Crunchyroll announces various Anime on hiatus will return in July

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The wait is nearly over!

 

In addition to their normal Summer Lineup, Crunchyroll announced several anime that were put on indefinite hiatus due to COVID-19 will resume in July:

 

  • Black Clover: July 7 (Episode 133)
  • Digmon Aventure: June 27 (Episode 4)
  • Food Wars! The 5th Plate: July 17 (Episode 3)
  • SAO Alicization: War of the Underworld: July 11 (Premeire of the Second Part of the Season)
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: July 5 (Episode Number TBA, may be a recap episode)

 

…Those are a few of many. Go here for the full list.

Noticably absent are Season 2 of both The Rising of The Shield Hero and Dr. Stone. Both were reportedly going to premiere this summer but due to the delay caused by COVID-19, it would be fair to assume their premeire will likely be in the Fall or next Spring.

Unlike the U.S., Japan has seen fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths in comparison: 19,522 Cases and 977 deaths. In comparison, the U.S. has about 2.93 Million Cases and about 132,000 Deaths as of this afternoon. The U.S. leads the world in cases and deaths and has since May on that note.

 

 

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Ok so I just tested positive for COVID-19

I figure I break the news from now.

I was feeling sick for most of the week. I spoke to my doctor Friday morning and he asked me to come in to be tested. I got the test this morning and it came back positive.

Time for some Q&A ^_^

 

Q. What was getting tested like?
A. Very quick. The doctor swabbed the back of my throat. Only took a moment to get a culture. It was uncomfortable for me but not because of the process itself. I get muscle cramps in my jaw and neck when I open my mouth really wide. Had I known, I would have done it in advance.

 

Q. How long will you be self-quarantined?
A. My doctor said I likely had it for at least a week prior to being tested. So, I was told to self-quarantine for another 7 days while my family must self-quarantine for 14 days. I plan to self-quarantine for 14 days personally to be safe though.

 

Q. How did you get it or how do you think you got it?
A. My mother and I both believe I got it from another member of the household who was sick the week before. My doctor said it’s likely everyone else in the house is COVID-19 Positive though as of right now, I am the only one who got tested and had it confirmed.

 

Q. How will you handle daily needs?
A. I live in a house with 3 bathrooms. I will use one and my other family members will use the others. As for food, I have a mini fridge. A family member will bring meals to my bedroom door for me. I also have my medications in my room already.

 

Q. How are you feeling now?
A. A lot better than I did two days ago physically. I had trouble breathing most of Thursday starting in the afternoon, Things got so bad, I had to go to a pharmacy to get a new rescue inhaler since I have asthma. That helped get me through the night. It’s what led to me getting tested Friday.

 

…Ok, I think that covers everything worth talking about for now. I plan to provide updates over on my main blog regarding my health so free free to subscibe to it if you haven’t already.

I do not anticipate my updates to this blog will be severely impacted.

 

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Breaking News: Anime Boston 2020 Cancelled

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…No, this is not a hoax.

Here’s the Full Statement from their website.

Here it is in full for those who want to be saved a click:

As you may be aware, Governor Charlie Baker recently announced a ban on all gatherings of 250 people or more in Massachusetts. This ban is set with no current end date, until the governor announces otherwise. With Anime Boston 2020 scheduled for less than four weeks from now, it is highly likely this ban will still be in place. Given the uncertainty around these new circumstances, we have no choice but to cancel Anime Boston 2020.

Our executive board has reviewed the possibilities of postponing the 2020 convention for later in the year. After careful consideration, we have decided it would not be feasible to reschedule Anime Boston 2020 and meet the same high standards you have come to expect from us. We are a completely volunteer organization and all of the preparation is done in our personal time. Retooling the convention for later this year would be extremely difficult to achieve, given the need to coordinate the availability of the Hynes Convention Center, Sheraton Boston hotel, other hotels, guests, and exhibitors. One of the possible options we were given was in December, which would take away preparation time for Anime Boston 2021 and cause it to suffer in quality as well.

For our pre-registered members, by default we will be transitioning your memberships to Anime Boston 2021, set for April 2–4, 2021. Anime Boston is operated by the non-profit New England Anime Society (NEAS) and all revenue goes back into the operational costs of our convention and NEAS. Members who allow us to transition their membership to 2021 help us remain financially stable and cover expenses we already incurred for 2020.

