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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

BLOG -- Recap of January

So January flew by pretty quickly. I didn't even remember today was the end-of-month until I was commuting back home from work. Not too much happened, but it was busy! Well... I mention below what's gotten me so busy... hahaha. :P


Outings/Events in January:
- Hung out with friends x3

- My 5-year work anniversary was acknowledged.

- Attended another hockey game (Marlies vs. Rochester Americans -- Marlies lost! [3-4]). Besides that, it was quite the entertaining match.

- Had lunch with my sister.


Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn achievements / news: 
-I've re-subbed, and my Monk is now level 60, yay!


Exposures:
- (Snack): Key Lime donuts -- I got this at Swiss Chalet. Very limey! I probably wouldn't get it again.

- (Mobile game): Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius -- This darn game is sucking up all my free time! Lol. I blame my friend's cousin who got my friend sucked in, which in turn got me sucked in... then I think I got a friend sucked in. Hahaha, it is endless. I enjoy leveling the units and am always happy to pull a unit I recognize, especially if the unit is from Final Fantasy VI.


Finished...
Watching:
(Movie): Mud -- It was a really good movie, but hard to watch at times. 

- (Movie): La La Land x2

- (Anime): The Highschool Life of a Fundashi -- This is a short but funny series.


Playing:
- (PS4): Akiba's Trip -- This was really fun. I accidentally selected Hard mode since it was called "Gamer" difficulty >_<! My first route was Shizuku's. I'm gonna keep at it from time to time till the platinum trophy is mine! lol :)


Reading:
- (Novel): The Neverending Story by Michael Ende -- This was an interesting read. I was surprised to find out that the movie ended just at the half-point of the novel. It was a good choice to end the movie there.

- (Novel): Gravitation: The Novel by Jun Lennon; art by Maki Murakami -- Reading this was very reminiscent of watching the anime. It is quite fun and cute at times. 


Currently... 
Playing (not all at once):
- (PS4): Dragon Ball Xenoverse
- (PS4): J-Stars Victory Vs+
- (PS4): Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below
- (PS4): iDOLM@STER: Platinum Stars 
- (PS4): Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X
- (PS3): Borderlands 2
- (3DS): Story of Seasons
- (3DS): Fantasy Life
- (3DS): Shantae
- (GBA): The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition   
- (PSP): Persona
- (PSP): Patapon 
- (PSP): Corpse Party
- (PSVita): Persona 4: Dancing All Night
- (Wii): Fortune Street 
- (PS2): Atelier Iris 2 
- (PC): UnEpic  
- (PC): King's Bounty: The Legend
- (PC): Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
- (Mobile): Dragon Quest III
- (Mobile): Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius


Watching:
- (TV Show): The Walking Dead (Season 6)
- (TV Show): Orphan Black (Season 3)
- (TV Show): Criminal Minds (Season 10)
- (TV Show): Six Feet Under (Season 1 - Episode 3)
- (Anime): Yu Yu Hakusho (don't remember)
- (Anime): Log Horizon (episode 3)
- (Anime): K-On! Season 2 (episode 19)
- (Anime): Get Backers (episode 27)
- (Anime): Persona 4: The Animation (episode 9)



Reading:
- (Manga): Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori (Volume 12)
- (Novel): Gravitation: Voice of Temptation by Jun Lennon; art by Maki Murakami


That's it for January. Here is one pic I took this month plus a YouTube video. Sorry, I'll try to take more pics next time!


 Chicken parmigiana at Swiss Chalet. It was pretty good, but very filling.

"The Evolution of Hip Hop Love Songs" by Crank Lucas. A friend showed me 
this YouTube video recently and I thought it was pretty funny. 
Note that there is some swearing in the last half of the video.

Thanks for reading! As usual, if you have any questions / comments about anything, feel free. :)

Now... back to spending more energy in Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, lol... x_x'''

Sunday, 22 January 2017

REVIEW/THOUGHTS [MOVIE] -- La La Land

Format Watched: In theatres (January 17, 2017)
Approx. Runtime: 128 minutes (2 hours, 8 minutes)
Language Watched: English
Type of Movie: Comedy, Musical, Romance, Drama
Overall Impression: It's great! It's magical! Even if you may not like musicals, go check it out.


SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
This review will contain some spoilers -- or rather, there will be a "Spoilers" section at the end of the review to go into further detail about certain things. There may still be slight spoilers throughout the review, but I've tried my best to keep them at a minimum.


PERSONAL STANDING (Pre-exposures, thoughts, etc.)
My first exposure to La La Land was months ago when I was in theatres for Doctor Strange. During the theatre pre-show, a promotional clip for La La Land played. When I saw Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling singing and dancing, I knew right away that I had to see it. I enjoyed Emma Stone's singing in Easy A and I was curious about Ryan Gosling's singing voice. Sometimes the smallest curiosities are enough to get me to check something out.


