28th January 2024

Anime Watch: The Apothecary Diaries

I recently spoke to a few online friends about the way that so much of the anime that I have watched over the past few years has been aimed at a certain demographic which I am not part of, and that despite absolutely loving the medium of anime, I have felt like I am going through a lot of anime that feels like it was made by someone who has misogynistic attitudes towards non-men. I wanted to start writing about some of the anime that I have enjoyed, and that has felt like it's aimed more at me, and people like me. Well, I might also write about some anime that I really don't like in the future (I finished the first season of a truly unenjoyable one today), but we will see and right now I want to talk about good things. This is my first time writing about anime, and in order for you to understand how I feel about this one, I first have to set the scene a little.

When I first started working, I worked in an office in the city, and I had a commute of well over an hour each way. One of my favourite things to do on these commutes was read manga on my phone - well, that is, until the app Manga Rock got hit with too many copyright violations, and I was forced to start looking elsewhere for media to entertain me. During this time I read manga after manga. I read so many that I struggled to keep track of them all. One of my favourite manga I was reading, that I checked for updates every day, which nobody ever seemed to talk about, was The Apothecary Diaries.

You can imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out that it was being aired as an anime this year! It was around episode 6 or 7 when I discovered it on Crunchyroll, and catching up on those episodes was so good. It was wonderful to refamiliarise myself with these characters that I had loved and invested myself in during a tiring and difficult part of my life, at a time that I am more able to rest.

So far I have loved everything about the anime. The way the characters have been animated, and the way the setting and stories were transferred onto screen, have kept me invested and waiting for each new episode as they release.

I only have two issues with enjoying this series. First of all, that each time an episode ends, I really want to put on the next episode and it is frustrating to have to wait another week. Secondly, I am going to be devastated when the series ends.

Because of my desperation for the story to continue, I have started to invest in the light novels, and I began reading the first one recently. It's my first time reading light novels so you could say it's a very novel experience. But I don't really read as often as I want to, so it's helpful for me to start reading again by starting with something I am excited about.

To further express how much I have enjoyed watching this anime, this year I changed my discord picture from Kaos and her cat, from the anime Comic Girls, to Maomao, the main character in The Apothecary Diaries. I'd been using the picture of Kaos for maybe 4 years now, maybe longer. I also found myself looking up cosplay options, and merchandise. The merchandise isn't super out of the ordinary for me, as I do have a couple of anime figures, but I have never once cosplayed. So this is serious business!

If you haven't watched this anime yet, I absolutely recommend giving it a go. But maybe give it a couple of weeks so you aren't plagued by the end of each episode like I am.

Progress on learning Japanese

I've been trying to learn Japanese for, well, almost a decade at this point. As you might expect, I have been doing it incredibly slowly. For instance, I switched from Memrise to Duolingo a few years ago, and yet I am only on section 2... And I bought the Genki Japanese volumes but barely finished the first chapter... it's really hard to focus on learning like this, but I am still hopeful that I can improve my skills.

This weekend I managed to get back caught up on Wanikani, a tool for learning kanji. I had a lot of kanji to review so I'm quite pleased that I managed to get this done, since it took a long time to review all of them. I also managed to "burn" a few of the kanji, meaning that I had managed to memorise them since I was using the website last. Mostly this was just for kanji radicals but I am still quite pleased. The hard part now is going to be keeping up with it consistently.

So far I have found Wanikani to be the best way for me to learn to understand Japanese. Learning to read the kanji in this way has been really helpful for things like picking words out when watching Japanese media, and also making a lot of the Duolingo content easier. So I am happy with this tool. But keeping up with it consistently is definitely the hardest part.

Coord pics to come

I've been collecting up a bunch of pictures of my coordinates this week, and uploading them to Neocities ready to add to a journal entry. I know I won't have time to write up for each of them today, but I'm hoping to write up about them soonish, so if you're interested in the sort of coordinates I've been wearing and putting together this week, don't worry because I'll be sharing them soon! If you hadn't noticed, I updated my home page to add a picture which has me wearing an Atelier Pierrot coordinate that I felt fits the website theme well. I will have more information about the pieces used in this coordinate, and why I picked them, soon!

Link to some interesting archived graphics

I found this link to a collection of graphics on the web archive and wanted to make note of it. They're pretty cool!