Hello everybody and welcome to the very first edition of my monthly favourites! This new blog series is actually inspired by a series on Geek and Sundry’s website called Signal Boost, where rotating hosts all give their favourite things a mention in hopes to boost the hype! Here I will be posting about the things that I have been super into for the past month. I’ll be mentioning things like books, movies, TV shows, video games, board games, anything really. I’ll give a brief description of the thing and perhaps a quick blurb about why I’ve been attached to it for the month.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the WiiU (video game)
For those of you who don’t know, this is the result of a crossover between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem franchises…. And it is definitely the most “Japan game” I have ever played in my life (granted I haven’t played more than 2 hours of the Persona games, but I have played Okami). It takes place in current day Tokyo following the life of a group of teenagers who are striving for their dream of becoming teen pop idols. The characters show range within the entertainment business, taking on acting jobs (stage and screen), concerts, modelling gigs, and more. What the rest of the world doesn’t know is there are spirits in the world called Mirages that feed on the world’s Performa (energy that comes from… star power? Seriously, even I don’t really get it sometimes). Now these teenagers that make up our cast (see what I did there?) are all bonded to a Mirage spirit, and must fight corrupted Mirages (who are possessing the greatest artists in Tokyo) to save the world. I know, sounds really silly and your typical Japanese RPG base plot.
The story itself is a little bit lacking – I mean it’s kinda hard to take a dramatic moment seriously when just a few minutes ago, there was essentially a JPop music video with the ‘serious’ character dressed in a cat mascot costume. Between every chapter, there is an “intermission” where you have the chance to complete all the side quest/stories for your partner characters, so you get to know the personalities of all of the characters quite well. When you’re not battling corrupted artist soul suckers, your mission is to essentially be the equivalent of a Soccer Mom for your performer friends. You encourage them, and complete missions with them that can help them over a creative hurdle – though how defeating little ghosts suddenly grants you an understanding of how to be “cute” is beyond me… But hey, this game is one hell of a buttload of fun to play. It has a really great turn-based combat system, probably one of the most innovative that I’ve seen in a while, and great rendered cut scenes. So I’d highly recommend you to grab your light sticks to enjoy some awesome Japanese RPG goodness.
Rick and Morty (television series)
Holy shit, is this show ever good. I haven’t been this amazed by a show in YEARS and I find it very difficult to not talk about it. And I feel like I am the last one to jump on this bandwagon. How is everybody NOT talking about this? For that very small fraction of the world who have never seen Rick and Morty, I am so sorry. You really need to do yourself a service and watch it. It is an episodic series following a genius alcoholic scientist and his anxious grandson on (mis)adventures through dimensions and space. It is very reminiscent to one of my favourite shows Futurama with a much more cynical and almost absurd edge to it. There were many moments where I would raise my eyebrow and wonder “what the hell did I just watch” (I’m looking at you jelly bean rapist), and moments later I will be amazed with the existential pros that spew out of both Rick’s and Morty’s mouths. It’s only 20 episodes (so far) and immediately after finishing it, both knifeyspoony and I both exclaimed: “I miss Rick and Morty”. Truly can’t wait for the new season to come out later this year.
Love Sense by Dr. Sue Johnson (book)
So this is kind of a weird choice for me. A while ago I was wandering the shelves of Indigo (as I do more often than I should, says my wallet) and this book caught my eye. I’ve always had a fascination with love ever since I was young (as every 7 year old girls does who dreams of her prince – but in my case it was Tuxedo Mask), and this was a very invigorating read for me and my outlook on relationships. Today I feel like there is no more faith in falling in love and having secure romantic relationships, whether it’s people quoting divorce rates in the country, or claiming that love isn’t real, or that love is now a sham that the media is selling us. This book gave me hope again. Dr. Sue Johnson gave me hope that romantic love is something real, but it still gave a realistic spin on it. She explains that love doesn’t “just happen” to you. You make it happen.
Dr. Johnson (who is actually one of the leading psychologist in a method of therapy known as Emotionally Focused Therapy aka EFT) quotes several studies relating to how we develop our relationships based on how we’ve grown up and our temperament in childhood. She explains the explicit brain chemistry that occurs when we are in love, and when we feel our relationship is being threatened. All of the information is very accessible as someone who did not study further than PSYCH 101. The great thing about this book is even though there is a strong focus on romantic relationships, I believe a lot of the information can apply to all relationships, family, friends, professional, all of it. Everything is all about understanding and opening the conversation. If you have any interesting in psychology, especially the psychology of (romantic) relationships, I’d recommend this book.
wittzgirl (aka Renae Wittenkeller) (Twitch channel)
I freakin’ love Twitch. I fill up my free time usually watching Twitch streams while cleaning or doing other tasks, so for my final favourite for this month, I want to boost the streamer I definitely watch the most: Renae Wittenkeller, aka wittzgirl. The majority of her streams are Pokemon shiny hunts and (lately) a lot of Animal Crossing. Not the most exciting games to stream (because they’re not Overwatch…), but I strongly believe she is one of the best streamers out there. She always keeps a positive vibe in the chat, interacts a lot with the chat and her viewers, and genuinely enjoys streaming these games. She is also very knowledgable when it comes to shiny hunting for Pokemon, so if that’s a thing you’re into, you need to watch her stream. She is so determined to get that shiny that she will sit through over 5000 soft resets of Pokemon Omega Ruby to get a shiny Treecko. What I absolutely love about Renae is she plays the games she wants to play. She doesn’t play for the views, follows, and subs; she plays the games that she genuinely loves to play even if it’s not the most popular game on Twitch. It is more important for her to love the game, and as a viewer, you can clearly see her enjoyment on stream. That is the kind of streamer that I hope to be 🙂