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(SPOT.ph) Getting the warm and chewy chocolate chip cookies of Cookies by the Bucket used to mean watching for their next mall bazaar or school fair stopover—that is until the cookie stand introduced deliveries to selected areas in Metro Manila. They're making it even easier to have their cookies wherever you are because Cookies by the Bucket shared with SPOT.ph that they are partnering with GrabFood starting July!

Soon, you'll be able to get these chewy chocolate chip cookies right at your home.
PHOTO BY Toto Labrador

"Cookies by the Bucket wants to give the best service for our clients. Thanks to GrabFood, [we'll be able to] deliver [to] places we can not reach and [they] give us more efficiency [in] our delivery service," shares marketing manager Jazz Simbulan.

Aside from GrabFood delivery, Simbulan also shares that Cookies by the Bucket is having a special promo called “Bente Bucket” or #CBTBBente: from June 22 to 25, get a regular-sized (six pieces) bucket of chocolate chip cookies for only P20. Simbulan says that it's a way for the CBTB team to give back the love and support their customers have given them since day one. Mark your calendars because this is a deal you don't want to miss.

For more information, log on to Cookies by the Bucket Facebook page.

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(SPOT.ph) While people are divided about a bill, filed in 2018, proposing to declare Baybayin—erroneously known by many as “alibata”—as the official national writing system of the Philippines, it doesn't hurt to learn more about this elegant script used among the Tagalogs way before the Spanish colonizers came to our shores. One graphic designer by the name of Lloyd Zapanta has taken it upon himself to promote this part of our pre-colonial culture through the creation of a Baybayin guide book, various Baybayin fonts, and a modern Baybayin chart. These are free to download on Google Drive or Behance.

PHOTO BY Lloyd Zapanta

"Bringing a piece of history with you is one way [to be] Filipino, but learning a lost piece of it gives you a cultural sense and identity we should've been enjoying ever since," he tells SPOT.ph, reflecting on the importance of knowing more about our various ancient scripts. He emphasizes that learning Baybayin is much more important for Tagalogs since it would be unfair for other ethnic groups “when in fact they got their own." There's Hanunó'o and Buhid among the Mangyans in Mindoro, Kulitan for the Kapampangan, and so on.

PHOTO BY Lloyd Zapanta

PHOTO BY Lloyd Zapanta

He first found out about Baybayin in high school. His book for history class mentioned the ancient Tagalog script in passing, which pushed him to search for other materials. Since then, he's been practicing how to write in Baybayin and developing fonts to promote it. In a Facebook post on June 10, he said that "one of [his] goals is to make Baybayin-learning an accessible and easy experience for everyone."

Zapanta also reveals that he has more Baybayin fonts in the works. Guess we’ll have to wait for them through his online accounts.

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(SPOT.ph) Gather around, bookworms, because you'll want to hear this. We recently discovered a secondhand bookstore that's hidden in plain sight: located right below the MRT station in Guadalupe (EDSA northbound side) is a quaint bookshop called JERVS Pocketbooks Store—and you can find great reads for as low as P10.

JERVS Pocketbooks Store is located on the ground floor of Guadalupe Commercial Complex, Makati City.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

The store carries thousands of books that cover a wide range of genres from literary classics to romance novels to history books, and more. A few of the names that stood out: JD Salinger, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edith Hamilton, and Sydney Sheldon.

JERVS Pocketbooks Store has been around for 22 years and we got to have a quick chat with the man behind the shop, Edgardo Perea. "Kung talagang gusto mo kumita, hindi ito yung hanapbuhay para sa'yo," Perea admits. He shares that there were times in the past that the bookshop would have to close because he had other things to prioritize, like his other business where he sold consumables like food. "Mas maganda kita no'n actually, kaysa dito. Pero ito yung hilig ko e," he shares.

Edgardo Perea shared how he gets the books the he sells, why he does it, and some priceless words of wisdom.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

When asked about how he obtains the books he sells in his shop, he tells us that when he was starting out in the early '90s, he would personally hand-pick some titles from Book Sale. "Binibigyan nila akong flat rate na 25% discount. Ang ganda di ba?" he shares. "Then later ni-refer nila ako sa mga [other] branches. Kilala ko 'yong mga nagbabantay," he tells us. "Tatawagan ako pag may bagong dating. Kaya ako 'yong unang nakakapili." He would also go to garage sales where he would pick up some great reads from people who want to dispose of their collection. "Nung bandang huli, meron na akong mga kakilala na siguro ganun din 'yong ginagawa, dinadala naman nila dito," he shares. "So every week, meron mga dumadating, kaya lang, di ko na siya napipili. Most of the time naman maganda, kaya lang di mo mapili 'yong genre."

