Crazy Sunshine Artwork & Comics by Jkun Sat, 15 Aug 2015 10:36:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Website Maintenance Sat, 15 Aug 2015 10:36:32 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

I am in the process of some major website changes regarding the webcomic portion of the site!

I will be messing around with the comic archive and sorting out some stuff server side, so the archive will be broken for a while. Sorry!

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Livin’ in the City Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:01:25 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

I’ve finally taken my first, gigantic step into the heart of Japan!

It’s been an incredibly busy month, with work starting mere days after I moved in, and the apartment – beautiful as it is – is nowhere near furnished! In fact, it’s still missing it’s most important feature: Rie! Her contract ends in August so we sadly have to spent this month apart…

Pfft, no worries! Aside from substituting her tiny body for a pillow to snuggle with at night as I weep myself to sleep, I haven’t been lonely in the slightest.

I’ve made a bunch of friends at work, and all the kids I teach are absolutely adorable. Unlike my previous school, I’m in charge of almost all the preschool activities and classes, and occasionally teach after school classes with older students. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta fill these abnormally large ambassador’s boots!

My free time has been quite limited, and since I don’t have a car any more, everything seems so far away! My new gym is two train stops over, Tokyo is about 40 minutes away, and trying to carry a bunch of new rugs without knocking over other pedestrians on the sidewalk makes me miss my little red Pleo more than ever!

But the good news is with all this walking, I am starting to lose weight, and my overall health is drastically improving now that I am no longer living in that old, bug-infested shed.

Same setup, new desk! My internet clocks now in at 110Mbs over Wifi and over 200Mbs through Cable. It’s lightning fast, so I have been using it a lot.

I know, I know, I should be drawing and streaming with that amount of horsepower, right? Sorry! I promise I’ll get back into the swing of things once work has calmed down in a few weeks.

We’re currently holding our first ever Summer School! It’s a two week event with loads of games and activities that not only gives kids a safe place to make new friends and enjoy the summer break, but allows them to learn and practice English every single day as using Japanese is a big no-no! We also held our first sports day, but the weather was just too hot and humid we had to do it indoors!

Lastly, in the wee hours of the morning, I have been chugging away at Final Fantasy XI, getting closer and closer to the end of the story as each update passes. Just a few more months until it ends for good, and I am really, really excited! Finally, the ending to my favourite game of all time. I thought MMOs were meant to go on forever!

I managed to finish my first and only Mythic Weapon, a rare item that took over 300 hours to complete, working on-and-off since it was released almost a decade ago. Obtaining this item is a monument to my love for the game, and gives me a feeling of complete closure.

I’ve also been playing a ton of games with my other artist buddies. They’ve been great at keeping the loneliness and homesickness at bay! Thanks so much, you guys.

That’s all there is to it, really! Once the apartment is looking a bit better I’ll give you a tour! Until then, pray that I don’t melt, and wish me luck making it in the big city! You can follow most of my adventures on Twitter or Instagram!

Thanks for reading!

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So long, and thanks for all the snow! Sat, 11 Jul 2015 08:50:17 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Apologies for the radio silence! It’s been one heck of a month, but I finally have some free time to blog!

Leaving JET

It’s been five years since I came to Japan and joined the JET program. Back then, I only knew three words in Japanese, was incredibly homesick, and had no idea how to drive a car, let alone know how to use Japanese money to buy one.

Over these five years, I have gained so many friends and acquaintances, taught over a thousand different classes, and noticed so much personal growth that I can’t possibly include it all in a single blog entry, so I’ll try to keep it short!

Inaka Life

While it can be a new and exciting experience for some, teaching in Japan was quite stressful at my local school, as it is one of the lowest achieving public high schools in the prefecture. In Japan, you don’t only teach kids English. You teach them English in order to pass tests, and in a country where the only thing that stands between children and their future is a long series of tests, this can be quite a challenge. Especially if you take into consideration the reputation and quality of students at my school. Helping five years worth of students through graduation was a lot of hard work!

