Life Update: My thoughts and How being an Elementary School Teacher in Japan (and just a human in general) has been

First, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has read any posts of mine ever, since its been nice to have an audience to write to, even if its only a few people. Second, I’d like to apologize for not having written in about a year and a half. Between finishing university, going through various relationships, moving halfway around the world and starting my first career, and also starting another blog (which I’ll talk about later), I’ve been busy. Thirdly, I’d like to apologize for this definitely long and rambly post, since I think it’s more of an avenue for me to post my feelings than it is truly an update of  my life.

Aside from being busy, I also think that depression hit me, and therefore I stopped enjoying some of the things I used to enjoy. So it made watching anime and writing reviews about it pretty tough. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve watched an anime from start to finish in nearly a year. So that’s no fun. But with the start of the new school year and Spring here in Japan, I figured it was the start of a new outlook on things, so I wanted to pick this blog back up.

The first update is my other blog I’ve been writing on, called CrunchFacts. It is basically the product of me and my friends having too much time last summer and no way to properly spend it. If you enjoy comedy and cereal, specifically Cap’n Crunch, then you’ll love CrunchFacts. We tell you all the 100% true facts about the man, the myth, the legend Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch and his 200 IQ. I am responsible for most about 40% of the English posts, and all of the Japanese posts. Please give it a look, it may make you laugh. If it doesn’t make you laugh, at least I can take pleasure knowing I sometimes make myself laugh with the posts.

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Poorly edited images like these are all over CrunchFacts

The next thing I’d like to talk about is my current situation. I graduated from university last year in May, so I’ve been a college grad for almost a year now, which just hit me as I’m typing this. After graduating, I pretty quickly learned where I’d be living while doing the JET Program (teaching English in Japan). So during the space between graduation and leaving for Japan, I spent all my time hanging out and saying goodbye to friends and family, writing my stupid cereal blog, working a part-time job, playing some games, and researching the place I’d be living.

I was placed in Chiba prefecture, which wasn’t one of my initial choices, but has turned out to be really great fun. The only issue originally was that I didn’t know anyone in the area. So being in the generation of smartphones, I quickly downloaded a bunch of Japanese dating apps so I could make plans, dates, and friends in Chiba for when I arrived! Pretty smart right?

The month before work started and the first semester of my work flew by, with various dating endeavors (some great, some horrible, and many in-between), having my 22nd birthday connecting with old friends who lived in nearby prefectures, making new work friends, going to baseball games and video game/anime conventions, and spending my first paychecks.

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Me on the way to go see fireworks last Summer. A friend lent me the yukata from the store she works at, and somehow they had shoes in my size (31cm).

I settled down a bit the second semester of work, by getting a girlfriend and getting a hold on how to balance my work life and social life. And now I’m writing this, about 8 hours before I need to be at work for the start of my 3rd semester and a new school year.

Teaching elementary school has been super fun and rewarding, but I feel like a geezer compared to some of these 10 year olds. While not exactly relevant to anything, having them guess my age, and hearing answers ranging from 12-50 years old is always fun.

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A letter from a 2nd grader. At the bottom, for some reason, this child decided to include the lyrics “come on baby America” from a Japanese song called “USA” by Da Pump. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT listen to it. It is the single worst song I have ever heard, and yet every child here loves it, and knows the dance by heart. It’s truly amazing and terrifying all at the same time.

I’ve been here over 8 months. That number excites and scares me all at the same time. On one hand, it feels like its all been a blur, and there is so much more to come. On the other, I’ve been here a long enough time to get used to the hustle and bustle of daily life, and the honeymoon phase of things is over.

I have future plans to try my hand at stand-up comedy by doing an open mic night in Tokyo, and I’d also like to do grad school online. But I’ve got to get motivated, so I think that’s why I’m back to this blog, where I feel I can truly be myself and write my opinions, as silly and rambly as they may be.

Anyways, I think I’d like to end it here for now. I promise that I will be writing more posts about all sorts of things, from anime and movie reviews to my life as a teaching, and do so in a bit more of a detailed format. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me about Japan life, teaching, or whatever, please feel free to ask.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to post something again soon!

Isekai Shokudou Episode 7 Review

First of all, I’d like to apologize for once again being absent for too long. This time it was because school started back up, and I got a lot busier than I was expecting. Though it’s no excuse, since I did spend a lot more time napping than I should’ve… But it’s fine! I’m back and I am going to try to catch up before the season ends. So expect a lot of posts in rapid succession.

