Saturday, January 19, 2019

2018 Favourites

So, as you can see, it's 2019 mid January lol. Honestly, I wasn't planning on doing my 2018 Favourites (since I usually post it on the last day of that year) but it just felt so weird to not do one since I've been doing it for the past few years, so yeah I caved lol. Also, I've found it really hard to keep up with everything and blogging (as you have noticed from the lack of posts) so I really don't know if I'll be able to keep up this blog. I thought about just giving it up but I just love the ritual of doing favourites every year so I think I might at least continue with that for my personal enjoyment lol. Otherwise, no more empty promises, we'll just see how I go this year lol. Although, I do have to say, I don't think I have much favourites this year LOL, so it shouldn't be a long post this time (especially since I've done the manga side on my other blog)


I really don't have much skincare I enjoyed in 2018 since I've been just using my Avene Skin Recovery Cream the entire year due to my sensitive eczema prone skin (for the face). Thankfully, it seems that my face is much better now so I might explore new skincare again this year, but we shall see~ On another note, I didn't use makeup much at all this year to keep my skin nice and healthy (since I had red itchy patches on my face) and only used it for special occasions (weddings, interviews), so I have nothing new to recommend since I just used the same stuff ahaha.

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Dermeze Moisturising Cream

I discovered this in late 2018 but this is such a lifesaver for my skin (face and hands!). Omggg, I think I may have found the cream for my eczema hands! If you've read my blog for a while, you would know that my hands are eternally grappling with eczema all year round, 24/7, I don't think I've seen my hands without eczema in years tbh. Anyway, this doesn't completely make my hands eczema free but it definitely makes my hands less itchy at night and I can finally sleep without worrying about my hands bleeding (from the uncontrollable scratching when I'm asleep) and I can actually sleep LOL. I usually have to wrap my fingers in tissues to control how itchy they are and it really stresses me out, sigh. But, I think this cream has really saved me from that agony, I used it in Hong Kong, Japan and back in Australia and I'm happy to say that it's still going well after a few months! My left hand is still a bit red and itchy but definitely MUCH less than before and I'm so happy. It's so inexpensive compared to other creams and steroid creams as well, so yay!

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Muji Light Toning Water - High Moisture

Another thing I used overseas and probably most of the year in 2018 was this toning water! It's so good for prepping my skin for the skincare I'm using and it doesn't irritate me at all, so happy! It makes my skin pretty moisturised so that I can absorb in the other products easily. It's a very simple, does its' job kinda product. Nothing amazing or groundbreaking but it works and it doesn't irritate me and that's the best I could ask for XD


I am so disappointed to say that I only read 4 books in 2018. That's crazy! I've been reading more than 12 books every year for the past two years so I'm really disappointed that I didn't read much last year T_T To be fair, I did play quite a few games and was stressed from looking for PLT etc, but still, no excuses! I will try to read 10+ books this year! Anyway, since I only read 4 books, there's not much to say LOL. I can only really recommend one out of the four. As for the others, I read Alice in Wonderland's sequel which was, I guess fun but pointless like the prequel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was pretty cool, short and fun adventure (I liked it), and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a beautifully written short piece of literature that was thoughtful and nice to read, but I guess it didn't have the impact that I thought it would, it was still enjoyable though, just not a favourite. On the other hand...

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 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I think I spent the whole year reading this tbh, whilst taking breaks in between lol. I think it was just a difficult read imo. Not difficult as in it's textually hard to read, but emotionally hard to read. I'm sure most people would know the story from the movies etc but it basically follows a girl called a beautiful girl called Tess and her life of pain tbh, after she was *spoilers* raped by a man and how she was treated by society, by the man she fell in love with after and how she had to cope with so many things outside of her control that she didn't deserve and how it led to her demise. It was a really saddening story. Every time I read about her happiness with falling in love with Angel but then knowing that everything was just going to go downhill made my heart just ache for her. It's a tragedy revolving around a girl that tried to persevere through life despite what happened to her, but never being able to overcome it all because of the men she encountered and the society she lived in. Really liked this book and definitely recommend it even though it was an emotionally difficult book to get through. I loved Tess but could never really like any of the guys after the way they treated her.


Well, this one is gonna be long LOL, so be ready to read (or skip!). I mostly played mobile otome games and I can't really recommend Hakuoki yet since I'm not done with it but I do have quite a few games I played... So yeah, the following is the reason why I didn't read much books in 2018 haha.

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Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (PC, PS4)

Well, I've been trying to go through the Final Fantasy games I played as a kid and talking about how I feel about them now (Gaming Blog) and I'm finally done with FFX! Tbh, I kinda played most of it a year or two ago, I just didn't bother maxing my stats, killing the Dark Aeons, Nemesis, Penance and finishing it LOL, which I eventually did this year, yay! Needless to say, it was tedious but I achieved it~ I can finally say I finished this game haha. Anyway, if  you don't know this game (which is a surprise since it's so old but popular lol), it follows the protagonist Tidus who is somehow swept into the world of Spira after a monster called Sin destroyed his home, as he learns about Spira, he discovers that Sin is causing destruction here and so he pretty much joins along with the gang to go on a journey to all the temples to get the help of aeons (summons) to destroy Sin.

Plot/Characters: Personally, I'd say the story of FFX is pretty cliche and mainstream, not that that's bad though, it's straightforward and simple and I guess that's the appeal. It follows Tidus going on a journey to save the world but eventually finding out that to save the world, *spoilers* Yuna (summoner girl he likes) will have to sacrifice her life to destroy Sin and bring the Calm, which only lasts like 3 years or something, but all these summoners who go on this pilgrimage are prepared for this. The way the story was handled was pretty natural, linear and fun, but I guess for me, it never really had the impact I wanted it to have? Yu Yevon was just...whatever? I did like Seymour, not his character but I guess his reasons for doing what he did? It wasn't the most sane or nice thing to do but I guess I could kinda understand, whereas Yu Yevon is just this ultimate last being that caused everything that you have to kill, so really Yu Yevon isn't important since it was just there to drive the story to its' conclusion. I didn't cry but it was sad when the fayth disappeared :( But yeah, as I said, simple story that was nice but nothing impressive imo.

I think a big reason why I don't like FFX as much as the other games is because I don't feel like I'm as fond of the characters. I've never really liked the Wakka and Lulu problems, Kimahri is kinda just Yuna's protector that gets bullied for a broken horn, Auron is the older figure that guides them but also learns things from their friendship/recklessness (I love Auron though) and Tidus is that happy, optimistic guy that refuses to accept that things are like this because it just is and tries to break through all that. I did really like Yuna and Rikku though, I liked how kind, soft-spoken but strong Yuna was, and I liked how sweet and energetic Rikku was as she tried her best to prevent Yuna  and the other summoners from sacrificing themselves for the Calm. They're just so pure and great :D

Gameplay: Nice simple turn base action with the added feature that you can see when it's your turn and when it's the enemy's turn making it super easy to plan your moves lol.  I don't think any of the bosses were really too hard, so I think FFX is a really good starter game if you want to try the Final Fantasy series, just because of how simple and straightforward it is in terms of gameplay and story lol. The sphere grid might seem overwhelming at first but as long as you follow the path set out and then edit it after to maximise your stats, you'll be able to beat anything haha. As usual, you have skills, magic and summons, of which as the game goes on, you really only summon to have it take an attack you don't want to get hit by, instead of actually using it to fight lmao. Otherwise, once you max your stats to fight the side bosses, the key is in preparation in how you personalise your weapons and armour by adding stuff like auto-haste to really defeat them. On that note though, I didn't feel really accomplished when I defeated them, especially Penance, I was relieved that my personalised armour and stuff worked but I legit spent like 20 minutes doing the same thing to kill the guy (destroy hands, attack body when I have the chance, dispel when he attacks, rinse and repeat), so yeah, I was so tired LOL. Anyway, nevertheless, I do enjoy the gameplay because I've always been a fan of turn-based games and I like that I think abut what skills to use and see what works etc.

