been that way for at least 6-7 of those 10 years since the original.

Since I didn’t watch the second season, I couldn’t watch the third when it came out. At this point I just decided I wasn’t interested in watching it until I could just watch everything. Something I had no idea would take as long as it had at the time. Though now I see that it’s only natural to expect long good things to take a long time (partly why I’ve wanted to get back into manga more than anime)

Anyway I liked Mikasa my first time, but on the rewatch of season 1 I actually came to dislike her character (a dislike that stayed for most of the series) I initially was attracted to how strong and cool she was, but I now realized that she was pretty much dependent on Eren (who I still didn’t like, but I came to appreciate parts of his character later) She wasn’t the strong female I admired.

I actually ended up liking Annie and Sasha more. Which I find funny in retrospect since Sasha at first is more of a meme character and Annie.. Well I said I wasn’t going to get into spoilers, but lets just say she doesn’t get nearly the screentime Mikasa does. Yet Annie feels like a much stronger character overall.

I also liked the series overall. I do think there were parts where they dragged things out a bit much, and I do think there were characters (apart from just Mikasa) that could’ve used more dimension and development. I also think the way the author chose to have the characters resolve everything to not be the most interesting concept wise, but I guess they were probably going for what would be the flashiest most Hollywood-esque kind of conclusion.

RahXephon – If you were part of the anime community back in the late 2000s, you might have heard of this series being mentioned alongside things like Evangelion. That’s how I heard of it. Since then I’ve always meant to watch it because while I still don’t understand Evangelion, I still really enjoyed it.

In an explanation video I watched afterwards, I heard someone say that RahXephon is less like Evangelion and more like Revolutionary Girl Utena. I haven’t seen Utena, so I can’t really verify that claim, but I can somewhat agree that the Evangelion comparison is less apt. Though I’d be hard-pressed to really explain it.

The series is really confusing, and it is the type of show you need to give your full attention to, which explains why it took me so long to completely watch through it. The other two times I remember starting it and feeling too confused to want to continue. This time I stuck through the confusion.

I can’t say that if you watch and stick with it that the series will explain everything. I can’t promise the series will even give you everything you need to figure things out. Afterall, like I said a couple paragraphs ago, I had to watch an explanation video about it. Only when I did that did most of the stuff click, and I say most of the stuff because I’m positive there were some things I probably still didn’t get (But at that point I didn’t care)

I liked it though. I think what it does really well is the moments of tension between characters. I have not seen many works that can capture those moments half as well as RahXephon does. It’s like the saying about the tension being so thick you can cut it with a knife. Except you can actually see it.

The answers were also pretty interesting. I wont say that it’s mindblowing. Just interesting. Not a bad anime at all.

Oh and the OP is great. Though it might not be something that immediately catches everyone. I didn’t find it special until about the 3 or 4 episode.

Eureka Seven (rewatch) – Eureka Seven, when I first watched it via Adult Swim in the late 2000s, became quite possibly my favorite anime. That assessment though was based mostly on the adrenaline of seeing it weekly and the special editions of the DVDs I used to buy (Which came with a lot of cool stuff like the OST and T-shirts) Upon rewatching it in the past, I’ve come to lower my assessment somewhat.

It’s still good of course, but even this third time rewatching has been less exciting. Even watching it with Japanese audio for the first time hasn’t been novel enough to make it feel any fresher than the last time I watched it. I’ve come to think that maybe this series isn’t really meant to be watched multiple times.

I think something that illustrates this is that despite starting RahXephon at the halfway point of Eureka Seven, I ended up watching more RahXephon towards the end of 2023 (funnily enough, they’re both from the same studio) Eureka Seven I had three episodes I could of easily finished before the new year started. In fact I planned to do just that. Except I just found myself wanting to do something else instead. I’ll still finish it, but I don’t know. Unless I watch it again to show someone else, I think I might just leave it as a “good anime” rather than “the GOAT” like it was

The OST still is the GOAT though.


Bakemonogatari – I think I might have mentioned this somewhere before, but I’ve been reading Bakemonogatari in English. I’ve actually owned all the Monogatari light novels for a while now, and I’ve wanted to see what made it such a hit with a lot of anime fans.

