For me, 2017 went by in blur due to my transition from college to being an adult with all kinds of new responsibilities. So it’s been difficult to really indulge in movies and TV series like I had in the past because my free time is severely lacking. Though in that free time I was finally able to reach a nice balance. So, here is a list of my things that I particularly enjoyed this year when it comes to all nerdy media. Also, just to preface, these are in no particular order at all and the numbers do no reflect their value.
Over this last year I finally fell into anime merchandise hell and have since completed two bags and am currently working on at least three other bags. I have loved making collages all through elementary school and would spend hours arranging the pictures perfectly to leave no space and no overlap too much. So, it was a no brainer that the organizer and merch hoarder that I am would start to create these painful looking bags. (They are a pain to the wallet as well). There is a really nice community of people who make and sell itabag merchandise, and it’s wonderful to see other bags and peoples’ progress as well. Yes, the itabag above is one of mine.
9. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman was a box office hit this past summer, and for good reason. The movie’s messages about women’s empowerment shines a light on the future representation of female superheroes. Not to mention the fact that this is DC’s first live action film with a competent plot and character development since the Dark Knight trilogy. Even though it take place right on the battlefield of World War I, which is suppose to be dark in hopeless, the visuals still maintain a bright clarity. As a film, Wonder Woman pushed the boundaries and gave hope for the future of DC films to come.
8. Stranger Things
I’m not one for the Horror genre, and I am a massive pansy when it comes to jump scares, but Stranger Things was a huge exception to this fear. It goes back to the old school roots of horror and relies more on suspense rather than trying to scare you at every corner. Also, I love a good mystery and boy is this show chalked full of unanswered question each episode that leaves you wanting more. I watched this show on Netflix with my dad and it became our show that we would watch after my mom went off to bed, so there are a lot of good memories that come with this show. I cannot wait to see what the Duffer brothers have in store for the kids of Hawkins.
After much deliberation I finally decided to sit down and watch all of the Berserk movies, in one sitting, and at eleven o’clock at night. I couldn’t stop watching these I was hooked after the first 30 minutes. The characters are so interesting and I wanted to see how Guts and Griffith continued to develop and their strange relationship with one another. Thankfully I wasn’t blindsided by the ending, but it still creeped me out. I’m being super vague about this one because I feel like it really does need to be experienced without knowing too much about it. Eventually planning on reading the manga series because like a lot of anime series there is more to the story after that has to be read.
I have always been a big superhero nerd but most of my exposure to them was through movies and television series. Thanks to finally having a job I could afford to read comics and with DC Rebirth I was able to jump in the series and have next to no context about what had previously happened. When you go down one rabbit hole you keep finding more, so I started reading older series as well like Teen Titans Vol. 3, Red Robin, Young Avengers, Injustice, Winter Soldier, and many more.
5. Shape of Water
What can I say about this movie that really hasn’t been said already by critics. Shape of Water was a beautiful story about acceptance and love. Elisa is mute, Zelda is African-American, and Giles is gay. They are all people that during the 60s and the paranoia of the Cold War would be seen as outcasts and threats to the American way. All three of them find something in the Amphibious Man that they can relate to in some way, linking this unlikely crew to help a friend. Once again Guillermo del Toro has done it again with his design of the Amphibious Man, which we can also thank the women of his family because they helped in making sure he looked attractive. Hooray for the year of attractive fish-men!
Yes, I know Overwatch has been out for almost 2 years at this point, but I didn’t really start playing that much until this summer. I found an awesome group of friends that I play online frequently and it’s a nice de-stresser after work. However, the main reason that I love Overwatch so much is the world and the lore. I had never played a first person shooter before Overwatch and thanks to the shorts that Blizzard has released I was immediately interested in playing it. Though it doesn’t stop there, with culture bases cosmetics and in-game dialogue there is more to Overwatch, despite it lacking a story mode. I love waiting to see what new items, characters, comics, and shorts that they will release to help fill in the gaps.
I had to put this beautifully hand inked webcomic to my list, I just had to. Even though I started reading this webcomic about two year ago, I didn’t get as invested into the story of Gannet and Bailey until this past year when I became a patron for Lucid. These two boys have the sweetest and most heartbreaking story out of all the yaoi stories that I have read and I wait for those page updates every single week. Also, the fact that Lucid draws all of her pages by hand and without the use of the tablet. This makes her art very unique and gorgeous, and I applaud her for this as she needs all the love in the world as an artist. I was also able to get at least two of my friends into her series as well and I hope that even more people will check out her webcomic and support her.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I was finally able to get a Switch around Christmas and about finished this game in the first two weeks of having it. I have always loved the Legend of Zelda series, from watching my friend play Ocarina of Time on her TV to finally getting to play my first Legend of Zelda game, Twilight Princess. Nintendo has really outdone themselves with this game. It takes everything that fans of this series loves and mashes it with Skyrim, though it makes completionists and type A people get a little anxious because of the sheer amount of things that you can do in this game. I don’t know if I’ll have the patience to do them all, but I’m trying to do what I can. The only problem that I have with this game, along with most everyone else, is the lacking nature of the plot. I understand that there is new DLC that helps with this but the main game itself is underwhelming compared to Ocarina, Majora’s, and even Skyward Sword. Still a beautiful and fun game, filled with hours of gameplay and replayability.
1. Touken Ranbu
For those of you who know me, are you surprised to see this on my list? Probably not. So I pretty much eat, sleep, and breath Touken Ranbu. I have too much merchandise of this series than I know what to do with, Nendoroids galore, hours of gameplay, and have watched the anime, stage play, and musicals on a constant repeat. I finally created a podcast with three of my fellow saniwa, go check it out at Touken Rambles Podcast. It really only has been a year since I got into the series and I love the community the extensive history and lore behind the swords in the series. Due to its popularity interest in Japanese sword history has increased in Japan that last year fans were able to raise enough money to reforge a sword that was lost after World War II and has given way for swords that have never been on exhibit before to be out at a special exhibit. Once again this year will be filled with beautiful sword boys for me.