Hi everyone! I think it’s been AGES since I last did an editorial like this, so I am really eager to share what I have been watching, reading and listening to over the last few months.
First off, I have recently gotten Netflix, and by that I mean my boyfriend’s. I had a trial a year or two ago and I watched a lot but didn’t find it necessary at the time. At the moment they do have a great selection of shows, both anime and not-anime, that I am interested in watching. I’m not a binge watcher at all so I am a few episodes into many many series at once. Of course, I started with the anime but, perhaps in the next Edit, we shall see a greater variety of shows!!
On Netflix, I recommend Aggretsuko, a Sanrio cartoon about a sweet office worker who likes to vent her stress through raging death metal. I am also working my way through Samurai Champloo, a samurai anime with a hip-hop soundtrack. I also noticed Cowboy Bebop was on Netflix, too, which is a space action with a jazz-infused soundtrack. Both are definitely worth checking out, objectively, but perhaps didn’t hit the sweet spot for my personal taste.
Not on Netflix, we recently watched 91 Days at the University Anime Society which has been a huge hit with everyone! It’s fast-paced, dark, unexpected and a great series to watch together and talk about.
In the same vein, I have been reading a lot of manga. I have recently binged a variety of series, and the ones I don’t write further about today are in bold in the list below.
- Skip Beat (re-read)
- Fruits Basket (re-read)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (re-read)
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride (a quaint, British-inspired fantasy).
- Hajime no Ippo (a boxing manga that is surprisingly gripping).
- Real Clothes
- Oishii Kankei (A Delicious Life)
- Yotsuba& (laughed out loud a LOT reading this – a definite recommendation!)
Fruits Basket is probably my very first shoujo manga. No, not even Sailor Moon!! It was in the local library, as well as the school library, and I ended up finishing it online as a young teen. I didn’t fully understand the ending and perhaps even found it boring at the time.
However, reading it now, I realise that after the first five volumes of fun, it quickly becomes sadder. The plot was much less clear-cut than I thought but I did a much better job of understanding it now I am older, and these new things made me enjoy this re-read. That said, the writing is still stretched out and overly fluffy so this plot could have been finished at least a few volumes less, and I probably won’t re-read it again… at least not for a long time.
I started reading Real Clothes and Oishii Kankei, both by the same mangaka, after a long conversation at Anime Society, weeks ago, about the greatness of the shoujo (girls’) genre. I actually read more shounen (boys’) so I thought I needed to broaden my hoizons in this genre. I did start out after this discussion with After the Rain but that’s on hold for now.
Real Clothes and Oishii Kankei are what would be counted as more mature shoujo series, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. The characters themselves are a bit less… dramatic (?) and the drama revolves around their life situations more. I preferred Real Clothes as I think the main character is more relatable – she’s simply a hard-working, career-focused woman who happens to find her calling and the manga does reflect that. It also implies that fashion both can and cannot be learned in interesting ways.
Doctor Who is back on TV! The new 13th Doctor has really grown on me in just a few episodes and the writing is definitely getting there, wherever ‘there’ is. The older series are also on Netflix so I’ve been watching a bit of the Ninth Doctor here and there! There are some fantastic one-liners in those early episodes and I’ve missed them.
As Doctor Who is now on a Sunday, I happen to flick over from watching Bradley Walsh as the new companion to Bradley Walsh as host of The Chase. I tend to only catch the final round or so, but it’s still a bit of fun.
Then I even stick around to watch the X Factor results(!) although I don’t see the live Saturday shows. I think the X Factor needs to die for a few years then come back for a reboot – as a singing show, it tends to favour the same types of contestants and it ends up predictable. I’m not saying bring Produce 101 over to the UK but… okay, maybe K-Pop has really spoiled me. I can’t watch performances in the UK and be genuinely impressed anymore.
In terms of games, I’ve got Mario Party now but we won’t get its full use for another few months when my brother returns home for the holidays. Of course, I have preordered Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and I’m insanely excited for that.
I’ve recently bought Hidden Folks which is a very simple, black and white interactive finding game in the vein of ‘wheres wally?’ It’s best played on the touchscreen so I’ve enjoyed cosying in bed to play this for short bursts of time and finding things in their huge maps.
I’ve also been playing Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice on the 3DS, which I’m loving but finding hard to play in long stretches with my timetable. I don’t know about other fans, but I found AA: Apollo Justice to be necessary to the series, but I didn’t enjoy it as much. Now that Apollo is teamed with Athena I definitely seem to enjoy him more as a character.
I’m mildly obsessed with IZ*ONE at the moment, especially Sakura and Nako. As usual, I tend to watch a couple of episodes of the latest Produce series, pick my favourites, then drop the show until the group is formed. After I.O.I, the post-show team have certainly learnt how to launch a group to success.
Below: my fellow smol Nako and my OG stan, Sakura. Both are from J-line, i.e. the AKB quarter of the group.
I was pleasantly surprised by the more mature and elegant cute theme as I was expecting a more bubblegum pop style from the lineup, and I particularly love the choreography in their debut song, La Vie En Rose. The flower motifs stand out and although the powerful pre-chorus is hit-and miss it seems, I absolutely love it. This debut also has me sold on Wonyoung, the show winner and group center, as I was unsure about her win but she seems totally at home in that position with her obvious charm.
Recently I’ve gotten the urge to learn kpop dances, too, which is great as I’ve got two left feet and bad stage fright(!) so I’ve been learning the choruses to La Vie En Rose and Siren by Sunmi. One day I shall slay those random dance challenges but not yet.
Here are a few more songs I have been loving:
- Love Bomb by Fromis_9 – Energetic, fun with some cute point choreo!
- Like It! By BoA – a jam from the long-reigning QUEEN
- Wow Thing by Seulgi, Soyeon, Chungha and SinB – the hot names in K-pop right now all in one song. I became a fan of Soyeon from this!
- What by Dreamcatcher – Your favourite anime rock, in Korean!
- Puzzle Moon by GWSN (Girls in the Park) – Stan Miya! Pray she gets more lines!
- Save Me, Save You by WJSN (Cosmic Girls) – WJSN deliver a bop without the China Line
- 1999 by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan – Guilty bop
- Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande – Not-Guilty bop. It reminds be of a K-Pop b-side from a group like LOONA (especially Kim Lip and Yves) but with the maturity and class that Ariana can deliver at this stage of her life and career.
Oh shoot, over 1400 words? I’d better wrap this up!! This is what happens when I don’t update in a while! I hope you all discover something new to watch or read through my Edit today, and keep and eye out for the next one!
Until Next Time,
P.S. It’s a shame blogging doesn’t count towards National Novel Writing Month, as a word count of 1400 words is really valuable! HAHA (sob)