Today is September 30. The end of the month means the continuation of our month-in-review tradition, which began in August 2020. While we did not publish 31 articles this September like we did back in 2020, this month brought with it new feature-length articles in subjects ranging from visual novel reviews to an analysis of baseball culture in the early 2000s. We will recap our newest articles along with our most-read posts of September. The review will conclude with a look ahead to what promises to be an interesting October as we enter the final quarter of 2023.

New September Leaves

Let us begin with a look back at our full articles from the month that was. I have singled out four articles as my Editor’s Choice selections for the month, but take my picks as you will since I am my own editor.

I only published a couple of short articles this month because I am working on restructuring our short-format posts (adding categories and tags) and re-thinking how I use them now that I set up a sister site better designed to accommodate short-form content. This trend will likely continue into October.

I have fallen behind on syndicating newsletters this month, so the syndicated versions of our September newsletters are not currently online. Thus, I will link to the originals instead.

Our newsletters feature recaps of our new posts and some original content. You may enjoy our links from around the web section and the news and notes even if you have looked at all of the New Leaf Journal articles from the week.

Finally, I will share some of our early posts from The Emu Café Social. I did not post too much on the new site yet, but I will be more active there going forward.

Most-Visited Articles of September 2023 and July-September

I use a privacy-friendly local analytics solution called Koko Analytics (see review) so that I can see which articles receive the most visits (Koko is effectively a page counter). I use these statistics for our yearly and monthly reviews and for our weekly rankings (weekly rankings appear in the newsletter). Below, you will find our 24 most-visited articles of September 2023 along with our 24 most-visited articles of the three-month period from July to September 2023.

Sep RankArticleAuthorPublishedJuly-Sep Rank
1The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga KireiNAFMarch 14, 20212
2Height differences in anime romancesNAFMarch 22, 20231
3The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and AnalysisNAFJanuary 18, 20223
4Peekier Search Engine ReviewNAFFebruary 26, 20226
5An In-Depth Look at Norton Safe SearchNAFOctober 18, 20227
6Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)NAFJuly 5, 20219
7Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem EngageNAFFebruary 3, 20235
8Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)NAFNovember 28, 202110
9The Last Stand of Constantine XINAFMay 30, 202015
10Installing GrapheneOS on a Google Pixel 6aNAFMay 15, 202313
11The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten – Anime ReviewNAFMarch 30, 202314
12Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)NAFNovember 15, 202016
13The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days AnimeNAFMay 6, 20218
14Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile PhonesNAFNovember 21, 202112
15Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. JohnstonNAFNovember 24, 20214
16Ghostwriter Markdown Editor ReviewNAFOctober 7, 202121
17Heights in “The Dangers in My Heart” AnimeNAFApril 2, 202311
18How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its NameNAFMarch 11, 202117
19A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok FrontendNAFMay 15, 202223
20Futaba Igarashi’s Hair Is Naturally Green?NAFNovember 23, 202124
21Installing LineageOS on a 2013 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi)NAFJuly 28, 202120
22Flying 12-Foot Witch in Carroll GardensNAFNovember 2, 2022X
23Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools PrankNAFApril 1, 2021X
24The Sega Dreamcast Controller JoystickNAFJune 14, 2022X
XThe Enigmatic Life and Death of Emperor OthoNAFApril 16, 202118
XUsing Web Archives To Get Around CAPTCHAsNAFAugust 12, 202219
XBrooklyn Banana Bench PhotoNAFApril 2, 202122

We have seen a trend in the last two months wherein our top articles are under-performing compared to what we usually see but more articles are receiving views. The trend was more extreme in September than August, with the top of our ranking under-performing August while the bottom of the top 24 performed better.

There were no dramatic break-outs in September like what we saw in July wherein my short post on a photo of a banana bench ran up enough views in a two week stretch to hang on in our three-month ranking in September. The top 21 articles in our September ranking also feature in the three-month ranking (the same was true of the top 21 articles in August) and with a few exceptions, the one and three month ranks were not far apart.

At the very top of the ranking, my tsuki ga kirei article came from behind in the final week for the second month in a row to take the top spot. As long-time newsletter subscribers know, my tsuki ga kirei post has generally been the dominant article for the better part of the last two years. However, it had bad luck in August, finishing fourth in 2021 and 2022 thanks in part to external sharing events. While it had a mediocre month by its standards in August 2023, it can now add August to its months with first-place finishes. It will need a first in July 2024 to lead every month at least once.

Fifth and sixth place saw articles on dead subjects rank high. The Peekier search engine has been defunct since February and the tablet on which I installed Ubuntu Touch back in 2021 is no longer supported by the open source operating system. Nevertheless, those two posts continue going strong. My Peekier review is currently holding third place in the 2023 ranking and has been slowly losing ground to my analysis of the Pokémon special split, but three more months like September would most likely allow it to hang on to its spot through the end of the year.

We saw small break-through performances in spots 10 and 11. My piece on installing GrapheneOS on a Google Pixel 6a, which unlike my Ubuntu Touch install is not outdated, came in at 10th place after coming close to making the top 12 in August. My long review of The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten, a 2023 anime series, finished with its best monthly performance and best rank of 11. Angel Next Door had previously been in the top 12 through the first half of several months before fading late. However, in September it posted a strong final week to move up several spots. Conversely, my School Days anime review finished with its lowest 2023 monthly rank of 13, albeit that would have been its best monthly rank in 2022.

One to watch may be my photo post of a flying witch in Carroll Gardens, which came from nowhere in particular to come in at 22nd place in September. I published that article late too for Halloween last year, so it never had a chance to shine. I am not sure why it did so well in September, but some of my Halloween photo posts have done well in October (see pumpkin with a mask in 2020 and 2021 and the car with a hat in 2022. Perhaps it will be the witch’s turn in October 2023.

Looking Ahead to October

I will publish the final reviews of my al|together visual novel review project, which has been in progress since April 2021, in October. The first will be of Narcissu, which is the most well-known al|together game, and I plan to publish the final review, which will be of My Black Cat, close to or on Halloween. In early November, I will publish my personal ranking of all 31 al|together pieces, including a couple that I am not writing full reviews for. I do plan to write posts on some of the novels and their stories after the final reviews, but October will represent the conclusion of the project as I originally planned it as far back as late 2020.

I am planning to add categories and tags to our Leaflet and Leaf Bud short-format posts, but I am not sure that I will finish that in October. It will be a project given the number of Leaflets and Leaf Buds that we have and I have not decided on every part of how I will implement the change, so I will need a block of time to sit down and work on that. My goals are to better integrate Leaflets and Leaf Buds into the site (now that I am not showing them in extra sidebar content) and to establish a breadcrumb hierarchy for them so that they have the same breadcrumb structure as our normal articles. Another point I will assess throughout October is the place for these short posts now that I am running The Emu Café Social, which is more oriented to those types of posts than is The New Leaf Journal.

Other than finishing al|together and preparing a few Halloween (and sadly, rotting pumpkin) posts, I have some ideas of things that I would like to publish in October, but I will play it by ear. Whatever I land on, however, I think that we will have some posts for everyone.