Inquiring Minds Want To Know #37: What is the longest series that you have finished, that you regretted watching afterwards?

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Thanks for another great question to deal with this week. As always, I’d love to know your answer to the question and remember that if you have something you would like for me to answer, please fill in the survey below.

Question: What is the longest series that you have finished, that you regretted watching afterwards? From Yomu

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This is a hard one to answer mostly because generally speaking I drop long anime long before I start regretting watching them. Of course, that means I have a number of long anime that I just haven’t finished. Hunter x Hunter, which I was meant to finish last year is still in my unfinished list and I’m really close to the end I just haven’t completed it. Fairy Tail is another one where I got about 70 episodes in and didn’t actually continue.

Fairy Tail - Natsu Sick on Train

Now, neither show actually made me want to drop it. They are both really fun and there are some great characters and great moments in both. However, what I find with longer anime is that events get dragged out, there’s a lot of bloat in the story-lines, there’s arcs that focus on characters or events I’m less interested in, and ultimately I tend to just veer away from these or put them on hold and forget to get back to them.

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If I’m going to look at slightly shorter stories, I’d probably have to say the original Full Metal Alchemist anime was one that I regret watching. Mostly because it doesn’t really end and the movie follow up is actually a little painful to get through. Brotherhood doesn’t do the beginning of the story as well but the conclusion is significantly better and so I end up with a much better feeling about the story overall even though realistically the original series does a much better job in the set-up.

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Thanks Yomu for a great question this week. Over to the readers now and I’d love to know what long anime series you have watched that you regret (if any). Otherwise, please remember if you have a question for me, just fill in the simple survey below and I’ll hopefully get to it soon.


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #36: What kind of fantasy setting do you find most appealing?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Ichigo

Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: With Goblin Slayer being one of this season’s most talked-about shows for various reasons… what kind of fantasy setting do you find most appealing? Traditional Tolkienesque? Witcher-style dark fantasy? Or something else altogether? From MoeGamer

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This is such a great question and the answer is not so straight forward because it really depends on my mood and the medium I’m engaging with the story in.

For books, I’m very old school in my fantasy preferences. Give me a classic sword and sorcery style setting, maybe with a bit of Tolkien in there but I prefer a bit of humour so Eddings stories with their dry sarcasm in the narration or Pratchett with his absurdist humour really work for me and I love the worlds they create. Still, I had a real fondness for the Dragonlance books as a teen and scavenged second hand booksellers to try to collect as many of the titles as I could. My collection is still very much full of holes.

That said, when I’m in full work mode and I don’t have time to get 100% absorbed in what I am reading then I need something a little lighter and I find modern urban fantasy a bit more my thing. Still I find a lot of these books very much a consume once and move on kind of deal and that’s more or less what I like about them. They don’t take a lot of my attention.

Goblin Slayer Episode 1

In anime, I’ve settled for isekai stories, that watered down vaguely fantasy-esque setting they hit us with in almost every show. The few real fantasy settings, like the one found in Chain Chronicles, was really appreciated and I liked the darker nature of the world and the conflict even if the story didn’t exactly rise to meet the challenge of the world building required to pull it off. But these are few and far between. Still, Goblin Slayer isn’t isekai, it is straight fantasy, and while there are undeniably some game-like mechanics to the world building, it isn’t as blatant as some light novels and that’s a large part of why I really enjoyed it as a book and I’m really looking forward to what the anime does over the coming weeks.

In movies I find fantasy very hit and miss. While there are of course classic kids fantasies like Labyrinth and the Neverending Story, adult fantasy movies that really work aren’t exactly common. With that said, I’ve kind of settled for more steampunk themed stories because these ones tend to look visually pretty amazing and still give quite the fantasy feel. I really liked the world created by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (even if again the story was a little lacking).

And finally onto gaming where we are back to straight sword and sorcery D&D style fantasy. Baldur’s Gate 2 is still my all time favourite fantasy game. Though I do enjoy the world’s constructed in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII.

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So long answer, but I really had fun. Thanks MoeGamer for such a great question. Remember if you have a question please just respond to the survey below and in the meantime, I’d love to know what your favourite fantasy setting is so leave me a comment.


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #35: What do you think of Chinese Co-Productions?

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Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: What do you think about Chinese co-productions? Do you think they’re necessary for anime to reach a global community? From Aria

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I honestly haven’t given much thought to co-productions either between Japan and China or Japan and America or Japan and anywhere else for the simple reason that I like stories when they are told well so I’m more concerned with the quality and entertainment of the finished product than who may or may not have been involved in its production. However, after getting this question and thinking it over, I have to admit, a lot of the shows I know to have been Chinese co-productions have been very rough around the edges (even Spiritpact which I ended up thoroughly enjoying).

