PAX East staff member dies from COVID-19 four weeks before Anime Boston 2022

PAX East Returns in April with Full Vaccination Requirements and Mandatory  Masking - IGN

Anime Boston 2022 - Saturday | Meetup

 

Gamespot shared the tragic news Tuesday afternoon.

PAX East took place in the Boston Convention Center in Boston last weekend. Although the event required all attendees and staff to be vaccinated, to that point Massachusetts and Boston had recently ended their mask mandates. Both the Boston Convention Center where PAX East is held and the Hynes Convention Center where Anime Boston is held are state property managed by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA). This is one of the situations where one death is too many. That much goes without saying to say the least.

I decided to pass on going to Anime Boston this year and likely next year in part due to these concerns. It’s easy to forget in general, conventions are a breeding ground for viral outbreaks because you have hundreds and thousands of people in enclosed spaces. I last attended AB2018 on that note. The larger reason I am not attending Anime Boston is simply because I don’t have the money right now and need to prioritize things.

That aside, I am sure the folks who manage Anime Boston will work with Hynes staff as well as the Sheraton Hotel which also hosts some events to mitigate the risks of the convention becoming another super spreader event as much as possible. Like PAX East did last month, Anime Boston does have a vaccine mandate for all attendees and staff and this was announced in October. According to what I’ve been reading on Anime Boston’s official forums, they decided to go with a mask mandate despite relaxed posturing at the local, state and federal levels on masking guidelines.

The only time you can be maskless is when you’re eating/drinking. You need to keep it on even if you’re a solo panelist like I typically was because then convention staff would have an increased risk of getting infected while cleaning the stage and microphones after you finish. Since you’re using a microphone, your voice will carry just fine with a mask on. All you have to do is slow down and properly endunciate to be heard and understood.

In closing, Anime Boston is taking the situation VERY seriously and more so after they were forced to cancel in 2020 and 2021. For those who don’t know, 100% of all Anime Boston staff and board members are not paid for what they do. Anime Boston’s parent company the New England Anime Society (NEAS) is a 501.3(c) Nonprofit. Everyone who works behind the scenes is doing it because they believe in what they’re doing first and they want the convention to be a success second. Not just for attendees but also for the staff who will be on the ground as well.

I will be watching things from a distance this year and possibly next year but I’m sure Anime Boston’s attendance this year will much lower than attendees are used to. Since 2012, Anime Boston’s attendance has exceeded 20k. Its peak was in 2017 when the attendance reached 27k. I’m sure Anime Boston staff are expecting attendance to be closer to its early years when it peaked around 10k. I would be very surprised if attendance exceeds 10k nevermind 15k this year and likely next year.

COVID-19 aside, it’s also true the entrance fee has also been increasing in recent years. When I first started going back in 2010, a weekend pass was $50. This year, it’s $95 if you preregister and $105 at the door. I did consider just getting a Sunday pass–and I am considering that for next year–but right now I can’t justify spending the $50 or $60 to be there for basically 5 and a half hours (closing Ceremonies starts at 3PM and lasts an hour). Not this year at least.

 

 

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Crunchyroll announces Funimation, VRV and Wakanim’s libraries will merge with theirs

Image: Crunchyroll Hime with text "All your anime in one place!"

 

Crunchyroll broke the news this morning on their website. They have also given a partial list of what they have moved so far and more will be coming over time. If you already have a Crunchyroll account, you do not need to do anything. If you have an account with Funimation, VRV or Wakanim Crunchyroll is offering 60 free days of premium which they will send you via email.

I forgot to mention it on this blog but Funimation bought Crunchyroll last year. One of the biggest questions those of us with Crunchyroll Premium subscriptions had been wondering to now is what it means for us. Sony, which owns Funimation could have simply done the opposite. Most would agree browsing Crunchyroll’s catalog regardless of platform is way more user friendly than Funimation’s even after the former’s revamp two years ago.