As usual, every FF game usually has a mini game! Blitzball is fictional underwater sport where you have a ball and try to score with it, something like soccer underwater but you use your hands to pass the ball~ Anyway, I loved it! I thought it was really fun that you could get so many different players, level them up to increase their passing, strength abilities to tackle and then have special moves to score or prevent poison etc, I think it was a really well thought out mini game and I really enjoyed it when I played it for fun. On the other hand, when I had to play it to get Wakka's Jupiter Sigil for his ultimate weapon, well THAT was not fun, it became tedious and it honestly made me so turned off Blitzball for a while, but it's okay, it's still a great game.

Graphics/Soundtrack: Awesome! Still holds up well throughout the years and is still very beautiful, especially the cinematics. But the soundtrack is definitely the winner here, I still listen to a lot of the soundtrack in this game to this day just because of how wonderful it is to the ears. I generally like the more sadder ones such as Someday the Dream will End and To Zanarkand, but overall, a lot of the music fit very well with the places, the emotions and the people, so I really loved it, and I'd say that it really helped to make a lot of scenes very emotional and really enhanced the story.

Overall, even though FFX isn't my favourite, it does have a special place in my heart and I do enjoy it despite my complaints haha. It's fun, a bit emotional, sweet and to the point. 

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remaster (PC, PS4)

Since I played FFX, of course I bothered to play the sequel too~ I wasn't the biggest fan of the game back when I was younger and I probably carry the same sentiments right now. Btw, spoilers galore since it is the sequel haha.

Plot/Characters: The story carries on 2 years after they defeated Yu Yevon and Tidus disappeared. At this time, Yuna had decided to leave her village to explore the world with the freedom she never had after Kimahri gave her a sphere showing someone that looked very similar to Tidus. She decides to go along with Rikku to becoming a sphere hunter to see if she can find more spheres like this and thus joins the group called the Gullwings which Brother heads and that Paine (girl on the left) is a part of. Basically, I'd say that this is a fanservice game in the sense that it was made for the fans of FFX to get their happy ending and to see the world of Spira after they finally achieved their peace that Yuna and the others brought about. Most of the game revolves around sidequests to see how the world has changed in these two years for the best and the worst, as it accompanies the main storyline of how despite peace being brought about, people are still fighting and wanting to go to war with each other, completely forgetting about how difficult it was to achieve this peace without Sin. Personally, I didn't like the main storyline, it was pretty boring and cliche tbh with Yuna needing to save the world again and annoying people fighting about useless stuff, it was annoying. 

The only enjoyable thing would be seeing the girls journey together and see how Spira is now, I liked the sidequests on that, since it was quite nice to see how things had changed and what everyone was doing now. In terms of the characters, Yuna's completely different, you might as well think of her as a new girl leader that somehow learned to use a gun and change personalities when she only decided to let herself free when she saw the sphere, so I really don't know how she changed so fast but whatever. Rikku is the same as always, Paine is as stoic as ever and barely talks or has any development until near the end when the story unfolds with her role, but even then, I thought it was really weird and awkwardly put imo. The new guys, didn't like any of them besides Gippal and I do not like Leblanc for sure. Shuyin and Lenne had a tragic story and it was nice that their story was what made people realise that they need to stop wasting their time fighting over nothing I guess. 

Gameplay: This was the start of the Final Fantasy series starting to stray from the turn-based mechanics and more into the real time fighting. In FFX-2, you still have similar commands and framework for choosing skills and spells but everything is now moving in real time, so monsters don't wait for you to have your turn and you can combo your hits with your team. Skills are dependent on the dressphere you equipped (e.g. Black Mage, Gunner etc) and you learn them by using skills and you can change dresspheres during battle , it's a nice concept, but not my favourite. I took years learning skills, and I got so bored I attached a battery to the x button and a rubber band to the analog stick so it would do battles for me and cast the same skill so I can learn everything lolll. You can't max your stats in this game btw, so it's basically reliant on your dresspheres and accessories, which I found very limiting and boring, so I didn't even bother with the extra bosses lol.

The new mini game is called Sphere Break and is a coin game that revolves around maths. You'll constantly be calculating trying to get a number and its' denominations that are shown so you can advance to the next round, and in order to get the most points, you have to use the same amount of coins every round to make an "echo" combo. It's all right, but I honestly don't like numbers lmao. Blitzball still exists in this game but you can't play it as you used to, instead it's some automated game where you control stuff behind the scenes which I didn't bother checking out b/c it was boring lol.

Graphics/Soundtrack: Similar graphics to the previous so nothing much to comment on, but I do have to say that I don't really care for the music in this game, way too I don't know how to explain it, way too game-like? LOL It just didn't give me the same feelings as previous music did, it was nice in the game but not memorable and I wouldn't listen to it on purpose either.

Overall, FFX-2 is a nice game if you want to see what Spira is like 2 years later and just play it for fun since it's kinda more of a slice of life game with the main storyline as a side thing lol. I personally don't think I'd bother playing it again tbh just because there were more things I hated than I liked lol. Oh, and don't bother trying for 100% completion on one playthrough, it's not worth your time and sanity lmao.

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Dissidia: Final Fantasy Opera Omnia (Android/iOS)

Well, I honestly never thought I'd play anything Dissidia related since it's not my type of game, but then they came out with this mobile game! It's been out for a year and is going pretty strong so I'd recommend it :D

Plot/Characters: Technically, there really isn't much plot besides the fact that your favourite Final Fantasy characters are summoned to this Dissidia world where Spiritus and Materia seem to govern over and it seems like Mog is there to keep the balance in this world? Oh and they summon the villains from the FF games too and they kinda do whatever they want haha. But anyway, the characters are all pulled from their worlds into this world and are thus destroying these portals called Torsions hoping to go back to their own world after defeating whoever is creating these Torsions. The interesting thing is that the characters aren't pulled from the same timeline in their respective games, which is why we have young Laguna (FFVIII) with Squall (FFVIII), Lightning from FFXIII with Serah from FFXIII-2 and others like Aerith and Zack (FFVII) with Cloud (FFVII) and Tifa who have already experienced their deaths. So it can be kinda convoluted but it's also really fun and interesting, because really, the plot doesn't matter, what matters is their interactions! I just find it so interesting and fun to see how my favourite characters from different Final Fantasy games interact with each other and get along and how they bond together. I think I especially liked how Kuja (FFIX) joined the crew when he conversed with Aerith on stuff about the world. Oh and yes, you do get to play with the villains from the different games as well, so that's fun! I mean, who doesn't want to play with Sephiroth (FFVII)?! 

Gameplay: Gameplay goes back to the turn based type where you set moves you can take - brave attack, HP attack, 2 skills and an EX skill + summon. Basically, everyone has "brave" which is sort of like a shield but also what you use to deal damage, in essence, you would brave attack to shave the brave off the enemy to "break" them, and then you'll amass quite a bit of brave which you can offload as a HP attack to deplete the health off the enemies. Skills then integrate different elements, group attacks and can either deal brave attacks or brave and HP attacks together so that you can break the enemy but also deal damage. It sounds a bit confusing in words but it's really simple when you play. Other skills include healing HP or brave, resurrecting team members, providing buffs or dealing debuffs etc and the skills vary depending on the characters. EX skills are like limit breaks but you need their specific weapon to use it. Summons are always there but you need to level them up by getting the materials from the right areas. There's lots of chapters to do in regards to the main storyline and there are also sidequests. The best thing is that there is no stamina limit, so you can play as much as you want! The only stamina limit applied is for the World of Illusions where you can farm artifacts (to get better enhancements for skills or stats) and materials to level your weapons, summons and your crystal strength.

Most of the damage you can deal comes from your weapon, your crystal strength and the attributes you apply. Btw, it's a mobile game and so it has a gacha style of drawing weapons. Instead of other games where you would use currency to get characters, in here, you'll definitely get the characters but you may not necessarily have their weapons b/c you have to draw for them with your currency in their respective banners. The currency are gems (earned through quests and achieving mission objectives for these quests, daily login rewards etc) and tickets (earned similarly to gems), the good thing about this game is that they are pretty generous with the amount of gems and tickets they give out for free, so you can still play the game happily and do most quests, but really it also depends on your luck with drawing weapons. Anyway, I'm a F2P player and I've completed all the content so no worries, this is not pay to win haha. Oh, and there are also Co-op quests where you join in with other players to defeat a strong monster or waves of strong monsters, and there's no communication system in the game, so you can only talk with stickers and that works out fine :)

Graphics/Soundtrack: Graphics are actually really nice! Just imagine all your favourite FF characters small-sized accompanied with Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura's designs of the renditions of these characters and that's them! They honestly look really good and so far, I don't think there's been anyone that I felt looked weird. Soundtrack I think is taken from the Dissidia games and then some are taken from the original FF games so all the nostalgia in one! It does have its own unique battle themes etc and they're okay hahaha.