I’m mixed on it. I don’t mind reading it, and I do find some of it interesting. However, I find it lacking in a big hook. Right now it’s just seems to be Araragi (the MC) helping girls solve issues with unusual creatures/gods/demons. While that’s interesting in itself, most of the cases have been easily resolved and it feels more like a monster of the week type formula story.

I assume that it’s setting up things and it’s just being slow getting everything in place. The cases, while mostly resolved without much fuss, aren’t just forgotten about as the story progresses (the characters in them are so far continually showing up) Thus is why I assume it’s setting up for something more. Hopefully something I can get emotionally invested in.

Enders Shadow – Technically I’m listening to the audiobook and technically I’ve already read it before. Right now I’ve started listening to it again because I’ve been trying a new sleeping position and wanted an audiobook to listen to. Ended up getting a free trial of Audible again for it’s free audiobook and chose Enders Shadow because I was having a hard time finding something (Plus I assumed it would be better to fall asleep to something I’ve already read than something I was interested in reading)


I don’t know how often I’ll have something to put in this section as I don’t seek out new music much. However every so often I’ll listen to mixes of music that YT gives me and find new artists and songs (primarily all Japanese music) When that happens, I’ll try to make note of them and share them in here (as well as maybe including them with regular blog posts)

I’m not sure whether I discovered all of these this year or last. I felt like I had discovered Sakanaction this year, but I saw on Discord I had posted videos back in 2022. Though for a section like this it doesn’t really matter. It’s more about sharing songs I think are cool.

I’ll also share them on normal blog posts as usual, but for these I’ll try to give a few with some impressions (though I’m not someone that can express music well)

I had difficulty choosing between this and another Vaundy song I really like. I chose this one for this month. Next month I’ll post the other

This is the only song from Cody Lee that I’ve heard. I think I might have tried listening to some others, but none of them gave the same kind of feelings this one does.

It’s actually really hard to pick one Chilli Beans song because they’re all really good. I’m actually kind of happy I discovered them when they were still kind of new and before they ended up doing a One Piece ending song (which is how a lot of other people got introduced) It might sound kind of hipster, but yeah I liked them before they were popular. I chose this one just because I find it the most universally appealing (though I’m not sure if it’s my favorite or not)

I am still working on the site’s layout somewhat. It’s not an every day kind of thing at the moment, but more of a when I feel like it kind of thing. Thus you might see me finish it tomorrow, or you might see it a month from now. Hard to say.

Not that I really think many, if any, are really following that. The real reason I write about these things is more for my benefit. It makes me feel like I’m doing something and it makes it feel important by making it seem like I’m doing it for someone other than myself. Even if doing it for oneself should be all one needs.

Attack on Titan post is in limbo. I did finish the series and I did like it overall. I feel conflicted, however, about the style of post I want to write about it. Part of me wants to write out something you’d see a professional reviewer try to do. The kind of thing you’d see in those 1h+ video essays on YT. Whereas the other part of me just wants to dump a bunch of my chaotic thoughts and call it a day.

It’s a common struggle I face with making posts on here. Nine times out of ten I end up not posting, and the one out of ten times I do, it feels more like a Frankenstein fusion between the two. That is I’ll start out posts intending to do something deep, because I do ultimately care about what I’m posting, but then I’ll end up feeling frustrated part way through and make the decision to dump the rest of my thoughts and pull out.

I think a lot about what I’m writing these posts for in the first place. Do I want to be a media reviewer? No, I don’t think so. I think what I want is to convey my feelings for pieces of media in a way that people can easily digest and understand. Without feeling like I’m being too basic.

That’s I guess my biggest worry. If I write something on here and I don’t write the most persuasive in-depth paragraphs, are people going to assume I’m someone that turns their brain off whenever they consume media? Are they going to accept my opinions on things as legit opinions?

It’s the wrong way to approach it, I know. Worrying about other people is a sure-fire way for failure. You can’t know what people think and you can’t control it either. I shouldn’t pay heed and press on. Fuck it, let’s move on.

It’s almost Christmas, meaning it wasn’t Christmas I spent a bunch of money on myself. Shouldn’t have, and I probably shouldn’t use Christmas as an excuse, although that’s part of how I rationalized it at the time. Need to get away from social media where I’m constantly seeing things that look cute that I want. Like an Aegis plushie that I saw but instantly noped out of when I saw it was rare and going for 200 bucks..

