2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: The Beginning

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Happy New Year to all my followers and readers! I hope 2021 wasn’t a total garbage fest for you all, it was okay for me but I feel glad to see the back of it! Here’s to a much better 2022!

Thinking about 2022, I want things to change. I felt like in 2021 I had my priorities totally wrong with the challenges and my focus was on things that were totally not what I wanted to really be doing. I got the platinum in a lot of games in 2021, sure, but did I play any good games? Not especially! I’ve found over the years I’ve done a few things like that, and I feel like I’d like to reprioritise things so I feel more fulfilled at the end of the year!

So, here are some slightly more targeted ~achievable~ challenges for 2022!

Platinum 15 games

I know I said in my intro that I was going to reprioritise, but I felt like it wouldn’t be Culture Shack without some focus on platinum trophies. I am going to come up with some criteria to the games I’m going to platinum so that I only get ones that actually pose a challenge and aren’t little 10 minute jobs I’ve bought just to ping the trophy. There might even be a shortlist of games I want to try to get the platinum in, who knows? This challenges leads on nicely to my next one, the first sub-challenge in Culture Shack history!

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

I’ve been threatening it for years, but this year I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden. I really tried in 2021, but I got caught up in other things. I first started playing the game in March 2014, so this is seven years in the making! Out of all of my challenges this is the one I’m most determined to do!

Watch 30 anime

For a self-confessed anime obsessive, I sure haven’t watched much anime lately. I really want to change this. This also comes with a sub-challenge of sorts – I want to watch one show per season. I went a bit crazy with seasonal shows the last couple of years and it was really overwhelming to keep up with, but at the same time it’s cool to be part of the hype. By paring it back to one show per season I think this will allow me to manage things a lot easier and still be part of the ‘conversation’.

Watch 30 films

I got so close to this target in 2021, and I think my mistake was only picking up steam in the latter half of the year so it felt like more of a chore. I can definitely do this!

Watch 30 anime films

Do you know how many unwatched anime blu-rays I have? A lot. Not in 2022. In 2022 I’m going to watch them… maybe not all, but most!

Read 18 books

I nailed the books challenge in 2021, and I really loved doing it. I was always an avid reader as a kid and the literature part of my degree really smashed that out of me. Now I’ve got back in my stride I reckon I can read 18 in 2022, that’s only a book and a half a month!

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

My backlog has gotten out of hand, and I need to resolve that. I’m starting with my handhelds, and purely on the physical games I have so that I have some sort of structure. There’s 6 and 7 games per console so hopefully this won’t be too much of a task.

If you’re interested the games are as follows:

  • Our World Is Ended (Switch)
  • The World Ends With You (Switch)
  • Valthirian Arc (Switch)
  • Cafe Enchante (Switch)
  • Langrisser 1 and 2 (Switch)
  • Octopath Traveller (Switch)
  • Hakuoki Edo Blossoms (Vita)
  • Exist Archive (Vita)
  • 7’scarlet (Vita)
  • Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
  • Steins;Gate (Vita)
  • Pyschadelica of the Black Butterfly (Vita)

 

What do you think of my challenges for 2022? Have I bitten off more than I can chew yet again? If you have any suggestions for last minute considerations, let me know! As well as these challenges, I also have a lot of plans for the blog so I can hopefully be more active, and a lot of life goals I’m determined to achieve! Let’s make 2022 our year!

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January Purchases

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Collecting up everything for this post, it looks like I had a sensible month. My bank balance would say otherwise, but I think that’s mostly due to paying for preorders and I bought a lot of stationery which I’ve already talked about in previous posts.

IMG_8659We’ll kick off with my new anime additions. If you remember back to the Anime Limited mystery box I got, in the box was Welcome to the Ballroom part 1. You’ll all know by now, I can’t leave a collection unfinished, so I bought part 2 with a code for 20% off. I also added O Maidens In Your Savage Season to my order, as I’ve heard really good things about it.

 

IMG_8661I started the year by playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and it reignited an interest in mythology within me. I wanted to read more about Norse mythology so my knowledge wasn’t just formed from Valhalla and Marvel movies. I also bought a book on Japanese folk tales, which was on my Christmas list but actually became really difficult to buy around that time for some reason, but I managed to get my copy on eBay for pretty cheap!

IMG_8660And finally (I know!) rounding off the post with some manga. I bought the latest volume of My Dress Up Darling despite still not having read the previous volume. I wrote a quick review of the first volume and I really liked it a lot, so I’m looking forward to cracking on with it. I also started to buy a new series, The Kingdoms of Ruin. I haven’t read this yet either, but I really liked the general premise and I thought the cover art looked really cool. I’ll write up a review of it when I’ve read it!

