Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo assassinated

Shinzo Abe, Japan's Longest-Serving Prime Minister, Dies at 67 - The New York Times

 

I happened to be watching NHK Japan last night when the shocking news broke that Japan’s former prime minister was shot. He was taken to a local hospital unresponsive and was later pronounced dead. He was 67 years old. Abe Shinzo was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister. He was in office for 12 years before declining health forced him to step down in 2020. Abe was prime minister while Bush 43, Obama and Trump were president.

Tributes are pouring in from not just across Japan but around the world. The former prime minster’s assassination has also shattered the sense of peace and safety from gun violence Japan has long enjoyed since the end of World War II. Japan has long been known as one of the safest countries in the world. For context, it’s very common to see preschool-aged children using public transportation unattended in Tokyo and Osaka. For the most part, tou do not need to look over your shoulder when walking around at night.

While the assassin was arrested on the spot, the body blow he dealt to Japan will be felt for some time. The assassin was a former JSDF soldier and made the gun he used himself. Personally, I am concerned that may have permanently shattered the collective sense of safety from random gun violence the people of Japan have enjoyed for generations.

Many Japanese officials condemned the assassination as an attack on not just Democracy but an attack on Free Speech. Abe was speaking at a public event in Nara at the time he was killed. One of the so far known motives behind the assassination was the assassin held hatred toward what’s being referred to as a “certain group” he mistakenly believed Abe was affiliated with. Yes, someone really felt they needed to kill the former Prime Minister over something like that.

Given this was a politically motivated killing, even though he was no longer a government official at the time, the assassin will likely face the death penalty when convicted. Assuming that happens, The Japanese government has a policy of not telling the condemned in advance when they will be executed. Capital Punishment is extremely rare in Japan but given the nature of Abe’s assassination, it’s not a stretch to believe it will be off the table. The condemned don’t know when they’ll be executed until the day of. On that day, a guard will go to their cell to take them to be executed.

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi Dies At 60 - Game Informer

 

The day before Abe’s assassination, manga, anime and trading card game fans were already rocked by the sudden and untimely death of Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi. Takahashi was found dead off the coast of Okinawa wearing diving gear after being spotted by someone passing by. He was 60 years old. His death is presumed to be accidental drowning.

 

In the early 90s, Takahashi’s fascination with Egyptian Mythology inspired him to create the Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga. The Manga was adapted into an Anime and more famously, inspired a real world trading card game. Not gonna lie, I spent around $1,200 on the TCG between 2002 and 2009. I wrote about it here. To save people a click, here’s one line that sums up that experience for me: Trading Card Games are a massive time and money pit. If you’re not careful, you might not be able to get out on your own.

 

While the Yu-Gi-Oh Franchise is nowhere near as popular s it once was 20 years ago, it currently lives on in anime, manga, the physical trading card game, the new official digital trading card game (Free to play) and video games.

 

 

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Japanese parents expressing concern over Sexually Explicit content in Anime

Top 17 Anime/Manga With Fanservice » Anime India

 

It’s hard to ignore the fact it’s becoming more and more commonplace in mainstream anime these days. Last year, Fire Force creator Atsushi Ōkubo weighed in on the subject that involved one character known to randomly lose their clothing in a Manga scene. He addressed the controversy around this character’s semi-nude trope directly by basically saying “So what if some people don’t like her showing so much skin in almost every scene? I dont give a damn.” through the scene. We’ll have to wait and see if this scene is put in the anime once the story reaches that point but it probably will be.

Most Anime fans in the West are already well aware of this but Japanese media is imfamous for being very…”liberal” in regards to its depictions of sexual content, violence and immorality in general for decades. The difference is until about 20 years ago, such content was strictly 18+ even in Japan. What happened? Foreign demand for Japanese media sharply increased, that’s what. Many consumers in North America and Europe who didn’t like their country’s “Censorship practices” took a strong liking to Japanese anime and manga because in general, western consumers felt Japanese media appealed to “mature audiences”.

