Unboxing: YumeTwins

Towards the end of last year, I had an idea that for 2020 I wanted to start using Culture Shack as more of a lifestyle type blog as well as an outlet for writing reviews. and other articles. This means I’ll be doing more posts showing days out, convention overviews, shopping hauls, and as this post shows, subscription box unboxings.

Of course, when I had this idea in about October last year I still had a job, and the original plan was to get a different subscription box each month, but then I decided in my infinite wisdom to quit my job without having something lined up so… we might have a gap between these types of post! (I do now have another job, so hopefully I can resume soon!).

The box for this month is YumeTwins, which describes itself as a ‘kawaii subscription box from Japan’, promising 5 high quality goods each month. When I signed up back in November, the box I bought was the Christmas themed box and like a fool, I underestimated how long it would take to get here. It arrived today, the 3rd January, so I guess at least I have it for next Christmas?

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When I had bought the box, the site had a pop-up which enabled me to spin a wheel and get a prize. Mine was for a free bag, but there were various things on there, like codes for money off the total. I thought this was a cool touch, it would be interesting to know the odds for each prize, but either way I’m not complaining!

So, what did I get in my box?

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First up, here’s my free bag – a Sumikkogurashi ice-cream drawstring bag! It’s really nice quality, and the perfect size to pop in my handbag. I wasn’t familiar with the characters, but they’re adorable so I’ll definitely be checking them out in future. What I really love about subscription boxes is when it introduces you to characters or brands that you don’t know, so this item has definitely ticked that box!

 

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I also got a super-cute Pompompurin Christmas spoon! The booklet that came with the box tells me that I could either have had Pompompurin or Cinnamoroll, so I got really lucky as Pompompurin is my favourite Sanrio character! It’s only really a Christmas item if you squint (there’s some holly on the handle), so I think I can get away with using it all year round!

 

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To go with my spoon, there’s a plate of Sanrio characters celebrating Christmas – absent friends are shown as decorations throughout the room, or can be seen out of the window, which is a really cute touch! I’m sad I didn’t get to use the plate for my Christmas snacks, but I have it ready to go for next Christmas now!

 

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The last of my Christmas themed items – a Sanrio blanket. This is the softest blanket I’ve ever touched, it’s almost velvetty but in a furry way. I’m sure there’s a specific name for the fabric, but whatever it is, I don’t know it! It’s not huge, about the width of my double bed, and about half as tall.

The box wasn’t all Christmas themed – I also got these Hello Kitty paper straws, and some Gudetama post-its and stickers. It’s great to have some functional items in there too!

My YumeTwins box was a success! I really liked all of the items I received, but it’s a shame I didn’t get the box before Christmas – I guess with international shipping, it can’t be helped.

 

2020 Challenges: The Beginning

Here we are at the start of a new year, and a new decade, which means it’s time for me to set myself some challenges I’ll inevitably forget about and end up panicking over come mid-July.

I’ve learnt nothing from 2018 or 2019’s attempts, so here are my rather lofty goals for next year:

  • Watch 40 anime
  • Watch 40 movies in the cinema
  • Platinum 20 games
  • Read 15 books
  • Finish ‘100 best movies’ (currently I’m sitting at 2 completed…)
  • Finish Naruto

As always, you can follow my progress on Twitter, where I’ll be using this year’s hashtag – #cs2020challenges.

If you think there’s a challenge I should be doing, feel free to suggest some!

My Top 10 Games of the Decade

Along with the rest of the world, I’ve been deliberating what my top ten games/anime/films of the decade are.

I finally have some semblence of a list, though when I was putting it together I had a total mind blank and seemed to forget any game I’d ever played, so undoubtedly I will have forgotten something that should really be on this list.