We are aware some members who transition to 2021 will have paid more for their 2020 membership than the early bird rate for 2021. To compensate, we will be offering a coupon for the Anime Boston 2021 Merch Booth, located in the Dealers’ Room. The coupon will be valued at $5, $10, or $15, depending on the difference between what the member paid for 2020 and our starting rate for 2021 memberships. It will be usable toward any purchase at the Anime Boston merch booth, including T-shirts, pins, hoodies, and more.

We understand that not everyone is certain they will be able to attend Anime Boston 2021. Anyone who would prefer to be refunded for their Anime Boston 2020 membership, please contact Registration Customer Service. Please include your full name and the email address used when registering. Please allow at least three to four weeks for processing of refund requests, based on the volume of requests.

Our partner hotels have been made aware of the cancellation. Rooms reserved through the booking portal on the animeboston.com website can be canceled by emailing animeboston@experient-inc.com or calling 800-967-8852 (847-996-5832 internationally). Reservations in these official room blocks can be cancelled for a full refund if done by 48 to 72 hours before the start of the reservation, depending on the hotel.

Reservations made directly through a hotel must be cancelled through the hotel’s website or at their phone number. Reservations made via a third party vendor should be cancelled through the same vendor. Please refer to your reservation confirmation for refund information for direct hotel or third party bookings; Anime Boston is unable to intervene in these circumstances.

Participants of the 2020 Artists’ Alley who have already been confirmed and completed their registration will be migrated to the 2021 Artists’ Alley. Artists who have canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Artists’ Alley list for 2021. Some wait-listed artists who were recently added to the Artists’ Alley to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Artists who already paid for their Artists’ Alley space and memberships will be refunded.

Similarly, for our exhibitors in the 2020 Dealers’ Room, we will be migrating all who completed their registration to the 2021 Dealers’ Room. Any exhibitor who canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Dealers’ Room list for 2021. Some wait-listed exhibitors who were recently added to the Dealers’ Room to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Payments already made for the 2020 Dealers’ Room will be refunded.

Participants of Anime Boston 2020 programming, such as the Masquerade, Cosplay Games, Idol Showcase, AMV Contest, panels, contests, Community Row, and other events will be contacted in the upcoming weeks by their event coordinators. All cosplay gatherings and photo shoot reservations will be canceled and require rescheduling for 2021.

We know that the last few weeks have been a trying time for all of us. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding while we worked to figure out a new path for Anime Boston 2020. Although we had considered cancellation earlier, as it stood, we had certain contractual and financial obligations that made it difficult for us to cancel this event on our own without bankrupting and jeopardizing the convention long term. The governor’s most recent declaration has nullified these contractual obligations.

Anime Boston is a labor of love for all involved. This convention was started by people who love anime and love Boston. We are a local event and we owe our success to all of you and to our dedicated volunteer staff.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. And we certainly hope to see you at the next Anime Boston, April 2–4, 2021.

 

…I hope everyone can appreciate how serious the world is taking COVID-19. I was considering going on the Sunday of the convention only myself before COVID-19 because a Pandemic. Just yesterday I decided to pass on going entirely.

Anime Boston is the largest Anime Convention in the northeast U.S. and is run by the New England Anime Society (NEAS), which is a non-profit organization. Even though Governor Baker’s announcement prevents them from going bankrupt, they will still be taking a financial hit simply by cancelling this year. So will many local businesses who rely on the revenue from attendees who go to the annual convention. As you read, they considered postponing it to later this year but that simply wasn’t feasable as it would have cut into planning for AB2021. There are a lot of details they have to factor whatever is decided and those were considered before they made the call to cancel.

I do think cancelling AB2020 now was the right decision all things considered. It allows organizers to focus on planning for 2020 and they can even retain what would have been this year’s theme for next year: Bento Boston. All they’ll have to do is change the dates for everything from 2020 to 2021 and that shouldn’t be very costly. One of the vendors I like to go to at Anime Boston–Comicopia–is in Boston so I will probably pay them a visit during what would have been Anime Boston weekend.

