The team highlights their favorite anime of the past year.
A lackluster hobby anime whose only upside is its yuri element.
A battle royale series not good enough to make you care but not bad enough to be great.
Welcoming to new fans and effectively eerie in its setup.
A procedural thriller with solid action scenes and clunky exposition.
Probably the best premiere this season, top to bottom.
A sweet but not cloying Fantasy Single Dad series.
A furry fanservice series whose nasty lead ruins what appeal it has.
This one escaped from the edgelord days of 2005.
Dee, Peter, and Vrai check in one last time with the Fall shows (at least, the ones that finished).
There are certainly plenty to choose from.
Interview with Ms. Watanabe, Chief of K-BOOKS Ikebukuro Doujin-kan (Futekiya Blog, Gratin)
The shop sells goods, manga, and self-published works, with a particularly expansive collection of BL.
Why did you want to work here?
Ms. Watanabe: I was a K-BOOKS customer (laughs). I often went to the Comic-kan, a branch with a sizable amount of BL works. I’ve always liked comics, so I applied and got it.
So you liked manga and BL?
Ms. Watanabe: Yes. I like both novels and manga, but in my student days I had no money, so I’d have fun borrowing BL works from the library. They have the old stuff. I don’t know if present libraries still carry them, but in my hometown library, there are some old works and long works that I’d borrow and read. Also, I liked going to K-BOOKS and other used bookstores as a student.
Why Ascendance of a Bookworm Refreshes the Isekai Genre (Anime News Network, Nicholas Dupree and Steve Jones)
In praise of what makes Bookworm such a throwback to quality 90s isekai.
Nick: Yeah, Main herself is a delight, and where much of Bookworm’s initial charm comes from. She’s an excitable, good-natured nerd who’s at first swayed entirely by her obsession with books, but it’s through her pursuit of them that she starts to bond with her new family and friends. Plus Yuka Iguchi just does a phenomenal job carrying the show with her performance.
Steve: And whereas most isekai heroes hack the system by virtue of their profound knowledge of Gaming, Main’s “hacks” are extensive knowledge of domestic craftwork. While other heroes are min-maxing their stat sheets, Main is doing things like mixing homemade shampoo and making soup taste better. And that ends up being a lot more intriguing, because it has immediate, tangible, positive impact on the people around her.
The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is the Best Anime of the Decade (Fanbyte, Vrai Kaiser)
An argument for the importance of Yamamoto’s craft and the series’ influence in its franchise.
While TWCFM injected new life into the Lupin franchise, Yamamoto’s series has been somewhat relegated to obscurity. The distribution license in the US was lost without any forewarning earlier this year, and franchise fans often dismiss it as an outlier at best and outright terrible at worst. Whether its dark tone is to your individual taste or not, that’s simply absurd.
In one short season, Fujiko Mine reinvigorated its core franchise, reframed that franchise in a critical but still ultimately fond lens, explored narrative themes relating to gender and sexuality with a skill reserved for the likes of Revolutionary Girl Utena, and looked damn good doing it. What else could one possibly call it but the best of the decade?
A survey of suggested titles to get a feeling for the evolution of yuri as a genre.
One of the most often-asked questions I get is “where do I start?” when it comes to reading and watching Yuri. My criteria for this list was simple: Answer that question using primarily English-language releases (as the readership for Okazu is primarily, although not exclusively, English readers.) This list is an attempt to trace the evolution of the Yuri genre over 100 years. These choices will help you understand where the tropes of our genre came from and how they developed. The series mentioned here had massive influence on our perception of Yuri. There are still a few critical pieces that are not yet available in English – I hope that one day I’ll be able to say they are. In the meantime, I’ve added them in in Japanese, for those of you who are dedicated to learning more about the origins of the genre.
Girl Got Game (with Loyola Rankin) (Shojo & Tell)
A podcast discussion of the shoujo sports series.
GIRL GOT GAME is a basketball manga about Kyo Aizawa, who’s pretending to be a boy so she can play on the men’s team and live out her father’s dream of becoming an NBA star. And yet it’s also not at all a basketball manga, because they never actually play a basketball game. (Okay. Maybe once. In 10 volumes.) Even so, Shojo & Tell host Ashley and her good friendo Loyola Rankin have a soft spot for this ’90s manga. Ashley relates perhaps too much to Kyo, and Loyola definitely likes bad boy Yura far too much. In the episode, Ashley and Loyola list off all the crimes Yura commits and somehow doesn’t go to jail for, praise the representation of menstrual cramps and periods generally, have a heated shipping corner, and come up with many lucrative business ideas. This is the funniest episode of the podcast to-date.
Takeshobo, Manga Creator Sue Cloudflare for Offering Service to Piracy Sites (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)
A short notice about the lawsuit filing.
The plaintiffs claim that Cloudflare has provided service to manga piracy sites despite knowing that the sites are illegally offering manga. Among other services, Cloudflare can act as an intermediary between a server and its end users, providing content even when the original server is facing connection issues or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
LGBT Cosplayer of the Week: Efraim Queller (Gayming Magazine)
A short intro and a series of photos of Queller’s work.
There is always going to be a part of us that desperately wants to be a hero. Some do this by doing charitable acts, and some of us do this by dressing up as their favourite hero. We’re talking to you, Deadpool and Spider-Man cosplayers.
But Efraim Queller isn’t just an attractive man from Brasil that loves to parade around in spandex for the hell of it. He’s been doing this for a long time, and loves a lot of the classic characters from his childhood, such as the Red Ranger from Power Rangers.
“I started cosplaying to fulfill my childhood dreams. Today I do that, and fulfill the dreams of others.” Efraim told us, referring to the social project ‘Heroes for Life’ that he has founded. “Heroes for Life is a project where I gathered volunteers and costumes. We dress up and visit children in the hospital.”
TWEET: Announcement about AKAI’s worldwide publication
TWEET: Information regarding a sexual predator on the convention circuit
THREAD: Links to academic articles about Danmei (Chinese MLM works generally written by women)
EXTRA: Pictures of Osaka University’s annual cat catalogue
We’re all neck-deep in premieres, but editor Chiaki has something very important to tell all of you: