Horrible GoHands visuals aside, the premise seems mainly like a set up for hijinks that violate the heroine’s boundaries.
This is the good stuff: stylish, snappy, and with strong potential thematic threads right out the gate.
The key to its success is how well the writing and visuals capture the heroine’s unspoken struggles.
If you put the bar on the floor, it’s basically okay.
Chill and perfectly nice, but the concept doesn’t seem to have a lot of legs.
It feels too soon to say what this brings to the subgenre beyond a slightly darker, more serious tone.
Mark “ruining the opportunity for a perfectly serviceable cat-based iyashikei” down as yet another reason this season is shaping up cursed.
A fantasy school series that turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.
The restraint of the writing and exploration of transhumanism more nuanced than “technology scary” make this one to keep an eye on.
Its take on women so far is a bit concerning, but the horror has a campy appeal.
Aggressively mediocre and a constant reminder of other, better series.
If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toe into the world of girl band anime, this is a very nice little intro.
The fantasy of escaping capitalism is extremely cathartic, but its treatment of the only female character leaves a bad taste.
Everything about it is undermined by how poorly it treats its female lead.
Welcome to Toxic Masculinity: the Anime.
It has big “written by a hyperactive grade schooler” vibes.
Summer is traditionally the season of catch-up.
Final Fantastacular XVI, with Giovanni Colantonio, Gita Jackson, and Ash Parrish (The Insert Credit Show)
Spoilery podcast discussion of the game, including its treatment of women and queer characters.
Game journalists Giovanni Colantonio, Gita Jackson and Ash Parrish unite to make Insert Credit history: reviewing a video game. The party explores Final Fantasy XVI as a game, a story, and as a cultural artifact. Plus, the ten hottest Final Fantasy boys!
YOASOBI Discusses the Creation of Chart-Topping Hit ‘Idol’ & Performing Live: Interview (Yahoo!, Billboard Japan)
Interview with the musical duo behind Oshi no Ko’s opening theme.
ikura, you started reading 【OSHI NO KO】 after you received the offer to write the music, right? What part of it drew you in?
ikura: I was surprised to see just how realistically it depicted the light and dark sides of the entertainment industry. And, what’s more, the theme was idols, which people worship as icons. Of course, I’m no idol, so some of the things depicted were different, but there were also some parts that overlapped with my own experience. When you’re working as an artist today, it’s not unusual to have some experiences that hurt you, emotionally. That’s something I’ve experienced myself. I think this anime will change the way the world looks at the entertainment industry, and how it thinks about idols.
Ayase: It’s really detailed. A lot of people will just look at it as fiction, but I actually think reality is even bleaker. So even though I do work in a similar vein as what’s depicted, with 【OSHI NO KO】 it’s like I’m stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view. I just think, “what a vicious industry.” When I wrote the lyrics, I began by just writing out several pages of my thoughts about the entertainment industry and about working in the public eye.
Did you make any new discoveries?
Ayase: I realized that I was even more dissatisfied than I’d thought I was (laughs). I feel nothing but gratitude to all the fans that support us, but there are a lot of times where I just can’t accept that the industry is like it is. At least, as creators, we’re creating things and expressing things starting from zero, which is a godsend. I’m guessing that people who do work where they have to create together, collaborating with lots of other people, like idols or voice actors — they must have it so much harder than us. I thought a lot about that.
Yoko Kanno On Her Music For ‘Escaflowne’, ‘Cowboy Bebop’ And Letting Her Imagination Run Free (Forbes, Ollie Barder)
Interview about the composer’s storied career and stories from her major compositions.
“For Ghost in the Shell, as I don’t have much of a scientific background, I don’t really know what is going on. Kenji Kamiyama told me that he wanted to use The Catcher in the Rye as a base, and then I thought I maybe able to understand what this is.
“A long time ago, when Origa came to Japan for the first time in the 90s. She was going to make an album and I was invited to be the pianist. Of course, we didn’t share the language, but there were some songs with only her singing and me playing the piano. So that’s how we worked together.
“The reason I wanted to work with Origa on Ghost in the Shell, is that like Motoko Kusanagi she had a really strong soul.
“As for the future, I feel I could write really good songs for a musical but nobody is asking me to do that. I am also interested in other stage works, such as ballet. I like dancing. Completely separately, I love animals and I want to visit Africa.
Sega of America workers win union vote (Polygon, Nicole Carpenter)
Sega has also voluntarily recognized the union.
