2017 Challenges: Year in recap

Overall, a pretty terrible year for me and the challenges. Looking back, I think I got off to a really slow start, so let’s blame that. I only achieved one of my challenges, which is really poor. Let’s take a deeper look!

Watch 30 anime series

I made a lot of progress on this one over the last half of the year, but the first half was a real let-down. My total for this challenge was 17 series watched. It would be 18, but I discounted Voltron. Unfortunately, I’m going into 2018 with a few unfinished series, which is pretty annoying, but I’ll soon get those mopped up!

Make 10 new cosplays (one from scratch)

I guess 2017 was the year of cosplay. as this was the only challenge I actually met. I did 14 new cosplays, not including tests, and one of those I made entirely from scratch. I’m really proud of my progress with cosplay this year. I think I have a really long way to go, but I really learnt a lot, and I’m hoping to improve on things next year.

Watch 30 ‘new old’ films

After spending the first couple of months of the year putting off writing the list of 30 films, I actually only watched 1 film. I’m going to bring this challenge back next year, replace the one film I did watch with another title, and burn through this list!

Watch 60 films at the cinema

I managed to get to the cinema to see 41 films this year. I think I’ve really recognised that my cinema-going habits have changed. I don’t think I did any trips to the cinema where I watched more than one film per day, which is something I used to do a lot in previous years.

Platinum 12 games

I’m determined to get back into the platinum game in 2018, as I only got 2 platinum trophies this year, which is really shameful. I had wanted to get to 60 platinums overall by the end of the year, but didn’t quite make it. Like my cinema-going, I’m not sure if my gaming habits have changed, but I still really like to get trophies, so I just need to get back into it.

Clear gaming backlog

The trouble with being a gamer is that there’s always something coming out, so the backlog just gets bigger and bigger. I don’t think I wiped anything off my list, and in fact it’s just doubled in size if anything.

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2017 Challenges: October Recap

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)

MCM London at the end of October saw me hitting my 10 cosplays target as I added Knives Chau, Speed o Sound Sonic, and V to my total. What a relief to have actually met one of my targets this year!

Watch 30 anime series

After careful consideration and A LOT of research, my total number of anime series now stands at 12 series’ watched. I had actually added to this number with my completion of Convenience Store Boyfriends, but as I was pondering whether to speed through the next 3 series of Voltron, I came to the conclusion that I won’t be counting Voltron as an anime for the purpose of this challenge. There are a lot of arguments out there about whether or not it should count, and as there doesn’t really seem to be a definitive answer, the uncertainty made my decision for me. So, a step back! 

Platinum 12 games

You know what? Maybe I’m just not the trophy hunter I used to be. Maybe the thrill isn’t there for me anymore. Maybe I’m just ruminating on the fact I added no more platinum trophies to my collection. 

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films

So, this definitely isn’t happening, and I’ve made my peace with that. I’m going to shelve this challenge until next year, where I will blast my way through this list!

Watch 60 films in the cinema

Currently I’m at 33 films on this a me, so yet another challenge that’s not happening. 

Clear the gaming backlog

Sorry, did you say clear or add to constantly? Because I’m definitely doing one of those things….

Review: Tsuredure Children

Anime: Tsuredure Children
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Crunchyroll description: To those of you out there who could never say “I love you” – this story is about ordinary highschoolers and how love makes them fired up, shaken, laugh, cry and hurt. Whether things go well or not, this story of adolescence and romance will show you how they spend their precious youth. Every character is the main character here, and you’re sure to find one you can sympathize with.
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shounen
Original run: 04/07/2017 to 19/09/2017
Episodes: 12

tsuredure children

The theme of my summer anime seems to have been mostly me watching things and not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I had no intention of watching Tsuredure Children, but my housemate recommended to me, and as it was only about 10 minutes per episode, I didn’t have a reason to pass it up. I’m so glad I watched it.

I’ve seen a lot of people saying Tsuredure Children was the unexpected hit of last season and I wholeheartedly agree.

The basic premise of Tsuredure Children shows you snapshots of different sets of couples. Not every couple features every week, but across the series you get to follow the different stages of their relationship. There are a lot of characters crammed into this show, and going in, I was really apprehensive about how a 10-minute show was going to build on all of these relationships and develop the characters, but that’s the beauty of Tsuredure Children.

It’s surprising how quickly you can get invested in characters that really, you’re only seeing on screen for a couple of minutes each week, but Tsuredure Children presents us with some really likeable and well written characters. There’s the danger of having a lot of bland characters, or a few with similar personality types, but this anime seems to avoid this and all characters are memorable in their own right.

Each couple’s story brings something different to the show. Some are funny, some are emotional, and some are just downright bizarre, but they all fit together and make a really endearing and heartwarming package. Yes, I liked more of the individual stories than others, but there weren’t any that I really disliked. I especially liked the way some of the stories linked into each other, making them feel part of a whole rather than standalone offerings.

By the end of the series I did feel like some stories weren’t resolved as much as they could have been, and made way to Chiaki and ­­­­­Kana’s story instead, but the show started with some relationships already begun, so I guess the idea is that it ends with them and their issues ongoing.

Conclusion:

Tsuredure Children is a delightfully unassuming anime, which evokes all sorts of feelings. It’s heartwarming, funny and just a wonderful look at young love and all the ups and downs associated with it.

