Anime Film TV

Thrillin’ and Chillin’ in October 2023

I just realized the other day that I had completely forgotten to put up a post once I finished my annual horror movie marathon this past October (here’s the X thread to prove it), and so here goes. I still love doing this, the 6th year (666?) doing it, following 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. I’m impressed I managed to watch this much, considering that in October we had an 11-day trip to Japan, and also moved to a new apartment. Here then is the list of what I watched, with links to my mini reviews on Letterboxd for the movies.

  1. American Horror Story: Delicate
  2. Body Snatchers
  3. Castlevania: Nocturne
  4. Disco Inferno
  5. Five Night at Freddy’s
  6. Flashback
  7. Influencer
  8. Needful Things
  9. No One Will Save You
  10. Pariah Nexus
  11. Resident Evil: Death Island
  12. Smile
  13. Talk to Me
  14. The Blackening
  15. The Boogeyman
  16. The Dark Half
  17. The Exorcist: Believer
  18. The Fall of the House of Usher
  19. The Midnight Club
  20. Undead Girl Murder Farce
  21. Underwater
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Favorite Media of 2023

For the 14th time (following 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022), here then is my entirely subjective compilation of favorite media I devoured over the past year. The main rule? It only contains things that were released in 2023, which of course means there’s tons I’ve missed (or haven’t had time to get to yet) that I’ll end up enjoying in the years to come, but I still find it to be a fun exercise to do, and hopefully it acts as recommendations for others. For each category I include a top 5 in alphabetical order, and then include a few honorable mentions (also in alphabetical order) if warranted. Let’s jump in.

Favorite Games
The biggest change in my gaming life this past year was getting a Steam Deck, which finally gave me the opportunity to play PC games in a big way (and I later even got an Asus ROG Ally, to play PC games from the Epic Games Store, PC Game Pass, Ubisoft Connect, and even Steam stuff that doesn’t run on the Deck). That also meant that a lot of what I played was from previous years, as I dove into a lot of things that I had in my Steam library, and added a lot as well. But this is representative of my favorite games that were released in 2023, including stuff like MK8, Vampire Survivors, and Warframe because they received new content.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)
  • Pikmin 4 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo Switch)
  • The Crew Motorfest (Xbox Series S)
  • The Making of Karateka (PC)

Honorable Mentions: Hi-Fi Rush (Xbox Series S), Jusant (Xbox Series S/PC), Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (Xbox Series S/PC), Metroid Prime: Remastered (Nintendo Switch), Parnanormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo (PC), Planet of Lana (Xbox Series S), The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo Switch), Vampire Survivors (PC), Warframe (Xbox Series S)

Favorite Movies
Looking at my favorite films of the year you’d think I just like stuff that’s action-related, but I definitely watch more older films than I do new ones, and continue to do my year-based movie marathons — this time for 1983 and 1993 (still ongoing), and you can see my faves from those years below — as well as my October horror marathon.

  • John Wick: Chapter 4
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • The Creator
  • The Killer

Honorable Mentions: A Haunting in Venice, Barbie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Nimona, Shortcomings, The Covenant, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Wingwomen (Voleuses)

Favorite Movies of 1983

  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Never Say Never Again
  • Octopussy
  • The Dead Zone
  • Trading Places

Favorite Movies of 1993

  • Dazed and Confused
  • Sonatine
  • The Firm
  • The Fugitive
  • The Scent of Green Papaya

Favorite TV
The biggest change this year is that despite the fact that my absolute favorite thing to watch every week continues to be all of the AEW weekly pro wrestling shows (Dynamite, Rampage, and Collision), it always takes up one of my top 5 slots, and since it’s live content and I watch it via a streaming service (Triller TV), I’m moving that to what used to just be my “Web” category (where I already include F1 anyway). Also, I’d say this is probably the strongest top 5 I can remember having, as I loved all of these series incredibly and equally.