What did I buy? I bought a Xenoblade 2 shirt the other day that was feature on the Yetee, but along with that I saw another shirt of Roll from Mega Man and this nice Mega Man travel bag thing. I actually needed a travel bag for my wallet, phone, etc, and I’d been checking Amazon a few times over the past few months. So I’m not too upset at these, even if I already have way too many t-shirts.

I bought two Attack on Titan Nendoroids. Annie and Sasha. Bit of a spoiler for the Attack on Titan post, but they were my favorite characters. I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it if I had to pay the 100+ each for them that many secondhand places like eBay were charging, but I unfortunately managed to find a legit retailer that was selling them for cheaper and FOMO kicked in hard.

Speaking of Nendoroids, I did preorder a couple of upcoming releases. Thankfully as a preorder it fits within my budget a lot nicer than something I have to pay up front for. Specifically I preordered Nendos of Sakura (card captor Sakura), Shiori (Tokimeki Memorial), Noriko (Gunbuster), and Ruri (Martian Successor Nadesico) and I do have the option of cancelling them later. Though I don’t imagine I will unless things get especially dire.

Actually speaking of Ruri, I ended up buying her Pop-up parade figure. Initially, I had it preordered from Rightstuf, but it was looking questionable about whether they were going to get it anytime soon. The release date on the preorder was for March or April 2024, but it was already released in Japan. I ended up finding someone in the US who was selling her new from Japan for less on eBay of all places, and I made the executive decision to cancel that part of my old RS order and buy that. Saving a total of 5 bucks and time saved.

Oddly enough, after cancelling Ruri from Rightstuf, I ended up getting charged for another figure I preordered in the same order. This time it was a Maya (Ace Attorney) Nendoroid they said wasn’t coming until next year.. Kind of sucked to be charged out of the blue like that for it, but it was already something I had planned for at least

Back to purchases. I saw a Twitter post of the Xenoblade II OST being on sale for like 13% off yesterday. For those unaware, I’ve actually been really getting into OST collecting ever since I bought a 5 CD stereo a couple years ago and installed it into my room during my various room renovations this year. Given how I had been on a Xenoblade kick with the shirt I just bought, I pounced on it and the OST of the other two games.

That probably was at the point where I overdid it a bit. I also forgot to mention it, but I had also made a knee-jerk manga sale purchase a few days ago too. I bought 6 omnibuses of the Oh My Goddess manga because I have a fondness for the Oh My Goddess anime (even though I can’t remember it) and it seemed like a harder to come across series (people were wondering about reprints earlier this year) I did try to cancel it but unfortunately they had already shipped it. They said I could get an RMA request to return it, but maybe I’ll just live with it.

One thing I should note here, is while spending money is definitely an issue, the bigger thing I’m concerned with is the impulse control. I am on top of my financial stuff, and I am working off debt. Not as expediently as I could if I didn’t get any of this stuff, but I’ve made improvements. I’m also hoping to talk to my therapist sometime soon about this.

Ah yeah, I don’t know if I mentioned that before, but I have been seeing someone recently. I’ve had about 2 sessions with them now, and while it’s too early to say whether I think they’re a keeper, I am not discouraged in regards to the way things have been heading. Hopefully they can give me a rational voice to build myself up to be a stronger and much more content individual.

I might be making some big changes next year. There’s some stuff still up in the air about some programs I’m applying for. More specifically it’s finding out if I apply for anything that certain venues offer. I can’t really go much into it because I don’t actually know a whole lot about it. It’s been kind of a clusterfuck just doing a lot of the initial work for it (part of the reason I’m actually going to therapy now too)

Fuck it, this is already turning into my end of the year post. Let’s talk about next year

I was going to write up a media post talking about all the media I plan to consume next year, but since we’re rambling now, that’ll probably get rolled up into this. Before that, let’s do the resolutions

More Japanese more the time – This one is a no brainer. Although, I will point out that I have been making good on this toward the end of this year. I’ve been using one of the Wanikani extensions to practice all the kanji that they teach, and I am regularly drilling them so that I can flawlessly remember the meanings and readings of 2070 (ish) kanji.