Sony could’ve merged Crunchyroll’s library with Funimation’s but thankfully they decided to do it this way instead. For me it also means Crunchyroll is strong enough for Funimation to do this at least. Funimation itself is not going away. They will still Dub and license anime. Their streaming service is simply merging with Crunchyroll’s. They are calling it the world’s largest anime streaming library for a reason but the caviat is it’s the largest LEGAL one. I don’t use pirate websites–never have and never will–but I know a lot of people in low-income countries who do. They use pirate websites because they simply can’t afford it in their country or in many cases Crunchyroll isn’t available in their country. Much will need to be done to address this problem to say the least.

 

 

 

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Netflix’s Live Action version of Cowboy Bebop is clearly trying to be respectful to the source material

Cowboy Bebop | Netflix Official Site

 

More so given the overwhelmingly negative reception it’s received so far from fans of the Anime. I get it, everyone remembers the disaster that was Netflix’s Death Note. Clearly tthis time will be different though.

 

Here’s a side by side comparison with the opening title sequence for both the Anime and the Live Action Version:

 

 

As of now, we know that there will be at least two seasons.

One noticable omission from the first season is seems to be Edward. The interesting thing about Edward is contrary to the name, Edward is actually a girl. If you pay attention, Edward’s gender isn’t mentioned or clarified until the episode explaining her backstory near the end of the series. My guess is the producers were either not sure how to write her story for the first season or they may be planning to make her genderless.

 

Netflix dropped this almost 3-minute teaser I assume to convince fans of the anime to check it out. Given they kept Tank! (the song from the opening sequence), which is one of Anime’s most iconic tracks ever that should be enough for people to know this project is worth checking out at least. I plan to watch along with a few other stuff whenever it is I renew my Netfix subscription. Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop premieres on November 19.

If you’ve read this far and havent watched the anime before–what the hell is wrong with you if that’s true–you have quite a few options:

  1. Toonami/Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)
  2. DVD/Blu Ray
  3. YouTube

…Pick one.

I have it on Blu Ray but first watched it on Toonami/Adult Swim when it was first released way, WAY back in 1998. Toonami has been airing it in reruns ever since.

 

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Future Blog Plans

First things first, I want to repeat what I said at the end of my previous article. Please consider supporting me financially via the PayPal Links above and below. If you’re sharing my articles on Twitter and other platforms, please ask your people to consider giving me financial support as well. I do all this for free but the financial support would be greatly appreciated.

 

This is one of my first blogs and since it’s been a while, I figure I would take the time to explain the direction I plan to move with this blog moving forward. One thing I plan to continue is give analysis of various Anime and Asian Dramas I watch. I also plan to continue giving an analyis of various Dramas and Webtoons I read. Of course, I’ll also talk about Anime Boston as I have been for almost 10 years now.

Something I’ve noticably been making an effort to do more of is delve into current events in Japan outside Pop Culture. I have also been expanding things outside strictly Japan especially when I talk about Manwa (Korean Manga) and Manhua (Chinese Manga), more so because of their increased international popularity in recent years.

It goes without saying Japan won the Cultural War it declared on the West in the Mid to late 90s. Western Cultures scoffed at what they viewed to be a “niche” subculture in the early 2000s but by the early 2010s, it really started to take off. Now, it’s more or less considered mainstream. To say Western society is obsessed with Japanese and Asian/Pacific Culture(s) now goes without saying. A lot of that has to do with the fact let’s be honest, Western Moral Values have become virtually non-existent over the last 20 years. Of course, much of that is because of our own doing–violence, sexual immorality, profanity and crime glorified in our entertainment–so the results of that on our society shouldn’t surprise anyone.

People are looking for decent entertainment that has a lot of the good morals that used to be be all over TV’s first few decades. Until about 30 years ago, parents in America didn’t need to worry about what their kids watched on TV. Obviously, now parents do and then some. I’ll spare you the history lesson but basically, people are just tired of the garbage that is today’s American TV. This is also what makes Asian Programming in general so attractive to Western Audiences. People are seeing things in the vein of what they saw when they were young or in the case of younger viewers, they’re seeing something wholesome.

