Sunday, 1 January 2017

BLOG (PERSONAL) -- Perspectives/Memories in 2016, Top Whatevers, Top Exposures, and New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! Here is the long blog I do every year -- taking a look back at the previous year. Even though it takes quite a while for me to do it, it helps keep me organized for the new year. I also know I'll enjoy reading all the memories and whatnot when I re-read this years from now.

Just a nice, random pic of Nagoya from my Japan trip.

(REVIEW) New Year's Resolutions for 2016
- Save money -- DONE (I hit my target amount halfway through the year)

Spend at least 100 hours on learning Python -- NOPE (I spent about 15 hours... ugh... =_=)

Spend at least 100 hours on learning Japanese -- NOPE (I spent about 20 hours here... ugh... =_=)

Create a text-based game -- DONE (Even though the game was much shorter this time, it had its own challenges.) 

Create at least 1 story (short story, play, whatever) -- DONE (I'm counting the situations in the text-based game as a story!)

Watch at least 20 (or ALL) anime series I haven't watched that are in my collection -- DONE (I did the former. Rozen Maiden (Season 1) | Rozen Maiden: Träumend | Rozen Maiden: Ouverture | Steins; Gate | X -TV series- | Ef - A Tale of Memories | Love, Election, and Chocolate | Legend of the Mystical Ninja | Persona 3 The Movie #2: Midsummer Knight's Dream | Ef - A Tales of Melodies | Black Butler II | Black Butler II OVA | Trigun | Ghost Hound | Phantom the Animation OVA | Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo | Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies | Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure | Dragon Ball: The Path of Power | Escaflowne: The Movie)

Read at least 5 (or ALL) books (not manga) I haven't read that are in my collection -- DONE (I did the former. Usborne Illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales by Ruth Brocklehurst & Gillian Doherty | The Princess Bride by William Goldman | Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin | Gun Machine by Warren Ellis | Cassie and Tonk by GMB Chomichuk & Justin Currie)

Listen to at least 10 (or ALL) music CDs I haven't listened to that are in my collection -- DONE (I did the former. Ellegarden: Riot on the Grill | Ellegarden: Eleven Fire Crackers | Tari Tario OST | Hatsune Miku Expo 2016 E.P. -Expo soundtrack | Jam Project: Jam Project Best Collection III | Game Vocal Best Vol.2 -Soundtrack compilation- | Prism Ark -Awake- ~Hikari | Fate/Stay Night -Realta Nua- Number 201 | D.C. II | Do As Infinity -TAO- || + 1 more CD)

Watch at least 15 (or ALL) movies / TV shows I haven't watched that are in my collection (TV shows will be counted by season) -- DONE (I did the former. Seven Psychopaths | Jim Henson's Labyrinth | Criminal Minds (Season 8) | Criminal Minds (Season 9) | Black Swan | Misery | Midnight in Paris | Fantastic Mr. Fox | Die Hard | Miss Congeniality | Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous | The Queen | Transformers: Dark of the Moon | The Departed | Django Unchained || + 3 more movies / TV shows)

Expose myself to at least 10 games that I physically own -- DONE (J-Stars Victory Vs+ | Valkyria Chronicles Remastered | Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir | Story of Seasons | iDOLM@STER: Platinum Stars | Patapon | Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X | Style Savvy: Fashion Forward | My Japanese Coach | Akiba's Trip)

- Expose myself to at least 10 games that I digitally own -- DONE (Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star | Shantae | Corpse Party | Contrast | Transistor | Dragon Quest II Mobile | Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures | Picross: The Legend of Zelda | Doki-Doki Universe | Stick It To The Man || + 4 more games)

Find 500 hours and put that towards catching up on either the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Persona series -- NOPE (I spent about 200 hours... and a good portion of that went to Persona 4 Golden (about 150 hours). I did beat Dragon Quest I & Dragon Quest II as well)

- Beat at least 5 games that I physically own -- DONE (Steins; Gate | Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure | Crush | Style Savvy: Fashion Forward [I saw the credits so I'm counting it!] | Persona 4 Golden)

- Beat at least 5 games that I digitally own -- DONE (Contrast | Dragon Quest I Mobile | Liberation Maiden | Never Alone | Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures || + 5 more games)

For five days a week, spend AT MOST 3 hours each day on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. One of those five days has to be a weekend -- HALF (I was pretty good with this, but I flubbed up a few times, so I can't really consider it as "done"... *sigh* >_>'

- Reduce my overall collection! This would be my collection for books, video games, music, movies, TV shows, figures -- DONE (I reduced my overall collection by 84 items. Unfortunately, I did not count how many items I acquired throughout the year... but definitely not as many as 84!)

