2019 Round Up – Day 12 of 12 Days of Aniblogging

Having discarded my drafts I find myself at a loss for subject matter today. Surfing around a bit it seems as if the theme is looking back/looking forward.

2019 is the first year in a decade that we have not spent most of the year coping with various big dramas and changes. It’s been so nice. In my personal journal from last year my “round up” post basically said the last few quiet, peaceful months have been so very nice. I’d like a year of them, please. And I am so very grateful to be able to say that it has been a full year of peace. Not to say there haven’t been some dramas and disasters and excitement (positive and negative) but we haven’t had to deal with literal life threatening issues as we have been in the past. It’s nice.

2020 will be the start of a new decade. I’m hoping for an entire decade just like this last year. I don’t expect there to be zero drama, zero disasters, zero excitement – DUUDE we live in LAS VEGAS – but let it be things we can handle. Things without literal death threats would be good. (In case you don’t know us that well, my husband has health issues that do dive to death threat levels now and then).

We spent the last hour or so discussing what we want our new winter break traditions to be. Yeah, we actually plan stuff like this out. We’re  really non-traditional. The upside of that is we get to pick and choose our own traditions.

Starting here in about an hour, I’m going to turn this computer off and set it aside for a day of tabletop gaming. Something we love but have not indulged in for, yeah, literally years.

There was a time when I had 12 blogs on different subjects and thought I was going to make money on the Internet. I had over 100 books published on the Kindle and thought I’d make a living with that, too. roflmao

Circumstances forced a total retirement from any form of money making for me about two years ago. Talk about a bumpy ride. I’ve been working and earning money since I can remember. I’m a lifelong workaholic to tell the truth. So this has been a change for me. Anyway – I have not done any writing for the last year or so outside of keeping a personal journal. And that’s been pretty spotty.

So. Twelve days of aniblogging. I thought it would be a good intro back into writing. It’s been both harder than I thought, and easier than I expected. Would I do it again next year? Yeah. I think so. I might keep a little better track of the anime I watch, and/or jot down ideas for these 12 days. Because I actually had a little trouble coming up with ideas. I don’t really like writing anime reviews. Although I love to hear other’s thoughtful and erudite opinions and insights about various anime, or anime themes, etc. I don’t think I generally watch anime with that part of my brain engaged. I’m just along for the ride. I also have come to a point in my inner life where I don’t really think the world has any need of my personal thoughts and opinions. I barely write Facebook posts these days.

It has not helped that currently I have an electronic gadget deficit. My much vaunted brand new tablet bought for my BD in June died four months later. I went through two phones in two months and am now scared to download anything on the third – identical-phone. Free phones – you get what you pay for (and can afford). My personal laptop is down because the power cord ceased to work mid-month – which is to say, when we had no money to replace it. I hope that it will start back up after we buy a new cord, but the truth is, it’s on it’s last legs and I know it. The computer I’m using to write this is the husband’s old computer that only works on Linux meaning everything is wonky and again, I’m scared to download or challenge it much. It could drop dead at any minute.We really don’t have the funds to replace ANY of these items, but I’ll find a way somehow. Meanwhile, I am a bit limited in my ability to watch anime – right as I’m trying to blog about anime!

It is an adjustment. We only recently learned that electronics, laptops in particular, are no longer factory supported after two years. Their expected life is apparently maybe one year. The whole “I need the newest iPhone” isn’t consumerism, it’s necessity. Once the new one is out, the old one has no support and goes tits up within days.

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I grew up thinking you bought a car and drove it until it died, which with care and home repairs (I’m a car guy – I LIKE working on my car) could mean twenty years. I had the same clothes washer for 8 years and as far as I know it still worked when I moved out. If I pay almost an entire months income for something, I expect it to last more than 12 months. Apparently, that is no longer a thing.

 

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My beloved home is a 40 year old RV. She runs and everything works.

It’s a different world. I’ve been saying for years I want to live to be 100 because it will be interesting. (On MY computer I have a gif from An Eccentric Family that I made where the frog brother says “because I wanted to live an interesting life” but…) Turns out a lot of people born around the time I was apparently can expect to actually live to be over 100. I’m still looking forward to it. But I do find myself starting to sound like the elders whose stories I used to love – “when I was young…”. No, I’m not going to be saying “In the good old days…” because I most certainly think that overall a lot of things now are a lot better than they were. Some things stayed the same. No doubt, some things are worse. I sure wish I could believe I’d be able to use a 40 year old computer to watch anime. Then again, when I had my first brush with a computer I thought the damn thing was just about useless because the program was so unbelievably clunky and inflexible. (uh…about 1980, I think, if you’re wondering). Holy crap – that is 40 years. *faints* For all it’s limitations – I’m pretty sure my free phone is smarter than that desktop was.

