2023 Year in Review

2023 has come and gone—it feels like it was just a week ago that my grandma was complaining that Thanksgiving and Christmas were too close together, and now it’s January. I spent the last 2 weeks of 2023 sick (I still am), which made it go by like a blur.

2022 was a fresh slate for me, with a new job, a new home, and new projects. 2023 was a year of finding a new rhythm—figuring out how I work best and molding my work time around that rather than trying to make myself go against the flow.

Working from home is truly a blessing and a curse. I do think that it has more positives than negatives (especially right now as I’m able to work while being sick and don’t have to take time off), but navigating around the negatives is tricky. The main problem I’ve faced, aside from lack of interaction with non-family, is that it’s harder for me to focus on work when I end up spending almost all of my awake hours at my desk, either for my fulltime job or for VN development or for relaxing.

I’ve had to mix things up, usually taking my laptop to other parts of the house or even working outside of home some days. Even if it’s only for a few hours, it helps reset the fatigue of being at my desk all day every day. It doesn’t always work, and one problem I ran into for most of the year was being unable to focus on writing. Art and scripting are more “mindless” for me, I can do them with a video or voice call in the background, but writing is something I’ve always struggled to concentrate on.

This year was my first year attempting NaNoWriMo, though a more casual version of it. A few other devs were also entering NaNoWriMo to work on their projects so I hopped on too. I wanted to use the hype of the event to push myself to focus on writing, and it worked! My goal was to hit 30k total words in the month across multiple projects—which is about what I write in half a year—and I hit it.

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why does aniplex want mahoyo to fail

I love visual novels. being a long time fate/stay night fan and only having heard of mahoyo from hushed whispers about its cinematography, I was super invested when it was announced to be coming to the west and I could finally play an official version of it.

however, a lot of people interested in type-moon works had never heard of mahoyo, let alone it getting an official english translation. but how? aniplex is publishing the game and they’re one of the largest anime distributors in the world.

with the console release of mahoyo being almost exactly a year ago and the steam release being just 10 days away, I want to look over some of aniplex’s bizarre and nonexistent marketing for one of my favorite visual novels.

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Blog, Projects

introducing Battle Action Fantasy, a tag for shounen anime lovers

Lots of us grew up with shounen anime and manga, whether it was something like Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokémon or Naruto which in turn inspire our own stories. We want to make games that evoke the feeling that you’re reading a story straight out of Shounen Jump. For that, we’ve created a new tag- #Battle Action Fantasy.

→ who

This tag initiative was spearheaded by myself, Arimia, alongside 4noki and Pumpkin Spike with help from papaya.

→ why

We created this tag because we wanted a better descriptor for chuuni shounen & seinen-esque games that are reminiscent of battle shounens specifically. Games that would be included:

  • have a focus on action and fight scenes
  • contain any tropes inspired from shounen and/or seinen manga
  • are set in some kind of fantasy world, sci-fi included

These games can include female leads, queer characters, and more. Games without action scenes or fantasy elements would not fit this tag.

This tag is for anyone making a story-driven game that’s inspired by shounen & seinen anime & manga. If your story feels like it could’ve been serialized in Shounen Jump, then this tag is for you!

→ how

We got this term from バトル・アクション (Battle Action), a category used in Japan for a lot of action-oriented shounen manga. By adding “fantasy” to it, it makes it more clear that these are strictly fantasy-oriented works rather than something like a beat-em-up.

→ misc.

We understand the term can be a bit vague- what about chuuni works or other works that can somewhat fall under this? At the end of the day, we want this tag to be for anyone making fantasy games who’ve been inspired by action shounen anime & manga.

Some examples of battle action fantasy games include most JRPGs, Fate/stay night, and more. Your game may be a more comedic take on shounen tropes or something darker and more sinister. It can even be intended for non-male audiences, such as stories like Queen’s Quality. The ultimate answer on if your story will fit this tag: would it make sense to be serialized in Shounen Jump?

→ how to join

The tag is #Battle Action Fantasy on If you’ve made any shounen-inspired action fantasy game, please add the tag to your games!

To encourage new games using this tag, myself, Pumpkin Spike and 4noki will be cohosting a game jam for shounen-esque visual novels in the month of June! The jam is still a few months away but you can find some more information about it on

If you have any questions about this tag or the jam, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Discord.

— Arimia


The Road Ahead

NaNoRenO has finally wrapped up and we’ve survived another March. It was a lot less hectic than last March when we were grappling with the start of a pandemic. I’ve known since before NaNo started that this would be my last big team project that I’d lead, but I didn’t fully know why I felt that way. I assumed it was burnout, but I continued on. Just one last project, it’d be fine.

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