There are some uncertain times to say the least. I’ll say this on all my blogs as many times as I need to for those who believe reactions and responses to COVID-19 are being “exaggerated”:

  1. It takes 5 to 14 days for sympthoms to show themselves. Meaning you could be infected and not even know it for at least a week.
  2. It’s highly contaigous. It can survive on surfaces for up to 12 hours and on the hands for 5 to 12 minutes. It’s commonly transmitted via droplets and vapor from an infected person.
  3. Even if you, a healthy person will recover you should you be infected that’s not the problem: You could unknowingly give it to someone who either has a compromised immune system, someone who is elderly or a child and is far more likely to die from it.

 

…Everyone needs to keep calm, stay safe and don’t be careless or wreckless. The whole world has been affected by COVID-19. So far, 46 of the 50 states have confirmed COVID-19 cases. Massachusetts has 138 confirmed cases as of this writing. It jumped by 15 from yesterday.

The good news is streaming services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, Viz Media and Viki are all running normally so folks can still get their fix ^_^

 

 

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Review: Melting Me Softly (Korea, 2019)

 

 

 

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Ah, Human Cryogenics.

The summary on Viki felt underwhelming to me at a glance but I decided to give it a try anyway. This show got me hooked within the first 5 minutes of the opening episode to say the least. Ji Chang Wook is Ma Dong Chan, a TV Producer who volunteers to participate in a Frozen Human Experiment for 24 hours. Won Jin Ah is Go Mi Ran, a volunteer who agrees to participate in the same experiment for 24 hours in exchange for monetary compensation. The experiment, which was only meant to last for 24 hours ended up lasting 20 years.

I’m gonna explain an outline of the sequence of events in the next several paragraphs with some plot spoilers so if you haven’t seen it yet or started watching and do not want to be spoiled, skip to the next picture.

The experiment begins in 1999.

Ma Dong Chan (Age 32) approaches the eccentric, mysterious but brilliant Professor Hwang to volunteer to participate in the Frozen Human Project for 24 hours. Go Mi Ran (Age 24), who is jobless and looking for opportunity also volunteers after being offer monetary compensation. 22 hours after Professor Hwang puts Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran in the Refrigeration Capsules, he gets a mysterious phone call and leaves the laboratory. While he’s away, the professor is nearly killed and ends up in a coma. Since he is the only person who can safely revive Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran, the two end up being Cryogenically Frozen for 20 years instead of 24 hours…in 2019.

Aside from history as we know it, much has happened during the 20 years Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran were frozen. Those they knew before they were frozen have aged but they themselves are physically the same as they were 20 years earlier. Ma Dong Chan, who feels personally responsible for Go Mi Ran’s lost years as well as their shared physical state commits himself to investigating what happened in the past. The Broadcast Station where he worked covered up its involvement in the Human Freezing Project after his disappearance and his father died while he was frozen. Go Mi Ran’s family learned about what happened to her from the professor’s assistant only because she requested the money promised to her be given to her family if something happened.

The world is shocked and mesmerized when Ma Dong Chan announces to the world that he is the world’s first frozen human. Go Mi Ran’s status as the other Refrigeration Capsule volunteer is later publicly revealed as well. One of the interesting things in an early episode is a talk show-style debate on which age someone who was cryogenically frozen and then revived years later would go by. Should they go by their legal age or the age they were when they were frozen? Ma Dong went from 32 to 52 while Go Mi Ran went from 24 to 44. Physically and biologically, they were still their former ages but legally and chronologically, they were their latter ages. Fortunately, they didn’t complicate it further by having either of them have kids though the third person did have a son who is now a grown man 21 years later.

Moving on. Professor Hwang suddenly awoke from his coma 20 years after they were frozen long enough to revive them before passing out again. The revival was successful but not without a major side effect the professor was aware of: Ma Dong Chang and Go Mi Ran’s body temperature have to mantain a body temperature of 31.5 Celsius (88.7 Fahrenheit), which is WELL below Hypothermia levels. A normal human body temperature is around 37 Celsus (98.6 Fahrenheit) so…yeah. I’ll get to the medical science aspects in a bit but in short, their heat tolerance is very low to say the least. The only way to have their body temperature restored to normal rests in Professor Hwang, whose past is tied to their current situation.

