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Unboxing: January Inku Crate

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I’ve loved getting subscription boxes throughout 2020, I think it’s brought me an edge of excitement to an otherwise dull and stressful year. As I said in my Anime Limited unboxing, there’s something about a mystery package that’s really appealing to me – I think really just boils down to the element of surprise and chance. I bought a fair number of boxes in 2020, and whilst I have loved pretty much every one, there does come a time where I think, “But do I really need this item?” where they’re purely decorative. I obviously collect a lot of anime merchandise, but I think there’s something inherently different about buying a figure or plushie of a character you love, rather than one you just happen to get in a subscription box (looking at you, Donald Duck plushie).

From a young age, I’ve always really loved stationery. Even now I have drawers full of stationery and shelves full of unused notebooks. I promised myself in 2021 I’d get back into creating a bullet journal, something I have done in previous years and really enjoyed, and I also want to find penpals to write to. This all led me to plumping for a stationery themed subscription box. I knew they’d be full of practical items that I’d definitely use.

This is a very long winded way of saying my January subscription box was Inku Crate – a subscription box themed around Japanese stationery.

The box itself was really cute, I loved that it looked like a book and opened from the side like a book would, I thought that was a really nice touch. I know there are a good amount of items in the box, but due to the size of one of them they had to use a bigger box and it seems a little sparse as a result – to reiterate, I know it’s not, but it’s an initial feeling of “oh, kinda empty” as a visual thing when you first open.

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Onto the items! I got a couple of pens – first up is a sweets u-marker. It’s double-ended, and each end smells like a different sweet – mine is melon cream soda and it smells so good. The pen nibs are highlighters, which I use a lot of for journalling! The second pen is a fude colour marker of which I got a pink one (fitting!). I need to learn to do fancy writing, so hopefully this pen will give me an incentive!

 

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Next up I got these items which will be perfect for journalling. At first I could not figure out what the blue item was, but it’s glue in the shape of a detergent bottle. How cute is that?! When I was journalling at the weekend I said to myself that next time I went to a supermarket I needed to buy glue, so this has come at the right time! I love putting stickers on my journal pages and on penpal letters, so these stickers will be perfect!

 

 

IMG_8574Finally, I have the larger items. First up, a Hello Kitty notebook. Hello Kitty is dressed like a cow, because it’s the Year of the Ox! At first I was totally baffled by it, but when I realised, it all made sense! I also got a daruma doll sticky note set, which are always useful for putting little reminders on! There’s also the cutest little rubber (eraser!) set, which is fairy tale themed – mine are Alice in Wonderland, which is just perfect for me as I’m not really a traditional fairy tale kind of person. Last up is a clear file decorated with Japanese New Year iconography. I use these clear files all the time to store documents!

I’m so happy with my Inku Crate! I know I’ll definitely use these items all the time, so it feels like a really smart purchase over some of the items I was getting in other subscription boxes. I’ll still get the occasional box with normal kawaii goods in it, but I’m saving myself for when there’s a theme I really like the look of or content that I really like – most companies give a preview of what characters or properties will feature in the box. I think I’ll get the next Inku Crate to see how that goes, and I may keep it going as a rolling thing!

What was your favourite item in this box? I think mine is the detergent shaped glue, it’s so cute!

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December Purchases

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December is a month where my mother tells me, “Don’t buy anything for yourself! It’s Christmas!”, which I obviously don’t pay any attention to. Alongside the Anime Limited mystery box I bought, here’s what else I bought in December!

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Pompompurin is my favourite Sanrio character, and I really wanted to get a plushie of him because I didn’t have a full sized one. I bought the plushie on the right from YYKawaii to itch my scratch! I then wanted to get the Pom pocket straw as I’d seen it online. I’m making a conscientious effort to be more environmentally friendly, and usually I carry round metal straws with me (y’know, when I can go outside), but they’re quite bulky, so these rubber ones are a really great idea as they roll up really small to fit in the case which is much more convenient! The plushie on the left came in the set with the straw and the sewing kit, and I couldn’t resist it all! My Pompompurin collection is really coming along!

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If anyone knows me, they know I love Haikyuu!!, and know that Bokuto and Akaashi are two of my favourite characters (and favourite ship), so I have a lot of merchandise of them. This month was like a bumper crop of Bokuaka merchandise as a lot of my preorders came in. I got these adorable finger puppets of Bokuto and Akaashi in their school uniforms, and small plushies of them too! I also got this huge SNS strap which is really cool, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it’s still cool!

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Next up is the first of my figures I’ve bought that have cost me a significant amount – Kyo from Fruits Basket. Kyo is my favourite character in Fruits Basket, so I couldn’t resist getting this figure. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, and it’s definitely a lot darker than this photo would suggest and not quite so bright!

