Celebrating the 4th – What Are Your Favorite Firework Scenes in Anime?

It’s the 4th and I’m Feeling Lazy!

Going to shoot straight with you guys, I was getting to work on all those mini reviews you all wanted while getting some bigger articles I started a few weeks ago topped off when I decided I didn’t really want to do much today. Plus, I also don’t want to flood you guys with a ton of mini reviews. Lastly, I still have the WIXOSS collab to finish up but that is looking to be later this week anyhow. Ultimately, I decided to ask you all what your favorite firework scenes in anime were. Here are a few of mine! Continue reading “Celebrating the 4th – What Are Your Favorite Firework Scenes in Anime?”

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One More Update – Left the Job & What That Means for the Site Pt. 3

I Have Some Explain’ to do

You guys might remember my previous update where I discussed some doubts about the job I had. Unfortunately, I had to quit. I was sleeping way too much when I wasn’t at work, barely eating (and when I did it took ages because I was so tired), and ultimately felt like my health was at serious risk if I pushed myself too much further.

As promised, I said if I quit the job that I would go see a Dr. Good news, already have the appointment made. Bad news, it is in August. My leaving was very cordial and I’m welcome to reapply there if my Dr. gives the ok. To my surprise, Assurant made a lot of concessions to me and were more than happy to work with me on this front. They want me to be healthy and totally understood. We discussed some other options but ultimately I had to just quit since I was unsure how long it would take me to get an appointment (at first I was getting told September if I was lucky). A big part of this, and I am going to totally brag here for a second, is that I was the single highest performing person in the company. Not just our site, across all the sites! That blew my mind. Needless to say, they would very much like me back so long as my health permits. I liked it there too, so I’m not against that.

As for the site, I’m going to take this week off but things should resume starting next week. I have a few things planned and I think you’ll enjoy them. I haven’t forgotten about Anime ABC’s, so that is also on the list of things to get done but will probably be a few weeks out since more work goes into those articles.

If you have any questions or comments be sure to leave them here or contact me on the socials. Of course, you are more than welcome to email me if you’d prefer that. Can’t wait to get to writing and finally reading some of your guys’ content as well!

Another Update – My New(ish) Job & What That Means for the Site Pt. 2

Better Late Than Never…

Sorry I have been so inactive both on WordPress and Twitter. I try to check in but most of my free time is spent doing paperwork for the government or sleeping now… When I’m not doing that I’ve been at work. It’s almost been a full month there now! Can you believe it? Pretty crazy to think if you ask me.

Any way, I just wanted to check in with you guys like I said I would in my last post on this subject (even it is just a tad bit late on my part). With that, let’s start off by talking about the job so far.

The Job so Far

I’m heading into my fourth week at Assurant and I have to say that everybody there is so nice and supportive. My first two weeks were spent in a computer lab learning the systems we use, practicing some phone scripting, and learning various legal procedures we have to follow. The best part of the first two weeks of the training was that it was really easy and we got paid for it too! We even got a bonus since part of our training is on the weekend!

This last week the training shifted to being a lot more intense. Where I had taken a few calls during the first two weeks, this third week was almost all calls for the full 8 hour shift. This is closer to what the job is actually going to be like. At one point in time I had an anxiety attack brought on by the phone volume and background noise in the office which was really unfun. I wanted to quit after that but I came back and did my best.

From there I found that I was getting more and more tired each day as the third week progressed as we spent more and more time on the phones. I have some serious doubts about working here long term. I reached out to my job developer and government job lady but was first met with a lot of complaining and, “suck it up” type responses. Still, I talked to my supervisor about my concerns.

He said that this can be normal for some people and encouraged me. I also explained that I have to decide fairly quickly if this is a, “forever” job for me which has been added pressure. Eventually my job developer got on board with my concerns since I explained that even if the job had a million wonderful things about it, I was concerned about my health because I was continually exhausted. I was sleeping over 12 hours a day sometimes. Not only that, but I had almost zero apatite all of the time. This all started after a week or so into the job, so it felt job related.

