BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 4 – YouTube Screw Job

Week 4 – YouTube Screw Job

Welp. My plans to make extra money with my YouTube series have taken a fairly serious hit. Starting on the 20th of next month, all channels with less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time over the past year will be kicked off the monetization program, making it even harder for people who don’t already have massive fanbases and/or large amounts of money to pour into advertising to make a profit through the platform. Since I’m currently sitting at around 840 subscribers, I’ve been trying to promote Silent InvenTOYry in as many places as possible to try to beat the deadline. I’m good on hours, and I thought I had found a few ways to boost my sub count… but then on Saturday YouTube started purging dead or inactive accounts from people’s subscription numbers, which knocked me back down again. I’m not gonna lie: this really, really sucks. I want to keep doing my show, but if I can’t break 1K in the next four weeks, it’ll be that much harder to justify spending money on it.

Therefore, I’ve kicked preproduction of the next InvenTOYry episode into overdrive. The item I’m reviewing doesn’t ship until the end of the week, but I’m doing as much of the episode as I can in the meantime so I can get the episode posted as close to the release date as possible. As I said, I’m also trying to promote my channel in quite a few new avenues, with mixed results so far. Readers: if you or people that you know are interested in Japanese toys and collectables, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE. If you have subscribed already, you can still watch, like, share, favorite, and upvote whenever you can… the more people I have watching, the more likely it is that I’ll draw enough attention to pull in the 160+ subscribers I need. Links to all seven complete episodes are below:




I’m working on putting together a special celebratory thank-you stream for when I do hit the magic number, but that’s still in the very early planning stages. More on that later.

As you might imagine, this impending YouTube crisis has made it hard to concentrate on anything else. The last few days have been spectacularly nonproductive on the writing front, but I plan to sit myself down tomorrow and grind out at least two pages for either Soulsnatcher or Shattered Skies before I get distracted by other stuff. Easier said than done, I know, but…

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 3 – Too Cold to be Clever

Week 3 – Too Cold to be Clever

Silent InvenTOYry Episode 06 is done!

And thanks to another round of YouTube auto-flagging drama, I’ve set up an alternate account at Daily Motion to post my episodes with their intended soundtracks. This is going to be the case from now on: the versions with the public domain music go up on YouTube, and the versions with music from their source material go up on Daily Motion. Here’s the link: http://www.dailymotion.com/silentinventoyryuncut

So if you watched ’til the end of the video (and you should have), you saw the announcement that I’m celebrating “Precure Month” by doing two more Precure-themed reviews in the coming weeks. Both forthcoming episodes will be Semi-Shorts, and the timing on both of them may vary depending on shipping times and other factors, but I’m at least reasonably certain that both of them will be worth watching.

That’s about it for news of my projects this week, honestly. Work continues on all the usual stuff.

MEILIN STILL EXISTS. Thank you FantasyCrest for sending me word, you made my Sunday morning very happy indeed. Now I just need to hope she appears in person.

Hate cold hate cold hate cold hate hate hate hate hate cold…

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 2 – So Pure

Week 2 – So Pure

After doing about seven hours worth of work on Silent InvenTOYry today, I realized that I wasn’t going to finish it by tonight, as I had planned. Which sucks, but I did at least make a ton of progress on it. I only need to shoot one more segment and then maybe reshoot my outro, then I’ll be done. I’m gonna push to get it uploaded to YouTube by Friday at the absolute latest.

Speaking of InvenTOYry, by the way: I had to delete and reupload the SoC Megazord episode, as I caught a pretty serious audio sync error in its last few minutes when I watched it again a few weeks ago. See, YouTube still has that wonderful system that forbids you from changing a raw video file after it’s been uploaded, so if you catch a mistake, the only option is repeating the whole process again with the fixed file. I’d appreciate it if you all could watch, fave, share, and upvote it again, since that one’s currently my most expensive episode. Thank you.

