This Week's Favs: February 16

Hello! I'm back! Before I get started with all the reasons (excuses) I've been MIA, I wanted to tell you all Happy Lunar New Year!

It's officially the year of the earth Dog, which means that, as someone who was born in the year of the water Rooster, it looks like I'm destined to have a slightly above average year with some extra potential in professional development. Interesting!

I've been pretty busy already with work projects, which is why I wasn't around much at the end of last month. Then I was hit with what I can only imagine was the dreaded flu at the beginning of the month. I'm still sort of getting over that, but I definitely feel much better now than I did in the thick of it all. I got over most of it pretty quickly too, so thank you to my pretty awesome immune system.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics kicked off last week and the opening ceremonies were a beautiful mixture of history and technology. Pretty fitting for South Korea, if you ask me. I've been watching what I can of them, though I can't really commit myself to them as much as I used to in college. It's a real bummer.

Anyway, I'm in the process of finishing up a blog about an anime I've really been enjoying and how it's confronting some societal assumptions, so look forward to that! For now, though, here's some of my favorite things from this week.


Yuzuru Hanyu's 2017 Free Skate - Hope and Legacy

Last night we saw the highly-anticipated return of Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning men's Olympic figure skating champion and holder of all the major world records. He's a force to be reconned with at his best, but no one was really sure how he'd perform last night. He injured himself a few months ago, and has only been back on the ice for a little over a month. Not to mention he only started jumping again a few weeks ago. No one saw him before his first Olympic practice earlier this week and, even though he looked absolutely stunning in practice, no one could be sure how he was going to perform.

But Yuzuru came out last night for the short program and absolutely crushed the competition. He earned the second-highest short program score of all time, a record that's held by him as well, and just absolutely shocked the world who was more focused on Nathan Chen.

Since, for some reason, the Olympics aren't uploading programs to YouTube right now, I can't share his stunning performance with you all here. So, instead, here's his record-breaking free skate performance from last season, which is another absolutely breathtaking piece to watch.


NIRVANA - Ravi feat. Park Jimin

This was such a pleasant surprise from Ravi. VIXX's charismatic rapper always releases these strong hype songs for his solo releases (see DAMNRA and BOMB), but this time around, he put out something a little more chill and groovy. It's like a step in between his usual releases and VIXX LR's releases. Everyone knew Ravi was capable of releasing this kind of music, so it wasn't exactly a huge shock when NIRVANA was released. It's still a welcome surprise, though. It's a song I'm always willing to listen and jam out to.

Let Me Think About It - Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grande

I heard this song before last night. I know I did. I just can't remember where I heard it. Oh well. I was reminded of this song when Adam Rippon performed his short program to it. It's definitely far from the usual song choice for a figure skating routine, but that's Adam Rippon for you. He still managed to put together a solid routine behind it and wound up being the highest placed of the three American male figure skaters at the end of the night. The power of old-school European house music? Maybe.


Some really impressive art yet again this week, this time spanning across video games, anime and even YouTube! There's an amazing piece of Yusuke Kitagawa from Persona 5 in his Phantom Thieves getup, a really cool version of Jacksepticeye if he were in the game Subnautica, and a beautiful look at Midorima and Takao from Kuroko no Basket.

I also wanted to include some adorable and amazing GIFs from a couple of the anime series I've been watching recently. School Babysitters (Gakuen Babysitters) is an adorable show about toddlers that are in a daycare in the school their parents work for. It's a lot of adorable little kid antics mixed with some of the usual high school drama. Overall, it's a great little escape once a week.

Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, on the other hand, is a crazy intense historical-focused series that shows the darker, more mature side of the Touken Ranbu franchise. It's all about sword warriors (the spirits of actual historical blades) who have manifested in the future time traveling to the past to stop a futuristic evil army from changing history. It's beautifully animated, with an impressive combination of classic 2D characters with 3D backgrounds and effects. I watched it when it originally aired back in the summer, but with the second season of Touken Ranbu Hanamaru airing now, I felt the urge to go back and watch this series all over again.