The problem is he suffered temporary but severe memory loss due to being in a coma for 20 years. While he was an amnesiac, he got to know Go Mi Ran’s family and bonded with her brother, who has a low IQ. Professor Hwang laments as he begins to understand the psychological and emotional pain of the families of those who are frozen for the first time. When he finally regains his memories, he sets to work developing a thermal formula to restore Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran to normal. Ma Dong Chan volunteers to test the formula first and after 7 days, it is successful (WOOT!). As for Go Mi Ran, tragedy strikes the day before she would begin treatment. She is severely injured but because of her low body temperature, doctors cannot operate on her. A decision needs to be made so Professor Hwang puts her back in a Refrigeration Capsule for 3 years while he makes a new, stronger formula from scratch to thaw her quickly so that the surgery can be done. It’s decided the third person, who was severely injured before being frozen will have their body temperature returned to normal at a later time.

Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran were two of six people we know of who were put in refrigeration capsules by the professor but we find out who a third is since it’s tied to a major plot point. The identities of the other three or why they were frozen is never mentioned at any point. All we’re told is only Professor Hwang knows who they are and their identities are a closely guarded secret. The one whose identity is revealed is a major plot spoiler I won’t divulge here though so go watch to find out. I will say this person who was frozen in 1998 played an indirect role in Ma Dong Chan and Go Mi Ran being frozen for 20 years.

 

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…Whew. Obviously, I was sucked in by all the science aspects of this series!

I want to get back to the Lower Body Temperature the two leads are afflicted with for most of the series. Clearly they did their homework and what I loved about this is they did not shy away from the science around this. The Thawing Process was not perfected at the time–and as far as we know the two leads plus the identified third person were the first known people to have been revived from the Refrigeration Capsules. I mentioned Professor Hwang had discovered the problem when he did clinical trials on a Dolphin that died. He could not pinpoint the exact cause of death but it became more clear thanks to the two leads. If their body temperature rose above 32.5 C (92 F), they could die.

Since their core body temperature is lower than normal, they have little to no tolerance to heat but an abnormally high tolerence to cold. This is displayed a few times when the two are thrown in the back of a refrigerator truck as well as when they visit a Cold Room (a room with near or at freezing temperatures some spas offer). They also drink ice water a lot to help maintain their lower body temperature. A life-threatening mutation was discovered but fortunately, the professor’s assistant was able to quickly develop an antidote. When the professor finally develops a proper medicine to raise their body temperature to normal,

There is plenty of material for a season two with new characters. One of the opening dialogues for the first episode notes that it’s believed that there are at least 600 people who are in Refrigeration Capsules in Korea, the U.S. and Russia. Sadly, it looks like the show didn’t do very well when it first aired last Fall in Korea. It’s easy to see why despite the Korean celebrity cameos in some episodes. The show clearly tried too hard to be a Rom Com, Mystery and a Sci-Fi Medical Drama all at once when it should have picked one of them and stuck with it.

I must also agree with the overall consensus that although they tried hard, they came up short with the storytelling. The Science aspects wasn’t the problem but rather it was pretty obvious the producers didn’t have a clue about what kind of story they wanted to tell. Most of the supporting cast also got too much development given it was a 16-episode series, which is too much for one that short. It also shows where things are rushed or just not really given ample time to move things along.

A few things that come to mind–and there are some minor spoilers–include:

  • Ma Dong Chan’s ex girlfriend and Go Mi Ran’s ex boyfriend don’t really seem to get happy endings or satisfying endings. Both wanted to pick up where they left off despite one having since married. I do think the dissatisfied endings were intended but the problem is they both got so much screentime and development.
  • The third person who gets thawed was at the center of most of the story…but he doesn’t get an ending. The last we hear before Go Mi Ran gets hurt is the plan is to raise his body temperature once he’s recovered more. He’s never seen or heard from after that. You’re left to presume he recovers offscreen.
  • The man who stabbed Go Mi Ran has absolutely no background story and “The boss wants one of them dead for you to be paid”. This point is highlighted by the fact he’s not seen again after he stabs her but is apparently tracked down offscreen.
  • Yes, the same actor who plays Ma Dong Chan’s father in the first episode plays his brother for the rest of the series. That was actually pretty clever and the same was done with one of his colleagues. One actor playing two roles. The 20-year gap makes this discrepency easier to explain but it makes a lot more sense with his brother and father. His father died a few years earlier from a stroke.
  • It’s very surprising that there are only two instances in which Go Mi Ran and Ma Dong Chan meet people who are interested in being put in Refrigeration Capsules. This makes even less sense after Professor Hwang perfects the thawing formula for there to not be a lot more folks interested in being frozen.
  • Speaking the professor. Until Go Mi Ran got put back in a capsule, he states several times that other than himself, his assistant and participants, no one is allowed to enter his laboratory. This is presumably to keep certain information from being made public or falling into the hands of those who would misuse the tech. After Go Mi Ran is put back in a capsule, it’s explained many of the world’s leading scientists are working with him to develop a new thawing formula for her and his lab is like a beehive. I doubt those other scientists would have been able to help him without knowing the specifics of how the Refrigeration Capsules work as well as about Ma Dong Chan, who is restored. I also doubt they would have agreed to leave what they learned in that lab. What’s to say someone doesn’t take that knowledge with them back to their own country?
  • Going with that last point. It’s stated in the first episode that about 600 people are believed to be frozen in the U.S., Russia and Korea. The actor playing Kim Jong Un in one scene remarks had North Korean known about the Refrigeration Capsules, they could have used it to freeze his late father Kim Jong Il. This was a one-off scene but it does raise the question never touched during the course of the series: Do world governments try to develop their own Refrigeration Capsules?