Overall, very fun and casual friendly mobile game for FF fans! I'd recommend it if you're a fan of Final Fantasy :D Just a warning if you play though, don't get too consumed by not getting the weapons that you want, in the end, gacha is gacha and not everyone will be able to get the weapons for the characters they want, which is why in the JP version, they have made it possible to buy some of these weapons! It's not in the Global version yet but it's something to look forward to and not be too depressed over! In the end, a game is a game and should be enjoyed :)

Here come all the visual novels and otome games! LOL (warning: there's gonna be way too many)

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Steins;Gate (Steam)

I'm sure most people would know this one because of how popular the anime is, but I honestly didn't like the art of the anime and couldn't sit through the first few episodes. However, when it came to the VN, I was so mesmerised by the story and the art style that I was always looking forward to reading what happens next haha. Oh btw, MAYUSHII BEST GIRL <3 Tuturu~  Although I do admit that the best girl for Rintaro is definitely Kurisu haha.

Plot/Characters: The story follows Okabe Rintaro as he experiences a sort of divergence in the beginning of the story where *spoilers* he found Makise Kurisu dead and thus proceeded to text his friend Daru about this, but then for some reason after his message was sent, his surroundings went quiet as if he had been transported to a different world. In this new instance, he finds that the text message was sent a week before he had actually sent it, and that Kurisu is actually alive and well. As he contemplates how weird everything is against his memories, he goes back to his lab where his childhood friend Mayuri and Daru hang out to do experiments with him, and he soon discovers that the microwave he was doing experiments with is actually a time machine! And then their journey continues with different characters coming along to join their lab (including Kurisu) as they experiment with how this time machine works and soon they also experience the consequences of delving into such science. There is some science jargon which boggled my mind but there's a lot of notes you can read that explains it, so I kinda got them and I kinda didn't but whatever lol,, as long as I got the story right?! Anyway, in the beginning, the story is focused more on world building and introducing the different characters to you in a slice of life kinda way with the funny jokes and situations and just the overall fun of doing experiments with everyone. As you get into the second half, it starts getting more individually focused on each "girl" and how the world will change depending on if you chose to stay with the girl or continue to try and save the world. So tbh, although I really like Steins;Gate, the second half can be quite dependent on your fondness of the girls, if you don't like any of them, it'll be a hard time reading them lol, thankfully I liked everyone except Moeka and Luka lol.

Anyway,  Rintaro's a weird guy, he likes to talk in a roleplaying way where he shows himself as a mad scientist kinda character, which tbh can get annoying at times, but when he's serious (second half onwards), he's a much better character and you get to know the reason why he acts like a mad scientist and that makes it much more understandable and cute lol. Mayuri is the best, she may seem airheaded, but when she shows her complete trust in Rintaro and understands him so well, I can't help but gush at how beautiful their relationship is, and how well she sees through things in her own way, she may seem silly but she's much more than that. Kurisu is cool, she's like that smart but a bit awkward girl, but then because Rintaro is so weird, she can't help but show her true personality since it requires lots of patience to deal with someone like Rintaro lmao, and she's actually a cute tsundere that is very caring, sweet, smart and reliable! Rintaro always goes to her for advice ;) As for the other girls, I love Faris, she's so cute and weird with her made up stories lmao and I quite enjoyed her story. Suzuha is a very reliable but mysterious girl, when you find out her role in the story, you realise how self sacrificing she is and how much of a great girl she is to be able to do all that she does. Btw, I hate Luka with a passion because of his/her ending and story, can't believe they chose what they did instead of the world or Mayuri, I was so angry and pissed. Ugh. Anyway, I'd say most of the cast is good and definitely makes the story better.

Gameplay: As with most VNs, you have choices and that affects whether you get the true ending flags or the respective girl ending flags. The unique part about it though isn't how you respond to people in person, but how you respond to text messages. thus utilising the whole phone microwave time machine idea into the VN, which I thought was really cool. Anyway, there are highlighted text in the mails and you pick one to see which message you would like to send back and that can affect your ending flags. There are also phone calls, listening to music and reading some story which were pretty interesting too haha, but basically, it's still a VN, but the choices are just presented in a different way.

Graphics/Soundtrack: Looooove the art! The eyes are soo cool and mesmerising, I loved looking at them. The texture of the characters and just how everything was presented just felt so different and unique compared to the anime and that really attracted me to playing the VN. Soundtrack was pretty awesome and really helped to enhance the atmosphere when it was serious or funny, like I guess you can say, when it was time to think about this whole time machine thing, the music really helped to foster my brain into trying to put the pieces of the mystery together, so I loved that :D

Overall, although it does come with its' negatives such as Luka's ending and how the second half is very dependent on liking the girls, I did really enjoy the time travel theories, the spunky interactions between Kurisu and Okabe (Christinaaaa!) and the world. I really liked how much of a emotional rollercoaster it was for me because of how much I loved Mayuri, so I could really understand Okabe's feelings and sentiments that he experienced, and I did really enjoy the sci-fi because of how interesting it was when they first tried to unravel stuff and how accomplished they felt with experimenting etc. But I acknowledge that the second half was rather lacking because of how the chapters felt so standalone and it kinda killed the immersion for me, nevertheless, I did like it and would recommend this VN for sure. I already bought Steins;Gate 0 so I'll probably see if that lives up to the original this year maybe :D (Yes, I have a huge backlog of VNs..)

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Samurai Love Ballad: Party (Android/iOS)

Probably one of my favouriteeee mobile otomes right now :D

Plot/Characters: The story revolves around the Sengoku era and starts off a bit differently depending on the guy you choose, but the general gist is that the heroine works at her family restaurant with her mother and her brother, but then this evil magistrate (?) guy was annoyed that she wouldn't go along with him and  so he kinda orders/forces her brother to be a poison taster at a lord's castle. Since her brother is quite young and thinking that it was her fault that this happened, she pretends to be her brother and takes his place to go become a poison taster. Then, depending on which guy you choose, you go to the respective lord's castle (usually). Tbh, I really like the heroine and the guys in the samurai side of the story (there's a new ninja side with a new heroine but I played one route and it seems kinda meh..). The heroine is a fabulous chef and can make many different dishes and desserts that impress them all. She is also quite strong in that even though she may not be physically adept, she is kind, protective and she tries her best to care for and understand the guys, I like her :D Most of the guys are also really great.

Oda Nobunaga: I really liked Nobunaga's route, I think it really showcased the important and difficult parts of living as a lord in this era - he carries the burdens of his people and finds it hard to establish a balance between ruling over others with power but also extending his kindness to his people. He needs to be strong to fend against enemies but also nice to the people he wants to protect and I think the route showed this sentiment really nicely and I enjoyed it since the heroine got to see this side of him and support him.

Akechi Mitsuhide: Mitsuhide is like the contrast against Nobunaga where he's probably way too kind in comparison, he would always put the people before himself and anything, and will always try to find a solution that requires no deaths. I find Nobunaga's way of doing things more realistic, but it's hard to fault a guy that is so acknowledged for his kindness and does his best to achieve that. It is also because of this personality that he clashes with Nobunaga but remains one of his most loyal and trustworthy retainers. The route wasn't as interesting as Nobunaga's but it was nice.

Sanada Yukimura: Yukimura's the shy boy that doesn't know how to talk to ladies but is very earnest and straight-laced. He's also a guy that believes in the good of people, whilst being ready to sacrifice his life for Shingen and his family at any moment to bring honour to his family. He's really cute but I found his route a bit...hmmm I guess there's too much of the "he'll give up everything to protect the heroine" kinda feel, so yeah, I liked his personality but wasn't as fond of his route.

