2018 & me & 2019

Happy New Year everybody! (No, I’m not late with the wishing, it’s still technically a ‘new year’…. but this post is late – nothing new).

2018 was an okay year IRL – I graduated from high school, still not sure about where I’ll go for college – but I’m going through applications and things aren’t looking as bad as I feared them to be. I’m still alive and healthy, something which I’ve been anxious about since mid-2017. It’s kind-of-irrational for a young guy like me, having that sense of impending doom taking over my mental state for days at a time – but it does happen and it sucks, wish I had more control over it. Also, when I’m not locked in an anxiety cage, I’m just lazy – and I really want to change that because I have control over that, at least. I hope I can just feel like a normal person, not be a sad sloth when I’m feeling like a normal person, and be more motivated this year. That’s all I have for my vague ‘resolutions’ (if you can call them that).

2018 & Anime

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As I said in my update post back in July, I stopped watching anime seasonally – and I still don’t feel like getting back into watching 10 shows every three months week by week for the foreseeable future. Frankly, I think I’m enjoying anime more by not pushing myself to keep up-to-date with shows every week. Of course, binging has its disadvantages – like I can’t always sit down and watch slice-of-life shows in just two or three days. Nonetheless, I learned that not watching anime seasonally works for me.

I just checked my MAL and, unsurprisingly, 2018 has been the year where I watched the least number of new anime ( since 2016 (the year I watched the most number of anime).  Again, I don’t feel like I don’t like anime, it’s just I’m not super excited about new anime before I watch them, unless it has to do with sequels – I’m all aboard on the Chihayafuru and Haikyuu hype trains babyyy!

But I definitely feel more positive on the new shows I watched in 2018, I gave more 8/10’s and above (9) than I did in 2017 (8) on my MAL, even though I watched fewer shows. I think 2018’s been a good year for comedies – I loved Pop Team Epic, Asobi Asobase, Hinamatsuri. Aggretsuko was funny with an enjoyable and well-written cast of characters, and I even enjoyed the over-the-top repetitive comedy of Gokudolls. So if you got some other comedy-centric shows to recommend from 2018, please do in the comments.

I’ve also watched a ton of old OVAs, enjoyed most of them but forgot about them an hour later – the most memorable ones being Otaku no Video (learned some history), Shinesman (cool parody), Golgo 13: Queen Bee (the first Dezaki film I’ve watched) and Cipher (I really want to write a post on it soon). I finally got around to watch Watamote last year and I loved it, even though it kind of got painful and funny watching Tomoko’s overly crippling social-anxiety. Painful because I also have social anxiety, but funny because the show portrays it on an unrealistically over-the-top level. Others among the old anime I loved in 2018 are the eccentric Kuuchuu Buranko, the adventurous youth-tinged Night is Short, Walk on Girl, In this Corner of the World and Barefoot Gen – an anime that uses emotional and tonal clashes as its greatest strengths, and it burns its gory imagery into the back of my eyes through that. Although I loved a lot of old anime, I didn’t watch any old anime from last year that I would put among my all-time favorites.

2018 has also been the year when I finished watching all the Ghibli feature films and realized Isao Takahata is a way better director than Hayao Miyazaki – of course,  they are both great, but Takahata is more adventurous and experiments with more styles than Miyazaki. I plan to make a Top 10 Ghibli films, soon – so I will hold back my opinions on the films until (and if) then.

That’s about all I have to say about my anime-watching in 2018.

2018 & Films

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I’ve been getting into watching a bulk load of movies from 2017, but last year I dived even deeper and became somewhat of a cinephile, and discovered a lot of amazing films and filmmakers.

I love the 3 Kubrick films I’ve watched so far, Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day became one of the most moving films I’ve ever watched. Sion Sono’s Antiporno had beautiful set-designs and Ami Tomite’s performance was amazing, and of course, his epic, tonal hotchpotch of a film – Love Exposure – blew me away. Speaking of blowing me away, Nakashima’s Confessions is now one of my favorite revenge-stories ever. The controversial filmmaker caught my eye with Enter the Void – which was one of my favorite movie-experiences ever, but I was pretty disappointed with his other feature films. And speaking of favorite movie experiences, watching cult-classic Hausu was another amazing one – I watched it a second time with a friend, and I found it as entertaining as I did when I first watched it.

I enjoyed a lot of Korean movies last year – Kim Ki-Duk’s 3-Iron, Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis , Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, Hong Sang-soo’s On the Beach at Night Alone and Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Memories of Murder being standout Korean films for me – I need to watch more from those directors. I enjoyed the cheesy rom-coms way more than I expected, I got a crush on Han Hyo-joo and ended up watching a couple of mediocre films starring her because of that. Watching Architecture 101 and John Lee’s A Moment to Remember got me misty-eyed, which brings me to the point that, generally, Korean films are exceptional in how they portray melancholic and sad stories and make the viewer care about the characters in such a short time. I can’t quite put a finger (or multiple fingers) on what specific aspects make that happen, but it’s something I noticed – so I get why people watch K-dramas and love them so much.

I won’t talk about the films I watched that came out in 2018 – I will talk about them in a year-end list.

2018 & Music

albums

I sort of underwent a huge “taste expansion” last year – I got into a lot of experimental stuff, I got the appeal of shoegaze, drone metal and post-rock. Got into more Japanese artists – something which I wanted to do in 2018. I’ve become more of an album-guy than a singles-guy, I got more time to listen to music because I was on my desk studying most of the time from May to September.  For non-2018 albums, I had these on repeat: Boris’ Flood and Amplifier Worship, Swans’ To Be Kind, Death Grips’ Bottomless Pit and Exmilitary, and GFOTY’s compilation album. I listened to 5 US-based rap albums from 5 artists instead of 3 rap albums from Brockhampton in 2018 (lol), and I really enjoyed them – so I guess I’m a bit more into rap?