Those are just some things that came to mind for me. By the way there IS cryogenic freezing IRL but as of right now, only those who have already died can be frozen. As far as I know, no one has figured out a way to safely cryogenically freeze a living person. Sure, you can freeze someone in ice but they’ll die. The thing that needs to be figured out is freezing someone without killing them, causing permanent nerve damage or causing permanent tissue and organ damage. Once that can be figure out…well, who knows.

 

Overall, I give Melting Me Softly an 8/10. It’s definitely worth watching at least once. In addition to being on Viki, it was released on Blu Ray internationally (Korean Audio with English subtitles). If there is a Season 2, it would need to fix a lot of the storytelling-related problems from the first season even if it uses an entirely different cast and production team.

 

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For those who deam of living in Japan, it’s much harder than you can possibly imagine

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Japan is considered one of the most peaceful modern countries on the planet. It’s funny given its long history of war and conflict spanning its entire history until the end of World War II. In the 8 decades since World War II–it’s now 2020 as of this writing–Japan has established itself as bastion for all things video games, Anime and Manga. It has an open door policy for tourism and business as its shares its unique, storied cultural history with the rest of the world. It’s a far contrast from a country that at one time closed its boarders the outside world for almost 100 years. Speaking of. Shades of Japan’s past isolationist policy is ever present and obvious in its immigration and refugee policies. Japan is known to have the strictest immigration and refugee policies of any developed nation for a reason.

I recently watched an editorial on NHK Japan about a family originally from East Africa–I believe they were from Ethiopia originally–that for reasons I can never understand decided to move to Japan…as refugees. It made absolutely no sense to me given what they went through. For SEVEN YEARS, the couple’s daughter was not legally considered the father’s even though she was born in Japan. The reason? Their marriage was not legally recognized in Japan. The reason for that is because the father did not yet have Refugee status and so his marriage was not yet legally recognized in Japan. Thus, legally his daughter was not his daughter as far as Japan was concerned. Only her mother was her legal parent.

Think about how that must feel for a father who helped create and raise a child to know the government did not recognize you as her father. What made the situation feel even more complicated to me is at the time the editorial was filmed, the mother was pregnant with their second child. It made no sense to me for them to even think about having another child knowing not only does the Japanese government not legally recognize you as the father of your first child but if your current status is revoked, you will be deported immediately. By the end of the editorial, they finally did get legal recognition from the Japanese government.

Japan is not the U.S. They don’t play around when it comes to immigration and deportation. The Japanese government announced last week they executed a foreign death row inmate for the very first time it its history. It’s unheard of because they prefer to deport foreign-born persons who commit capital crimes even if they become a citizen. They rarely use the death penalty on their own death row inmates too and in fact, they don’t even tell those on Death Row when they will be executed. The day of is when they find out.

Getting back on topic. The irony of Japan’s strict immigration policies is they have an aging workforce and a declining birthrate. The U.S. has the same problems but has always used Immigration to replentish its population. Not so in Japan, which faces an economic crisis due to its aging population and workforce that can’t replentish itself. Japan doesn’t have any drastic population control policies like China’s controversial One Child policy. It’s simply paying the price for having a closed door policy is all. I’m not saying Japan should have an open door policy but it feels pretty hypocritical to me with how much Japan markets itself as a tourist destination.