Kirigakure Saizo: Saizo best boy! Hahaha, I think overall, I love Saizo the most. Yukimura's personality is my favourite but I really enjoyed how much of a tease Saizo is towards Yukimura, but also how you can  see the respect he has for Yukimura too. This route touches upon Saizo's role as a ninja and how that has restricted his freedom and made him contain a lot of the emotions and pain he has to carry without complaint. I liked how the heroine was able to open him up, and make him finally have the resolution to do what he wants to do.

Date Masamune: I guess for Masamune, it's a route that revolves around trust quite a bit since besides his retainer Kojuro, he never found it in himself to really trust others or show what type of person he is, even though he's such a nice boy T_T He also carries the burden of his father's death and the clan's existence, marking his many responsibilities. And it was through this that the heroine got through to him with her food (that isn't poisoned haha) and her work in support of his beliefs that she brought the capable leader out from within him and made it easier for the clan to see that he is just as reliable as his father was, and definitely not heartless.

Katakura Kojuro: A cute thing about this route is that the heroine ends up living with Kojuro, so they get to bond through little things where they take care of each other e.g. her cleaning his room and him saving her father's keepsake from a fire etc. Kojuro's quite the mature guy that is very capable but doesn't take care of himself well, so the heroine helps with that :D He's also really loyal to Masamune to the point that he can never forgive himself for a mistake he had made before and works hard to never allow something like that to happen ever again. I think the romance was the highlight in this route :D

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Hideyoshi is such a nice guyyyy! He's very chill, kind, easy to talk to, faithful to Nobunaga but also a great leader that doesn't come from noble lineage. Hideyoshi's personality is the highlight here but I did enjoy how his route explores the difficulties of showing his capabilities to others due to his lower status, and how he proves himself. He's so cool and mature too, love him in his route and outside of it :D

Maeda Toshiie: I'm not sure how others feel but I really hated Inuchiyo's route. Like, I didn't mind his back story and liked it too, and I like how obstinate he is about protecting the heroine since she's his childhood friend and he's always loved her etc, but the way they handled it in this route was just so...infuriating in terms of story and romance tbh. I guess you can say everything was just done in such bad taste, like how he nearly forced himself on the heroine when he was drunk + jealousy and how the heroine nearly sacrificed herself for his war etc, yeah, it wasn't nice at all.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: Ieyasu is a controversial one, it's a you love him or hate him kinda situation here. Initially, I hated Ieyasu's guts, I dreaded him because of his attitude towards EVERYONE and how he treats everyone like crap and I just felt sorry for the heroine. BUT, after the heroine is forced to serve under him and as she comes to understand his issues with trusting others and relying on them, you actually kinda realise how cute he is. Especially since the heroine doesn't falter against him and does call him out for the crap he says. But yeah, after he mellows out from the heroine showing how trustworthy she can be beside him, you kinda get what his "mean words" actually mean and it's kinda cute lol. I honestly really liked his character development and I'd say it's one of my favourite routes.

Ishida Mitsunari: On the other hand, I wasn't as fond of Mitsunari (surprisingly). He's kinda rude as well, but instead of being Ieyasu's rude where he just can't believe anyone so he hates on everyone, Mitsunari is the guy that's kind to Hideyoshi because he's loyal etc and to the other guys he works with, and doesn't act very nicely with everyone else, especially those he thinks might be against Hideyoshi. He's also kinda rude to mask his shyness as well, which I'm not very fond of lol. The route mainly focuses on Mitsunari's dark past and how he copes with it with the heroine's support and can fully commit himself to Hideyoshi's cause without thinking that he is an unworthy guy I guess?

Uesugi Kenshin: Kenshin is so chill and cute, he's always being lectured by Kanetsugu for running off bringing rubbish back to the castle lol. He has a nice balance of seriousness and playfulness, where it's easy to fall in love with how sweet and playful he is e.g. them doing origami together, but behind it all, he carries the heavy burden of people's lives and he's consumed by the idea that he doesn't deserve anything that gives him happiness because he is one that has destroyed such happiness for others. His fear  of losing things again is something apparent throughout the route and you can see how the heroine gives him the courage to face it and that's nice.

Takeda Shingen: A lot of people seem to really like Shingen but I think I'm not one of them lol. The way things started out were a bit hmmm...I did like him for how responsible of a guy he was towards his clan and how much he really wanted to bring peace with them beside him, and how the heroine really supported his mental state by being there for him physically and emotionally considering how sick he was. But yeah, I guess I didn't like how he kinda got her pregnant before he died so he she would have something else to live for besides him? I dunno, it just felt so...uncomfortable somehow?

Date Shigezane: Really liked Shigezane in Masamune's route but unfortunately the story doesn't really deliver in this one. I'd say that the story and his personality turned out very boring and it lost all the happy funny Shigezane personality that I enjoyed in Masamune's route, and was instead filled with inadequacy and burdens of the past that weren't very interesting at all, and the romance was so lacklustre that it couldn't save the story lol. Needless to say, it was disappointing.

Gameplay: It's a free mobile game so it utilises the usually 5 tickets max, every 4 hours it recovers one ticket system. The good thing is that the checkpoints are easy to get through and it's quite easy to earn pearls to get the CGs of the guys you want or for side stories. I'd say it's pretty F2P friendly and would recommend it :D There are usually two choices to choose from throughout the story so it's pretty straightforward.

Graphics/Soundtrack: The guys are cutee~ I like the art, boyish but quite unique. Oh and they recently added voices for Yukimura and Saizo (I think) so now you can actually listen to their voices throughout the story, which is pretty cool. Soundtrack is simple with few variations but I'm quite attached to it and find it quite distinctive and matching.

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Destiny Ninja 2+ (Android/iOS)

I don't think we'll ever get to see a proper S2 for the other guys since NTT Solmare seems to have given up on this game, which is quite surprising since I remember it being quite popular. Oh well, the main routes and the S2 guys are done and although I had more guys that I was meh about than I liked, I still liked this game because of how pretty everyone was, the CGs and the overall feel of  it. Story wasn't the best esp in S2, and can get quiteeee repetitive, so what really shines here are the guys (that I liked XD) Heroine is generally likeable but can vary between the route, she's mostly quite strong and is the one to hold the guys together, but she's also the type to sacrifice her life if need be.

Plot/Characters: Basically, the story follows the heroine having to choose another 3 comrades (dependent on route) to go along with her to check out the symbols of the different villages (Fire, Water etc) since only she holds the power to use the sword that can purify them of the evil that is seeping out and causing trouble to the people and the nature of Yamato Island. And that's basically what they do for all the S1 routes, so you can get quite bored of the story, and there isn't much variation besides the different guys and their individual problems. S2 focuses on something similar where they are hoping to bring back nature to an island that has lost all the green natural stuff, I didn't like S2 in terms of story and the new guys though, so I don't recommend it, but I do actually recommend the sequels to the main guys. those were probably one of the best routes because of the variation in story (finally!) and how they all matured more and you see more progress in their relationships.

Kaito: Kaito is the guy that likes the heroine but doesn't want to overstep himself and make her dislike him, but he does shine with how kind and caring he is whilst striving to better himself in strength and mental fortitude. Kikyo and him aren't on the best terms but they have that rivalry where they seek to improve themselves because of it. Kaito carries the burden of being the talented guy that needs to fulfil expectations but this journey with others and the heroine makes him get to bond with her and find someone that will accept him for who he is I guess? Wasn't too keen on the romance in S1 but his sequel was good!~

Kikyo: Kikyo doesn't have any special powers or talent that Kaito has and thus has always been rather jealous of him, but he makes up for it with sheer hard work and only seeks to further better himself by seeking the power to lead his village properly in the future. In this, the heroine is very supportive and fights by his side physically and mentally to give him the confidence and power he needs to overcome his inferiority complex, which was nice. Definitely better romance than Kaito's main route imo, especially since they're rather similar.

Shiroya: Shiroya's the cute boy that's a bit devilish due to a dark past that caused him to have another personality to protect himself. He blames his parents for unknowingly sending him to this village to train when all it caused him was pain and I guess that makes the relationship quite awkward. But the heroine being the good and sincere person that she is obviously tries her best to mend it, and she does it in a very not pushy way that makes you happy for Shiroya that he has someone that is so concerned about his relationship with his parents and overcoming his fears. Not into the cute boy that's kinda devilish trope so I didn't feel it in terms of the romance though.

