We are facing a scary time that most of us have never endured before. With the threat of Covid-19, many are staying at home as calls for social distance and wearing masks aren’t very effective if not everyone’s taking it seriously. While stepping out of the house is inevitable, it’s best to stay inside away from new people as much as possible. But being stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to be bored! Why not try some new hobbies and while you’re at it, watch some anime that can get you pumped to try something new!
5. Become the Next Karuta Master - Chihayafuru 1-3
For those that are unfamiliar, Karuta is a card game that is pretty much only played in Japan (though similar memory-focused matching games can be found around the world). It started when Portuguese merchants introduced their playing cards and various versions of the game arose. One of the more popular versions is Uta-garuta, a poem version of Karuta in which a designated speaker reads out the first half of waka poems and the players must match them with the last halves, written on 1 of 100 cards.
A game of both memorization and speed, Karuta can be quite intense. This is NOT a game you could learn in a day so, why not start memorizing those poems now? You can expose yourself to waka poetry and apply that knowledge to a game you could play alone or with others! In Chihayafuru, Arata has to rely on cassettes when he first gets going but thankfully, we have the internet! There are several competitive apps for Karuta that can take you to the level of Chihaya and the rest of the Mizusawa Karuta Club. The anime is a great way to get familiar with the game and individual strategies for success.
4. Try Your Hand at Fanfiction - Bungou to Alchemist: Shinpan no Haguruma (Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement-)
Ok, we know that referring to the terrible, depressing changes the Taints make to destroy great literature as ‘fanfiction’ might be way off (or is it?). Getting familiar with Japanese classics and various authors may give you a more in-depth look at Bungou to Alchemist but it’s not necessary to enjoy the idea of various authors trying to protect their stories at the risk of their lives! They’re always bringing up the major themes or lessons to take away from each story which is a great place to start if you’re unsure what to write.
Fanfiction is an easy first attempt for those with passion and ideas but perhaps don’t have motivation and inspiration for an entirely unique world and various characters. Surely, you’ve questioned why stories progress the way they do or felt you could create a more fulfilling ending that would do your favorite characters more justice. And hey, if you get good enough, you might be able to make a little money on the side or a movie deal one day!
3. Learn to Build Gunpla Models - Gundam Build Fighters 1-2
Let’s step away from the literary world for those who are more hands-on. Welcome to the wonderful world of gunpla (Gundam Plastic Models), as seen on TV! There are 1000s of sets ranging in type, rarity, skill level, and combat-focus. Take it to the next level with painting your gunpla and you’ll be glad you have time to sit at home focusing for long hours. If you’re a Gundam fan yourself, share in Sei’s enthusiasm in recreating these iconic Gundam from your favorite series. However, you don’t have to be a die-hard fan to appreciate how cool they look. Building something yourself you can show off when we once again can have people over safely will show others that your time was certainly not wasted.
2. Get Fit From the Comfort of Your Home - Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?)
Working out may be the last thing on your mind during a pandemic and we wouldn’t blame you. Rather than losing weight or aiming for a six-pack, gentle exercise can boost serotonin levels and your immunity! Nankilo is as informative as it is entertaining so you can exercise along with the cast to help distract you from fatigue. If you’re a muscle freak like Akemi, you can totally go all out and set some goals you wouldn’t otherwise have time to accomplish. The home-training episode would be especially helpful right now.
1. Level-Up Your Cooking - Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma) 1-5
Here’s something we have to do anyway but can actually make fun! Shokugeki gets really crazy season after season with rare ingredients and physics-defying food. However, there are practical cooking tips that we can utilize in our own kitchens. They really delve into the science of cooking and what better time to experiment. Try those onions on your meat, heat that oil, and get experimenting! Maybe you won’t end up making anyone’s clothes explode but you can totally impress yourself, family, roommates, and any future guests.
It’s no wonder that people are feeling more despondent than usual with a pandemic looming outside and the knowledge that we have no idea when we can casually see our loved ones again. But that doesn’t mean all of our time must be filled with dread! Anime is a great escape and it can also help inspire you to make the best of your situation. Whether it’s building, creating, or learning, we hope you find some encouragement from these series. If you’ve found other anime that gave you ideas for your downtime, let us know in the comments!