Whew, hello! I’m still alive. Actually, I’ve got the new BTS album blaring through my brother’s fancy headphones and I’m LIVING (even if it’s almost 4 AM here as I’m typing). I guess I’m faring pretty well. Okay, reality check: I’m currently having confidence and motivation issues but the only way to deal with that is to just keep going and doing what needs to be done. I got through one big personal crisis last year and I can do it again. [insert flex emoji here]
And so here I am again, with the February installment of my 9 Happy Things. It’s always good to remind ourselves that there are still things to be happy about, no matter how small or shallow they might seem.
As a wise man (Tablo from Epik High) once said, “There are happy moments only.“
It’s a short but powerful statement that stuck with me ever since I first read it and I’ve wholeheartedly accepted it as true. Happiness isn’t a permanent state and it’s not a goal to work towards. It’s not something you can check off a list. Sometimes, it takes conscious effort to be happy and yet it’s not a feeling that you can force.
Honestly, the more I try to think about it, it’s hard to be happy or to even recognize that you’re happy at any given time. In any case, this is me deliberately recognizing what made me “happy” last February so let’s go!
1. Umbrella Academy on Netflix!
This is one thing from my teenage years that I didn’t think would make a big splash this year. Talk about a throwback. I was obsessed with the idea of dressing up as Rumor back then because her purple hair was so iconic. For me, at least.
I was really impressed with how well Netflix and Gerard were able to work with the source material and make the story palatable for television-ish consumption. I don’t mind that they’ve changed up what the characters are like and how the character dynamics worked in the show. If you told me that Vanya and Five/Vanya and Allison would make for a sweet sibling dynamic, I’d have laughed in your face.
Speaking of Five: Aidan Gallagher, who plays him, deserves mad props for being able to portray “fifteen year-old who jumped through time and is now actually an old man stuck in his fifteen year-old body” believably.
Oh, and let’s not forget Robert Sheehan as Klaus. Such a quirky babe. I love him.
2. Isekai but make it girl power
If you haven’t heard of isekai, it’s a popular Japanese sub-genre of light novels/manga/anime that involves the modern-day protagonist being transported to another world. Think Sword Art Online or Fushigi Yuugi. I admit I’m not a big fan of recent iterations of isekai because most of what I see are that of plain guys getting transported to some fantasy world where they’re suddenly hot and get saddled with a harem of girls.
Yeah, I know I’m probably not looking hard enough but what I really want is more new stuff with girl protagonists who actually do things. Like Twelve Kingdoms or Rayearth but NEW. I didn’t see much of that before I came across a Twitter thread (which I can’t find right now) listing isekai with the very thing I’ve been looking for with the added bonus of the main character being the villain of the otome game setting she’s stuck in.
The one I started reading early on was I Reincarnated into an Otome Game as a Villainess with Only Destruction Flags but while it was extremely funny, it wasn’t really my thing. I loved that the MC was very self-aware of the potential hazards that can cause her downfall and actively worked to avoid every “destruction flag”. I’m just not sure what the payoff will be after she’s done recruiting everyone into her harem. There’s no real conflict and I’ve already read up to volume 2.
After Destruction Flag otome, I went with Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter / Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter and I’m liking it better. It’s less harem and more “we gotta get shit done and fix the fiefdom”. I like that the MC is using her modern-day practical knowledge and applying it to fixing the world she’s in. I’ve only gotten volume 1 because I’m saving up for a lot of things and I can’t really spend too much right now.
3. February events!
It’s a free-to-play mystery game that’s available for Android and iOS users and I love the characters very much. Right now, I’m not playing it because the “you only get 5 free tickets per day” thing can get very frustrating. You don’t get a lot of mileage if you’re not in the habit of buying things in free-to-play games. Personally, I prefer paying for the entire game over paying for consumable game elements.
That said, I love the story. I can’t talk about it much in fear of spoiling it for anyone. Just know that it’s intriguing and also sinister because of certain plot points and characters (OSOTO MASAKI DOES NOT DESERVE RIGHTS). I’ll come back to this once I get over my grudge about the “free tickets” thing.
Despite a lot of setbacks because of my commitment issues, I finished Tsurune last February and I’m so happy I did. It’s such a good story of personal growth and overcoming the obstacles that prevent us from becoming our best selves. There are many cute boys as well. Seiya is my baby boy and Minato is my good son.
I prefer this to Free, I’m not sure why. I liked how “peaceful” Tsurune seemed. I don’t know how to describe it. It just feels more quiet and restrained in contrast to how much Free yelled about boys in swimming trunks. Don’t get me wrong, the amount of fanservice in Tsurune slapped me so hard that even my soul felt it but it wasn’t as loud as how Free did it.
It’s a vibes thing. Ignore me, please.
6. New music!
I know the dance practice video came out in March but LOONA’s [X X] came out in February and Butterfly was my everything, especially That. Dance. Choreography like that is not common in kpop, imho. It’s so beautiful and lyrical.
Other music favorites include: Dreamcatcher’s songs from The End of Era, The Umbrella Academy playlist (special mention goes to Istanbul by They Might be Giants!), and Taemin’s Want.
7. Akaashi from Haikyuu is me.
Sure, I’m not as cool and good-looking but the internal panic is real.
P.S. I don’t know how to link to the Shonen Jump app chapters but the above is a screenshot from it.
8. Attending my first office event!
I don’t make it a habit to go into specifics about my personal life, especially about work, so all I can share is that it was pretty formal. I wore a dress and heels and I died.
9. New Pokemon game I can’t play yet again…
… because I don’t have a Nintendo Switch yet!!! [shakes fist at Nintendo]
Console issues aside, I am so excited for Pokemon Sword and Shield! Hopefully, it’s just as charming and interesting as Sun and Moon.
Aaaaaaaaaand that’s it! That was a trial. Note to self: Never ever let this type of blog post go into backlog because it’s hard to recall things. The CCS weekly planner only lasted for a few weeks before my commitment issues settled in. Eh, it was fun while it lasted.
Thank you for reading and I hope you have a good April!