June, half way into 2017. In this year, I have been through tough times and even despaired, but since April, various aspects of my life here started to improve. This month, I have been offered a chance overturn my current stalemate of a situation. Finally within reach is the position of remaining in Japan under a stable and enjoyable environment while building up resources for the future. A favorable living environment, a stable balance of time and money, a promising path to the future, the results of which was an especially busy month. During my free time, I enjoyed whatever I can, an attempt to reduce my stuffed backlog of things to do. On days off, I visited explored potential paths for the distant future. Things are getting better, and I must make full use of the time I can now afford.
On the 2nd – finished the second volume of Bakemonogatari. I have been reading the novels of Bakemonogatari since January and I wanted to finish the second book by the end of May. I had about a hundred pages left and sadly fell short of my goal by a couple days.
On Saturday the 3rd – I attended a vocational school’s trial lesson event for 2D illustration. After a presentation and tour of the school, the trial class session itself was less than an hour long. Honestly, the class was not very insightful. Most unexpected but glad about, while waiting for the bus home at the school, I had the chance to talk to two of the current students, both of whom were foreign students. I felt truly comfortable with them and we talked honestly. They showed me their works of art and I received their business cards. Hopefully I will get to meet them again in the future.
Over at my friend Lettuce’s apartment, we finished the second season of Gundam 00. He said he liked it a lot, his favorite Gundam series so far (other series he had seen were Gundam UC and IBO 1st season). Technically, we still have 00’s movie left, but we will watch that another day. I slept over at my friend’s apartment.
Next morning, after much prompting from me for 2 months, Lettuce finally purchased a PS4 at the local Book-Off after we walked around town to check the lowest prices. No TV just yet. Our plan for today, a different school’s trial lesson event, for a different subject and my friend Lettuce came along. First presentation, then tour (of 2 buildings), and then trial lesson, which sadly, I got to do nothing since I didn’t volunteer (I assumed roles would have been randomly decided). I just sat there for over an hour watching the other participants practice. By chance, I met Lettuce’s classmates, and they seemed fairly seriously about what I consider to be an impossible goal. I don’t want to lose to them. Before leaving the school, we received goodies like CDs and clear files, which was neat.
However, I was upset with how I did not get to participate and so I dragged Lettuce to karaoke nearby. I sang my heart out and tried to figure out how I sound like and what voices I could do. God awful, lacking control and consistency, but I think I have some potential.
Upon returning to Lettuce’s apartment, we played some Rockman EXE. We left off at returning the water supply back to the town but it turned out to be poisoned water. Continuing, we received info from Yaito about Hikawa’s son who was kidnapped. We searched the town for a while, then it dawned upon me where he was. After releasing him, we returned to the water department network, to another direction and solving ice puzzles until we reached Iceman and Blues. After the Iceman fight (Lettuce got a faster time than I did), the water incident was solved.
On the 5th – started reading the Accel World light novels. Back in 2012 when I first visited Japan, I had gotten a free Accel World booklet that contained the first chapter of the novel (+ the manga and other info). My attempt at reading it can only be described as strenuous. I exhausted my focus after the first few pages. 5 years later, reading it now, it is still difficult with lots of vocabulary I don’t understand. However, I finished the first book on the 21st and started on the second book the following day. The anime covered the story up to the fourth book, so it is the fifth book and onward that I really want to get to reading.
On the 6th – I continued watching 魔法科高校の劣等生 (which I have been watching almost daily at 2 to 3 episodes a day), and then read a chapter of 食戟のソーマ, and played AW-SAO:MT – entered and ran through the Tokyo Big Sight dungeon in the desert, which was filled with high level reaper monsters. The boss was also a reaper type monster, whose attacks were high damage dealing. Clearing that dungeon, I unlocked the character Rain from SAO:LS. In the afternoon, I started reading the next book in the Monogatari series, Kizumonogatari. But, since I haven’t watched any of the Kizumonogatari movies, I don’t know the scenes visually, so I will wait until I watch all three of the movies before resuming on reading the Kizumonogatari book.
