It’s easy to fall into a routine these days, so I took this month as an opportunity to do things a little differently. That beaches and pools have reopened certainly helped in this regard, so I dusted off my diving gear and have been hitting the depths again. I also spent this month catching up on some series that got new seasons and I actually cheaped out on my anime expenses to buy some video games again.
My output for the site did suffer as a result. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei was the real big hitter this month, but was already foreshadowed in a prior Behind The Scenes. I had a lot to say about Early and Fairy and Hanebado, but there’s no denying that these are smaller, niche series. The reviews did well, but most of the time I did spend on writing went into prepping for July. I got interesting series lined up for review, such as one of the worst ecchi series to date, a critical look at a revered classic, and a wholesome yaoi manga.
Of the series I caught up with this month, Non Non Biyori Nonstop was by far the most exciting. I adore this series and its characters, and Nonstop is perhaps the best season we got so far. By comparison I felt a bit lukewarm about Yuru Camp‘s second season; it certainly wasn’t bad, but it couldn’t quite recapture the wonder the first season held for me. It felt like more of the same, whereas Non Non Biyori Nonstop came with a lot of new (character) developments, fun new story arcs, and an actually heartwarming conclusion. I believe Non Non Biyori may go down in history as one of the most formidable slice-of-life series ever, and I sincerely hope we’ll see a re-release of its complete collection with Nonstop included.
I am also excited that I just bought tickets for my first proper anime convention in months. It still feels like I am committing corona crimes, but the event is set 3 days after my second shot and Uncle Government says it’s fine. Life is returning to normal here and I even got a dinner scheduled with my team at work. I haven’t seen these people in over a year and some of the new recruits I only met for a brief orientation when they first started. My employer is content with letting us work from home, however, which is very appreciated. It saves me 2-and-a-half hours of travel a day and it permits me to be way more flexible with my time. I can’t just log back in to resolve an emergency when I am stuck waiting for a delayed train in Utrecht Central.
Speaking of work, a second colleague finally noticed that my MS Teams wallpaper is the beach from End of Evangelion. Using avatars and wallpapers like this is a nice way to find out which coworkers are geeks when you’re too afraid to bring up your hobbies or work in a large organization. It can help you make friends all around the company, though it can also cause some problems; I’ve been using Kamineko from Azumanga Daioh as my avatar on every application at work (MS Teams, Jira, Slack, you name it) and one time a coworker I’d never met before came into our department ranting about how much he loved Azuma’s work. He was incredibly loud and distracted everybody for like an hour, but we were all too polite to stop him.
That’s all for me today. I’ve been kinda slacking off with updates to the site because of work, but I got 2 weeks of vacation planned in July so that should pick up again soon. The next Behind the Scenes will be on the 31st of July, so I’ll see you all again then.