January. New year. 2017.
However, for me, this January did not represent a new beginning. The situation has not changed. Injured, I am still crawling through the mud, trying to get out of this swamp. December 2016 was the end of many things. And now, I must restart from zero. Despite being in Japan for 4 months, I have not moved on from square one. Absolutely pathetic.
I had considerably less free time this month. With the free time I did have, I spent some of it working on my HG Gundam Barbatos and a little bit of the Shiden. The Shiden’s frame is completed and it boasts incredible articulation, even with the armors on. Besides modeling, I didn’t do much else. No progress on drawing. Gaming-wise, I only kept up with playing SAO:HR and Gundam Breaker 2.
For my and my brother’s progress in Gundam Breaker 2, we played a few times during the month. On the 8th, we beat Gundam Cafe #9 and a couple story missions, unlocking the Burst Action system. I performed very poorly against Dendrobium and also in the next area, Orbital Ring, where a sudden boss fight happened. I unlocked Wing Gundam in the shop in addition to its weapons. We also played the add-on mission Moon Base #1A, which features the Stargazer. We should have played the mission sooner as it was way too easy. On the 11th, we simply replayed some missions to gather materials and parts. My brother got some Anti-Ship Sword CADs.
For SAO:HR, although I couldn’t devote as much time as I would have liked and get absorbed into the game, I did play it regularly for an hour here and there throughout the month. As a precious gift from my brother and also a game I had looked forward to for so long, I don’t want to add it to my list of “started but have yet to continue playing”. So far in the game, I went through the beginning section that was heavy on cutscenes, introducing the characters and setting. Afterwards, the game sets you loose to explore the first region, the Rustoria Plains. I passed through a few areas there, now going through a valley towards a cavern. At the end of the month on the 27th, I was searching for two event key items needed to move pass the cave. It was that night out in the field when I first encountered the raining and thundering weather in game. Very cool. The next time I played a couple days later, I finally found the monster I needed to kill for the last item needed to pass the cave.
Another thing that ended in December that I must now rebuild was my close friendship with Xyrenth. An incomprehensible situation, but I have little choice.
Taking the chance to celebrate New Years and to reconnect with my friend, we made plans to do a hot pot lunch together at her apartment on the 4th. For reasons unknown, she was initially very reluctant to and I really had to persuade her. In the end, I think it worked out quite well as we both had a good time. The food was great, we both spent under ￥1000 for ingredients. And I finally got a chance to sit down and chat with her. After eating, I proceeded onto teaching Xyrenth the only technique I know about dry brushing with her HG Barbatos Lupus. It was really enjoyable being able to sit down and relax building gunpla. That day I also gathered the remainder of my stuff I had left at my friend’s place. Before heading back home, I walked over to the temple nearby to take in the New Year atmosphere.
On the 21st was another attempt at re-befriending Xyrenth. It was not easy though with her lack of communication. Anyways, I invited her over to Chiba. Her only plan was to purchase another new Petite Bear Guy model kit, so our first destination was Yodobashi Camera. There, we browsed around while commenting about the recent episodes of Tekketsu no Orphans and thoughts on the new models (Ryuusei-gou, MA, Vidar). So Xyrenth bought a Petitgguy as planned, while I decided that with my Barbatos’s modifications coming along well, it was finally time to get the HG-IBO Option Set #1. I also wanted set #2, but neither Yodobashi nor Yellow Submarine had it in stock. At YS, I purchased additional supplies for modifications plus a single pack of Gundam Visual Collection. In sheer awe, I pulled the secret rare version of Barbatos sitting in the reactor room. Xyrenth bought 2 packs herself, first getting the scene of a Zaku army from Origin and then of Kimaris in the hangar. I really wanted Kimaris too, and so I offered to buy it from her. She accepted, buying another pack and got the Gundam from Thunderbolt. Personally, I was very happy netting Barbatos and Kimaris today. Just the Graze Ein left! Before leaving YS, I quickly flipped through one of the Dengeki Hobby magazines there. I was immediately reminded about the times I spent with Blitz-X and thought that I would like to have a collection of these magazines for references in the future. Next, we went to the restaurant, Jonathan’s, where we sat around chatting for a few hours until the sun set. I had brought with me the HG Shiden to show and posed it on the table. For food, I ordered a mini-pizza that was slightly bigger than I assumed, and drank 4~5 cups of soda. We talked about a lot of things: the good, the bad, and the ugly. After our discussions, we dropped by animate where I grabbed some flyers and Xyrenth bought a Tekketsu No Orphans poster with McGillis and Mikazuki together along with other misc. goods. Our last stop for the day was Hobby Station, just to take a look at some cards.