Cardcaptor Sakura: The Clear Card Arc‘s anime has finally started! And oh, what a start it was. The animation was drop-dead gorgeous, and seeing and hearing Sakura, Kero, Tomoyo, and Shaoran again felt like coming home. I’ve long espoused that the original CCS is a pure, fluffy, damn near perfect cinnamon roll of an anime, and Clear Card looks to be continuing the tradition. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: I kind of wish Sailor Moon Crystal had gone this route. I mean, not that I’m knocking Crystal… I’ve said before that it improved massively as it went on, and I understand that there are multiple reasons why it couldn’t and didn’t retain all of the cast and music from the original. It’s just that when I see the huge, lavish budget put into Clear Card and when I hear not only the entire original cast returning but selections from the first anime’s soundtrack… I’m like “Come on, Toei. This is how it’s done.” Maybe when they finally put out those Season 4 movies, they’ll take note?

Ah, anyway. Sakura is a terrific antidote for these stressful times. For the next three months, at least, I’ll have a surefire way to brighten my mood on Sundays.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 1 – New Years D(el)ay

Week 1 – New Years D(el)ay

I hate to start off the year with news of another delay, but hey, I’ve got a decent reason this time: I took advantage of a recent Humble Bundle to upgrade my video editing software from Vegas 13 to Vegas 14 Pro, which has given me a whole new array of options to tinker with for Silent InvenTOYry. Unfortunately, since Pro 14 is such a big step up from what I had before, I’m having to sort of relearn the program on the fly. Hence, I’ve temporarily paused production on Episode 06 so that I can figure out what I’m doing. I think the end product will be quite impressive, though. I’m aiming to have the episode done by the 15th, and there’s a Semi-Short that I’ll be working on very soon after that.

I’ve discovered that the end-of-the-month Patreon deadline is indeed a fantastic motivator for me to get off my ass and write Tasakeru chapters. Yet again, I managed to finish a chapter on the last day of the month, making four months in a row that I’ve been able to update on time! Not that I want procrastinating until the last minute to become a habit or anything, but… if it helps get the chapters out so I can get paid, so much the better.

Goals for this year are below. I’m not doing resolutions this year, because knowing me I’ll forget about most of them by mid-February.

  • Finish Soulsnatcher; start on and possibly finish Book IV: Twilight Dreams
  • Finish the long-neglected Book II Appendix, and begin the Appendix for Book III
  • Rerecord the Tasakeru soundtrack in Music Maker, transfer all tracks to BandCamp, and make them available for streaming/download
  • At least two full InvenTOYry episodes and at least three Semi-Shorts

And of course, I’ll be continuing Shattered Skies and Viluy’s Database as well.

Here’s to a new year. May it be better than the last.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 52 – Twelfth Night

Week 52 – Twelfth Night

Happy winter holiday of your choice, everyone. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get in a Blogress Report on time, given that Christmas fell on a Monday this year, and there was a rather important event happening tonight… but here I am.

About half an hour ago, for the first time ever, I was able to watch a Doctor Who episode live. That episode, “Twice Upon a Time”, was the finale for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, the debut of Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth, and the final episode of Steven Moffat’s near-13-year run as writer and nine years as showrunner. It was the end of an era, a true turning point. Over the last four months, I marathoned six years of Who in hopes of being ready for tonight, so my expectations were high…

… and I’m happy to report that, at least in my opinion, Moffat and Capaldi knocked it out of the park.

I won’t bother spoiling, since detailed analyses of the episode will be everywhere by tomorrow, but I’ll just say that I loved “Twice Upon a Time”, and that it had two scenes that honestly had me in tears. It was as magnificent a send-off as I’d hoped, one that earns its spot in Who history. And while saying goodbye to one of the Doctors is always sad, I’ve learned that the best farewells are the ones that leave the viewer thrilled to see what comes next. That’s absolutely the case here… I know I’ll be there watching when Thirteen’s first full episode kicks off next year.

