So initially, Tofu added Romeo x Juliet to our rotation because the opening theme is a redone version of “You Raise Me Up” and it was one of the funniest things imaginable. Imagine our surprise when it turns out to actually be a pretty freakin’ great show (unless you’re Matt)!
There’s a lot to talk about with an anime adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet – how it plays around with the source material in interesting ways, how it sets itself apart from the original, how the language you watch the show in changes the entire feel of the series – and man, do we talk about it. We had some words about the show (and each other’s opinions about the show), so trust us when we say that this is an episode well worth listening to.
Forewarning for some, this is going to be a bit heavier discussion that deals with death, but it is uplifting in the end.
Many of my generation joke about how old we feel when there’s new Internet lingo we don’t know or some younger generation doesn’t know one of our favorite artists we listened to when we were in high school. It’s fun to joke about and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. However, the feeling of growing old is a very real thing. Visiting my own grandparents, my grandmother would discuss at length the struggles she faces as she grows more frail and watches those she was closest with pass on. It’s hard to accept the inevitability of growing old, let alone make the best of it.
Sanju Mariko is a story about this, dealing with the loss of your own ability as well as the loss of those around you, yet still finding a way to go on and enjoy life.
Specifically, I have a problem with watching anime from my backlog. Years ago, when I had just gotten back into watching anime in earnest, anime felt like a wide open world, filled to the brim with all sorts of series that I would jump at the opportunity to watch. Now, years later, the situation is exactly the same – there’s tons of shows out I would love to watch, and the list only continues to grow. That, unfortunately, is where the anime problem comes in. Unsurprisingly, as part of the Backloggers, I do have a bit of a backlog of anime that I would like to watch at some point in time. I’ve been able to chip away at it, to be sure, but recently, I’ve encountered this issue where I look at my backlog, and I internally just grind to a screeching halt. What do I even watch from this list? What do I dedicate my time to? How can I possibly choose something from all of this?
That, friends, is where my secret weapon comes in. What’s the best way to choose a show and chip away at your backlog?
The fall 2020 anime season has decided to be merciful to us – it has deigned to not be full of complete and utter suffering shows, unlike its predecessor, which is great. However, there was a price to be paid for this. There is now just too much anime! As a result, we…just go over a bunch of it and probably only hit about half of the shows that are actually airing this season. Kamisama help us all.
Unsurprisingly, with such a huge amount of shows airing this season (or with things just getting back to a normal fall season airing load), we’ve got a lot of great stuff to cover. We gush about how much of a mood Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is, the unbridled joy (or newly brided joy?) of TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You, some surprising hits of the season such as Akudama Drive, Warlords of Sigrdrifa, and Moriarty the Patriot, and we even manage to get in some discussion about the surprising (and not surprising) additions to our drop piles, like Assault Lily: BOUQUET and Noblesse. This is a packed one, so strap in, get comfy, and enjoy the ride!
I’ve always enjoyed the idea behind a childhood friendship that turns into something more. I’ve felt I could relate to the idea of being friends but then feeling the boundaries and limits of that relationship lengthen into something else. It’s scary, too, which I think is part of the fun of reading them. There’s a fear that something changing may cause that something to break or be hurt, or the people involved equally hurt. It can be annoying when two characters play this constant pull back and forth and the reader is basically screaming at them to just finally make that last step. However, even when I’m pulling my hair out, I still feel a sense of empathy for that fear.
She is the Rokurokubi is definitely one of those stories. Set in a world where Youkai live in an unfortunate “separate but equal” place from humans, a human boy, Itsuki, and a Youkai girl, Natsuki, have been friends since childhood and go to school together on the Youkai side. A Rokurokubi is a type of Youkai that can stretch its neck indefinitely. And while that could make the boy and girl very different from each other, they couldn’t possibly be closer. Both of them love a lot of the same things, they hang out and do the same things, and constantly fight with each other like siblings. However, both of them are starting to realize their feelings are changing. As the series goes on, Natsuki’s friends try to help, but inevitably, it’s Natsuki and Itsuki who have to take that final step.
