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