However, I never once felt like I was alone. Over five years, I met hundreds of different teachers, parents, and friends from outside of work. Living in such a small town meant I was a regular everywhere I went. My barber, my mechanic, even the entire staff of my local LAWSON convenience store knew who I was, and when I would pay them a visit. My barber even “closed” at 4pm every Wednesday just in case I decided to show up for a shave and a massage after work, which I often did!


Then there’s this little bundle of joy that I met a few months after coming here. Who would have thought a girl I met on a Japanese social media site would end up being my fiancée? It’s been four short years and she still can’t speak English. Maybe I should have been teaching her instead of my students…

Anyway, Rie will be popping up in my posts a lot, so don’t worry, you’ll get to read loads more about her little toosh in the future.

The Move

In my fourth year of JET I had to make a choice. Go back and home and get back into the Games Industry, or finally realize my childhood dream of living in Japan, utilizing my new found talent for teaching. Taking everything into consideration, I picked the latter, and applied to many places before being accepted at a brand new international school in Chiba.

Now, a few months later, Rie and I finally found an apartment! It’s in a lovely little part of Chiba City, just five minutes away from a station by foot, with direct trains to and from the heart of Tokyo running all the way up to midnight. 15 year old me couldn’t be more happier.

I’ve spent the last two weeks packing five years worth of stuff, and yesterday the movers picked it all up.

Moving in Japan is expensive. While not as expensive as moving into an apartment or house with all those unneeded, unrefundable fees, you have to make sure you only take what you need. The smaller, the better.

The company I used doesn’t determine cost by weight, but by the total dimensions of a variety of cages, and charge you depending on how many of these cages you fill up to the brim with boxes you have to obtain yourself. Add a flat rate cost of transport between two prefectures (in my case, the cost to move from Aomori to Chiba was extremely expensive) a mandatory insurance fee, and you are looking at upwards of $800-$1,000, plus a 2-3 day transport period. Oh, and as always, a ton of paperwork.

The End of an Era

Cost aside, the psychology of moving out of Aomori is really fiddling with my emotions. I’ve always been a country bumpkin, living in a tiny hamlet for most of my life. This tiny town and all of the people here remind me so much of my past, it feels like I am leaving home for a second time.

The most devastating thing is that the ancient, wooden house that has looked after me over these last five years is being torn down after I move. Unlike my last two apartments which I fell completely in love with, I have mixed feelings about this.

In a prefecture where winter lasts 6 out of 12 months a year with an incredible amount of snowfall, this tiny, wooden shack has put me within inches of death numerous times. In summer, bugs dominate the floors, walls, ceilings and take over the inside of my desktop PC. In spring and autumn, the obnoxious fumes of nearby rice field pesticides and burning crop smoke fill every room. It really has been an adventure living here, and while it’s been a roof over my head, I am a little glad that by tearing it down means whoever was going to move in just avoided a very gruesome fate.

But the house isn’t the only thing that is breaking down after I move. My heart is, too.

The End of an Engine

Five years ago I bought a little red Pleo in order to survive the harsh, Japanese seasons. I passed my driving test when I was 17, and hadn’t driven once since I came to Japan at 25. My mentors, Helen and Steve, helped me pick out the car, re-taught me the basics, and luckily, since the UK and Japan have almost identical driving rules and regulations, I could drive again!


This car quickly became part of my family. We nicknamed it Chen, and without her I would have never met Rie, or the hundreds of other friends I made over these last five years. Without Chen, I would have never been able to survive all those winters, safely travel to other schools, or even make it to interviews for new jobs. Chen is the reason I am still here now, and will still be here in the future. Sadly, in order to keep that future alive, I had to let her go.

Chen is old. Super old. Almost 20 years old and has broken down more times than I can remember. Last year I had an awful accident where one of her front wheels came clean off by simply turning a corner!

She would never survive the trip down to Chiba, let alone driving around there without a huge amount of repairs. So, one last time, I cleaned her up, got her fully repaired, and sold her to my mechanic, who is going to remodel her into a simple, light car that local customers can use when their car goes in for repairs.