Even when Anime began to become mainstream in North America and Europe about 25 years ago (late 1990s), most of what made its way to the West was relatively tame compared to most what was available in Japan at the same time. The West almost exclusively got select Shonen like Digimon, Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Inuyasha (started in the late 90s, Manga premeired earlier in the 90s) and Sailor Moon back then. All of these were geared toward kids and youth so even in Japan they were mostly tame, the one exception from that list being Dragonball Z (edited fo graphic content outside Japan).

It wasn’t until the mid to late 2000s that we really started to see the kiddie gloves coming off because by that point, anime airing in the West exclusively ran on Cable/Satellite. There was less of a need to edit anime for graphic content. Bleach, Death Note, Naruto, Samurai Champloo, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Beebop were all trail blazers in their own right and opened the floodgates for anime globally. Toward the end of the decade, anime streaming services were starting to take off. This is to say nothing of the West being introduced to the artistic genius of Hayao Miyazaki earlier in the decade via Disney’s Studio Ghibli.

It was during the 2010s that we really started seeing more non-Shonen going mainstream. We would also start to see Shonen that didn’t have fighting or flashy action sequences at the end of the decade like Food Wars and Dr. Stone. By 2014, Crunchyroll had become the anime streaming giant it still is now though Funimation would also launch their own streaming service. It was also by the mid-2010s that Anime’s Global Golden Age would be over after almost 20 years. At this point most anime, manga and even many Japanese RPGs were noticably being made with older consumers in mind. Why? Demand from foreign consumers was driving profits to new heights and the industry was adjusting accordingly.

 

World's End Harem Episode 1 Review: A Dangerous Journey Through Sex and Fantasy

 

That brings me back to the main topic. The fact that Japanese parents are raising concerns about Sexually Explicit content in anime tells me there is a more social awareness in Japan on what exactly their kids are being exposed to.

World’s End Harem, which recently premiered on Crunchyroll is a blatant attempt to make an obvious Ecchi appealing to “General Audiences”. How so? The basic premise of the story is about a man who wakes up after 5 years in cryogenic sleep to a world where Males are virtually extinct due to a viral outbreak. His primary mission? Impregnante as many Females as possible weather he wants to or not. The Manga it’s based on has actually been around for some time. While it IS true there is an actual plot, that is obviously not what the uh…”appeal” is if you know what I mean.

It’s interesting to note the reason there has been an uptick in anime and manga with sexually explicit content in recent years is because demand for it has sharply risen. Not from Japanese consumers but from consumers outside Japan. Most consumers from inside Japan don’t understand it and they DON’T like all the “Fan Service” for that matter anywhere near as much as they know many people outside Japan think. I do think it’s only a matter of time before Japanese artists and studios pivot on their own because most of them don’t want to be stereotyped for this anymore.

 

This is to say nothing of content sexualizing Female characters characterized as pre-pubescent and content depicting or promoting incest, usually between sibings becoming mainstream. This kind of content you usually had to put in some effort to find but mostly due to Western influence, we are seeing more of it in the mainstream. Japanese society is starting to recognize it as the problem it truly is and I am hoping they can discourage it personally.

 

 

 

 

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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.

I just started watching Eighty Six-86 and the moral controversy has some real world parallels that should not be ignored

86--Eighty-Six, Vol. 1 (manga) by Asato Asato, Shirabii, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

 

I just finished watching the seventh episode on Crunchyroll and it is now my favorite new anime of 2021. Based on the Manga of the same name, 86 is the story of a country in the near future at war with rogue autonomous drones trying to invade the country’s far eastern boarder. The government and military boast it is a bloodless war since they claim to also use autonmous drones but the truth is much darker: In reality, the drones used by the country are piloted by people not considered human because they are not the “chosen race”. Since they are not considered human, they don’t exist as far as the government is concerned and so their deaths are never officially reported or acknowledged.

Yes, really.

This goes there and it doesn’t try to shy away or gloss over the obvious moral controversy. In fact, that is the story.

