With snow storms a constant threat in northern climates during the winter season, many of us will have to put up with being stuck inside our houses due to snow drifts, dangerous roads, or white-out conditions in the next few months unless global warming decides to rear its head. Snow days can be a blessing for students who look forward to a much-needed break from classes, but they can also be a pain for those of us who don't enjoy being stuck in the house without much to do. The internet can provide ample amounts of entertainment on its own, but as otaku, there is plenty more we can do to fill our days off with Japanese pop culture fun. Here are great things to try on a day off in winter:
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Brew some tea to warm up: Forget coffee! If you're looking for early morning energy, taste, and warm up, tea provides a healthy and delicious alternative to some Folgers in your cup. Tea comes in many taste bud tingling flavors, many of which can be found in your local supermarket or Asian market for a reasonable price. Green tea in particular is filled with antioxidants that are beneficial in maintaining a healthy and regular system, and is extra easy on the body when you're suffering from a cold.
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Watch your favorite anime in your pajamas: Watching new series is always fun, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to pull out old favorites on a lazy morning and relive all the things you fell in love with in the first place. You don't have to rewatch the whole season, but at least go through your favorite episodes and relax to the familiar and lovable storylines. If there's someone else at home with you, try to get them to watch along. If they're a good sport, they'll get a kick out of you nerding out to the favorite moments of your favorite show with your hearty fangirl/fanboy squees!
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Pull out those obligatory beach episodes!: Most anime, especially those with comedic elements, feature at least one episode where everyone heads out to the beach for a sunny day of surf, bikini angst, and rampant voyeurism. Watching these will not only satisfy your fan service fix, but will bring you to a warmer climate for a few minutes while you're snuggling under your blankets and watching the snow blanketing outside. California dreaming on a cold winter's day really can take the edge off the chill!
Image © Kyoto Animation ; Source: Anime Writer
Update your to-read and to-watch lists with fresh recommendations: Most otaku already have a pretty long list of shows they want to view and manga they want to read, but these lists generally only scrape the surface of titles they'll eventually come to love. Talking to fellow otaku and scanning otaku news sources (such as GoBoiano!) will yield plenty of excellent recommendations that you may have never even heard of. Hundreds of new options are being licensed and released on a regular basis, so do some research and update your lists accordingly with fresh titles to get excited about.
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Turn on a new J-pop artist: Sure, we all have music we already know and love, and it's always fun to chill out while listening to old favorites. But with music, nothing ventured is nothing gained, and if you only stick to old favorites, you'll miss out on plenty of great artists. Type "J-pop" into your favorite online radio station and listen to an exciting mix of unique artists, or search Youtube for a live performance from an artist you've always been meaning to try. And when you listen, really listen. Jot down your favorite tracks to put on repeat and expand your playlist.
Browse the fan art of your favorite shows: When you have a show, pairing, or fandom you love more than anything, nothing's more exciting than seeing everything there is to see about your obsession. Anime fans have released an astounding amount of fan art images for pretty much every show you can imagine, and most of them display the breathtaking degree of talent of fans around the world. Look up new images, and celebrate the best by sharing them, pinning them up in room, or setting them as your computer background.
Image © Madhouse ; Source: Lonely Machines
Get into a new piece of fanfiction: There are some great fanfic writers out there, and plenty of them have tackled your own favorite shows and pairings. Try a handful of one-shots or a multi-chapter work, and let the author know what you think. The more responses a writer gets, the more they can improve and release new and better material for you to enjoy. And if you really liked a certain piece of fiction, why not recommend it to other fans via social media? The writer will be happy for the exposure!
Fill out a writing or art meme: Can you think of an anime bishounen for every letter of the alphabet? Or what Luffy would like if you designed him a completely new wardrobe? Or what Naruto, Inuyasha, and Sailor Moon would do if they got together for dinner? You can ponder these serious questions and others by filling out a blank art or writing meme and sharing it online. This is a great way to enjoy finding humor in a beloved show and putting characters in amusing crack situations.
Source: Deskptop Nexus
Play a Japanese gaming classic: If you have a gaming console, most likely you have some Japanese classics lying around, whether it be Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, or Donkey Kong. These games have great replay value, and you can find yourself lost for hours trying to work your way through the game's most difficult dungeons (and repeatedly enjoying the excellent soundtracks, of course.) When you're playing through your favorite game, it's also a great idea to make a save file before your favorite part in the game so you can replay your favorite mission, level, boss, etc to your heart's desire.
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