My YouTube Journey | February 2023 Update

I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey to give you an update on my Wakizashi’s Teahouse YouTube Channel. On Christmas Eve last year, I reached the fabled 1K subscribers after working on my channel for 18 months. I’d already passed the second requirement of “4000 public watch hours” that you need in order to be considered for the “YouTube Partner Program.” My channel was “checked” by (possibly) a human being and I got monetized a few days later. Great! I could sit back, relax and watch the money pour in. That’s how it works, right?

Insider Knowledge from a Small YouTuber

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Red Letter Media’s KENOBI Review

Have you watched any of the YouTube Channel Red Letter Media‘s film or TV reviews? They became famous for their 2009 70-minute video review of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It was released in seven 10-minute parts and Part 1 is still their most-viewed video with over 10 million views. The video review is presented by the character Mr. Plinkett and the criticism is satirical and humorous. It upset a lot of Star Wars Prequel fans because of its tone and approach.

Red Letter Media Re:View KENOBI Ep. 1 to 4

Last weekend I did a Livestream talking about Red Letter Media’s Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Show Review. Their mostly positive reaction and comments about the show were quite surprising, as I’d expected them to rip it apart. Mike and Rich were mainly positive about it with Jay being the most critical. I wasn’t sure if they were being serious or not. They offered comments like “I feel guilty for enjoying it,” “It’s super okay,” and “It looks cheap and the writing isn’t great yet I’m having fun watching it.” Maybe they were going for the “so bad it’s good” approach? Or perhaps they just wanted to get a quick review recorded and uploaded? It’s possible their recent experiences watching the PICARD show have broken them, as they are much more into Star Trek than Star Wars. Their Picard reviews are very funny, by the way. I recommend them if you need a good laugh.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

I’m a big fan of director Sam Raimi, especially his earlier movies. I love Darkman, Evil Dead II, The Quick and the Dead, Spider-Man and the brilliant Spider-Man 2. I’d heard this film was flawed but I still wanted to see it. I mean, I’m a huge comic book fan, too. I’m also an eternal (foolish) optimist who is a sucker for some fancy visuals.

Wakizashi’s Thoughts

Yes, this film is flawed. The basic plot premise is ridiculous. It shows obvious signs of its reported 50~80% of reshoots. But you know what? I enjoyed it. There, I’ve said it. Unleash your rotten tomatoes. I have been honing my ninja skills for the last twenty years, so I’ll probably dodge most of them in slo-mo Matrix style.

I went in with fairly low expectations and came out smiling. People seem to be forgetting what this is: a comic book movie. I went looking for magical battles between sorcerers and a mad-as-hell Scarlet Witch and that’s exactly what I got. There are some spectacular on-screen depictions of magical moments that could be ripped right off a comic book page. And I was happy with that. Easily pleased? Perhaps.

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Amazon KILLS ComiXology!

I don’t know if you’ve heard but Amazon has just launched its ComiXology Update 4.0 with emphasis on the ZERO! This has made a lot of readers and customers very unhappy, including me. I was so annoyed that I did a livestream on this topic last night. It’s a topic which is very close to my heart, as you will probably know if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while.

To cut a long story short, Amazon have made the digital comic book reading experience much much worse. They’ve also managed to make it very user-unfriendly. What the @*?<> is going on? Now you can only read comics on the Kindle Reader, which was not designed with comic books in mind. It’s for prose books, of course. Imagine taking all the pleasure out of reading a particular format. You’d think Amazon would be looking to attract more users and sales. I don’t see that happening now.

Two of my favourite parts of the ComiXology desktop app have been removed: the “Guided View” feature and the “Browse Pages” feature. The Guided View was one of the best things about the original app. It took you through the comic panel by panel, zooming in where appropriate and delivering a very satisfying comic book reading experience. The Browse Pages feature let you easily jump ahead (or back) to a specific page. Not anymore.

I go into more detail in the video and show examples of the old reader and the new one. I’d love to know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

-Wakizashi, *realizing I sound like a middle-aged man moaning about comics. What was the name of that character from The Simpsons? Comic book guy?*

YouTube After 7 Months | Wakizashi’s Thoughts

I try to keep this blog focused on book reviews but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on YouTubing. This is coming from a “newbie’s” perspective and is not meant to be read as advice. Because after all, what do I know? I’m making this up as I go!

I’ve recently started doing more livestreams” on my channel. This has been a real challenge for me because I’ve always considered myself a listener more than a talker. I take after my mum in that regard. When you do a livestream or a podcast, you have to be able to waffle well. Some of the people I watch on the platform can talk and talk like there’s no tomorrow. I’m hoping this is something I can learn or at least get better at doing with practice. Is talking a skill? I guess so. Just ask any actor or public speaker.

Anyway, I think I’m improving, but the main thing is I’m really enjoying it. In the last few livestreams I managed to get a (very) small audience. I’m talking around five or six viewers, but they’ve been coming back for more. This is much more satisfying than talking away to nobody! But I will happily do that if I have a topic to waffle about. The best thing about the audience is they usually drop comments in the “Live chat” which gives me more to talk about. It also provides me with some great info or recommendations regarding the topic(s) I’m blabbing on about. And there’s a rewarding social side to it, too. It can feel a bit like being out in a bar or cafe chatting with friends or strangers who may become friends. Remember those halcyon days?! But I’m waffling.