Of course, the general public is ignorant of the truth and to an extent is complicit due to the racism. Only those with silver hair and blue eyes are considered “human” while everyone else is not as far as the country is concerned. The anime is called 86 because those not considered human are confined to the county’s 86th Region on the edge of the country. These people are referred to collectively as The 86 or simply 86. They have no human or civil rights and live far from the eyes and thoughts of the rest of the Albins, which is the name of the “chosen race”.

Due to the government and media propaganda boasting “zero human casualties” in the war, officially their deaths in combat are not reported or recorded. The fact the 86 are not considered human and the battlefront is far away makes it very easy to cover up what would easily be considered human rights violations of the worst kind. Since they are not recognized as human, there is no reason or need to acknowledge their deaths as far as the government is concerned.

On that note. Episode 5 confirms what viewers were probably thinking to that point: The real plan for the country is for them to use the war to kill off all the 86. Since they are not considered human, there is no reason or need to acknowledge their involvement in the war to the public. As is revealed, 86 staying in concentration camps are basically pressed into military service with the empty promise of freedom and full citizenship if they survive 5 years of meaningless fighting. Of course, they are well aware that they are being lied to from the start and the sole purpose is for them to be killed off.

This is, of course to say nothing of the severe PTSD the 86 suffer throughout. More so knowing their death can come at any time and no one would know or care. As a reminder, the general population doesn’t know the truth and for the most part wouldn’t care about the truth if it were known. Again, since the 86 are not considered people their deaths are never officially acknowledged or counted beyond the codename “Processors”. As a reminder, the public are told unmanned drones do the fighting and so there will always be zero human casualties so…yeah.

…Sorry to veer into politics with this but some countries have a long, dark history of exploiting minority populations for military purposes since ancient times. Sometimes when a kindgom annexes another kingdom, instead of their own people they will press the people of the conquered territory into forced military service.  More recently, when ISIS carved up the Middle East 10 years ago they didn’t slaughter everyone. They gave the men a choice: “Fight for us or die”.  So, the plot for this anime is right out of the pages of history to say the least.

With everything going on in the world right now, it’s not hard to imagine scenarios like this happening again. I look at the U.S., Russia, China, The Philippines, Nigeria, India and Brazil being just a few countries that are more than capable of doing something like this in the near future. That’s based on what I’ve seen in all those countries. Is it a violation of human rights? Of course. Would the public give a damn at tthe end of the day? Of course not.

I’ll put it like this: Today, 13 U.S. Troops were killed in Afghanistan but dozens if not hundreds of Afghan civilians were also killed in the same attack. The media has almost entirely been on the American soldiers killed while the Afghan victims are basically footnotes in comparison. I’ll take it a step further. No one in the U.S. outside the military and their families give a damn about the U.S. Troops killed and injured today. I’ll just put it like that. As far as most laypeople are concerned, “Soldiers know they could die when deployed to dangerous parts of the world.” Why else do you think all the keyboard warriors are sounding off and have been since the crisis in Afghanistan blew up last week?

All that said and moving back to 86. The world has rightfully become very concerned by the U.S. government starting to rely on unmanned drones for both surveilance and combat missions more and more. Don’t get the wrong idea, no one objects to the idea of not having to needlessly risk human casualties for these things. The concerns lie in governments and by extension the people of countries that use military drones becoming desensitized to the often wanton destruction their military’s drones remotely inflict on human populations in distant lands.

It’s not really a secret the U.S., Russia and China all have Cyber Corps Divisions. Their primary purpose is defense but in the case of Russia and China in particular, they also engage in offense at the discretion of their commanders and high-ranking government officials. It’s not a stretch to assume some military bases in all three countries have computer terminals from which these cyber soldiers remotely operate drones deployed to other countries (so far).

I do know in regars to the U.S., Military Drones are replacing manned military jets for recon missions and in more cases bombing missions. No longer does the U.S. Air Force have to wait until the cover of night to do bombing runs. They can simply deploy a drone as the advance force to devastate targets on the ground, then send in soldiers to clean up afterward. No longer are fighter pilots risking being shot down in enemy territory.

