In December 2016, I tweeted: “The year 2016 has felt like 2+ years have passed since January 1st.” This year somehow felt even longer and was filled with too many distressing news stories.
The year also offered many entertaining and thoughtful anime series, movies, manga, and novels. I started watching a bunch of anime series that I hope to finish in 2018 including Kemono Friends, Little Witch Academia, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Sakura Quest. There were many others I heard about during the year that I would like to give a try. I am optimistic about 2018 being a more positive year overall while acknowledging the continuing potential of major tragedies and global strife.
To aid in reflecting on the past 12 months, I’m borrowing nine questions Lauren used in her year-end post at Otaku Journalist.
What made up your body of work this year? Which parts are you most proud of?
My frequency of writing posts increased from 2016 (19 in 2017, 8 in 2016) and I feel I can continue to improve in the new year.
- I wrote a few periodic posts about new manga series debuting in the English-translated Weekly Shonen Jump, making good use of my subscription.
- I penned a critical post about Crunchyroll’s inaugural Anime Awards before online voting began. The second edition of the awards will have some new categories, e.g. Best Film and Best Manga. The winners of each category will be decided by a combination of online votes & judge rankings.
- I started to do weekly check-in posts about what I was watching and reading – something I want to start doing again in 2018.
- I wrote about attending the first Crunchyroll Expo in August.
What were your top 5 moments of the year?
- Meeting new people during Crunchyroll Expo and at an Anime Feminist/Woke Weebs mixer during that same weekend.
- Seeing The Ancient Magus’ Bride author Kore Yamazaki answering questions at two Crunchyroll Expo events and later getting her autograph on volume 1 of the manga.
- Watching older anime series and movies with online friends. We saw Twelve Kingdoms, Nodame Cantabile, Only Yesterday, Spirited Away, The Cockpit, Millennium Actress, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Haibane Renmei, the first season of Kaiji, and Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer.
- Playing video games on an eight-hour stream for Extra Life. It was my first year participating. I didn’t garner much of an audience or raise much money, but I gained some experience in video capture and confidence to possibly do more gaming streams in the future.
- Watching Fight Club for the first time and being surprised at its nihilism.
What are you really glad is over?
The wait for my Skip Beat Kickstarter physical rewards. The fundraising campaign officially ended in April 2016 and I received a Blu-ray set with a sticker in early November 2017. Pied Piper was a small team and tried hard to meet backers’ expectations: they solicited feedback about translations and packaging during the production process, allowed backers to make upgrades and add-ons to their pledges, and provided updates about the dub process and delays.
How are you different today than you were 365 days ago?
I’ve been paying more attention to legislative & judicial processes in the U.S. and becoming less tolerant of politically-spun BS.
Is there anything you achieved that you forgot to celebrate?
I paid off my car loan. Next up are student loans…
What have you changed your perspective on this year?
The value of conversation and using it to reach a more thorough understanding of issues. I’m trying to read/listen to a broader set of voices to better figure out what’s happening in various situations and how the same thing can be perceived in different ways because of contexts, experiences, and other factors.
Who are the people that really came through for you this year?
A contributing reviewer, The Droid, who has consistently provided reviews of recent anime series and movies since April 2016. I have sometimes fallen behind in editing and publishing his writings but I really appreciate having another voice, especially someone who watches series that I don’t usually consider.
What were some pieces of media that defined your year?
I listened to music more often this year than watching anything. A number of new albums resonated with me including Maximo Park’s album Risk to Exist, which expressed contemporary societal worries; DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar; Life Will See You Now by Jens Lekman; FREEDOM by BRADIO; Daruma Ringo (達磨林檎) by Gesu no Kiwami Otome (ゲスの極み乙女); &DNA by PASSEPIED; Hot Thoughts by Spoon; For Crying Out Loud by Kasabian; and Whiteout Conditions by The New Pornographers.
I also played a handful of mobile games to pass time: Fire Emblem Heroes, Fate/Grand Order, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, CodyCross, Magikarp Jump, Super Mario Run, Miracle Merchant, Solitairica, Pokemon GO, Syllablade, Pac-Man 256, and a Wheel of Fortune game.
Doctor Strange, The Big Short, Jaws, Star Wars Rogue One, and The Last Jedi were good movies I saw for the first time this year; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had some faults. Battle Royale is still a fine film to rewatch.
What will you be leaving behind in 2017?
A self-imposed obligation to write about everything I watch or read. This has hampered me for years and caused countless moments of indecision over what to look at next. This blog is a hobby, not a full-time job, so I shouldn’t get stressed out about it.