Anyways! This episode returns us back to introducing new characters, which is fine by me. This time around we get a castaway navy admiral named Alphonse, and another dragon.

Pirate man

Alphonse has been visiting Nekoya for over 20 years now, every since he was first stranded on the island. Reluctant to leave when rescued, the first thing he did was immediately search for a new entrance. Fortunately for him, he found one. His story is a pretty typical one, so I don’t have much else to say about him. Though I will say that I always enjoy how even the most tough characters have a cute soft spot for food.

alphonse looking happy isekai shokudou
I wish I cooked food that could make people’s faces do that.

The second guest to Nekoya, is one of the legendary dragons. In the first episode, we saw the red dragon. This time, we see the black dragon who lives alone in space. However, a door to Nekoya appears one day on her stretch of the universe, and she decides to enter.

naked lady isekai shokudou
Though she lacks some of the essentials, like clothes.

She downs what looks to be hundreds of plates of chicken curry, for hours on end. But she has no money to pay for it! So, at the suggestion of her red dragon friend, she starts a job at Nekoya, and is paid in chicken curry (kind of like those old gum commercials, where people were being paid in Trident Layers. Would you accept gum as payment??). And with that, we have the final employee of Nekoya!

isekai shokudou three staff

This week’s menu items were curry rice, and chicken curry.

I’ll try to be a lot faster with these posts, since I am going to try to catch up before the Fall 2017 season starts. So try to look forward to 2-3 posts a day, if time permits.

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Episode 7 Review

For a show that is supposed to be about soccer, a basketball centered episode was not what I was expecting.

The first half of the episode introduces Mio Odagiri, the freshman star of the girl’s basketball team. There’s just one thing about her: she can’t shoot the ball. In fact, she almost never makes a basket! But her height and ball handling skills do almost all but make up for her lack of shooting skills.

she cant shoot the ball to save her life aoyama kun

When she see’s Aoyama shooting during gym class, she quickly becomes interested in learning from him.

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After he inadvertently suggests she should use her height to dunk the ball instead of shooting, she is finally able to score! In celebration, she touches Aoyama on the shoulder. But to everyone’s surprise, he isn’t repulsed or compelled to clean himself off! This sets off chaos in the school, as people begin to mistake this for the two of them dating.

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As you might have guessed, they aren’t actually dating. Instead, Aoyama was just doing all of the physical things (like eating food made by other people, arm wrestling, and high five-ing after a goal) that he isn’t able to do with other people. Which I suppose is actually kind of cute to see Aoyama trying to express himself.

aoyama has found someone he can touch

This episode was fun to watch, and the animation was good as always. But I can’t help but wondering when they are going to stop introducing so many new characters that we will most likely never see again.

As a show about soccer, I’m continuously surprised by the lack of soccer in each episode. But as a slice-of-life about a clean freak, I like it. I’m thinking we won’t see much soccer in the next episode either. So that should be interesting. I’ll try to be more punctual with next week’s post as well. Thanks for reading!



Hajimete no Gal Episode 5 Review

The final member of the harem (maybe?) gets their own feature episode. This week it is Nene, Junichi’s disproportionate  childhood friend. At the end of the previous episode, they showed someone getting a complete gyaru makeover, and as it turns out it was Nene!

nene as a gal hajimete no gal

Nene gets the gal makeover to try to win Junichi over, since it seems everyone is under the impression that he has a gal fetish. To be honest, she is my least favorite character so far. So I really didn’t care much for her backstory or honestly anything that had to do with her in this episode.

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I feel like the translators for the subtitles took a few creative liberties with this one.

This episode was pretty average for me, as nothing particularly stood out. So I don’t have any insightful things to say about. Though I was a fan of Junichi’s monologue about war, which was accompanied by various artworks depicting war, except the characters from the artworks were replaced with Hajimete no Gal characters. It was a nice added touch, I felt.

why does war exist hajimete no gal
Asking the deep questions in a not-so-deep anime.
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Well, Junichi isn’t Seiya Toudoin, that’s for sure.

I’m hoping the next episode will be more about Yame and Junichi’s relationship, and less about these otherwise irrelevant background characters.

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They ended this episode this way, so it’s only fair I end my review this way.

Aho Girl Episode 6 Review

This episode is the second half to the Summer vacation arc and probably my favorite episode we’ve had so far. Up until this point I didn’t really like Aho Girl, but this episode might have changed things. We’ll see!

This episode opens with the idiot squad at the beach. Yoshiko is, of course, causing trouble. In particular, she buries the Public Morals Chairwoman and then decides to give her sand body a bonus body part.

