JLPT N2: Passed!

Source: buna.yorku.ca

Seven months since this blog entry, I have been studying every day in order to pass a gargantuan Japanese exam.

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.

Listening was my strongest area with 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 handwritten kanji.

In short, a pass is a pass, but I still want to get better.

Kanji is still a dick.

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 content.

For now, the hardest part is most definitely over!

Boat Girls

January is finally over and February rears its ugly, freezing head!

I’ve been curled up in bed playing popular Japanese browser games like Kantai Collection (艦これ) and Touken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞).

Both of which are on the DMM.com 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.

Boat girls.

Boat girls.

Boat girls you can marry.

What a time to be alive.

The stronger your boat girl, the longer they can last without breaking or needing repairs.

Sometimes you’ll discover rare characters on your adventures, or you can even try forging them yourself!

Kantai Collection has become so popular that there is a huge waiting list to even sign up now.

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 on the other hand is still quite new, but it’s rising in popularity among Japanese girls.

I mean, who could resist a game where every character has incredible abs.

Onwards to 2015!

Source: Doctor Who / giphy.com

It’s a brand new year and I am totally psyched to get back into drawing more often!

Naturally, my studies and work will have to come first, but the good news is come summer time, they shouldn’t be a problem any longer!

My teaching contract ends in August and hopefully I will be starting a new job down south!

This means no more dealing with snow for half of the year, and no more eight hour bus rides to Akihabara.

Currently, I am pumping out these last two chapters of ORIGINS.

I can’t wait to show you them!

I should be getting my JLPT test results back at the end of January so stay turned for another update around then!

Thanks for reading!

It can’t get much worse, right?

The JLPT is this weekend, and I’ve been studying for it since summer.

It’s part of the reason I put Crazy Sunshine on hold!

The other half was because I almost died.

No, really!

My poor car’s rusted front axle snapped in half in the middle of a busy intersection!

It took hours for the Japanese Automobile Federation to arrive at the scene and, naturally, the police also came to avert traffic away from the crash site.

Well, I say crash, but I was told by the cops it was the neatest and most compact accident they had ever seen.

Thanks for the compliment!

Since no other drivers or objects were damaged in the process, I wasn’t charged with anything, but the towing and repair bill made my wallet weep.

Therefore, I had to take some time off and work on commissions to raise enough money for the repairs.

In other news, Winter is here!

You know what that means!

Snowstorms, hailstorms, and mountains of white, fluffy bullshit.

I have turned into such a sloth that even getting up and going to work makes me want to just curl up in a ball and hibernate the moment I step outside.

Despite my car being fixed and outfitted with special winter tyres, it’s still making an awfully scary rattling noise near the front wheels.

My gas stove is also on the brink, despite it just being fixed.

Oh, and who could forget the time I had to call into work with the phrase

Sorry, I’m going to be late. My shower is covered in ice.

Despite all of this frozen hell, I put up my Christmas tree over the weekend for my third Christmas in Japan, and last Christmas up in the north.

It wasn’t all tinsel and glitter though, as some sort of bug bite, dust allergy, or maybe even a Yuletide poison swept through the room and I wound up with giant lumps all over my face for the next few days.

It turns out that after five years of living in this run-down shack I have finally caught a rare skin infection that only affects people living in, well, run-down shacks.

So there’s that.

I am on antibiotics and currently spring cleaning the entire house in the middle of winter.

My butt is literally frozen as I type this.

Despite it all, I’m holding my head high for the JLPT on Sunday!

Wish me luck and thanks for reading!

Poisonga

Source: jp.square-enix.com/

Final Fantasy XIV celebrated its one year anniversary last week!

I’ve been playing the game since the alpha test and loved every second of it.

Now that I think about it, I’ve been playing Massive Multiplayer Online games for a long time.

Almost eleven years!

Source: mmosite.com

My first memory of adventuring online with random strangers was Ragnarok Online.

Life was so simple back then!

Because Ragnarok was my first MMO, I had no idea what I was doing.

Yet somehow, the poisonous grind managed to find me.

I would stay up for hours hunting down a single type of monster hoping they would drop a single type of card in order to make a single piece of my Assassin’s gear a single digit stronger.

It was a borderline addiction.

The next one will be my last!

The next one will drop for sure!

Little did I know, eleven years later I would still have the same mindset, only recently I’ve started to treat MMOs like games again instead of jobs.

I learned this the hard way, as my addition continued all throughout university with Final Fantasy XI.

I clocked over 600 days—almost 2 whole years of play time—over the course of eleven years, which is not something I am proud of.