To sum up: Out of my 16 resolutions, I completed 12.5. I'm getting a bit better. I'm gonna have to manage my time a little better if I want to complete those resolutions that call for a specific amount of time... though really -- most of my resolutions call for devotion of Time... 

I will just have to learn how to Multi-task more efficiently... or operate without any sleep... lol... >_>'''

Below are my resolutions for 2017. They are similar to last year's resolutions, with a few tweaks and additions:

New Year's Resolutions for 2017
- Spend at least 100 hours on learning Python
- Spend at least 100 hours on learning Japanese
- Create a text-based game 
- Create at least 1 story (short story, play, fanfiction, whatever)
- Watch a minimum of 400 episodes' worth of anime I haven't watched that are in my collection (movies count as 1 episode per 30 minutes runtime, rounded down)
- Read a minimum of 1000 pages' worth of books I haven't read that are in my collection (manga and comics included)
- Listen to at least 10 (or ALL) music CDs I haven't listened to that are in my collection
- Watch at least 20 (or ALL) movies / TV shows I haven't watched that are in my collection (TV shows will be counted by season)
Watch through all the seasons and movies of X-Files
- Expose myself to at least 5 games that I physically own
- Expose myself to at least 5 games that I digitally own
- Find 500 hours and put that towards catching up on either the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Persona series
- Beat at least 10 games that I physically own
- Beat at least 10 games that I digitally own
- Reduce my overall collection! This would be my collection for books, video games, music, movies, TV shows, figures.

Overall, I think my resolutions this year are a bit more ambitious than last year's. It is definitely helping me go through my collection, though. I have a bit more walking space in my room now! 

While my main aim in most my resolutions is to go through my media collection, this time I wanted more flex in what I experienced. I noticed last year that I tended to favour shorter anime series and shorter books over longer ones so I could get to the next thing faster. I think I'd be able to have more flex with my "watch a minimum of 400 episodes' worth of anime" and "read a minimum of 1000 pages' worth of books" resolutions. At least this way, a 47-episode anime series would carry the same weight as a 13-episode series. Maybe now I can try reading Brave Story, which is 816 pages long... well, if it keeps my attention throughout >_>'

I still have the "find 500 hours and put that toward catching up on either the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or Persona series" resolution. Although I didn't finish it last year, I enjoyed adjusting my mindset to focus on specific series I've been meaning to play through for a long time now. Due to that resolution last year, I am now ready to play Persona 5 once it comes out, yayyy! <3

This time I don't have any "Save money"-type resolutions because I have my own personal budgeting challenge... to try and go through the year with a very limited amount of spending money (sorry, no details here!). If I succeed, I will have saved some money at the end, and I will know that I could possibly "survive" on less.

2016 in Review
Well, overall I think 2016 was more of... 2015, which was more of 2014. I am still kinda at a standstill, not exactly sure where to move or what to work towards in my life. Is this me going through a mid-life crisis? Or is this just the point in my life where I am to "work for a living" and that's it? Lol... I will have to think about this more deeply.

My online life seems to be gradually lessening, which is a good thing for me (I'm sorry to all my online friends!). I will still play Final Fantasy XIV from time to time... but I think it's run its course of affecting my perspective of online interactions and allowing me to develop friendships that would / could possibly last beyond the game.

Another thing to say about 2016 -- it was a year of first experiences. You can see below just how many things I experienced for the first time. I think that's kinda telling of just how "noob" I still am with "life".

"My theme song" this year: Just like last year, I don't have one. Maybe I should go looking for a theme song in 2017?

Notable/Significant Memories/Events in 2016
Too many celebrity passings: There's just been too many... too many... *weeps and bows my head*.

Travelled to Japan by myself for the first time: I can only say -- I survived to tell the tale! And I would do it again! Though... preferably... not by myself next time hopefully, lol.

Travelled to Ottawa by myself for the first time... for Marianas Trench!: This still surprised me. But I enjoyed the concert very much -- and I was treated to a lovely dream in exchange for my "just okay" free day after the concert.

Attended Fan Expo 2016: This will always be mentioned.

Attended the Miku concert in Toronto: This was so awesome. I hope she comes back again! xD

Attended Daniela Andrade's performance in Toronto: This was very magical and enjoyable. x3

Experienced credit card fraud for the first time: Thankfully not much was charged on my card and it was dealt with very quickly.

Attended a hockey game for the first time: I kinda never imagined I would ever experience this -- but I did, and it was quite enjoyable! :3

Made cake from scratch for the first time: Finally I get to make the cake I've been wanting to make for a lonnng time (I was holding onto the recipe for many years).

Spending time with my friends: This is always going to be mentioned here. I wish I could have more time to spend with them.