Rindoh:  Best guy is right heree! I still think his reason for betraying the gang was rather silly and forced but I'll just accept it as him being ready to do anything to save the heroine. I like how he's the mature older brother type that didn't want to go for her but couldn't help but show his feelings through the teasing and the gentleness, he was so great <3 I also liked how things rounded up with them all working together to thwart Kikyo's father's plans, so even though the reason was crap and I really think he should have thought about it more, I loved his personality and his will to protect the heroine :D

Ran: Ran is the optimistic, straightforward and happy "twin" that has strong uncontrollable powers that end up hurting the people around him, causing trouble etc, but the heroine still remains by his side and is insistent on continuing the journey with him because she believes that she needs him, and I think that was really sweet. Not fond of the drama with Kiku but it is understandable considering how different their personalities are and how carefree Ran seems to be, so it can't be helped that Kiku would hold some sort of grudge unwittingly. I did enjoy the story since it was rather different and Ran is just the fluffiest guy ever haha.

Ayu: I believe Ayu's is the most popular route and I guess it's probably the one with the most character development and change? I don't really like Ayu or his route tbh since I thought it was rather boring, but I did acknowledge how difficult it was for Ayu to have to live up to an ancestor's expectations into becoming someone he could never be and I guess he was kinda cute with how shy he was etc, but yeah, it was nice to see him finally voice his opinions and thoughts properly by the end without keeping everything inside him.

Fuyukiku: Gotta say I hate Kiku and his route with a passion. I also didn't like the heroine because she pretty much encouraged all his negativity and supported it by making it seem like they should solve this problem themselves because they're the only ones that understand each other etc, when they're so inconsiderate and selfish to everyone else that wants to help them and save the world of course, because you know, it's a big deal but they want to take it in their own hands like it's their own problem. ANYWAY, it pissed me off and I can confidently say, I dreaded finishing it because of how they acted so selfishly and childishly.

Yayoi: Yayoi's another good older brother type, but he's probably the more protective one that wants to prevent any harm coming to her from anyone including the guys lol, so he's kinda overprotective, but he is nice and sweet. But I think his route was boring and he never really developed from that cliche personality and role he had, so it was basically reading the same story with a nice older brother that the heroine eventually falls for lol.

Ibuki: The rest are S2 guys! Ibuki is the older brother of Yayoi and is very strong and capable, and I guess he's another older brother type, but I never really felt the romance with him. Not sure if it was just bland or that he never really did anything that made an impact in his route that even when they got together, I felt like he was quite a distant guy that I knew nothing about. S2 revolves around trying to save these modernised islands from the lack of nature with the power of the treasures and I guess it kinda follows the same formula where they go on a journey looking for the treasures but are stopped by the "evil" new guys lol. Anyway, story isn't very interesting either.

Akira: Akira the pretty boy that is very protective over Yoshimasa!~ He initially doesn't like the heroine but changes her opinion when he sees more of her personality and attitude towards things, but I still felt like the romance was pretty shallow and underdeveloped, didn't really feel it either. He's kind and playful but that's really it.

Yoshimasa: I was so excited for Yoshimasa, but unfortunately, even though his personality is great since he has a sort of undying loyalty to the heroine that can be overboard, he suffers from a crappy story route lol. He's really sweet, thoughtful and a great listener and they work well because they've known each other since they were young, and you can tell how much he loves her, but yeah the story is just so generic and boring that it was such a snoozefest lol.

Mitsuru: Definitely the best boy and route of the S2 guys. He's cute, sweet, has a proper background story as to why he does what he does and his relationship with Kila was so refreshing and touching. They both care for each other so much and Kila is willing to do anything to achieve what Mitsuru wants to do. Whereas, the heroine tries to help him through his pain by making him understand that what he's doing won't make him get what he really wants. In this, the romance definitely shines! They're super cute together and I just love how he was so welcomed by all the guys and her family when they could finally be friends because he's such a cinnamon bun that needs a loving family haha.

Kila: This is the Mitsuru of S2, hated his route. Could barely tolerate it. Kila's sense of pain has been dulled since birth and he always does risky stuff and thinks that maybe dying would be okay if he could get to experience some sort of pain to know that he's alive, and it's obviously a mental problem BUT the heroine thinks that getting the treasures to restore his sense of pain is more important to restoring nature to the island and saving the people that will eventually die because of love, and that just killed me tbh. Yeah, I thought it was ridiculous and their romance was weirdly awkward. Oh, and they really trivialise the problem of the nature thing in here b/c they so easily fixed the nature problem without the treasures, like what? Do that in the first place instead of me wasting my time in the other routes finding treasures, sigh, yeah it was just so contradictory, I hate thinking about this route lol.

Gameplay: Usual 5 tickets max, 4 hours to refresh one ticket system as usual for free mobile otomes. The checkpoints are relatively easy to pass through from memory since I never felt like I had a problem as a F2P player. As usual, you also have two options to get intimacy points to get to the route you want~

Graphics/Soundtrack: Graphics are sooo pretty! Backgrounds and sprites are so pretty, like dang, and everyone looks very unique and cool in their own way. I loved the falling cherry blossoms in the background at times, soo pretty! It's a mobile game so music is limited but I didn't think it was bad I think, I can't really remember it haha.

Overall, the repetitive story and some routes infuriated me or bored me but I do think it was still quite enjoyable as a mobile otome. I'll admit that the pretty boys and graphics were what mostly made me stay rather than the story though (since it was pretty bland). but Rindoh, Ran and Mitsuru were the cherries on top! Oh, and Kaito's S2 as well! :D

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Chocolate Temptation (Android/iOS)

I quite like this one! As usual, the S2 is so bad though, I hated them, well maybe Jin's one was okay but the rest was just so repetitive, no character development, story is boring and goes nowhere, stupid love triangle and random drama, oh and I feel like besides Jin's route, everything they achieved in S1 in terms of the relationship is thrown out the window and they have to cultivate common sense communication again. It still has these problems in Jin's route but it's not as bad as the other two tbh, ugh. However, I did really enjoy the main routes, and surprisingly, I liked all three of the guys and their routes! I was kinda on the fence with Mitsuki but I actually really liked it. Jin's route is my favouriteee, even though I love Ibuki's type, but Jin is definitely the one to go for :D Heroine is also a working adult, so it usually makes her quite mature when it comes to her work and in her attitude (not in S2 though omg) , and she's a hard worker that really loves chocolate!

Plot/Characters: General plot is that the heroine is working at a firm and she's been chosen to write a mook, which was something like a short book in a magazine or something about the famous chocolate shop L'ecrin. She ends up living there to interview the guys, learn more about their lives as chocolatiers and how the shop is like etc to get information for it, and that's how she learns more about chocolate and makes the chocolates of happiness with them (that her Dad said exists). Most of the routes are pretty similar in that she usually starts off working at the front and then becomes kinda like a taster for them because she's good at that, and then they kinda partner up to make chocolates at the end, but the guys' personalities are different enough that it makes the journey there quite different and I really loved the variation between them.

Ibuki: Ibuki is the oldest brother that has practically taken on the role of the parent and the one who manages L'ecrin so all the other brothers can either focus on school or making chocolate. His skills are still top notch but he carries the responsibilities of the family and always prioritises them first. So he's that older guy that likes to tease the heroine but finds it hard to truly express his feelings and get together with her because he wants to focus on the shop. But of course the heroine helps him out emotionally and so even though she might not practically lighten his burden, she's like his ray of sunshine that makes him remember to chill. I like Ibuki, the mature type is always my favourite, and his problems and responsibilities were very real and understandable, so I liked that him spending time with the heroine made him have a chance at his own happiness since he's been so devoted to his brothers and the shop.

Jin: Jin is the second brother that is probably closest in age to the heroine, which allows them to grow and mature together nicely. Initially, he thinks of her as a bother but he can't help but acknowledge her hard work and persistence, and he can't help but realise how caring she is towards him too ;) What I liked about this route is that not only did she make him realise that he can rely on others besides his brothers and that making chocolate isn't just about skill but also about how you want your chocolates to make people feel. I liked how they both grew together and improved each other by being there for each other.