We came up with a plan and my supervisor granted me some special accommodations for the third week. Basically, I am allowed to take extra paid breaks between calls (just a minute or two to get water or sit in the quiet room) but once I leave the training period that accommodation goes away. I don’t use it much but on days where I’m particularly exhausted I do use it for the first few hours off and on. From there, we decided that I’d try and stick out the full first month and if no improvement on the health front was made that I would quit.

The justification to this is to see if it is just my brain and body trying to process all of this new information and acclimate to being on the phone so much (a task that is an, “always on” type job for me. Meaning I get really drained doing it). Some of you may recall I have a disability and some medical conditions attached to that so this is a serious concern for me. Everybody believes I can do the job, myself included, but nobody wants me to pay a huge price just to please everyone either.

My thoughts after this third week is things did improve up until Sunday where I was hit pretty hard with exhaustion and really still haven’t shook it even today (Monday evening) as I’m witting this. Next week is going to only be more challenging and that has me worried. My prediction is that I will likely quit but at the same time I absolutely don’t want to do that. I’m pretty torn about it.

A big reason for this is because I’m the highest performing member in our training course. I have consistently gotten the second highest mark possible on every call they have reviewed for me. Not only that, my supervisor is contesting one of those marks to get me a perfect instead. Our group in general is very high performing (some people who started with low marks have even gotten a perfect already. Those are beyond rare I’m told) so that speaks to how well we’ve been trained and the level of encouragement we are getting. They even gave some of us special rewards for exceeding performance expectations!

TL;DR the job is great but my health isn’t. I think it is job related and if I don’t see improvement I’ll end up quitting. I enjoy the job, love the people, pay + perks are great, but it isn’t worth working myself to death. So we shall see how week four goes and I’ll keep you all posted best I can on Twitter. I’ll also try and write another update either way as well.

Site Expectations

I just can’t do both right now. Still focusing on trying to make the job work. I have the WIXOSS collab going but honestly that is even a little too much. Expect some stuff from Jacob when he can but otherwise I’ll be pretty quite for at least another week or two. I really apologize about that but it is just how things need to be for me right now.

That’s About it

With that I’ll wish you all a wonderful day. For those concerned about my health, please don’t be too worried either. I plan to see a Dr. ASAP if things don’t improve for me. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out to me. You can do so by commenting below, hitting me up on Twitter, or emailing me at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com

Have a great day!

-Jon

Important Update – My New Job & What That Means for the Site

Hello Everybody!

A lot of you know already, but I got a job! I even got it all by myself without any help from the government programs I’m in (that are supposed to be helping me). It’s been nearly a full year since I’ve had steady employment, though I had that Target job for a very short time around Christmas last year. So here’s what’s going on with both the job and exactly how the site will be impacted by this.

The Job

I am working for a place called, “Assurant.” It’s an insurance-like company that handles a lot of things from Amazon purchases to cellphones. My job is to talk on the phone and help people by filling claims for them. In theory, this is a good job for me but I’ve only been there two days so I really can’t say if it is a good fit or not.

Image result for assurant

Both my government aid worker and job developer think I’m making a huge mistake and are mad that I took this job without their permission (and yes, I am definitely not supposed to act on my own for some reason). However, I won’t know if I like, or can do this job, without trying it. They offered me this position so I’m going to give it my best, and I really have been doing that these past couple days.

The company has been excellent outside of a few comments I’ve heard from management that is only slightly concerning to me long term. That being said, they have given all of us new hires very fair and reasonable expectations, as well as outs if we need them.

To start, the first two weeks are just practicing stuff on computers and helping each other learn. I’m really good at this. I’ve already mastered most of the software and can do almost all of the paperwork stuff in my sleep. Moving into weeks 3-4, the nature of the job changes as we begin doing live work unassisted (though we have heavy support and handle a lot less work than normal) and this is where a lot of new hires quit. I don’t plan on quitting at this juncture but, I have marked it as a time to evaluate and see if this is something I can see myself doing long term.

Why is this step important? Well, I basically have less than 3 months to determine if this job is a forever career. Once three months goes by, I lose any and all government support for basically ever. I need to be nearly 100% certain that I both like this job, and can do it in the long run.