While that alone doesn’t make one fluent in Japanese, I’ve noticed that after a few days of spending a couple of hours doing that that I’ve started being able to switch over my brain into Japanese easier. Particularly whenever I see Japanese V-tubers on Twitter, and I can actually start reading their Tweets almost as if they were English (Though not quite as smooth as that)

Going to learn to draw anime – This is something I decided more recently, but I saw a video on YT of Pewdiepie learning to draw anime that inspired me to give it a shot. More accurately I saw a video of an artist reacting to a video about Pewdiepie learning to draw. Watching both Pewdiepie’s progress and the artist commenting on it gave me this strong desire to want to do it myself.

I should be clear that I’ve always had a desire to draw anime. I actually used to want to be an artist when I was real little. However I got discouraged early on from doing art, and when it came to drawing anime some of my early attempts brought up those memories and general feelings that I might not be able to become good at it.

But I’m trying to kick that thinking to the curb. It shouldn’t be impossible for me to learn to draw anime. Maybe I wont be a pro, but if I could sketch some cute girls here and there, I feel like I’d be a lot happier.

Going to learn programming – I have a video course on Python I bought a couple years ago. I did part of it, but I never went the whole way through it. I’ve always wanted to though to get a better sense of whether I’d be interested in software development.

Right now it’s on a lower priority as I’m working on other stuff, but if other stuff is going in a positive direction, I could see myself tackling this again. Partly because I’d like to make a game with it.

There’s a few other things I could add to the list, but let’s keep it focused. If I can manage to do one to a satisfactory level, we’ll consider it a success.

Let me go over media

Games wise I only have three games I’m really looking at next year: Like A Dragon Infinite Wealth, FF7 Rebirth, and Eiyuden Chronicles.

I’ll most likely play all three upon release. The one I’m most excited for being Rebirth followed by Like A Dragon, followed by Eiyuden. If you’re wondering why Eiyuden is so low despite Suikoden meaning so much to me, it’s because I’m going into it with the least amount of expectations after seeing the least amount of stuff (I’m also factoring in that it’s a Kickstarter game) That’s by choice because of how much I’d have riding on it otherwise.

Apart from those 3 games, I don’t really have anything else earmarked. Persona 3 remake would be cool, but it honestly doesn’t strike me as anything beyond a better looking Persona 3. There’s also that Metaphor games which looks good but we’ll see

For things I might play, I do have a bunch of stuff earmarked as potential replays. I’d like to replay FF7 Remake before Rebirth if I have the time. I’d also like to do the entire Suikoden series (minus 4 and spinoffs) in Japanese but I’m also waiting for the remaster of one and two (Something I’ll probably play but I don’t have specific plans for) I’d also like to replay a PSX RPG in Japanese (either Xenogears or Wild Arms) I might also replay Xenosaga

Oh yeah speaking of Xeno, I’ll be replaying Xenoblade 2 and 3 so I can play their respective DLCs (Torna and Future Redeemed)

There’s a few things I’m currently playing like CCC and Baldurs Gate III that I’m sure will spill into 2024

Let’s see apart from games… My plans for media are a bit looser. I hope to read at least 5-6 visual novels in Japanese though I don’t have specific titles in mind. I would also like to read some more VNs in general, but whether I get the time… Who knows.

Uhh what else is there.. BOOKS. I started reading the Monogatari series this year, and I’ll be done with Bakemonogatari (the first couple books) soon. Since I’ve bought all the books in past irresponsible purchases, I’m hoping to read the entire thing sooner rather than later.

I think that about covers it all. There might be some other things I’m forgetting, but I’m trying to wrap things up so as not to spend anymore that the two hours (or so) I’ve been plugging away at this. I’m already starting to get distracted by other shit and it’s affecting my ability to really think about what to write here.

So we’ll leave off here for right now. Maybe I’ll finish that Attack on Titan post before the year is out. If not, I’ll see you all next year

Been thinking about redoing the site again I…

Been thinking about redoing the site again. I don’t think I use tags effectively enough to justify their existence, and I’ve been wanting to change the color scheme/font design to make things a bit nicer to read. Shouldn’t be too hard to implement in theory, but my experience tells me to not take it too lightly. Thus I can’t really give a date on it other than sometime between now and 2024

I’ve been hard at work selling a bunch of stuff on eBay. The main reason being I could really use the money to cover my irresponsible spending of the past year, but also because I’ve realized I just have too much shit. Shit that just isn’t doing anything for me anymore. Shit that’s just making life more difficult than it needs to be.