On the 8th – in the morning, I played the Re:Zero PSV game for 1 hour and then watched 2 episodes of 魔法科高校の劣等生, where I had just finished the 九校戦編 yesterday and started the 横浜騒乱編 today. With the sun high and up, I went over to hang out with Lettuce. He treated me to lunch at the restaurant Johnathan’s. I ordered a plate of omelet rice plus a parfait. While he went off to class, I chilled out at his apartment. I configured his new TV, figured out the cross save feature of SAO:HR on the PS4 and played for a bit. I later played some Re:Zero and PSO2 as well. When Lettuce got back, it was my turn to head out, since I arranged to visit another vocational school in Tokyo. Finished at 21:30, I returned to Lettuce’s place when he tried playing a bit of SAO:HR. Later I tried playing some PSO2 story missions but failed a couple times and gave up. Lastly after showing another episode of Bakemonogatari to Lettuce, I was dead tired by then and we went to sleep afterwards.
On the 9th – both in the morning and also at night, it was a repeating cycle of barely sleeping, trying to play Re:Zero on the PSV, falling asleep, waking again to play, and falling asleep again.
The second weekend of June, Saturday the 10th – me and Lettuce attended the PSO2 感謝祭 2017 event. Details along with photos whenever I get around to it. For a long time, I haven’t been able to keep up with PSO2, and right now I can only play occasionally on Lettuce’s PS4 whenever I visit. PSO2’s EP.5 news and info were announced, and although I am curious, I need to re-engage with PSO2 fully first. After the event, we looked at Gundam models at Yamada Denki where Lettuce bought a RG Zaku II. At my house, he started building the model with me helping and giving advice. Later, I continued watching Bakemonogatari with Lettuce, finishing Suruga Money. I also got around to creating my own strap charm of Kuroyukihime from Accel World. We tried to play Rockman.EXE, but I was falling asleep so we called it a day.
The next day (Sunday) – yet another school’s trial lesson event. At this school, I participated in the full day, 2 lesson program with free lunch. During lunch, I talked to a Russian student who came to Japan around the same time I did. I hold a complex regarding my social status as a foreigner, and meeting him gave me some things to think about. As for the school itself, the teachers and students were very energetic and open. The lessons were lively and I got to play around as Natsu. Despite my awfulness, it was fun. Out of the other participants, there were a number that had skills and talent. I truly wished that I could talk to and befriend those people, but that is ungrantable. On the train back, I continued reading Accel World, and at home, I watched some Fullmetal Alchemist and Shokugeki no Souma, followed by playing Re:Zero on the PSV before heading to bed.
Playing more of PSV Re:Zero on Monday morning (the 12th), I currently have 4 hours in the game. After reloading and trying a different route, I actually got an ending. Interesting. Not quite a bad end, but not the actual endings as I had just started the game. Afterwards, I finished the last 2 episodes of 魔法科高校の劣等生. I thoroughly enjoyed the anime, and I am quite surprised it never gotten a second season. Looking up some info on Wikipedia and the official website, the upcoming movie will takes place in between the first and second school year, but the TV anime didn’t cover the arcs at end of first school year so there is a small gap. Perhaps another series to add to my list of reading the original light novels. Then I read some manga, a couple chapters of ToLove-Ru Darkness, Shokugeki no Souma, and Magisa Garden, which I have started yet again from the beginning for a refresh in order to resume reading. Later that night, I finished vol.11 of ToLove-Ru Darkness and at last, finished vol.2 of Magisa Garden.
13th morning – started watching High School DxD New, the second season. Ever since I watched the first season of High School DxD, I meant to read the light novels until I catch up in text before watching the second season. I never read past page 60 of the first book and now I have other novels to read. Manga-wise, I read some Shokugeki no Souma and started on Magisa Garden’s 3rd volume. In the evening, I realized that I had completely missed out on the live coverage of E3, and promptly watched the Microsoft and Sony conferences. No new Halo announcement, but I was taken away by the game, Anthem. To my eyes, it looked like exactly what I wished Destiny was. Speaking of which, Destiny 2 did not recover any interest from me. Although I currently cannot afford to purchase any game consoles, I will definitely pick up an Xbox One X some time in the future.