So far, countries that have military drones have only been using them for either surveilance or in counterterrorism operations. You’d be a fool to not know it’s only a matter of time before two countries with military drone go to war with each other. If a country with military drones goes to war with a country without drones, it goes without saying the country with drones would be at a huge advantage. They could penetrate deep behind enemy lines and even when shot down, the attacking forces have still suffered–wait for it–no human casualties.

…You get the real world connection with 86 now?

While the drones used IRL are being remotely controlled by people, that still doesn’t take away the moral concerns with using them in an actual war. The prospect alone has been quite the derrent for the world’s military superpowers to fight each other so far but it’s anyone’s guess how long that can be maintained.

 

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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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Eren Jaeger takes power of the War Hammer Titan in Episode 66

Attack on Titan S4 episode 7 release date and times: International premiere  revealed

 

Episode 66 not only had non-stop action from start to finish but it left you wanting episode 67 NOW. Episode 65 ended with The War Hammer Titan seemingly forcing Eren into a stalemate. Episode 66 makes it clear that this is NOT the same Eren Jaeger you knew from the end of Season 1. This Eren is older and much more calculating than the one we knew at the beginning of Season 3.

When the Beast, Cart and Jaw Titans enter the battle, it looks like the tables have been turned on Eren and the Survey Corps. The Marleyian Forces are shocked and horrified to see the Survey Corps, which has been hunting Titans on Paradis Island for generations fearlessly taking on their Titans directly. Levi gives a long-owed receipt to the Beast Titan, dropping him like a bad habit out of nowhere. Jean and Sasha pin down the Cart Titan and she ends up being severely injured.

Then, our boy Armin debutes the Colossal Titan with a bang. Literally.

 

Attack on Titan Welcomes Armin to Season 4 With a Bang

His line after emerging from the Titan form he took from Bertoldt at the end of Season 3 sums it up: “Is this how it felt for you, Bertoldt?” For those who need a reminder, when the Colossal Titan transforms it’s basically a nuclear explosion that gets set off. This is why Armin transformed off the cost on a raft–a transformation that wiped out the Marleyan Fleet rushing to provide backup–because if he didn’t, he probably would’ve instantly killed thousands of people in the city.

He didn’t do anything beyond that and he didn’t need to. The Marleyan Army now knows Paradis Island has two Titans and they know how to use them. Commander Hange later tells Armin he seems to have become more like her predecessor, Erwin Smith. He shrugs it off, saying he hopes to be a little like their former leader. Meanwhile, Eren patiently tries everything he can think of to take the War Hammer. The owner of the War Hammer crystallized herself like Annie, the Female Titan did.

Prior to Armin’s entrance, the Marleyan Army was sure they had Eren cornered. After his arrival, this gve Eren the space to focus on taking the War Hammer’s power. “If you had anything left, you would have done something by now.” he remarks before freeing himself and transforming again. “Me, on the other hand…I’ve got plenty of strength left.” When the Jaw Titan breaches his own Hardening, Eren figures it out: He grabs the Jaw Titan, tears off his limbs and then uses the Jaw Titan as a giant nutcracker above his head to devour the War Hammer Titan’s powers. He gets interrupted before he can finish off the Jaw Titan by the arrival of Reiner, the Armored Titan.

The preview for Episode 67 announces the Armor Titan falls which is a fair assumption: Reiner told Eren he basically had a death wish so…yeah. Assuming Eren takes the Armor Titan’s power next, he will have four Titan powers (Founder, Attack, War Hammer and Armor). The status of the Cart and Jaw Titans is currently unknown but both are critically injured. We also do not have confirmation Levi actually killed Zeke yet. Excluding Armin (Colossal) and Annie (Female), all of the Nine Titans are now accounted for. All but the Female Titan, who is crystallized are in the same place right now too. Things should get real interesting.

 

 

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Attack on Titan’s Final Season: The Story So Far

Attack On Titan' Creator Explains Why [SPOILER] Was Killed Off

 

All good things must come to an end. The above screenshot from the very first episode will go down as one of the most iconic moments in Anime history.

