A nice if not stellar iyashikei about a girl learning to play an MMO.
Understated procedural that will live or die on the quality of its episodic cases.
A slightly overstuffed but promising story about a young thief-slash-stage-magician.
A remake loaded with ‘90s aesthetic, for better or worse.
The softest show about anthropomorphized neighborhood pets.
Yuri about an idol falling for her fan that needs to be willing make its idol heroine more rounded to sidestep the creep factor.
Trashy eroge adaptation about catgirls who are owned as pets.
Tries to bring pathos to the VRMMO genre by inflicting permadeath on its intelligent NPCs.
Absurd comedy about the famous warlord being reborn as a cute dog.
Sets itself up as a critique of idols, but since the cast is voiced by a real-life group it seems doubtful that will carry forward.
Formulaic hot garbage that never stops assaulting its female lead.
Quiet, pleasant character drama about a college rugby team.
Striking, beautiful, and melancholy ghost story; one of the best of the season.
Rom-com that fails hard by repeating the same joke over and over.
Fanservice show that threatened to be consensual before throwing that idea out the window.
Feels uneven due to much higher stakes for one of its dual protagonists.
Just about everything has finally aired.
An overview of the production committee betrayal that halved Stars Align.
Recently, Akane has been expressing his displeasure about the way this incident is being referred to; how the nature of social media to strip away all nuance has led to many people saying that Stars Align has been canceled. Besides any gripes he might have about the effect of social media on the discourse – for the record, he’s also delighted about the support from overseas fans on Twitter – and the outright factual inaccuracy of saying that its broadcast was canceled, there’s an obvious reason why this might rub him the wrong way: the definitive implications of cancellation.
I’ll be frank: I don’t think we’re getting the second half of Stars Align in anime form – not by the committee that already backed down from it. But at the same time, I’m convinced that Akane will find a way to put it out there for fans; he even promised as much when he explained what had happened behind the scenes, which could have come off as a presumptuous claim were it not for the commitment he’s proved over and over to have. If he says so, I have no reason to believe it won’t happen.
Trans in Japan (BBC)
Documentary intro to the legal barriers faced by trans individuals in Japan.
Mariko Oi investigates what is said to be barbaric and inhumane laws over how people can change gender in Japan. Currently in Japan to change gender, people must be sterilised, have gender reassignment surgery, not have any children under the age of 20 and must be single. The government further state you cannot have gender reassignment surgery if you are on any type of hormone replacement – and you must accept the psychiatric diagnosis of “gender identity disorder”. Being forced to accept both the surgery and this diagnosis is a hugely controversial subject for the global transgender community. Mariko Oi meets the campaigners fighting to change this law and the people suffering as a result of it.
Foreign residents in Tokyo dress in kimono to mark adulthood (The Asahi Shimbun, Yamaura Masataka)
This year’s Coming of Age ceremony included multiple foreign residents.
More than 10 men and women who signed up in advance to participate in the event dressed in long-sleeved kimono and traditional Japanese “haori” coats and “hakama” pleated skirts. They donned that attire with the help of members of a nonprofit organization that promotes international cultural exchanges.
Among 3,122 residents who turn 20 in the ward during this fiscal year ending in March, 1,236 are non-Japanese, accounting for about 40 percent of the total number of new adults there.
Winter/Holiday Cosplays That You Never Knew You Need To See In The New Year (Black Nerd Problems, Oona Sura)
Character cosplay reimagined from a winter angle.
In true Oona fashion, I have an incredibly LATE list of favorite holiday/winter/new year’s cosplay to share with everyone! My original plan was to have this out at least by New Year’s Eve~but here we are! No worries as The outfits are all still so beautiful! You’ll enjoy these looks during any season. As per usual, I am in awe by the makeup skills, the prop-making/building talent, the overall originality in these costumes and the photographers who composed these shots. May the cold winter winds only strengthen your resolve to cosplay your favorite characters or at least start on them!
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 1 Director Discusses Making of the Episode (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
A short interview about the ethos behind the premiere.
The episode was Motohashi’s first time drawing storyboards for a 30-minute anime. Her previous storyboarding credits were on a short animation series titled Super Shiro. Motohashi said that storyboarding Eizouken was a learning experience and an opportunity to absorb knowledge from the veteran Masaaki Yuasa. Yuasa offered critical feedback on the way she depicted the dialogue and action scenes, and helped improve those scenes for the better. The action scenes in particular convey a lot of things that Yuasa wanted to depict.
One of the key points to animating the first episode was to ensure that the characters’ movements were “gender neutral.” When asked what she thought of Sumito Ōwara‘s original manga when she first read it, Motohashi said that it didn’t feel like it needed to be a story about high school girls in particular, and that it could easily have had male lead characters. However, she liked the “gender neutral” feel of it. She described Asakusa as like an elementary schooler, Mizusaki as having some girlish aspects still left in her, and Kanamori as like an intellectual yakuza. She said that Kanamori’s pragmatism was refreshing, and felt true to life regarding how the anime industry works, which may be why creative people tend to enjoy the manga.
My Games, My Music, and My Internalized Racism (Uppercut, Monti Velez)
On the harmful poisoning effect of anti-Black and brown messages in media.
We bought games through yard sales, rented through Blockbuster, borrowed from friends at school, and I was on a race to beat them because I couldn’t convince my mom how important it was to have a memory card (honestly, now thinking about it, I don’t think we could afford one). As I played, I noticed a pattern of no black or brown representation that didn’t rely on harmful stereotypes.
Along with being the only girl at the time in a Catholic immigrant household, I wasn’t allowed to ever leave the house without my mom, so I spent a lot of time watching TV when I wasn’t gaming, and let very dangerous views on people of color become my own views because mid-2000’s television really was something else. Additionally, Latinos are known for being anti-black, and are vocal about it, but of course I’m not speaking for all Latinos. I had to be around that constantly with a conservative mother that dealt with some internalized issues, with her just as conservative friends that also dealt with similar problems. So that, combined with arguably just as harmful representation in gaming, took a toll on little Monti.
Me, a (still) chubby and (still very) brown girl, grew a tick in the back of her head that maybe, black and brown people aren’t great, because that was being told all around me from games, tv, movies, etc. This is internalized racism, internalization of racial oppression by the racially subordinated.
Japanese Women Face a Future of Poverty (Bloomberg, Marika Katanuma)
An analysis of confluent factors of long life spans, pay disparity, and the large number of women encouraged to work part-time or not to work if they are married with children.
Japan’s gender pay gap is one of the widest among advanced economies. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japanese women make only 73% as much as men. Japan’s demographic crisis is making matters worse: Retired couples who are living longer need an additional $185,000 to survive projected shortfalls in the public pension system, according to a recent government report.
VIDEO: Overview of the accessibility options that should become standardized in the next generation of consoles.
THREAD: On the incongruity of having rainbow flags at an Olympics where protest is forbidden
THREAD: Further reading about the banning of protests at the Olympics
BONUS: A beyond cool Spike Spiegel cosplayer
Listen, we’re all surprised about Hanako-kun, but here we are.