After the training period is over I’ll be moved into a regular schedule and things are only going to get more intense than they will be in weeks 3 and 4. I’m coming on during the super crazy busy time. I have no clue if I can sustain the level of work required of me, especially long term, once this happens. I have this down as another evaluation point.

If I can make it through both the training and second month, then I plan to make this a permanent job. In the event that things don’t work out, I learn some valuable lessons. 1. I don’t like that work/can’t do it, and 2. I get some money, which I really need. However, if things work out, that’s all for the better!

The Site

With this, I will have to make changes to how I do stuff here at the site. First, I simply won’t be posting at all starting today after this post moving through to about June 11th 2018. This period I will be wholly devoted to my training and doing my best to succeed at this job. There will be an three exceptions to this however. First, I am doing a collab on WIXOSS‘s latest season that will continue as expected. The second being another update a around the week 3 mark. The other in the event that I quit.

You’ll also notice that I haven’t been very active online during the past few days. Expect this. I cannot use my cellphone AT ALL while at work. It is illegal for me to do so and I’ll be fired if I do. Once I’m home I’ll try and catch up with folks some, but my time to do so will vary day-to-day. Please know that I am not ignoring you all or anything.

Once we move into June, I will start posing again. I’m not sure what the schedule will be or if I will make questions. This will need some reviewing from myself based on how I’m doing at the company and when I come home.

Lastly, I will still be active on Twitter and Jacob should post off-and-on still. If you have any questions or concerns please be sure to contact me or leave a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Anime ABC’s O Results

Can You Believe it? Another Tie!

We had a very good voting turnout this round with 24 unique voters. That is an excellent turnout! Still, we somehow managed to once again arrive at a tie. So I turned to the internet to help me make this very important decision between the top two contenders:  Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children – Film) and Ouran High School Host Club.

Now it’s time to….

SPIN! THAT! WHEEL!

The Results

Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows….

The anticipation is killing me!

Ok, the results are in, and as you can see, the winner is…

Related image

I’m very excited to be reviewing Ouran and I hope you’ll look forward to it! I’m going to be starting a new job next week so expect to hear more about that later. For now, enjoy the results of the vote below as per the usual. The results included are only those that influenced the outcome, as you may recall I asked additional questions this time, you’ll see those results in a separate post later. A big THANK YOU to all who participated this time!

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Other results:  Occultic;Nine & Ore Monogatari

Anime ABC’s – O voting Round

 

Time Once Again!

We are on our fifteenth round of Anime ABC’s if you can believe it! Last time I took a look at Welcome to the NHK! which really took me a lot of effort. The show is really depressing but opens opportunities to talk about difficult topics.

This time we are voting on what, “O” anime I’ll be watching. The survey is a tiny bit longer than usual because I have some bonus questions at the end. These extra questions will help me write a fun post about our community here so be sure to share the survey around!

Anime ABC’s O Voting Round Link <- Click Me!

Voting will remain open from today until 5/17/18 at 11:59PST.

A big thanks to all who take the time to vote and I’m excited to see what show will win out this time!

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “O” round is the fifthteenth anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

The goal of this series is to encourage community input, interaction, as well as to allow me to discover cool new shows, or in some cases, rediscover ones that I previously watched. You can check out my previous ABC reviews for:  Anohana, Bacanno!, Code Geass, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Erased, Flowers of Evil, Gunslinger Girl (S1-2 + OVA’s), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, Joker Game, Kimi no Na wa, Little Witch Academia, Mob Psycho 100, or NHK ni Youkoso! by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

So what are you waiting for? Vote now and be sure to come back next week to see which show ended up winning this round.

What’s a Mini Review?

Reviving a Series

You may all remember that I’ve done these, “mini reviews” a few times in the past and I’m bringing them back! So what’s a mini review? It’s something I’m going to be doing for several shows that I have mentioned previously, actually reviewed in a larger article, or just don’t have much to say about. There are two reasons for this:

  • These mini reviews are a way for me to ensure that the review catalog here at Jon Spencer Reviews contains a more comprehensive list of reviews. This also allows for content to be found more easily so you don’t have to dig through older articles/collections to find single reviews.
  • Mini reviews will allow for some easier content creation on my part so I can continue to maintain writing in advance while working on larger posts that I can pour a lot of love and effort into. Basically, these will add to the quality of life here on the site.