  • Copenhagen Cowboy
  • Poker Face
  • Scavengers Reign
  • The Bear
  • Welcome to Wrexham

Honorable Mentions: Ahsoka, A Murder at the End of the World, Blue Eye Samurai, Brawn: The Impossible Formula 1 Story, Break Point, Citadel, Drive to Survive, Sanctuary, The Makanai

Favorite Anime Series
Another great year for anime, with a few returning series with new seasons. I think the biggest surprise has been Frieren, as I don’t generally like fantasy series, but his one just feels so different and special.

  • Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End
  • Jujutsu Kaisen
  • Phoenix: Eden17
  • Pluto

Honorable Mentions: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury, Nier Automata

Favorite Web/Sports
I’m updating this category this year to include both web content and sports, which I was sort of already doing by including F1 TV in previous years, but I want to move all pro wrestling content here (instead of in the “TV” category).

Favorite Albums
Last year I feel like I included way too many records in the honorable mentions section, so this year I’m trying to highlight just records I think I really listened to the most, or that I feel were really favorites — there are probably many I’m missing, but this is stuff I quite enjoyed that came out in 2023.

  • Anything in Return – Instrumentals (Toro y Moi)
  • Crispy Crunchy Nothing (Packs)
  • Get Up Sequences Part Two (The Go! Team)
  • Off Planet (Django Django)
  • Pedestal EP (Fraulein)

Honorable Mentions: Flowers at Your Feet (Rahill), Parade (Takeshi Nakatsuka), Paris-Hawaï (La Femme), Sandhills EP (Toro y Moi)

Favorite Tracks
I haven’t included a “Tracks” category in years since I found it hard to remember what tracks I really liked more than others, especially since I tend to listen to albums, but this year I did some digging via Apple Music, and I think these are tracks that stood out for me over the past year.

  • “4th of July” (Packs)
  • “Big Cool” (Fraulein)
  • “Complete Me (feat. Self Esteem)” (Django Django)
  • “Gemini” (The Go! Team)
  • “The Weasel” (Young Jesus)

Honorable Mentions: “Give a Little Time” (Belle and Sebastian), “Ladies and Pac-Man” (Takeshi Nakatsuka)

Favorite Podcasts
The only change this year is the inclusion of the 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s podcast, which I came across a couple of months ago, and have enjoyed immensely, as I continue to dig back into the archives.

  • 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s
  • All Songs Considered
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour
  • Pure TokyoScope
  • Whatculture Wrestling

Favorite Comics
This year I found myself enjoying the books of Mark Millar again, which I had stopped reading years ago, and so found myself catching up on many of his series (and include here his books that came out in 2023). It’s also amazing to me how much I continue to enjoy Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe series, which just re-launched with a new publisher (but continuing the issue count from back in the 80s).

  • Batman Off-World
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
  • The Ambassadors
  • Usagi Yojimbo (Ice and Snow, Lone Goat and Kid)
  • Void Rivals

Honorable Mentions: Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham, Big Game, Creepshow, Cyberpunk 2077: XOXO, Geiger: Ground Zero, G.O.D.S., Groo (Gods Against Groo, In the Wild), Hexagon Bridge, Junkyard Joe, Nemesis Reloaded, Night Club, The Forged, The Human Target, The Ministry of Compliance, Wonder Woman

Favorite BDs
I feel like there are quite a few other bandes-dessinées (French language comics) that came out in 2023 that I haven’t had a chance to read yet and that could end up being in this list, but this at least serves as a round-up of things that I really enjoyed so far.

  • Adieu Aaricia (Thorgal Saga, Tome 1)
  • Azur noir (XIII Trilogy – Jones, Tome 1)
  • Bellatrix – Épisode 1
  • Scotland – Épisode 2 (Kenya, Saison 4)
  • Vertiges (Europa, Tome 2)

Honorable Mentions: Danitza 1965 (La Fortune des Winczlav, Tome 3), Le retour de Lagaffe (Gaston, Tome 22), L’Iris Blanc (Astérix, Tome 40)

Favorite Magazines
No change here from last year. I still read a lot of magazines via Apple News+, but at the same time, I don’t find many that I truly love (I browse a lot of them), but these are the ones I tend to read more, with Monocle remaining my top choice.

  • Edge
  • Empire
  • Monocle
  • SFX
  • Total Film