That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea of co-productions. I love anime for the wide variety of stories it tells and different ways it presents them and co-productions bringing in different people from different backgrounds and cultures seems like a great way to ensure the medium continues to include a large variety of ideas. Whether or not individual co-production efforts have yielded anything good is a subjective discussion and it is kind of like discussing whether live action anime adaptations are good or bad because there will be a lot of different opinions and sure there’s plenty of evidence of ones that don’t work but occasionally there’s one that does and there’s hope that going forward they’ll improve.

As to the second part of the question, I don’t believe they are necessary for anime to reach a global community but I do think that money coming into the animation industry from outside of Japan may very well help long term given we all know there are issues in the industry and co-productions can certainly help with distribution of a title. There’s plenty of benefits from collaborating and very few benefits from assuming the closed position some anime purists might that anime much be produced in Japan by Japanese people.

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Another great question and as I always, I’d love to know the thoughts of my readers so be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think of Chinese Co-Productions. And if you have a question for me, be sure to fill in the survey below. 


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #34: How did you decide on your avatar?

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Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: Perhaps someone asked this at one point, but how did you decide on your avatar? Did you draw it yourself, and does that reflect in any way what you look like? From Moyatori

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I think I’ve mentioned it somewhere before on my blog, but my avatar is just kind of there. Honestly, I didn’t expect my blog to last very long so I didn’t put a lot of thought into it when I started. I’d previously been trying to discuss anime with people in the Crunchyroll forums (with incredibly limited success) but one day someone started a thread for people to create an anime version of themselves and post it. I don’t even remember what I used to create the avatar but she’s designed to look like a cuter version  (much, much, much cuter version) of me when I was in my teens.

The colour of the hair and clothing is pretty accurate but the eye colour is way too bright as mine are closer to blue-grey or blue-green and pretty pale. The chin is too pointy and the nose is well just totally wrong. I like the accessories she’s wearing in her hair and her necklace because they kind of fit with what I was going for as a teen, though they are a little bit dated for me nowadays.

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I actually really liked how it turned out though as I’ve thought more and more about making my blog a full time thing, I’ve started to think I need something designed specifically for the blog (if for no other reason other than not being sure about whether or not I’m supposed to be using that image the way I do). And that is why I set up the account with Ko-Fi as my goal with that is to have enough to commission some art that is made for the purpose of the blog.

I think if I ever do reach the goal and look at getting an avatar made specifically for the blog, I’d probably like her to look a little bit older (I am in my thirties after-all) and while the book is a cute prop, it really doesn’t have anything to do with being an anime blog. There’s also a specific style pendant I’d love to have included as I wear it almost continuously.

On that note, if you are or happen to know someone who is looking for an art commission, I’d love it if you could pass their name along and some samples of work because it is something I really would like my banner, logo, and profile pic to all kind of look like they were designed purposefully and not just kind of thrown together. While I’m not at a point where I can pay for this yet, I’m working on it so research is always good.

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This was a great question and as always I’d love to know about my readers as well. So, how did you decide on your avatars?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #33: What do you think of live action adaptations of anime?

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Thanks to everyone who responded to the question drive but if you didn’t get a question in, remember you can still fill in the survey at the end of the post or use the link in the sidebar to send me a question. This week we get a very timely question and I really enjoyed going back and thinking about some of the live action adaptations I’ve watched since becoming a blogger.

Question: What do you think of live action (dramas or movies) adaptions of anime? Any favourites? from Rise

Netflix Live Action Bleach

I’m going to be perfectly honest here, live action adaptations of anime have an incredibly patchy history and a fairly well deserved reputation for being less than stellar. The Dragonball Evolution isn’t just a poor adaptation of the source material, its just a terrible movie to have to endure watching.

Still, that isn’t every adaptation. Okay, the Full Metal Alchemist adaptation wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible.Ghost in the Shell worked well enough for me but that’s probably because I’m not a fan of the anime in the first place and just took it as a generic sci-fi kind of movie and it succeeded at that. Death Note angered me at first and then I detached my expectations from the anime and realised that as a cheap horror movie it could work just fine so got over it, but none of these have really stuck.

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That actually leaves me with two live action adaptations I really enjoyed just because they were really enjoyable and not because I looked for some positives amongst a mess of an adaptation.