All this while A-kun is relaxing and just trying to catch some rays. Though while watching I felt that he looked kinda familiar to one of my favorite childhood characters. Do you agree?

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Tom at the Beach Tom and Jerry

This episode was full of quotable moments/perfect screencaps. One in particular was Ryuichi trying to stop Yoshiko’s mother from ruining their trip.

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This has the same motion blur-like effects people have been putting on memes recently. I kinda dig it.

Though the winner of the best quote goes to this next one. I feel like it is even better without context. So you’ll just have to watch the episode to truly enjoy the quote.

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What could she possibly be talking about?

Though my favorite scene of the episode was when A-kun has to dog sit for Yoshiko. While initially upset with the turn of events, it turns out that the dog actually understands A-kun! Not only that, but they have the same taste in movies! It seems A-kun has finally found the one person who can understand him. Though not quite the person he probably had in mind…

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I ship it. I think.

This episode had some much better jokes and comedy than the previous episodes, I thought. Which really shouldn’t have taken six episodes for a comedy to actually make me laugh, but maybe I’m just picky.

Aho Girl has been slightly redeemed, now it is up to the latter half of the season to finish strong. If it can, then I think this will definitely be a show to watch for comedy lovers.

Isekai Shokudou Episode 6 Review

This week we finally get to explore more into all of the characters that have been introduced so far, with emphasis on Aletta and the master.

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We got to learn more about everyone through a cute argument between literally every character that has been introduced so far over which sandwich is the best and why (presented in MLA format to boot!). We saw some intense food arguments in the first episode, but not nearly as many people were involved compared to this full-restaurant debate!

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The calm before the storm.

Hilarity ensued as each patron started buying their favorite dish for their debate opponent to attempt to prove that their tastes were superior. Which I suppose is a much better compromise than just yelling at someone and trying to prove your point that way.

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It’s almost as if this line was talking about the patrons themselves. When they were all gathered here for this episode, it was truly exquisite!

This week’s menu items were sandwiches (fittingly) and a steamed potato with butter. The master of Nekoya wanted to teach Aletta how to make something delicious, but easy to make with potatoes and so steamed potatoes and butter was the result.

I think we are going to start learning more and more about Nekoya’s staff in the next few episodes, so I am really eager to see it. This episode was a nice break from seeing new characters introduced, and allowed us to actually do something with them now that they have been established. Now we just have to wait and see what will happen next week in Nekoya.


Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun Episode 6 Review

The high school manga author Ozaki-kun is the character in focus this time, as Aoyama and his soccer related shenanigans take the back seat.

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The name and description of Ozaki sounds eerily familiar to a Nozaki-kun, a personal favorite of mine from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

He is looking for inspiration for a new character in his manga, and it seems Aoyama is just the person for the job.

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Ozaki-kun’s manga’s main character and chibi Aoyama.

However, Ozaki sees Aoyama a bit differently then everyone else. Instead of a soft-spoken and somewhat shy clean freak who is skilled at soccer, Ozaki sees Aoyama as a tyrant forcing people to clean the path in front of him, forces people to cheer for him at soccer games, and (the worst of all) hates dogs! And thus, the evil blue wizard was born.

aoyama as the evil wizard
Aoyama if he was an evil wizard. But to be honest it also looks like he could be confused for a fantasy pimp.

The story itself this episode was pretty comical, if a little random. I have honestly no idea where each episode is going to go next. So at least I’m always in for a surprise!

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I noticed today while watching Aoyama-kun that the three stooges from Hajimete no Gal look a lot like Aoyama’s teammates from the former show.
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See the resemblance? 
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I feel like this could’ve been subtitled a little bit better.

All in all not a bad episode, but I could have done without it. It’s existence kind of confused, since we hardly learned anything about Aoyama, except maybe what he’d look like if he were an evil wizard. It looks like next week’s episode may be about basketball? So I’m honestly not sure where we are going, but I think that just adds to the fun!


Hajimete no Gal Episode 4 Review

In every harem it seems, each character involved in the harem gets an episode of exposition to flesh out their character. This time it is the seemingly quiet and soft-spoken class representative, Yui Kashii.

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The consensus on r/anime is that she is”best girl,” but I don’t know about that.

But of course, her personality on the outside differs greatly from what she truly is. Coined a “serious gal” by Junichi’s four-eyed friend, Kashii is actually an online gal cam girl-esque streamer by night who makes sure to not let anyone know of her gal personality. She also believes the world revolves around her, and becomes quite the pain in the neck if things don’t go her way.

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The “perv friend” discovering Kashii’s online gal stream.