In a prior post, I mentioned a lot about the reasons I buy a lot of this shit. Some of it is for things I plan to do in the future (like I might buy a manga series on a deal if I think I might be interested in reading it someday, or big deluxe copies of games that I plan to replay) or it’s something I buy to feel like I’m adequately showing my appreciation of something (and for potential recognition from other peopl)

I knew those both weren’t great. Particularly when I have so little money and I should be working towards a sustainable future. Though it took me a while to sort it out and confront it internally. It is not, what some people might expect, as simple as just telling yourself to grow up and be responsible. Rather it’s a process of convincing yourself that you’re strong enough without it. It’s a process of gaining self confidence to not feel dependent on that stuff.

It’s also a process of finding inner peace and learning to let go of material possession. I know that probably sounds really Buddhist, and to be fair, I actually am really attracted to a lot of Buddhist philosophy. I view it more under the light of being mentally healthier.

Of course I’m not looking to go completely minimalist here. Maybe eventually if I find that things lead that way, I might. However, at this stage I’m still very much interested in acquiring things. I’m just finally starting to get to a stage where I’m more selective of things.

One example I can give is with video games. One thing I’ve been trying to do is to stop buying expensive collectors editions. I don’t know if I had mentioned it before, but I had cancelled both the collectors edition of Final Fantasy VII rebirth and an upcoming trails game. Recently I also sold the collectors edition I bought for Star Ocean the second story as well.

When I think about all the collector’s editions of games that I’ve ever bought, none of them have ever really been amazing. While it would look neat when I first got it, what would end up happening is I’d enjoy the game and then it and the collectors edition contents would sit around. Not doing anything. Just taking up space.

And yeah it’d look cool on my shelf, but you know what else looks cool on my shelf? A figure, a plush, hell just about anything. Just because it’s something I love doesn’t mean I need to have that specific thing in order to show I love it. It’s just excess crap in a lot of cases

Particularly with games. You know the ones that offer art books and OSTs? Most of the time the artbook doesn’t hold a candle to official artbooks you can buy later and the OSTs are only ever of arranged songs. Sometimes the game will come with a figure, but even figures a lot of the time have other options if the character is popular enough (Hell I didn’t even want the 18 inch Sephiroth statue from rebirth when I first ordered the collectors edition.. Why I even ordered it in the first place is really hard to explain)

I’ve actually started selling a lot of my games that have PC ports on Steam too. It just doesn’t make sense to collect a library of physical games when the systems they’re on aren’t always going to be there. Yeah, digital means I’m dependent on Steam, but then I don’t really think I’m going to replay every game I ever buy (and even if I do I can’t imagine it being more than once) A digital library, I feel is much more practical. It may not be as impressive to show off as a physical.. But..

But another thing is I feel like game collecting really is only for the titles you really care about. Not for complete sets of games, or even games that you like. I think it’s more important to curate and refine collections to your essence. Otherwise, what does your collection really do when it’s a hodgepodge of stuff?

BUT I haven’t given up completely on collecting game stuff. If Suikoden were to come out with something special or even part 3 of FF7 (if they come out with something Tifa related) I could be tempted. Hell Xenogears and Chrono Trigger too (I’ve already bought plenty of Xenogears merch in the past month. What’s different is that I’ve taken a more practical approach to it all. Rather than just letting my love of something dictate whether i needed to have something.

Well for the most part.. It’s still all a work in progress.

Game Awards was yesterday Some of my quick…

Game Awards was yesterday. Some of my quick thoughts about the show below.

Honestly, the only stakes I had in awards this year were Lies of P and Resident Evil 4. Neither of which won or were even nominated for much. Disappointing because I think both of them could use more attention (particularly Lies of P) Oh well.