Anyway. My Christmas was quite pleasant this year, with no unwelcome surprises. You can’t ask for much more, really.

As you can see, I managed to finish Chapter 31 of Shattered Skies a couple days ago, after working on it for about two months. The Jamais Ville sequence was the reason this one took so long; I was dead-set on nailing the tone of off-putting wrongness of the city that I was shooting for, and that took a lot of extra effort. I’m happy to say that the effort appeared to pay off handsomely.

I’m going to put Skies on a short, temporary hold over the next week so I can focus on finishing Silent InvenTOYry Episode 06 and what will likely be the last chapter of Soulsnatcher by the year’s end. Having a pressing deadline seems to have been an effective motivator for the last couple months, so I feel good about my chances.

So, that’s enough from me. Thank you all for sticking with me for another year of Blogress Reports, you’re helping me more than you know.

Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 51 – A Big, Fat, Rancid Cow Pai

Week 51 – A Big, Fat, Rancid Cow Pai

Welp. This past week had some very good news (Doug Jones won, and Patreon abandoned its fee hike!) and some very, very bad news. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Cheeto puppet and former Verizon corporate stooge Ajit Pai ignored damn near everyone and voted to repeal Net Neutrality… that much wasn’t a surprise, of course, but I hoped the two other Republicans on the voting board would grow spines long enough to see which way the wind’s blowing… nope.

It’s important to note that the fight for Net Neutrality is NOT over, not by a long shot. Until the repeal goes through both houses of Congress and His Fraudulency, we still have a shot. As of this writing, the Attorneys General of 17 states have announced plans to sue Pai and the FCC, and at least a dozen Congresspeople have invoked the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC’s decision. It’s also come out that Pai may have known about the 2 million pro-repeal comments on the issue that came from false or stolen identities, which could land his smarmy ass in jail. The important thing is to keep the pressure on. Do NOT let them weasel out of this. Keep calling, writing, faxing, and protesting. You can still use Resistbot or go to battleforthenet.com to get in touch with your lawmakers. It’s a tall order, but if we keep hounding, we can kill the Net Neutrality repeal, and maybe even the abomination of a tax bill that Cheeto’s cult keeps trying to ram down our throats. Scream loud enough and long enough, and somebody will have to listen.

Anyway. Also a net positive for the week: The Last Jedi. I got into one of the first showings last Thursday night with a bunch of friends, and I had an absolute blast. The ways this movie upends the Star Wars saga are nothing short of brilliant; its central message is that things need to change, and man, do they ever. And even better: I found out today that many of the alt-right’s manbabies are throwing fits and saying that this movie “ruined” Star Wars for them, to which I say “WOOHOO!” That’s how you know Rian Johnson done right.

I had to spend a lot of this past week doing some rather intensive paid work, but since I got it finished yesterday, I’m intending to spend most of the week on writing and putting together the next episode of Silent InvenTOYry. I think I can get Shattered Skies Chapter 31 out by the end of the week if I really buckle down. It’ll be easier to focus now that I’ve uninstalled Heroes of the Storm. I finally determined that HotS was giving me very little actual enjoyment compared to all the time I had invested in it… frankly, it was starting to feel less like a fun pastime and more like a chore.

There was one other sour note this week on the writing front, I’m sorry to say. A self-appointed rules lawyer on FF.net was “nice” enough to inform me that the Stars Above Demon Profiles were “not a story” and thus against the site’s rules, and that keeping them up could cost me my account. I asked as politely as I could manage for them to show me where exactly the rules define what constitutes a “story”, and why my story instead of the countless numbers of scriptfics, songfics, misspelled drivel, and works of pornography that litter the site, and I was given the rule in question along with an extremely rude reply. Said rule still has a shaky definition of what a “story” is, but I decided not to risk my account over it and took down the Demon Profiles along with Shattered Skies: Viluy’s Database. Fortunately, you can still read both the Profiles and the Database here, on AO3, and on Wattpad (Database only, for the moment). Change your links accordingly if you have them.

