Yeah. It just occurred to me while doing some editing work on it, earlier, that I haven’t really done a dedicated post on EXTRA in quite a while. I’ve brought it up, of course. As recently as… well… all three of my last posts? But I figured now would be a nice time to do another full post on the subject. So! Let’s talk about my little passion project.
Well, my outlining habit strikes again. I’m a thorough outliner. I like to plan out all of my stories in as much detail as I can. And while this project isn’t as thorough as I could potentially make it, it’s still pretty in-depth with certain details. I haven’t written anything beyond Chapter 2 yet because I took a pause to map out the first few arcs, which accounts for about… checks… 21 chapters. Give-or-take a few. And I have several arcs planned, well beyond even those. So I think I’m good to start moving forward on this again. The first few chapters are probably going to be the longest because there’s a lot of set up to do with the characters and whatnot. But I’m actually expecting the series to, overall, feature pretty short, breezy chapters (for me). And it’s a style we’re probably going to also emulate with Burning Sky, the further along it gets. Nine different books at once obviously requires we move at a pretty ridiculous pace. That will thin out, but it’ll be some time before that happens, so wish us luck! We’re… pro’lly gonna need it.
As for the actual writing process, it’s… kind of strange. EXTRA isn’t really… “fun” to write. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the story and all. But it’s a very different experience from writing Burning Sky. There’s certainly a lot of pain in that story. Suffering, dark themes, sobering moments, the works. But they’re written from a very… observational angle. I’m very distant about it, in a way. My own feelings aren’t really mixed into the story. I’m mostly writing a story to entertain. And that’s a subject I think warrants coming back to in a later post. This story, though, was partially inspired by personal experiences. So this story, or at least some of the characters in it, reflect thoughts and feelings I’ve personally had. I’m writing a bit more from within than I typically do. I don’t think the approach is necessarily superior. I’ve never really been one to care that much about identifying with characters, as we know (It doesn’t really have any effect on me. And that’s not my emotional instability talking. It just doesn’t work). But I do get it. And writing a story that has a little of me – not my sensibilities, but me – in it makes it more apparent. Still doesn’t particularly have any meaning to me more than any of my other stories, but at least I hope it can be used as a means of sort of understanding me a little, if nothing else.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I decide to just post it in the next couple weeks. I wanna start posting once I get Chapter 3 done. But I do wanna get some early readers on Chapter 2 as well. I’m probably not going to do Early Readers after Chapter 3 just because I want to see if I can get into a groove of one chapter a week, or at least bi-weekly so I’m planning to just use the first few chapters to identify the strongest and weakest points of my writing and use that feedback as a loose sort of guideline. Like I said, this is a much less demanding and strict project than Burning Sky, so I’m not expecting any chapter will be perfect on debut. But the early feedback can give me a general sense of direction. Then whenever I want to make an official, printed version, I can just go back over it to edit and tighten things up. Optimistically, I’ll say “end of the month.” Realistically, I’ll say “I dunno. It happens when it happens.”
This one’s not locked to Patreon, so you can just ask in the comments, on Twitter, or on Discord (Voyager#7586). Naturally, I’ll send you Chapter 1 and, if you’re interested, I’ll send along Chapter 2, as well as Chapter 3, should your interest remain.
Oh yeah. Well, let’s address that, then. So, a while back I showed off the first character concept of the story’s protagonist, Mio. And I decided to get some artwork together of other significant characters in the story. Some time after that I went ahead and got the design done for another important character in the story. So, hey, why not take this opportunity to introduce them? Meet East Lumos Academy’s #1 Gyaru – Ragyou!
Name: Kikuchi, Ragyou
Nicknames: Rachiin, Dummy, Baka-you
Birthday: October 18
School: East Lumos Academy
GPA: It’s… low.
Clubs: The Going-Home Club
Cultural Background: Japanese-Australian
Home: Beacon City, AU
I’m not going to give you the whole spiel on the character. You’ll just have to read up to find out about her when the first few chapters drop! Once again, this fantastic artwork comes from MadiBlitz and I couldn’t be more pleased with how she turned out! Captures the essence of the character pretty much perfectly, I say. But you’ll see for yourself when I start releasing the story to the interwebs.
As with before, what kind of character do you guys think she’ll wind up being? I guess you could say… I’m Curious! …what? I haven’t done it in a while, okay? Looking forward to what you guys think, anyway! ‘Kay bye!
No, seriously. Not a clue.Read More
I’m gonna level with everyone, here. This past week? Sucked. Suuuper sucked. It was awful. And I hated it. Oh, sure, there were highlights. And I will get to that in another post I’ve got coming up on the main site. But, outside of internet land, beyond this little corner of cyberspace we’ve built for ourselves… this week was nooot jiving with me.