A lot has happened in in the almost 10 years since then. The Manga turned Anime spawned a spinoff Manga + Anime (Attack on Titan Junior High), several prequel manga series, two live-action movies and a number of video games. Like most Manga adaptations, the Anime was put on hiatus for a few years to allow the Manga to progress enough for the story to be adapted. I have the first 20 Volumes of the Manga and do plan to eventually finish collecting the entire Manga series once I am financially stable again.

For those who have only watched the Anime or may not have watched past the first season, you may not know a lot of the backstory that’s been revealed already. You may also be a little confused if you started watching the final season to find the focus is not on Eren Jaeger or what’s going on with the Survey Corps. The story has shifted to Marley, where the history of the Titans began.

Here’s a recap of the larger story to now:

  • Sometime in the past before the start of the series, a woman named Ymir Fritz awakened as the First Titan though no one knows how or why. She founded the Eldian Empire. Those of Eldian blood were granted the ability to transform into Titans. Those with Eldian blood were also known a Subjects of Ymir. Ymir used the power of the Titans to subjegate the entire continent. Eldians forced others to have children with them to increase the number of Subjects of Ymir. This can be detected with a blood test.
  • 13 years after awakening to Titan Power, Ymir died. Her power was then split into nine successors who are known Simply as the Nine Titans: Founding Titan, Attack Titan, Colossal Titan, Jaw Titan, Cart Titan, Beast Titan, War Hammer Titan, Female Titan and Armored Titan.
  • Like Ymir, these Nine Titans can only live for 13 years after receiving their unique Titan power. Zeke Yaeger, who is the current Beast Titan is known to have one year left to live. Its known as the Curse of Ymir. When one of the Nine Titans dies before passing on their Titan Power it is randomly given to a newborn baby with Eldian blood regardless of status, distance or class.
  • The Nine Titans are different from Pure Titans in that they retain their human intelligence. The Pure Titans are the ones you’re most familiar with: Mindless, man-eating monsters. All with Eldian Blood are capable of becoming a Pure Titan after being injected with Titan Serum, which is spinal fluid from a Titan. Abnormals are in between Pure Titans and the Nine Titans in which they retain some of their human intelligence after they have transformed.
  • The Great Titan War was an earth-shattering conflict between the Nine Titans in the past. The conflict abruptly ended when King Reiss–ancestor of the Reiss Royal Family–who possessed the Founding Titan moved the capital of the Eldian Empire to Paradis Island where the first three seasons took place. He erected the Three Walls using Titans and warned the mainland to stay away or he will use the Titans to “Flatten the Earth”. The King then used the power of The Founding Titan to erase the memories of everyone in the Walled City of the outside world.
  • After King Reiss withdrew to Paradis Island, Marley–a territory once conquered by the Eldian Empire–saw their chance and not only regained their lost territory but most of the Eldian Empire on the mainland. They also managed to take Seven of the Nine Titans from the Eldians.
  • Having regained control of the continent, the Marleyans forced the Eldians to live in Internment Zones. One of them was in the city of Liberio where Grisha Yeager–Eren and Zeke Yeager’s father–grew up. As a child, Grisha’s younger sister Fay was killed by Marleyan Military Police when they were caught tresspassing outside the Internment Zone. Grisha’s father then revealed to him the history of their people and why they are so hated and feared by the Marleyans.
  • When he grew up and became a doctor, Grisha met a man who confirmed for him what he always suspected and that was his sister had been killed and her murder covered up. Grisha then decides to join the Restorationists, a faction of Eldians in Liberio who wanted to restore Eldia as a world power. Grisha married into the Fritz family and had a son named Zeke, who would later become the Beast Titan.
  • Around this time, Grisha learned the Marleyans were recruiting children to be given the power of the Seven Titans they controlled to send them to Paradis Island. Their goal was to take The Founding Titan’s power to further enhance their military strength. Grisha planned to send Zeke as a mole to Paradis Island but after he told Zeke of his plans, Zeke exposed the Restorationists to the Marleyan Military.
  • Grisha, his wife and some of the Restorationists are taken to Paradis Island where they are transformed into Pure Titans one by one. Grisha pleads for them soldiers to let his wife, who has royal blood go but his pleas fall on deaf ears. The cruel irony is Grisha’s second wife is devoured by his first in Titan form many years later.
  • Before Grisha can be killed, Eren Krueger–a mole disguised as a soldier–steps in and saves his life. He then transforms into the Attack Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) and lays waste to the Marleyan soldiers, artillery and the steamboat that brought them to the island.
  • Krueger decides to pass on the power of the Attack Titan to Grisha, explaining the 13-year rule to him at the same time: Ymir died 13 years afrer gaining her Titan Powers. So too do the Nine Titans die 13 years after gaining their Titan Power. In Krueger’s case, he was in his final year. He killed countless Eldians to keep his cover intact including Grisha’s sister. He felt it only fitting Grisha be entrusted with the next phase: Infiltrating the walled city on Paradis Island, gaining the Founding Titan’s power and using it to ultimately help restore the Eldian Empire.
  • When Grisha arrives outside the Walled City, he is discovered by the Scout Regiment and claims to have amnesia. He is imprisoned and later freed. Shortly after beginning work as a doctor in a hospital, he meets his second wife Carla. They marry and have Eren a few years later.
  • When the Titans invade Shiganshina at the beginning of the series, Grisha rushes to the Reiss Family Chapel where he reveals his is an Eldian and begs Freida Reiss to use the Founding Titan’s power to stop the marauding Titans. She refuses and so Grisha transforms into the Attack Titan. Frieda transforms to fight him but he easily overpowers her and devours her, gaining the power of the Founding Titan. He then goes on to kill everyone else present except Rod Reiss (Historia/Krista Lenz’ father) who escapes.
  • Remember that flashback scene of Grisha injecting Eren with Titan Serum? Right after that, Eren transformed into a Titan for the first time and devoured his father, gaining the powers of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan.

 

…Whew.

When Season 3 ended, the Scout Regiment–having learned the truth about their world and the past–were preparing to invade the mainland. Four years have now passed and as of this week, an older and taller Erin Yeager has been revealed as having infiltrated Marley while disguised as an injured soldier.

For those who may be wondering, the reason the story shifted to the mainland when the season began is because the story of the Walled City on Paradis Island is now over. The cover image for the final season shows Reiner, who barely escaped Paradis Island with his life facing Eren in Titan form in a Marleyan city.

Before I forget. We have seen only Eight of the Nine Titans over the course of the series so far. The only one that hasn’t been revealed yet is the War Hammer Titan. It’s currently possessed by a member of the Tybur family in Marley though Zeke recently got them to agree to bring the War Hammer Titan to Paradis Island in an effort to gain the power of the Founding Titan.

Armin inherited the power of the Colossal Titan at the end of Season 3 and we have yet to see how his Titan form looks. Porco Galliard–the brother of Marco Galliard–gained the power of the Jaw Titan from Krista’s friend Ymir when she decided to return to Marley in Season 2. Ymir unexpectedly gained the power of the Jaw Titan by eating Marco when she was roaming Paradis Island as a Pure Titan. Everyone else gained their powers in a controlled process for the most part.

Why is everyone after the Founding Titan’s power, which is currently possessed by Eren Jaeger? Because it is the “Coordinate” from which all paths originate. The Founding Titan has two abilities: Memory Manipulation and controlling other Titans. It’s not yet known if Zeke knows Eren posseses the power of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan but it’s unlikely.

Remember: The first king of the Walled City use the Founding Titan’s power to erase the memories of everyone in the city. As subjects of Ymir, Eldians are basically Titans in Human form. So, memory manipulation is not all that hard to believe. With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why Marley would want that power for themselves or why the Restorationists want it too. The Eldians want to regain their former glory so…yeah.

 

This is the final season of the Anime and it’s sure to be a must watch. Before I forget, you can legally watch the final season of Attack on Titan in the U.S. on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

 

 

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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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Anime updates for Attack on Titan, Black Clover and The Rising of the Shield Hero

Related image

 

…The 6 month wait was worth it. I’ll just put it like that.