  1. The Trails of Cold Steel series
  2. Persona 4 Golden (Western release date)
  3. The Danganronpa series
  4. The Zero Escape series (Western release date)
  5. The Last of Us
  6. The Wolf Among Us
  7. Final Fantasy XV
  8. Persona 5
  9. Mystic Messenger
  10. Ni No Kuni 2

When I think back on the decade, these are the the games that made the biggest impression on me. I appreciate some (Final Fantasy XV/Ni No Kuni 2) might not have been so well received, but for me, I had a lot of fun playing them and they opened me up to a lot of other things. Final Fantasy XV was the first Final Fantasy game I played all the way through, and made me appreciate the series a lot more than I probably had done previously.

What were your favourite games of the decade?

2019 Best Boys (and Girls)

Whilst tracking my completed anime this year, I also kept a log of who my best boys (and sometimes girls) were in each series. Y’know… for science.

1. Zack – Angels of Death

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2. Ray – The Promised Neverland

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3. Miku – Quintessential Quintuplets

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4. Greedling – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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5. Levi – Attack on Titan

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6. n/a – One Punch Man

7. Suzui – Kakeguruixx

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8. L’Arc – The Rising of the Shield Hero

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9. Mikorin – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

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10. Kousei – Your Lie In April

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11. Ryouma – Love Stage

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12. Isshiki Satoshi – Food Wars!

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13. Hiro – Junjou Romantica

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14. Mafuyu – given

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15. B-Cell – Cells at Work

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16. Kyo – Fruits Basket

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17. Rampo-san and Akutagawa – Bungo Stray Dogs

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18. Kyouka – Bungo Stray Dogs

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19. Ayato – Diabolik Lovers AND Diabolik Lovers: More Blood

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2019 Challenges: Year in Recap

As we sit on the precipice of a new year and a new decade, let’s take a look back at 2019 and see how terribly I did on my challenges.

Watch 50 anime series

Perhaps 50 was a lofty goal, and therefore I have got nowhere near this. I managed to hit 20 series, which is pretty poor – not even one every two weeks.

Platinum 25 games

This year was the year I got really into Trails of Cold Steel, and as such spent 300 hours on the series. This meant I did not have a lot of time for platinum trophies. I did manage to platinum the first Trails of Cold Steel game, back in July, which was the last platinum trophy I got this year, bringing my total to a paltry 7 platinum trophies.

Read 12 books

I got started on this challenge fairly late on in the year, so considering that, I’m actually pretty pleased with my progress. I made it to 7 books, so just over halfway. I’m definitely in the habit of reading more now, so I’ll be setting myself another reading-based challenge for 2020.

Watch 100 films

If you’ll recall, this was to watch 100 “must see movies” as dictated by a poster that was bought for me. This is my worst challenge yet; I managed two.

Watch 25 films in the cinema

Finally, something I’ve done. I managed 31 films in the cinema this year, helped massively by Scotland Loves Anime, a film festival I attended. Anyway, hooray me!

Finish Naruto

Hahahahahahahaha. I did not do this.

Recommend Me

A new feature!

To keep me constantly writing, and supplying me with plenty of content, and entertainment, I’m opening up this feature; Recommend Me. 

This is exactly what it sounds like. I’ll be taking recommendations for films, TV shows, anime, manga, books and games. I’ll only watch and read things on legal streaming services, or physical copies if I can pick it up cheaply enough! As for gaming, I’ll give anything a go. You don’t have to stick to recent things, you can go historic.

Once I’ve consumed the media, I’ll do a write-up to share my thoughts!

You can send me recommendations however you like, but I’ve set up a posting box if you’d rather do it secretly which you can find here.

30 Days Of: Anime, Day 1

Day 1: Very first anime

Way back before I even knew what anime was, back when I was 11 or 12, my first was Pokémon. Pokémon was something I was pretty obsessed with in my youth, and still enjoy playing now. I haven’t watched the anime for a really long time, probably since I was about 13 or so – when I last watched it they were still in the Kanto region. I’m not certain I would watch it now. I feel like it’s a lot of time to invest into something, and Pokémon has already had enough of my time.

As an adult making a conscious decision to watch anime, the first anime I watched was Death Note. Death Note is something I should probably rewatch as I can’t really remember, but it still holds a fond place in my heart. I even cosplayed L a couple of years ago – here’s a photo of that with my friend, Chelsie,as Misa.

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