Japanese 2022 in Review
I’ve been cooking this one up since March and unfortunately I missed Jan and Feb because I only got the idea to start tracking my immersion hours late into the year, but anyway I’ve been (more or less lazily) tracking how much time I spend doing Japanese stuff like consuming media, etc for the entire year and I thought it would be cool to look at my progress in 2022, things I’ve done, things I’ve enjoyed, and all that jazz.
For time tracking I use this app on Android and I don’t really do it too zealously, I just start it when I begin something and end it afterwards, if I take short breaks (toilet) I don’t bother pausing it but longer breaks (baby crying) I do. So the numbers don’t have to be accurate to a T.
In 2022, I spent 1232 hours and 35 minutes doing the following:
|Videogames||680 hours and 35 minutes|
|Visual Novels||165 hours and 12 minutes|
|Manga||147 hours and 9 minutes|
|Light Novels||120 hours and 7 minutes|
|Anime||55 hours and 37 minutes|
|Livestreams||27 hours and 2 minutes|
|Anki||36 hours and 51 minutes|
For a more accurate monthly breakdown I have this graph, and also this graph with videogames removed because I spend too much time playing videogames and it skewed the graph. For a total sum monthly breakdown there’s also this one graph.
A few interesting highlights that stand out to me looking at the monthly breakdown:
- In March most of my time was dominated by Elden Ring, and it caused a huge spike in my average monthly videogame time
- Between April and May my Visual Novel time went up as I got super hooked on the VN Yu-No (it’s really good!) and I played it over Golden Week almost 24/7 until I 100%’d it
- I’m not much of a VN guy but the other spike in August comes from 100%ing Anonymous;Code, another really good VN I enjoyed
- Besides one outlier (November, which I spent at my in-laws just reading a lot while I was taking care of my newborn son), I seem to fluctuate between Manga and Light Novel periods where I’ll really get into a Manga series and dedicate most of my time reading that (and not reading books), or vice-versa I will get into a very interesting book and stop reading manga. You can see when the light novel bar goes up, the manga bar goes down, and vice-versa.
I track the manga I own, read, and want to read in my own spreadsheet so I have some more detailed stats on how many manga I read in 2022 (including before March). My total manga bookshelf summary shows more complete stats, not unique to 2022, but to drill down a bit more:
- I read a total of 99 volumes (so close to 100!)
- I read a total of 113 Shounen Jump chapters (I only recently started following a few series there in November)
Some highlights of manga series I started in 2022 that I really enjoyed:
- ルリドラゴン - My
#1manga of 2022, too bad the series only has one volume and it’s on hiatus
- 青の島とねこ一匹 - Really nice slice of life in the inaka with a lot of hiroshima dialect, very cute
- 人間のいない国 - Kinda sci-fi/horror-ish post-apocalyptic story of a little girl and a golem, living in a mysterious world of machines
- 文化の守り人 - Cute one-shot story from Shounen Jump+ about a post-apocalyptic world where monsters dominate the surface and humans have to venture on the surface wearing mecha suits to find “culture”
- 少年のアビス - Read this if you want to get depressed
- 徒花 - Short (3 volume) psychological “detective” story
Unfortunately I don’t track which games I play/finish that accurately so my memory of 2022 is a bit spotty (I’ll try to do better next year), but I have a few games that I played (not necessarily finished) in Japanese in 2022 off the top of my head in no particular order:
- Triangle Strategy
- Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
- Soul Hackers 2
- 閃の軌跡：改 - Thors Military Academy 1204 (This is my highlight game of 2022, and thanks to it I’m now playing through the entire kiseki series)
- 空の軌跡SC (currently playing this)
- Xenoblade 1: DE
- Xenoblade 3
- Stranger of Paradise
- Yakuza 0
- Yakuza 2 (had already played 1)
- Dragon Quest X Offline
- Pokemon Shining Pearl
- Final Fantasy Crisis Core Reunion
- Elden Ring
I know I definitely missed a lot, but these are the ones I remember.
I’m not a huge Visual Novel kinda guy, but there’s at least a couple that I really enjoyed, as for the rest I usually just start reading one for a few days then put it on hold and come back to it months later. I’m very inconsistent with them.
My VN highlights for 2022 are: Yu-No and Anonymous;Code. I 100%’d both of these and I could not stop reading them all the way through (which is rare for me with VNs). As for others that I haven’t finished but I’m still currently reading:
- Muv Luv Unlimited
Light Novels / Books
For books I use bookmeter although my account has both books and manga so it’s not super reliable. The books I read in 2022 are:
- The Wheel of Time volume 1 (yeah, re-read it in Japanese. The translation is not that good, I wouldn’t recommend)
- Kuma Bear LN series vol 8 to 12
- (audiobook) 終末なにしてますか？ 忙しいですか？ 救ってもらっていいですか？ (SukaSuka) vol 1
- Slayers vol 1
- 鹿の王 vol 1 (I wanted to read the full series, but volume 1 was really boring so I dropped volume 2)
- 槍使いと、黒猫 vol 1
For a total of: 9 books + 1 audiobook
I use annict to track the anime I watch. I usually just pick one or two series per season and I drop a lot of them anyway. I used to be big into anime but in the last few years my interest has waned.
I’ll just say that, surprisingly, the highlight series for the year for me has been Lycoris Recoil which I enjoyed way more than I thought I would.
How much did my Japanese improve?
Coming into 2022 I was already feeling more comfortable with Japanese input but I still felt a bit careful about whether or not something was “at my level”. In 2022 I read a lot of stuff that I’d have never imagine I’d be able to, like the Wheel of Time book or Elden Ring which use fairly complicated Japanese. Ending my 2022 I feel very confident now I can just jump into something and not feel uncomfortable doing it. Not everything is easy yet, but at least I’m confident I can “take it”, which to me has been a huge confidence booster after 5 (now 6 I guess?) years of studying.
My output, however, is still lagging behind. I need to spend more time in 2023 doing that.
Plans for 2023
I’m not big into doing new year’s resolutions since I find them more stressful than anything, however I usually write down a few thoughts of “wouldn’t it be nice if…” and see how it goes. Last year I wanted to read a few books that I listed in my list of read books so I’m happy to say I achieved that goal at least (I did drop 鹿の王 though, but しょうがない).
For 2023, my general goals would be to finish the entire 軌跡 videogame series, and the rest of the くまクマ熊ベア volumes I’m missing (from 13 to 20). Also I’d like to not fall behind on the 積読 of my manga library and try to keep the gap between “read manga” and “owned manga” as small as possible. I’m also very much looking forward to Final Fantasy XVI.