China and to a lesser extent Korea are known for producing Period dramas alongside Dramas set in the modern age. The Period dramas set in the past give Western audiences a look into life in either country’s history even when there are historical inaccuracies or a hard lean into Fantasy elements. After all, Anicent China was the home of both Buddhism and Confucianism though there are also elements of Taoism as well.

Most of the modern shows I watch highlight the cultural struggles in China and Korea with the influences of Capitalism and other Western influences with established longtime cultural values. When the 2018 American movie Bohemian Rhapsody was released in China, the Chinese government agreed to allow the movie to be shown in the country but there was a catch: The movie had to be edited to remove references to the lead character being Bisexual. The Chinese government does censor international movies, literature and TV shows not just on moral grounds but for political reasons. Of course, the will also censor anything that mocks or goes against or threatens Chinese cultural beliefs as a whole. Yes, really.

While just the idea of government censorship is enough to trigger well…everyone in the U.S., you won’t find a lot of people who oppose the idea of the American Media Industry getting cleaned up. The problem is the industry has made it clear it has no interest or will to police itself so…yeah. I’ll stop there since it’s a topic for another blog though.

All that said, I am WELL aware of the Sexually Explicit and graphic violence in some Japanese Anime and Manga. I hate it personally and more so when I feel a lot of it is unncessary. I also hate the fact Sexually Lewd content in particular has seeped into video games from Japanese developers being localized in the West. Why do they do it? Because in Japan, those types of games are deliberately marketed to adults. Same for “Girls/Boys Love” Ecchi and Harem genre games.

Don’t even get me started on charcters regardless of medium featured that are physically “child-like” but are actually 18+ AND teenagers under 18 with exaggerated physical proportions being put in sexually suggestive situations or scenes. All that said, the Japanese goverment finally stepped in a few years ago and more so because of Anime like Higehiro where unfortunately concerns someone would try to replicate what they see depicted actually did. This was never a concern for Japanese society in the past but that was before so much of their mass media was as saturated with Sexual Content as it is now.

What I was pleasantly surprised to learn in recent years is there are people on both sides of the Pacific who are basically saying “Enough. All this [Fan Service] isn’t necessary”. It’s commonly known as Fan Service which in Anime/Manga is almost always females being sexually suggestive or Lewd, usually in an over the top or deliberate way. Those in Japan are tired of being stereotyped over it first and its not as socially accepted in Japan as people might think second. Even more so these days. Those outside Japan are pushing back hard against those who oppose content makers who edit out or change sexually explicit content. When you’re older, you realize “less is more” anyways.

 

Moving on. I snuck this in at the end of the last article but I set up a Discord Server! I started using Discord for the first time ever this year and I see it as a potential alternative to some social media platforms. I have Discord on my iPad as well so I’ll be able to follow conversations anytime and anywhere. I’ll add more channels to the server over time as well so it’s not a bad idea to drop in at least.

 

Things You Probably Didn't Know About Instant Ramen Noodles

Instant Pot Ramen Noodles | Gluten Free Ramen Noodles - Confessions of a Fit Foodie

 

I do plan to add a section for Japanese Foods with complete recipes.

Instant Ramen and Cup Ramen have been around for over 50 years but did you know you can and it’s reccommended you spice it up to look like it does in Anime? Instant Ramen and Cup Ramen imfamously got a bad reputation in the late 1990s to mid-2000s in the U.S. but that changed after the Naruto Manga and later Anime were released. Anime Fans in particular began to realize they were mostly eating it wrong their whole lives: The Flavor packet was for the broth BUT it was assumed you would add the protein and veggies yourself. If this isn’t a reason to learn how to cook, I don’t know what is!

I’ll add a new section for Japanese foods before the end of this year. Of that you can be certain. I’ll announce in posts when content is added as well, don’t worry. I won’t just post recipes but more importantly, how you can make certain things without access to an Asian Grocery Store like Super 88. Most Supermarkets in the U.S. do have an aisle or two lined with Sauces, Spices, Seasonings and other Asian ingredients or food products. Those will cover everything I plan to feature over time but if live near an Asian Grocery store, you can ask staff about specifics.