I was happy to see Ironmouse get content creator of the year. While I’m not as big into vtubing anymore and haven’t really watched much of her, from what little I know of her, she definitely stood out more than some of those other picks. That’s probably my bias though considering there were a lot of people asking who after she won (and I don’t think they were all doing it ironically.. Though how can you be on Twitch and not know about her is kind of insane to me)

I don’t think Sea of Stars deserved winning indie. I know there was a lot of controversy with Dave the Diver being there (since it’s technically not indie) and I’m glad it didn’t win, but even without having played any other games in the category, I feel like Sea of Stars only got by on it’s aesthetics. Again my bias from not liking the game much but yeah

Alan Wake II and BG3 seemed to be winning all the other awards. From what I’ve seen/heard its deserved, although personally I can’t really make a judgment. I’m interested in playing both someday, but right now there’s not really a convenient way to play either (both in cost, and that Alan Wake II requires playing a bunch of other stuff) Maybe in 2024

The new Atlus game, Metaphor Re Fantazio, looks pretty sick. I’m happy to see them do something that’s not SMT related for once (yes that includes Persona) Hoping to see something new here.

Visions of Mana was disappointing. While I wouldn’t totally poo poo the idea of another mana game, it’s not the series I was hoping to see. I had some small hopes SE would do something like tease a Chrono or Xeno game. Hopium to the max, perhaps, but Mana was just not enough to make me get excited.

There were a few other games I found interesting, though a lot of them didn’t show much of gameplay (things like Last Sentinel) Thus I have to sort of hold my hype in check.

The highlight of the entire show, to me, was the FF7 main theme. Both the performance and the small trailer were fantastic. And against my better judgment I went and watched the extended trailer that was posted to YT. Which ended up being pretty good, but also kind of makes it harder to wait for its release..

Yesterday I almost let myself get out of…

Yesterday, I almost let myself get out of control with my spending again. I saw that a British anime site was selling Gundam series super cheap and I ended up making an order with Paypal’s pay later. Not even an hour later, I was racked with guilt and wanting to cancel. Thus I ended up sending an email and having my ordered cancelled today.

Why do I do it? Why do I buy all this shit I have no need for? Why do I self sabotage my finances like this to begin with? You might be asking those questions, and after a long time asking myself those questions (many years), I think I can explain it.

Let me first start off by saying that my explanation is no form of justification. All my reasoning for doing such things is based off unhealthy ways of thinking. Recognizing that, however, is the first step in order to overcoming it.

Taking my recent incident as an example, let me walk you through the different thought processes (both conscious and unconscious)

The deal was a pretty good one. For those not aware, normally Gundam series tend to cost like 50 bucks per set, but it’s not uncommon for most Gundam series to span two sets (Most 50 episode series come in two sets) Which means you’re most likely paying 100 bucks for most Gundam series. The deal discounted the sets to about 25 dollars and also incorporated a buy one get one. Thus you could get a 100 series for about 25 bucks

The major catch was the blurays are region B (as opposed to A which is what US and Japan use) as the store is in England. Thus the only way to play them is to buy hacked blu-ray players. Which, had I gone through with purchasing, I would have also needed to buy (They range from like 100-300 bucks depending on how nice of one you want)

Still, when you consider the cost of the US Gundam sets, you’re saving A LOT of money. I had at least 12 sets plus some movies which would have come out, if I bought them in the US, to over 600. Whereas with the cheapest region free blu-ray player and the sale, it would only be about 300ish. Insanely good deal.

When you see that good of a deal, there’s a lot of times, at least in my case, where I start thinking about whether I can use that particular thing. It’s a habit I think I’ve inherited/been conditioned into from my father. Whenever we see something that’s a good deal, we start getting ideas in our head for how to use it.

I had, in the past, started on a journey to see all of Gundam. While it’s very much something I’d still like to do, it’s been a couple years since I watched a Gundam series and now I hardly remember them. I want to start over, but since then I’ve also acquired a lot of other stuff I’d like to do (What can I say but there’s a lot of stuff that interests me, at least in my niches anyway)

Seeing a deal that’s not going to last, however, reminds me that I wanted to do that, and I start thinking about “Well what if I take advantage of this now and that will both give me the incentive and a way of tackling this project” Not realizing that you’re invested in a bunch of other stuff and that you never do until later on when you see a stack of Gundam blurays clogging up a shelf that you were hoping to use for something else.