A pretty short post this month, but I have a lot of preorders due to arrive in February so the next purchases post should be a lot more exciting!

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: Year in Recap

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Let’s not dwell too much on what a shit show 2020 was, and just… leave it in the past. Here’s to a better 2021!

Now we’re into 2021, it’s time to have a look back on how I did with my challenges. I obviously had a lot of obstacles, and as a result some challanges went better than others.

Watch 40 anime

2020 end total: 40

With some last minute additions, which were technically after midnight on New Year’s Eve (my mum assured me that if I hadn’t slept then it still counted for my 2020 challenges, and who am I to argue with my mum?), I actually achieved this goal! Hooray! I’ve watched some really great shows in 2020 (and some garbage). For 2021 I definitely want to review more shows, which was an aim for 2020 that I really failed on.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

2020 end total: 5

2020 really wasn’t the year to try and get back into cinema for me. I managed 5 movies in the cinema before the pandemic fully hit and I had to start staying home. My repeated failure at this challenge is really making me reconsider a lot of things. I’ll always love films, but in recent years, a lot has changed with my cinema-going habits and it’s just not so much of a priority for me anymore as it might have been a few years ago.

Platinum 20 games

2020 end total: 22

Another big tick for this one! I feel like I played a lot of great games in 2020. I did boost a lot of my platinum numbers with cheap indie games from the PlayStation Store, but some of these were actually really good. Some were My Name Is Mayo, so you can’t win them all. I feel like I really got back into platinum trophy hunting in 2020, and hope to continue it forward in 2021.

Read 15 books

2020 end total: 8

I got a little over halfway on this challenge. Towards the middle of the year I got really into the swing of reading, but on the tail ends of the year I felt really unmotivated to read. I do still really love to read, and I want to get back into a more regular reading cycle.

Finish 100 best movies

2020 end total: 2

I haven’t done so well on this challenge the last few years. I think perhaps partly because as I said earlier in this post, my film-watching habits have changed a lot, but a lot of the movies on the poster for this challenge are really heavy going, and I don’t often feel like watching a super serious film. Like, how often do you have an evening spare and think, “Hmm, I really fancy watching The Godfather.“? Not often, let me tell you.

Finish Naruto

2020 end total: 4 episodes

Oh Naruto, will I ever crack you? It’s just such a large undertaking. I could watch all of Naruto, or I could watch like, 10+ other shows in the same amount of episodes. I do still really want to watch it all, but I’m just going to take it easy, so don’t expect to see this challenge on my 2021 challenges!

That’s it for 2020! Thank God, amirite? I’ve already got my 2021 challenges pencilled in, but still down to take suggestions if you have any! Let me know in the comments!

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: November Recap

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Watch 40 anime

November end total: 29

I only added one more show for November; season 2 of Fruits Basket. I’m a little way off this total, but I’m also watching a lot of seasonal shows most of which, by my calculations, end before the end of the year which will boost my totals. I also plan to go HARD on anime for December to achieve this one!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

November end total: 5

Platinum 20 games

November end total: 22

Challenge met! Since getting my PS5, I have played three games on it, and got the platinum in each of them, which is quite the achievement and probably not a rate that can continue much longer, let’s be honest! Anyway, at least I’ve completed one of my challenges this year, and with a month to spare too!

Read 15 books

November end total: 8

I haven’t read anything in so long, I’m falling behind! The likelihood of me reading 7 books in a month is extremely slim, but I hope to add at least 1 or 2 more to this total!

Finish 100 best movies

November end total: 2

Finish Naruto

November end total: 4 episodes

Now we’re into December, it’s time to start thinking about 2021 Challenges. I have nothing planned yet, so am open to suggestions! Leave them in the comments!

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: September Recap

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Watch 40 anime

September end total: 27

A slow month for September anime, but I added 3 titles to my total, Sing Yesterday For Me, Junjou Romatica 2, and The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED. I’m going to finish this challenge if it kills me, because it’s probably the only one I will do!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

September end total: 5

So, I put my Unlimited card on hold because I still don’t feel comfortable going to the cinema, and then the following week Cineworld announced that all their cinemas are closing, so this challenge is officially cancelled!

Platinum 20 games

September end total: 12

Again, not a fruitful month for platinum trophies, but I did manage to add one to the list – Trails of Cold Steel 2. I’m working on Trails of Cold Steel 3 at the moment, and then Trails of Cold Steel 4 comes out, hooray! I’m still quietly confident about this one though, I think I can get another few platinum trophies by the end of the year.

