February has always been my least favorite month of the year. I admit that not being fond of winter and being single plays a big part in that. While I’ve tried to look past those aspects, I can’t say I remember ever having anything good to say about the month other than “at least it’s short”
I did not do a very good job of sticking to my goals this month. I spent more time on watching random crap on Youtube (through my PC no less) and even made some substantial unscheduled extraneous purchases. It wasn’t a totally wasted month by any means, but I’m going to have to be more vigilant with myself.
On the 5th, I had my first full-blown migraine in a long time. For those unaware, I used to get migraines a lot as a kid, and these migraines would usually be severe enough to last several hours and cause extreme nausea and vomiting. Growing older they’ve thankfully decreased in number, but every so often I’ll get one out of the blue for whatever reason. The 5th just happened to be my lucky day I guess..
I ended up accidentally formatted my main USB thumbstick at the end of last month. I forgot it was plugged in when I was attempting to format a micro SD card for 3ds hacking, and I mistook the drive letters. The result was I lost all the music I’ve collected over the years and my most up to date password database (that I use in conjunction with a password manager) Fortunately I had a backup that was mostly up-to-date on another device for the password database, but I can not find any backups of my music. Thus I’ve had to go on a couple quests to find some of the more obscure stuff again
My computer has been having issues lately where my monitor displays stop working randomly. The computer itself seems to continue functioning (as I can somewhat connect to it via steam link and hear audio) but video goes out. I’ve assumed it must be something with the graphics card then, although I haven’t really figured out what.
I tried updating the graphics drivers to no real improvement (issue still happened) Then I tried cleaning out the dust (which wasn’t the most I’ve ever seen) and since then I haven’t had the issue since. I hesitate to declare the issue resolved since I’ve seen PCs operate with way more dust than what I had, but maybe it was just enough in the right spots to cause problems? I don’t know.
I also decided, after I cleaned it, to finally try Windows 11 again. For those unaware, I tried updating a couple months ago, but I found the experience sluggish and completely unusable. This time though, they seem to have finally worked out enough of the kinks that it runs just as well as Windows 10 did (which is to say, it’s fucking Windows) Still getting used to some of the UI changes, but it’s not entirely a bad thing
I made a few purchases this month of note. Most of them fell under the umbrella of “I preordered this before I started my mission, thus it was already factored in” but one that didn’t was an air humidifier. I’ve been finding myself feeling itchy a lot, and after doing some research I’ve come up with the idea that my room might not have enough humidity (I live in a basement but I have to use a space heater which probably kills a lot of the moisture)
Unfortunately, it either turns out the humidity was not as low as I thought or the unit I got had a busted humidity measurer. It claimed there was 80-90% humidity (O_O) which was just fucking dumb. Either way it wasn’t going to work for me, and I had to request a refund. Not a big deal, although because there’s no local UPS store where I live, I have to pay for a return label (which I think is fucking dumb)
Another sort of extraneous purchase I made was for a three tubs worth of Red Vine black licorice and one tub of red. I’ve been craving their black licorice for quite some time (haven’t had it in probably a year or two) but unfortunately they never sell it anywhere (not to mention I haven’t seen the tubs since like 2010) The reason I went for so much was because they were quite cheap and I wanted to meet the free shipping threshold of 45 dollars. It wont be something I’ll do frequently, but I might do it again if it turns out to be a positive experience
I also ended up ordering more manga. The bulk of which is mostly preorder stuff that I need for the ongoing series I’ve collected (I also had a 10% off code which made it more of a reasonable purchase) Though I did also make the mistake of checking the deal of the day and finding out the entire series of Dr. Stone was discounted, which tempted me into buying all the current volumes of that..
I mentioned last month I had been playing Dragon Quest V on my tablet, and that I had bought myself a 3DS that month to play other games I’ve been wanting to play/replay. Well, I ended up getting the 3DS (it’s great. Got it hacked and everything) but I ended up quitting Dragon Quest V on tablet and starting over (with cheats) on the 3ds. I guess I just couldn’t stand the tablet experience after all (3DS is so much better, even if you lose out on the orchestral music)
Took me a couple days, but I caught up and beat Dragon Quest V on the 7th. Ultimately, my opinion is while it’s a great game, there’s a lot of stuff I must have supplemented with my imagination back when I first played it. The story felt a lot weaker compared to many other works that I’ve played and replayed over the years.
It used to be that I would tell people DQ5 is the best Dragon Quest, but I don’t think it will be my go to anymore. Rather, I’d be more inclined to point people toward 11 or 8 for their first Dragon Quest experience now. Though if they were really into RPGs, then I wouldn’t have any qualms about recommending it.
