Hmm... Speaking of outside challenges, it would appear that my decision to watch Cardcaptors' original Japanese version this week had a bit of subconscious timing attached to it, given that season premiere. Here's the pertinent quote from Equestria Daily.:
Here's a challenge for you, if you choose to embark on a long and historic analysis....
Watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica (in its original Japanese, if possible), as this show is pretty much en par with Higurashi in terms of epic dark and intelligent storytelling. Then once you're done, gather the courage to watch it's ancestral inspiration, the original Card Captor Sakura (definitely the Japanese version on this one). You might find that CCS and MLP:FiM have TONS in common (despite CCS being over 10 years older), and shows like Higurashi and PMMM are not unlike our grimdark fanfics that try to bring more angst and drama to our pony's lives.
Not to say that's always a bad thing (dark stories serve their purpose too), but I do agree that overdoing them seems to reflect rather poorly on our society, especially in light of compelling and intelligent shows that still manage to retain their innocence. ^^;
It may be safe to assume that my mind will be quite busy this upcoming week. Do you mind if I asked what your favorite manga is, by any chance?