The most promising hobby anime of the season.
Dull, derivative, and kind of sleazy.
If you’re not already a megafan of the franchise, there is nothing for you.
Meets the very low bar of saying “slavery is bad, actually.”
Truly makes you wonder “why.”
Plays comedic material for edgelord exploitation.
Stiff and suffers an unfortunate case of “Not Like Other Girls.”
Honestly should be seen rather than explained.
Made for nostalgia but also clearly made with love.
Walks a line between cute and cutesy at times depending on the viewer, but its depiction of anxiety is spot on.
Will probably lose steam but captures an interesting portrait of toxic masculinity.
Not bad, just….nothing.
Grossly heteronormative and misogynistic from the premise on down.
Turns out there’s a reason this manga is very popular.
Bring forth the camp.
Gundam Manga Illustrator Recalls an Earlier Time When Sexism Prevented a Female Protagonist (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
The series’ gunpla kits have already proven extremely popular, from the airing of the first episode.
The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury premiered on Sunday, and manga artist Koichi Tokita (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Astray) was among the fans singing its praises. Not only did he call it a “blessing” to see a couple “established” in the first episode, he was also delighted to see a Gundam anime with a female protagonist, recalling an earlier time when prejudice prevented it from happening.
“A long time ago, I supported a female Gundam protagonist, but I was told that a Gunpla belonging to a female character wouldn’t sell,” he remarked on Twitter. “Now we live in an age where we can have a female protagonist and she has a plastic model too. I think it’s great. I’m so happy.”
How Healer Girl Calmly Created A New Way To Be Magical (Anime Herald, Ayumi Shinozaki)
What makes the series such a bright spot in the genre.
But the most wonderful thing in the series is visualizing the power of music, something that I think most fans of music would attest to being real and like magic. The vocal album for the series makes for a perfect motivating and relaxing listen even outside the context of the show itself, and every week viewers could look forward to a delightful little story diving just a bit deeper into one of the characters, as we watched these girls grow stronger in their bonds with each other and with their own self-confidence.
Many magical girl fans cite the hope their stories bring as the reason for their love of the genre, and this series is overflowing with that. Kana, Hibiki and Reimi all have different paths to becoming Healers, and we see how their choices affect the people in their own lives, and how their friendship is strengthened by this shared passion. Magic aside, so much of the story is quite mundane in nature. Hibiki is a teenager from the countryside who moved to the big city to follow her passions. Reimi’s passion for vocal medicine is intertwined with her older “cousin” and lifelong maid, Aoi, who has a passion for piano.
Salary for “Read for free” Manga Authors (Irodori Blog, Hara Gyatei)
How indie artists on Jump+ are paid.
The base pay per page is 5000 yen (approximately 34 US dollars). Indie artists receive no popularity bonus if their published chapter cannot get over 100,000 views.
The popularity bonus goes up in 100,000-view increments. If a published chapter gets over 1 million views, an indie artist can achieve payment of 20,000 yen (approximately 138 US dollars) per page.
The best way to support these artists is to read them on the official Jump+ platform.
As you can tell, the artists’ payments are determined by the views they get on the official platform. If you read their works on pirated websites, the artists’ works will not reach their full potential for views. That means they won’t get paid as much and not getting paid will hinder the artists’ abilities to continue creating.
The Jump+ payment structure is harsh as it is. Achieving one million views per chapter is hard enough, but getting only paid 20,000 yen per page for reaching a million views just doesn’t seem fair. Receiving a million views on YouTube is roughly calculated to be around 2000 US dollars. 20,000 yen (approximately 138 US dollars) is 6.9% of that amount.
Absolute Boyfriend (with Asher Sofman) (Shojo & Tell)
Podcast discussion of the Yu Watase series.
The Ashes are back to do a compare and contrast between two shojo heavyweights, Yuu Watase and CLAMP. Last episode we covered CHOBITS even though it’s a seinen series, partially because we’re determined to read every CLAMP series, and partially because we knew ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND appears to have taken heavy inspiration from CHOBITS and shojo-ified it. We talk about how ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND handles sex and A.I. compared to CHOBITS, whether it’s magical and dreamy that your boyfriend can be destroyed and have to go to the Apple Store, and are thankful that, at the very least, Riko is not a schmuck. (Although, she might be the high school female equivalent of a schmuck? You decide after hearing how she handled her love triangle between the figure, Night, and her best friend, Soshi.)
The woman will be suing for 5.7 million yen in damages.
According to the complaint, the woman came to Japan in September 2019. When she informed the intermediary body in Oita Prefecture of her pregnancy in May 2021, she was told that she would “have to pay a fine and return to the Philippines.”
The woman claims that at the end of May 2021, she was forced to sign a document agreeing to return to the Philippines. She also claims she was forced to express her intention of quitting the job when leaving Japan at the end of August that year, even though she had hoped to return upon taking maternity leave and giving birth in her country.
The woman is also demanding approximately 500,000 yen from her employer in Fukuoka Prefecture for three months worth of unpaid wages.
Noting the connections (and distinctions) between the two series in the first episode.
Kobayashi also, interestingly enough, has had a direct influence on this particular anime blog’s direction. It was Kobayashi’s Kiznaiver and specifically Mai Yoneyama’s ending sequence that inspired me to write my first flower language post on this blog, despite having seen flower language used in other anime properties. This also caused me to go back and look at its usage in other works again, and thoroughly prepped me for Naoko Yamada — who many credit for a recent crop of directors using flowers as a secondary visual language in their works — and her direction of A Silent Voice. The rest, as they say, is history. Naturally, there’s flower language used in The Witch From Mercury as well. Diving a bit deeper into it reveals some similarities and major differences between Miorine Rembran — ostensibly Witch From Mercury‘s “Rose Bride” — and her Utena counterpart in Anthy Himemiya.