Here, Perea glues together a paperbag made from old magazines so he doesn't have to use plastic bags for his customers' purchases.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Interestingly enough, Perea is a civil engineer who is very passionate about books, but he decided that pursuing selling books is much more fulfilling than having a job that stresses you out even when you're already home. "Pag basa ka nang basa, nag-a-accumulate ka ng knowledge," he tells us. "Most of the time it's very useful. [Because] usually when you converse with people, it's not about what you know. It's what they want to hear," he continues. "Pag may nasasabi kang gusto nilang marinig, most especially pag tungkol sa sarili nila, sa gusto nila, nakakapag-contribute ka at nalilibang sila kausap ka," he says.  "This is simply the act of having an intelligent conversation with people with the same interests as you," he continues. "At the same time, may kinikita ka. Ano pang negosyo ang mas hihigit pa don?"

Bookworms would have a blast going through the store's selection of books!
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
Here's a closer look at some of the shelves.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
There's a good mix of educational books, novels, pocketbooks, old-edition magazines, and more.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
We quickly spotted a couple of interesting reads!
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

A quick look at the store will show you all the other kinds of reads you can shop aside from books and novels. You can go through their collection of old-edition magazines, English and Filipino pocketbooks, and even useful textbooks for people who are still in school. Prices range from P10 to P130, so everything is practically a steal. You can also avail of their three for P100 promo on selected titles. Just take your time in scanning every shelf to find the book you're looking for or simply ask the store owner—he'll be glad to help you and even give you recommendations based on the author or genre you're into.

The small bookstore is home to thousands of books.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

The next time you're in the area, you might want to drop by this little book shop and have a conversation with the owner. Even if you leave with nothing, you're sure to bring home some words of wisdom—and those are usually priceless.

JERVS Pocketbooks Store is at G/F Guadalupe Commercial Complex, EDSA Guadalupe, Makati City.

For more information, log on to JERVS Pocketbooks Store's Facebook page.

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(SPOT.ph) Growing up, the fantastic wizarding world of Harry Potter had us reading books beyond bedtime, memorizing spells, and taking quizzes to figure out which house we truly belonged to. The original franchise has long ended, but author J.K. Rowling hasn't stopped churning out new books and movies, and now, you can also relive the magic of Harry Potter through a mobile game. 

Co-developers Niantic and Warner Bros. Games teased the upcoming release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in March, to ecstatic reactions from fans. Yesterday, the long-awaited release, on June 21, was finally annouced via Twitter.

[twitter:https://twitter.com/HPWizardsUnite/status/1141144816090152961]

Much like Niantic's other game Pokémon Go? (you might have heard about it), Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will use the same elements of augmented reality to immerse the users in interactive gameplay, with the additional elements of magic and witchcraft.

Players will be required to do some walking since the game is tied to the real world. The trailer shows a glimpse of all the magical adventures players can go on with the use of their phone: 

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Though its mechanics borrow heavily from Pokémon Go, the game will feature the latest in mobile AR. When a player enounters a magical creature, the game shifts to AR mode, which allows players to cast spells by tracing swipes on their screen.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite's release will be staggered, with the U.K. and the U.S. being the first to get their hands on the game. There are no specific times and dates for other territories yet, but it will be available for both iOS and Android.

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(SPOT.ph) After two years of offering their Galbi Cheese BBQ and Volcano Kimchi Fried Rice at Ayala Malls the 30th, Korean barbecue restaurant Sibyullee is finally branching out! Catch their second branch at Promenade in Greenhills, opening on June 21.

The Volcano Kimchi Fried Rice has a pool of warm melted cheese surrounding a mound of kimchi fried rice.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
The Galbi Cheese BBQ are barbecue-glazed beef short ribs that come with melted cheese.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Sibyullee became popular for their cheesy Korean dishes like the Volcano Kimchi Fried Rice, named that way because of the gooey cheese center that runs down the slopes of kimchi fried rice like lava. But they've recently started offering unlimited Korean barbecue sets, too. "We have unlimited rates of P499 per head for weekday lunch and P549 for weekday dinner. Then it's P549 all day for weekends and holidays," shares managing partner Dotz Tan-Dee via text message. "The unlimited menu comes with 10 vuts of beef, pork, and chicken plus Korean Fried Chicken, pajeon (savory pancake), cheese dip, and gimbap."