A few weeks after Historia Reiss–introduced as Krista Lenz–assumed her true indentity and is is crowned Queen, the reformed Scout Regiment finally returns to Shiganshina District to find out what secrets Erin’s father has kept stashed in the basement of the Yaeger family home. The Beast Titan, who recruited The Armored Titan (Reiner) and the Colossal Titan (Bertoldt) makes his move. As both sides clash, the prizes are two: Erin Yaeger and whatever vital secrets his father kept in the basement of their home.

Just like the first Season, there is a high human body count.

Hange’s Squad and Armin’s Squad–yes, Armin is given command of soldiers–clash with Reiner and Bertoldt in their Titan forms. Reiner is taken down thanks to the Thunder Spears developed specifically to pierce his Titan form’s armored hide. Seeing Reiner fall, Bertoldt transforms and wipes out Hange’s Squad save Hange herself. Armin sacrifices himself to buy Eren the time he needs to deal the decisive blow.

Meanwhile, The Beast Titan wipes out The Scout Regiment with volleys of boulders. Commander Erwin sacrifices himself and the remnants of The Regiment to buy Levi time to take down the Beast Titan. he succeeds in forcing out The Beast Titan’s true form but is unable to finish the job. It’s revealed in this week’s episode Commander Ervin brought a vial of Titan Serum and left it to Levi to decide who to use it on. Everyone knew almost everyone would likely be killed so the plan was for the titan serum to be used on a soldier close to death. That soldier would then eat Reiner or Bertoldt to gain their Titan form.

Image result for Attack on Titan Commander Erwin and Armin

Levi arrives after Eren recovers Bertoldt and Armin’s bodies. Armin is barely alive and Eren urges him to use the Titan Serum to save his life. He’s about to inject Armin when another soldier brings Commander Erwin–who’s barely alive–to be revived. Levi makes the call to use it on Erwin despite Eren and Mikasa’s protests. Before he can, Erwin knocks his hand away as if to reject the chance to live again. Levi, who knows the commander better than anyone decides to honor the unspoken request and uses the Titan Serum on Armin. Erwin dies shortly afterward.

In the previous episode, Commander Erwin bet everything on Levi getting the job done. He literally led most of the regiment to their deaths to buy Levi time to turn the situation around. Levi didn’t finish the job but now the surviving soldiers firmly hold the advantage for now. They still have Eren, Armin now has the Colossal Titan’s powers and in the next episode, we’ll find out what secrets Eren’s father has in their basement.

Next week’s episode is a much watch!

Image result for Black Clover Humans vs Elves

…Whew.

Did you know this Anime was originally going to be only 48 episodes?

The Royal Knights Exam Arc wrapped three weeks ago. On next week’s episode, we will find out who made the cut for the Royal Knights Squad. This special squad made up of Magic Knights for all 9 existing Squads will take the fight to The Eye of the Midnight Sun. It goes without saying Asta and Yuno both made the cut. We’ll have to wait and see for everyone else.

This week’s episode and last week’s episode reveals the interesting backstory of how Yami and William Vangeance first became friendly rivals. They were originally squadmates. Yami wraps up this story from presumably a few years back with the two being named captains by The Wizard King after completing an important mission. Vangeance founds the Golden Dawn while Yami founds the Black Bulls.

Julius Novachrono is doing much to bridge the divide between Commoners, Nobles and Royals within the Magic Knights. Asta and Yuno came from nothing and are considered key assets in their respective squads. The next Arc is sure to be interesting.

 

Image result for the rising of the shield hero

 

For the first time since the first episode, the Four Heroes stood together.

Naofumi finally worked things out with the other Heroes, had his name cleared and his reputation restored thanks to the Queen of Meldromarc personally getting involved. Naofumi may have made up with the other threee Heroes but he sill plans to do his own thing. The difference is now he’s no longer a marked man and can freely travel the country.

When you think of everything this man went through since being teleported there, it’s been a long time coming.

 

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