Secret: I'm just saying that there are other notable/significant memories/events, but I can't talk about them here and I can't talk about them now. But I want to acknowledge that they exist. Most are really warm and nice memories :)

Top Whatevers in 2016
This is my top list of what was released in 2016 that I experienced. There won't be much here since I rarely experience anything current.

(Movie): Swiss Army Man
This movie is hands down one of my all time top movies. The themes and what it was trying to express about society and the individual, I loved it so much. It is also such a beautiful movie... mmmm... :) <3

You can read my spoilery blog entry about it here. I also blogged about it again when it came out on Blu-Ray/DVD. 

(Anime): My Love Story
I think I said pretty much everything in my review. It is sweet, funny, heartfelt, and ridiculous. What more could you want? :)

(Video Game): Style Savvy: Fashion Forward [3DS]
It's a bit embarrassing to admit but this game can get pretty addictive sometimes. And there's just so many different fashion styles.

(Song - English): Tie between Shore by Daniela Andrade and Wiser by Madilyn Bailey
There's just something from both these songs that I really like. I enjoy the soft melody for Shore and the simple-ish yet expressive words. Wiser I think the lyrics are kinda different. I think it's interesting that it tries to turn something that can be so sad and painful into strength.

"Shore" by Daniela Andrade. The song starts at around 1:05.

"Wiser" by Madilyn Bailey

Top Exposures in 2016
This is my top list of what I was exposed to this year, regardless of what year it really came out in. Any titles with two years indicate the original release date, then the English release date. If I list here the same thing from my "Top Whatevers", I will also mention a runner-up.

(Anime): Persona 3 the movie -#2 Midsummer Knight's Dream- (2014/2015)
Just like with the first Persona 3 movie, I really loved seeing the characters come to life.

(TV show): The Goldbergs (2013-present)
I've only watched the first season so far, and am enjoying it a lot! It's so relatable, heartfelt, and funny. 

(Comic): V for Vendetta (1988)
Granted... I only read one comic book this year... but V for Vendetta totally deserves the spot. It is really well done, and I really like the issues it addressed.

(Movie): Swiss Army Man
Runner-up would be WALL-E (2008). WALL-E is such a sweet movie. I love how so much emotion was conveyed despite there not being that much dialogue.

(Video Game): Tie between Persona 4 Golden (2012) [PSVita] and Steins; Gate (2012/2015) [PS3]
Both Persona 4 Golden and Steins; Gate are great games. A good story, great music, nice voice work, great characterizations... and both having such strong, powerful, emotional moments. I personally think they are among the best in their respective genres.

(Song - English): One Love by Marianas Trench (2015)
While I love many songs from Marianas Trench, this is the song that started it all for me and my interest in the band's repertoire. So it's got a special place in heart. <3 It is also a very good song, too!

(Song - Japanese): Space Sonic by Ellegarden (2014)
This song is all in English, but it is performed by a Japanese band, so I am counting it here. Something about this song really catches me. Hopefully I'll be able to sing it for karaoke the next time I travel to Japan.

"Space Sonic" by Ellegarden

(Celebrity): Daniel Radcliffe (as Manny)
Yes, Daniel Radcliffe was a bit on my radar after the Harry Potter series, but it was his performance as Manny from Swiss Army Man that put him on my map like you wouldn't believe. I will have to say I am NOT crazy obsessive about him -- but I respect his acting ability a lot, and can appreciate that he comes across as... intelligent, playful, a little weird, and honest in the interviews I've seen him in.

(Directors): Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (daniels)
I just have to give a shout-out to these two directors -- the masterminds behind Swiss Army Man. They come across as so weird, playful, funny, honest, and thoughtful that I think I'll be checking in on their works from time to time. 


And that's that for my review of 2016.

Last year, I noted a few things / changes that I anticipated in 2016. Here they are again and what happened with them:
Having less media in my collection (I think this happened a bit! At least my room seems a bit cleaner) 
Spending more time on learning and creating and a bit less time on gaming (I did not learn nor create enough)
Finding myself with more time (This didn't happen. If anything, I had less time)
Becoming more independent (I think so. I mean, my trip to Japan and Ottawa kinda proves I can be okay by myself, at least for a short while)

Normally I would list a few things / changes I anticipate in 2017 for me, but this time I have no idea at all what's going to happen, so... no list this year!

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! Just like with the previous years, here's a % breakdown of my spending in 2016 (excluding necessities like my cell phone plan, transportation expenses, etc.), comparing it to 2015 and 2014. Click on the image to enlarge it.

What alarms me a bit here is the increase in spending under Lunch Expense and Misc. The decrease in spending for video games and DVDs/Blu-Rays is kinda expected, with me trying to not increase my media collection.

Thanks again for reading! May 2017 come with good health, emotional / spiritual wealth (maybe also monetary wealth, but it is less priority I say, lol), and a pile of wonderful memories. Take care everybody! :)

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