Christmas is always a frantic occasion around here, given that my folks are both very devoted churchgoers, but I, being an agnostic heathen, should have little on my schedule for the next week… provided I don’t get any last-minute calls from petsitting clients, that is. And without HotS to distract me, maybe I’ll finally get back to work on that Tasakeru Appendix. We’ll see.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 50 – Patronizing

Week 50 – Patronizing

In case you weren’t aware: Patreon has recently implemented a hike in minimum fees charged to patrons. What it boils down to is that instead of $1 being the minimum pledge amount, it’s now something like $1.34. Patreon has tried to paint this as “a boon to creators”, a statement that was quickly and roundly debunked. I already wrote a more detailed post about this over on my Patreon page, but I’ll restate it here: I’ve lowered the minimum pledge amounts on every reward tier save for the $1 level to offset these changes.

Now, ErinPtah also found a few articles that explained this issue better, which you’ll find linked here. Supposedly, Patreon has been losing money on every pledge under around $15, and this rate hike is to keep the service running. That may be, but this also looks like a move made to make any potential investors happy… see also the restrictive new rules regarding adult content that were implemented earlier this year. What I’m afraid of is that this signals that Patreon, like almost every other relatively consumer-friendly service these days, is about to get bought out by some giant megacorp that will proceed to ruin everything that was good about it. Maybe Apple, maybe Google, maybe Verizon, I don’t know… all I know is that companies that support the little guys are vanishingly few and far between, and if Patreon goes under or stops paying out, frankly, I’m screwed.

That’s not the only ominous portent of doom this week, either. Tomorrow is the hotly contested Alabama Senate race between Democratic candidate Doug Jones and racist, convicted pedophile Roy Moore. The fact that the race is actually close, and that Cheeto Hitler’s party generally refuses to condemn Moore at all, let alone force him to drop out… well, it’s a worrying indicator for the state of things in this country. Any #Alabama voters reading this, you’d better damn well show up to vote tomorrow. Do NOT let another unrepentant rapist pedophile steal another government seat.

And then there’s the Net Neutrality vote on Thursday. Cheeto’s puppet Ajit Pai seems committed to ignoring all the millions of phone calls, emails, letters, and protests, so we can only hope that either the rest of the board votes no on the repeal or that it’s thrown out in court. I’ve been phone banking and I’m participating in #BreakTheInternet tomorrow, and I encourage all my readers to do the same. The Internet is my life, and it’s on the line.

Boy, this Report sure is a barrel of laughs, huh? Sorry about that. It’s a nerve-wracking week.

Anyway, better news. ErinPtah took a commission from me that she posted a couple days ago, a Shattered Skies promo poster with a design suggested by VDrake. Check it out below.



My new Silent InvenTOYry episode is proceeding nicely, without too many problems, and I’m still gunning to get it done by the year’s end. I think you all will really like the wallet gag for this episode’s intro; I got a bit ambitious with it.

I managed a head start on the next Soulsnatcher chapter after I cut a scene from Chapter 7 to make my deadline on time. So that’s at least a little progress. I’m going to work on Shattered Skies Chapter 31 and the second Viluy’s Database entry tomorrow, if I can concentrate.

Oh yeah, and there’s some movie opening on Friday that a few people, myself included, are a bit excited for. More on that next week.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 49 – Seriously, Save the Internet

Week 49 – Seriously, Save the Internet

I don’t have that much to say this week. I finished Chapter 7 of Soulsnatcher on time by the skin of my teeth, so yay! Three months with no missed updates! Work has started on Silent InvenTOYry Episode 06. There’s something I still need for this episode that likely won’t be here until Saturday at the earliest, but I’m doing all I can in the meantime. Shattered Skies Chapter 31 is coming along slowly but surely, and my various other projects are proceeding as normal.

