Breaking News: The Misfit of Demon King Academy Manga Cancelled due to Author’s Health

Weekly Review — The Misfit of Demon King Academy Episode 10 – Biggest In Japan

 

A few days after it was announced the Manga would be on hiatus, news broke over the weekend that the Manga based on the popular Light Novel series will be cancelled due to the author’s declining health. It was first announced the Manga would be on hiatus but that was later updated to Cancelled. The studio where Kaya Haruka works revealed after this shocking and sad news that they were aware the author was battling Pancreatic Cancer since 2019. Things clearly took a turn for the worst recently for the story to be put on hiatus and now be cancelled. As of July 13, Kaya Haruka has passed away.

Do note this Manga was adapted from the Light Novel series of the same name. Meaning someone else could make a new Manga adaptation of it at some point in the future. An anime adaptation was released last year. Season 2 is set to be released sometime next year. The manga’s 10th Volume is set to be released next month. While the current Manga will clearly be ending soon, that doesn’t mean that the story can’t contine in a new Manga series and chances are good that is what will likely happen.

 

 

The Rising of the Shield Hero's New Director Teases Season 2

More disappointing news: Season 2 of The Rising of the Shield Hero has been delayed to April 2021.

The most likely reasons are the surge in COVID-19 cases in Japan and recent concerns regarding overworked studio staff that’s been widely publicized in recent months. Originally planned for an October 2020 premeier, the extra 6 month delay doesn’t surprise me at all and more so given Season 2 was originally planned to premeire last summer. That was postponed due to the Pandemic.

Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo joined Isekai Quartet’s second season, likely in response to the anime’s massive popularity. A third season and a movie were both recently announced. We’ll have to wait and see if characters from other Isekai join and there’s quite a number of popular ones to choose from.

 

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Opening Ceremony: No Spectators Allowed - The Teal Mango

The Japanese government announced most of the Tokyo Olympics events will take place without fans in attendance and the news comes almost two months after the Japanese government announced the events would be closed to foreign spectators. Many athletes that qualified have started dropping out in response to the new announcement saying they don’t see the point in participating without any fans in attendance.

Japanese citizens have been protesting the Olympics for months, citing the surge in COVID-19 cases since March. Despite this, the clearly tone-deaf International Olympic Committee still plans to hold the Olympics as scheduled. Why is the Olympics, which was postponed from last year not being postponed a second time?

It’s simple: Broadcast and Advertising obligations.

In the U.S., ESPN and NBC Sports will carry the bulk of the media coverage for the Tokyo Olympics. The fact of the matter is even without live fans in attendance, that won’t keep camera teams from doing their jobs. This is exaserbated further by the simple fact most in the U.S. have NO CLUE what has been going on in Japan since the spring and honestly most of those people have no damns to give.

This is more of a thing I would normally cover on my blog for politics but I felt since this is Japan-related, it’s fair game to inform people on this blog on what exactly is going on.

 

 

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The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: 10 Years Later

A decade after Great East Japan Earthquake, suicide continues to take lives, Asia News - AsiaOne

 

March 11, 2011.

 

I remember following the news coverage from the day it happened to several weeks later. It was also the biggest topic of conversation at Anime Boston, which was 7 weeks later. Although only two areas of Japan was directly affected, it impacted the whole country and sparked a broader conversation on Nuclear Power and disaster preparedness globally.

The disasters claimed the lives of almost 20,000 people, another near 7,000 were injured and to this day almost 2,600 are still unaccounted for. Millions were left homeless or lost their jobs due to property damage or destruction. The initial earthquake was felt in most of the eastern half of the country but most of the destruction and casualties was concentrated in Fukushima Prefecture.

Rebuilding after Japan's tsunami | Features | Building

Japan Earthquake: Before and After - The Atlantic

 

It is worth noting most of the damaged areas were repaired or restored within 5 years. That’s astonishing if you don’t know Japan actually does experience earthquakes on a regular basis annually. Most of the rail lines in the affected areas reopened though some rail lines were so heavily damaged, they were permanently replaced with bus service where the rails used to be. Japan obviously cares a lot about its infrastructure so the speed at which they got things repaired or restored isn’t that big of a surprise. There are still several hundred thousand permanently displaced people who are living in temporary housing.

This includes many who are afraid to return to Sendai where the Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered a catastrophic meltdown during the disaster is located. The power plant was quickly shut down and sealed off though concerns of radiation sickness is why some are refusing to return. Since 2012, Japanese government officials and UN officials have both separately said the area is safe for people to return.

