Author Archives: AJ

About AJ

I like shoujo manga and ramen. I don't like them exclusively but that's all you really need to know about me right now.

Why do I even like Animal Crossing?

I’ve been in love with Animal Crossing ever since I first played Wild World nearly 10 years ago. The gameplay is simple, and some would even argue repetitive, but there’s a charm about the games that taught me patience and money management skill I still use today.

I’ll admit that I was probably among the first people to cry out against a ‘pay-to-win’ mobile variant of one of my favourite games of all time, but it’s surprisingly not bad. Even with the addition of ‘Leaf Tickets’ in Pocket Camp, it doesn’t feel like the game is a freemium cash grab, but a genuine installment in the series that just so happens to be free and on mobile. Sure, the whole thing where you have to move around all your furniture just to invite one animal over is slightly more annoying than I think was intended, but at least I haven’t been in a frustrating position that can only be resolved with spending some of my IRL cash.


Despite the final game’s dismissal of my original skepticism, I only played it for about 4 hours when it came out and I haven’t touched it since.

So, then, why aren’t I enjoying it? What do I like about Animal Crossing that Pocket Camp has failed to capture? What do I even like about Animal Crossing?

To be honest, these feel like harder questions than the meaning of life…

Is there anyone out there who’s actually been enjoying this game?

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Gels from the ‘Tales of’ Series

While finishing off another packet of one of my favourite Japanese sweets, I remembered the little post I made back before I had a proper blog (so long ago that it feels like it was in another life) that lead to me finding them. Since all it’s been doing is rotting on my laptop, I figured, why not share it with you guys?

After watching the ‘Gel Abstainers’ skit in Tales of Xillia, I became pretty curious about what gels actually were. It turns out that ‘gels’ are called ‘gummies’ in the Japanese versions as they specifically refer to ‘Kasugai Fruit Gummy Candies’, whatever those were.

In the end, my curiosity got the better of me and so I ended up buying some packs from Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus. Costing all £20 I had on hand, I got managed to get the apple, peach, lemonade (there wasn’t plain lemon) and pineapple flavours.

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Aside from the apple flavour being a much more dull yellow-y orange, instead of the game’s vibrant red and the pineapple ones being heart-shaped, I’d say they look pretty accurate compared to the games’ depiction of them. Size-wise, I was actually surprised by that they were a little larger than the size of a £1 coin (about an inch). I didn’t really know what size to expect, but this size just seemed a bit…awkward…


A size comparison

On to taste, they more-or-less have the texture of disc shaped gummy bears (as expected) but the flavours themselves are literally divine. Biting into one genuinely felt like biting into a capsule filled with super pure fruit juice. I can definitely see how these could cure a status ailment.

If you want to try them out for yourself (and you live in Europe) but you can’t find them where you live, Japan Centre has a variety of flavours to try.

Looks like I found myself a new favourite sweet…

So NaNoWriMo’s more or less over for me (will probably talk about it at some point), so I’ll be back to posting (or at least trying to) once every weekend.

If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider supporting me on Patreon to make it even better! There are a bunch of goals and rewards you can check out,  including more frequent posting, podcasts, live streams and more!

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Review: The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

An anime about magical books set in early 20th century England? Sign me up!

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian ( or Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian as everyone seems to write it as) is about Huey, a young English lord who inherits guardianship over a vast archive and a girl called Dalian. Long story short, the archive is actually full of magic books containing forbidden knowledge, Dalian basically is the archive and, as guardian, Huey (assisted by Dalian) has to seal magic books away to stop them from falling into the wrong hands.

The story consists of episodic mysteries laced with the odd fight scene, just to remind you that that shooting a dragon with a gun will never be quite as effective in killing it as reading it a really old book.

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Even though it’s by Gainax, the animation didn’t particularly stand out to me and I can’t remember a single bit of the soundtrack for the life of me, other than that I didn’t really like the opening or ending. *shrugs* It’s not like any of that took away from the viewing experience so it doesn’t really matter.

The characters themselves are entertaining enough to keep me interested in the mysteries throughout the series, even if Huey isn’t anyone in particular to write home about and Dalian is more or less your cookie-cutter tsundere loli. There are other recurring characters that are equally entertaining, if not more so in the case of Armand’s love life.