Read 15 books

September end total: 7

In September I read two books; The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which I enjoyed somewhat. Having loved The Hunger Games a lot, I thought I’d really enjoy it but it was a bit mediocre in places and took me a long time to read it. My second book was A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, which I really enjoyed and read in a couple of sittings!

Finish 100 best movies

September end total: 2

Finish Naruto

September end total: 4 episodes

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: August Recap

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Watch 40 anime

August end total: 24

Anime August was pretty successful, and I managed to get 8 shows watched. I will (probably) have reviews up for all of the shows I watched, but I added these to my ‘watched’ list:

  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
  • Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
  • Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
  • Parasyte -the maxim-
  • Zombie Land Saga
  • King’s Game
  • Demon Slayer
  • A3! Season Spring & Summer

Now I’ve boosted this total a bit, I feel like this is a pretty acheivable goal for my challenges!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

August end total: 5

Hands up if you’re still not comfortable going to the cinema! It’s me, I’m not comfortable! I cannot see myself going back to a cinema before the year is out, so this one is sort of null and void really.

Platinum 20 games

August end total: 11

Not quite such a lucrative month for platinum trophies in August as July had been, but I did manage to get one under the belt; the Fairy Tail game. I will write a platinum review for it, eventually!

Read 15 books

August end total: 5

After finishing Howl’s Moving Castle I started the new Hunger Games book, and I haven’t finished it yet. It’s such a big and heavy book, it always feels like such a hassle to read it because I can barely hold it up properly, so I have not made any headway on this challenge.

Finish 100 best movies

August end total: 2

Finish Naruto

August end total: 4 episodes

Oh boy. Sometimes I get the urge to watch Naruto, but then I think about how futile it is to think I’m going to finish it and then I just sort of give up. Which is not the attitude to have, but it speaks volumes I think.

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: June Recap

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Not to bang on, but it’s three entire months in lockdown now (plus a couple of weeks of March). Was there ever any novelty? Probably for like, a week or so, but whatever limited amount there was has definitely worn thin now.

Watch 40 anime

June end total: 15

As previously stated in my May post, I’m desperately trying to get to the Grand Magic Games arc in Fairy Tail. My one season I’ve added to my total for May was season 2 of Fairy Tail as a result.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

June end total: 5

This is still an impossibility, so no movement here! Cinema’s are due to open July 31st here, but I’m still unsure how I feel about visiting them for the timebeing.

Platinum 20 games

June end total: 6

I had a pretty productive month platinum-wise in June, and I got the plat in three games; Life Is Strange 2, DISTRAINT: Deluxe Edition, and One Night Stand. 

Read 15 books

June end total: 4

I started reading Howl’s Moving Castle, but I have yet to finish!

Finish 100 best movies

June end total: 2

Finish Naruto

June end total: 3 episodes

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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: May Recap

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May signifies two entire months in lockdown, two months of not leaving the house, not seeing anyone but my parents and my nan. It’s really starting to grate now, but there isn’t much to do about it (other than complain).

Watch 40 anime

May end total: 14

I didn’t get any new shows watched in May. The Fairy Tail game comes out soon, so I’ve been spending all of my anime watching time on catching up with the Fairy Tail anime so I’m at the right point for that. I’ve only got about 100 more episodes to go (…) before I’m up to the arc that the game is set in.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

May end total: 5

This is still an impossibility, so no movement here!

Platinum 20 games

May end total: 3

By May end I had got the platinum in Persona 5 Royal and The Nonary Games! Both quite different games, but I enjoyed playing both.

Read 15 books

May end total: 4

I managed to read a couple of books by the end of May, including one I beta-read for my friend. I said on Twitter, but I hope everyone gets to read it some day because it was incredible.

Finish 100 best movies

May end total: 2

Finish Naruto

May end total: 3 episodes

 

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: March Recap

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You’d think that being housebound would mean I’d be powering through these challenges…. think again. Some of the challenges are completely unchanged, in fact, it’s only the anime one I’ve managed to make any headway on.

Watch 40 anime

March end total: 7

Winter seasonal shows are starting to wrap up now. Naturally I’m behind, but I’ve managed to finish a couple of shows in March; Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It and The Case Files of Jeweler Richard. My aim is to be totally up to date with all my shows by the end of this week, so April should see a hefty jump in these numbers!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

March end total: 5

Now we’re not allowed to leave the house, and every movie ever is being delayed, I’m anticipating that I probably won’t hit this target by the end of the year. At least this one is not my fault!

Platinum 20 games

March end total: 1

Read 15 books

March end total: 0

Finish 100 best movies

March end total: 2

Finish Naruto

March end total: 3 episodes