On the 14th – I read some manga (Magisa Garden & Shokugeki no Souma) and spent some time chatting with my brother online.
15th morning – played a couple hours of AW-SAO:MT, completed some quests, proceeded in the story. Currently at ep.10, fought against Purple Thorn with the party of Black Lotus, Scarlet Rain, and Blood Leopard. If not careful, her AOE attack will wipe the entire party. After the battle, I unlocked Aqua Current, the final missing member and now both the AW and SAO teams are complete. Completely taken by surprise, Chrome Disaster appeared and it was another battle that took several attempts to beat. Continuing on the game the next day, the upper area of the grassy island unlocked and I entered AW’s 風化 stage to fight Blue Knight. Like all of the previous AW character boss fights, I spent hours upon hours failing. I had to turn the game difficult back down to Normal in order to beat him. The following day was Saturday the 17th, free with no errands. Around 6 am – in AW-SAO:MT, completed some quests, leveled up a bit, and then proceeded to the underground level of the ice island. When taking a break from the game, I took some time to do chores and cleaned the house. Then I headed out briefly to the theater the next town over to buy the ticket and official pamphlet for the 魔法科高校の劣等生 movie tonight. After returning, I played a bit of Re:Zero and then decided to resume my years long hiatus of watching Monogatari series Second Season by starting over from Nekomonogatari Shiro, watching all 5 episodes. I later played some more of AW-SAO:MT, fighting Green Grande. I briefly read more of Accel World before heading off to watch the 魔法科高校の劣等生 movie.
18th morning – Lettuce came over last night, so I woke him up early this morning at 5:30 to build gunpla together. I showed him how to top coat and use the Tamiya Weathering Master set. While he built his RG Zaku II, I started on my RG Exia RII that recently arrived in the mail. We built for a little over 2 hours. I had assembled all of Exia’s advanced MS joints together, forming the very skeleton of the model but not the entire inner frame. Lettuce had the Zaku’s torso partially completed. So far in showing my friend the anime of Bakemonogatari, he has been very puzzled by the series (I am puzzled by his puzzlement), but after watching Nadeko Snake, he enjoyed it and seems like he finally understood to just take the events and scenes as is without reading deeply for purpose. Around 10:30, I had to leave for an audition demo event while Lettuce stayed at my house. To me, the event I attended was another learning experience. I got back when the sun had already set, and Lettuce was reading the SAO movie bonus book, Hopeful Chant. The sky started raining in the afternoon so he couldn’t top coat in the middle of working on the leg parts. While eating dinner, we watched another episode of Bakemonogatari, now an episode into Tsubasa Cat. I was tired and so went to sleep at 21:30. My friend did the same without nothing else to do.
Since May and moving into this new house, I have been trying to change my lifestyle and daily routine. One of the ways was to sleep super early, waking up super early, and then spend the rest of late-night/early-morning doing things. In May, I often got up at 5 or 6 am. Trying to pushing that further, I tried to wake up at 3 or 4 am during this month. Unfortunately, it only happened occasionally with failure due to sleepiness being the main result. However, around this point in time, I begin to go to sleep right after dinner, around 8 or 9 pm and simply waking up whenever I wake up instead of forcing myself.