I’m going to use most of the rest of this week’s Report to do my civic duty and repost information regarding Net Neutrality, what it is, why you should care, and how to stop it from being revoked. I’m begging everyone who reads this, if you care about me or my work in the least, please do everything you can to fight to maintain and enforce the current rules. This is not hyperbole: if Title II Net Neutrality rules are revoked, I will no longer be able to post ANYTHING, anywhere. There will be no way for me to afford the extra cost of putting up my writing, artwork, videos, or anything else if Ajit Pai’s repeal plans go through. If I can’t afford to go online, I can’t produce content, which means I can’t get paid via Patreon, YouTube, PayPal, or any other source of online income. My business, my leisure, my relationship with my best friends, and my entire social life in general all depend on a free and open Internet.

So, what can you do?

Allow me to copy-paste a helpful post that’s been circulating on Tumblr:

Imagine paying $40 extra a month for Tumblr

That’s what is going to happen if we let Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, go through with repealing Title II (AKA Net Neutrality).

Simply put, without Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will be able to “bundle” websites much like cable ON TOP OF paying for internet connection. “Want access to Netflix AND Tumblr? Get the Entertainment Package! $40 a month. What about Amazon and Ebay? Add an extra $20 a month to get the Shopping Package.”

Not only will they be able to bundle websites and charge more, they will also be able to censor and block websites that they don’t agree with entirely.

THIS WILL BE THE END OF INTERNET AS WE KNOW IT.

For business owners, it will be even worse. Ex: Comcast will ask Amazon to pay high fees to be available in a low-cost package, fees that websites like Poshmark or Etsy will not be able to pay. Therefore, only Fortune 500’s will be available to web users at a low cost. Say goodbye to Etsy (unless you’re willing to shell out $70 a month for the “All-Inclusive” package).

To learn about Net Neutrality, why it’s important, and/or want tools to help you fight for Net Neutrality, visit BattleForTheNet (https://www.battleforthenet.com)

There are five people deciding the future of the internet, three men (Rep) and two women (Dem). The two women have come out as No votes. We need only to convince ONE of the other members to flip to a NO vote to save Net Neutrality.

There are many ways you can help:

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A LAZY TUMBLR USER WITH ANXIETY WHO TRIES TO HELP WITH JUST REBLOGS / LIKES:

Here are 2 petitions to sign, one international and one exclusively US.

International: https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home

US: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-repeal-net-neutrality

(After you sign make sure to verify via email, it may take up to 30 mins to receive the email).

Text “resist” to 504-09. It’s a bot that will send a formal email, fax, and letter to your representatives. It also finds your representatives for you. All you have to do is text it and it holds your hand the whole way.

HERE ARE MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:

These are the emails of the 5 people on the FCC roster.

Blow up their inboxes!

Ajit Pai – Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Mignon Clyburn – Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Michael O’Rielly – Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov

Brendan Carr – Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

Jessica Rosenworcel – Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

You can support groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU and Free Press who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality:

https://www.eff.org/

https://www.aclu.org/

https://www.freepress.net/

https://www.fightforthefuture.org/

https://www.publicknowledge.org/

https://www.demandprogress.org/

Set them as your charity on Amazon Smile here (https://smile.amazon.com/)

Write to your House Representative here

(http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/)

And Senators here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state)

Write to the FCC here (https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact)

Add a comment to the repeal here (https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108&amp;sort=date_disseminated,DESC)

Here’s an easier URL you can use thanks to John Oliver (http://www.gofccyourself.com)

Also check this out, which was made by the EFF and is a low transaction cost tool for writing all your reps in one fell swoop.

(https://democracy.io/#!/)

Most importantly, VOTE. This should not be something that is so clearly split between the political parties as it affects all Americans, but unfortunately it is.

PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR INTERNET!