 

Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa): A Persistent Yearning of the Heart - Catholic Geeks

 

The 2016 feature film Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) by Makoto Shinkai is loosely inspired by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake in Tsunami. In the movie, a meteor strike wipes a small town off the map in 2013. That is where one of the two protagonists, Mitsuha Miyamizu is from. According to the story, everyone in the town who isn’t killed by the impact dies from the Tsunami that washes away the town including Mitsuha. A supernatural phenomenon links her to Taki Tachibana, a boy living in Tokyo in 2016. After doing some research, Taki realizes Mitsuha lives in the town just before it’s destroyed 3 years earlier.

The red cord of fate that connected them makes it possible for them slightly change history and most of the townspeople survive the disaster. The two meet in person for the first time in 2022 during the movie’s final scene. Both also make separate cameo appearances in Shinkai’s 2020 movie Weathering With You, which takes place in 2021. Based on this, many believe they will appear together in Shinkai’s next movie if it’s not a direct sequel to their movie.

I gave an overview of Your Name but was careful not to spoil too much. If you haven’t yet seen the movie, you definitely should. I have it on Blu Ray but apparently it’s available on Netflix.

 

 

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Anime Boston 2021 Officially Cancelled

I opened my Inbox today to find this email from the New England Anime Society, which is the parent company for Anime Boston. Here it is in full:

Notice of Cancellation

We at Anime Boston and the New England Anime Society (NEAS) have been closely monitoring the status of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on events of our size. Although the recent developments with vaccines is fantastic news, the governor’s order prohibiting larger gatherings is still in effect. With less than two months until the scheduled dates for Anime Boston 2021, it is extremely unlikely the ban will be lifted before then. As such, we unfortunately have no choice but to cancel Anime Boston 2021.

Our executive board has reviewed the possibilities of postponing the 2021 convention for later in the year or hosting an online version of Anime Boston. After careful consideration, we have decided it would not be feasible to do either at this time. We are a completely volunteer organization and all of the preparation is done on our personal time. Reorganizing the convention for later this year would be extremely difficult to achieve especially with the added uncertainty.

For our pre-registered members who had 2020 memberships transferred to 2021, by default we will be transitioning your memberships to Anime Boston 2022, set for May 27 – 29, 2022. 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 2022 help us remain financially stable and cover expenses we already incurred for 2020 and 2021.

We understand that not everyone is certain if they will be able to attend Anime Boston 2022. Anyone who would prefer to be refunded for their Anime Boston 2020/2021 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. Please also note that refunds will be delivered by mail because it has been more than one year since the card transaction. This means that there will be a further delay between processing on our end and the refund getting back to you. A request for refund must be submitted by March 14th, 2021. Any memberships without a refund request will be transferred to Anime Boston 2022.

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 2020/2021 Artists’ Alley who have already been confirmed and completed their registration will be migrated to the 2022 Artists’ Alley. Similarly, for our exhibitors in the 2020/2021 Dealers’ Room, we will be migrating all who completed their registration to the 2022 Dealers’ Room.

Participants of Anime Boston 2020/2021 programming, such as the Masquerade, Cosplay Games, Idol Showcase, AMV Contest, panels, contests, and other events will be contacted in the upcoming weeks by their event coordinators.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we worked to figure out a new path for Anime Boston 2021. Though we had considered cancellation earlier, we had certain contractual and financial obligations that made it difficult for us to cancel on our own before a certain time frame without jeopardizing the convention long term.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy, and we encourage everyone to do their part in getting a vaccine when it is available to you. We hope to see you at a better time at the next Anime Boston, May 27 – 29, 2022.

 

At least this time they let people know more than a month out. As noted, red tape prevented them from officially cancelling AB2020 and AB2021 until certain conditions were met. Like last year, they ruled out postponing the convention to later this year–even in a virtual format–because their staff is 100% volunteer including their executive board. They do all the planning and preparation on their personal time.

Hopefully the third time will be the charm next year. As noted, Governor Baker’s ban on large gatherings is still in place due to the Pandemic. I don’t see that changing until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available first and there is a huge drop in transmission second. Hopefully both of these conditions will be met by this coming Fall.

For those who may be wondering, the local pro sports teams have been playing with no fans in attendance last summer (and excluding the NBA Bubble in Orlando of course). As for the Japan Boston Festival–usually held in August–we will have to wait and see. If the current restrictions are still in plance by mid-June, that’s likely to mean it won’t happen either. I do follow news on that and if anything comes up later this year, I will provide an update.

