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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!

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.

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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!

Games

My time with Animal Crossing

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When Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched back on March 20th 2020, the world was in the throes of a crisis. I’m sure I don’t need to relay the facts to you, but for context, here in the UK we went into government sanctioned lockdown on March 23rd – due to health implications, my own lockdown began on March 17th.

I had no intentions of buying ACNH, but a combination of getting caught up in the hype and wanting something to fill my lockdown time really appealed, so I bought it. My current play time sits at around 160 hours, and with the game having been out for 75 days (at time of writing). Whilst it sounds a lot, that actually only equates to an average of just over 2 hours per day, nothing in comparison to some players I’m sure.

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Initially, I really enjoyed playing ACNH. I loved meeting new villagers, building up my library, extending my house, all the things that are exciting and fresh once you start playing. Online there have been some people saying that ACNH doesn’t have enough to sustain it. Back over Easter, there was a lot said about the eggs that could be found throughout the game being too frequent and getting in the way of normal play. All of this is a stark reminder that the lockdown changed things. This isn’t a game that was designed to be played for 8 hours a day, we were supposed to be a lot more casual in our playing. I think now, some 75 days on, this is where I’m at with ACNH. I’m finally putting in the 1-2 hours a day playtime that the game developers probably had in mind when they made it. 

Once I’d met the goal of having KK Slider perform on my island, terraforming brought with it it’s own anxieties. Where the game had been reasonably relaxing knowing I had no control over the environment other than decoration, being given carte blanche to tear down cliffs and stick water wherever I wanted was pretty overwhelming.

There’s been a lot of discourse on Twitter about not comparing yourself to other players, but in an age where everything is easily shared, it’s hard not to. I’ll admit I got myself trapped in a cycle of seeing things online and realising I would never come up with anything that creative for my own island, and found that any joy I’d got from ACNH had left, replaced by fear. What I was scared of I couldn’t exactly say, but I think part of it was having an image in my head that I couldn’t recreate. 

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Whilst my playtime on ACNH has reduced of late, I’m still playing a bit each day. I’ve found it helps with my daily routine. The daily ACNH tasks; collect fossils and have them assessed, check for recipes on the beach and in villager houses, all of these things keep some structure in my life which as been missing since coronavirus hit. 

I have a few areas on my island I’m looking to develop, and that I have some ideas for, but after they are done I do wonder what the game will hold for me. I feel like I’ve definitely got my money out of ACNH, 160+ hours into any game is more than reasonable, but I also feel like the end of my time with ACNH is probably in sight. 

When I started writing this piece, it was centred around how playing ACNH helped me cope with depression and anxiety during lockdown, and whilst it has, I can definitely tell that the end of the cycle is in sight. I’ll still play it, but it’ll be less of a coping mechanism for me now. 

 

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February purchases

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Considering in February I was doing my best to curb my spending for my upcoming Japan trip (more on that later…), I was surprised at how much stuff there was for this post!

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I was very kindly given the light novel of I Want To Eat Your Pancreas for Christmas, but after discussing with a few people, I’ve held off on reading it until I could watch the film. Happily, I haven’t had to wait too long as the film was released on DVD and blu-ray in February, though I’ve still not watched it. I have a feeling the cover is deceptive, as everyone I know who has seen it has told me I’m definitely going to cry, and to make sure I have tissues at the ready.

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Octopath Traveler was one of the reasons I wanted a Nintendo Switch in the first place. I was really drawn in by the art style of the game, and I heard so many great things about it so when I got my Switch for Christmas, I was frantically searching for a decently priced copy. What is up with Nintendo game prices never dropping?! I eventually saw that a mutual on Instagram was selling their copy for a reasonable price, so I snapped it right up! I’ve not got round to playing it yet – RIP backlog – but I’m really happy to own it!

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These Witches Don’t Burn has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, so as a payday treat I bought it for myself. I can’t even remember what drew me to it but I’m very much a book cover person, and I liked the art style of the images on the cover, so it’s probably that. I’ve not started it yet, so I can’t tell you what it’s about!

 

 

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A month can’t go by without me buying BL, and so I bought volume 2 of Candy Color Paradox. It’s a really enjoyable story, about a journalist who has to work with a photographer he doesn’t like. It’s somewhat predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless!