Substitute Gundam for a bunch of other things, and you’ll understand part of my line of thinking. It’s a combination of FOMO but also stockpiling for a project I never end up embarking on.

The other sort of big reason I buy so much shit, is recognition. We all know how people live outside their means in order to appear a certain way, and I’m no different at times. While I don’t do it with a wish to be seen as more than anyone else, I do do it to be seen in a positive light. Because then it feels like I’ve been accepted in a way

Again using the Gundam blurays as an example, somewhere deep down I’m hoping it might impress someone. I’m hoping they’ll think “That dude seems cool, maybe I should get to know them better”

Obviously, when brought to the surface of my thoughts, I know it’s an unhealthy way to think. Being part of my unconscious though, it can be hard to have it come to light. Especially in a moment where I’m thinking of buying something in the first place and all I can think is “I want this”

While this is normally the season many people…

While this is normally the season many people are buying things, I’m doing the opposite and selling a lot of crap. Got a little out-of-hand with purchases the past year on top of not having much money from some bad decision making (there was quite a bit I spent on gacha games for example) Not in big trouble, but it was likely to take me most of 2024 to get squared away if I just relied on my income.

I started selling stuff on eBay again. I had stopped briefly due to some new regulations, but thankfully those have been pushed back to next year (plus are getting adjusted to something far more reasonable) While I’m somewhat sad to let things go, I also feel somewhat cathartic. Honestly, I think if I could get rid of like 70% of what I had, I could see myself being a lot happier for it.

I’ve decided to sell most of my physical video games, except for the few that I have bought collectors editions for and the games that have no PC port. I’ve realized that I don’t have time for 90% of them and stockpiling them for a rainy day is pointless. I’m thinking of actually going digital only for games here on out just because it will save on space and it will make me consider what I get much more since digital can’t be sold. Plus I figure if I’m ordering it digitally, chances are I’m planning to play it right after (like buying for being able to play at midnight etc)

I’d love to get rid of some figures, but unfortunately I don’t really have a great avenue for that. Being used without the box is pretty much a death sentence. Even if I heavily discount them, there’s always concerns about how to safely ship them. I’d sell locally, but I live out in no-mans land practically.

I’d like to also downsize the manga I bought into a few favorite series. The big issue is I haven’t actually read much of the stuff I’ve bought and I’d rather do that before prematurely selling most stuff. I guess I wouldn’t mind opting for digital here either, but it’s a little bit more complicated than with games (I like the manga feel better and there’s no distribution service like Steam) Going to have to think some more.

I’ve also debated trying to sell my old computer and one of my laptops. Part of me is resistant to that though because I like the idea of having a spare (especially when my current cashflow isn’t equipped to buy a new one if things get rough) I guess I’ll have to think some more.

Quick and dirty impressions of the latest Yakuza…

Quick and dirty impressions of the latest Yakuza game (Like a Dragon The Man Who Erased His Name)

Apparently this was originally planned to be DLC. While the story itself feels more than DLC, it’s not hard to see from the rest of the game that it was pretty barebones. 90% of the settings and extra stuff were things present in previous games. The few new additions (namely some of the combat gadgets and one new location)were things that wouldn’t be out of place for a DLC either.

I understand somewhat why they would want to release it as a standalone game. That being said, I don’t think it’s really worth the price it goes for. At the most, I could say it’s worth 25 maybe 30 bucks. 50 is way too much, even if you consider that new games these days cost 70. If someone disagrees, all you have to do is look at Yakuza 8 coming out in January to see how much more content there is than this game)

Thankfully the game was available on Gamepass, and the monthly subscription is more than worth it if you’re a Yakuza fan who wants to experience the story. I loved the game’s story. It’s probably one of the most emotional in the Yakuza series so far.

I didn’t care as much for the combat. It might be partly due to them not putting their full attention into it, but I have a suspicion that it’s more because I’ve grown tired of the beatdown mechanics. While initially I wasn’t happy with Yakuza 7 becoming a turn-based RPG, I feel like after the fact, I’ve started to recognize it as a proper evolution to the series.

Looking forward to 8 next year. While I’m excited to see Kasuga again, I hope they do resolve Joyru’s story a bit with it. That man deserves a happy ending.