I would say the DS version is a worthwhile upgrade to the SNES version. The only real nitpick I’d give it is they give the characters accents that can take you out of the experience. Otherwise, the fact that it gives you a new character to marry and the ability to talk with your party, makes it wonderful. Though I will say that first timers should probably marry Bianca for the canon experience (Marry Deborah if you really don’t like Bianca)
Since I’m on the DS kick, I’ve started replaying the Miles Edgeworth duology my 3DS. More specifically Ace Attorney Investigations 1. Great games. I like them more than the original Ace Attorney trilogy in some ways (being able to walk around as the characters feels better than the strict adv/vn environment)
I finished reading Shinsou Noise on the 18th. I can’t remember all what I talked about last month, but it was good. I think a solid 7 or a weak 8 if I had to give it a score. The good parts were definitely the heroines, music, and overall presentation. The bad parts were that some characters outside the heroines were a bit too two dimensional and the lack of routes for the heroines that weren’t the “true heroine” (You can get endings with the other heroines, but they’re not much more than an extra h-scene and a bit of extra interaction)
If you don’t care about spoilers (It’s going to get an English release this year), I’ll give you some of my spoiler impressions here:
[spoiler] The main plotline of Shinsou Noise is the MC can read people’s feelings and through that he finds this one girl who wants to kill herself. Getting drunk on her fantasies of killing herself, he finds himself attracted to her. Which eventually leads him to having sex with her on the school roof (Essentially her step father has been sexually abusing her and that day he stops her from jumping and she asks him to have sex to keep her father from taking her virginity.. Super fucked up stuff)
Unfortunately, the girl, Sakura, ends up dying. It’s ruled as a suicide, but the MC senses that someone with the feelings of killing her. Which leads him to pursue the truth of what happened to her. Along the way getting wrapped up in unrelated mysteries.
The big issue with the mysteries he gets wrapped up in is that they’re all pretty easy to solve in terms of figuring out who the culprit is. The reason for that is because most of the culprits are pretty blatant in the way they act. Like the second you think “I don’t like this guy very much” you’ve pretty much nailed who will commit the crime.
I mentioned the heroines being great, and that’s true. However, it didn’t really feel like they got a proper story with the MC. At least in the case of my favorite heroine, Kazama Natsuki. Since she’s the first ending you can get, there isn’t really much time spent getting to interact with her as a person before you hit her ending. The others all get time, via the main story and the cases that end up involving them, but she’s just kind of left forgotten.
Even at the end of the game when it turns out she’s the one who killed Sakura (Although not really, she just thinks she did) and she has psychokinesis powers, it’s already at the point where you can’t end up with her anymore and you’re pretty much tied to the true Heroine, Momo. I wish that they could have saved Natsuki’s route for the end instead (maybe even switch it with Momo’s since she already part of the true end )
One other big complaint is that the h-scenes they have two rape scenes as part of the h-scenes. They cover it over with “Oh the hero was being controlled” and “Oh the heroine was being possessed” but it still felt really bleh in the lack of other consensual scenes for those heroines. (Like for Saya, there’s only two h-scenes and one of them is the one where she gets possessed? Kind of lame) [/spoiler]
At the point I finished Shinsou Noise it was only a week until Sakura no Toki came out. I didn’t want to get too knee deep into any other VNs, so I decided to pick back up Sanoba Witch which I had stalled for a looong time (I initially bought this in 2018 to read in Japanese, but I only ever finished half of it in the almost 5 years since) Was making pretty good progress on the remaining routes (It’s really easy compared to back when) but will probably have to stall it again now that I have Toki
I did also try another VN from the developer of Shinsou Noise, Azurite. Didn’t get terribly far in it due to difficulties with DRM, but I might go back to it later this year. Depends on how I feel about it.
Somewhere around episode 6 of season 7, I started to feel sick of Monk. There wasn’t anything specific that made me feel this way other than it just feeling like things weren’t really heading towards a conclusion. Which made me want to skip a bunch of the filler episodes and go straight for the plot-centric ones.
I ended up not doing it. I convinced myself that since I had already come this far, there was probably no harm in blitzing the rest of it. Plus, it’s not exactly apparent which episodes might be important without looking at spoilers.
One thing that’s kind of annoyed me about Monk in the later seasons is how much of an asshole he’s become. In some of the earlier seasons, they had a couple episodes where it seemed like he was getting better but at the last moment something would happen to bring him back to how he was. In the later seasons though, he’s just a lot more insensitive to everyone (particularly Natalie) I feel like they did this thinking it would make the show funnier, but I only really felt like it made me dislike him more.
