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….

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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

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

 

2017 Challenges: August Recap

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)
We’re still at the same point with this one; seven cosplays made, including the from scratch one. The next convention I’m going to is EGX at the end of September, where I’ll be rewearing Chiaki from Danganronpa 2 (I’ve made a new skirt for her, but it totally doesn’t count). I’m also planning on attending MCM London, Hibanacon and MCM Birmingham before the end of the year, and my planned cosplays for those will bring my total to 17 new cosplays for the year, so I’m not concerned about this one at all.

Watch 30 anime series
This one is clocking in at 9 series watched. I’m quietly confident on this one still. I have a few ongoing series’ I’m watching from this season which are due to wrap up soon, so I’ll be adding a lot to this total in the next month or so.

Platinum 12 games
Although I’m only at 1 for this challenge, I still feel like I can get at least half way on the board by the end of the year. We’ll see!

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films
This should be the easy one! Still only 1 film watched, and even that was from January! Terrible business.

Watch 60 films in the cinema
My cinema-going habits have changed a lot this year it turns out, so I’m only up to 28 on this one. I’ll easily get to half way, but I’m hoping I can get to at least 40.

Clear the gaming backlog
I’ve started this now! Currently, I’m playing Danganronpa 1-2: Reload ready for Danganronpa 3 at the end of the month. Progress is slow because I have been watching a lot of anime lately which seems to be taking up all of my time, but I definitely want to have wiped a few of these games off the list by the end of the year!

2017 Challenges: June Recap

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)
Halfway through the year, and halfway through this challenge! Five cosplays done, including that “from scratch” cosplay. I have a con coming up later in the month which I’m planning at least one new cosplay for, hopefully two depending on money/how costesting goes! I also have a con in November which I’m planning six (6!) new cosplays for, so I’m confident I’ll hit the target on this one.

Here’s a photo of my Kubo, which is the one I made myself.

kubo2.jpg

Watch 30 anime series
Surprisingly, I’ve managed to add another couple of series to my list since last time; Attack on Titan s02 and Room Mate.

Platinum 12 games
Finally, a score on the board for this one! You may have read my Platinum Review, but I recently managed to complete Nubla (in 51 minutes and 1 second according to PSN Profiles).

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films
I decline to comment.

Watch 60 films at the cinema
As always you can follow my progress on this one via my Twitter and the hashtag #cs2017challenge, but I have managed to so far see 23 films in the cinema. Not quite on track, but not too far behind either. I’ve found that my cinema-going habits have definitely changed, and I find myself going a lot less frequently than in previously years.

Clear the gaming backlog
Hey, look. I only just made the post for this challenge, so let’s not rush things. Like I said in that post, now I have my mitts on Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy I don’t have any new releases on the horizon until September’s Danganronpa 3 release, so I’m hoping to make real headway with this challenge from now on. Realistically, I don’t think I’ll be clearing the whole list but I want to get a good chunk of it done!

2017 Challenges: April Recap

Wooo boy, only two weeks late with this one, but it’s been kind of hectic, you know? April is done, that means we’re 1/3 of the way through the year, so I should be 1/3 of the way through all of my totals… right? Right?!

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)
MCM London is next week, and as previously mentioned, I’m doing three new cosplays. That’ll bring my total for the year up to 5, so that’s pretty good going! One of my cosplays for next week I have also made entirely from scratch, and I’m really happy with it so far! I did have a minor meltdown over the wig and the trousers, but I’m through it now (touch wood). I still have some finishing touches to do on each of them, but I’m excited to share photos when they’re done!

For those interested, this is my line-up:

mcm lineup

Watch 30 anime series
I had been doing really well at this challenge, but I feel my progress has slowed down a bit the closer it’s getting to con and the more time I’ve had to spend working on cosplay. It’s really hard to watch anime in the background of cosplay as I find I need to concentrate quite heavily on both activities (I am quite prone to sewing in sleeves inside-out).

Having said that, since last month, I’ve managed to watch the first season of Black Butler, which brings the total to five completed anime series. To refresh, that’s:

  1. LoveLive! School Idol Project
  2. Voltron: Legendary Defender (s01)
  3. Vampire Knight
  4. Vampire Knight: Guilty
  5. Black Butler (s01)

I need to majorly up my game on this one!

Platinum 12 games
This is the part of the list where things start to get a bit less impressive… so the less said about this one the better, I think. *coughnoplatinumtrophiescough*

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films
I think what is needed is a weekend where I just obliterate this list, but until then, I will have to be satisfied with my one tick on this list of thirty.

Watch 60 films at the cinema
Look! An actual challenge I’m on track for! I’ve seen 20 films at the cinema so far, so bang on target for the time of the year!

Clear the gaming backlog
So little progress has been made on this challenge, I still haven’t even made the list yet.