Saying goodbye to your first car is almost like saying goodbye to a dying family member. Rie really helped me get over it, by telling me that Chen was never the car itself, only the spirit we believed in, and that no matter what car I own, that spirit can be transferred into it. As expected from someone who reads a lot of manga.

Until we meet again, Chen!

What Now?

Thanks for reading! I know I said I would try to keep it short, but I also said I would try to make a webcomic and I’m now well over a year into my hiatus, hoho.

Anyway, I move my butt to Chiba on Monday, and after I unpack and buy a bunch of furniture, everything should be back to normal. Art, streams, gaming, you name it!

Here’s to a new chapter of my life in Japan!

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Dev Blog Update #21: Blog Fixes Tue, 12 May 2015 15:34:32 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

I’ve went back and edited a bunch of blog entries, here’s the skinny:

  • Replaced broken image links
  • Deleted outdated Gallery posts
  • Fixed broken Blockquote CSS
  • Fixed broken Header CSS
  • Fixed loads of typos
  • Probably made even more typos in the process
  • As a spam countermeasure, all blog comment sections will be automatically closed after 30 days! This does not apply to comic pages.

Some other fixes:

  • Archive and Search results now display up to 50 entries. Test it out here when searching for all comics with “Lacie” in them!
  • Selection colour when dragging the mouse over text/images was changed to reflect the site’s new style.

Again, I really want to use this blog for more than just site updates, but I am always so busy to sit down and write about stuff! Hopefully I will get some time off this week to put something together.

Look forward to it, and thanks for reading!

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Achievement Unlocked: ENGAGE! Fri, 08 May 2015 07:02:43 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Amidst all the chaos of find an apartment and getting ready to move, I have some big news! I finally asked my girlfriend of four years, Rie, to marry me during Golden Week.

Spoiler, she said yes!

We’ll both be moving to Chiba come summer and can’t wait to start living together outside of Aomori.

This little house has been our home for the last four years, it’s where we started dating and spent every single weekend together since. I wanted to propose right here before our schedules got too busy and before we moved for good.

A big thanks to everyone on Facebook and Twitter for the support, please keep coming back to Crazy Sunshine to read more about whatever crazy adventures we get up to!

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Best Buds Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:23:50 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Recently I’ve met a bunch of awesome artists online through Twitter and updated my links page with buttons leading to their blogs. You should check ’em out!

Believe it or not, it can get pretty lonely over here in Japan. I love making friends and want to improve my art through new advice and influences, so don’t be afraid to send me some tweets or pop into one of my Picarto or Twitch streaming sessions and chat away!

Multistream schedule:

  • Casually streaming every Monday to Thursday from 7pm ~ Midnight JST (GMT+8)
  • Use Picarto? Join us as a guest and you can join in too! (1 Guest slot per day)
  • No Picarto account? No worries! Simply follow the channel and you’ll get an automated notification every time the stream starts!

Thanks for reading!

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What’s Next?! Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:31:32 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Hello!

Spring is here, and amidst all the job hunting, Japanese learning, and the hustle and bustle of a new school year, I finally have some free time to blog! So, here’s what has been up:


Since my last blog entry, I’ve tackled four job interviews throughout Japan. Some in Japanese, some in English, all of them extremely positive and resulting in job offers, so it’s time to decide which one I want to accept. While this choice isn’t as important as my initial decision to leave the UK and come to Japan in the first place, it’s still a pretty big one. There’s lots of differences in salary, insurance, pension payouts, and location. Some placements are in very cheap rural areas where I could comfortably afford a luxurious, brand new, three bedroom apartment, and some are slap bang in the middle of upper class Tokyo, where I would be paying the same amount of rent to live in a cardboard box.

While I can’t really disclose anything else until contracts are signed, I can say that all positions are related to teaching English. Sure, it’s been a dream of mine to make games in Japan for a living, but over these past five years I’ve realized that my actual dream was just to be in Japan, no matter what job I do. I am no longer a university graduate who can switch between careers at a whim, I have to approach this situation as an adult looking to settle down.