What can you expect of a mini review? As I mentioned, I have done a few of these already. You can see some examples here:

They will be 1,000 word or less, each covering one or two main points about whatever I am reviewing. These will not be limited to just anime. I’ll be having these start up this Friday 5/11/18. Some titles you can expect to see from this series include:  Re:Zero, The Lost Village (Mayogia), Welcome to the Ballroom, Kiznaiver, and more!

I hope that you all welcome this small change to the Jon Spencer Reviews posting format. These mini reviews will not become the norm but they will be a new staple in the review lineup for each week. The benefits of this, “new” format should already be seenhere on the site but there are some that may come of it. Depending on how I work out the production schedule and some real life stuff (like if I get a job or not) I may even be able to release content with more frequency than 3x a week (MWF). No promises on that front, but this should allow for more growth and creative output regardless.

Have a question or concern about the format? Feel free to let me know in the comments below or email me at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com. Naturally, if you think this is an awesome idea, be sure to let me know that too! There are other changes I would like to make to the site, like upgrading to a premium account, so if you would like to help me get there please head on over to my Ko-fi and buy me a coffee or two. I look forward to seeing you back here soon, and as always, thanks for reading!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

Too Much Content! – In Case You Missed it April Posts & Reflecting on the 30 Day Anime Challenge

How Are You Today?

I hope you are doing well! As you may have noticed, I posted a LOT in April, and as such, you may have missed some of the awesome things that were posted by both Jacob and myself. Here’s a quick catch-me-up of all the content released in April here at Jon Spencer Reviews and a brief reflection on the 30 Day Anime Challenge I did.

The Challenge

This was my very first time doing a challenge like this and it was a lot of fun! You can read about what the 30 day anime challenge is and see all thirty posts by following this [link] here. The challenge also marked the very first time I posted daily for a month. Additionally, I scheduled it all in advance which is not typical of me.

I liked having the posts scheduled in advance and at least part of May will be like this. I got busy so the post writing slowed down for me a lot. Still, I managed about half of May before April ended with enough planned content to get through June (just need to write it). The big thing I disliked about the challenge was that it meant there was a lot of double or triple posting throughout the month which makes something like this really necessary. Hey, more content for you guys though!

Everything Else Jon Posted

Everything Jacob Posted

That’s everything we posted folks! Be sure to check out the stuff you missed and I look forward to resuming our normal MWF posting schedule. Friday is another bigger review I spent a lot of time on so I hope you’ll enjoy it. I also will be making some slight adjustments to how posts work week-to-week, the first of which you’ll see next week. Until then though, that’ll just have to be a surprise 😉

If you’d like to support the site and help me upgrade to a premium account here that would be awesome! Head on over to Ko-fi and buy me a coffee or two, every bit helps and there is even a nifty goal tracker to show you how close we are to the goal! As always, thanks for reading!

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

Announcing the 30 Day Anime Challenge

Surprise!

I had (most of) these articles in the works before I had to take a step away for a bit. If you don’t know about that, you can read about it here. Don’t let that get you down though because you’ll get to enjoy 30 straight days of posting! Not only that, but I should be up and running at full capacity come the middle of the month at the latest. So let’s take a look at what the challenge is and what I’ll be doing.

30-day-anime-challenge

Each day has an attached prompt that I’ll be going through. Looks like day one is going to be about the very first anime I’ve ever watched. Well that should be interesting! I’ve never done a challenge like this before so I hope you’ll have a good time reading.

Before I go, let me know what day you are most excited for in the comments below. Of course if you would like to support me in my time of need I have this Ko-fi thing that some of you suggested I make. I’ve moved away from Patreon for the time being but if you would prefer that, you can still find that via the homepage. You can find the Ko-fi thing below. Please don’t feel obligated however.

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I’m Back (Sort of) – Update on my Life Situation & Other Stuff

Sooner Than Expected!

Alright everybody I am making this post to let you know that I’m not only back, but what’s going on with my life right now. While I am largely back to full capacity here, I will still be doing a few things up until about mid-April. Despite that, you will be seeing a lot of content from me in April (more on that tomorrow). So here’s everything you need to know!