The first is Erased the series. I really enjoyed seeing this story brought to life and feel they did a great job of it. I know the live action is based more off the anime so most of the changes between the anime and the live action are more because the anime veered off course, but I actually feel from a plot point of view the live action is stronger. I still really love the anime but I prefer the ending as presented in the live action series.

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The second is one that just came out and that is Bleach. Given how incredibly on the fence I was about the idea of a Bleach movie and the fact that I went in really expecting to be severely disappointed, this movie actually put my concerns to rest and delivered what is a fairly decent movie in its own right and probably the best kind of adaptations I could have hoped for. It remains true enough to the feel of the anime that what I loved about the franchise is recognisable but it makes sufficient changes to sit relatively comfortable as a movie. It really is just good fun and one I definitely recommend.

Bleach Netflix Live Action

Thanks for the question this week and I’d love to know what my readers think and what some of your favourite live action adaptations of anime are (or if you hate them). Please leave me a comment and remember if you have a question for me you can simply complete the survey below.


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #32 – Favourite English Dubs?

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And this week we have another question from Naru. Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: What are some of your favourite English dubs? from Naru

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This one was actually a really easy question to answer because there aren’t many anime where I would actually say I like the English dub (of course I don’t watch a lot of dubbed anime so that limits the options). Of the anime I do watch dubbed my favourite is probably Steins;Gate. This isn’t just because the characters talk so often and quickly that the subs can sometimes take up a fair chunk of the screen, but they’ve just done a great job of really injecting personality into each and every performance and the English cast are absolutely great to listen to.

Another anime I really like the dubbed version of is Ghost Hunt. That’s probably because the dubbed was the only version I had access to originally and by the time I saw it subbed I was already used to the voices and translations in the dubbed version and I ended up kind of disliking the subs.

Though one anime where I just enjoy the English because I do, is Darker Than Black. This makes it an anime I regularly introduce non-anime fans to because I’ll happily watch it in English. I think it is Kate Oxley who does the English voice of Kirihara and she does an absolutely amazing job.

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Those are my picks for dubbed anime that I quite like but I’d love to know what some of your favourite English dubs are so please share in the comments below. And remember, if you have a question for me click here.


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #31 – Terrible Anime That You Like?

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Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: What are some of your favourite anime that you know are terrible? from Naru

King's Game Episode 3

I think I’m pretty honest about the fact that I have a very weird preference for bad horror stories (regardless of whether they are anime or not). As such, anime like King’s Game, which is objectively terrible no matter which attribute you choose to look at (music, characters, plot, pacing), I actually find really enjoyable even as I will happily criticise them.

Then again, I’m a huge Sailor Moon fan from the original series with its original dub and I think if I’m honest there’s a lot that could easily be criticised about that series as well. I have no intention of doing so because Sailor Moon is awesome and I will love it forever, but I don’t know that it would actually hold up under any kind of critical analysis given it has a repetitive episodic plot structure for most of the first season, characters who literally get power ups just because they need them, and relies on a power of friendship ending to defeat the bad guy. Yeah, not exactly compelling writing and yet despite all of that it works.

Finally, I’d have to throw Inu x Boku SS in this list. I just finished a rewatch of it (as it is one of my go to shows when I’m awake in the middle of the night and can’t sleep – two or three episodes later I usually manage to crash again). For all that I like Ririchiyo as the main character, the story is really not good and there’s some fairly questionable characterisation for most of the cast if you think about it (the whole show works better if you switch your brain off and just let it roll over you).

Ultimately, I watch anime for fun so even if a story isn’t particularly good, or even if some element of the anime isn’t well done, provided I’m still enjoying myself I’ll happily watch. Horror anime, few and far between though they are, almost always tick the box for enjoyment even if they aren’t good. Supernatural anime have to be particularly bad before I’ll drop them. And I’ll try most isekai anime even though the majority end up being decidedly average. Bad isn’t as much an issue for me as feeling unengaged by the subject matter.

King's Game Episode 11

I am now going to turn this over to my readers and ask you for some of your favourite terrible anime. However, this is the last question in my backlog so if you have a question you would like answered in the inquiring minds series, please use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey. Looking forward to the next round of questions.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #30 – Thoughts on anime influencers?