I won’t lie, Japan is an unforgiving bitch of a country to find work in when it comes to vidya games. From my experiences, even if you have extremely valuable contacts, a gleaming track record (zero drug abuse and zero felonies, including speeding tickets), perfect Japanese language ability, and a skillset that rivals even the most talented Pixiv artists, you will still be starting at the bottom of the barrel when you enter a company, with a salary that is next to nothing unless you live far, far away from Tokyo, adding up to 2 hours of commuting per day to your existing 15 hour shift.

But teaching English in a country that is completely starved of an interactive, fun and engaging education curriculum? Yeah, that’s where Japan is a warm, fuzzy, welcoming teddy bear. In most cases, teaching pays over double what anything in the videogame industry does. The hours perfectly coincide with school hours, holidays and breaks and plentiful, and in most cases, the work and style of classes are entirely up to the teacher. Some people teach English through songs and dance, others draw and play instruments. Heck, I’ve been to schools where kids are given a bunch of iPads filled with English games to help with their studying!

It gets better, too. Every position I applied for has incredible benefits for bilingual foreigners, even more than some translator jobs for big shot companies like Capcom or Square Enix.

I’m not sure if I can justify my choice any more, but then again, why should I have to? Teaching is some sort of secret skill I’ve discovered, and I will never regret watching my abilities as a teacher flourish in a country I have grown to love so much.

Plus, Japanese kids are the cutest little buggers ever.


While searching for jobs, I was contacted by a company looking for a freelancer to create a 25 page PDF brochure for an English summer school. They were offering a lot of money, and I have a lot of free time from now until my contract with JET is over, so I took them up on the offer. Of course, I can’t disclose any more information, but that’s what all my art time as gone into over the last month!

The company uses a whole bunch of Adobe products for their work. I was terrified of anything Adobe that isn’t Photoshop, so was a bit sceptical at taking on the project at first. Over the last month I have grown to love both Illustrator and InDesign, going as far as buying brushes and plugins for Illustrator, and using ID to make PDFs for my current job. The project is almost done and quite frankly, I am glad! I can’t wait to get back into drawing freehand again!

I also might have started writing some random Crazy Sunshine scripts. I am a bit rusty, but damn, I missed writing about these guys! I seem to have turned Lacie’s foul mouth up to 11 and made Shelbie even stupider if that is even possible!


Oh man, where to begin?! Hulu Japan has expanded immensely since it start started up last year, and there’s so many series I have gotten into that I really want more people to see, despite them being around outside of Japan for ages. Here are some snippets from Wiki, because if I start explaining them, I will never stop.

UTOPIA is a British drama series that follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments, which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as The Network, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.

WHITECHAPEL is a very modern take on the detective genre which combines the Victorian intrigue of the original case with the atmospheric backdrop of a contemporary East End of London. This is not simply about bloodthirstily recreating the Ripper murders, but rather focusing on the three main characters at the heart of the story and the black humour that binds the team together. Each series focuses on a different set of classical murders, with the overarching theme of “history repeats itself”. Whitechapel feels a lot like Life On Mars, only without the time travel gimmick.

WORKAHOLICS is a comedic, slice of life series I got into, but everyone probably knows of it by now! The three main characters became acquaintances at college where Blake and Adam were room-mates and Anders was their resident advisor, and, in a phase-of-life transition, continue to do things associated with college after dropping out (drinking, partying, pranks) as they transition into adulthood. The “friendship family’s” action is generally confined to the main characters’ house and their workspace, a cubicle the three of them share at a telemarketing company called TelAmeriCorp.

Don’t even get me started on anime. Last season’s Yowamushi Pedal and Idolmaster Cinderella Girls are over, but this season introduces Hibike! Euphonium from Kyoani, the adorable Oremonogatari serialization, and the continuation of Jojo among countless other new series. A new Digimon series is also starting soon, get hype!