STORY
La La Land is about Mia, a barista aspiring to be an actress, and Sebastian, a pianist aspiring to own a jazz club. They meet and fall in love and we get to see them as they struggle towards their dreams.

The story is very simple, but it is told very charmingly. It has a good balance of scenes that make you feel bright and carefree and scenes that will lightly pull you back to reality.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I did have a couple qualms, which I'll mention in the "Spoilers" section.

I will also briefly mention the movie's theme in the "Spoilers" section.


ACTING/CHARACTERS
The acting was wonderful. Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great in their roles. I could really feel every bit of emotion that their characters felt, so good job! :)


MUSIC
Here's the section I really wanted to talk about (without treading upon spoilers). This. This. The music in La La Land was great. After watching the movie, I bought the soundtrack that same night; that's how much I enjoyed the music. There were a mix of upbeat dance tunes, slow piano ballads (sooo soothing and lovely, ahhhh...), and jazz -- lots of jazz. I'm often very indifferent with jazz -- but I like the jazz in this movie!

I would share some tunes here, but I think they are best experienced when they show up in the movie -- so watch the movie! Hahaha :)

While I enjoyed all the tracks in La La Land, my personal favourites are: Another Day in the Sun, Mia & Sebastian's Theme, A Lovely Night, City of Stars (Duet version), and Audition (The Fools Who Dream). I will comment briefly about these tracks in the "Spoilers" section.
 

CLOSING THOUGHTS
If you haven't yet watched La La Land -- go and watch it! :) It's got heart; it's got magic; it's got passion; and it's got charm. It's been almost a week since I've seen La La Land and I still think about the movie and its characters quite often. It'll definitely be a movie that will stay with me for years to come.


Thanks for reading! If you want some more input about something I didn't cover (I intentionally wrote very little about it -- it should be experienced! Not read about, lol), feel free to ask. :)

Now I'll do the scrolly thing so you don't see the "Spoilers" section right away. Then I'll add some more scrolly things after the "Spoilers" section in case anybody wants to comment, but not see the spoilers.

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SPOILERS

"Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I did have a couple qualms." 

The ending: I will tell you this: immediately after I finished watching La La Land, I thought: I can't ever watch this again. This ending is too sad, with Mia married to somebody else and Sebastian still loving with Mia [I come to this latter conclusion since Sebastian took Mia's advice and opened his jazz club at a different location and he renamed his club to Mia's suggestion -- Mia's influence is forever a part of Sebastian's dream].

After thinking it over many, many, many times, I can come to understand and respect its merits. It is an ending that is closer to the sad reality that once separated, will likely start a life with somebody else, despite loving each other so much. It is also an ending that sticks so much more prominently because Mia and Sebastian did not end up together.

Though... even though I can respect this ending (despite my original thinking, I do want to watch the movie again), I will never like it. It is just too easy to re-write it so that Mia and Sebastian end up together: Mia just needs to stay single! Hahaha. Then she goes to the club, realizes that it's Sebastian's club, Sebastian will notice her in the crowd -- but instead of playing the really bittersweet, painful Epilogue track, he'll play either City of Stars or a more cheerful version of Mia & Sebastian's Theme and they'll live happily ever after.

The Summer montage: This isn't really a qualm, but -- the scene where it cuts back and forth multiple times to Mia dancing and Sebastian playing the piano -- it is very similar to a scene from the movie Whiplash. Even the musical style is similar. This wouldn't affect those who haven't watched Whiplash, but that scene took me out of the movie just briefly.

---------------------------------------------

"I will also briefly mention the movie's theme."

So La La Land's theme is all about pursuing your dreams. I am a big dreamer, so it really spoke to me. I kinda think that there's just not enough dreamers these days. When I say dreamer, I'm not talking about having a dream and just sitting around and hoping that it will one day come true, but about having a dream where the path is not laid out in finite steps -- a dream that requires stumbling, wasted efforts, some luck, and lots of hard work... and a chance that it may not be realized in the end.

Watching La La Land really makes me think about my own dreams and how I need to work harder on them.

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"I will comment briefly about these tracks plus something else."

Another Day in the Sun: This is a really fun track. Great opening number. Strangely, however... even though this track is really cheerful and upbeat, I can sense some kind of pained longing in it and in other tracks that lift certain parts from this song. I wonder if anybody else hears this?

Mia & Sebastian's Theme: This is just so beautiful and soothing -- at least before it becomes energetic. I love it.

A Lovely Night: This is a really cute track. I love when Sebastian says flatly "It's wool". I can hear his annoyed tone.

City of Stars (Duet version): I love this song so much. There is a soft and warm feel to it. When it played in the movie, I was a little surprised that the scene was pretty much just Mia and Sebastian singing together. Like, nothing's happening in the scene, but you can get so much affection from it, too. Very adorable and sweet.