Tan-Dee adds that while they're not yet introducing anything new to the menu at Promenade, they've recently started offering unlimited fried chicken, pajeon, and gimbap, too. We're already hungry just thinking about it!

Sibyullee is opening at G/F Promenade Mall, Greenhills, San Juan City.

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(SPOT.ph) Astrology lovers, we already showed you some cool merch inspired by the signs of the zodiac like these sleeping masks, these dainty accessories, and these local crafts. Well, it looks like the stars have aligned once again to bring you some cool new stuff to add to your birth chart-based collection: Local brand Strange Mercy has the prettiest line of zodiac-themed graphic tees and you'll want to get one for your sun, moon, and rising sign as well! Say hello to The Signs Collection.

The collection includes 12 #aesthetic T-shirt designs—one for each zodiac sign. Each tee features a unique illustration based on the animals and symbols associated with each particular sign. The minimalist designs make these comfy shirts easy to add to your regular streetwear rotation. You can grab one to match your own zodiac sign, or grab them all and wear them depending on which season it is!

Check them out:

Aries Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Taurus Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Gemini Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Cancer Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Leo Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Virgo Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Libra Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Scorpio Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Sagittarius Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Capricorn Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Aquarius Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy
Pisces Tee
PHOTO BY Strange Mercy

Strange Mercy's The Signs Graphic Tees are available online for P850 each.

For more information, log on to Strange Mercy's Instagram page.

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(SPOT.ph) The weekend offers practically no respite from the terrible weekday traffic. But if you did have plans of going out, then you may want to plan your routes accordingly. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority announced yesterday repairs on a main water valve along EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. every night for the next two weekends, from June 21 to 23, and again on June 28 to 30.

[facebook:https://www.facebook.com/notes/mmda/manila-water-to-repair-defective-valve-along-shaw-boulevard/2528440510542160/]

The Manila Water Company, Inc. is set to repair a defective mainline butterfly valve on the outer southbound lane of the intersection. This is to address the worsening lack of water supplied to the Metro, according to a report by Philstar. 

"The affected area is a critical intersection where drop-off and pick-up points for city buses are located along EDSA," Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija told Philstar. 

Main image from Google Maps Streetview.

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(SPOT.ph) Imagine one night out of the entire year when music rules the entire community with its spirit. People gather in the streets, musicians and dancers take over, and everyone is free to make music, enjoy it, or both. It may sound suspiciously like a Disney movie—too good to be true—but it's exactly what Maurice Fleuret, then Director of Music and Dance at the French Ministry of Culture, dreamed of when he and Jack Lang, then French Minister of Culture, held the first Fête de la Musique in the streets of Paris in 1982. What started as a singularly French celebration has since evolved into a global event, with around 120 countries and more than 700 cities turning the tradition into a festival for their own music and people. 

A performance from the 2009 run of the festival.
PHOTO Courtesy of Fête de la Musique PH

If we're talking about the Philippine run of the Fête though, it has certainly grown into its own. "Over the years, it has become a Filipino event with a strong French dimension,” said Jean-Pierre Dumont, Executive Director of Alliance Française de Manille, during the press launch for this year's festival. Undeniably, the Fête de la Musique has given the Pinoy music scene more than its fair share of wild nights and music-filled memories.

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Now on its 25th run, this year's festival is set to be the biggest Fête we've seen in the country yet. With three main stages, more than 52 pocket stages, and eight cities nationwide, Fête de la Musique is set to take over the music scene this month. We take a look back at how the multi-stage, multi-city, multi-night homage to music grew into the colossus it is now.

A poster from the 2008 festival. The beret was necessary, we think.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Fête de la Musique

When it first came to the Philippines in the '90s, it was led by the French Embassy and the Alliance Française de Manille, with a focus mainly on jazz nights with a single stage. It is this jazz connection that brought in Len Francisco of Dovetail Solutions, who, with her husband Tata Francisco, was doing a pocket jazz event at the Alliance Française de Manille in 1999. It was at this event that she met then Deputy Director Philippe Bosquet. Fast forward a year later in May, Bosquet asked the couple to organize the 2000 run of the festival, set for the following month. It was to be the first of many editions that they organized, as they spearheaded the concert every year in June until 2006.