Saturday the 24th – I woke up at 3 am, organized my external HDD and then started drawing until 7 am. I switched to reading books, reading ToLove-Ru Darkness (finished vol.12) and reading Accel World (on vol.2). Then I chat with my brother for an hour before playing a couple hours of AW-SAO:MT – unlocked upper area of desert where I defeated a wolf boss to open a gate to Accel World’s 錬獄 stage where Black Vise awaited us. The gameplay during this part was interesting, as the map was maze-like and Black Vise escapes a few times and we had to find him somewhere in the building. Afterwards, White Cosmos revealed herself. Another intense fight, since random grunts where around, but at one and a half bar of HP, White Cosmos summons all Kings and it becomes chaos. I had to reduce the difficulty to Normal again and quickly finish off the remaining HP. It will take me some time reading the novels before I reach the White Legion conflict to fully understand the back story. Anyways, enough Kings are defeated for their orbs to unlock the rocky island. Before proceeding, I leveled up Black Lotus to lv.270, unlocking The Eclipse skill which I was very impressed with. Read more manga and then later went to Lettuce’s apartment in the evening to watch the Gundam 00 movie with him. In the remaining time before heading to sleep, we built a bit of models and watched some more Bakemonogatari.
The next day – I spent the entire day hanging out at Lettuce’s apartment, first finishing the last two episodes of Bakemonogatari, then playing games on the PS4. We tried out the Metro 2033 demo with the language set to Russian, and afterwards we checked out the Titanfall 2 demo. We took turns at the Gauntlet speedrun and then played the campaign demo. The guns and Titans were really fun, definitely a game I need to buy someday. The first Titanfall game looked interesting but I never played it since it was multiplayer only. Next, I played some SAO:HR, still going through the lake region. Lastly, we watched the 4 episodes of Nekomonogatari Kuro.
On Wednesday the 28th – I read 2 chapters of ToLove-Ru Darkness, started vol.13 where Lala’s mother visiting Earth, a scenario I surprisingly enjoyed. I also read a chapter of Shokugeki no Souma (still on vol.12), and then built a bit of the RG Exia RII. The following day, I resumed on starting the PSV game Gun Gun Pixies (I played for 10 minutes when I was at Lettuce’s apartment the other day). It is a neat game with interesting characters. Book-wise, I continued reading Accel World and started reading the first book of Nisemonogatari, pausing on Kizumonogatari. I really don’t remember much of Nisemonogatari, which I had only seen once over 3 years ago while I had re-watched Bakemonogatari many times over. As such, I should watch Nisemonogatari with Lettuce soon as it will be a great refresh for me to read the novels.
On Friday the 30th – I played a bit of Gun Gun Pixies and then watched 2 episodes of High School DxD New. Then returned to gaming, playing AW-SAO:MT to level up some characters. I finally activated my first edition DLC codes to unlock Sachi and Yuna as playable characters. Yuna’s skills and moveset are interesting but perhaps not a practical in combat… In the evening, I met up with Lettuce a few towns over to check out a small gunpla exhibition event, where we got to see some of GBWC’s amazing entries including this year’s champion and some upcoming gunpla, such as the Mega Size and RG Unicorn. Returning, Lettuce came along to my house. I promptly booted up Nisemonogatari, watching first 3 episodes.
Throughout this month, I have focused on anime, manga, games, and novels, at the sacrifice of time for drawing. I personally believe that in order for me to move forward, I must get rid of the heavy weight that is my backlog. At the same time, I am trying to accomplish new tasks, such as reading Accel World almost daily. Meanwhile, getting in adequate sleep and everything else… is a hard balance to maintain on top of work and school. In my opinion, I am satisfied with my efforts for the most part. The negative thing being that this blog is more neglected than ever, something I need to find a solution for.
Watched these anime:
- 魔法科高校の劣等生 (finished, ep.7~26)
- 食戟のソーマ (ep.10~21)
- 鋼の錬金術師 (ep.50~57)
- ステラのまほう (ep.8~10)
- ハイスクールDxD New (started, ep.1~5)
Focused on reading these manga:
- ToLoveる ダークネス (vol.11 & 12 finished, vol.13 started)
- 食戟のソーマ (vol.11 finished, vol.12 started)
- アクセル・ワールド/デュラル マギサ・ガーデン (vol.2 finished, vol.3 started)
Started reading a lot of light novels: