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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Breaking News: Anime Boston 2020 Cancelled

Image result for Anime Boston 2020

…No, this is not a hoax.

Here’s the Full Statement from their website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

No photo description available.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Image result for Emperor Akihito

 

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

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

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

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

 

Take a look at this:

 

Image result for Japanese Imperial Family

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Warner Media reorganizing its digital distribution assets stokes fears Crunchyroll and VRV could be in trouble

Image result for Crunchyroll and VRV

Anime News Network reported Wednesday that Warner Media is consolidating its digital and broadcast assets into a single “Global Kids and Young Adults” Unit. This effects not just Otter Media–which is the holding company for Ellation, which is the parent company for Crunchyroll and VRV–but also Adult Swim, Toonami and Cartoon Network among others. AT&T bought Otter Media last year just before their merger with Warner Brothers was finalized. I reported on it when it happened but AT&T shut down Drama Fever as part of the consolidation process. A few other content providers suffered a similar fate.

Given that, many Crunchyroll and VRV subscription holders are understandably nervous Warner Media might decide to shut down VRV or Crunchyroll or both to cut costs. Some believe Funimation “suddenly” ending its partnership with Crunchyroll last year after just two years is a sign they don’t have a lot of confidence in Crunchyroll’s new owners. Funimation made the call shortly after the merger was finalized much to Crunchyroll’s surprise last year. I didn’t realize at the time the merger may have been a factor.

As I announced before, I bought a 12-month subscription to Crunchyroll in December. I do think the concern is warranted but given Crunchyroll is a global powerhouse, I don’t think it’s any kind of trouble anytime soon. I would feel better if Crunchyroll broke away from VRV and became independent but given its value, I doubt Warner Media would just give it away.

As an aside and on a somewhat related topic, I do plan to buy a Roku very soon. That way, I won’t need to use my PS4 to stream Crunchyroll (as well as WWE Network) on my TV, which I have been doing after my laptop broke. I’ll use the money I planned to use to register for Anime Boston 2019 to get one. I would also be able watch Viki and AsianCrush once more–I haven’t watched either of them since my laptop broke (!). Later on once I have stable income, I’ll get a subscription with Viki at least. I’ll also renew my subscription with Crunchyroll when the time comes, too.

 

 

 

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

Image result for Japanese shut in syndrome

 

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

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

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

 

Image result for Hikikomori

 

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

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

That includes me:

Image result for Karoshi

…Karoshi.

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

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

…Getting back to the main topic now.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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My Five Least Favorite Fan Services

…Fan Service.

Weather you love it or hate it there’s no avoiding it, espeially when it comes to something very popular. Take Anime for example. While the overwhelming majority of Fan Service doesn’t bother me, there are five that I utterly cannot stand. While none of the five have stopped me from watching/enjoying an Anime YET, in my experiece it’s needlessly over the top. Maybe it’s because of my age or maybe it’s because I think regular Anime and Hentai need to be kept distinctly separate. Oh, well. Speaking of Hentai, I will cover that in a future blog (No pics or video so don’t get any ideas).

#5. Dominating Mary Sue-ish Personality

It’s even more annoying when alot of time is spent on them. We can argue this ’til the cows come home but Goku is NOT a Mary Sue. He makes most of his victories look effortless but his personality saves him from being labeled a Mary Sue. Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach IS a Mary Sue but due to his limited/low appearances he’s accepted. In Anime, most of the Mary Sues are Attention or Romance Whores. One or the other. If you read my blog on the subject you’ll know one of the characteristics of a Mary Sue is they command the attention of the main character(s).

I’ll use Sia and Kaede from Shuffle! as an example. Sia has both archtypes while Kaede’s the attention whore. Sia’s reasons for being the way she is I didn’t buy after the reveal. There were no hints to that prior to the reveal even in the context of the anime. I think it was a half-assed explaination personally. More so since she maintained that for the rest of the series for the hell of it. Even though Kaede’s history with Rin excuses her, up until he stands up to her and moves out it’s pretty distrurbing.

#4. Character(s) “interact” with the Viewer/Off-Screen Narrator

I’ll admit it was cute when I was a kid but now adays I just find it wierd. Again, maybe it’s because of my age (28). It’s even more annoying when one character does it and another turns to them and goes “Dude who are you TALKING to?” I understand it’s a means of somehow making the program feel interactive. Some people need their egos caressed exponentially, I get that. Even so I find it wierd and a bit insulting like the characters are taking shots at me or something.