With just a few weeks to bring it all together, Francisco took her cue from the original Fête de la Musique in Paris, where musicians were said to line every street corner and everyone was in on the fun. "My idea was like a music feast. Let's serve up a lot, like a buffet," says Francisco in a phone interview with SPOT.ph. "You go there and you can choose to see or to listen to anything that the musicians here in Manila performed," she says. It was this dream that led to the first ever run of the Fête with multiple stages of musicians performing at the same time. 

Newspaper clippings from the first ever multi-stage Fête in 2000.
PHOTO Courtesy of Len Francisco

Francisco and the team, with the support of Bosquet and Alliance, brought together around 20 artists for a single night at The Fort in Taguig City—one of the few structures standing in what we now call Bonifacio Global City. There were many firsts for the festival that night, and needless to say, it was never the same again. They brought in big bands like Razorback, Wolfgang, and Slapshock, just to name a few. And more than just music, there were also film showings by Khavn de la Cruz and even art installations by Yason Banal to round out the experience. At this scale, in terms of venue and acts, the Fête brought in around 3,000 art and music enthusiasts together for a single night—a huge jump from the usual hundred or so who came to the previous runs, says Francisco.

Newspaper clipping of the 2002 Fête lineup. Which of these bands do you listen to?
PHOTO Courtesy of Len Francisco

Kicking off from the multi-stage event of 2000, the festival grew and grew with each year. The organizers, led by the Alliance and Bosquet, and later Deputy Director Bruno Lebrault, brought the festival everywhere from Malate, to Taguig, to Eastwood City, and to Ortigas, where they found a home in El Pueblo Real de Manila. It was here that the festival really became big, says Francisco. It was a chance for bands and artists of any genre and popularity—like Up Dharma Down (now known as UDD), Itchyworms, and Radioactive Sago Project to name a few—to play not just for the sake of playing, but to bring the people together through their music.

The 2003 lineup. All stages look amazing, but the rock one would have made any '90s kid go crazy.
PHOTO Courtesy of Len Francisco

"[It] was the main goal to have that cultural exchange, but at the same time to use it to pay tribute to Pinoy artists, who are really great. And number two, to have an element of community among artists," says Francisco. For her, what really made the Fête de la Musique special was its ability to bring the people—be they artists, music lovers, whoever from wherever—together.

A shot from the 2015 Fête.
PHOTO Courtesy of Fête de la Musique PH

Stemming from this original work, recent years have continued to prove the power of music and community. Giselle Tomimbang, Managing Partner of B-Side Productions, has been part of the event since 2011. "I think the Philippines is a very unique example [of Fête]," says Tomimbang in an interview with SPOT.ph during the event kick-off. "Whoever is sitting as the director of Alliance Française, they'll always say this is the biggest Fête de la Musique celebration, at least in Asia."

An impromptu dance battle at the 2014 festival.
PHOTO from 
Spot Archives

There is something about this French tradition that echoes deep in the Filipino soul. It's impossible to know whether Fleuret and Lang envisioned just how far the festival would reach, not just geographically, but also in terms of how deeply it connected with people from different nations. One thing's for sure though, Fête de la Musique may be a French tradition, but we have made it Pinoy through and through. 

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(SPOT.ph) More often that not, studs are every girl’s introduction to the world of accessorizing. Long before candy-colored bracelets and beaded necklaces, you probably had your first pair of earrings on without even knowing. While with age we move on to eye-catching hoops and huge dangling pairs, studs remain a staple. From classic pearls to quirky silhouettes, you can never have too many. They’re made even better when you’ve got multiple piercings so you can pile them on and come up with your own unique combinations. We rounded up a few to add to your collection—they’ll make you want to head to the nearest ear-piercing professional to make room for more.

Here are 10 stylish studs you’ll love mixing and matching: Cartoon Set (P290) from Solasta
PHOTO BY Solasta

We already showed you some cool graphic tees featuring popular cartoons, but you can also rock your fave animated shows and movies with your jewelry. Try these cartoon studs from Solasta, which will add quirk and personality to your accessory lineup. They’ve got earrings featuring characters from The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, and more.

Available online.

Moon Phase Earrings Set (P1,512) from Wanderlust and Co.
PHOTO BY Wanderlust and Co.