This past summer, Japan announced they were basically giving away vacant homes for free to anyone who wants one. What they conveniently left out is they will not fast-track immigration for foreigners who might want to take advantage of the offer. The vacant houses mostly belonged to people who moved away on that note. I won’t pretend to know Japan’s immigration process–and my apologies for misleading folks into thinking I do–but the little I have researched so far is like their gun permit application process: Meaninglessly drawn out and complicated on purpose to discourage people from actually trying. That’s my impression anyway.

 

 

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Here’s some of the Anime and Live Asian Programming I watched this year

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…Whew.

Cululatively, I watched more Live Asian Programming than I ever have in my life since I got Viki Premium a few months ago. It’s not hard when most series they carry are 24 to 70 episodes long on average. As of December 9, I have also renewed my Crunchyroll subscription for another year and that means I can continue to watch new anime episodes as they air in Japan.

I don’t want to make this super long so I’ll just make two lists. One for Anime and the other for live Asian Programming. I’ll provide a bit of commentary after each list.

 

First, here’s the list of Anime I watched this year. If it’s Bolded, it’s currently ongoing and likely will be going into 2020. If it’s Italics, I know for sure it will get another season in 2020 or later. Bold Italics is both:

  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
  • Attack on Titan
  • Persona 5
  • My Hero Academia
  • Dr. Stone
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero
  • Goblin Slayer
  • Black Clover
  • Fire Force
  • Sword Art Online
  • Fruits Basket
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World
  • Didn’t I say to make my abilities average in the next life?!
  • We Never Learn: BOKUBEN
  • Isekai Cheat Magician
  • Do you love your mom and her 2-hit multi-target attacks?
  • Wise Man’s Grandchild
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets
  • Cinderella Nine
  • If It’s for my daughter, I’d even defeat a Demon Lord
  • Is It Wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • The Promised Neverland
  • The Helpful Fox Senko-san
  • Isekai Quartet
  • Are You Lost?
  • That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime
  • The Royal Tutor

…I had to look at my Que to get the finish dates for some of these. Most of these I either watched in their entirety, I started them last year or I started them this year. Next year is sure to be a year of new seasons with the sheer number of anime already greenlit for a new season. So many season premieres I know a lot of folks will be looking forward to. Hopefully they don’t take too much away from new anime that will also premeire next year either. We will find out when the Spring 2020 lineup in announced in a few months!

I mentioned at the top I wouldn’t discuss anything in depth here. That’s because I plan to cover stuff separately in a series of posts, probably early next month. I may cover a few things before the end of the year though, we’ll see. I do have other stuff I plan to comment on in addition to Aninme and Live Asian Programming on a more serious note.

 

Here are the Live Asian Programming I’ve watched on Viki so far, the country of origin in Parentheses:

 

  • Sweet Combat (China)
  • Doctor Stranger (Korea)
  • I am Reiko Shiratori (Japan)
  • Legend of Fuyao (China)
  • Frankenstein’s Love (Japan)
  • The One That Got Away (Philippines)
  • Age Harassment (Japan)
  • The Legend of the White Snake (China)
  • Adult High School (Japan)
  • Legend of Yun Xi (China)
  • Sumika Sumire (Japan)
  • Legend of the Phoenix (China)
  • Romantic Doctor Kim (Korea)

 

Sweet Combat, Romantic Doctor Kim and Frankenstein’s Love are my top three faves. Given the platform encourages binge watching even more than Disney+ or Netflix–yeah, I went THERE–there have been times I wanted to pull all-nighters with what I was watching on Viki. Most episodes are 45 to 60 minutes long so you could literally watch an entire series in 24 straight hours if you really wanted to. Given I expect my living situation to change in 2020, I will feel more comfortable about taking a shot at doing this ^_^

 

One thing I plan to do a bit more is expanding the topics I cover on this blog. I do have the NHK Japan App on my Roku. I covered Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s Abdication earlier this year. I also covered Hikkikomori. Before this month is over, I’m probably gonna crush some dreams since I plan to comment on Japan having the strictest Immigration and Refugee policies in the world. I’ve known about it for some time but a recent story I watched on NHK Japan pushed me to write about it.

 

 

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Not gonna lie, I’ve been watching a LOT of Viki since mid-June

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…It’s also why my Anime-related posts have significantly slowed since mid-summer. It’s now been almost a year since Drama Fever suddenly shut down with no warning or notice. I’d been watching Crunchyroll and WWE Network through Winter when I suddenly got my Roku for my birthday in March. I got the English Language version of NHK Japan Channel on my Roku–really good for anyone planning to visit Japan on that note–but I knew I wanted to get something to watch live Asian Programming.