#3. The Staring Contest

Most mmediatley think of Dragonball Z (the worst offender) but I’ve seen it in various other anime. It’s even more annoying when it in some cases makes up half an episode. No wonder they decided to rehash DBZ! For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s when you have two fighters staring at each other while they either talk or one of them has inner monologue. As I mentioned in the first sentance Dragonball Z (before DBZ Kai) was the biggest offender. This was the sole reason almost every major fight per Saga lasted several episodes. You’d see about 5 minutes of fighting before they start talking and don’t shut up until the cliffhanger final seconds when one of them moves.
Mst

Remember Goku v. Piccon in the Underworld Tournament? The fight spanned THREE episodes. First episode they were just playing around, second episode they get serious and third fight had the finale (which ended up being a tie). Given the outcome they could’ve easily made the fight last only 2 episodes at most. Goten v. Trunks during the World Tournament on Earth is a good example of how to do it. Their fight lasted just one episode.

#2. Panty/Bra Shots

I know there’s gonna be strong reactions to this one. I’m going to use Rosario + Vampire since one could argue it’s boarderline Hentai (Japanese for Pervert). In every simgle episode of R+V there are panty shots (Everyone except Ruby wears miniskirts). Hell, one of the episodes in Season 2 pokes fun of this fact when Ruby demands all females must wear ankle-length dresses. My problem with Panty Shots is unless that was the intent, it adds a level of suggestiveness the Anime didn’t need. While Tsukune is at the center of the harem in the Manga as wel las the Anime, there’s more or a focus on him being a human at a school of monsters. In the Anime they focus on the five girls (Moka, Kurumu, Yukari, Mizure and to a lesser extent Ruby) vying for his heart. To me the overbearing panty shots were unnecessary. It certainly made me confused when I started reading the Manga earlier this year, finding few panty shots.

I’ll go Shuffle! now. There are panty shots in Shuffle too but in all instances where it’s used it just happens. They don’t use Panty Shots for the sole purpose of keeping the viewer’s attention. I just think R+V overdid it given Kurumu is a Succubus and you knew she was going to talk suggestively to Tsukune. Inner/True Moka is the only “normal” one as shown when her Rosario is used to repair the Great Barrier in the Anime. She wanted mutual love. When he left to meet with her father she knew Tsukune had made his choice.

Anyway I think Panty/Bra shots should only be used in moderation. Given the “demand” for more realistic Animation they leave little to the imagination. And I prefer to use my imagination. “See-though” shirts also fall into this category. Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple/History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi and High School of the Dead are two examples of this being overdone. More so when the character has a large bust size for their age (Miu) and they decide to exaggerate that fact. Me personally, if I wanted to see Anime Porn I know how to find it on the internet.

#1. Semi-Nudity

Also known as Partial Nudity. You know, sometimes a character might be in a scene where they’re obviously naked but to keep the censors happy and get it aired/released in North America they obscure the bikini area with something. It still shows the viewer they’re nude but since they’re also covered they can air it. My problem with this is lately they’ve been dancing in front of the line that is artistic nudity (enough for you to tell what parts they are but little detail) and pornographic nudity (detailed genitalia and/or body fluids). It’s so obvious they want to include nudity it’s not even funny.

Let’s refer to Elfen Lied. It’s an amazing anime but it’s strickly 18+ for obvious reasons. If it was NC-17 I would’ve still watched it for the storyline alone. That was one anime where you can tell they were VERY careful to make sure they didn’t go all the way. They went as far as they could but not all the way. Another Anime I’ll refer to is Spice and Wolf. Holo is nude in almost every episode of Season 1 as well as the OP for both seasons. Again, even if it was NC-17 I would have still watched it. They were careful to make ure they didn’t cross the line with her. In both Spice and Wolf and Elfen Lied none of the nude characters were flaunting their sex. Even so I think the creators should make up their minds onwhat they wanna do with the Anime they make xD

There you have it.

Again, none of them have made me outright stop watching a particular Anime. I know they’re mostly directed at younger audiences. That’s exactly why I think they need to be cautious with the suggestiveness. There are those who are leery of the influence of Japanese Entertainment on this side of the Pacific after all. Aside from the fact both North America and Japan view artistic nudity differently from a cultural perspective, few can deny the influence Japanese Entertainment has had on the North American Animation and Comic Industries.