One year ago, I published my first month-in-review post, covering August 2020. Today, we come full circle with my August 2021 month in review. August 2020 was perhaps our slowest New Leaf Journal month – with its main accomplishment having been commencing the month-in-review tradition. August 2021 was certainly busier, although a bit less eventful in terms of site changes than was July.

In this month-in-review post, I will go through some of our new articles, discuss the improvements that we made to The New Leaf Journal, and look forward to September.

August Allebé, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
August Allebé, Public domain, via Wikimedia.

Notable Content From August 2021

This is our 19th and final article of August 2021. Although we did not publish as much as we did in previous months, we were not lacking in good content. You can see all of our August articles in our August 2020 archive. For this article, I will discuss four highlights from our monthly slate.

“What Makes a Depressing Anime? Discussion and Selection.”

Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 1, 2021.

Article Link.

Inspired by a Japan reader survey, I wrote an article about “depressing” anime. First, I discussed what makes an anime (or a piece of art generally) “depressing” and good. Second, I recommended five anime series (with a list of additional series) that are worth watching and that meet my “depressing” criteria.

“The Brooklyn Bridge’s Mysterious Cobweb Lane”

Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 6, 2021.

Article Link.

This article was one of the many that I drew from nineteenth century magazines, However, of those many, this is one of my favorites. I discussed an 1895 account of walking the Brooklyn Bridge at night. I too have walked the Brooklyn Bridge many times at night, but most of those trips were in the 2010s instead of the 1890s.

“A Turnip-Shaped Study of the Word Napiform”

Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 21, 2021.

Article Link.

I had been meaning to write an article about the word napiform since before The New Leaf Journal went live. It took two years, but I finally did it.

“Visual Novel Review: From the Bottom of the Heart (Negaeba)” & “Analyis of the From the Bottom of the Heart (Negaeba) Visual Novel”

Both by Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 22, 2021 && August 24, 2021.

Review Link | Analysis Link

My project to review 30 doujin visual novels that were translated between 2005 and 2008 had fallen by the wayside in recent months. I resumed the project in style with a review of a very short visual novel (free to download) called From the Bottom of the Heart. I followed that review with a detailed analysis of the story. The review itself contains no spoilers. My analysis spoils everything. I recommend starting with the review. If you are sufficiently intrigued, download and read the short story (it takes about 10 minutes) for yourself and then turn to my long analysis.

Most-Read Articles of August 2020

In recent months, I began offering a list of our most-read articles of the month. I continue that tradition for August. Below, you will find our ten most-read articles of the month, along with their change in rank from July.

  1. Stop Saying Bob Dylan Can’t Sing” (Change +3).
    Victor V. Gurbo. July 23, 2021.
  2. Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask” (Change +3).
    Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
  3. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (Change -1).
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
  4. Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGo” (NEW)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 8, 2021.
  5. Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)” (Change -2)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
  6. How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes” (Change +6)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
  7. A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’” (Change +1)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
  8. A 2021 List of Alternative Search Engines and Search Resources” (Change -1)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 12, 2021.
  9. Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)” (Change -3)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
  10. An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative” (Change -1)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.


For the second straight month, one of Victor’s Bob Dylan articles took the top spot in our ranking. However, it was a different Bob Dylan article this time. Like his review of Shadow Kingdom last month, Victor’s essay on Mr. Dylan’s singing ability shot to the top of our monthly ranking with an appearance on the Bob Dylan fan-site, Expecting Rain. It did better than his Shadow Kingdom review, and moreover, the singing essay featured high in last month’s rank thanks to a strong performance in Facebook. It has been a bit feast or famine – however. It led our weekly rank in three of the five weeks since it was published, but was well out of the top five on the other two weeks.

Victor’s mask review scored its highest rank since April 2021, finishing in second place with its best month by a wide margin (previous best was February). My Tsuki ga Kirei article flagged a bit, but it finished in the top three for the fourth consecutive month (1, 1, 2, 3).

Only two new articles entered our ranking that were not present in July. My post on performing domain-specific searches with DuckDuckGo was the only August article to make the list. After I published it on August 8, it immediately had a strong week that more or less carried it for the rest of the month. The other new entry on the list is my June post on RSS feeds for Substack newsletters.

Looking Forward to September

In early September, I will re-populate our Series Hub Page now that I have replaced our former series with series sub-categories and series tags.

In terms of content, Victor and I will continue to publish content in a variety of areas. I specifically plan to continue my Insani visual novel review series and also publish some suitable content for the imminent transition from summer to autumn.

Last August, I pledged to publish at least one article every day. I succeeded in that task, posting 31 articles in 30 days – and I never attempted the feat again. I do not plan to publish an article every day in September 2021, but I do plan to publish a few more articles than the 19 I produced for August. I do have some more ambitious plans for October – although the record from September 2020 may remain intact for a while longer.

There are some additional projects that Victor and I are working on that may appear in September. To stay abreast of our latest happenings, be sure to check the site regularly, subscribe to our newsletter, and consider adding our RSS feeds to your favorite feed reader.

August Thoughts

August 2021, like August 2020, was a slower month than some in The New Leaf Journal. Nevertheless, we attracted more visitors than we did in any month other than March 2021, and we made up for a relative lack of quantity of new posts with a good number of (I hope, but I will leave it to you to judge) quality posts. I hope you enjoyed our August content, and I look forward to sharing plenty of exciting new content with you in September.

Cura ut valeas.