…Then I remembered Viki.

I actually had a repeat of a situation that happened with Drama Fever where I started a show on one Streaming Service but couldn’t finish for reasons beyond my control. Last year, it was the Chinese historical drama The King’s Woman. I watched half of it on Drama Fever before it suddenly closed but was able to watch the rest on Viki, which also carried it. Two weeks ago, it was The Legend of The White Snake. I started it on Netflix but then my 30-day free trial expired. I watched the first 20 episodes on Netflix but I was able to watch the rest of the series on Viki.

Earlier this month, I got the 7-Day trial for Viki Pass Standard. It removes the Ads, gives HD Quality Viewing and certain other perks. The Premium Pass is like Crunchyroll’s Premium and Premium+ in which is does those things but also allows you to watch new episodes as they become available in their native countries. It also allows you to watch all available programming that isn’t Region Locked. Like Crunchyroll’s Premium+ you do pay more for Viki’s Premium Pass if you go the 1 year route which I do. Standard is $50 annual while Premium is $100 anual (both are $10 monthly).

As of 4:03PM on September 23, 2019 I now have the annual Standard Pass($50). I now watch Viki enough to justify getting the annual pass and went with the lower priced one. The ads actually aren’t annoyingly invasive and it’s mostly because the programming is 35 minutes or more per episode unlike Anime, which is 25 minutes per episode on average. I haven’t seen that much bad timing with the ads in the Free version so far –and I assume it’s like that thanks to user feedback–so the emotional buildup some scenes might be going for isn’t terribly destroyed. About 90% of the time, a 30-second ad or 3 pops during dialogue–usually one ad on average–with a black loading screen before and after the ad plays. The other 10% is before an episode starts and after it ends. I barely notice between episodes personally.

All that said. I got the Standard Pass to remove the ads and for HD Quality Viewing. That way, I can binge watch the 30+ episode series I have qued much faster. With winter not far off, it’s sure to come in handy!

…I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some Dramas I recently watched a mention:

 

Image result for Sweet Combat

This 2018 Chinese Drama‘s two leads are real life boyfriend and girlfriend. Lu Han plays Ming Tian, a young man trained as a martial artist living in the shadows of his late father’s dark legacy. Guan Xio Tong plays Fang Yu, an corporate heiress by day who is the most decorated MMA fighter in the nation with a troubled past of her own. From what I read online, the Sweet Combat co-stars became an item during the course of the show’s filming bu waited until after filming was done to announce their relationship last year. We’ll have to wait and see if the two team up for a project again in the future but their fans in China would love to see it.

This drama is a must-watch because of the attention to detail with the training scenes and the fight scenes. If you’re remotely interested in MMA, you’ll like this series overall as it gives you a behind the scenes peek at young MMA fighters, what drives them and so on.

 

Image result for Sumika Sumire

 

Sumika Sumire is a 2016 Japanese Drama based on the Manga of the same name. Keiko Matsuzaka (67 years old) and Mirei Kiratani (29 years old) both play Sumi Kisaragi, a 64 year old woman who is magically aged down to 24 years of age. Sumi was unable to enjoy her youth because she had to take care of her mother after she finished high school. When her mother passed away, the now senior Sumi despairs as she realizes the time she lost is time she can never have back…or so it seems. A Cat Demon she accidently unseals takes pity on her and decides to give her a second chance at life by magically aging her back to her 20 year old self. What choices will she make differently now? Will she find love? Will she stay young forever? You’ll have to watch to find out!

I’m pretty sure it must have been cool for Kiratani and Matsuzaka to learn the script for two versions of the same character. Both had to learn to play characters a bit younger than they actually are though Matsuzaka was 64 at the time the filming was done. Hard to tell she’s that old though–I can tell makeup was used to make her “look” old though she could probably pass for half her age.

 

Image result for Frankenstein's Love

 

Frankenstein’s Love is a new take on a legendary character. This 2017 Japanese Drama follows a 120 year old love story with a very pure and beautiful message to all. Go Ayano does an amazing job as Frankenstein, a 120 year old man whose body hides a dark secret. It’s pretty impressive the 37 year old played a 120 year old character with the body permanently of a 25 year old. There are a few shirtless scenes as well as a flashback episode that really shows off Ayano’s impressive range as an actor. It goes without saying I highly reccommend watching this one!