The 22nd was a Sunday that I had all to myself. I devoted most of the day to modeling, specifically modifying my HG Gundam Barbatos. The pieces of the torso are getting close to being finalized, and I am quite impressed myself. In the evening, I played 3 new story missions in Gundam Breaker 2 with my brother. Although I like using Exia and dashing around in Trans-Am, it was too weak and I kept dying. I switched over to the Banshee on a control point mission and we kicked ass, dropping a bunch of parts, especially from the Ex-S. So my local supermarket had a sale on various shokugan stuff, and out of them, the most attractive were the packs of One Piece Film Gold collectible cards. I initially bought 3 packs, but I ended up buying all 11 packs the store had, finally getting Luffy in the final pack I opened. So I showed my brother the 22 cards I happily ended up with. After chatting, I resumed on modeling and tested out the newly purchased Easy Painter tool. I still need a lot of practice to get used to it.
Due to influence from a friend here that is very passionate about retro games from his childhood, I begin to think about old games that I would like to go back to playing someday, the Star Ocean and Rockman.EXE series in particular. While I have no plans to be playing those anytime soon, I did hunt down downloads for the Rockman.EXE anime. During my early days as a Rockman fan, which was as a middle schooler well over 10 years ago, I knew zero Japanese and only caught glimpses of the English dub on TV. Now I could actually watch the entire series from beginning to end, and do so in Japanese.
This month, I didn’t read very much manga, but I did finish the first volume of Nisekoi on the 14th. As for my initial impression of the series, it is mildly interesting. The plot seems typical and I honestly don’t see how the story could continue for 20+ volumes. However, the fact is that this series has 20+ volumes and popularity, which is exactly why I am curious how the story proceeds.
For books that are not manga, an acquaintance of mine lent me the two volumes of Bakemonogatari. For years and years, I have considered my Japanese skill level to be too low to read novels. For that very reason, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could read something as difficult as Bakemonogatari with decent efficiency. Being one of my favorite series, I have seen the anime multiple times, which definitely helped in staying interested and visualizing the scenes. Reading the book was far more interesting than I had imagined and I discovered things in the story I didn’t realize before. I never thought in my life I would ever enjoy reading a novel. Years ago in 2012, I had purchased the first volume of High School DxD. I never read beyond the first chapter, but perhaps now I could.
As if the word “pathetic” exists just for me, there is no greater shame in my life than what I am going through right now. Currently, I am living just for the sake of living. I wake, go to school, go to work, sleep, all for the purpose of being alive so that I could repeat the same the next day. This is the exact life style I despised. No passion, no variety, no happiness. I had considered my years in school to be a big waste of time. But now I am supposed to be free, with complete control over my life. And yet, despite being in Japan, having a B.A. in design, JLPT N1 level Japanese, passion for anime and games, or however much potential and talent I possess, I remain a powerless piece of human garbage. I am borderline surviving on manual labor and factory work, amongst lowly educated co-workers that are not on the path to success. And neither am I.
This month, I only managed to watch:
- 鉄血のオルフェンズ2nd (ep.14)
- ステラのまほう (ep.5)
- ロックマン・エグゼ (ep.1~3)
Only read this manga:
Read this novel:
- 化物語[上] (started, ch.1 ひたぎクラブ finished)
Worked on these models:
- [HG] バルバトス (modifications)
- [HG] 獅電
And I only played a bit of:
- -PSV- ソードアート・オンライン -ホロウ・リアリゼーション-
- -PSV- ガンダムブレイカー2