February 2021 media round-up

What I played/read/watched in February 2021.

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I ended up reading a lot of manga because I discovered how much the library ebook/overdrive system had. The nice thing about manga for me, is that it reads a lot quicker than just text-based books. As usual, vague spoilers may be found below.

Yakuza 5

The theme of this game was very heavily focused on dreams (the aspirational type, not sleeping ones). I really wasn't sure how the baseball man's plot would link up to it all, but it was satisfying to see it come together. I laughed at random naked workouts...I am in disbelief at the secret marriage. I wonder if they ever made that fountain pen a limited edition item that fans could buy!?

Part 1: I think there's a new contender for biggest himbo in the series: Watase?! I'm much more into Kiryu's uniform. I am very bad at racing but laughed at the very obvious eurobeat music that comes with the minigame.

Part 2: Saejima's crop cut YEA! I laughed really hard at his fist pumping and injections during karaoke. Gross inmate sticking fingers into wound NO! Baba's volatile feelings...! I was very close to gameover-ing during this snowmobile scene. I can't believe the anti-social old snow man has clothing in Saejima's size and style by accident HAHA. I got trapped running away from bears.

Part 3: Haruka had some pretty hilarious ponytail physics going on, and her L-shaped bum wiggle dance move makes me laugh. I'm very bad at the dance battles because it requires another level of button coordination that I don't have. I got really into the idol part because I didn't want to lose to those other idols. I was really DNW about Park at the beginning but of course she makes me cry later...!!!!

Part 4: I recognize Aikawa Show from Odoru Daisousasen / Isseifubi SEPIA hahaha. I also unknowingly gameover-ed at because it was in the middle of a cutscene but then suddenly I had to push a very specific button to do a very specific thing that was critical to the plot...!

I thought that the plot twist at the very end was kind of unnecessary! I wanted an ended with old men cheering at an idol concert instead. The game tried (?) to be all stealth with secret characters, but I could tell who they were from their voices and overall appearance, haha. I feel like I can write autobio reaction zine about this series, but only after i play more substories and Y6 later in March...

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

This book reads like an extended meandering rant, but I don't mean that in a bad way. I think it's more like if you had a meal with a friend you haven't seen in years, and the book is like the script of that what that friend told you. Much of it is relatable if you come from a background that overlaps with her. She makes a reference to Trinh T. Minh-Ha's "Speaking Nearby" which I didn't know about before, but found it to be a good articulation of how to still be a creative and include other experiences that you don't personally have.

Yuzu the Pet Vet vol. 1 by Mingo Ito

The comics were serialized in Nakayoshi and then compiled into a volume. I had a feeling that I would cry really bad since it's about a vet clinic, but I was also convinced that since it's targeted towards young girls maybe it would be more happy-go-lucky, but I was wrong. I was hit with pets dying of old age, cancer, dementia, etc. which ultimately made me cry, but they're all good tears. The stories aren't super deep, but they are indeed wholesome. A lot of cute animals too!

Behind the Scenes!! vol.1 by Bisco Hatori

The last time I touched any of Bisco Hatori's work was Ouran Host Club eons ago, so I thought I'd try this series out. There's a lot going on in the comic panels...so much freaking out. I find it hard to sympathize/empathize with these extremely low confidence characters with a lot of skill/talent. The setting of the series is interesting (university/college prop/setting/staging/art club for movies and films) but I wasn't sure where the series was going; specifically I don't feel "hooked" after reading one volume!

Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist's Journey vol.1 by Akiko Higashimura

I've heard great things about Akiko Higashimura's work (Princess Jellyfish, etc.). I even watched a Manben episode (hosted by Naoki Urasawa) with her in it, but haven't read any of her work until now. This is autobio about her artistic journey, starting from when she was in highschool, trying to apply to art colleges/universities. Her overconfidence was really surprising...but ultimately in reflection I can tell that she really valued her strict art teacher's lessons. I definitely want to continue reading this, to see her relationship and feelings evolve.

Crocodile Baron vol.1 by Takuya Okada

Like a lot of other food-related manga, there is always a trope where they eat a thing and then make an exaggerated comparison to something else. I was a bit weirded out about how the crocodile is very crocodile looking while a lot of the other mammals seem to be more...human/manga-eye-d? In particular the rabbit companion is a very unappealing leech-type character. The art is well done but I don't think there is much substance otherwise to keep me going on another volume.

The Delinquent Housewife vol.1 by Nemu Yoko

Since I read The Way of the Househusband, I figured I could read the reverse situation, where a woman who sucks at housekeeping, becomes a housewife, and tries to hide her delinquent / bosozoku background from her soon-to-be-in-law family. I like how the little sister's nefarious acts are being countered by the seemingly innocent grandpa. I'll probably continue this series!

Ninth Floor (2015)

Mina Shum directed documentary film about the Sir George Williams event in Quebec, 1969, where black students and their allies occupied the 9th floor of a Sir George Williams university (now Concordia) building because of non-action from the university administration about racism charges against a white university professor, Perry Anderson. According to wiki it was the largest occupation in Canadian history! It's always embarrassing (and telling) how nobody ever teaches this stuff in Canada education system. I am also ignorant (hence why I've been trying to learn and listen more) so ultimately I'm glad to have watched this. Artistically, the shots were all quite interesting and purposefully chosen.

Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! vol.1-2 by Yuu Toyota

The series was recommended by Kendra (though I suppose it might've been the live action tv show) so I decided to check it out at the library. It's pretty wholesome, cute, and guilty pleasure BL manga fluff hahahaha so no complaints!! I think Kurosawa's hidden train of thought is very similar to Austin's hahaha. The long-game persistent pining is strong with that one!

Witch Hat Atelier vol.7 by Kamome Shirahama

Ouuu more of Quifrey's background is revealed...! That part where he pulls down the hat...!!!!!! SO SNEAKY!!!

Today's music post: Sickboy by 카코포니(cacophony). I like the bond-esque drama in this song!

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