…It’s been quite a while since I last reviewed Live Asian Programming.

Now that I have a 1-year subscription to Viki, I will try to post reviews so folks can see what I’ve been watching. I’ll talk about this more on my main blog, this one AND my Political blog but all the mass media distributors based in the U.S. have been playing catch up in recent years with bringing Asian Programming to the West. They greatly underestimated the demand for it early on and it’s exactly why they’ve been buying the rights to companies like Crunchyroll, Viki and Asian Crush in recent years. They’ve seen there’s a lot of money to be made in streaming services so…yeah.

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

BREAKING NEWS: Ash Ketchum defeats Gladion to become the Alola League Champion!

20 years ago, Ash was eliminated from the Kanto League after making it to the Sweet 16. Although he did go on to become the Orange Islands League Champion as well as cleared the Frontier Brain Challengers later on, those were Minor League Competitions. He would make the Elite 8 in the Johto, Hoenn and Unova Leagues, the Final Four of the Sinnoh League and was the runner up for the Kalos League.

Now, he has become Champion of a Major Pokemon League for the first time.

 

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Serebii.net reported last week a new Pokemon series will premeire on September 29. If it has a new protagonist, it’s very likely Ash Ketchum’s story is coming to a close after 20 years. In that case, it makes sense to have Ash get the one thing that has eluded him for 20 years: Winning a major Pokemon League Championship.

I commented on this a few years back but I still think Ash should’ve won the Kalos League Championship. It felt like Ash was cheated out of it because of the Alan, who was introduced early in the series as a Trainer who hunted Mega Evolved Pokemon with his Mega Charizard X. Ash never got access to Mega Evolution in Kalos so he had no real hope of beating him in the Kalos League Finals. Ash gets access to Z-Moves early on in Alola to level the playing field though.

ESPN hilariously pointed out “10 year old Ash” finally won a Championship after 20 years. Storywise, he IS 10 years old despite 7 years passing since the journey began and 20 years real time. I agree with most who’ve said for the last 15 years never aging up Ash along the way was just dumb since most who watched the show had been watching since Day One. Now, it looks like Ash Ketchum’s story will soon come to an end. Me personally, I think now would be a good time to close the book on Ash Ketchum’s story. What a long, strange trip it’s been!

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Agamerzgirl aka AnimeKat has her own WordPress Blog now!

…And naturally, yours truly is helping her out.

Here is the link to her new blog: https://agamerzgirlblognreviewhome.wordpress.com/

In addition to being an Anime fan she is also an avid gamer and streamer. I hope folks will give her their support.

As for why I haven’t posted anything new for a while. I’ve just been watching a lot of Anime on Crunchyroll and Dramas on Viki since the beginning of June. I’m behind in posting reviews but I’ll get on that sooner than later ^_^

 

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.

Before I forget, yes I am on Twitter

Image result for Twitter and WordPress

If you already follow me on Twitter, you’ll see this same post and another one multiple times since I posted them on ALL of my WordPress blogs at once.

I’ll keep this one short, though. Assuming you’re reading this first from WordPress, my Twitter handle is @LaVonDavis617. Feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter if you’d like–I only recently found out what and how to DM on that note–and I’ll get back to you when I can.

The easiest way to get in touch with me without knowing my phone number is via Google Hangouts or iMessage. I have an Android Phone but I also have an iPad. I can text an iPhone as long as I know the number but if you wanted to text my iPad first, you will need to know my iCloud Email. It’s the same with Google Hangouts, which requires either an Android Phone number or a Gmail account.

  • My iCloud is btboston1@gmail.com
  • My Gmail is btboston1@gmail.com

…My iPad is Wi-Fi only but I’m pretty good at getting back to people fairly quickly. This way, everyone has at least 3 different ways to get in touch with me. Of course, you can also just email me if you want.

One last thing: I am in need of Donations. Use the link below if you’re able and willing to donate!

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

…To date, no donations have come in since I started including this in my posts across all of my blogs. I am now asking those who have especially come to enjoy my postings no matter how long it’s been to please donate. Without going into all the details here, I need your fiancial support. If you’re able donate but want to talk to me first, you can email me at btboston1@gmail.com.