So this turned into looking back 40 years instead of one! Ooops.

Let’s look forward then. I fully expect to watch even more anime in 2020. Basically, all I watch is anime and documentaries and WRC rally. Hubby drags me into watching wrestling. I am pleased to now find anime on Netflix and Hulu, but it isn’t going to cause me to give up my Crunchyroll subscription. Well, okay, I already gave up Crunchyroll – sort of – by changing to VRV which gets me Crunchroll, and HiDive, and also Curiosity Stream (documentaries) among others. So – more anime. I make it a point to be watching at least one Netflix anime at any given time, because I want to encourage them in my tiny little way to continue to pour money into the industry.  I was able to see two anime films on the big screen this year, thanks to living in Las Vegas these days. A big city that GETS those special showings. I’m certainly hoping and planning to do more of that!

I really want to expand into more rpg gaming in anime type formats – but that is going to wait until my computer is running or replaced, my tablet is replaced, and my phone is replaced. I have formed a solid intention to purchase an actual gaming console. With that said, I want to bring tabletop gaming back into my life as well. I hope to soon be back to writing and running my own games again, and they will naturally be informed and influenced by anime.

There is some possibility I will get back into writing, and graphics and combine them with game creation. Visual Novels? Maybe. I’ve looked into it but all the super duper exciting and interesting things of the last few years, combined with the perpetual personal electronics inadequacy, has made it all too uphill for me. It could happen.

So – there you go – that’s my wrap up of this year, and decade and my vague hopes and plans for the coming decade. I could sum it all up by saying, we’re in a good space (finally) and we’d like to stay here. Sure – growing and learning (this is a given with me anyway) but basically right here is good.

Last but hardly least – thanks @appropriant of Perpetual Morning for the 12 days of Aniblogging.

May your holidays – and the coming decade – be blessed.

 

 

 

Watamote Grows Up To Be Aggretsuko – Day 10 of 12 Days of Anime

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aggretsukoI mean, look at ’em – is there any doubt that Tomoko grew up to be Retsuko?

I think one of the reasons I love slice of life anime, is that most of them are as much a fantasy to me as any sword and sorcery tale. I like thinking there are people to whom this is actually believable based on their life experiences. I had a fucked up childhood, and young adulthood that I would not wish on my worst enemy. My school days were a whole lot more like Watamote than Fruits Basket, and my early adulthood far more Aggretsuko than New Game. Which is probably why Watamote and Aggretsuko both can bring to me helpless waves of belly laughter like almost nothing else can. Judging by the comments on Watamote on Crunchyroll, I am not alone. That’s kind of sad. And yet sort of reassuring. And sad.

OTH, I pretty much grew up into Yuko Ichihara of XXXholic.

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Nuff said.

 

 

 

My Top Ten Favorite Anime Songs – Day 6 of 12 days of Aniblogging

One thing I did not expect when I started watching anime, was to fall in love with so many great songs – many of which I can’t understand a word of.  Some I love for the meolody, or the voice(s) singing, some because they are happy, others because they are haunting, or inspiring. In no particular order, because I’m terrible at that kind of ranking and I hate having to do it – my personal top ten favorite anime songs.

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Some, no doubt, also get some love for being the opening of a much loved show. Others – one in particular – is the opening for a show I don’t even especially like (I dare you to guess which one). I thought I wouldn’t be able to get ten – and now that I’m thinking about it, I could probably come up with a few more. What is your favorite anime song?

 

Comfort Anime – Day 4 of 12 days of anime

Do you have comfort anime? You know, the anime you watch when life is coming to pieces around you or you had a crap day and need a laugh or a warm huggy feeling? Because I do.