Keep fighting, and don’t let up until the plans to kill Net Neutrality are dead and buried for good.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 48 – Goodbye, Tasakeru828… Hello, BHSDesk

Week 48 – Goodbye, Tasakeru828… Hello, BHSDesk

Don’t panic, I’m not going anywhere. Those of you reading this on DeviantArt may have noticed that I’ve changed my username to BHSDesk, the same as my main Tumblr blog. I’ve stuck with “tasakeru828” for fourteen years, from the very beginning of my time on DA, but as Tasakeru isn’t my sole focus anymore, I figured it was time to make the change. DA had a sale on a six-month Core membership this past weekend, and since Core membership is the only way to change one’s DA name (for God knows what reason), I went ahead and did it. All the old links I haven’t updated should still redirect to bhsdesk.deviantart.com, but just in case, change your bookmarks if you’ve got ’em.

Last week being Thanksgiving, I had a ton of petsitting jobs come up at once, which took a big chunk out of my writing time. See, I almost never travel anymore, so I’ve made being always available a cornerstone of my business. That means that this time of year, when most people are sinking into an alcoholic stupor and/or a tryptophan-induced coma, I’m out working. It’s one of the downsides to this job… but then, I get to relax when most people are trudging back to work in freezing weather, so it kind of balances out.

Anyway, because of the long work week, I don’t think I’ll have a chapter of Soulsnatcher up by the end of this month, though I’m still trying my hardest to get one out. Same goes for Shattered Skies, which is being held up due to a scene that I’m having a hell of a hard time trying to get right. I’m afraid it’s another one of those weird, difficult, experimental ideas that are primarily in the story because I insist on challenging myself to see if I can actually write them… like with the Insecurity System sequences from earlier this year, or the short version of Chapter 27 of Stars Above. If this sounds like I’m making my job as a writer harder than it needs to be… boy howdy, you don’t know the half of it, Bunky. I swear, sometimes I think that there’s a nasty streak of masochism in me, one that only surfaces when I’m in the thick of a story.

So, to make up for the wait, I plan to have the second installment of Viluy’s Database up relatively soon. As with last year, I’m going to try to get as many projects as I can finished by mid-December so I can take the holiday season off (minus petsitting, of course).

New and presumably authentic leaks for Hugtto Precure have surfaced. So far, the designs are not grabbing me, and I’m harrumphing over the presence of what appears to be yet another baby fairy mascot, but… as I’ve said before, I intensely disliked Go! Princess‘s designs when I first saw them, and up until I actually started watching it, I was convinced it was going to be an off-year. The experience taught me to never trust my initial impression or gut instinct when it comes to these things; the series will be good or not based on many more factors than just the character designs or the mascot(s). That, and there’s still no indication as to what the story is, what the characters or like, whether the fight scenes will be physical again or not, or even the series’s motif… so I’ll just have to be patient and hope for the best come February. If it turns out to be an off-year, at least I’ll still have the new Cardcaptor Sakura anime to scratch my magical girl itch. Wow, the last part of that sentence was poorly worded…

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 47 – The Second Annual “Thankful List”

Week 47 – The Second Annual “Thankful List”

Because “Second Annual List of Things to Be Thankful For” takes up too much space in the title bar. As I did last year, I’m going to look back through the last 46 weeks of Blogress Reports and list the actual good things about 2017, because I’m fairly certain everyone is tired of hearing about the bad stuff. In very loosely chronological order, let’s go with the pop culture stuff first:

