It's been cloudy recently in NYC, or so I thought until I realized (or remembered) that the sun doesn't reach my room in the afternoons. I'm spending a lot more time at my desk lately as I get used to my new job and plug away at my grad school apps. While I'm happy to have a routine, these whole days without sun remind me too much of college – in fact it's about time that students there suffer their yearly bout of seasonal affective disorder. I shudder at the thought of my sunlight being arbitrarily robbed come November 7, having avoided that nonsense for three years.
What Am I Up To?
Earlier this month was my second time attending the New York City Comic Con, the first held since the pandemic hit. The last time I went, unemployed and just out of college in 2018, I put up with their website's clunky UI to optimize my path through panels, exhibits, and random giveaways, thinking I had to make the most out of the $60 (plus fees) ticket. While I'm still deeply in debt, having made some savings took the edge off of the day, most of which I spent browsing Artist Alley for neat stickers and posters. It probably helped that I got my fill of browsing video game and anime-paraphernalia over these last few years in Tokyo!
What I'm Reading
A World Without Police, by Geo Maher: I recommend this book for anyone who's gotten stuck when asked what we do for public safety after the abolition of police, because the answer is: literally anything else, since they were never here to help.
Kikotowa, by Asabuki Mariko (Winner of the 144th Akutagawa Prize): Memories and dreams blend with reality as time seems to have stopped in a cherished space, met with mixed feelings as loss is explored as well. I wonder if I have made such treasured places, or if they're still in the making?
Snakes and Earrings, by Kanehara Hitomi (Winner of the 130th Akutagawa Prize): In the early 2000s, a disillusioned young woman relies on pain to overcome her loneliness and ennui in a society that has abandoned her generation. Little suggests that anything has changed for the next!
What I'm Watching
無職転生 (Jobless Reincarnation) (2021): Talent poured towards elaborate world-building and compelling characters is constantly interrupted by the predatory impulses of a literal man-child, and I'm a fool for thinking it'll stop.
それを愛とまちがえるから (Because You Thought It Was Love) (2019): A married couple and their lovers try transparency, fail at communication, and succeed at becoming family. Exhausting!
コントが始まる (Life's Punchline) (2021): As an unsuccessful sketch comedy trio reflected on what their years of effort was worth, I felt pressured to ask myself the same.
Squid Game (2021): There are plenty of opinions out there, I know, but I hope we see Anupam Tripathi (Ali) and others continue to add new perspectives in stories like these around the world.
'm Playing Want To Play
It's been a busy few weeks with a lot of spending, so I've been doing more research than playing, but a few games have stood out:
Disco Elysium: Recommended by my cyberpunk-savvy friend who bought it a second time to play on the Switch!
Smash Ultimate Expansion Pass (now with Sora!): Really, the orchestral arrangement of Simple and Clean in the trailer was all it took.
Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 1: A new Disgaea is released every few years, but I've always yearned for more of the sincere stories and cast of Phantom Brave.
Shin Megami Tensei V: I look forward to committing casual blasphemy, but wonder if the trademark law vs. chaos binary needs more ambiguity.
Song of the Week
I recently started watching Blue Period after having been recommended the manga, and I find myself wondering what kind of impact such a story, about a directionless teen Yatora who one day decides to pursue art school, could have had on me back in high school when I told myself I was already too late to try art. This vibrant OP by Omoinotake came up for me on Spotify so I thought I'd share!