If you’ve never seen the Produce section of your local supermarket, most do sell Daikon–it’s a type of Radish for those who don’t know–as well as Shitake Mushrooms as well as Leeks (Green Onions). If you want Kobe Beef, you would have to go to either go to an Asian grocery store or a Butcher Shop though it won’t be cheap. Alternatively, you can use other cuts of beef instead. Oh and I won’t just feature Japanese food. I also plan to feature foods from South Korea, The Philippines and China to name a few places.

I also plan to add a section for the Idol Industry in Japan and South Korea as a whole to explain some things many of those outside South Korea and Japan may not understand culturally. The Western World knows who BTS is now but until very recently, they were only known in South Korea. The Dark Side of K-Pop and J-Pop Fandoms is touched on in other media but I’m gonna make a section to show folks what could have been the U.S. Pop Scene about 25 years ago. I feel it’s important for folks to be aware at least.

 

…Whew.

Yeah, I know this is quite a lot of big things I have planned moving forward. Your continued support will be greatly appreciated moving forward. Really, I mean it. Thank you ^_^

 

 

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

Also, I now have a Discord Server! You can find it here. My Discord name is mraurabolt.

Crunchyroll and Rakuten Viki are clearly gearing up to attract viewers for the Fall and Winter

…That’s probably the best way I can think of to put it right now. Before I preview what’s new, I first want to give a recap on some ongoing anime and one legendary reboot that wrapped up over the summer.

 

Ok here we go:

Digimon Adventure: (2020) Episodio 44 Online Sub Español HD - Pepeliculas

Digimon Adventure, which was a reboot of the original Anime series wrapped up over the summer. The reboot cut out all of the bloat so prevalent from the original series and a lot of that was because unlike the original series, the reboot only aired new episodes once a week. For those who are either too old to remember or didn’t exist at the time, look up Dragonball Z’s original episode count and compare it to Dragonball Z Kai’s.

Anywho, Digimon Adventure basically cuts right to the point. If you watched the original series, you’ll notice a few changes made to the reboot with certain characters. Most notably with Patomon having a split evolution. Aside from evolving into Angemon, Patomon gets an alternate evolution to Pegasmon. Another interesting change is the kids stay in the digital world until the end. In the original series, they are able to return to the real world after a certain point and this is how we originally meet Tai’s sister Hikari. What happens instead is she is introduced at the beginning and is later pulled into the Digital World.

For those who never saw the original series, you can just watch this instead. Prepare to binge though. At the time the original series was released, yes it was compared to the Pokemon Anime. Digimon are different from Pokemon in two ways. One is Digimon with human partners only Digivolve Temporarily in the Anime. Aside from Mega Evolution, Pokemon permanently evolve. In the case of Pokemon like Eevee that had multiple evolutions, you would need a LOT of Eevee to get all of its evolutions.

The other difference is Digimon can speak human language while almost all Pokemon can only say their name. Team Rocket’s Meowth explains he gave up learning PayDay to learn the human language as well as learn to walk on two legs (Meowth usually walk on all fours). Meowth is able to translate the Pokemon Language though. That aside, any other Pokemon that can speak to humans are almost always a Legendary Pokemon or highly intelligent. You also almost always see such a Pokemon in a movie.

Taichi Mukai Performs New Opening Theme for Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai Anime - News - Anime News Network

 

As a reminder, the Manga turned Anime is not based on any existing game from the legendary Dragon Quest/Warrior video game series. With the new OP that debuted a few weeks ago, it seems we are fast heading towards the series finale at this point. Dai reluctantly teams up with his estranged father Baran to take on a common enemy. While the two are fighting Hadlar, Baran notices a danger that may make beating Hadlar lethally impossible. King Vearn is confident Dai and Baran will not survive their encounter with  Hadlar, who is already planning to fight to the death. It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

Hyunckel, who was nearly killed in the previous fight was considered too injured to fight anymore. That doesn’t stop him from dragging himself to the Field of Death to join Popp, Maam and Crocodine on the battlefield. Even without Dai, the unlikely friends are prepared to overcome the odds stacked against them.