Mitsuki: Mitsuki is the third brother who is very shy but has good attention to detail and a delicate person I guess haha. He's not the most mature, but he's certainly forward! He's very cute and isn't afraid to say the most embarrassing but cute things even though he's so shy omg lol. He's definitely a cute heartthrob with how honest he is and how he works hard to get up to his brothers' levels in craftsmanship of chocolate. He doesn't like to lose and is very passionate, a bit childish but earnest and very likeable! Just as the heroine helps him grow by being an inspiration for him, he also makes her be more honest with her feelings I guess hahaha.

Gameplay: The best thing about Ciagram games are that they give you 5 chapters to read every day and it is refreshed at a set time, so you never have to worry about stuff like waiting 4 hours for another ticket etc. It might feel slow but it's free! Also, if you really want to read more, you can watch ads to get more gemstones or whatever the ticket thing is to read more. Although there are options to choose throughout the game, it doesn't affect your ending since you'll get to read the happy and super happy ending either way, so no need for walkthroughs unless you want to get the best answer and see what the guy says!

Graphics/Soundtrack: The guys are pretty cute and the CGs are niceee~ It's not super colourful but it adds to the feel :D There's one type of music that goes on the whole time you're reading and it's different for each guy, so it can be annoying if you don't like them since you're forced to hear it for the entire route lol, but I think I was all right with Ibuki's and Jin's, Mitsuki's was a bit annoying but bearable.

Overall, I totally recommend this game! I love the romance in all the routes and find each guy appealing in their own way, and the story is varied enough that it doesn't feel the same at all. Definitely one of my favourite Ciagram games, my other favourite is probably Princess Closet, but I think this one is the best one overall :D

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Ikemen Sengoku (Android/iOS)

Compared to Samurai Love Ballad where they try to follow history, Ikemen Sengoku is kinda like a playful, funny version of the Sengoku era. Honestly,. I really like both of them but for different reasons, the former is more interesting imo since it does delve in some history and is focused on both romance and story, whereas I feel like what really makes this game likeable are the characters and how the heroine interacts with them. I guess it also helps that the heroine is very spunky, unafraid to voice her opinions and can be quite relatable.

Plot/Characters: The heroine is about to start her first job as a fashion designer when she accidentally stumbles upon some bad weather and a mysterious hole that sucks her in and takes her back in time to the Sengoku era, and it's right when Honnoji is burning! Not realising that the person she saved from the fire was Oda Nobunaga, she kinda gets dragged by him back to his castle as a sort of lucky charm that saved his life. He basically lets her do anything she wants, but since our heroine isn't a slacker, she likes to help out here and there as a chatelaine and even do some sewing work because she's so interested in the techniques developed in this era. The rest of the story is dependent on the guy you choose and how they handle stuff like war, but it mostly revolves around the relationship between the heroine and the guy, so if you're a person that loves romance then you'll probably like it :D

Oda Nobunaga: Although Nobunaga's route isn't my favourite, it was still really good and really sucked me in the game with how playful he is with the heroine and how amused he was with her. He tries his best to "conquer" her by taking it slowly (after the initial approach) to not overstep what she can take since she's spunky, and he finds that fun. He may be arrogant and seemingly unlikeable but he's just shaped by how this era works, and that comes into conflict with the heroine's beliefs towards life, so they argue but also come to better understand each other's perspectives and how to try and find a balance between them to achieve the kind of nation they want to create. I liked the dynamics of their relationship and thought it was really fun and engaging.

Date Masamune: Another playful guy that likes to play pranks on the heroine but is also a great cook that cooks for his subordinates because he thinks it's very important for them to have their nutrition and to cultivate a good relationship with everyone too I guess :D Since Masamune isn't the type of guy to chill, he moves fast on to the heroine too ;) Due to his responsibilities and his father's death, he tries to be the best leader that prioritises protecting his clan and working towards a life where everyone can eat happily, he can be ruthless, but when he realises through the heroine that there's actually someone that prioritises him above all else, he finally kinda learns to take care of himself as well, which is quite nice.

Sanada Yukimura: MY FAVOURITE BOY!! I'm kinda biased about his route since I love Yukimura but it was still pretty good. Initially, I thought Yukimura was so annoying and wanted to get his route out of the way asap but omg, he's so innocent, so cute and he's a guy that shares the same sentiments as her - that they don't like war. He's a straight laced guy that works hard to fulfil that dream and even when he discovered that the heroine was on the enemy's side, he couldn't help but like her nevertheless because of all the stuff they did together - a lot of slice of life moments that make them so adorable~ He's a silly guy but he's awesome.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: I'm not sure if I'm a fan of Ieyasu's route that much compared to the others but he is very adorable, especially when the heroine starts to understand how to decipher how everything he says is contrary to what he is actually saying lol. He might seem harsh he doesn't mean it badly and it's nice to see the heroine melt this ice block Ieyasu haha. I guess I liked how determined they both were - he was determined to put her at a distance since he doesn't want to associate with others and she was determined to get to know him and that helped her get to know how fluffy of a guy he really is, and how cute he can be when he's honest with himself haha.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Hideyoshi is like the mother that watches over everyone, especially Nobunaga lmao, I still remember when he was chasing Nobunaga for eating sweets at night XD So, even though he distrusted the heroine initially to protect Nobunaga, he's like the sweetest guy ever once he starts to trust the heroine. He takes care of her, watches out for her, puts a lot of consideration into her wellbeing even though he's so busy and he loves to spoil her haha. Even though it takes a while for him to accept that he wants her as his partner in his life since he's so nice to everyone and prioritises Nobunaga above everything, it's nice to see the heroine help him keep his calm and rationality when it comes to anything about Nobunaga.

Takeda Shingen: Honestly, I think Shingen's route is the only one I really didn't like. I just felt like the whole route was him flirting with her with not much substance to their relationship until later on, which I didn't care anymore since I was so over it, and I didn't like how the heroine was so infatuated with him from the beginning for no particular reason and kept it up like that. I felt that it was quite boring and didn't showcase more depth to his personality, things like how much he cares about his people etc are just so inconsequential compared to the screen time of him and the heroine lusting after each other lol, so yeah not a fan.

Uesugi Kenshin: I loved Kenshin and could understand all his questionable actions of locking her up in prison and waging war hoping to destroy everything that could harm the heroine - since he's very adamant about protecting the weak that are unable to protect themselves. He goes overboard in the latter half of the route, but the first half just made me fall for how charming, cool and sweet he was. Due to his trauma, pain and burdens, it couldn't be helped that the heroine had to prioritise him over her stuff at times, but a relationship is about compromise and I think she really worked hard to care for him and make him understand that things would be okay and that she would be okay, and that he didn't need to be so reckless. He may come off stoic but he is actually very gentle and kind, and can just find it difficult to express these feelings in the right way I guess lol.

Ishida Mitsunari: Mitsunari is probably the one that takes care of himself the least but also the most gentle, calm and sweet guy. He's also very observant and smart as a strategist but quite clueless on the romance part. So the heroine is the one that takes care of him and makes him take better care of himself and not letting him always just wander off into his own little world and instead expressing his ideas and taking action. I also liked how he influenced the heroine into learning more about war and strategies and help people. I wasn't too into the romance but it was still rather nice.

Gameplay: Same 5 tickets max, refreshes every day system. Checkpoints are relatively easy to get through but there is definitely some difficulty with the closet space as a F2P player, you'll always be deleting stuff haha, but that's still fine. I think the most important thing is to make friends and greet them every day to earn the money needed to buy clothes and get through the checkpoints.

Graphics/Soundtrack: Beautiful graphics! Rather boyish but it is an ikemen game so what can we say hahaha. Music is varied and fitting to the setting so that was nice :D

Overall, I really like Ikemen Sengoku and would totally recommend it just because I enjoyed most of the routes that are out right now, and the heroine is such a refreshingly witty girl that I can't help but laugh at how interesting she is when she interacts with the guys. Ikemen Revolution is also quite a nice game even though the story is rather meh, but the graphics are niceeeeee, the boys are pretty~~


I already did a summary up on my anime/manga blog, so I just copied and pasted it here! :D

Natsu no Zenjitsu by Yoshida Motoi (R18+)
Genre: Seinen, Smut, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Status: Completed, 35 chapters scanlated

Just a heads up but there are sex scenes, so no kids! :P On a serious note though, this might be my absolute favourite manga of the year just because of how well it depicted the characters and their emotions. I felt like I could really relate to both of the MCs not because I've experienced similar things but because of how well everything was shown, including the story.

