Looking back on 2023

10 February, 2024

Tags: blogging

I've kept putting this off but y'know what, better late than never. An exercise for myself to look back. 2023 sure was a year, huh. Lots of ups and downs, as most years have.

I made some pretty big steps in moving things forward for myself which feels great! I started properly learning Japanese which I've wanted to do since I was 8 or so. It's been a long time coming after several false starts. I'm also working in the field I'm finishing up my education for, which feels very validating of my decision to go back to school.

Someone I thought was my best friend decided to cut me from their life out of nowhere, which still hurts and likely will for a long time to come. I got closer with some friends and made new ones and am able to share interests I've largely enjoyed by myself which has been great!

I played a surprising number of games, a lot of them great! I read a bunch of manga, but not nearly as many novels as I wanted.

While I can't pretend it was all perfect, there have been highs to counter the lows.

Frieren: Beyond Journey's End

An elf stands atop a partly crumbled wall, flowers before her and petals flying in the air.

I'm sure a lot has already been said about this anime and the manga it is adapting, but I can't overstate how effective it is at doing what it does. It uses the longevity of an elf in relation to that of humans as the framing to explore relationships between people. How even those encounters that may as well be the blink of an eye leave an impact on us. The ways that we try to carry on lost loved ones' memories as we continue on with our lives. It balances out the melancholy with moments of brightness and wonder, as well as these wonderful moments between characters. I love it very much and I'm so pleased the anime has been doing the manga justice. On top of all that you also get some very slick action sequences, but for me, those are just an extra.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Hiro and Naru playing video games together, Narumi elbowing Hiro because he's not giving her a chance.

I fell into reading a bunch of romance manga of various kinds last year. Wotakoi isn't what I'd call very deep, but I did find it particularly refreshing to see anime/manga that wasn't focused purely on teenagers, instead focusing on working adults and their relationships. Rather than being a drawn out will they/won't they, Hirotaka and Narumi get together almost immediately and the rest of it looks at the difficulties that can be had in relationships balancing differing interests and how attaining that is so valuable. It's also genuinely funny and sweet. I think about the entire cast fairly regularly. The anime adaptation is also quite solid though it covers less than half of the manga. Maybe we'll see some more but I won't hold my breath.

What about games?!

I realized I'd already talked about a lot of the games I'd have mentioned in this post in my Best Games I played in 2023 post so I'll just point you to that.

There's loads more I played and finished, but I can't possibly talk about every single one. Maybe for the next one I'll not write a post that is essentially what I want to do here just before the end of the year.

I'm trying to be kinder to myself and keep working at doing better. Turns out, removing yourself from situations and people that feed into negative feelings makes you feel better! Who knew (lol)

I'm also just letting myself enjoy the things I want to, rather than feeling some guilt over it for whatever reason.

I'm looking forward to wrapping up my schooling and getting more fully into my field, and the continued expanding possibilities brought by that and my continued improvement in Japanese!