Tuesday, November 13, 2012

best of 2012, miscellaneous edition: pt. 2

There will be a third and final part to this list, but I figured I'd get part 2 out of the way.  A few notes before I begin:

  • Not all of these things made their debut in 2012, but that's when I first watched/ate/enjoyed them.
  • These aren't in order of preference.
  • Your mileage may vary.

This is what they serve at birthday parties in Heaven.  (Available at Target)

Persona 4 is one of my ten favorite video games of all time, so I was eager to check out the anime adaptation.  In a nutshell:  Yu Narukami moves to the rural Japanese town of Inaba to live with his uncle and young cousin Nanako.  Things seem pretty peaceful at first, but the town is rocked by a series of murders, and Yu and his friends decide to investigate.

Because G and I sank about 150 hours into the video game, we already knew everything that happens, so we thought the anime might be a case of "been there, done that".  But even though it follows the game religiously, with the exception of a new subplot here and there (my favorite: Nanako taking on the guise of her favorite anime character, young detective Loveline, to find out how Yu's spending his free time), we absolutely loved the shit out of it.  The animation is gorgeous, the story is intriguing, and Yu and his friends are awesome.  The game has some of my favorite characters of all time, so spending time with them again was like spending time with old friends.  And even if you haven't played the game, you might enjoy the anime; our friend C had never played a single second of the game and loved the anime.  (Available on Hulu)

This series follows Hannah, an aimless twentysomething, and her friends as they navigate life and love in New York City.  It's like the messier, grimier, more realistic flipside to Sex and the City.  Full of cringeworthy moments and characters you'll alternate between loving and hating, it's probably the most divisive new series of 2012. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite TV shows of all time, so I was pretty psyched for the sequel.  The Legend of Korra follows the titular 17-year-old girl as she takes on the role of the new Avatar, who can bend all four elements and bring peace to the world.  But a mysterious masked man named Amon has a vendetta against benders, and he wants to take Korra down. 

It's not as good as A:TLA, which would be a tall order indeed, but it has indelible characters to root for and a gorgeous steampunk meets anime style.  I'm down.

I love crossword puzzles.  I do at least two of them every day, and G and I are addicted to cryptic crosswords, which are insanely hard but make me feel like a rockstar every time I complete one.  This showed up as a "You may also like..." selection when I was buying something on Amazon, and I wanted to get free shipping, so I went ahead and added it to my cart.  That turned out to be an excellent decision, because these puzzles were awesome.  The clues are filled with pop culture trivia ranging from Professor Layton's first name (Hershel) to the name of Aang's giant flying buffalo (Appa).  I tried to limit myself to one or two a day because I didn't want to go through it too fast, but I wound up gorging on them and finishing the book within two weeks.  I hope there's a sequel someday!