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Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: I wanted to ask your thoughts about anime influencers in the community. I’m certain some are good people, but do you think the status sometimes impairs their vision? From ShirayukiX

Food Wars6

To be perfectly honest, this question stumped me. For one, even though there were a handful of names I might have thought of when thinking of influencers in the community, I don’t follow any of them. Most of them are on YouTube and while I’ve seen bits and pieces of videos or even a whole video that’s been shared on a blog, I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube for the simple fact that I tend to enjoy reading more than viewing (weird but true). More importantly, I’m just not that concerned with whether I agree with someone’s opinion or not. People who I enjoy reading or watching I’ll watch or read whether or not I agree with them and then I’ll happily go about finding and watching the anime I was interested in.

So I turned to Twitter and asked my followers who they thought the ‘influencers’ in the community were (and thanks to everyone who threw some names my way). Some fairly common names like Gigguk, Digibro and Mother’s Basement floated to the surface but what really surprised me was how indifferent most people were or unaware of who the ‘influencers’ actually were. Perhaps that is just because my sample is fairly small, but by and large people were more questioning whether a name they put in the list was actually an influncer than confident about it. I kind of drew back from the thread altogether once someone threw my name into the ring because I just don’t see myself as being anywhere near big enough for that (but then again, no one can agree on how big you need to be to be considered an influencer so what do I know).

Having determined that no one really knows who the influencers even are I did some research, watched some videos, read some posts, from the names that did come out of the discussion and ultimately, I don’t think I can answer the question. I certainly found content from most of the big names that I disagreed with, but that doesn’t mean the person in question has impaired vision so much as they have a different view on the situation.  And without watching or reading significantly more material from any single one of these names, it seems really unfair to make a judgement about their overall perspective from the small sample I did look at.

Therefore, I’ll look at my own experience as a blogger and point out that I do not think it is possible to remain unaware that you are writing for an audience once you reach a certain point. When someone tells me they will pass on an anime I just pulled apart I wonder if maybe I was harsh or biased and just sent someone away from something they may have enjoyed, or someone tells me they will definitely check something out I start running through all the flaws in the show in my head that I didn’t mention in my review and wonder if maybe I should have.

But while I am aware that I have an audience, I don’t let that change my view. I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike. I try to read my posts before they publish to ensure that even if I hated something I’ve been fair to any points of merit that are worth noting. I try to balance praise with some of the more negative points when I’m writing a rave. But ultimately, I’m expressing an opinion, explaining my reasons, and leaving it to my readers to make up their minds. Which is what I would hope most people would do.

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So, I haven’t really answered the question and I don’t think I can, but I think this question has raised quite a few other questions that I’d like to turn over to my audience.

01. What does it take to actually be an ‘influencer’ in the ani-blogging community?

02. What impact do influencers actually have on viewership, if any?

03. Who is an influencer that you follow or like and why?

04. Who is an influencer that you you don’t like and why?


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Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #29 – What anime/manga do you feel receives more criticism/hate than it actually deserves?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Ichigo

Okay, I’ve changed where I’m running the survey momentarily just to try a different service and see which one is more manageable. For now, if you want to ask me a question there’s a link in the sidebar or you go straight to the survey. The old link will still work and I’ll still check there for questions. I’m just trying something a bit different because some people were having trouble with the other survey.

Question: What anime/manga do you feel receives more criticism/hate than it actually deserves? From anon.

Sword Art Online Episode 1

I’ve never made any attempt to hide the fact that I am an SAO fan. I’ve seriously been considering a rewatch and reviewing it episode by episode (much as I have started with Yuri on Ice, but for this one I didn’t have the blog or streaming services when it first came out). While I will happily admit to many flaws in Sword Art Online, and the increasingly diminishing returns of further arcs, the Aincrad Arc remains one of my very favourite narratives to watch.

Clear purpose, evolving characters (go on, tell me Kirito doesn’t develop as a character in this first arc, I can already hear the screams), fantastic action, skipping over the grinding and just cutting to the points that make a pivotal difference to either the characters or the quest… A real sense of danger as their actions and choices matter and one mistake could be their last… The soundtrack… Okay, fan-girling big time.

What I like most about the first arc of SAO is it is accessible. I have many friends who aren’t super into anime but they don’t mind games or action so Sword Art Online is an easy sell to get them to try an anime. I’ve only had one person out of perhaps ten who have watched it with me end up not enjoying it. Most of the others have not only binged watched the whole arc but have then asked me what other anime I would recommend.

Why does it get so much hate? Well apparently it is popular to hate on SAO. Apparently it gives you credit as a ‘real’ fan or someone who watches ‘real anime’. Again, I’m not going to proclaim it a perfect work of art and I’m pretty critical of every arc after the first myself. But statements like it is the ‘worst anime ever’, a ‘steaming pile of…’, or that Kirito is a ‘Gary Stu’ who never changes just make me wonder if the person watched the show in the first place or just someone else’s review of it and whether they’ve watched all that much anime.