 

 

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

Image result for Kyoto Sunrise

 

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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Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicates after a 30-year rule, Crown Prince Naruhito to succeed him as Emperor

Image result for Emperor Akihito

 

Effective April 30–I’m being mindful of the time zone difference between Boston and Japan on that note–Emperor Emeritus Akihito (above, Right) has officially abdicated the throne. His son, Emperor Naruhito (above, Left) has succeeded him as the 126th Emperor of Japan.

Akihito’s father and the previous Emperor, Hirohito was spared prosecution for war crimes committed by Japan during World War II for political reasons in short. It was sold publicly that top military officials acted without Hirohito’s knowledge or permission despite obvious evidence Hirohito was aware of everything and nothing happened without his knowing about it. In short, no one bought it but since the U.S., which Japan surrendered to was pushing the story that’s how history was written. It pissed off almost a third of the world that Hirohito basically got away with War Crimes so the US Forces occupying Japan wouldn’t have to deal with an insurrection. Hirohito ruled until his death in 1989 and was succeeded by the now Emperor Emeritus and his son, Akihito.

I’ll pause for a minute to add this. After World War II, The Imperial Royal Family was officially stripped of its power and influence in political matters. In short, the position of Emperor is nothing more than a figurehead with no real power in matters of State. This was the (steep) price paid to be spared prosecution. The REAL executive power is in the hands of the Prime Minister, the current one being Shinzo Abe.

There actually weren’t any laws on the books in Japan when Akihito expressed concern in 2016 he doesn’t think he’ll be able to fulfill his duties as Emperor for too much longer. He actually expressed his desire to abdicate in a close-door meeting with his advisors several years earlier. The Diet (Japan’s equivalent of US Congress) made a new law so The Emperor could Abdicate. It is the first peaceful transition in 200 years and second in which the existing Emperor Abdicates in the same timespan. Akihito became the first Emperor to assume the throne after World War II when his father, the previous Emperor died in 1989.

 

Take a look at this:

 

Image result for Japanese Imperial Family

 

For clarification, Japan’s line succession goes to the first male heir of each generation. Naruhito, who is 59 has an 18 year old daughter. The second in line after him will be his brother Fumihito (aged 54) while the third in line will be Fumihito’s third child and only son Hisahito (aged 13). The marriage of Princess Mako to a commoner last year renewed debate in Japan’s Diet about changing the rules of Succession. Naruhito doesn’t have a male heir so his brother Fumiko will become the new Crown Prince on May 1.

The matter had been discussed before but was dropped after the birth of Fumihito’s son Hisahito in 2006. If the rules were changed to how it is in Great Britain, Princess Aiko would become Crown Empress and her uncle would be second in line to the throne. It could also mean changing the rules on the status of Princesses when they marry a commoner. As it stands now, Princesses automatically forfeit their status as royalty when they marry a commoner because their last name changes to that of their husband. Not just their title as a princess but imperial finances and even access to their former residences as well. Some would like to see the rules changed to allow female royalty to retain some of their status and more so since unlike in Great Britain, the Imperial Royal Family is nothing more than a figurehead anyway.

If the rules were changed, after Aiko and Fumihito the next in line would be his second daughter Princess Kako–since Princess Mako lost her status by marriage to a commoner last year–and then Prince Hisahito. One person would come before Fumihito and one person would come before Hisahito just like that. Would Fumihito mind his niece becoming Crown Empress ahead of him? Probably not. I also doubt his 13 year old son Hisahito would mind his older sister Kako–12 years his senior–jumping ahead of him in the line of succession either.

Barring the unforseeable, I do think Emperor Naruhito will eventually Abdicate like his father did. His brother is five years younger than him so his reign will likely be shorter than their father’s, who reigned for 30 years starting at age 55. Emperor Naruhito is now 59 years old. He may reign for 15 to 20 years before deciding to Abdicate. This could be done to fast-track Hisahito’s son becoming Emperor while still young. Time will tell.

By the way, only the current Emperor (and Empress) are referred to as “The Emperor” (and “The Empress”) like the current Pope is referred to as “The Pope”. The previous, living Emperor (and Empress) will now have the title Emperor Emeritus (and Empress Emerita). The Emperor’s Ascension Ceremony will take place on October 22.

 

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…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.

