This Week's Favs: September 29
Wow. This month has been one of those where it's felt really slow in the moment, but looking back it's passed really fast. September ends this weekend and, just like that, it'll be October. One step closer to Halloween!
It's also the start of a whole new season of entertainment, which means there will be plenty of amazing new things to watch. I looked back at some of my favorite summer anime series and previewed a few new fall series that I'm excited to watch in my season review. Check it out when you get a chance, along with this week's selection.
The Adventure Zone
I realized that, while I've included fanart of the three main characters in a past weekly collection, I never actually suggested listening to The Adventure Zone. Over the past few weeks, I've been binge-listening to this amazing podcast while I'm at work. The mixture of reference-filled comedy and dramatic story elements makes it undoubtedly the greatest Dungeons and Dragons podcast I'll ever listen to. I've tried to listen to a few others, desperate for the awesome fantasy stories that come with the game, but none have really managed to capture my attention, especially not as well as The Adventure Zone has. Even social media juggernauts like Hank Green and Arby's have mentioned their love for the show. It just recently wrapped up, coming in at 69 episodes with a handful of bonus episodes on the side, and is available wherever you usually listen to your podcasts (iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, etc.).
The Stranger - Billy Joel (Cover by Hongbin from VIXX)
Today is Hongbin's birthday, so I'm celebrating by listening to his awesome cover of Billy Joel's "The Stranger". I'm always amazed by artists who are able to sing in English so well, despite not being fluent in it. Hongbin's no exception. I'm not really a Billy Joel fan, but the song really fits Hongbin's voice and he does a great job with it. VIXX is full of talent, and I'm glad all the members get to show that off, either through releasing individual pieces or through covers on their YouTube channel. They deserve tons more attention and respect.
The Royal Tutor
I saw the description for this back when it was first announced earlier this year and was immediately intrigued. The whole teaching a group of difficult boys to not be difficult isn't exactly a new concept, but something about The Royal Tutor in particular really intrigued me. I forgot about it completely, though, until I came across it again last week. Like most first seasons, it was pretty easy to binge the 12 20-minute episodes within a couple evenings, which was a great experience, even if it was short-lived. You can watch it on Crunchyroll (subbed) and Funimation (dubbed).
Paranormal - 2010 Tarpon Springs HS Marching Band
High school marching band at the national level is crazy. It's something that most people don't realize because only a small percentage of bands in the country are at the national level, and even fewer are even good enough to be considered viable competitors for the championship. My school competed in the 2010 BOA Grand Nationals, my senior year of high school, and while we were nowhere near good enough to make it into the semifinals, let alone the finals, it was an amazing experience because I got to see the top bands in the country perform in person. Videos can't really do the experience justice because the sheer force of the sound an amazing band can produce is something you have to be in person to feel. However, videos can show the spectacle and storytelling that is included these performances, only being beaten by DCI shows. Tarpon Springs' 2010 show has always stuck with me because, while it wasn't the greatest musically, it was an amazing, crazy show to watch. It's something I always show my non-band friends and they're always amazed.
This Tuesday, a royal decree was announced stating that women will be able to legally drive in Saudia Arabia starting next June. To a lot of people around the world, it seems insane that women are only just now being allowed to do this. However, what women can and cannot do in Saudi Arabia is still very restricted. While CNN's overview certainly isn't all-encompassing, it points out some of the major things that women are unable to do, as well as a handful of things that they are legally allowed to do, like participate in the Olympics and vote in local elections.
While it's not the best app for learning a language completely, Memrise is great for learning vocabulary. I've been pairing it with Human Japanese to learn at least some basic Japanese before I go there for vacation in 2019. It's basically a gamified version of flash cards, which really helps me remember to study every day. I just moved up to the second Japanese course this week, which means I got through almost 250 words, which seems like more than what I thought I knew, so that's encouraging. I've still got a long way to go, but Memrise has done a much better job at teaching me vocabulary and making sure I remember it, as opposed to other vocab apps like Duolingo. It was also a Best App winner in the 2017 Google Play Awards.