It isn’t that I don’t think people should criticise Sword Art Online. I just wish the criticisms were grounded on actual observation rather than just going with the flow of hyperbole that anything connected to Sword Art Online must be some fanboy’s delusions of grandeur on crack. I do not understand how people can say Kirito doesn’t change. Watch episode 1 again. Skip forward to episode 10. Do you see the difference? If not, try again, and this time actually pay attention to his attitude to himself and others. That development occurs, incrementally over the first arc.

Admittedly, that’s where it plateaus and part of the trouble with Sword Art Online is the concept is really a one arc story. Everything that came after that is just forcing more problems on characters who’ve already had their drama play out and the characters aren’t really getting anywhere after that point nor is the sense of danger or excitement still present.

So yes, easy question to answer though I suspect I might get some more interesting comments than normal on this one.

That said, it isn’t though Sword Art Online is alone in being the flavour of the month to hate on. Diabolik Lovers finds itself targeted quite regularly, and I’ll be honest and admit I’ll happily tear that to pieces any day of the week. Fans of it probably aren’t thrilled by the negativity, though I think vampire sexual and emotional abuse is probably a little harder to justify than what might be classified a slightly bland power fantasy. Just my opinion.

Sword Art Online - Episode 4

Alright, over to you. Do you think Sword Art Online gets more criticism than it deserves? Is there another series that you feel is needlessly bashed around by critics just because it is cool to do so? Just remember, play nice.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #28 – How do you find a balance?

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If you have a question be sure to ask it here. Previous questions that have been answered can be found here.

Question: How do you balance your job and hobbies? What’s your routine? From Lita Kino.

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Let’s be real, there is no such thing as work/life balance in the modern world. Work hours are insane for those who are lucky enough to have secure employment, meanwhile others are unable to get a foothold in the market. And yet, instead of reducing stress and workloads by actually hiring more workers and sharing the load, employers keep tightening their numbers and push more and more work onto people not secure enough in their job to actually say ‘no’.

I actually really love my job but in 2017 was hitting 55 – 65 hours a week at work regularly and a firm life resolution in 2018 was cutting that back regardless of what it cost or how guilty I felt leaving at the end of the day. While I still tend to do an average 50 – 55 hours a week I haven’t hit 65 yet this year and so am feeling a bit better about things (though my job list at work is looking pretty tragic and there are some things I’ve just openly dropped off my list and decided it isn’t worth the effort of following through).

So finding a balance is more or less impossible given the hours work eats up. That said, I firmly believe that you will make the time for things that are important to you. You can’t find time. There are 24 hours in a day, divide them as you will. While most of us have limited control over working hours, how we use the rest of our day is entirely in our hands. And for me, I’d rather spend my time on anime and writing my blog then sitting on the side of a football field, going to the pub or the club, or many of the other ‘entertainments’ available in my very small town.

Essentially that means if I’m not at work, asleep, or doing housework, I’m probably going to be doing something related to anime, movies, games, or reading. Because that’s what I love to do. For sure there are other social interactions that do occur, but if I get to choose, I’ll probably be typing away at my computer or watching something on TV.

As to a routine, it should be fairly well known that I don’t really sleep much (an ongoing habit of mine). Again, 2017 was a terrible year with my average sleep dropping to barely four hours most nights, but I’ve clawed back to five hours for now. However, that means I wake up really early and so I usually spend an hour or two on the computer before work reading blog posts and replying to comments. I don’t tend to watch much anime in the morning, saving that for evenings, but I try to touch base with new posts from followers and follow up on any emails or messages. Then my actual alarm goes off and I have to get ready and go to work (one of these days I’ll sleep long enough to hear my alarm from my bed and wonder why I left it next to my computer).

After work I try to do another quick visit of blog posts, though I tend to comment less and like more on posts I read after work due to usually being brain tired, and then I catch up on the anime of the day and draft reviews.

Weekends, outside of exercise and cleaning, tend to involve a lot of watching and writing and reading though I have no real set routine on weekends. I just kind of do what I feel like doing and then wonder where my day went. That’s of course when I haven’t brought work home with me, then I usually promise myself that when I finish task A, I can watch an episode of this show or this one, and that usually keeps me working.

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This one is probably a great question for readers. How do you balance your job and your hobbies?


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Karandi James

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