 

 

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Yet more manga, this time Go For It, Nakamura! This manga is about a high school boy, Nakamura, who is in love with one of his male classmates. It’s really cute, and Nakamura is such a funny character who just can’t seem to get it together to talk to his crush. I really recommend it if you’re looking for something funny!

 

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I played and enjoyed the first Ni No Kuni game when it was out on PS3, but I got stuck at a particular bit and then never went back to it. After falling completely in love with Ni No Kuni 2, I decided to get the remastered PS4 version of the first game, so I can go back and finally finish it!

 

 

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I also bought the final volume of Our Dreams at Dusk, a really lovely LGBTQ+ manga. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I thoroughly recommed this manga, it’s really beautiful and well-done.

 

 

 

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Rounding off my March purchases with yet more manga, I bought the latest two volumes of Haikyu!! (though I’ve stupidly photographed them so you can barely see one, trust me, it’s there!). Haikyu! is my all-time favourite, so it’s nice to have an uptodate collection!

 

 

 

 

There’s not as much variety in items this month, and it seems like there’s a lot of books and games in comparison to January’s purchases, but I was holding off on buying anime merchandise because I was going to Japan. Unsurprisingly with the COVID-19 situation the way it is, we have very sadly had to cancel our trip. We’re both obviously devastated, but we will get to go another time. I had a little irrational spending spree to make myself feel better, which sort of worked, so March’s post will probably be quite lengthy!

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January purchases

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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!

Games

My Top 10 Games of the Decade

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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?

2018 challenges, Challenges

2018 Challenges: The Beginning

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Though I rarely complete any of the challenges I set for myself, I actually quite enjoy having them there to focus on throughout the year. I also have a few personal targets I want to meet which are more standard ‘New Years resolution’ type things; get a new job, lose weight, get fitter, save money, travel more, as well as some other hobby based things which aren’t really measurable; continue to improve with photography, get better at posing for cosplay shoots, blog more. Having these challenges as a side to all of the other things I want to achieve helps me focus on things, even if I do end up never fully meeting the goals! It’s fun to try, at least. So, with that in mind, here’s what I’m aiming for this year!

Watch 30 ‘new old’ films

And come up with a better name for this feature! Yes, that’s right, I’m actually going to watch them this year. I’ve replaced the one film I actually managed to watch (and the one that made it onto the list without me realising I’ve actually seen it), and I’ll be getting all of this stuff done!

Watch all of Naruto

My anime knowledge has a lot of gaps, mostly due to the fact that I was a really late starter. I wanted to watch all of a long-running show, and after a lot of research I decided the show for me was Naruto (I will be honest, mostly due to Sasuke and Kakashi). Originally this challenge was to watch all of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, but I’d managed to underestimate how much there was, and do some truly horrendous maths to figure out how much I’d need to watch each week, and frankly, it’s just not doable with everything else as well! So, not wanting to completely surrender my 2018 to Naruto, I’m settling for just watching Naruto.

Watch 30 anime series

Dejavu much? I know I didn’t manage to hit this last year, but as I said in my 2017 wrap-up, I was slow on the uptake and didn’t really get started until a good way through the year. I do think 30 series is probably pushing it, but hey, at least Naruto will count as one, right?

Platinum 12 games

Wow, another recycled challenge? As I mentioned in my 2017 wrap-up post, I want to get back in the platinum game. 12 platinums is only 1 a month (gr8 maths), so this is totally doable. Which is why I managed it last year. Oh, wait…

Make 3 cosplays from scratch

Last year I really enjoyed making cosplays, so this year I want to push myself more on that front. I also want to rewear a lot of stuff, which is why this isn’t a “do X cosplays” sort of target; that works out hella expensive. I think I have a vague idea of what I want to make across the course of 2018, so I’m excited to get some projects underway.

Watch 50 films in the cinema (and write a review for each film)

I hit 41 on this challenge last year, so I think 50 is pretty reachable. Sometimes cinema-going feels like a bit of a chore to me, but I do really love it still. In the spirit of trying to get myself into the habit of posting more regular blog content, I’m also going to try and post a review for each film I see.

 

Have you got any suggestions of challenges I can add in? Let me know in the comments!

2017 challenges, Challenges

2017 Challenges: October Recap

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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….

2017 challenges, Challenges

2017 Challenges: September Recap

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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!