 

Is Kurama dead? Kurama's death in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Chapter 55 manga shocks fans

If you passed on watching Boruto up to now because you felt the story should’ve ended with Shippuden, hopefully a major character death and a second one teased at the end of the Kara Arc will change your mind. This is a major spoiler but given the fact it’s all over the internet since the episode first aired two weeks ago, I won’t give a spoiler warning.

During the final battle with Isshinki, Kurama offered Naruto a deal that would give him a massive power boost but it would require a sacrifice. Naruto assumed it would mean death and he was right. Just not his. After the battle, Kurama reveals he only told Naruto half the story: The only one who would die would be him, not Naruto. He didn’t tell him the truth up front because he knew Naruto wouldn’t have agreed to it otherwise. Before disappearing, Kurama explains normally a Jinchuriki would die with their Tailed Beast but because of what Kurama did, Nauto’s life would be spared. The loss of Kurama means Naruto no longer has Superhuman strength and Chakra but he’s still really powerful.

Kawaki, who suffered extreme abuse and torture for most of his life gets the final victory over Isshinki by making a Shadow Clone and using it to fool his former benefactor. It was a great fist-pump moment and closure for him to say the least. Naruto offered to make Kawaki a Genin and he simply replied “I’ll think about it”. Amado defecting to the Leaf was what made that victory possible. Seeing him get a happy ending was also satisfying all things considered. Some might not agree with the fact he was able to easily neutralize the threat of Momoshinki taking over Boruto again after the emotional build to that point but all things considered, I’m totally fine with it. Both Boruto and Naruto have been through enough to that point.

Everyone in the Kara has been eliminated except for Code though based on the preview for the next episode, that loose end appears to be on the shelf for now. The next episode takes us back to the Chunin Exams which were interrupted and put on hold quite a while back. Ninja exams tend to get put on hold quite a lot in the world of Naruto, don’t they? Based on the preview, Sasuke and/or Orochimaru may be involved in the Chunin exams so we’ll see. It’s sure to be quite interesting to say the least!

 

Inuyasha x Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Exhibition to Begin in Ikebukuro This Summer | MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON | もしもしにっぽん

The Second Season of Yasha-Hime: Princess Half-Demon recently started and out the gate, we get a bit more story development regarding Sesshomaru, Rin and Setsuna in particular. As was revealed in the first season, Sesshomaru pretended to ally himself with Kirinmaru to protect his family as well as Inuyasha and Kagome. We find out why Sesshomaru stopped the girls rom killing Zero in the latest episode and why she said “If I die, she dies too!”

In this case, “She” is Rin. In the latest episode, it’s revealed Zero–She’s Kirinmaru’s sister as a reminder–put a curse on Rin shortly after Jaken hid the girls. She then linked herself to Rin so that if one dies, the other would too. This basically ensures Sesshomaru or anyone who knows about the link can’t kill her. This is also why he stopped the girls from killing Zero at the end of Season 1. The reason Rin was placed in the Tree of Ages was to stop the curse placed on her from spreading. Time for her has stopped biologically. Presumably she will remain there until Sesshomaru can figure out how to sever Zero’s link with her as well as break the curse on her.

One interesting development was the revealation Riku, who turned on Kirinmaru was actually born from one of his horns. Everything Riku sees and hears, Kirinmaru can see and hear. Zero is actually the one who tells him what he really is and you can tell after he learns this, it’s likely Kirinmaru knows his every move to now. Riku turned on Kirinmaru and had been secretly helping Towa for the last few episodes. Now that he knows Kirinmaru knows everything, that makes things more complicated for him. We’ll have to wait and see how things unfold moving forward.

 

The Lariat | Rakuten Viki

…Moving over to Asian Dramas on Viki.