I am slowly getting tired of Final Fantasy 14. With the expansion coming out in summer completely clashing with my move and new job, I don’t think I will be buying it, as I just won’t have the time to re-level everything to the new level cap and re-grind, well, everything as fast as my friends will be able to. It was a fun ride, but I really don’t want to do it again.

With news of Final Fantasy 11 stopping its PS2 service and introducing its final expansion before it goes into intensive care, I went back for a while to see how much of the world has changed, but as always, the community is rotton and the game is incredibly boring and dated.

On the other hand, I am really getting into Final Fantasy 10 HD. I played for a bit as a kid without knowing anything of the franchise, but after years of experience I am tackling it again like a pro. I’ve been able to play it every time I travelled to and from Tokyo for interviews, and managed to get quite far without getting a game over once! I wish I had played it more as a cute, naive kid, honestly, as some parts – especially the awful English voice acting – make me cringe every time anyone opens their mouth.

FFportal’s Triple Triad app was released for smartphones and tablets in Japan. It uses the same UI as FF14’s Triple Triad minigame, and comes loaded with over 300 collectible cards. It is incredibly addictive. There is even worldwide matchmaking, and all the classic music and rules from Final Fantasy 8. It’s a damn good app, even if you have never played Triple Triad before.

Kantai Collection is still part of my daily gaming grind as I slowly reach Admiral rank 40. I managed to craft Yamato, one of the rarest and prettiest ships in the game, but nothing will tear me away from my love of Kongou.

Lastly, Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty finally came out on Steam and holy hell, it is incredible. A full HD remake of the classic Abe’s Oddysee game, with new graphics, music, and level design. It also has full Japanese support so even my girlfriend can experience how awesome Oddworld is, and will always be!

Phew, thanks for reading. If you did, that is! I will try to decide on a job by the end of the week, then it’s time to hunt for apartments!

Stay tuned!

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The Next Big Thing Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:01:24 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and Spring is just around the corner. With a little over four months until my work contract ends, I have to get my butt into gear and make some big changes with my life.

"I got a little fat!"

Speaking of big, all the studying, drawing, gaming and hibernating I did over winter has inflated my belly to dangerous proportions. Not even the fabled Japanese Diet will help me this time, so I’m going to commit to eating less and exercising more now that I can finally go outside without wading through a sea of waist-high white fluff!

I dug up an old blog entry containing loads of comments from readers with tips and tricks to get back into shape, so I will be using those as a guideline again. Only this time, I want to blog about it once or twice a week, to keep my spirits up and actually track my progress for once, instead of rebounding after a month.

Firstly, here’s my work & gym schedule:

  • Work Days: Mon – Fri (5x a week, 7:45am-4:30pm)
  • Gym Days: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat (5x a week, closed Wednesday & Sunday)

My gym is located two towns over, and takes 30 minutes by car to get there. I’ll try to walk to and from work (40 mins) and during lunch break (10 min) every day in addition to going to the gym, where I will focus mainly on strength training with 10 mins of warm-up cardio after the tediously boring 30 minute drive.

In short:

  • Walking: 1 hour (spread throughout the day)
  • Strength training: 1 hour (evenings)
  • Driving: 1 hour (round trip)

Because I study Japanese at work, this leaves me with around 5 hours of free time a night to work on art and get some gaming time in, too!

As for diet, well, that really depends on what is in stock and what isn’t. Japan is a seasonal country and not one for consistency. However, there are a couple of dietary rules I want like to stick to, perhaps writing them down here will help me remember them!

I would like to:

  • Dump convenience store food such as rice balls and packed lunches for supermarket-bought, low-fat yoghurt and vegetables.
  • Make my portions smaller, and spread them out throughout the day, instead of eating 2-3 giant meals, four hours apart.
  • Make and stick to a protein supplement schedule post-workout or before bed. The cheapest and most accessible protein for me is Savas.
  • Chew sugar free gum or drink green tea when feeling peckish.
  • Brush my teeth after dinner to avoid eating more. Apparently, my brother does this to trick his brain into thinking it’s almost bedtime.