Still, I managed to successfully graduate university with flying colours and land a job in Japan, so it didn’t eat away at my brain too much.

I left FFXI last year to focus on Crazy Sunshine full time, but sometimes log back in when there is a free trial campaign going on.

I’m just surprised it took me eleven years to realize how much of my time could be spent not chasing item levels and being creatively productive instead.

Now, enter Final Fantasy XIV.

You’re probably thinking,

Heh, this Jkun dude just never learns, does he?

Fortunately, I am a lot smarter than I was eleven years ago.

Wait, no, I’m not. FFXIV’s charming, nostalgic theme park of an MMO has sunk its teeth deep into my shins and is never letter go any time soon.

I play on the Japanese data center, and for those who are interested, you can follow my adventures on my blog or Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Dev Blog Update #20

Welcome to yet another incarnation of Crazy Sunshine! Here’s what has changed!

Website

  • Menubar items were reordered.
  • The following pages have been renamed:
    • Gallery → Artwork
    • Archive → Comics
  • Condensed the content wrapper and menu bar from 1024 pixels to 800 pixels wide.
  • Moved the comic above the content wrapper/sidebar and centred it.
  • Removed all ads.
  • Optimised the background for 1366×768 resolution displays (the most common resolution as of 2014).
  • Optimised Project Wonderful ads on other sites.
  • Fully unlocked the Extras page, no more need for a password or Facebook account to view it!
  • Added shadows under copyright info, making it easier to read against a complex background.
  • Finally enlarged the blog’s paginav “Prev” and “Next” links, also added shadows underneath them.

Thanks for reading!

Dev Blog Update #19

Continuing on from my previous blog entry and after a few more weeks of thought, I have decided to put Crazy Sunshine on indefinite hiatus while I grab real life by the balls and kick it around some. I am not going to write a wall of text justifying why, but it all comes down to the fact that over the next year I have to study my butt off, find a new job, and move to a new house.

I also believe my artwork is plateauing with diminishing returns rather than slowly improving by focusing on nothing but comics, so I would like to take some time off to expand my abilities and work on my artistic foundations a lot more. Sadly, I cannot do all of this while updating the comic, so I will be cutting it out of my life until I have the time, money and skill to start it up again.

I’m going to answer some asks I received on Tumblr, so please give it a read! Thanks for submitting such great questions!

What is going to happen to the website and the comic?

The Germination chapter of ORIGINS has come to a close, but the Crazy Sunshine website and all of its comics and features will stay intact.

There’s even going to be an extra three weeks of comics from next week onwards, because I believe you guys deserve it for sticking around this long.

Look forward to them!

After those three pages are updated, I will slowly be changing the site’s layout, and making the comics simply a feature, not the giving them the spotlight.

There will be a splash page with links to the gallery, blog and comics, and the site will focus more on my portfolio and blog rather than comics.

The Crazy Sunshine Wiki will be fully updated up to the end of GERMINATION, and other social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr will change to focus more on my artwork, so please keep them favourited!

What is going to happen to you?

I will still be in Japan, mainly studying and spending time with my friends before I look for a new job and apartment.

Without being nagged to draw comics every day, I will be focusing on drawing and writing outside of the box.

Illustrations, fan art, short stories, and more.

What about the Patreon campaign?

The Patreon page was haphazardly created created for fans to support the comic through monthly donations.

According to Google Analytics, if every reader chipped in $1 a month, then I would be able to support myself and keep making comics.

Sadly, not even 1% of readers donated, and none of the milestones were reached, which means I have to look for an actual job, resulting in this hiatus.

For those readers who did donate, I cannot thank you enough.

However, I will be editing the Patreon page to reflect artwork in general.

If you still want to donate after the change, you will get to see more than just the final pieces, and also get to chat and hang out with me over Skype!

More information on this will be updated on the Patreon page in time.

Thanks to everyone who supported Crazy Sunshine so far, and as I said above, there will still be weekly content released until the end of July to compensate for this month’s payment.

Please look forward to it!

When is the comic coming back?

As I mentioned before, I don’t know! Whenever I have the time, money and artistic skills that I am comfortable and confident with.

Heck, maybe it won’t even be a comic when it comes back! Evolving creativity, yo!

You were such an inspiration, dude. How can I keep in touch with you?

I will try to update fairly frequently on the site with new art and blog entries about my daily life.

But if you have them, there’s also Twitter and Tumblr, so please follow me to keep in the loop! Send me some messages from time to time, too!

A huge thank you to everyone who read and supported Crazy Sunshine from the start until this break! It’s been a very long and exhausting three years. Wish me luck, and hopefully see you around!