Star Ocean 2r Review/Impressions/Retrospective/whatever the hell else I feel like

Several months ago during a Nintendo Direct, a remake of Star Ocean the Second Story was announced, and I lost my fucking shit. Why? Well. I could just leave it at “It’s one of my favorite psx era JRPGs” but then again there’s a lot of those (the Playstation was stacked) For anyone that doesn’t know the game, it probably doesn’t do a good enough job on selling it. And while I don’t feel obligated to sell it, it’s one of those games I want to sell because of how underappreciated it is.

First, a little bit of context on my original experience. Star Ocean is a series that is made by Tri-Ace, a group of developers that split off from the original group who made the Tales of games. If you’ve ever played a tales game before, it will become immediately evident with some of the same systems (even the items are similar, just different terminology)

The first game was released only for the Super Famicom, at first, and didn’t have much of a presence until the 2nd story was released in the west. Why the second story was brought west, I could only say is probably thanks to how well Final Fantasy 7 performed.

I don’t think I ever bought the game myself. Rather, I had an online friend at the time I would exchange RPGs with that I think let me borrow it. Though I did buy my own copy later I know (because I think I ultimately sold it like an idiot)

The game features a dual protagonist system (which I thought was neat) but I only ever ended up playing the guy my first and only time back then. Why? Well I think I indentified more as a man back then and was more interesting in the potential romance relationships.

You see Star Ocean 2 has over like 100 endings (you get multiple of them per beating the game) and they’re all based on which of your characters have the most affection with other characters. For someone like me who was just getting heavily invested in romance VNs, I found that aspect really appealing and incredible ambitious

That’s actually the running theme of SO2. It’s incredibly ambitious. There’s like an overabundance of shit you can do and while it’s not all implemented flawlessly, it’s still all pretty fun. You can, as one example, pickpocket any NPC(even your friends) for rare items. Or you can craft incredibly powerful things and easily break the game as early as the first couple of hours. The game possibilities seem endless.

Combine that with the private action system where you can see special events with characters you travel with. There was a lot of stuff that made the game feel a lot BIGGER than it actually was. For people in the west who had never experienced the first game, I think it carved out a huge niche for itself to live up to..

The plot, while nothing incredible(still enjoyable), was still fresh as most JRPGs were fantasy based. Again, I think it was FF7’s success that convinced them a futuristic RPG like Star Ocean could do well.

Unfortunately, the subsequent entries weren’t as great. Partly because they made some odd directional choices with the story (the story of the Star Ocean games are all in the same universe) and partly because they didn’t quite expand enough on what the second story had set up. Of course, I’m mostly speaking for myself here, but ultimately while I didn’t hate any of the subsequent games (even 5 which everyone seems to hate) I found them incredibly lacking in comparison to SO2’s glory

Replaying the remake, and playing the game for the first time in over two decades, I definitely enjoyed experiencing a lot of the stuff I never did in the original (starting with the girl character, recruiting a lot of characters I never played with before) Though I do admit that a lot of the initial excitement I had for it (both when I played the original and when I heard about the remake) fizzled out. I think because I knew that even though it was a good game, that there wasn’t a lot of of hope the Star Ocean series could ever be that again

Like it’s most recent game, 6, isn’t bad at all, but now I’ve mostly forgotten it. It was more of a filler game while waiting for other big releases. Telling people who like the 2nd game to play it or any of the other entries just feels wrong (even though I don’t think they’d be as impressed given what they have available today)

So yeah, In short the original SO2 was godly. The remake is also good. It could have used a bit more quality of life in the form of things like being able to fast forward everything (you can only ff scenes) and by incorporating some kind of cursor memory/last item used system for some of the crafting. I also kind of wish they had included the English voices from the original PS game for nostalgia..

OH Yeah speaking of voices, if you do JP voices, I highly recommend you do the SE voices rather than R voices. Much much better.

In terms of other recommendations, I see a lot of people recommend Rena these days, but I think the best protagonist is still Claude. True you miss out on ONE exclusive character who can be pretty good, but he’s not THAT important (especially considering he’s outclassed by other characters) The reason I suggest Claude is that I feel like the game is kind of designed around his perspective more. Ultimately it doesn’t matter that much, but if you’re facing choice paralysis, I’d say go Claude