Must-read Monthly Monday (Jan. ’20 ed.)

New year, new decade (?), same old posts…

If it’s not specified, the time period covered in this post is from the 23rd of December 2019 to the 20th of January 2020.

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Other People’s Reads

It wouldn’t be a round-up post without them. However, since I scour people’s archives on a regular basis, these may not even be from the right time period…

  • Thoughts on One Punch Man by Kapodaco (The Visualist’s Veranda) – From the moment I heard Kapodaco didn’t really care for OPM s1 but then liked s2, I predicted he’d like Garo…and I nailed it. The drastic difference between the two seasons is very much an exercise in telling (or in this case, predicting) what people like.
  • 4th Day of Anime: Astra Lost in Space by Marina (Anime B & B) – As you now might know, Astra placed pretty high on my end-of-year ratings, although you’ll have to consult the actuat post to see where it placed. This post combines the blogger’s personal nostalgia for space stories with the level of writing we’ve come to expect from this blogging community to make something special.
  • Manga Review: The Prince in His Dark Days by Krystallina (Daiya Manga) – Found this on a spreadsheet of shoujo manga released in the US. The online sample is quite confusing and the plot is a bit of a cliche, but the review convinced me to continue.
  • Light Novel Review: Book Girl and the Scribe who Faced God Part 1 by August Hail – I remember a period where seasonal AniList wrap-up threads were started by this user and I remembered they had a blog, but they only missed the Spellbook by a few months. Nonetheless, while it’s sad that they’ve since moved on since light novels sorely need more representation within the anime/manga and associated media fandom, even going into 2020, just looking through the old posts is a nostalgia trip in itself. (I wanted to share part 2’s post, but that, being the last book in the series, is obviously not the best choice.)
  • Hoshiai no Sora | A Loving Review | Most Underrated Show of the Season by Plebby – Hoshiai no Sora seems to have gotten quite a few critics’ eyes, but that’s only the critics who really care about drama and the values which are shown in the anime – that’s why I’d say it isn’t as “underrated” as Plebby thinks it is. Nonetheless, even though it’s quite long, this post is an exploration of various characters and scenes from the anime with a thoroughness I don’t think has even been matched by the critics.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs: The Tragedy of a Good Man by Isaac/iblessall (Mage in a Barrel) – It’s been a while since I’ve seen Isaac back on his blog and even longer since he did regulr posting, from the looks of things. Still, we can’t have the blogging community I was just digging into in 2015 in its entirety in 2020 – that would suck the fun out of everything – and so, sometimes we just have to resign ourselves to nostalgia (hence the choice of an older post and an older show).
  • Did All the Stars Align? – Hoshiai no Sora by RiseFromAshes (Phoenix Talks Pop Culture Japan) – Another Hoshiai no Sora post, this time from someone who was a former athlete and who sees themselves in sports anime.
  • Un-Go (2011) by Ashley Capes (The Review Heap) – Un-Go I basically never talk about because I watched it when I was on Kitsu (then Hummingbird), but its biggest mark on me was the very annoying voice that started the Inga Nikki shorts (which I can still recall with clarity…ugh…). The review itself says that it’s long, but I didn’t think it was that long…
  • Concrete Revolutio – Cold War, Sizzling Justice by Guy (Geekorner-Geekulture) – Discovered this write-up after an off-handed comment to Iniksbane. I’d forgotten what made this blogger’s writing so special to me back when I was following the series, so I guess the only one that should be blamed for Iniksbane’s confusion is me.
  • Character Arcs: How Izuku Midoriya redefines the shonen hero by Mari (It’s Gonna Be Okay) – A blogger I discovered recently. This post in particular is (to give an approximation) 90% analysis, 10% personal stuff (but also reaching out to the reader, which is probably something I should admit I forget to do at times) but all passion, and 100% passion makes the best sort of post. I hope they keep talking about anime and doing these analyses, because they sure do write well!

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Spellbook Offerings

#AniTwitWatches (School Days)

12 Days of Anime

Fate/Stay Project (Fate/Zero)

Winter 2020 First Impressions

Other Stuff 

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Current Obsessions

This edition has some food mentioned since someone came back from Japan with a veritable boatload of food, not to mention it turns out there was an Asian grocer I’d never seen, just down the road from the charity store…

  • Bubble tea mochi: Found some at the Asian grocer (from the same brand that does all sorts of other mochi flavours like green tea). There aren’t any actual “bubbles” in there, but there is something akin to that in the centre.
  • Wasabi seaweed: Brought back from Japan by someone else. The coating is nice – tastes like tempura.
  • Spotify statistics – Suddenly sitting around and doing (almost) nothing all holidays needs to be broken up by something, so I dug around the various online tools which read your Spotify statistics to tell you your most played artists, produce new playlists etc. You can see the fruit of that creeping into the Put a Tune to It tag post, but suffice to say I spent quite a few hours digging through new music because of it.

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Coming up next…

  • Skipping this month for the Ode to Anime Studios due to another of those weird “subsidiary could count as another studio” scenarios.
  • Just more premieres and then I’ll have to make the tough decision of what to stick with. I’m behind on premieres and I got lazy on Fate/ and RL stuff due to premieres, but if I watch premieres, I won’t watch Fate/ or do RL stuff (and so on for all possible event combinations) so it’s a lose-lose situation…’tis the hard life of a blogger who wants to live their life properly…
  • Speaking of which, this post is the first round-up in a while that hasn’t been written up mostly hastily on the day before it goes out. The December break made all the difference there.   
  • A lot of people seem to be doing revamps of their blogs, avatars etc. I’ve got a change planned for my own avatar to coincide with the spring season (if rumours of a certain anime being released then are correct), but otherwise I intend to stay the same as I am.

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6 thoughts on “Must-read Monthly Monday (Jan. ’20 ed.)

Add yours

  1. Thanks for the feature! I wasn’t expecting my post to get picked up much, and I appreicate it. I tend to forget how much my former athlete comes out in my sports anime reviews lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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