It follows the story of Akira and Tetsuo who both meet and start a relationship and that's all you really need to know LOL. Because the rest is just how they face their situations, their problems and their relationship itself. I don't want to spoil it since I think it's definitely worth a read and Tetsuo may be very frustrating especially when *spoilers* he keeps "going after" another girl even when he's with Akira. I feel like it shows very well how a relationship can be very difficult for people at two different stages in their lives - Akira is an established woman that knows what she wants and is mature, but couldn't help but be captured by Tetsuo's passion towards art, whereas Tetsuo is still growing as a person, he doesn't know what he wants, whether he even really likes art and whether he really likes Akira or not, he just knows that she's always there for him and I guess he takes that for granted. In that sense, I did enjoy the ending even though it wasn't what we would have hoped to see but I think it was logical and probably for the best, because regardless of what we wanted, what Akira wanted the most was to see Tetsuo grow and I think she achieved that in the end.

Anyway, if you're into romance, finding yourself and an emotional rollercoaster, I recommend! It's a bittersweet story~

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ReLife by Yayoi Sou
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Status: Completed, 222 chapters scanlated

It's kinda crazy to think ReLife has ended, I still remember first picking it up! Honestly though, things did get a bit dramatic and iffy near the end but I still enjoyed it a lot. I mean, Kaizaki and Hishiron are sooo cuteee! I think the highlight of this webtoon would have to be the characters, initially the story was engaging but I think it kinda flopped near the end tbh, but I was still happy to see it, so oh well.

Anyway, it follows our 27 y/o MC Kaizaki who is unemployed and can't find a job after quitting his last job (for a good reason). Here comes some shifty guy named Yoake who gives him a pill that will change his appearance back to a 17 y/o and says that he will offer him an employment opportunity if he takes part in this experiment to redo the last year of his high school life again. Great premise, entertaining, funny and lovable characters! The best thing about this is that you can see how much Kaizaki opens up and improves himself along with his new high school friends that he makes. You see them all grow together and it's just so cute. No one is perfect and you can really see how the cast of characters clashing together, interacting with each other makes them confront their weaknesses, their fears and support each other into becoming people who they want to be. 

Romance is slow but veryyyy cute because Hishiron is hilarious with Kaizaki, but they're so adorable. It really makes me miss high school and think that I might want a chance to redo it again too haha. Others are quite iffy about Kariu but I really enjoyed her character because I feel like she was the epitome of a high schooler; worried about grades, had to be the best, shy in love etc, and I feel like her existence was important to show how many high schoolers these days are constricted by these shackles, and that's why it made it so great for someone like Kaizaki who has experienced high school before to reach out to her and show her that some things you have to have the bravery to do now or you'll regret it. It's a wonderful read where Kaizaki helped out his friends so much with his perspective and they end up saving him in the end.

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unOrdinary by uru-chan
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Superhero
Status: Ongoing, 122 chapters scanlated

I randomly picked this webtoon up when I saw that it was really popular on LINE webtoons and yes, I do really enjoy it! It's straightforward, colourful and interesting. It follows our protagonist John who is a "cripple" in the sense that he has no powers in a world where everyone else does (kinda like Deku in Boku no Hero Academia but that's where the similarity ends lol) as he struggles with all the bullying he must face because of it. Through all this, he becomes friends with the strongest girl in the school, Seraphina and they kinda tackle the problems of this society (which is inherent in the school), which is that hierarchy is everything and that the strong will always be at the top bullying those beneath them, which creates the domino effect where high tiers will exert their authority over mid-tiers and mid-tiers will then take out their frustrations over this on low-tiers like our protagonist. And of course, the government is overbearing and controlling in wanting to keep this hierarchy and thus try to stomp out any superhero mentalities where everyone should be equally treated.

I think this webtoon is great because it has a good balance of action and story. Our protagonist is not as simple as he shows to Seraphina, and we get to slowly see and experience through the characters the kind of injustice the different characters are faced with because of the structure of this society and how warped everyone is in following the "rules" of this society and playing by it. Seraphina and John are also great characters since they're both very cool and headstrong but caring towards others and each other, they're beautifullll. I also really dig the changes John is going through right now and am just waiting for everything to go down haha, gotta experience chaos in order for a new world to appear? XD

(I mentioned The Promised Neverland and Dr Stone last year but thought I'd just leave it here anyway since I did it for my other blog, and the anime is out/coming out this year so why not update my impressions? XD)
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Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland) by Shirai Kaiu and Demizu Posuka (artist)
Genre: Shounen, Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Tragedy
Status: Ongoing, 118 chapters scanlated

One of the upcoming anime for next year! Initially, I wasn't that big of a fan of TPN, especially when everyone kept saying it's like Death Note (I still think it isn't lol), it only aligns with Death Note  because there's a lot of thinking and planning etc that must be done for our MCs to survive in this world. Basically, it follows our protagonist Emma who lives happily in an orphanage with all the children she's grown up with until she realises what exactly this orphanage is. There begins all the planning, the deception, the danger and the journey for the MCs to overcome, to grow and save themselves and their friends. It sounds so boring from what I'm saying LOL and I think the beginning isn't that great imo but it definitely gets better and is quite interesting! It has all the elements of a good shounen (adventure, comrades, action etc), but there are also darker elements that tie along with death being nearly an everyday thing and how they have to learn to survive in this world relying on no one but themselves.

Definitely recommended and I hope the anime adaptation can solidly adapt the mystery and the fear that is portrayed really well in the manga, because I always feel like I can feel the danger that is imminent and how serious but interesting things are.

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Dr. Stone by Inagaki Riichiro and Boichi (artist)
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Status: Ongoing, 89 chapters scanlated

Dr Stone was one I didn't like as much at the beginning until everything was told from the perspective of Senku, because dang Taiju was boring, but Senku is AMAZING. His entourage is AMAZING too, Gen and Chrome are like the best guys EVER, I love them all haha. Anyway, one day all the people in the world are turned into stone and after many millenia, Taiju wakes up somehow and that begins the sci-fi adventures with Senku as they discover how to bring the world back into becoming the civilisation that they know of, fend off against others that do not go along with their ideals whilst experimenting with science to bring life back to all the people in this world as they try to find out how this all happened. Honestly, I didn't like it as much until Senku bonded with Gen and Chrome and they start their adventures in science by creating all different things that they need to kickstart getting back the necessities in this world to improving civilisation, and really, it's done in such an entertaining way! The science isn't very mind boggling either since Senku simplifies it for you lol, so it's just jam packed with fun, excitement but also a pretty nice story. 

The highlights are definitely the characters though. Senku is inherently kind and wants to save everyone but he's an interesting guy that has a lot of tricks up his sleeves too, and you have Chrome who is someone interested in science and is opened up to a whole new world once Senku brings all his ideas into being with his help. I really love how everyone cooperates to bring Senku's ideas into fruition, it's a fun but also emotional ride seeing them able to enjoy all those modern things they lost after they became stone. Definitely recommend reading it, but otherwise the anime is coming in 2019 as well, so hopefully that will be good!

Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (We Never Learn) by Tsutsui Taishi
Genre: Shounen, Ecchi, Comedy, Romance, Harem, School Life
Status: Ongoing, 93 chapters scanlated

Initially, I didn't have the best impression of this, since Nisekoi ended right before this came out and I thought it was going to be another boring harem with someone like Chitoge winning (omg, I do not like her btw lol), so yes it didn't start out very favourably to me and I didn't think it was that good until I kept reading, and I actually like the characters much more than I thought. Tbh, I like all the girls as well! They all have different personalities but they're not annoying at all, but instead, they're all so cute in their various ways. Makes it hard to choose but I still like the teacher the best!

