Rarely has a new year felt this refreshing to me. 2020 was a year of hard work and tight budgets, as I worked overtime and cut spending on hobbies. I tried not letting it show in my writing, but I was very tired and frequently sick last year. I still immediately ended up getting sick in 2021, but at least not because I was overworked this time.
Hi, how is everyone? This is a new kind of article I wanted to try where I talk about some stuff that’s been happening to me and the website. I realized that I rarely talk about myself and that I can seem like a very unapproachable person, so I wanted to try being more open about myself. I considered an AMA of sorts, but is there interest for that? Let me know and I’ll absolutely consider it.
The first big thing that happened in January is that I finally got to buy some anime merch again now that I am out of my financial rut. I am still working on redecorating around my home, so I kept it simple and bought Bluray copies of Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, and Escaflowne. Especially Escaflowne is a show I’ve been unable to get out of my head since reviewing it, so I am glad to finally have it in my collection.
Also turned out that my favorite webshop has gone through a redesign. These guys have been in business for a looooooooong time and their checkout form still featured pictures of Naruto and Nanoha, both in their original child designs. That probably implies the last update to the site was in 2005. It sure felt like a website that hadn’t been patched up in over a decade, so I am glad they finally spruced the place up a bit.
Most of my anime-watching has been for prepping reviews that will go live in February and March, most of them romance anime. I watched a few old school OVA series in-between for variety, like Ayane’s High Kick and Capricorn. I have been taking a liking to vintage isekai OVAs lately. It’s really cool to see how older series tackled a genre that’s at the height of its popularity right now and ponder about why this trope didn’t catch on as much the first time around. Leda: The Fantastic Adventure of Yohko is a great example of one such anime and, for something else entirely, I also recommend the sci-fi sports OVA Azusa Will Help!. It’s a cool little film about a baseball team that buys an outdated maid android to fill a hole in their line-up.
I also watched both Girlish Number and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! for the recommendations article, as suggested by Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews. I was very pleasantly surprised with both shows, especially Eizouken. I had seen it around and knew it was popular, so I assumed it’d be a pretty solid comedy series with lots of meme potential. It certainly was fun, but also very artistic, heartfelt, and well-written. I was a bit down on the anime’s finale, but everything leading up to it was fantastic… and yes, the OP is gold.
I had less success with Emma: A Victorian Romance. I intended to include it in the February coverage, but I struggled to get into this adaptation since I hold the manga in very high regard. It wasn’t bad by any means, don’t me wrong. I just felt I might as well re-read the manga if I was going to re-experience this story anyway. I also ended up dropping Birdy the Mighty Decode for similar reasons. It felt like a lamer version of the 1996 OVA with boring side-plots and shockingly poor dialogue.
Besides updating the Recommendations article, I also got to take on the first few renovations I had planned for the site. The old list of articles is gone! I split all the articles up into neat categories and revamped the main menu to include them. Less successful was the last-minute hustle to find a replacement for an article I changed my mind on. The review of Yumeiro Patissiere was initially intended to be followed-up by an article where I tried recreating one of its iconic dishes. I thought it’d be funny to watch me fail at cooking, but when I had it all written out, it felt too dry and long. It wasn’t fun to read and the poorly-lit pictures from my phone looked too shoddy to actually use.
Kujibiki Unbalance was originally planned for late-February, but I was so late in deciding not to go with the original article that I had no choice but to move it forward.
And that’s about it for this month. We’re still in lockdown and it was Dry January to boot, so no wild adventures this time around. I hope you all enjoyed this article all the same and I am curious if anybody has suggestions or requests for what they’d like to hear about. This is all quite new for me, so I am eager to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Maybe we’ll have scrapped this by next month, who knows? I hope not.
Assuming cancellation is staved off, the next Behind The Scenes will be on February 28, 2021.