Between work, grad school, and reading, it’s a miracle I consumed any additional media in 2022. It was a busy year, and I had to prioritize the content I wanted to enjoy.
But life finds a way, and I always find a fantasy realm to escape into. The media that moved me this year includes content that I enjoyed and was irrevocably changed by. This content gave me comfort in difficult moments, surprised me with genuine laughter when I was stressed, and made me cry when I was feeling a little too numb.
I’m eternally grateful for the creators who share their talents and stories with us. I don’t know if they will ever fully understand the impact their work has. I am stronger and happier having experienced the content below, and I hope you will find something to love when you experience them for yourself!
I had a rough start this year. I work full-time, started graduate school, and began cancer treatments for my beloved dog. Needless to say, my mental health tanked and by March, my anxiety was at an all-time high. This inspired me to find comfort audio from my favorite characters on YouTube, and I was gifted with the discovery of Vtuber and voice actor Yuzuya.
Yuzuya’s ASMR content has been my constant companion this year. From sleep aids to comforting anxiety audio to compelling stories, Yuzuya brings popular anime characters to life through incredible voice acting. Each video is carefully crafted, and I relish how perfectly Yuzuya captures each character’s voice and personality.
Videos featuring Bakugou and Kirishima from My Hero Academia are a fan favorite, and this year Yuzuya launched a fantasy series with the two characters leading y/n through an epic audio adventure. Seriously, the sound design for this series is incredible. Yuzuya uses audio deftly and immerses you in the story. Just wait until you meet the great red dragon in episode 4.
There are 8 episodes out now, and more are on the way in 2023. The fantasy series is a lot of fun and features many of your favorite MHA characters—mine shows up in episode 3 at 36:35. Yuzuya really spoils us with content and episodes range from 30 to 59 minutes. I highly encourage you to join the community and watch the new episode live streams as well. I’ll see you there, Sleepy Wolves.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
It seems A24 made an impression on QTL contributors this year. Cole shared a fondness for the continuation of Marcel the Shell’s story, and it reminded me of my own tear-stained A24 experience. For me, it was the studio’s time-bending, wacky, and emotionally powerful Everything Everywhere All At Once.
You might not believe me because there are two movies on this list, but I’m not a big movie person. I only watch films that fit into my specific interests like dinosaurs, Adam Driver, or anime. My toxic trait is if a movie doesn’t fit into one of those boxes I’m not interested. But for some unknown reason, I felt pulled to see Everything Everywhere All At Once. There was something so magnetic about it, and I marched myself to the theater late one night to satisfy this calling.
Evelyn Wang runs a laundromat with her husband, Waymond. Between the chaos of running a business, keeping a relationship with their adult daughter, and preparing for Evelyn’s father to visit, the world starts to literally fall apart when the family’s business gets audited. The real-world drama spins out of control when a sinister force begins destroying the Evelyns in other realities. Unfortunately for Evelyn, she may be the only one who can stop it.
You win A24, this is a story that will stick with me forever. Everything Everywhere All At Once is a wildly entertaining and heartbreaking story. It had me thinking deeply about the people I love and made me cherish our moments together much more. Evelyn lives out so many different lives in these other realities, but she comes to learn what truly matters. Waymond’s quote, if you’ve seen it you know the one, will forever keep me centered in life.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
To say I’m obsessed with Jujutsu Kaisen is an understatement. Gege Akutami’s characters have a hold on me. My poor fiance is so tired of hearing about them, but there is no relief in sight. This year we were blessed with a theatrical release of the manga’s prequel issue, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, and I went three times to watch it on the big screen. Since it’s been released on streaming I will tell you that the watch number has gone up exponentially.
Departing from the current timeline in JJK season 1 and its main character Yuji Itadori, the movie takes us back in time to experience Yuta Okkotsu’s entry into the jujutsu sorcerer world. Yuta is a passive kid who cannot live his life fully due to a powerful curse that hurts the people around him. However, after an unfortunate event with some bullies, Yuta is taken to Jujutsu High to learn how to use his curse for good.
As a hardcore JJK fan, it’s no surprise the movie was everything I wanted and more. It brought the manga to life beautifully and gave Yuta a fantastic introduction to new and established fans. He is one of my favorite characters, but honestly, it’s hard not to like Yuta. His story is drenched in love from beginning to end and it pulls everyone into his kind (and violent) orbit. We also see many beloved characters from season 1 in the movie, and all are showcased to enrich the larger JJK story even further.
If you decide to start your JJK journey I recommend you watch season 1 first and then treat yourself to JJK 0. There’s a reason the stories got released in this order, and I think you’ll appreciate having the foundation that season 1 provides before meeting Yuta. Of course, I encourage you to fall face-first into the manga and catch up on 208+ chapters, but that’s only because I’m hurting and I want you to hurt, too.
I would love to know what media moved you in 2022! Please add to my never-ending watch and read list in the comments so I have something to look forward to after grad school.