I’m not sure what else to say about it other than it was the burn out year for me. I’m staying hopeful that 2018 will be a better year for me when it comes to watching things, but looking past that, the handful of media I did consume (that wasn’t just YouTube videos at 5 A.M. when I couldn’t sleep…), I more than enjoyed. Looking back on this year, I spent most of it playing video games or going to the theater to watch live-action stuff. Anime who?
Night in the Woods
Are you a 20-something college student who likes to suffer? This is the game for you!
Night in the Woods follows Mae Borowski, returning to her hometown after dropping out during her sophomore year of college. I found myself relating a lot to Mae rather easily, and that could be a good thing or bad thing. Night in the Woods grasps the awkwardness of coming back to previous relationships with friends and family after an extended absence; some move on while others are stuck doing what they know how to do to get by. Take some time and sit down with this game and it’ll get you thinking a lot about life and your day-to-day actions.
Kira Kira ☆ Precure A la Mode
Cute, colorful, and magical. I was all over this as soon as it came out. Besides Smile Precure, Kira Kira has quickly become my favorite. I blame the theme of this season for that. (animals and sweets). Kira Kira remains true to the spirit of the previous Precure installments, yet I found this season to be refreshing and easily a good starting point for someone who has never watched any Precure.
I had to have at least one spoopy thing on this list, right? Since the moment the reboot of It was announced, I was eagerly waiting. Not quite ‘killer clown in the sewer’ eagerly waiting, but eager none the less. The film managed to surpass any expectations I had going into this movie and then some! The kids are phenomenal (even though it felt very Stranger Things at times) and I’m looking forward to seeing them in other movies after this. I would definitely push people to see this version over the original film and you’ll rarely hear me say such a thing.
I love watching things that make me ugly cry. This movie had me on the edge of my seat for some of the plot twists. I made a joke to Austin about 20 minutes into the film regarding the plot and, low and behold, my joke was actually true, which made it all the more shocking. No spoilers here though. I appreciate that this movie is one of those rare anime films that has broad audience appeal and I’m hoping to one day sit some of my family down and have them watch it.
The Ancient Magus Bride
I love the big bone boy.
Within the last few years I’ve become a soft person – both literally and metaphorically. Somehow I’ve started to seek out and actively enjoy romance stories, thought I’m still picky about them. I can’t begin to find the words to describe how much I love this series, but I know it’s mostly because the romance between Elias and Chise feels so real. I love how everything is magical yet has enough roots in reality to make it believable. I find Chise to be a very introspective and relatable character and is a breath of fresh air for your average shoujo character.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro managed to make me fall in love with a fish creature, feel intense jealously that I wasn’t also living in a run-down yet aesthetically pleasing apartment over a failing movie theater, and learn some new ASL, all in a little over two hours. Please go see this film. You won’t be disappointed.
Little Witch Academia
If you ask anyone in our group who watched LWA if they loved it, I can guarantee the answer is a definitive ‘yes.’ This is the first and only show that I almost broke the unspoken rule of, “if you’re watching it together, don’t watch ahead” for. I kept wanting to watch it all in one go because I was absolutely enchanted by it. It’s so charming and cute and reminds me of why I love animation geared towards an all-ages audience.
Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen
Araragi faces off against a fully grown Shinobu and it was awesome.
Part three of this film franchise was probably my favorite. I was at a total loss for words during the fight between those two. There’s also some fantastic scenes with Hanekawa that I found charming and funny. The Monogatari franchise overall is beautifully animated, but these movies certainly take it to the next level. I hope to rewatch them all again this year.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
I want to protect Chole Price and Rachel Amber with my own life.
I have A LOT of thoughts about this game, more than what I can write here right now. Before the Storm is a prequel to the main Life is Strange title, showing us all the trouble that Chloe managed to get herself in in the absence of Max. Even while being a teen drama, I find that it delivers an accurate portrayal of reactions one may have experiencing a traumatic event while already going through the difficulties of growing up. One small note about LiS in general: I love it when decision-based games allow you to see the global percentages of other players’ choices within the story since it ends up making you feel good that others made positive choices along with you.
I just want to take a moment to thank Persona 5 for breathing new life into RPGs and making me enjoy them again as the genre. I started it when it first came out and unfortunately had to sit it aside due to school. This game caused me to cancel plans with friends on campus during the semester so I could finish it because I was that invested in the story and the struggles of the characters (sorry guys…). By the time I was done, I had become so attached to the Phantom Thieves that it felt as if I had moved on from a real-life group of friends. I’m already looking forward to starting another play through so I can take the time to max out those confidants and learn more about all of the characters!