I neglected to comment on this last year but Viki has moved more of their existing content to its Standand and Premium Subscription tiers. I was a little annoyed to see some titles that were Free for me before now being locked behind a Premium subscription though the ones I have in mind were dramas I already watched. I do have a Standard Subscription and though I do plan to upgrade to Premium at some point in the future, it would have been great if Viki at least sent an email to let people know a show they watch or have on their watch list is changing tiers.I  renewed for another year this past September. The Standard Tier is $50 a year while the Premium tier is $100 a year. I will always prefer annual subscripions–I have one for Crunchyroll also–because you save longterm. $10 a month is $120 a year but $50 a year or $100 a year means you save $70 or $20 a year.

I mean I get those who don’t want to be locked into an annual subscription and more so if they don’t watch much but that’s a good reason to do the annual sub: You don’t feel pressured to watch at least once a day. With an annual sub, you can go weeks without waching and with series still in progress, you give time for several new episodes to be released. With Viki, I’ve only watched shows with all Episodes available so far personally though.

 

 

True Beauty” Webtoon Author Shares Her Thoughts On The Drama Adaptation And Casting | Soompi

 

Anyone who’s been reading the Webtoon True Beauty probably already knows about the Live Action adaptation that was released on Viki in 2019. If you’ve only seen the Live Action Drama, get the Webtoon app and read it so you’re caught up. The TV Series ends with Suho being forced to leave for Japan to attend to his father, who suffered a stroke.

If you’ve never seen the Webtoon, here’s what’s happened since then and warning, MAJOR Spoilers:

  • There is a time skip of a few years. Everyone’s a Young Adult now.
  • Jugyeong goes to College, majoring in makeup (obviously).
  • Jugyeong and Seojun start dating (!)
  • Seojun sees Jugyeong’s bare face for the first time, he compliments her for it
  • Seojun enters the Pop Idol Business at Jugyeong’s urging
  • Jugyeong finds part-time work as a Makeup Artist
  • After rumors about their relationship spreads online, Jugyeong breaks up with Seojun (!).
  • Suho returns from Japan (!)
  • Jugyeong gets a Stalker but fortunately, Suho eventually steps in.
  • Seojun learns Suho is back, the Frenimies pick up where they left off.
  • Suho learns Jungyeong and Seojun were dating while he was away (!)
  • Jugyeong learns a friend is in an Abusive Relationship
  • Jugyeong, Seojun and Suho end up spending a weekend together
  • Suho and Seojun come clean about both having feelings for Jungyeong and settle the contest “like Men” (they get into a fistfight), Suho wins (!)
  • Jugyeong shows her two high school friends her bare face for the first time.

 

That’s where we’re at to now. If you’ve been following the Webtoon to now, this is nothing new to you. If you haven’t read it yet or haven’t read much this year, go get yourself caught up! Oh and yes, I do think there is and should be a Season 2. I would end Season 2 with Suho’s return. End with a cliffhanger for Season 3.

 

 

My ID Is Gangnam Beauty” Webtoon Artist Reacts To Casting Of ASTRO's Cha Eun Woo And Im Soo Hyang | Soompi

Speaking of.

This is another Webtoon with a Live Drama Adaptation: My ID is Gangnam Beauty. I watched the Drama in full on Viki earlier this year but only last week did I find out it’s based on the Webtoon of the same name. With True Beauty, I started reading the Webtoon first and by the time the drama came out the current story was well past where the TV Series leaves off.

…I’m gonna read the Webtoon from the beginning so I’m caught up the story. Basically, the exact opposite of where I am in regards to True Beauty. The Webtoon App is free by the way. I have it on my iPad but you can also read on your phone or computer.

 

There was more I was gonna cover but with the next post I have in mind, I decided to cut things short.

I’ll mention this on my next post but if you’ve been liking my articles to now, please consider supporting me financially via the PayPal Links above and below. If you’re sharing my articles on Twitter and other platforms, please ask your people to consider giving me financial support as well. I do all this for free but the financial support would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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

Also, I now have a Discord Server! You can find it here. My Discord name is mraurabolt.