 

 

 

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I also got another cool figure this month – Akechi from Persona 5, in his Crow outfit. This makes my second Akechi figure, which is kind of wild as Ryuji is definitely my character and I don’t have any figures of him. Something to rectify in the future maybe! I also got these Persona 5 playing cards – I have a small collection of playing cards, so it’s cool to add these into the mix too!

 

 

IMG_8539My final set of anime merch this month was this Ouran High School Host Club mirror and pass case. Both are such amazing quality and feature my favourite host, Mori! The mirror is a really decent size – small enough to keep in a handbag, but big enough to be a good sized mirror. When I can eventually leave the house again, I’ll use the pass case for travel tickets and stuff like that! I really love the art on both of these items, and the photo definitely doesn’t do them justice.

 

IMG_8540I can’t seem to make it through a month without buying a game, so this month’s addition to my ever growing collection was Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game in a really long time, but I’ve heard a lot of really good things about the latest installments to the franchise, so I thought I’d delve back in. I’m looking forward to some quality time with my PS5 too! I feel like I haven’t got much mileage out of it lately!

 

IMG_8542Finally, as ever, we round off with some manga. Not a lot this month, just the latest published volumes Haikyuu!! and given. I’m getting very close to having a full Haikyuu!! collection, which is kind of exciting but also sad. At least I’ll have the anime to keep me going for a while!

 

 

So, that was December’s purchases! Thinking ahead to 2021, how do you feel about my monthly purchases post? Do you like to read them? I like to make them, so I will probably continue, but just wondered what the opinion was!

 

 

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August Purchases

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If you remember my last purchases post, you’ll recall that I had anticipated a heavy August Purchases post to get through my imposed 2 week lockdown prior to my Nan’s operation. Putting this post together, I’m surprised that there isn’t more, and I feel like I was reasonably restrained… ish.

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As usual, I bought a few manga. Adding to my Haikyuu!! and Full Metal Alchemist collections once again, and starting two new collections. I’ve not read Spy x Family yet, but I’ve heard really good things about it online, so I’m looking forward to starting that. I also bought My Dress Up Darling, which I have read and it was…. kind of a surprise. I bought it because it seemed like a cute story about cosplay, and it kind of is, but when I say it came wrapped in plastic, I think that probably tells manga readers all they need to know! Nevertheless, I did enjoy the first volume and I’ll continue to buy it to see where the story goes! I’m going to write up a proper review about it soon (someone please hold me to that).

 

IMG_9260Of course, I wouldn’t get through a month without buying some BL so I got a little haul this month. I bought all volumes of Escape Journey, which I promptly realised I actually have already read. I did really enjoy it though, and I have a feeling I couldn’t find the last couple of chapters anywhere at the time I read it so I’m glad to own it so I can finish it properly! I also bought the latest published volume of given, so I can continue to stay up to date with that collection!

 

IMG_0634I bought two games this month. The first was Fire Emblem Fates Birthright. For some reason I’ve been picking up old Fire Emblem games when I see them, and someone on Instagram was selling this one for pretty cheap, so I got it. Realistically, I know the chances of me playing it are pretty slim – my PS4, Vita and Switch backlogs are bad enough, without me adding the 3DS into the mix! I also bought Nexomon Extinction, which as a premise is very similar to Pokémon in that you catch and train Nexomon to win battles. I haven’t played that much of it, maybe 3 hours or so, but what I have played I have enjoyed and I hope to get back to it properly soon!

 

IMG_3348To round off the August Purchases, a modest blu-ray haul. I got Kiss Him Not Me, which I’ve never seen before, and also added to my Studio Ghibli collection by buying Laputa: Castle In The Sky. 

 

 

 

So, that was what I bought in August! Pretty pared back for me, I’m sure you’ll all agree!

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July Purchases

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True to my word in my last purchases post, I think I did pretty well in July! I see a lot of memes at the moment equating online shopping to the only bit of happiness available during lockdown, and whilst it is funny, it’s also true.

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My first category of purchases this month is games. I did go a little heavy on the games this month, I will say that. Catherine and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest I picked up preowned for a pretty decent price each, so I couldn’t really say no. Langrisser 1 & 2 was a really spontaneous purchase as I’ve never heard of the series before, or considered it in any way, but it was on sale and I thought, why not? I also bought AI The Somnium Files after it having been on my wishlist for many months. I’ve only heard good things about it!

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Next up, blu-rays. Or should I say, blu-ray? That’s right, this month I only bought one! That’s practically unheard of! I added to my Studio Ghibli collection and bought Tales from Earthsea.  