Another thing that bothered me was how episodes seemed to flipflop between people knowing who Monk is and people not knowing who Monk is. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if Monks cases only seldomly landed him attention, but there’s a few cases out there where he gains the attention of the entire city of San Francisco (Garbage strike episode, the episode where he shoots Santa,etc) where it feels like the public at large should at least be more cognizant of him.
I finished Monk on Superbowl Sunday. The last season (season 8), while not bad, felt incredibly rushed for how slowly things had been drip fed for the previous 7. It felt weird to have one episode where Monk is denied his reapplication to the force and then a few episodes later have one where he is reinstated. It very much was like they crammed several seasons worth of content into the last.
Though I guess I prefer that to them making more seasons. If they had gone on to make more seasons at the rate they were going based on previous seasons, I wouldn’t have been surprised for it to be twice as long. At which point, I probably would have called it quits long before the final season or just skipped to the end (like I thought about doing earlier)
I’m not all that satisfied with the answers or the ending. Granted I didn’t expect the answers would be something that lived up to the mysticism around Trudy’s death. I was still somewhat hoping for something a bit more connected to the series. Something that people could have maybe speculated, even through a wild theory.
For an ending, I was really hoping they would show Monk gain some real independence. It didn’t have to be right after he found the truth or the criminal was caught, but something that showed him finally letting Trudy go. While they do try with a scene of him sleeping in the middle of the bed instead of the side, it doesn’t do enough to counterbalance the obsession he gains when he finds out Trudy [spoiler] had a daughter with a man before she met Monk [/spoiler]
I might have expected a bit too much, though. I feel like had I been watching this week by week over the years, I might have come to see the show a bit more for what it was. Instead I got too invested too fast and that made me want something a bit more for it as a whole.
Of course, I still enjoyed it for what it was, and I’m really glad to be done with it now. Especially since every episode being 40 minutes really ate up a lot of time (It was the reason I didn’t watch any anime for practically a month) I can finally move onto some new stuff.
After Monk, I continued my rewatch of Yu Yu Hakusho in Japanese. I have to admit, despite being a huge proponent of the dub in the past, I’m starting to sour a bit after noticing all the things that were changed in localization. While there’s parts I can understand them changing, there’s a few additions that the dub adds that just aren’t a thing in the Japanese version at all.
For example, in the dub of the show, they make a big thing about Yusuke learning Genkai’s technique of the “Spirit Wave” Particularly they mention it a lot in the Dark Tournament. Except that in the Japanese version there is no move called the Spirit Wave. Rather it’s a completely different way of attacking with spirit energy that’s somewhat dumbed down into a specific move name.
Also the dub portrays characters a bit differently than how they actually are. Again in the Dark Tournament, one of the characters, the announcer Koto, is shown to be a lot more sassy than how she is. While not a bad thing, the same kinds of thing happens with a lot of the other side character’s personalities. Making them stand out a bit more than they otherwise would.
It’s not universally a good or bad thing. I still love and recommend the dub to people who don’t necessary care about small stuff. However, the more that adds up in differences, the less attached I feel to the English dub as a whole. Will I still be an advocate by the end? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I do about 2 episodes everyday while I ride my bike. By the end of this month, I should be close to the end of the Dark Tournament arc. If I keep to that schedule, I should have it done in March.
I started watching Taskmaster again. It’s a British comedy show about comedians being made to compete by doing menial and borderline crazy tasks for points. It can range from mildly amusing to raucously funny depending on the comedians and the tasks.
I initially watched every episode that was available when I discovered it a couple years ago. Since then I haven’t been keeping up with it, but I’ve started getting it recommended in Youtube which has made me seek out some of the newer seasons (which they actually upload on Youtube if you’re interested in watching them) Finished season 12 (highly recommended if you want some good laughs) and am now working on 11 (which I somehow skipped over)
I didn’t do a whole lot of reading sadly. I need to make some time and get back to making a dent in this manga I’ve collected.. Next month I will have more to contribute
You can kind of see how bad habits lead to some bad practices and a lack of productivity in this month I think. Needless to say, but I’m going to try and turn things around for March. Hopefully, the weather gets nice enough for me to do some other things I’ve been thinking over as of late.
I do have another, non-monthly related, post I’d like to do sometime. I was going to do it during the middle of February, but I decided to hold off due to my current emotions at the time. However, I do want to post it and I think next month, should I keep to my guidelines, will prove fruitful for that.
That’s about all I have to say about things right now.