Yes, Japan has a significant number of “shut-in” young adults called Hikikomori

Image result for Japanese shut in syndrome

 

While doing an image search, I found this article on the topic extremely helpful. I highly reccommend reading it.

Suffice to say, the rest of the world is starting to really pay attention to the phenomenon in Japan called Hikikomori. The reason Hikikomori is extremely rare in the US compared to Japan is primarily cultural. In the US, most parents will not tolerate their adult children isolating themselves in the home indefinitely and more so if they’re not working or in college unless they have a significant health condition. In Japan, Amoe is the reason adult parents of Hikikomori will continue to take care of them.

For those who don’t know, Amoe basically means “No matter how old they are, they are still your kids. You should love and take care for your children always.” Of course, some Japanese parents are (far) more tolerant than others. In some extreme cases, parents will hire people to forcefully remove their Hikikomori child from their bedroom and drag them outside (with disasterous results of course). Some Hikikomori do live on their own, sometimes in an apartment being paid for by their parents. That said, not all Hikikomori are young adults. The overwhelming majority–80%–are young men. There certainly are female Hikikomori but since culturally and historically it’s considered the norm for unmarried women to live with their parents in Japan, they often go unreported as Hikikomori. From what I’ve been reading, almost all Hikikomori live in cities as well.

 

Image result for Hikikomori

 

Hikikomori has become a serious problem in Japan and now quite common. Numbers put Hikikomori at over a million a few years back.

As a reminder, Japan is home to the largest senior population in the world. Most of its aging population is retired, close to retiring or is of age to be retired. Between that and Japan’s merit-based immigration policies, their workforce is in danger of being seriously compromised. No one has been able to figure out a singular reason or cause for the start and continued rising number of Hikikomori. Everyone has a theory of their own.

That includes me:

Image result for Karoshi

…Karoshi.

It means death by overwork in Japanese. It’s a serious problem in Japan and has been for almost 30 years now. On average, over 2,000 people commit suicide in Japan due to severe overwork. This is to aside from those who literally drop dead from a heart attack or stroke directly related to severe overwork. Again, the reason such a thing is so common in Japan is mostly cultural. It’s the norm in any society to want to work hard to earn a raise or promotion. The problem is in Japan, too often many employers exploit their employers and labor ethics commonplace in most of the developed world is not in place in Japan.

Japan is taking some steps to address the problem that is now simultaneously threatening their workforce and economy. One is requiring all employers to give everyone an hour to sleep during the day and requiring non-essential employees to be off the clock after 3PM on the last Friday of the month so they have extra downtime. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who promised to spearhead Labor Reform actually vetoed legislation that would have put limits on how many consecutive hours a week employers were allowed to let their employees work. He vetoed it because the bill did not account for Public Transit employees, who are considered Essential Employees in Japan. For those who might not know, yes Japan does have paid Maternity Leave guaranteed for all (The US doesn’t have this mandated). As a reminder: Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

…Getting back to the main topic now.

It’s hard to believe there isn’t some kind of connection between Karoshi and Hikikomori. Those who are Hikikomori have basically given up on society and isolate themselves as a coping mechanism. Enormous Stress is placed on many of them from the moment they enter their senior year of high school. They’re expected to have a job or college waiting for them by the time they graduate. That’s something those of us in the West can relate to if that was all. The difference is it’s an unwritten graduation requirement to be accepted at a well known college or goo-paying job. Not just for the family but the high school as well. Same with college students in their final year. They are expected to have several job offers waiting for them by the time they graduate and…yeah.

There’s no way these Hikikomori are not aware of Karoshi. They feel like they’re in a lose-lose situation where success is unattainable but giving up in not an option. So, they shut down socially.

Image result for Former Hikikomori

 

The issue of the Hikikomori is being taken very seriously as it should be. Some non-profits, business owners as well as former Hikikomori are putting their heads together to find ways to reintegrate the isolated back into society. One venture that recently made the news worldwide are “professional” girlfriends or boyfriends. In short, families can hire someone for their son or daughter to befriend, fall in love with and spend time with. The idea is to get them to willingly want to get out and back into the world.

In many cases, some non-profits offer job training to Hikikomori who have either been away for years or want a refresher before the start looking for work somewhere. In other cases, former Hikikomori turned business owners offer jobs to recover Hikikomori to help them build confidence. There is a lot of promise and progress but more needs to be done.

…This is my first time writing a blog post that had nothing to do with Anime or Manga but I felt it was too important to not talk about. I definitely plan to write more blogs like this in the future!

 

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