If you’re one of those people who looks up in wonder every time you see the moon shining bright, you’ll love this set from Wanderlust and Co., which includes studs in the shape of every phase of the moon. Astrology lovers will enjoy them, too—you’ll want to pair them with these zodiac-inspired accessories.

Available online.

Stea Earrings (P1,800) from RAM Jewelry
PHOTO BY RAM Jewelry

Add some sparkle to your look with these studs from RAM Jewelry. Their shape is inspired by the North Star, an age-old symbol for hope, guidance, and inspiration. It’s available in both gold and silver plating so you can pick the one that best suits your skin tone—or get both, we don’t judge!

See a list of RAM Jewelry stores.

Sun and Three-Star Stud Earrings (P450) from Pulseras by Kim
PHOTO BY Pulseras by Kim

We’re obsessed with this mismatched pair from Pulseras by Kim—the sun-and-three-stars combo is reminiscent of our very own national flag and was inspired by Catriona Gray’s now famous ear cuff at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant.

See a list of Pulseras by Kim stockists.

Sunray Earrings (P5,200) from Dandy Ona

[instagram:https://www.instagram.com/p/BwRuXp0Fhe1]

Pearl earrings are a classic that can make you look elegant in an instant. Put a twist on your usual pearls with this pair from local brand Dandy Ona, which features a freshwater pearl with gold, sunray-inspired details. They’ll draw more attention to your face and subtly brighten up your whole appearance.

Available online.

Stainless Steel Ear Cuff Earrings (P1,190) from Parfois
PHOTO BY Parfois

The curved leaf-like shape on these earrings from Portuguese brand Parfois reminds us of ancient laurel wreaths from Greek mythology. If you’ve been dreaming of getting extra piercings but haven’t come around, these studs will give you a feel of what it’s like having your entire lobe decked out in bling.

See a list of Parfois branches.

Finger Heart Sign Stud Earrings (P270) from SilverWorks
PHOTO BY SilverWorks

These studs from SilverWorks are modeled after the ubiquitous Korean finger heart sign. They’re a unique addition to your usual earring lineup, but the simple, silver design makes them easy to pair with other studs despite their distinctive shape.

See a list of SilverWorks branches.

Tortoiseshell Earrings (P695) from Mango
PHOTO BY Mango

Add some warmth and texture to your look with these earrings from Mango, which sport a chic geometric design that’ll frame your face nicely. You can take them from the office to a night out, no problem!

Available at Mango branches nationwide.

Belle Earrings 10 (P710) from Vi MNL
PHOTO BY Vi MNL

These gold-plated studs from Vi MNL have a cute three-flower design that’ll make you look like you’ve got an entire bundle of studs on. The local brand has also got tons of dainty jewels perfect for minimalist lovers.

Available online.

25 Pairs Earrings (P599) from H&M
PHOTO BY H&M

Consider this earring set from H&M your starter pack for mixing and matching studs, in case you’re still figuring out which kind of shapes look best on your ears. It includes little pearls, stars, hearts, bar studs, and more. Plus, it’s got both gold and silver studs—don’t be afraid to rock mixed metals!

See a list of H&M branches.

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(SPOT.ph) Remember the days when you had to call dibs on the TV—and fight for the remote control if you had to—just to watch the latest episode of whatever anime was airing on local channels? Back then, it was the only way we could get our daily dose of anime, but the times have changed and now, you can easily watch from online streaming platforms. Take Netflix, which surprised everybody by happily embracing the genre by adding movies and series for everyone to enjoy. You can find classics like Dragonball Z, Naruto, Fairy Tail, and Fullmetal Alchemist, but if you’re keeping your eye out for something else, there’s plenty more to choose from.

Also read:
10 Things to Watch on Netflix If You Love Music
10 Things to Watch on Netflix If You Love Food
10 Things to Watch on Netflix If You're a K-Drama Fan
10 Things to Watch on Netflix If You're Into Mystery

Here are 10 things you can watch on Netflix if you’re an anime fan: Violet Evergarden

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This 13-episode series takes you on a journey with the titular character Violet, a young girl formerly known as “the weapon,” as she struggles to integrate herself back into society now that the war is over. She takes on the role of an Auto Memory Doll, who ghost-writes for people who can’t quite put their emotions into words. Praised for its gorgeous animation, Violet Evergarden is a melancholic watch that’s bound to make you tear up as Violet confronts happiness, grief, love, and more through other people’s lives.