7 star

Review: Chaos;Child

Chaos;Child is the latest visual novel brought to us by developer 5pb, and the fourth main entry in the ‘Science Adventure’ series. Chaos;Child sits in that series with acclaimed titles like Steins;Gate and this game’s predecessor, Chaos;Head, but don’t worry too much about having experience with either. Ultimately, playing those will add depth to Chaos;Child, but it’s perfectly enjoyable and works as a standalone game if you haven’t played the others.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.

chaoschild

2017 Challenges: September Recap

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)
I love starting these posts off positively, only to watch them go rapidly downhill. As always, 10 new cosplays is the least of my problems. I’ve got 7 in the bag already, and MCM is at the end of this month where I’ll be debuting three more, reaching my target! That’s not even counting the 5 new cosplays for Hibanacon, one for MCM Birmingham and another for Hyper Japan…

Watch 30 anime series
I still feel stupidly confident about this one. I’ve now finished 12, and I know I’ve only got two and a half months to go and I’m not even half way yet, but I feel like it’s doable. I have a few series’ I’ve started already, so hopefully this number can increase soon!

Platinum 12 games
I actually managed to add another one to this total as well! Two platinum trophies in 10 months, Jade from 3 years ago would be ashamed. I still feel like I can nudge this up before the year is out – maybe get halfway? We’ll see!

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films
I am determined to break double figures on this one, even if I’m still loitering at 1 film watched. Stay tuned!

Watch 60 films in the cinema
My ‘end of September’ total was 31. Just over halfway. Is it doable? Probably not. Am I going to try? Also probably not, I’m really busy with all the other challenges which actually stand a chance of being completed.

Clear the gaming backlog
What’s a little backlog between friends? Yeah, so I just… can’t do this. It’s impossible. Even if I’m not adding to my physical backlog, I’m mentally adding games to it, “I must play that when I’ve finished some of these games.” It’s neverending!

 

Here’s hoping for a November miracle!

Review: Netsuzou TRap

Anime: Netsuzou TRap
Studio: Creators in Pack
Crunchyroll description: Yuma, a high school second-year, is enjoying every day now that she has her first boyfriend. After she asks for relationship advice from Hotaru, her beautiful long-time friend who has many boyfriends, Hotaru teases her for her inexperience and playfully does things to her that even her boyfriend doesn’t do. Yuma and Hotaru’s secret relationship continues to escalate, and Yuma finds herself unable to deny how it makes her feel. This school drama tells the story of the interwoven lies of these two girls with boyfriends.
Genres: Drama, Shoujo Ai
Original run: 05/07/2017 to 20/09/2017
Episodes: 12

ntr

I’m not sure what I expected Netsuzou TRap (NTR) to be going into it, but I know it wasn’t what I got. The Crunchyroll description makes it sound like some sort of cute drama about two girls who realise they have feelings about each other. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I honestly hated almost all of it, and had it not been for the fact that each episode not been 8 minutes long and I was desperate to boost my numbers for my anime challenge, I would have given it up after giving it three episodes.

As mentioned in the Crunchyroll description, the premise is that two friends are dating two friends, and they fool around with each other and eventually realise they have feelings for each other, not their boyfriends. What the description doesn’t mention is that a lot of the ‘playful’ things Hotaru does to Yuma are completely unsolicited and in fact downright rejected, giving a really rapey vibe to the whole show.

Let’s start by examining the characters. You have Yuma, the main character, who is possibly one of the most idiotic and oblivious characters I’ve ever come across in anything. She could have everything spelled out for her and she still wouldn’t understand. It takes Yuma the full 12 episodes of NTR to realise she has feelings for Hotaru. Quite why she does is anyone’s guess, because Hotaru is a real piece of work. Hotaru constantly ignores Yuma’s protesting and forces herself onto her on more than one occasion, all the meanwhile telling Yuma it’s for her own good because she doesn’t want to lose her boyfriend, Takeda, due to her inexperience. Hotaru is manipulative to the extreme, and doesn’t care at all about Yuma; never asking her feelings or even listening to what she’s saying.

As if these two delights aren’t enough, the worst is yet to come. Hotaru’s boyfriend, Fujiwara, is the scum of the earth. I know that’s the point of him, to make Yuma look like the obvious choice for Hotaru, but honestly I kind of feel like him and Hotaru deserve each other. For every negative attribute Hotaru displays, Fujiwara just amplifies it. Throughout the whole show you think there can’t be much left for him to do

The only bright spot on this whole stain of a show is Yuma’s boyfriend, Takeda. He’s genuinely a nice person, which is apparently rare in this universe. He cares for people, and just doesn’t deserve what Yuma puts him through.

I feel like the point of NTR is to get you behind Yuma, but it’s just not possible. She is so thoroughly unlikeable, that there’s just no lure to invest in her as a character. She doesn’t care about others, why should we care about her? In discussion with my housemate about NTR, he said the only resolution to the plot that he would accept is if all the characters got hit by a truck, “except Takeda… he’s alright”, and I have to say I agree.

Conclusion:

A vapid excuse for a show that wants to push towards a happy ending for characters who don’t deserve one. It has it’s funny moments, but nothing that stands out on reflection. It should be an easy show to forget, but it’s so bad it regrettably lingers in memory.

2 star