Audition (The Fools Who Dream): I didn't have to look for a theme song this year -- this is definitely my theme song for 2017. *Raises glass* Here's to the fools who dream~~~



If you read my spoilers, thank for reading! Now to finish with more scrolly things. If you disagree with anything or just want to say something, feel free to comment :D

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

BLOG -- My Movie-Watching History (in Theatres) [2016]

Here is my movie-watching (in theatres) history for 2016. I watched a few more than I did last year, but still not as many as I'd like. 

Movie showtimes is still a major factor, but now it is also the different formats / admissions. I do my best to avoid the fancier formats / admissions (3D, AVX, VIP, 4D, etc.) because they can be so costly sometimes. Also, most times I feel the fancier formats don't really enhance the experience that much.  


Now... even though I've covered these throughout the year in my end-of-month blogs, here are all the movies I've watched in theatres for 2016, with additional commentary for most, if not for all.

SPOILER ALERT WARNING!!
Since I will be mentioning a good number of movies in this blog, some of them will contain spoilers. Any movie that will contain a spoiler will be marked.



2016



MOVIE: Deadpool 
DATE: February 16, 2016 
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: It was really funny and gritty. Some of the humour didn't really hit me, though. I really have no care for scenes that are there just to be funny. I really liked the love story.

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MOVIE: Eddie the Eagle 
DATE: March 8, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: I liked the overall feel-goodness of the movie. It was pretty neat to see from a ski jumper's perspective when going down the slope. I also really liked what Matti said to Eddie before the last big jump (though I don't remember what was said).

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MOVIE: Zootopia [SPOILER]
DATE: March 29, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: It was very cute, fun, funny, and serious. Nick and Judy were awesome characters. I especially loved the scene where they reconciled. And of course the scene with the sloths.

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MOVIE: Batman V Superman [SPOILER]
DATE: April 2, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: It was cool to see Batman and Superman squaring off at each other. I didn't think the motivations were really there, though, especially for Superman. The pacing could have done with some work, and please stop blasting Wonder Woman's theme at the weirdest times. It's a cool theme, but it's played at such inopportune times sometimes.

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MOVIE: Captain America: Civil War [SPOILER]
DATE: June 31, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: This was good, but so hard to watch sometimes. I mean, I love Iron Man so much... and I couldn't side with him >_<. It was really hard to watch him and Captain America fighting. The fight scenes were cool, but at the same time I was thinking, You're friends... stop hurting each other! :(

Lol, I'm such a dork.

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MOVIE: Now You See Me 2 
DATE: June 21, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: Not as good as the first movie, but still pretty enjoyable. I personally like Henley more than Lula, but I do like Lula's morbid sense of humour. Lula's just... way too loud sometimes for me to get behind her 100%. Dave Franco was great as usual. I really need to see him in more stuff. The card-flying scene was really cool.

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MOVIE: Finding Dory 
DATE: July 19, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: This was very good. There was one scene where I was just bawling, it affected me so much. It makes me think back to something that was said at a story-building workshop: "one of the most relatable themes in a story is family; because you either have one -- or you want one."

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MOVIE: Swiss Army Man [SPOILER]
DATE: July 26, 2016
DATE: August 5, 2016
DATE: August 7, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): *****

COMMENTS: It was so weird... but also funny, thought-provoking, light, and sweet. Being in a place where you're really free and judgments can't reach you must be really nice. That kiss was also very, very sweet.

You can read my spoilery thoughts on the movie here: https://ironixgirl.blogspot.ca/2016/08/thoughts-movie-swiss-army-man-spoilers.html

And here is another Swiss Army Man-related entry: https://ironixgirl.blogspot.ca/2016/10/reviewthoughts-movie-related-swiss-army.html

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MOVIE: Suicide Squad 
DATE: September 6, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ***

COMMENTS: I wanted to see more of Harley Quinn and Joker. Everything else was just okay. It needed more character development from many of the characters.

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MOVIE: Inside Out 
DATE: October 22, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: It was an interesting look into how emotions could work in the mind. I liked Sadness the most out of the emotion characters. The Lava short that was attached to this movie was so sweet.

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MOVIE: Doctor Strange [SPOILER]
DATE: November 11, 2016
RATING (OUT OF 5): ****

COMMENTS: He's no Iron Man, lol. It's a good movie, but I didn't really like Strange all that much as a character. I can respect his ethics on studying and gaining knowledge, but the human side of him -- we saw glimpses of that in the second half, but I needed to see more. Strange's love interest was a nice character.


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Movies I wanted to watch in theatres but missed:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Creatures
Nerve
Fantastic Beasts
The Neon Demon
10 Cloverfield Lane
X-Men: Apocalypse
  
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That's it for this blog. Thanks for reading! If you have any comments about anything (even if you greatly disagree with anything I've said, or if this made you think about the movies you've watched and want to share), feel free to comment! :)

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. 

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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! :)