I still like Kpop, although getting into album-centric discovery didn’t boost my love for it because the Kpop industry is more about the MV production, idol shows, singles, mini-albums, and the repackaged mini-albums – and that’s completely fine and I’m enjoying a good amount of tracks anyway, and there were some great group debuts: Nature, fromis_9, LOONA, (G)I-DLE and Stray Kids.

As for other 2018 music… year-end lists are coming!

So yeah, it was a great year of discovering new music, and I hope I can continue in 2019 too.

2018 & this blog & 2019

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It’s not surprising that my blog hasn’t got a boost in readership since 2017 – in fact, views have plummeted. That’s fine, though – I don’t even deserve the readership I am getting now (although I’m really grateful to people who do read the blog once in a while), I’m not currently putting out huge, interesting posts with well-formed opinions, and I don’t have the output to deserve more. Bloggers who work full-time jobs and put out cool posts regularly deserve more readership. Alright, let’s move on before I turn this section into a pity party – I’m excited to try more stuff on this blog in 2019. No, I haven’t scrapped the “Revisiting Favorites” series, I got distracted while watching through Death Note (which was supposed to be the next entry to the series) – so I’ll get back to that soon… yeah, I will, not try to.  I’ll continue to do occasional album reviews, although I don’t think I’m really reviewing them as much as I’m gushing about how much I like them. I want to get more into talking about movies- I mean, films this year at some point.

For now, my top priority is getting my year-end lists out, there will most likely be 8 lists this time: 4 on music, video games I played in 2018, favorite films, favorite OP/EDs, and favorite anime. The music, video game related lists are probably going to be out this month but I need more time to watch more anime and films from 2018 before I finalize my lists. Yes, I take making lists very (and unnecessarily) seriously.

I think I’m going to stop my thought-precipitation/diarrhea right here. Thanks for reading. Here’s to a good 2019.

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7 thoughts on “2018 & me & 2019

  1. Wow, I didn’t know you were so young! (I have the tendency to think that everyone who started blogging before me is older than me.) I wish you good luck on college applications. It was recent enough for me to remember (I’m about 3 yrs past that). “Being alive and healthy” is a pretty odd thing to be anxious about, but it’s something I am often anxious about as well. It’s that feeling of always being just an inch away from mental ruin, but never actually crossing the line? In fact, the impending doom had been so great that I started 2019 off with a lot of tears. But cheers to 2019 anyways, and I say this with all sincerity!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I also have the tendency to think people who started blogging earlier are older.
      Thanks! I am going to need it.
      I won’t go into too much detail, but I developed some eye problems in mid-2017 and the retinal specialist told me to keep an eye out for symptoms (lol), and since then my brain’s been in this panicky hypochondriac mode where it just takes a normal headache makes up more symptoms and then I just shut down all other things for a few days and obsess and get anxious over my health for no real reason – it’s not great.
      Yeah, it’s similar but I actually go into ‘mental ruin’. Things have been better since November though, since I’m distracted with other stuff like college applications. So distracting myself seems to work for now.
      I sincerely wish you a better 2019, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yikes, I hope your eye gets the treatment it needs! For me, it’s some unspecified “problem in the guts (?)” that doctors haven’t been able to figure out for 4 yrs. On more nervous nights when symptoms of bloating and whatnot feel more apparent, I’d go to sleep believing that I’m dying from undiagnosed cancer! Distraction is definitely an option, but as I result I just find myself too busy all the time, with a decreased attention span.

        But yeah, let’s not make 2019 about that. I hope your health improves and your college applications go well!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry, I was under the impression that you were in college! The fact that your posts are always so well articulated doesn’t help.

    Honestly, I think you had a pretty fulfilling 2018 in regards to media. Sorry to hear about your real life issues, though. Obviously talk is cheap, but I genuinely do hope things improve ;__;

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, “always well articulated” is a bit too much but thank you.
      Yeah, 2018 was a great year for me media-consumption-wise. Thank you for the well-wishes. I hope you will be in a better overall mental state in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hope 2019 is going better for you.

    I have a bit of college under my belt. The one I attended wasn’t worth the money I was paying for, except for like 2 classes out of 10. Not a good turnout for me so I stopped going.

    Korean movies are darn good at times. A few I recommend if you haven’t seen them is The Outlaws from 2017, A Bittersweet Life from 2005, and Silenced from 2011. All great stuff right there.

    Surprisingly I had a good year music in 2018 too. Enjoyed Brent Walsh (singer of I The Mighty) second ep titled Are You Even There At All. Dude got the talent to write a good in any genre he tackles. Shame he’s not more popular. Artists I enjoyed like Kacey Musgraves, Oresama, Vickeblanka, and numerous others released albums that didn’t disappoint. Also dabble in a little more experimental music with Clarence Clarity, and Jack White. Might do a bit more of that, but there’s so much accessible music out there XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2019 could have started better. As far as blogging goes, I haven’t been feeling motivated lately. I hope you are having a better start to the year.
      Thanks for the recommendations! I have added them to my watch list.
      Glad to hear that you had a good 2018 for music, too. Out of the artists that you mentioned, I am only vaguely familiar with Kacey Musgraves and Oresama. I am interested in trying out Brent Walsh’s new EP now that I have listened through “Moon Creep” and “Cloud’s Song” – he seems to have a nice range with genres.
      Yeah, there’s already plenty of accessible music out there, but listening to experimental music is like an adventurous or special experience with music, it’s like watching an art-house film that just clicks with you. But that doesn’t mean accessible music can’t do that for me – case in point Mitski’s new album.
      I guess it all comes down to what you prioritize doing with your limited free time.

      Liked by 1 person

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