One hundred seventeen votes were counted, 91 votes for the union and 26 votes against. (Several votes were challenged and not counted.) The unit will include more than 200 roles at Sega of America’s Irvine, California office, Communications Workers of America said in a news release.
The union spans several different departments: marketing, games as a service, localization, product development, and quality assurance. The Irvine office, which opened in 2022, houses up to 235 workers. With this win, AEGIS-CWA is the first video game industry union at a major company that spans multiple departments. Boston-based Activision Blizzard studio Proletariat attempted this earlier in 2023, but ultimately pulled its union petition. Next, the NLRB will have to certify the union before moving into bargaining.
Aoi Shiro HD Remaster Review – Supernatural Yuri Goodness (Noisy Pixel, Azario Lopez)
A previously unlicensed classic with a sadly spotty localization.
I’d say the tone of many character relationships makes this pretty much a yuri game. Across each of the six routes, you’ll get close to some of the leads. Still, there’s a slow build-up to some high-action scenarios featuring encounters with powerful demonic enemies. As the antagonist is revealed, the relationships begin to make more sense, but they aren’t explicitly used as a way to progress the narrative. Instead, the relationships exist alongside the storyline, so you won’t miss any of the important story moments.
That said, seeing everything this game has to offer isn’t easy. There are many branching paths and bad ends that require correct dialog choices to get through. A guide may be necessary if you don’t want to spend too much time shifting through text, but thankfully, there’s a decent flow chart that organizes the events. After completing routes, the game also allows you to quickly enter areas of the story and try for one of the six true endings. Each conclusion is relatively strong and caps off a standout-out visual novel that may have never officially come west.
Sacrificial Princess & the King of Beasts Episodes 1-12 (Anime News Network, Rebecca Silverman)
The series will have a two-cour adaptation.
I use the term “biracial” to describe Leonhart’s heritage because that’s how the show treats the differences between humans and beasts. However, it’s obviously not a perfect analogy. The enmity beasts feel for humans seems to stem from a belief in their inferiority, although we know that wars have been fought between the two groups that had a lot to do with this assumption. The idea of race relations comes to the fore in episodes eleven and twelve, where Sari and Leonhart travel to a cat kingdom (Leonhart is basically the High King, with lesser kings ruling their own smaller states within the kingdom). As the acting queen consort, Sariphi is expected to bless the cat realm’s newborn heir, but the queen has serious objections to letting Sari touch the baby simply because she’s a human. Her language is distinctly racist, to the point where her husband and daughter are appalled by it. Yes, the cat king is afraid of offending Leonhart, but he’s also ashamed of his wife’s attitude, which isn’t something we’ve seen spelled out quite as clearly until this point.
Small prejudices (with big implications and hurt) are the bread-and-butter of the story in many ways. Sariphi is largely unbothered by them because she grew up knowing she was being raised as a sacrifice. Still, we can see aggressions against her hurting and infuriating those who care about her, and the character Amit, a crocodile (alligator?) princess from the reptile kingdom, is consistently hurt by people’s cruelty to her as a “less beautiful” race. Amit is one of the most endearing characters in the story, largely because she’s such a good friend to Sari and just a genuinely nice person. Her reptilian exterior belies a soft and fluffy soul, and watching her interact with other characters is always charming, especially her crush on Jormungand, the snake man captain of Leonhart’s guard. But the most striking case of prejudice comes from Anubis, Leonhart’s chancellor.
Supreme Court says transgender employee can use women’s toilet (The Asahi Shimbun, Takashi Endo)
The plaintiff is unable to pursue medical transition due to health concerns, and so cannot change her ID’s gender marker.
The economy ministry’s ban on a transgender employee from using the women’s bathroom on her floor was illegal, the Supreme Court ruled on July 11.
The court’s Third Petty Bench overturned a May 2021 Tokyo High Court ruling that found nothing wrong with the bathroom restriction.
The ruling said the decision of the National Personnel Authority, which oversees civil servants, to not comply with the ministry employee’s request was illegal.
VIDEO: A crowdfunded yuri film, Volicia of Pluto, that’s free to stream (with English subtitles) until August 30th.
VIDEO: The pros and cons of how often shoujo heroines are shy people-pleasers.
VIDEO: How Snow White with Red Hair was influenced by Ghibli films.
Even with a few bright spots, there’s gonna be plenty of time to work through older series this season.