 

 

 

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And finally, what would a month be without buying some manga? I think this month I’ve actually only bought BL (no surprise there). I finished my collection of Ten Count (finally), and bought the new given volume, but I also bought Replay and Blue Flag, which I haven’t read yet but I’m excited to get stuck into!

 

 

That wraps up July! I think I’m going to try and have another pared back month in August, but we’ll see! I have to go on full lockdown, not even leaving the house for supermarket shopping, as my nan is having an operation, so little deliveries might be the only thing that gets me through!

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June Purchases

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Another month in isolation down, another month of me trying to buy my own happiness. Of course, it’s not as bad as that really (most of the time), but having less to spend on travelling, commuting and socialising means there’s more money to spend on goodies. I’m determined to have a decent few months saving in the upcoming months because I just bought a car (though that won’t be appearing in the July Purchases post, nice as it is), so if my future Purchases posts are as long as this, then please feel free to give me a serious telling off!

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We’ll start this month off with manga. I have a lot of collections that I’m trying to catch up on, either to the current point of publication for ongoing series, or to completion for those that have finished. This month, I had decided to get a couple of volumes of Ouran, a couple turned into a few, and a few turned into “Ah, I might as well just finish it now.”, so that’s what I did. At least it’s done now! I also bought the latest volume of Haikyuu!! so that I don’t fall behind!

IMG_7674As has become customary, I also bought some BL; Seven Days Monday – Sunday, and Secret XXX. These two are both one-shots, so that’s something. At least I don’t have the collection problem! I’ve read both, and though they’re both very different to one another, I did really like them. Manga reviews are something I want to start doing, so I’ll write something up about them soon!

 

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As with my manga collection, I also decided I wanted to complete some of my blu-ray collections. I had started buying the steelbook versions of the Hunger Games series a few years back, and never got round to buying Mockingjay Part 2. I thought I had missed the boat on buying it, but I found a brand new copy  on eBay for not too much money, so I ordered it and now that collection is complete too!

 

 

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Completing collections must have been the theme for June, as I also bought GOT7’s latest mini-album and completed my album collection (apart from Japanese albums, I haven’t gone that deep… yet…). I got photocards for Mark, Youngjae, Jinyoung and Yugyeom, so a pretty good selection! Jinyoung is my ultimate bias, and Yugyeom is up there, so the only way it could have been better would be if my bias wrecker JB was in there too, but alas, not this time!

 

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Even though it’s not really my genre of game, and I’m a huge wimp, I couldn’t resist getting The Last of Us Part 2. I actually bough two copies by accident, but that’s a whole other thing… I have finished TLOU2 now, so I will hopefully have a review up soon!

 

 

 

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I went a little bit mad with buying anime blu-rays this month (no more so than usual, I hear you yell). I had preordered Promare ages ago, and the collectors edition finally came in. I’m really excited to watch this as I missed out on seeing it in the cinema when it came out. I also added to my Studio Ghibli collection and bought Grave of the Fireflies. I’m not quite mad enough to just buy all the missing movies from that collectio, so that’ll be ongoing for a while. I also bought a few series that I’ve wanted to watch for a while; Beyond the Boundary, My Love Story, and Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto. I could easily stream these all online, but I really like adding to my anime collection, and I always worry that the shows I want to watch will disappear from streaming sites and then I won’t get to watch them. I also think it’s really important to support the industry, so it’s a win win all round.

My last purchases for the month were this cute given pin from Pinfluential. I don’t think that they have this particular pin any longer, but they do have lots of other really cute pins! I also bought these cookie cutters of Bokuto and Akaashi from Haikyuu!! (my OTP). They’re from Tableplate. I haven’t got round to making any cookies yet, but I will, and they will be delicious and adorable. Finally, I got this Howl’s Moving Castle tin from YYKawaii! It also has little post-its with the same design inside. I did also buy something else from her, but I can’t show you because I bought someone else a matching one as a gift!

That wraps up June! Remember, permission to yell at me is granted for the next few months if Purchases posts are this long!

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May Purchases

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I know I said March was sad-time spending month, but honestly, it had nothing on May. Even sitting down to take the photos for this post, I couldn’t quite believe how much stuff there was. I guess I’m really seeing the benefit of not going out or having to pay for my commute to work in an increase in expendable income.

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I’ll start with the cutest of my purchases this month – three omanjuu of Akaashi, Bokuto and Yamaguchi from Haikyuu!!, and a small Bokuto plushie. I’ve banged on enough times about how much I love Haikyuu!!, and Bokuto and Akaashi are my two favourite characters, and I’ve mentioned previously that Yamaguchi is the character I most relate to in Haikyuu!!. I got these cuties from a shop called YYKawaii, which is where I get the majority of my anime merchandise from and I cannot recommend highly enough. They have really amazing customer service, and though they do sell through their website, their instagram is where most sales happen, so check that out if you want legitimate imported goodies from Japan.