Technically it began last weekend in pretty harmless fashion. In case I’ve not already said as much, I have a very close relationship with my family. They’re a very friendly, loving bunch and I enjoy spending time around them… in moderation. I often regret that I don’t do so more often, but I’m a busy guy who already struggles to make use of what time I do have. Mind you, I’m someone who, frankly, just can’t survive without some time to myself, from one day to the next. I need a little me time for recharging purposes after I spend any amount of time around people. That does include family. And, with that having been said, last weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday… and my aunt’s, actually.
It was a good time, paired with some good food and nice laughs with the fun-loving people in attendance. But. After that event, I was basically mentally boomed. The next day I wanted to do absolutely nothing but rest. Okay. Fair enough. Except… then things got complicated. While I was in the process of editing the recent Pokemon-centric episode of the show, I realized there was an error and had to get a retake. Because of the time difference, however, between myself and that voice actress, I fell asleep before I could get the line. For context, Bulletoon is a show that requires the audio be the first thing edited. So I couldn’t really do anything else until I had it. My fault. A typo in the script led to a misread.
Alas, when it rains, it pours. I wake up the next day and just have too much work to do to complete the edit. At that point we had to get the TKO posted and, oh, we had a Burning Sky meeting shortly beforehand. So there was that. Then the week really hit me. Work. For those not in the know, I’m currently employed as a part-timer. But my schedule is subject to… modification. And this week that whole situation hit me like a freight train. Full days. All of them. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mind this… if it was expected. It wasn’t. I went to work on Tuesday and discovered that my schedule had been changed while I was there to be a full day. And after that, I’d had it.
I already don’t like my job (it’s a lame retail stocking position that pays… fine? I guess? But I just don’t like it). So suddenly being forced to stay for more time than I’d planned for was not good for my mood. And I carried that exact mood with me until basically Friday. Every day was a full day. And every day, as soon as I got home, I went to sleep. I got absolutely nothing done. I was that exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. That is why the Pokemon episode got delayed for a week. Like I said, there wasn’t going to be an episode this weekend anyway, so it doesn’t affect much. But it’d have been preferable to have that week buffer so I could more readily prepare March of the Magical Girls.
It was, frankly, a miracle that I was able to crank out that episode and the first chapter of Burning Sky, both of which were completed on the day they were posted when they were actually set up to be finished far in advance.
Will this week go better? I certainly hope so. But I’m very much dreading the possibility of the contrary. If nothing else, March of the Magical Girls should start fine. The script for the first episode is ready so I should have everything I need for that in time to put the episode together. And barring a bit of research I have to do for a couple of the other episodes, it shouldn’t be difficult keeping this little event on track. Here’s hoping.
It’s an apt question I’ve seen floating around in certain circles. Anyone can run into the problem, of course. Overwork is overwork and getting overwhelmed by something done consistently can certainly happen in any endeavor. I’m not sure I’m the best person to speak on this, though, because I’m so scatterbrained, most of the time. I don’t really sit on one thing for long enough to get burned out, typically. And I think it makes me a bit more conscious of the issue. So I’m good at noticing when it’s starting to happen.
That said, I’m not immune to it. It’s just rare that I suffer it, so I’ve not put a ton of thought into how I deal with it. Let’s look, for example, at Burning Sky. That’s a project I’ve been working on for upwards of three years, now. And it’s finally at a stage where I can comfortably say we’re about ready to start moving it forward. But it’s not like I never took a break. The main site has been pretty good for that, all things considered. It provided some nice distractions. And, of course, there’s Bulletoon. I’ve been working on that project for even longer. And I have definitely felt burnout from it. But I just… took breaks when appropriate.
I think I am coming up on needing a break, though. Badly. As it pertains to the anime coverage, that is. The thing is that while I enjoy keeping up with seasonals to talk about them, it’s exhausting, having to do that. Even with the TKO format, which is designed to make it easier, over time, it’s still incredibly taxing in the short-term. So yeah. After this Winter season is done, I may take a break from anime coverage in the seasonal context. We’ll see. Mind you, it’s also partially because, with the nature of Seasonals and all the other stuff I wanna do… I just don’t ever have the time or energy to go back and watch things just because I want to.
I think I’m also just growing a bit weary of… I’m gonna call it “discourse,” even though it’s usually just people screaming at one another on Twitter. You know. When that anime comes along, every season? Not that unplugging from seasonals is going to fix that entirely. I’m not talking about Interspecies Reviewers at all (not my jam, honestly. I like a good romp with a racy aspect as much as the next guy, but I’ve never honestly found sex comedies to be very… you know… funny. Which inherently makes the sex appeal less “appealing” and more awkward), but I’ve still heard about that drama. Oh boy, have I heard about that drama.