  • Little Witch Academia (TV): One of my contenders for Anime of the Year. We all knew Studio Trigger would kill it with this series, but they went beyond the call of duty and delivered a true classic. LWA became something I looked forward to every week, and hearing Megumi Han’s spectacular voice work as Akko never failed to improve my mood. The series ended with one of the best final episodes since Madoka Magica, in my opinion, but that’s not the end for Akko and company, oh no. There’s a LWA RPG coming (!!!) which will get an English release (!!!), set to hit North America early next year.
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: My second choice for Anime of the Year was this title that came out of nowhere, smashed all of my expectations, and delivered bigger belly laughs than pretty much anything else I watched in the last eleven months. The initial buzz for Dragon Maid, at least in Tumblr circles, was profoundly negative… many, including myself, groaned when they heard just the title. But then something remarkable happened: word spread as to how touching, thoughtful, adorable, and legit hilarious the show really was. I eagerly await more adventures with Miss Kobayashi, Tohru, and Kanna next year (come on, KyoAni!)
  • KonoSuba Season 2: Last year’s surprise comedy hit came back with a vengeance, doubling down on its insanity. I’ve described KonoSuba to friends as “Imagine Sword Art Online but with the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia“… but that would be selling it short, I think. True, almost all the main characters are horrible, horrible people who deserve most if not all of the abuse the universe heaps on them, but KonoSuba wouldn’t shine without its incredible satire of SAO and the “trapped in a game world” genre, or the flawless voice performances of its cast, particularly Sora Amamiya as Aqua. There’s another season on the way, and I’m counting the days until its release.
  • The Nintendo Switch: After what seems like forever, Nintendo scored a massive hit with the Switch’s launch. They kicked off with what people keep telling me is the best Zelda ever, and kept it going with a string of releases ranging from solid to instant classics, most recently with Super Mario Odyssey. And miracle of miracles, it looks like a mainline Nintendo console will have solid third-party support, something that hasn’t happened since the SNES! I’m still waiting to get mine until early next year, but when I do…
  • Attack on Titan Season 3: We had to wait four years for this season, and it may have been only 13 episodes, but holy hell did they make each one of those episodes worth waiting for. I’m not the biggest fan of AoT, but even I was glued to my screen for Season 3. Gone were the pacing problems that plagued seasons 1 and 2… the crew made every moment count.
  • Boku no Hero Academia Season 2: Rounding out the returning anime is BNHA, which saw a massive groundswell of popularity as its plot ramped up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: BNHA is remarkable in many ways, but in my book the most remarkable thing it does is taking the tired old shonen anime/manga tropes and either subverting the hell out of them or breathing new life into them. I was a little late jumping on board, but come Season 3 next year, I’m gonna be there from the start.
  • Samurai Jack Season 5: The original cast and crew (minus Mako, RIP) brought Jack back for ten new Adult Swim episodes, and for a glorious few weeks it was on everybody’s mind. Season 5 did everything the original show did so well: minimalist atmosphere, incredible fight scenes, and gorgeous art. In terms of revivals of cancelled cult classics, it ranks up there with the best of them in my book.
  • Rick and Morty Season 3: Look, forget the szechuan sauce debacle. All the negative press from the worst parts of the fandom doesn’t change the fact that Rick and Morty delivered another season of winners, starting with a surprise season premiere on April Fools Day and continuing in the summer. There is nothing else like R&M on TV, bar none. It may have a shitty fandom, but it’s still brilliant.
  • The 13th Doctor: As I write this, I’m within ten episodes of finally catching up to Doctor Who. I was inspired to go through the rest of what I’ve missed by the bombshell announcement that Jodie Whittaker would succeed Peter Capaldi, becoming the first woman to play the Doctor. Hell yes, I say, and it’s about damned time. And of course, by marathoning from the later 10th Doctor episodes through the 12th’s, I’ve discovered some true masterpieces, episodes that make me proud to call myself a full-fledged Whovian at last. First among those is, of course, “Vincent and the Doctor”, which has two perfect scenes in it that I will remember for the rest of my life.
  • Wonder Woman: I’m no fan of the DC Snyderverse, but I’m all for feminism and empowerment. And if there’s one thing the DCEU got right, it’s Wonder Woman. The film blew away critics and audiences alike and became the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman. Its massive success will have a positive effect on Hollywood, I hope.
  • Star Vs the Forces of Evil Season 2 and 3: The final episode of 2016 left people screaming. The screaming continued throughout much of 2017, as fans’ minds were blown multiple times in succession. It was getting there before, but now it’s official: Star Vs is up there with Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Rick and Morty as one of the best things happening in Western animation right now.
  • Sonic Mania: Though my former #1 fandom suffered another blow this year with the abrupt cancellation of the Archie comic after over 500 issues, and Sonic Forces was yet another mediocre effort, Sega actually got something exactly right in regards to the Sonic franchise this year: they put Christian Whitehead in charge of a truly retro-style Sonic game. And Whitehead and his crew delivered a Sonic title that looks, sounds, and feels perfect, like some lost relic from the Saturn era. I swallowed my pride and played it for myself, and I’m so glad that I did.
  • Made in Abyss: My third and final Anime of the Year candidate. MiA (oh, that acronym) hid gruesome darkness under a cute Miyazaki-esque exterior… but if there was any anime that triggered my feels HARD this year, it’s Made in Abyss. Yes, it’s brutal, but it’s also gorgeous, thought-provoking, and absolutely unique.
  • Star Trek Discovery: It had a hell of a time getting off the ground, but Star Trek is finally back. It’s darker, and it’s different, but it’s back… and it has Cadet Tilly, the #1 reason I have hope for the show. The midseason finale was by far the best episode so far… where it leads, we’ll see when it comes back in 2018.

