1) Grammar. This has been relatively painless and even pleasant, so far. It fits neatly into the existing architecture of my brain.
2) Vocabulary. This is harder: I'm out of practice with rote memorization, and learning the more natural way through usage requires a certain minimum standard of proficiency to begin with. Which brings us to...
3) Conversation. Here I've hardly started. After 7 years of learning German I was still unable to hold even the most halting conversation, and I feel the same self-consciousness overwhelming me whenever I mutter so much as a shy 'Arigatou' at my local restaurant. However, my actual lessons with a real life human being begin on October 1st, and they will be entirely in Japanese, I understand. That should help.
4) Reading. I've got hiragana and katakana safely stored now, and I'm doggedly working my way through the kanji, though it's definitely a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of process.
As I approach the 1000-kanji mark, I'm wondering what anime to go with next. I've had Clannad suggested to me, and in terms of genre it does look just my kind of thing (even if there's no sign of Moya Brennan), but has anybody here got an opinion?