I just think that by removing myself from even paying attention to seasonals, for a bit, aside from things I’m actually highly anticipating (so basically sequels to things I already enjoyed), I’ll be able to refresh myself and feel less like it’s all part of some grand obligation.
I haven’t even talked about what I’m watching other than the TKO here, yet, because there’s just been no time. As soon as I finish watching stuff for the TKO, I have to bugger off to watch stuff for Bulletoon. Or I have to find the time to write more of Burning Sky or EXTRACURRICULARS. It’s a lot, mate. So yeah. We’ll see how I feel at the end of this season. If nothing else, I don’t regret covering seasonals, at all. In fact, I’ve been having a blast, this Winter. My unpopular opinions about exceptionally hyped anime aside (In/Spectre and ID:Invaded just continue to not impress me at all), the shows have been really great times, across the board. It’s been a really good Winter, in that regard.
I think if I do end up taking a break, I’ll use the time to make a dent in this watchlist I’ve allowed to build up. That way I can delve more into older shows whenever the muse strikes me. The same goes for manga. I know a lot of people want me to talk more about Medaka Box and I’ve yet to finish rereading it. So there’s that.
What about you? Do you ever face burnout? And how do you like to deal with it? How do breaks help you, if you take them?
Well, kinda. Guess I’ll just go ahead and address this, then. Yep. And I’m gonna start taking advantage of that now, I suppose. The daily journaling thing is just not working out for me. I don’t think about things on profound enough a level at a high enough frequency to warrant it. It’s just boring and not particularly helpful, I feel. I’m still gonna DO the journaling. Just not as a daily thing. For now, let’s just talk about anime.
Pretty much just stuff for the TKO, so far. I haven’t had the time to start watching anything else, though I need to get on that soon. Mind you, there’s still more I have to watch for the TKO that hasn’t come out yet. But I’ve watched this week’s episodes of Infinite Dendogram, Isekai Quartet, and Orphen.
And… can we just talk about the thing with Orphen? Because… wow that was a mess. I mean… that was really lame. So unbelievably rushed and… frankly, confusing. Of course, the confusing parts weren’t really the parts you’d expect. But… a certain character’s demise meant… absolutely nothing. Not only did the show hardly do anything to make that scene impactful… at all, but it didn’t even make any sense, based on who apparently killed them. And they went and tried to make it seem like a big deal. It’s a perfect example of one of the many ways not to handle death in your show. Ugh.
On top of that, the main antagonist’s entire motivation was completely glossed over. Hell, the entire resolution to the arc was glossed over. It was bizarre. I understand the original wasn’t like that, so… why? I know it’s technically more accurate to the books that this arc is over and done with earlier, but I’m now kind of getting the impression that this serious should’ve just… been given more time.
Dendogram was… fine. Basically all exposition and setup. And Isekai Quartet was Isekai Quartet.
Currently, I still have BOFURI, as well as Hanako-kun and Asteroid in Love to worry about. But as I recently revealed the upcoming Bulletoon event month, I do need to get on the anime I talked about there. Yuki Yuna and Kill la Kill I’ve seen enough times that I don’t need to rewatch them, really. But I really need to rewatch Cardcaptor Sakura. When we covered Clear Card, however long ago that was, I hadn’t rewatched all of the original. So I was barely able to really talk about it outside of the more objective sense. Bob had just rewatched the whole thing because he’s a freak, so we were fine. But yeah. Then there’s Symphogear, which I’ve never seen. Originally that spot was gonna go to Magical Lyrical Nanoha or Precure, but I figured this would be a bit easier and more fun since I could actually do some sort of “Our first time watching this!” type of episode. I’ve seen certain installments of both of the others and generally know what to expect from them, at least.
I’m also watching My Hero Academia and… I dunno. The stuff people are taking issue with isn’t really bothering me. I kinda get where people are coming from, but it just isn’t anything I particularly care about. It’s doing fine. The same heights as season 2? Yeah, no. But still pretty good stuff. Some of the direction is definitely a bit janky. But the actual narrative decisions haven’t bothered me at all.
I’ll be jumping into Black Clover soon, I feel. I just fell off that wagon when I stopped officially covering it. I’m not sure I’ll start covering it again here. But I may throw out some impressions here, at least, as I start getting back into it.
I haven’t started Eizouken yet. I’ll probably just binge it when the season is over or start it once we’ve culled out the first few shows in the TKO, to give me some breathing room. Granted, I’ll probably be too caught up in the magical girl stuff to be bothered with that, right away.
Honestly, the only things I’m reading with any amount of consistency, right now, are SPY X FAMILY (READ IT), My Dress-Up Darling (READ IT), and Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro. Some others, but those are the biggest ones I’m paying attention to. I jump on those immediately when they update, at least. But I don’t really have anything else I’m all that invested in, right now. I’m much too busy.
What about everyone else? What are you watching and enjoying, this season? Are you reading anything good?