And on more personal notes:

  • Silent InvenTOYry: What started as a one-off experiment turned into a full-fledged series, with each episode getting increasingly more elaborate (and more solid, I hope!) Filming, directing, and editing SI has been a ton of work, but it’s work that I honestly enjoy doing, and that makes it worthwhile. Seeing people like a Gainax staffer and Internet Personality Vangelus acknowledge the show is even better. I’m thankful to you all for sticking with me, for all your views, shares, and comments, and for your patience when I have to iron out the kinks. I’m proud to announce that there will be at least one more full episode of SI by the end of the year, so keep watching this space for more details.
  • Patreon: I launched my Patreon back in January with very low expectations, but it’s grown over time so that I’m now finally making decent money with each new Tasakeru chapter. I haven’t been able to keep to a consistent update schedule as often as I’d like, but I’m making every effort to change that.
  • Break My Heart, Break Your Heart: I had the privilege of reading and giving feedback on thesilvergoddess’s Overwatch fanfic, a truly incredible effort that they managed to update without fail every week for over a year. All the work that they put into BMHBYH culminated in a spectacular final chapter that tied together everything that came before it. This story was a labor of love, and it shows. I’m honored to have played even a small part in helping it get out there.
  • The Changeling of the Guard: My best friend VDrake’s ponyfic chronicling the adventures of “Bugpone Forrest Gump” had another great year, as Idol Hooves officially joined the Royal Guard after many, many chapters of buildup. VDrake then threw everyone a curveball by having Idol meet a certain someone in Canterlot… CotG continues to get well-deserved fan art, accolades, and possibly even a shout-out in the show itself. I couldn’t be prouder of my buddy for his success.
  • Shattered Skies: This year’s chapters have largely focused on the “Rescue Party Arc”, which includes some of those most challenging scenes I’ve yet written for my crossover epic. As a special third anniversary gift to my readers, though, I went completely off the rails with “The Non-Canon Lunatic Crack Chapter”, which was an absolute joy to write, and then there’s the “Viluy’s Database” character profiles that I started earlier this month… I’m still having a ton of fun with the story, and still treasuring every bit of feedback I get for it. Extra-special thanks and gratitude go to ErinPtah, who gave my story two (and counting!) amazing pieces of fan art.

So yeah, we’re almost through 2017. It’s been frustrating, maddening, insane, and often inexplicable… but there’s been good stuff, too. There will be good stuff and bad stuff in the future. I’m trying to be thankful for each new day as it comes, because now more than ever, you never can tell what’s around the corner.

– BHS

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