Here I am at the end of another month. A lot of things felt like they happened so long ago, and yet, I am also astounded that more than half of this year is already gone. I enjoyed and finished a number of things this month. Still, there is so much left to do. I must keep moving forward.
On the 5th, I finished the last volume of ゾンビッチはビッチに含まれますか. I have had a really good time reading this manga. Being a book all about sexual puns and jokes, it certainly succeeded in making me laugh. The ending felt a bit sudden, but the extra 4-koma pages at the very end answered some last questions and that felt great. I really look forward to reading this author’s (Hiiragi Yuuichi’s) new series.
I didn’t play much PSO2 this month, since GameMaster and Xyrenth have been busy since the summer started. The new update themed around the FFIV collaboration, 境界を超えし漆黒の闘神, released on the 6th. I logged on to check out the new limited time quest with the Odin boss. The entire quest has a healing reduction effect, which combined with Odin’s prediction lines when attacking, made for a challenging yet very fun fight. The first time I played, our party got wiped by its 真・斬鉄剣 finishing move. GameMaster and Xyrenth signed on once or twice during the month, so I played that quest with them a few times.
On SAO: Lost Song, I fully finished all of the character scenarios on the 7th, unlocking every CG and playable character. I am not familiar with the ルクス character, who is from one of the spin-off manga. I should give that a read given the chance. The final character scenario was also the final extra quest called Lost Song, completing which will unlock Seven. However, oddly enough, there were no voices for the dialog. Disappointing of course, but this was the only character scenario in the entire game that wasn’t voiced, not to mention it being the final quest. Even Kuroyukihime and ルクス’s few lines in their scenarios were voiced. Anyways, the boss itself was brand new and ginormous in size. In the beginning of the fight, you could not fly and had to climb on the boss, which was an interesting mechanic. But near the end, the fight became a boring battle of endurance as the boss’s attacks were really slow and predictable, with a huge HP that took forever to whittle away.
At last, I have finished the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun PSP game on the 8th. It was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed the game as a Toaru series fan. Being a fully voiced visual novel, it was the perfect thing to satisfy the desire for more Railgun. I was terrible at the quick time events though. I finished all 5 chapters, went through all possible routes to get the missable scenarios, and so I have the game at 100% completed. Then I found out the game has a bonus DLC chapter for free, so I spent all night trying to get that DLC installed, which was troublesome because of my CFW. After all that time and effort, I knew I must enjoy that the extra chapter. The bonus scenarios were pretty short, but Kamijou Touma played a cameo and overall was a nice bonus as a free DLC.
Earlier in the month, I had a chat with my friend, Lettuce, about seriously looking into his goals and plans for the future. Back in May, I found out that his situation is very similar to my own, wanting to study or work in Japan but has no way to get started. He said he wants to explore his options, but in truth, there isn’t much options open given our circumstances. Since my current plan for Japan is looking hopeful for me, I recommended him to consider the program I entered as the most feasible way of getting started in Japan. Later in the month on the 12th, we chat about random science topics like time, multiverse, the universe as a deterministic system. Our original plan was to play PSO2, but we were unaware of the early maintenance that day.
I started over in Phantasy Star Nova (again) on the 14th. I quickly went through the first few chapters of the game, completing only the mandatory objectives. By end of month, I reached where my brother and I originally left off at. We finally continued on the story, encountering two new Gigantes. We also figured out how to gauge the bosses’ health and use Ignition properly to finish off the Gigantes.
On the 16th, I went over to my friend Rafflima’s house. He had been busy recently, but finally found the time to watch some episodes of Gundam Unicorn (OVA) with me. We had 3 episodes left (totaling 3.5 hours of screen time), and I didn’t expect to finish but we did. He really liked the series. And was a fan of the Sinanju in particular.
The next manga series I wanted to focus on reading was 鏡の国の針栖川 (Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa) by 叶恭弘 (Kanou Yasuhiro). When I first picked up the book and read the first few pages during my time in Japan in 2014, I had a feeling I would like the series. However, going beyond the first few pages and reading the entire first chapter… wow, I really like it!! I finished vol.1 on the 20th, vol.2 on the 25th, and final 3rd volume on the 28th. The concept was very interesting, I liked the art style, and the story proceeded in the direction I hoped for. The ending leaves more chapters to be desired as it wasn’t a conclusive one, plus I really connected with the protagonist and the heroines within this short amount of time. I did hunt down the separate side-story chapter, which was satisfactory although a missed opportunity to spotlight the heroines.
On the 23rd, I chat with one of my friends. He finished his temporary job, and now his next step is to think about what’s next. I was talking to him about the JLPT, saying that I think I can take on N1, while he suggested I go for N2 to be safe. So he ended up sending me an old test (minus the audio section) for me to take to judge my level. I gave it a go, speeding through it without wanting to take too much time. He scored it for me, and the result was that I can likely pass N1 with ease if I attain similar scores on the real thing.
I had also finished straight build of my HG Star Build Strike Gundam later that day, with the last section being the effect parts.
Throughout this month, I continued watching my little brother play Tales of Xillia and we proceeded quite a lot into the story. In the beginning of the month, we left off with the incident in シャン・ドゥ and then headed towards カン・バルク where we explored the town before meeting the king of ア・ジュール. Of course, conflict ensues and we ended up in カラハ・シャール before reaching our original destination, イル・ファン. Here, we took a break from the game for a week, resuming on the 17th. That was also the day my brother figured out how to do each character’s ultimate attack. After wandering through the town and lab, we confronted ナハティガル. War still broke out and we went into the battlefield to stop the クルスニクの槍, fighting the フォーヴ along the way. A strange event happens and everyone gets separated. With Milla alone, we wandered around snow field before reuniting with Rowen and Leia. We passed through a magma cave to arrive at カン・バルク where the rest of the party was. The next objective is to retake the castle and steal an airship in order to get to the enemy’s home ship. After exploring through every room in the ship, we stopped right before a big door, guessing that a boss fight is coming up next.
As for Halo, I have played a little bit at the beginning and end of the month. I really enjoyed Warzone Firefight, even though my win ratio was quite low. Sure, there were unfair moments here and there, but still preferable over competitive multiplayer. Super Fiesta returned as the weekly social playlist. I have been wanting to complete some weapon commendations so I took the chance to get most of them done.
With the end of July, the time has come for my friend Xyrenth to begin her new life abroad in Japan through the JET program. For the occasion, she made a blog called Dark Vortress. Meanwhile, I have one more month of waiting until my own future is certain. Will 2016 be the turning point in my life? Or will I face helplessness again?
Here are all the anime I watched this month:
- One Piece (ep.687-711. All-out war. Luffy rushes to the castle with Law. Various fights VS commanders.)
- Fairy Tail (ep.71-95. エドラス arc started and finished.)
- Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Tenri Arc OVAs (finished)
- Cardfight! Vanguard: Asia Circuit (ep.22-27. Hong Kong circuit, lost again)
- Angel Beats (OVA ep.2)
- High School DxD OVAs & Specials (re-watched – finished)
And I read the following manga:
- Zombitch ha Bitch ni Fukumaremasuka? (finished)
- Shokugeki no Souma (vol.8)
- Teekyuu (finished vol.1)
- Toaru Nichijou no Index-san (vol.1)
- Kagami no Kuni no Harisugawa (finished – all 3 volumes)
I played these games:
- -PSV- Sword Art Online: Lost Song (finished)
- -PSV- Phantasy Star Nova
- -PSP- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (finished)
- [HG] Star Build Strike Gundam (straight build finished)
- [HG] Gundam Barbatos (straight build finished)