Anyway, story is centered around Yuiga who is studying for his college entrance exams, and the school strikes a deal with him that if he can teach these two genius girls into getting better results in what they're weak at, he'll get a good recommendation or something like that. Anyway, so he has to teach the science wiz Ogata literature(?) and the literary genius Furuhashi math/science or whatever it was, but basically the opposite type of subject that they find it hard to grasp, and that's how his ordeals begin. The cute thing is that these geniuses actually want to pursue a career in the subject they're most weak in and they have very admirable and understandable reasons for trying so hard to do that, and I find that really cool. At the same time, we also have his childhood friend that is great at swimming but weak at English, and the teacher that is someone that had to give up on pursuing her dream to settle down into facing reality that sometimes no matter how hard you try, some things you can't have a career in if you're not good enough, and I feel like Yuiga and his friends will be able to show her that this may not necessarily always be true!

Anyway, it has all the typical harem stuff with chapters focusing on different girls, and you can really see how much he helps them all emotionally and with their studies, but at the same time, he also has his weaknesses and the girls cheer him up in their own way too. It's quite wholesome and cute, so I'll recommend this if you're into the harem kinda stories, I sooo want the teacher to be  the one! XD But I will admit that any of the others are really nice too.

Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai by Nakahara Aya
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Josei, Romance, Slice of Life
Status: Completed, 40 chapters scanlated

As a fan of Lovely Complex, there was no way I wasn't reading this one. However, it does start out rather weirdly just because I felt like Shunin was just plain mean and the MC very silly and stupid to the point that it was frustrating lol. But as they interact and go through their respective love life problems with each other, their bickering becomes very cute and sweet. Anyway, our heroine here gives her all to love, but gives it all to the wrong men and in the wrong way, because she's basically buying expensive things for young pretty boys to the point that she's broke and now unemployed, but luckily for her, she meets her former boss who helps her out by giving her food and a job until she finds a proper job lol. It has all the usual quirkiness that Nakahara has in her heroines and it is a pretty funny but sweet story.

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Honey Lemon Soda by Murata Mayu
Genre: Shoujo, Drama, Romance, School Life
Status: Ongoing, 29 chapters scanlated

This one goes along with the shoujo cliche with the cool guy and plain girl thing, but this one just feels so much cuter to me! It's basically the story of a shy girl that gets the help of the cool guy when she's bullied, and then because the guy is such a cool ray of sunshine or whatever, she decides that she wants to change and be more like him. I really like this one because I feel that even though the heroine is shy, she tries really hard and quite fast too, she's not completely wishy washy and usually when she decides on something, she goes through with it no matter how embarrassing it is. She doesn't really cry either, oh and the guy helps her just the right amount!~ He doesn't help her do everything, instead he pushes her to better herself so that she can stand up for herself and do things on her own, he gives her independence and doesn't help her every time she's in trouble, instead he lets her grow and I think that was really nice to see that mutual respect they had for each other, and how he helps her grow without babying her, and I guess that's the best part about it!

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Jigokuraku by Kaku Yuuji
Genre: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Drama, Historical, Romance, Tragedy
Status: Ongoing, 41 chapters scanlated

So, Gabimaru is a former ninja assassin that has been sentenced to death but has now been given the "chance" to go to this island and find the elixir of immortality in order to be freed from death by the shogunate. Our protagonist is a badass that will not allow himself to die so easily since he's got someone he wants to go back home to, and so alongside with the appointed executioner that will follow him around the island (that will kill him if he tries to run etc), they and all the other death row prisoners find that this island is much more dangerous than they thought it was, and now it cannot be helped but to wonder whether this elixir really exists and whether anyone will actually be able to leave this island alive.

Anyway, action in this one is nice! I like it, kinda bloody and hard to get attached to some characters and see them die, but you can really see how each of these characters have their respective motivations in needing to survive, however, this island isn't nice enough to grant those wishes. Luckily, our MC is strong and cool but also cares for no one, so really, it's a story revolving around action and survival, I quite like it.

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Domestic na Kanojo by Sasuga Kei (R18+)
Genre: Shounen, Ecchi, Smut, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, School Life, Harem
Status: Ongoing, 212 chapters scanlated

This is another one that's getting an anime adaptation soon too! Note that there are sex scenes and there is nudity! Basically, if you've read Good Ending (by the same mangaka), you'll know that you're gonna be in for a lot of drama, and I mean A LOT hahha. Anyway, Natsuo likes his teacher Hina but wants to forget about her, so he goes to a mixer and ends up having his first time with another girl called Rui because she wanted to experience how sex is like. Little did he know that his father is remarrying and he just so happens to now have both Hina and Rui as his new stepsisters! So, yeah, you can just imagine the drama that ensues as they all bond together and all the love triangle stuff, because basically a lot of the story is revolved around both sisters liking him and Natsuo finding his own place as an author.

Tbh, I really like it despite the drama, and I guess I do kinda like the drama (except the crazy stalker guy lol) since I feel like it makes sense and the actions that the characters took are understandable. Most people love Rui the most and I find her so adorable too, but I can't help but feel so sorry for Hina and she's a good girl too, sigh. Anyway, if you're into drama, love triangles, romance problems and also growing up problems then you'll like this haha.

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Jagaaaaaan by Kaneshiro Muneyuki and Nishida Kensuke (artist) (R18+)
Genre: Action, Horror, Mature, Mystery, Psychological, Seinen, Supernatural, Tragedy
Status: Ongoing, 64 chapters scanlated

Definitely R18 here and it does feature rape and a lot of death etc, it's pretty twisted, so yeah just a heads up on those if you can't tolerate any of that. Anyway, the story follows Jagasaki who was an ordinary neighbourhood police officer that hated his job because of how stale and annoying he was, but then as these sentiments grew, he somehow got the power to shoot with his right arm. I think that was it, I've forgotten the beginning tbh LOL. Anyway, as he slowly discovers more about his mysterious powers, he encounters these monsters which are actually people who have transformed into these monsters. It seems that many of these people transform from strong negative emotions such as hatred or dissatisfaction with aspects of their life and they transform into something related to that aspect and kinda go on rampages killing people. Of which, Jagasaki will always go and try to kill these monsters, basically the fighting scenes are great~ Quite bloody. I do admit that the rapist guy was quite an uncomfortable monster guy to get through but I do like how the manga explores the different negative emotions people can have and how destructive they can be physically and emotionally to themselves and others. I have to say that I do enjoy this manga quite a bit for that, although I'm sure a lot of people like this more for the monsters and killing haha.


This is awkward, I started a lot of anime last year but I never really finished them besides one LOL So, uh, let me recommend you the only thing I watched in 2018 haha. (yes I spent all my time on games)

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Violet Evergarden
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Slice of Life
Episodes: 13

I really liked this show, the story wasn't exactly impressive, but I think what made me really like it was the atmosphere of the whole show. and the journey our heroine Violet goes through by listening to the many stories of the people/clients she encounters. Anyway, the story revolves around Violet, a girl who was once considered a "weapon" on the battlefield during the war for how formidable, ruthless and emotionless she was as she killed others. She managed to survive but had lost her hands and now functions through using mechanic arms. As a person who doesn't understand emotions and the like, she is brought to a place to become an Auto Memories Doll, which are people who listen to others' stories and words to type it up and convey their feelings into words in a letter to send it to the person they want to share these thoughts and feelings to. As someone who knows nothing about emotions, naturally Violet found it difficult to do so, but as she persevered in her work, stayed determined in understanding people's feelings, and encountered various different people with all sorts of stories, she slowly begins to understand it in her own way and is able to convey their feelings for them through letters. 

Honestly, I thought it was very magical and very interesting because I'm a person that has always believed in the power of words in letters. Letters are just so special, personal and beautiful, so I'm already pretty biased, but accompanied with the visuals, the growth of Violet and all the wholesome life stories you see from her perspective, it's just so nice and sweet. I really enjoyed this anime and I'm thinking of reading the light novel :D

And that's the end, no movies, no HK TVB Dramas and no miscellaneous this year because I honestly can't recommend anything LOL. I watched I want to eat your pancreas (anime movie) but I honestly thought it was predictable, cliche and rather boring and I didn't really get emotional at all, so I can't recommend it lol. HK TVB Dramas were rather stale in 2018 and there really weren't any that were memorable enough to recommend tbh, I think the only one I liked was Daddy Cool but that was still an on/off thing so yeah... As for miscellaneous, I bought LOTS of fountain pens last year but I'm still kinda exploring them and don't really know whether I love them yet so I'll leave that for 2019 instead! :D (Gotta give myself some motivation to do another blog post right?! XD)