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January purchases

As part of my blog focus for 2020, I thought it would be fun to show y’all what I waste my money on each month! I’m talking the interesting, fun stuff I buy, not my everyday boring life necessities!

So, here’s a glance at what I bought this month!

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For Christmas, I was bought I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1. What I hadn’t realised when I put it on my Amazon wishlist was that it was the third volume in the I Hear The Sunspot series, and I hadn’t got the second. Naturally, I then had to buy I Hear The Sunspot: Happiness, and once I had read those two, I had to buy I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 2, obviously. It’s no secret that I’m losing my hearing, and when I bought the very first copy of this manga, I’d just found that out which is probably why I Hear The Sunspot is special to me, with one of the main characters being hearing impaired, and a lot of focus on the hearing impaired and deaf community; it just came at the right time in my life, a time when it seems I myself might be in the same boat in a matter of time. The manga is so lovely, and quite bittersweet at times, and I can’t wait for the next volume to be released.

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At the same time, I also bought The Way of the Househusband vol. 1. I’d heard it was really funny, so I thought I’d give it a go, and I do really like it. It’s about a yakuza-turned-househusband, and the manga follows him as he navigates his new life with his normal wife. It is a really good manga, and it really made me laugh, so I’ll definitely continue to buy it.

Those who know me, and have the misfortune to follow me on Twitter, know one of my absolute favourite characters in anime is Shigaraki from My Hero Academia. My Shigaraki ita-bag is coming along really nicely, so I couldn’t resist buying this Shigaraki omanjuu to eventually put in there. Sticking on theme, I also got this Shigaraki figure, and the level of detail is insane. It’s easily one of the most detailed figures I own.

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I also bought these cute items from a friend who no longer had need of them. We have here a little Ponyo plushie, and a soot sprite, which has a sucker to fix to a window or mirror. There is also a strap of Phichit from Yuri On Ice! (which I can’t find at present due to moving rooms, boo!),who is one of my favourite characters in the series (and one that I’ve cosplayed previously!).

 

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I was very lucky at Christmas, and my parents bought me a Nintendo Switch, so this month I treated myself to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which was one of the games that made me want to get a Switch in the first place. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement, any free time I have is funnelled straight into playing. I chose the Blue Lions for my first route, and I already have a few cosplay plans added!

 

Perhaps the most exciting thing I bought in January, or perhaps ever, was my dream holiday. In March, my best friend and I will be going to Japan! Excited doesn’t even begin to cover how I’m feeling, and the fact I don’t even have to wait that long is really putting the icing on the cake. At time of writing (because I’m obviously way behind with this post), it’s a little over 5 weeks until I go!

So, how did you like my first monthly purchases post? Let me know what your favourite thing in my small haul was!

Challenges, Uncategorized

2020 Challenges: January Recap

January has been a super busy month for me. I started a new job, I moved house, and subsequently since, I’ve been on decorating duty. As a result, I haven’t really made any decent headway with the challenges (I only just made a new graphic for it), and clearly things still haven’t settled down hence me only just getting to write this post.

Having said that, I did finish three anime series in January; Oresuki, Food Wars! The Fourth Plate, and Gakuen Heaven (reviews pending!), so that’s not a completely terrible start to the year. That is where my progress begings and ends, sadly, but February is already looking much better in terms of progress!

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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.

 

Challenges, Uncategorized

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!

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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?

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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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Challenges, Uncategorized

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.