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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Hunter x Hunter Manga has now gone 900 Days without a new Chapter

May be a cartoon of text that says 'AS ANIMES SENPAI HUNTER X HUNTER REACHED 900 DAYS WITHOUT NEW CHAPTER ANIME SENPAI'

 

For those who don’t know, Hunter x Hunter Manga creator Togashi Yoshihiro put the Manga on Hiatus in 2019 due to nagging back pain. With Yoshihiro’s health failing, it’s looking more and more likely the popular series will never be completed. Commenting on his nagging back pain, Yoshihiro admitted drawing aggrivates his injury.

There are growing concerns the super popular series will never be finished due to his health issues and the fact he has not allowed someone else to continue the series. Most believe it’s a pride thing in regards to Yoshihiro not allowing someone else to work on it. What that means for now is when he dies, the Manga dies with him.

 

As an aspiring author, I can respect that personally. At the same time, chronic health issues are easily the biggest reason I would consider getting someone to continue the story. More so if it has a fan following on the scale Hunter x Hunter does. At the same time I do get it. It’s your baby. Your own creation. Unlike in the U.S. where studios and companies can legally own what others created, over in Japan there is respect for content creators.

Although authors making content based on an established IP–we call it Fan Fiction–most in Japan at least get the original author’s blessing before they do something like that. They also don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Attack on Titan Junior High, which spoofs the first half of the first season of the anime is a good example of this. It’s not that unusual to see Fan Fiction next to the source IP in bookstores in Japan but that’s probably a topic better suited for my blog on Fan Fiction.

 

 

 

May be a cartoon of one or more people and text that says 'AS ANIMESENPAI ANIME HIGEHIRO AUTHOR ASK FANS TO NOT IMITATE THE ACT OF THE STORY FS'

 

The author of this Light Novel series turned Anime recently took to Twitter likely to cover himself legally. For those who may not be familiar with Higehiro, the story is about a mid-20s office worker who takes in a 17 year old girl who is a runaway. The fact that the story doesn’t dance around the fact what the lead male protagonist does actually is a crime in not just Japan but most of the world is what makes it such a gripping story.

While obviously Sayu is there willfully and Yoshida has made it clear he has zero sexual interest in her, it’s obvious their living arrangement can’t possibly last. Based on the latest episode, her older brother–a businessman–found the convenience store where she works. It’s only a matter of time before reality forces them apart at this point.

The Light Novel’s author telling people not to imitate the story should go without saying but sadly, there are those who would imitate what they see in fiction. While I haven’t heard of any copycat situations yet personally, he is saying it anyway in case someone in Japan does try it.

 

Weak Hero - White Mamba" Photographic Print by sa1x | Redbubble

Get Schooled Manga | Anime-Planet

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about what is arguably one of the best Manwa (basically Korean for Manga) ever made that probably won’t get an Anime adaptation. Weak Hero follows the story of rival gangs in rival high schools in Korea. It’s also got a bit of slice of life and coming of age for both the lead protagonist Gray Yeon and the main antagonist Donald Na. The graphic, visceral nature of all of the fights as well as the profanity throughout this Manwa is why we will never see it get an Anime adaptation like Tower of God did with Crunchyroll.

It’s the same for Get Schooled, the second picture above that recently came to Webtoon. Both Manwa highlight School Bullying in South Korea. Though some things are clearly exaggerated, the actual bullying situations and sub-culture depicted are in fact real. This may be quite the shock to Western readers but several South Koreans and Japanese commenters have said the sub-culture both Webtoons explore are painfully accurate.

Those who’ve read certain Manga or seen certain Anime probably already know some kids are bullied into suicide in Japan. Like South Korea, the root cause is mostly cultural and the bullies push that to the extreme. Even when teachers know for a fact a student is being bullied, most typically fall into one of two categories: Turn a blind eye for the sake of job security or give vague lip service and hope it’s enough.

Why are teachers and school administrators in Japan and South Korea so hesitant to address, let alone acknowlege bullying? Reputation, Optics, Job Security and Genuine Indifference. One or a combination of all of those things. This is especially true of older educators who never dealt with this in the past.

 

…Obviously, times have changed.