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The Algorithm Had Me!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll be aware that I started a YouTube channel at the end of June this year. I do reviews of comics mainly, with some book, TV and movie reviews sprinkled in. I was delighted when I hit 100 subscribers at the beginning of November. My goal is to reach the magic 1000 over the next couple of years, but I realize how difficult it can be to make any kind of progress on the platform. Goodness only knows how many YouTubers there are in total. Let’s say more than ten!

My videos usually get between 50 and 300 views, and I’m always delighted if they reach triple figures. By a rare stroke of good fortune, my recent review of The Matrix Resurrections got noticed by the infamous “YouTube algorithm” and reached ten thousand views on the day I uploaded it. This was down to luck and very good timing. For once, Japan got a movie release earlier than the rest of the world: December 17th. (I think it was out in Thailand, too.) We have to wait until January 7th for the new Spider-Man movie, though. Doh!

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DUNE (2021) a Movie Review

Hi everyone, how are you doing? Have you seen the new adaptation of DUNE yet? I watched it at my local cinema last Sunday and I loved it! It is a truly stunning cinematic experience with beautiful visuals and an incredible sound mix. I’m a big fan of the book. I reviewed it on here last year. I’m also a fan of David Lynch’s 1984 film version. I went to see it when it came out back in 1984 in Manchester. I was only 11 years old and I didn’t understand a lot of it. But I got completely pulled into the film and Lynch’s bizarre world. It remains a really good memory for me.

I tried my first livestream on YouTube today. I reviewed DUNE (2021) and also talked about the Lynch movie as well as the original Frank Herbert novel. Here’s a link to my video review. If you watch it, please forgive my mistakes and pauses. It was great fun to make this livestream and I’m just delighted that it worked.

If you have seen the new film, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I will have a new book review posted on Sunday, hopefully. Until then, have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

-Wakizashi, *still thinking about the new DUNE movie*

Back Already?..

First of all, a huge and heartfelt “Thank You!” for your kind and supportive messages on my previous post. I was blown away by your generosity. 😌

I wanted to post a quick update on this blog’s status. I will continue posting book and comic reviews on here. There will be fewer posts but they will continue. 😀 If my reading life picks up again, then the number of reviews will hopefully increase, too.

I am making a new WordPress site which will just be about my YouTube channel. I want to keep those posts separate from this site, so that readers know what they can find here: “subjective reviews of books, comics and more”.

On the new site, I will be posting the videos I upload onto YouTube, as well as writing about the “trials and tribble-ations” of making and editing these videos. If you are interested, here is the link to the new site:

It will be interesting to start a blog site from scratch again. I had a frustrating time trying to get it up and running thanks to WordPress’s–ahem–“much celebrated” new Block Editor. So much has changed that I initially couldn’t find the “widgets”, specifically the “Follow Button” widget or the “Search Bar” option; *!@=^&%$🤬 (Insert relevant swear word here!) Don’t let me open up that can of worms! *(Thanks for the heads-up Bart!)

Okay, that’s all for now. Thanks again for your support, and as always, thanks for reading!

-Wakizashi, *resting chin on hand, wondering what he’s got himself into…*

A Stormy EURO 2020 Final!

I watched the recent EURO 2020 (really 2021) Final between England and Italy during an unusually long thunderstorm that hit the area I live early Monday morning, July 12th, 2021. I wanted to share this short video I made after the game. It shows some of the crazy weather we sometimes experience in Japan. This usually happens during the typhoon season in September, so this was an early and unwanted surprise.

We had so much rainfall that the local rivers were very close to flooding. Thankfully, they didn’t flood, but it was touch-and-go for a while. Usually, these kinds of storms pass through the area and move on. This storm wanted to stay! It started at around 3 am and ended just after 12 noon–a crazy 9 hours of thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Seeing the recent flooding in other parts of Japan, as well as Western Europe, you have to wonder how “natural” this weather is?

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Wakizashi’s YouTube debut on Midnight Metal #026!

Here is a link to my rather nervous and time-laggy appearance on Robert Mayer Burnett’s YouTube show: “Midnight Metal #026“. Burnett is an American filmmaker, DVD producer, online film pundit and YouTuber. He is best known for his 1999 romantic comedy “Free Enterprise” starring Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.

Robert Mayer Burnett is a very verbose host who has detailed knowledge of science fiction, movies, comic books, and more. He admits that the Midnight Metal show started out as a bit of fun one late Friday night. It broadcasts on Friday and Saturday nights from midnight, PST (Pacific Standard Time). I’ve been watching the show since it started and wanted to see if I could get on it for a chat. Despite technological difficulties–a short lag, plus some webcam problems–I managed to appear on the show. I don’t get to say very much, but the topics covered were pretty interesting. *(I appear from 1:36:16).

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