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Slice of life anime is really my favorite genre – occasionally spiced with slice of life with yokai or scifi/fantasy but mainly that. So it probably isn’t surprising that my top two comfort animes are Fruits Basket and Natsume’s Book of Friends. They were also my first two anime full series, and I suspect all of us harbor a little soft spot for the first series that brought us into this fascinating world. Poco’s Udon World and The Eccentric Family joined this list in the last year or two and have probably contributed significantly to my soft spot for tanuki. Hanasaku Iroha and A Place Further Than The Universe have made the list as well. And if I’m a bit time pressed, there’s always a few minutes to sneak in an episode of Poyopoyo. Speaking of cats, this year My Roommate is a Cat made it’s way onto the list as well. I suppose XXXholic, Mushi-shi, and Darker Than Black  are somewhat odd inclusions, but they do it for me. Maybe on those three, it is that each has one character I really like and somewhat identify with even.

via GIPHY

 

So what are your comfort animes?

Come on by, we’ll sit down and watch a few with a big cup of hot chocolate and some popcorn.

Poyopoyo wallpaper courtesy of Iriname of Deviant Art

The Japanese Invasion of My Life – Day 2 of the 12 days of anime

800px-Satellite_View_of_Japan_1999Since I started watching a lot of anime – in this last decade that is about to come to an end – Japan has slowly but surely invaded my entire life. I am endlessly curious and I love to research, so let the anime I’m watching mention something intriguing about the Edo Era and I’m off and running researching Japanese history. I have a long standing interest in fairy tales and folklore – and the yokai grab my imagination and run. Comparing those stories to the stories I already know from many cultures, the similarities are intriguing.

Then there is the whole thing where I love Natsume You-jin Cho (Natsume’s Book of Friends) so much that I’ve now watched it in several different versions.  I have a DVD set, and I’ve watched it on two different streaming platforms and in the process I noticed that the translations of certain words and phrases are different in some versions than in others. Which led me to start studying the Japanese language. I’m far from fluent, but when the dialysis clinic had some visitors from Japan, I apparently did not embarrass myself too badly. Certainly surprised our doctor! My DH even knows enough to say hello and nice to meet you and welcome home. See? It permeates slowly but surely.

Then there’s Garo. I am crazy about the golden knight. Which led to watching the live action show which is available on YouTube. Which led to watching more live action Japanese shows and well, Terrace House. Which is where I successfully lured my husband into Japan.

His hobby is cooking. Among other things, he now knows how to make Omurice. Of course, Food Wars, and Restaurant From Another World were animes I had to share with him. We are both gamers, so it was an easy draw to get him to watch Sword Art Online and Log Horizon with me.

One of hubby’s personal obsessions is pro wrestling. One day a few years ago he stopped what he was watching and frantically waved me over to introduce me to a new female wrestler – Asuka, Empress of Tomorrow. Which got me to watch wrestling with him and Asuka herself has become a minor obsession around here. WWE has really made an effort to bring more and more wrestlers from Japan, and we greet every one with what is probably an excess of joy and enthusiasm. Asuka herself is no doubt worth her own blog entry – and it could happen in the next 10 days or so.

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(Yes, that is us with Asuka – you may recognize that t-shirt)

How thorough has this obsession become? We seriously discussed moving to Saipan – which is an American territory a hop, skip and a jump from Japan. This would let us not only keep his disability income, but his medical insurance – which is a necessity since he is on dialysis.

Instead, we wound up here in Las Vegas. He is with a terrific doctor and clinic now – and bonus – Vegas is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Anime movies actually show up in theatres here. There are asian and japanese restaurants, festivals, entire shopping areas, and… well in two years we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface. Many of the casinos here specifically cater to tourists from Asia.

Japan has even crept into our closets. He has a gorgeous silk robe, and I cherish my tokidoki tank top with the rainbow Unicornos.

As someone who has always been interested in comparative religion, Shinto fascinates me. As a solitary, eclectic neo-Pagan who collects and adopts whatever symbolism and myths suit me I’ve barely scratched the surface of the research I’d like to do into this ancient and beautiful form of worship.

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By Mnd – photo taken by Mnd, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Does this eventually happen to all anime fans?

Appropriant has generously left the field wide open for anime related subjects of all kinds to be blogged about in the 12 days of anime. So consider this a taste of what may come up as I attempt to find a total of 12 things anime to talk about. Hope you weren’t hoping for reviews, because that’s not what I’m up to. I’m going to be me and meander all over the place around a central theme. Hopefully you’ll find something interesting to enjoy.

Blessedbe.