2023: A Year that Was

 So here I am once again at the end of another year — looking forward on what’s to come and looking back on what happened. And what happened in Year 2023 was a LOT.

2023 is the year when I finally earned my Master’s degree, with flying colors to boot. I am now back to work but in a different office with a higher responsibility and increased stress. I admit that I was surprised to be given a higher position right after I finished grad school. “It is too early for me”, I said. But then I had no choice but to fulfill the tasks given to me.

Trying to Blog Again

After a very long hiatus and spotty updates on my blog, I decided to return to blogging this year. I was unsuccessful since I only posted [ins number] of articles this year both in Filipino Sojourner and Pinoy Informer.

I also ventured to vlogging by posting FB reels and revisiting my Youtube. I am still a newbie, however, that’s why my viewers are very few. I do hope that 2024 will be a good year for my vlogging journey. You can watch all my Reels on my FB page. Please follow me there too.

My Fatherhood Journey

I still struggle in being a good father. I have the tendency to snap and snarl whenever I lose my cool with my makukulit na kids.

Well, my kids had great achievements this year. They got awards at the end of the previous school year and they are doing well in the current school year. They also joined the church’s choir, which was hreat because it honed their talents.

Anime, Manga, Light Novels Galore

2024 is the year when I encountered great anime, manga, and light novel.

Top of my list is the light novel “Ascendance of the Bookworm”, which is now at the climax. It is enjoyable to read the rise of the MC from a lowly commoner to the top dog of their world.

Another anime that I enjoyed is “Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy”. It is different from isekai where the MC was rejected by the goddess and had to live at the edge of the world. I enjoyed the anime so much that I even read its manga just to satisfy my cravings for it.

“Log Horizon” is another notable isekai. It followed the game trope but with an intriguing storyline. Too bad that its light novel is on hiatus for a long time already.

Other good anime, manga, light novel that enjoyed this year are:

Spice and Wolf (manga)

Hinamatsuri (anime)

Girls’ Last Tour (anime)

Bofuri (anime)

Spy Family (anime & manga)

Kubo Won't Let Me Be (manga)

Asobe Asobase (anime)

Let’s Go! Pokemon Go

My kids caught on to the Pokemon craze. They watched the TV show and played the card game. I also introduced them to the Pokemon game, which includes Pokemon Go.

I am glad that my kids enjoyed Pokemon, which I went gaga over too during high school.

Looking Forward for 2024

The incoming year will surely be challenging but full of blessings. I hope and pray that God will continue to guode and protect me.

Happy new year everyone!

Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy - not Your Typical Isekai

 I am currently hooked on the isekai genre wherein the main character is sent to another world one way or another. The main character or MC is usually sent after being hit by a vehicle, particularly “truck-kun”.

My current “addiction” to this genre was caused by “That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime”. For this isekai the MC was stabbed, died, and then reincarnated as an overpowered slime. I enjoyed watching the MC slime grow in power, gather followers of different races, build a kingdom, and become the most powerful in the world. I caught on the latest episode and I cannot wait for the next season so I moved on to reading the unofficially translated light novel.

My interest with the isekai genre actually started way back during childhood with the anime “The Vision of Escaflowne”. Then there is Fushigi Yuugi.

My current isekai rage brought me to very good to very bad anime, manga, and light novels. I consider very bad isekai the ones where harem is very blatant (Farming in another World), have MCs with disgusting morality (I’m looking at you pedo MC of Moshoku Tensei), and very cringey or boring MC or plot (Re: Zero). The very good ones in my opinion include Ascendance of the Bookworm, Tanya the Evil, Tensei Slime, Overly Cautious Hero, Campfire Cooking in Another World - and recently - Tsukumichi: Moonlit Fantasy.

Tsukumichi: Moonlit Fantasy is about a high schooler whisked away by a god to be the hero of a world ruled by a goddess. The fickle goddess rejected the MC due to his “ugly” (actually average) looks and threw him away to the edge of the world inhabited by demi-humans. He gained strong allies - the invincible dragon and the Spider of Calamity - by overpowering them. The story progresses with him expanding his influence from the edge of the world to the lands of the humans ruled by the petty goddess.

I say that Tsukumichi is not the typical isekai because of the lack of harem and the MC is not interested in building one. Another is that the MC doesn’t flaunt his power despite being OP. Another positive point about this isekai is the world-building which drives the story forward. This is so unlike other isekai that only focused on the overpowered MC and ignored the society, economy, and the environment where the story is unfolding.

What truly caught my attention is the interaction of the MC with other characters and his actions for every challenge. He is protective with his people just like Rimuru of Slime Isekai but not quesy in murdering those who threaten their peace.

Another positive point is that the MC is OP but not too OP to the point that he cannot be killed. This gives the story the tension that it needs to make it thrilling. 

The MC is also weak in other areas (i.e. lack of knowledge of the new world) that makes his supporters relevant since they can truly provide help to the isekai in areas where he is lacking.

The different factions also provide spice to the story because of their tensions with one another. The demon army vs humans. Then there is discrimination against demi-humans by humans. There is also the anti-goddess faction who reject the goddess but still hate demi-humans. And the biggest tension is between the MC and the goddess.

There are more tidbits in the manga that I enjoy and when collected as one makes Tsukimichi as an isekai worth of my time.