Thanks, Life, and Money

First off, let me thank everybody who was so amazing during my absence. I definitely did not think that things would get sorted out very quickly. I would especially like to thank Mel and everybody who came together to create this post. Truly incredible and I hope that everybody will take the time to give it a look just to see how amazing the community here on WordPress really is.

A big piece of news is that my loan is (temporarily at least) taken care of. I have to pay $0 a month with a 0% increase on the principal amount per month. I can pay in with no penalty too. On top of that, I’m working with them to keep me permanently on an income based payment schedule which will provide the following benefits to me:

  • Basically nothing changes. If I get a job, I inform them of my new income and they adjust the rate accordingly. However, I only have to report once a year so if it is temp. work I don’t have to lose the benefit of the current zero-zero deal. As is, I have to fill out the paperwork EVERY time my income changes.
  • The loan goes totally away in 20 years regardless of whatever happens financially to me. I can actually pay it off sooner than that in theory but that is a benefit I don’t currently have.

Some of you may recall that I had a job interview this week. It was at Lowes. I’m not crazy about that job because it is seasonal like the Target job was but it may end up being permanent I am told (again). However, I have to wait to hear back form them still. I should be hearing today or Monday so fingers crossed. If I do get the position I’ll have employment at least until August, which is pretty good. After that it’d be up in the air but I would drop to part-time if I was given the permanent position. At the very least, this would let me get some money flowing and I can always look for more/better work if needed.

Patreon vs Ko-fi

The last order of business is to discuss my move away from Patreon to Ko-fi. I’m not deleting my Patreon and if you still want to support me on a monthly basis you can, but I am not going to be actively advertising it. Additionally, rewards WILL NOT be honored there effective immediately until further notice. The main reason for this is that I just wasn’t getting enough support there. On top of that, Patreon sucks away so much of my funding that I wasn’t even seeing a great benefit from it. The money from Patreon was (and still will be) split among my contributors too. In all, nobody was really making much and it was inconvenient.

Ko-fi, on the other hand, is a lot better. You support when you want. Think I wrote an amazing article? Great, you buy me a coffee or two ($3 each) and I see all of the money pretty much immediately in my PayPal account. That is so much better for me and Ko-fi doesn’t eat away any of the money you give me in support. The downside of course is that it isn’t consistent revenue streams unless people really take to using it often.

Still, I saw more income from having it up during my hiatus period than my Patreon’s lifetime income. I know that part of that is because I really needed some money and you were all super generous but the point still stands, it is easier and a better platform for me personally (at the moment at least).

An important note is that I will not be sharing proceeds from Ko-fi with my contributors (mostly Jacob) for the time being at least. I will work the details out with him but I’m going to encourage him to create his own Ko-fi account and use a different colored button for his articles exclusively. That way, if you want to support him, you can directly. He has a steady income and is pretty happy but I know that the extra money would be appreciated. His goal is still to become a professional full-time movie reviewer after all!

The original hope with the Patreon was to get to a point where I was providing Jacob (and other possible long-time content creators on the site) a monthly paycheck for their contributions but that wasn’t working out. At this time that just isn’t practical for anybody unless the site is really bringing in a lot of money (which it isn’t). Additionally, since Patreon takes a cut and PayPal has rules about how much and when can be distributed too with Patreon, nobody has gotten any money from there yet. It’s just sitting there because it hadn’t crossed the minimum threshold for me to draw without penalty to distribute until recently.

I know that might have been a little complicated but I want to be as transparent with how money and other things work with you all. The Tl;dr of this is that Ko-fi offers a lot more convenience on both ends in addition to being more friendly from a user perspective. Patreon had consistency in income but wasn’t doing enough so nobody was seeing a benefit as intended. Ko-fi has people seeing a benefit. Jacob deserves money too, I’ll work that out with him though.

That’s it!

Be on the look out for tomorrow’s posts. There will be more than one! Also, April is going to be very exciting. It’s my most ambitious project yet, which you’ll be able to read all about tomorrow in full. Beyond that, I again appreciate everybody’s help and understanding while I was away these past couple weeks.

-Jon Spencer