Your Lie in April

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Piano prodigy Kousei Arima is known as a “Human Metronome” for being able to play each piece perfectly and according to the score. When his strict mother—who is also his instructor—passes away, the shock causes him to become tone-deaf and stop playing the piano. Two years later, he meets Kaori Miyazono, a violinist who performs however she wants to without much care for the musical score, and bit by bit, she brings music back into his life.

Haikyu!!

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There’s nothing like a good sports anime to motivate you to try out your dream sport—or to make you want to learn a new one completely. Whether you’re a volleyball fan or not, you’ll find yourself rooting for Shoyo Hinata, who dreams of becoming a great volleyball player despite his height. He tries out for the team in his new high school, a team that was once great but is no longer of the same calibre. Together with his new friends, Hinata moves forward to bring the team back to its former glory.

Orange

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High school student Naho receives a strange letter from her future self, advising her not to invite the transfer student out on his first day. The letter claims that doing so would be one of her biggest regrets in life. She decides to ignore it, thinking there’s no way it can be real, and when Kakeru arrives at her school, she and her friends take him out—only to later learn it could lead to them losing their new-found friend in the future. The letters continue arriving, and soon Naho realizes she has to believe in them to stop whatever is bound to happen to Kakeru.

Children of the Whales

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Chakuro knows nothing about the world beyond the Mud Whale, a vast ship that aimlessly wanders the sea of sand. It’s the only home he’s ever known and he grows up with a small community, whose population is split into the Marked, who can control magic at the expense of shorter lifespans, and the Unmarked, who have longer lifespans but no ability to harness magical energy. Life is peaceful until they come across a newly sighted island, where they find a mysterious girl. They soon learn the horrors of the outside world—and the truth behind the Mud Whale and their aimless drifting.

A Place Further Than the Universe

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This fun, albeit rather unrealistic (but hey, it’s anime, after all) slice-of-life series follows four high school girls and their adventures as they head to Antarctica. Mari Tamaki has always wanted to make the most of her youth but never had the guts to step out of her comfort zone—until she meets Shirase Kobuchizawa, whose infectious energy convinces Mari to travel with her to Antarctica in search of the latter's missing mother. Together with Hinata Miyake and Yuzuku Shiraishi, they do everything they can to reach Antarctica, forming a bond as they struggle past obstacles together.

Shirobako

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This series, albeit fictional, gives you a glimpse of what it’s like for the people behind your favorite anime. After making their first amateur anime in high school, five girls vow to one day work together to create their own mainstream show...except things don’t really go as planned. Aoi Miyamori and Ema Yasuhara manage to land a job at a big animation studio, but quickly realize there’s still more for them to learn. Midori Imai is still pursuing her dream to become a writer; Shizuka Sakaki is struggling to be recognized as a talented voice actress; and Misa Toudou finds herself in an unsatisfying job designing 3D models of cars. The five girls strive to reach their dreams and learn that the road to success is not an easy one.

Aggretsuko

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You probably loved watching Doraemon because it perfectly captured the nuances of your childhood. Chances are, you’ll find Aggretsuko a fitting mini-series for your “adulting” feels. Comic and satirical, this show follows the daily life of Retsuko, a seemingly meek red panda working as an accounting clerk, often overworked and abused by her seniors. She releases all her frustrations by singing death metal songs on karaoke nights.

Flavors of Youth

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This Japanese-Chinese co-production is an anthology drama film told in three chapters. Coming from the studio that gave us Your Name, Flavors of Youth explores the simple joys—and hardships—of mundane life, growing up, and childhood love. Each story unfolds with an unhurried pace, giving us plenty of time to take in not only each moment, but also its excellent animation. The gorgeously animated backgrounds feature three different cities of China.

Big Fish & Begonia

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You may not be used to watching Chinese animated films, but you wouldn’t want to miss this one. Big Fish & Begonia is a magical and moving tale that takes viewers into a dream-like fantasy reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s signature films. Based on ancient Chinese legends, the film follows a young girl named Chun, who comes from a mystical race of beings that can control the tide. When she turns 16, she is allowed to transform into a red dolphin and explore the human world. When a human boy dies from saving her, she decides to repay his kindness by giving away part of her soul to resurrect him—but her sacrifice comes at a much higher price, and the rest of the world seems to be paying for it.

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