 

 

May be a cartoon of text that says 'NEWS HOW NOT TO SUMMON DEMON LORD Ω OPENING THEME EXCEEDED 1,000,000+ VIEWS ON YOUTUBE NEWS Source: YouTube animecorner.me'

 

If you watched How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Ω at all in recent months then you have no doubt heard the OP. Here is the music video:

 

It’s easily the most popular OP for an anime since Dean Fujioka’s History Maker (Yurii!! On Ice).

For those who haven’t seen the Anime itself yet, start with the first season!

 

 

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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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Crunchyroll’s Winter 2020-21 Lineup balances catching up with new shows

Winter 2021 Lineup

 

Go here for the full list as of January 3, 2021.

 

Here’s a partial list of Ongoing Series or New Seasons to existing shows:

 

  • Black Clover (Ongoing)
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (Ongoing)
  • Attack on Titan: The Final Season
  • Digimon Adventure (Ongoing)
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (Ongoing)
  • Healin’ Good Pretty Cure (Ongoing)
  • One Piece (Ongoing)
  • Yasha-Hime: Princess Half-Demon (Ongoing)
  • Umamusume: Pretty Derby Season 2
  • Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories 8
  • That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets Season 2
  • Dr. Stone Season 2: Stone Wars

 

…Noticably absent are The Rising of the Shield Hero and The Promised Neverland. Both were announced to be getting a second season each. Still no word on when they will premiere. The new seasons we do know about are welcomed especially Dr. Stone and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.

 

Black Clover has definitely defied many expectations in terms of staying power. I found out last year originally, the anime was originally only going to be 48 episodes long. Now it’s clocked over 150 episodes and counting. Same for Boruto, which many fans were initially hostile toward because of how much they loved Naruto + Shippuden. It has been gaining more acceptance and appreciation over the last 18 months I’ve noticed though.

We finally saw Miroku make his first appearance in Yasha-Hime: Princess Half-Demon this past week. At the end of the episode, Sango made a cameo appearance as well. As a reminder, they got married at the end of Inuyasha: The FInal Act and had three kids together, two of which we’ve seen so far: Their son and one of their twin daughters. We have yet to see Sesshomaru, Inuyasha or Kagome though we know Sesshomaru is connected to The Tree of Ages in some way yet to be revealed. Setsuna starting the series without memories of her childhood is clearly plot armor as we don’t know who her and Towa’s mother is yet. It’s easy to assume Rin but given she’s being held in suspension within the Tree of Ages, that’s no longer certain. Moroha being able to use Sacred Arrows and holy power–and with skill–despite being a Half-Demon prettymuch confirms she was likely trained by her mother Kagome.

 

Digimon Adventure (2019) is a remake of the original 1998 Anime similar to Dragonball Z Kai. This new series was likely done to help provide context to the confused young folks who may have watched Digimon Adventure: Tri and had no idea why they should care. The original series came under heavy criticism in the west due to the overt whitewashing by 4Kids, which did the English Dub. The remake uses everyone’s official Japanese names. Some of the characters were given English names for the English dub among other things. If you’ve only seen the 1998 English dub, Matt is Yamato for example.

 

Here’s a partial list for New Shows premiering:

 

  • Dr. Ramune – Mysterious Disease Specialist –
  • EX-ARM
  • Given: The Movie
  • Heaven’s Design Team
  • The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter
  • So I’m A Spider, So What?
  • Tropical-Rouge Pretty Cure
  • True Cooking Master Boy
  •  8 More Titles TBA

The Hidden Dungeon Only I can Enter looks like a spinoff of Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon? to me based on the logo and art style. Tropical-Rouge Pretty Cure as stated is a spinoff of Healin’ Good Pretty Cure. I figure for the 8 TBA Titles we’ll find out in the coming months. In addition, hopefully we will learn more about Crunchyroll’s future a few months after they were bought by Funimation. Time will tell.

I will provide more updates and reviews over the course of this year when I can. I’m feeling pretty excited about this year personally. Between Crunchyroll and Rakuten Viki, I know I have a lot to look forward to!

 

 

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