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If you like golems, homunculi and automatons with emotions, the mysteries will not disappoint. Unlike certain mystery shows *cough cough* I found myself able to piece clues together and find out the truth myself, but I never figured it all out way before the protagonists. The signs of a well written mystery fiction, right there.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the production team were quite of how to make an ending that would encourage people to check out the light novels. I’ll give them credit for not just leaving it mid-arc, like Pandora Hearts, but it’s still one of the most lacklustre original endings I’ve seen in a long time. From episode 11, I just became very confused and only mildly interested in finding out how everything ties together. I think there were about 5 characters that were just shown and not even properly introduced. Where the hell did they come from!?

In a nutshell: magic books & mystery in 1920s England


The Mystic Archives of Dantalian should  be available to watch on Funimation (and I think Crunchyroll) but that doesn’t include to anyone living in the UK and probably other regions (for some reason) and so you might have to rely on good old DVDs…

Sorry about that. I kind of forgot that I hadn’t actually scheduled this post for last night. Anyway, it’s here now.

Because of NaNoWriMo, I won’t be posting anything next week and there probably only be one more post this month at most. I keep you updated on Twitter.

If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider supporting me on Patreon to make it even better! There are a bunch of goals and rewards you can check out,  including more frequent posting, podcasts, live streams and more!

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The Least Popular Shows on Crunchyroll: Milpom

To investigate various unpopular anime, I’ve been scrolling down to the bottom of Crunchyroll’s ‘popular’ list to see what I can find. So far, the outcomes have been quite interesting and you can see my previous post about Naria Girls.

MILPOM★Milpom is a six episode ONA by Bandai Namco that was originally released in 2015 but only made it onto Crunchyroll about a month ago. I was mainly drawn to the key visual’s unusual art style.

The first thing to address is that the show is stop-motion, rather than hand-drawn (at least, for the most part). Yes, that still means it’s anime, angry reviewers that only gave it 1 star. The animation is choppy and the camera-work isn’t the best but I quite like the cartoonish overlays and bright colours they go for with the dolls, given that they would otherwise probably be terrifying.

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The actual ‘story’ follows a girl called Milpom and her friends Silky, Cacao and Happy as they mess around Harajuku (or somewhere in Tokyo). Since each episode is only five minutes long, it usually amounts to them simply talking about a particular topic, while supposedly doings something else.

Surprisingly, it’s much more entertaining than it sounds, but that might just because, as someone who used to attend an all-girls school, I can relate to the accuracy of the discussions and the characters’ behaviours, both of which would otherwise seem far-fetched to a normal person.

The masks were weird but the explanation they give for them makes the show seem much deeper, just because they bring up the concept that everyone puts on a persona in public and whatever else it was they said.

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In a nutshell: totally accurate representation of teenage girls

If you’re interested in spending half an hour watching kind-of-pretty-but-a-tiny-bit-creepy visuals and ultimately pointless girl-talk, Milpom can be found near the bottom Crunchyroll’s shows list.

Haha! I posted on time this time! May this be the start of consistent posting!

If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider supporting me on Patreon to make it even better! There are a bunch of goals and rewards you can check out,  including more frequent posting, podcasts, live streams and more!

Become a patron of shoujoramen on WordPress

Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I’m sure you’re surprised that I’m not doing a new-season-first-impressions-whatever but I’m saving that for next week when I’ve actually seen everything I’m planning on at least trying this season.

Anyway, you people on Twitter already know of my annoyance last weekend when I was accused of being under 15 (for the first time in my life) but a couple days ago I finally got to see the sequel to my favourite spy movie.


I was mildly disappointed yet pleasantly surprised for a number of reasons…

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Fall 2017 Anime Forecast

I don’t know why, but I tend to use Fall instead of Autumn whenever I’m referring to anime seasons. Maybe it’s just the influence of the internet…

For the sake of listing everything I’m watching in one place (so I can make a timetable), here’s a list of all the anime I interested in this season, grouped based on my eagerness to watch them. I also tried to put my reasons for adding them to my watch list (if I could even remember) but…just see for yourself.

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