Next up, I bought some books that aren’t manga! I really, really love The Hunger Games, so when this new novel came out, I had to get it. I’ve yet to read it, but I really like the concept of a prequel to find out about life in other districts before Katniss’ story, so hopefully it’s enjoyable. Off the back of the Percy Jackson Disney + series announcement, a lot of people were talking about how great the books are, and though they’ve always been on my radar, I’ve never got round to reading them. I found a great deal online, so I bought the full series to read (hopefully) before the series comes out!

IMG_7212As is standard, I also bought a buttload of manga. I bought myself a few volumes in series I’ve started collecting already; Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, and Don’t Be Cruel. I’ve only read Don’t Be Cruel so far, and as it says on the cover, it’s a BL. It’s actually a really good one, and I’m really glad I started reading it! I also started buying two new manga; Classmates and For The Kid I Saw In My Dreams. I have read Classmates, only to realise that I have already read it (classic), but it’s still really enjoyable so I’m glad I bought it! I bought For The Kid I Saw In My Dreams as the mangaka also created Erased, which is one of my favourite anime, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this also!

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Surprise surprise, I also bought a bunch of blu-rays for my anime collection. Pictured here are the films I bought; My Neighbours The Yamadas and Ocean Waves for my Studio Ghibli collection, and Napping Princess just because!

 

 

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Finally, to cap off the month, I also bought some series on blu-ray. I’ve come to realise it’s important to watch things on streaming services when they are available, before they get taken off. Soul Eater and Seraph of the End were both on Netflix, and have now been taken off, so this was the only way for me to watch legally. I’m happy to own both as a lot of people have told me how great Soul Eater is, and these Seraph collectors editions are the nicest collectors editions I have ever seen, so make for great additions.

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Though I’ve watched it, Terror in Resonance also falls under the same category of no longer on Netflix. I loved the anime so much, I just had to buy it.

I also sprung for Rascal Dose Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. It’s not one I’ve watched before, but I’ve heard good things and wanted to treat myself!

 

That wraps up the post for this month! I am determined to have a much more frugal June than I did May, so we’ll see how that goes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: April Recap

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I’ve spent the entirety of April in lockdown, had a birthday, and the only people I’ve seen in person are my parents and my nan (and on the occassion I’m allowed to open the door, I get a brief glimpse of a deliveryman!). Life is pretty weird at the moment.

Watch 40 anime

April end total: 14

Things really ramped up in April, as predicted, with the end of the seasonal shows I had been watching. I’ve been a little slow at watching anime since, focussing a lot of time on gaming instead, so I’m not sure how well I’ll do at adding to this total this month!

The shows I finished were: Haikyuu!! season 4, My Hero Academia season 4, ARP Backstage Pass, In/Spectre, number 24, Darwin’s Game, and Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. I’m in the process of getting some reviews written for these shows, so keep an eye out!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

April end total: 5

Obviously I still can’t leave the house, so I’m stuck at 5 movies for this. The longer that lockdown goes on, the less likely it is that I’ll be achieving this challenge by the end of the year.

Platinum 20 games

April end total: 1

At the end of April, my total was still 1. I’ve been playing a lot of games since though, so come my May end update, things will be veeeery different.

Read 15 books

April end total: 2

It’s weird to think how reading habits change. 10 years ago, I’d have read 15 books in a month, now I’m not even reading one a month. It’s so hard to find the time to read when all my hobbies are so time consuming. Things have improved on the reading front lately, and I’m starting to find it easier to set it aside time to read, so things should be improving here!

Finish 100 best movies

April end total: 2

Finish Naruto

April end total: 3 episodes

30 Days Of

30 Days Of

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2017 isn’t just a year for challenges, I also want to make it a year of improvement.

It’s not really a secret that I’ve kind of neglected this blog in the past (despite paying out for a domain name), and this year is the year I turn that around! I also want to improve my writing. This idea came to me the other day whilst browsing Twitter (though I have also seen and participated in something similar on Tumblr in the past, just a picture version).

The concept of a 30 day challenge is usually that there is a theme, and then 30 questions which the participant answers based on that theme. Normally the answers are pictures, or quite short, but I’m going to use them as prompts to write a short article, therefore creating quick content and (hopefully) improving my writing skills in the long run! And my readers get to find out all sorts of useless information about me! Everyone’s a winner!

First up is “30 Days of Gaming”. The questions are below, and I’ll be posting answers every day at 8pm.

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