From her first introduction where she is trying to escape to Earth and Suletta Mercury unintentionally thwarts her attempt, Miorine is shown as someone who is not only actively rattling her figurative chains but is very well aware of how others see her position. She’s outwardly more defiant than Anthy at the outset where Anthy is initially presented as meek and helpless with small hints that she’s anything but revealed episode by episode.
Indie Spotlight – Salvus: Aries (Blerdy Otome, Naja)
Info on a current otome game Kickstarter.
Indie dev, Rosemilk Studio recently launched the Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming indie otome game, Salvus: Aries. Salvus Aries is a mature slice of death and adventure fantasy otome visual novel that begins at the bad ending. It definitely gives me the same vibes as Even if Tempest, more of a dark fantasy story through a more mature lens.
Low adoption of paternity leave in Japan sparks new system, but small firms remain wary (The Mainichi, Natsuko Ishida)
The new law is meant to ease the burden on new mothers by making paternity leave more accessible.
In April, major contractor Obayashi Corp. introduced a new system similar to the system of paternity leave at birth, before the government program entered into force. So far, more than 90% of male employees eligible for the system have taken leave. This high ratio is attributable to the company’s effort to notify each worker of the system when their spouse gives birth, and confirm whether they will take the leave.
The general contractor has also held seminars for bosses to better communicate the system to eligible workers, as part of a measure required under the amended law since April.
“There had been this atmosphere where it was hard for workers, especially men, at construction sites to take child care leave. But now there are more and more employees who wish to be involved in child care along with their partners,” said a human resources official at the company. “We are also raising awareness among managerial staff who are not used to allowing male workers to take child care leave.”
From April 2023, companies with more than 1,000 employees will be required to announce the ratio of male workers taking child care leave. This initiative to make corporate efforts visible is also apparently leading to changing awareness among companies.
Mob Psycho 100’s Kyle McCarley on Anime Dubbing and #JustAMeeting (Anime News Network, The Cartoon Cipher)
Podcast discussion with transcript on the origin of #JustAMeeting and where things go from here.
KM: Oh, definitely not talked about with SAG-AFTRA in any official capacity, for sure. Cuz they would’ve told me “you can’t make that offer, that would be in violation of the rules.” I mean, the idea came from somebody else in the cast. I don’t wanna name who, because I don’t want to out anybody. I had a Zoom call with a few other people in the cast of Mob Psycho 100 who were all very conflicted about the issue. I think it was January, maybe February when season three of Mob Psycho 100 was announced, and I went to several people who were prominent cast members in the first two seasons and said “Hey, I want season three to be done on a union contract. So I wanna send a letter to Mami Okada, who’s the casting director at Bang Zoom!, who recorded the first two seasons, to let her know now so that she knows when they put together a budget for season three to accommodate for that. Who’s with me?” And I got like 13 people to sign that letter. And then Crunchyroll ended up taking the production in-house.
So I don’t know if they ever knew that letter existed. But anyway, I was in contact with the rest of the cast or those 13 or so people or whatever it was, and like six of us got on a Zoom call after we got that email from Crunchyroll to say they were doing it in-house and they were doing it non-union. Cuz I was telling them all “Well, I’m gonna walk away if they don’t agree to flip it union.” And it was on that Zoom call where they were like “but when it was Bang Zoom!, we thought there was a chance that they might flip cuz they’ve done it before. Crunchyroll never flips. And we don’t wanna walk away.” There’s people on the call like “Ah, I really need this job and I don’t wanna walk away from it. Is there some sort of compromise here?” And for me, I was like “No, there’s no compromise. It’s union, or I don’t do it. That’s my line in the sand.” And it was one of the other cast members who was like “Well what if you use this as an olive branch to get them to the table?” And they laid out the idea and at first I bristled at it and I was like “No, I don’t work non-union and I don’t wanna cut slack to a non-union-only shop!” But then I thought about it more and I was like “This could get them to the table. And that’s a much bigger thing than just this one show. So yeah, I would do that if it got them to the table,” but they didn’t take it.
CC: Some of the comments I saw surrounding this were people saying like “Oh, of course Crunchyroll wouldn’t do this. Mob Psycho is not the biggest show they have.” And I was thinking “it’s pretty big!”
KM: Yeah. I mean, pre-merger it was a Crunchyroll show, and I would argue it was the biggest, or definitely among the biggest that Crunchyroll had. I mean, now that they’ve merged with Funimation, there are bigger shows for sure.
CC: I guess if the rhetoric was that Mob is not big enough compared to the other fish that Crunchyroll are frying, do you think that this particular strategy would work again on one of those big properties? Or would we have to take a completely different approach?
KM: Nobody’s gonna make the offer that I made ever again because of so many reasons: a) you can’t make that offer. It’s against the rules. But b) because it didn’t work this time. And if it didn’t work here, I don’t see why anybody would try it again and expect different results. Also, because this was kind of a perfect storm in that I’m an actor who’s been strictly union-only with the work I take for the past few years now, who happened to be in a lead role in a popular show that Crunchyroll had another season of and wanted to keep non-union, and happened to be willing to make a public stand over it, rather than just saying “Well if it’s non-union, I’m gonna walk away.”
That combination of factors is not gonna happen very often. So no, I don’t think this strategy is gonna happen again. There definitely could be a show where the whole cast gets together and says “Hey, either it’s union or we all walk.” We didn’t end up taking that strong of a stance there. There were other cast members who are not reprising this season, but it’s not like it’s the whole cast walking away, which could have maybe made a bigger impact? I don’t know.
VIDEO: Interview with a Black American father on his experiences living in Japan and hurdles faced by his mixed-race daughters.
Sometimes they stick with you longer than the intentional ones.