I already make my own lunches and drink loads of green tea. Last Christmas, I received a brand new, heavy duty rice cooker from my girlfriend’s mum, allowing me to make up to 4 days of rice at once, which means for dinner all I would have to do is grab some fresh fish or chicken to go with it on the way home from the gym. I’ve discovered that trying to avoid rice in Japan is absolutely futile.

Phew! That’s all for now. Reading this entry over again made me realize just how simple it all sounds on paper, but I know it’ll be incredibly difficult to put into practice. Today is the Hinamatsuri festival and our school’s graduation ceremony, meaning there is a huge party tonight. From tomorrow onwards, I’ll start to put my fat loss plan into action, and write all about it here!

As always, any and all feedback is welcome. Wish me luck!

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JLPT: N2 Passed! Thu, 05 Feb 2015 02:29:25 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> Seven months since this blog entry, I have been studying every day in order to pass a gargantuan Japanese exam, all so I can find steady employment in Japan after my contract with JET ends in summer.

Today, I got the results:

After what felt like the hardest test I have ever taken, I somehow managed to scrape a pass at a measly 97/180, with listening being my strongest aspect and reading being my second strongest, thanks to making the shift from manga to light novels and anime to Japanese dramas. In the end, the passing grade is all that matters for employment, and N2 is undoubtedly preferred over N3 and N4 in Japan. However, I still feel my Japanese is extremely lacking, especially with grammar, keigo, and hand written kanji. In short, a pass is a pass, but I still want to get better.

Luckily, now that the formal test out of the way, I can start studying things I am actually interested in and will benefit me while working in Japan, such as graphic design terminology, game mechanic terms, and technical IT mumbo-jumbo instead of textbook journal entries about the environment and standard news reports about politics. I’m thrilled at finally being able to study stuff I take great interest in with no time limit looming over my head.

Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and has kept checking Crazy Sunshine throughout its hiatus so far. There’s still a fairly long path ahead of me as I try to find a job and a place to stay, but once all of that is done and dusted, I can finally get back to making some good old comics! The hardest part is most definitely over, bring it on!

Thanks for reading, if you want to keep up to date with all my recent artwork, why not drop into a stream sometimes? Or check out my Tumblr!

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One Month Down! Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:27:45 +0000 ↓ Read the rest of this entry...]]> January is finally over yet February rears its ugly, freezing head!

So! What’s up? I’ve been tweaking and streamlining the Crazy Sunshine site over the weekend! Here’s what’s changed:

  • A new Streaming splash page! I have been using the new Picarto.TV site for artwork and recently started a Twitch account for gaming. Why not give them a follow?
  • Cleaned up a lot of useless html on the Gallery and Extras page by converting image borders and margins to CSS!
  • Deleted a lot of old Gallery artwork and added a bunch of new ones instead!
  • Previous Gallery artwork can still be seen on DeviantArt, which has also been cleaned up!
  • Deleted a lot of broken links on the About page.

I’ve also been playing a bunch of popular Japanese browser games like Kantai Collection (艦これ) and Touken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞), both of which are on the site and are the perfect time wasters between classes and study lessons.


Both games play similarly. Send characters out on adventures, bring back materials, repair and/or build more characters, then rinse and repeat. Kancolle is based on girls that harness the spirits of old warships, and Touken Ranbu focuses on Japanese katanas which have taken the form of incredibly handsome men. The stronger your ship (or katana), the longer they can last without breaking or needing repairs. Sometimes you’ll come across rare characters that will join you on your adventures, or you can try your hand at making them yourself!


Kantai Collection has become so popular that there is a huge waiting list to even apply. It’s even got its own anime series! The game is in Japanese only, but there is an English Wiki to help you get into it. Touken Ranbu is still quite new, but it’s rising in popularity among swooning Japanese girls!

Speaking of Japanese, not long until my test results! Even though I know I’ve failed, there’s still hope, right? R-right…?

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