Anime Supremacy!, written by Mizuki Tsujimura and translated by Deborah Boliver Boehm, tells the interconnected stories of three women—a producer, a director, and an animator—working in the anime industry. Not quite a novel and not quite a short story collection, the book is divided into three main chapters, each following one of the protagonists through part of a single anime season.
Maika Sakuranomiya is a regular high school student who dreams of studying abroad, though she has one problem. Despite being a naturally sweet and friendly girl, she tends to look scary and imposing whenever she smiles. Having failed to find a job anywhere else, Maika eventually finds work at Café Stile, where the employees all play specific character types when they interact with the customers, such as the playful little sister or the tsundere. Despite her misgivings, our heroine must adopt the dominant and aggressive role of a sadist. Together with the rest of Café Stile’s wacky crew, Maika will work to make new friends and fulfill her dream!
Kōjiro Shindō is a highly-skilled negotiator working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As his plane at Haneda airport prepares to take off, a huge mysterious cube appears from the sky. ‘It’ expands rapidly, and absorbs the passenger plane and its 252 passengers. The cube’s name is “Kado”. A strange being called Yaha-kui zaShunina appears from within Kado and tries to make contact with humanity. Shindō, who was been absorbed by Kado, ends up taking on the role of mediator between Yaha-kui zaShunina and humanity. Source: Anime News Network Oh, boy. This is a rough one. What we have here is a show I very much want to like: a high concept sci-fi story about first contact with the potential for a uniquely interesting protagonist. Unfortunately, this show is already setting itself up in a worrying pattern of meandering quietly along for 20 minutes or so, then introducing a big twist in the closing minutes. If it’s already repeating tricks this early on, including an almost identical zoom-out from the giant alien cube that may or may not be menacing the city, it’s somewhat worrisome for episodes to come.
Five girls work in the tourism bureau of their small provincial town. The town revives its “micro-nation” tourism program, which originated from a nationwide movement during Japan’s bubble economy period, and hires the five girls as “monarchs” (tourism ambassadors). Source: Anime News Network I’ve talked in this season about how anime lose points with me every time they pander in their premiere episode, and have to do more to offset those negatives to get a positive review. Well, here is a great example of how this works in reverse. A protagonist with ambition and a clear goal? +1. Zero fanservice? +1. The ensemble cast making sure to include multiple adult women of a range of ages, aesthetics and attitudes? +1 +1 +1.
“My name is Moguro Fukuzou. They call me the Laughing Salesman. Oh, I’m no ordinary salesman. The merchandise I deal with is hearts… Yes, human hearts. All people in this world – old, young, man, and woman – are lonely at heart. I will fill that emptiness in their hearts. Oh, no. I don’t need a single yen. There is no greater reward than to see a satisfied customer.” This is the opening monologue from the Laughing Salesman himself. Sounds lovely – until you realise he looks like this…
Jean Otus and his younger sister live in an apartment building she manages as part of their family’s business, while Jean goes out to work as a federal inspector. On hearing the announcement that his department will soon close down, he goes on one last business trip to check the records in a branch office of ACCA, the organisation running essential services for the 13 districts it covers in the Dowa Kingdom.
When Daisuke Higashida’s father goes bankrupt, he needs to find a part-time job to pay for his own phone bill and school commute. As an elite student he doesn’t really want to work, aware that his grades will probably suffer, but accepts that he has no choice and looks for work at the most convenient location he can: nearby chain restaurant Wagnaria.