Kashii also views Junichi as her dog who should only be loyal to her, and views his relationship with Yame as something interfering with his loyalty.

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Doggy Junichi.

This episode toned down the lewd and raunchiness a bit (though it wasn’t completely absent), which was rather refreshing. The comedy was on point in this episode as well. But man, with each episode that passes, Junichi’s friends get crazier and crazier.

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This is the kind of picture I’d pay to have painted and hung up in my house. It’s so pseudo dramatic that it’s silly.

The lolicon friend in particular made a joke that may or may not have suggested luring children with a “free candy” van.

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They also seem to be testing Junichi’s loyalty and love for Yame, which I suppose can count as progress in their relationship.

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Kashii’s heated confession of love (and a master-dog relationship) to Junichi.

One of the better episodes so far, but still no Yame and Junichi centered episodes since the karaoke episode. And based on the next episode’s preview, it looks like we might have to wait a bit longer for one. So until then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting some Yame x Junichi progress.

Konbini Kareshi Episode 5 Review

August is this episode’s title, which makes me happy since my birthday is in August! +10 points for Gryffindor to anyone who figures it out.

Anyways, in this episode Haruki and Miharu’s relationship progress takes a backseat to Towa and Mami’s relationship. And man is there a lot of change progress here!

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The episode starts with the four main characters at a sports festival competition. Towa declares it a “date” as thanks for helping Mami with the three-legged race at last week’s episode’s sports festival. Though it seems Mami is still as apprehensive as ever when dealing with Towa during this double date.

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Mami has a ton of shoujo manga!

The obligatory anime fireworks festival is also coming up soon, to which Towa invites Mami to for a more serious date. However, she declines his invitation.

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Haruki cheering Towa up after his initial rejection.

By coincidence, Towa runs into Miharu after soccer practice and gets advice about Mami. Miharu tells him that Mami actaully does like him, but is trying to deny it. And that her saying she hates him is what characters in a shoujo manga do (go figure). So through one last ditch effort, and with a little help from Miharu, Towa goes to Mami’s house to tell her how he really feels.

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A confession at episode 5? So early! This is unprecedented!

Fireworks, both literally and metaphorically, fly during the confession! It seems to go well, as the closing scene is what looks like Towa and Mami kissing. And based on next week’s episode preview, it looks like we get to see them doing cute couple stuff! So I’m excited.

This has by far been one of my favorite episodes of the show simply because so much happens. While it may not be much progress with our main two characters, Towa and Mami’s story is equally important. And I am also a fan of shows not waiting until the last 3 minutes of the very last episode to have the characters declare their love for each other. And at that point, nothing else can be done about it! So it is nice to see things happening much sooner.

Also, this episode had made use of some pretty dope split screen scenes:

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One for Towa’s initial rejection over the phone.
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And another for Haruki and Miharu during the fireworks display. Also maybe some symbolism as to the start of Towa and Mami’s relationship? 

I’m happy to see the plot actually going somewhere. I was definitely skeptical at the start, since only real premise they gave was about a convenience store. But I can 100% say that at this point this show is a must watch for shoujo romance lovers out there. And an extra bonus if you enjoy real plot progress. Now I am only hoping that Haruki and Miharu’s romance reaches an even more satisfying climax!

Aho Girl Episode 5 Review

Summer vacation is here in Aho Girl, and it happens to coincide with Japanese school’s Summer vacations as well. But what will our weird delinquents do for their break?

I’ve honestly been pretty bored with Aho Girl up to this point, so luckily this episode was a decent change of pace.

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A good morning kiss is probably not how A-kun wants to spend his first day of vacation.

Yoshiko, A-kun and his sister go to the movies for their first day the break away from their studies (though I suppose for Yoshiko, everyday is a break from studying). But, not surprisingly, Yoshiko is a movie talker! The worst kind of person!

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Duct tape should be the punishment for those who talk during movies.

What is a slice of life anime without a beach trip? And what is a beach trip with out obligatory swimsuit shopping?

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Recently the more characters that are in a scene, the better. I have a hard time enjoying the exchanges between characters when it’s just two of them together, but when the whole aho squad is together, it is actually enjoyable to watch.

Ryuuichi groping yoshikos mother aho girl
Counter attack by Yoshiko’s mother during the battle for A-kun!

I was slowly losing interest in Aho Girl up to this point, but I think they’ve saved it a bit with this episode. It seems like the Summer vacation arc is going to be a two-parter as well, so hopefully next week is just like this episode was. If the beach trip half is even better, it may just save this show for me.