Get your band-aids and tissues ready, because the end of the Summer 2020 anime season has come out swinging. And good god, is it swinging hard.
Thankfully, we’re able to talk about the fun (read as: not as bleak on a weekly basis) stuff, like Appare-Ranman!, Deca-Dence, and Rent-a-Girlfriend, before we got back into the Suffering Zone, the Sequel, which is still sponsored by Re:Zero and OreGairu. Seriously, though, there was a incredible amount of good shows this season, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t give them the shots they deserve. Get on in here!
A little over a month ago, the vtuber Mano Aloe quit her job after only a couple of weeks since her debut on YouTube. While the timing seems surprisingly quick, the reason behind it was unfortunately not quite a surprise. After weeks of harassment directed towards her and her family, not only online, but at her own home as well, Aloe terminated her contract with the company Hololive and left before she ever really was able to start.
Doxing, the act of intentionally searching for and exposing a person’s personal info, and harassment aren’t new to the Internet. Historically, whether it was AOL creepers in the 90s, swatters of the mid 2010s, or stalkers now, people online have been subject to terrible and dangerous situations. We usually think of these as outlier incidents. However, every community has their stories. One of the storyboard artists on Steven Universe was harassed into attempting suicide over hate from fans of the show. Famous YouTuber Philip Defranco had an extreme fan bypass security and walk onto set during a recording of his show. We as fans of various media and people get excited by the things we love but this can always go too far. Vtubers are, unfortunately, the new crew that are dealing with this, in their own unique way, and they need help in a way that we can supply.
If you missed it a couple years back, there was an anime that came out called Golden Kamuy, adapted from a historical fiction manga by the same name. I ended up missing out when it came around the anime circuit but at the behest of a friend, I decided to give the manga a shot. Boy howdy, am I glad I did. This series is a really interesting story set in a unique backdrop filled with history and intrigue.
Set after the Russo-Japanese War at the beginning of the 20th century, Golden Kamuy is about a Japanese veteran of the war, Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto, meagerly getting by through gold panning when he stumbles across a secret story about a lost treasure. After finding a native Ainu girl, Asirpa, whose family was killed for the very same treasure, the two team up to find it, facing off against escaped convicts, soldiers, and many more to find the reward. The trouble is, the only “map” to their reward was split into multiple pieces, each one tattooed onto escaped convicts that need to be tracked down in order to solve the puzzle.
I’m not entirely sure why on a blog called “The Backloggers” it’s taken us a good five years or so to get a post series going about chipping away at our backlogs. Well, now we can’t say that we haven’t done it – this post marks the beginning of a series I’m dubbing “Backlog Busting,” where we, obviously, write about stuff on our backlog that we’ve recently knocked off the list (whether that means we completed it and loved it, ended up dropping it because it was surprisingly bad, or anything else in-between). As hilarious as it could have been to start this series out by talking about some hot garbage from deep in the backlog, I can pretty happily say that this post is about an absolute banger – Kamisama Kiss.
Okay, so Welcome to the N.H.K. might not have been the best choice for our last podcast, given the whole, you know, staying inside and existential dread thing. This time around, though, I don’t think we could have gotten a better show! We watched Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, a heartwarming show about four dudes running a teahouse/cafe. If that sounds like a chill show with not much going on, you would be absolutely correct, and my god, did we need it.
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, having come out in 2018, is a show that all three of us didn’t even know existed, and we are here to atone for that crime. Even though the premise is simple and easy to digest, the show has a lot of layers, and we dig deep into them! Tofu gets in way too deep about food as narrative and narrative as food (it’s a show about a cafe, bro, chill), we have a surprisingly fruitful comparison of Rokuhoudou and Isekai Shokudou, and Kyle almost ends everyone by conjuring the ghostly image of a shonen food battle anime that uses Gatorade in all of its meals. Yeah, it’s a surprising amount of mileage on this one, so check it out!