It’s almost the end of November and that also means, 2013 is almost over. While I didn’t feel like I’ve done anything major this year itself, except just trudging along and immersed myself with work. Endless work. I sure hope within another year I get to graduate.
That aside, I realized that I’ve found some hobbies to amuse myself with this past year. For example, let’s recap on figure collecting – which was a pretty long phase…probably about a year? I’ve collected my favorite characters’ figures. There are a few which Good Smile Company didn’t produce so that’s a bit disappointing, nevertheless it also means I get to save my precious money (which is basically my scholarship). Some of my proudest collections ….
This is one of my all time favorite anime ever! It’s just a slice of life anime and nothing major goes on but that’s most probably why I love it.
Saber Motored Cuirassier
This is my most expensive figure purchase and I thought more than twice before finally deciding to get it. I never regretted that decision, this figure is worth every penny especially if you’re a fan of Saber or Fate Zero series.
Another Saber figure which is a must have for any fan out there. This is a re-release so I’m glad I got the chance to get it. There’s actually another one which I’m still eyeing on but I’ll wait and hope for a re-release.
That pretty much sums up my figure collecting phase. I kinda stopped collecting now because I’ve somehow moved on to another phase.
This started 6 years ago actually. But I’ve only ever bought Do As Infinity and Ayumi Hamasaki stuffs. Okay, actually, I only have one Ayumi DVD and that’s it. I grew out of her songs after 2011 or so. Her releases after that have gone stale and bit boring. I still think she should take a long break or short hiatus and come back fresh, instead of working her ass off like a mad woman churning out single after single but none actually sounds even decently good.
As for Do As Infinity, I’ve always been a huge fan, this band is actually the first Japanese band that I listened to and got me into the scene. Without DAI, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into Jpop much at all. DAI made me realize that there’s something different out there that’s much better than what Western music has to offer – which was all I listen to before Jpop. Nowadays, aside from Avril Lavigne and couple of English bands, I listen to mostly Jpop.
So starting this year, when I stopped collecting figure because none of my favorite characters are being produced, I shifted my focus to expanding my Jpop collection. Not to mention, this year is quite an exciting year for Jpop scene too. There are lots of major releases from various artists and most of them are pretty good. There are new ones popping out too which I’ve mentioned in my previous posts. So I’ll just recap some of the main purchases I did this year.
Namie Amuro’s FEEL is probably one of the most major releases this year and it’s up there on my list of Best Album of the Year. She’s basically ditched the old hip-hop and R&B style and focused on electrop-pop dance since the previous album. Not to mention, she’s been singing in English a lot! Or should I say, Engrish? But she’s improved much. It also depends on the producers behind the scenes because on some tracks, she sounds like a native English singer while on others – totally horrible pronunciation. So it’s a mixture of feelings when it comes to that. But brush that all away, you get a solid album.
Not to mention – a kickass front and back cover! Only Queen Namie can pull this off.
It all began with me watching AKBingo! which is really amusing and humorous. Before that, I don’t get the whole image to be honest. I’m not that familiar with the idol world except for perhaps, Morning Musume. Speaking of Momosu, in fact, I don’t listen to their songs at all, too cheerful and the melodies aren’t my type. But I like their shows, a lot. Because from the shows, you get to know the girls and actually know their names. Back then, I thought Momosu has too much members already but miraculously I can actually remember each and everyone of them.
Then AKB48 came around….it’s even more mind-boggling for me to see what…64 members in the major group and that’s not even counting the sister groups all around Japan. But the shows help you to recall the girls’ names and little by little you just remember. I know it’s not right to compare between Momosu and AKB48 – they both are idol groups but have distinct differences. However, if I were to pick whose songs I’m more into- AKb48 takes the crown only because they have gems like Beginner, UZA, Namida Surprise, Ponytail Shushu, RIVER etc…as you can probably see, most of the songs I chose are more pop/rock oriented. UZA is dance though. However, that’s not to say Momosu is not great. However, I’ll put that in another post xD
I don’t normally buy singles…actually I thought they’re a waste of money to get singles when you get just one or two songs. But because you get more with AKB48 singles – 3 songs and probably another bonus that comes in different Types. So you choose which Type or which Cover you like most, and you pick that. Most of the time, I think fans jut pick the ones that has their favorite members on. If you’re a hardcore fan and extra $ to spare, then by all means, just grab all the available Types and be happy.
I bought my first AKB48 single just to vote for my favorite member actually. I’ve posted about her before – Miyazawa Sae. If you don’t already know, AKB48 holds a Sousenkyou or General Election every year where fans vote for their favorite members and those who ended up in the top 16 will be in Senbatsu Team – which literally means they get to appear more in variety shows, get more exposure (the lifeline of an idol) and for the rest of the year be known as a Senbatsu member. Getting into the Top 16 out of 200 over other girls aiming for the same thing – is not an easy feat. And aiming for Center is even more nerve wrecking. So basically, that was how I began buying AKB48 singles. I then went on to buy my favorite singles, the songs I’ve mentioned above. Though, the main reason why I bought them was because Yesasia was giving about 25-30% discounts to some AKB48 singles back then. So I grabbed them while cheap. Of course, I got the ones that come with DVD.
Then there are releases like SCANDAL, MiChi, Avril Lavigne, Haruka to Miyuki, Perfume (didn’t get this since I don’t really like their recent releases and upon hearing the new album, I was right. It doesn’t fit my taste). I know Avril Lavigne’s NOT JPop but whatever…I bought her Japanese version anyways ^^
Monkey Majik’s DNA is pretty good too but I’ll get it when I have extra cash. For now, I’m looking forward to 2014 for Do As Infinity’s second Best Of album. A collection of 30 songs including two new tracks and DVD of their concert. Definitely getting this! It’ll be my first Jpop purchase of 2014 since they’re releasing it on 1st January xD Perfect timing but I’m yearning for a new single already to be honest. It’s been a year since the release of their last album!
So I guess this kind of sums up my phases this year. I was also into photography phase too by the way – made my first lens purchase which was a 50mm. Then, there’s also the Vita Games phase. But I’ve sold all of my games except for Killzone Mercenary. Phases are good, it keeps you occupied. Other than maybe causing your purse to bleed a bit, as long as you’re in control and sensible with your purchases, I don’t see a problem. Because at the end of the day, I’m happy! ^^ Being in the research field, everyday stuck in the lab, even on weekends, I need phases like these to keep my life from being dull. It’s also a good balance for me.