Monthly Manga – The Girl Who Can See It

I’m a bit of a newcomer to the scarier elements in Japanese culture, only recently seeing both adaptations of The Ring as well as getting started on the collected works of Junji Ito.  However, I think because of my initial hesitation into scarier media, I found myself in a perfect spot for something horror-light – a series that can give you chills without endless nightmares if read right before bed.  And so, in a strange mix of genre, I stumbled across an indie manga from Pixiv called Mieruko-chan or, its English title, The Girl Who Can See It.

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Seasonal Showcase — The Unstoppable Force of The God of High School [Summer 2020: Week 1]

The first week of the Summer 2020 anime season has now fully concluded, and despite the lack in number of shows that the season has to offer us, there’s still plenty of great shows to partake in for our viewing pleasure. Since the season has such a small, awesome selection of shows, I figure this was a good chance to spice up the Seasonal Showcase posts by doing something a little different than the previous seasons. 

This time, I will be trying a different approach to the posts in selecting an individual show that I find interesting and focusing on that instead of lumping them all together in one post midway through the season. Think of this more as a weekly selective focus on a particular show than a general overview, although I also recommend checking out General Tofu’s new weekly seasonal check-in posts if you want that sort of content instead! 

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the seasonal anime adventure we’re about to set out upon!

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Summer 2020 Week 1 Check-In

Hey gang, Tofu here! This season, I’m debuting weekly check-in posts for the blog. Every Saturday, I’ll post an update on what I’m watching, what’s good, bad, and other on an episode-by-episode basis, and all that jazz. In this post, I’m just going to give you a look at what I ended up watching this week, so it’s a lot of info all out here at once. The following weeks may be a little different in format – we’ll just have to find out!

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Log Time Seasonal Podcast | End of Spring 2020 — S(pr)ing “Anime” For Me

It’s hard to believe that the Spring 2020 anime season, which never really felt like it got to truly start due to the whole pandemic business, is finally over. Despite all that, it really ended with a bang, because MAN, it still had a ton of great shows to offer.

Unsurprisingly, good shows bring out great talking points in this episode: we get to exorcise our strong feelings about Sing “Yesterday” For Me, Zack makes the bold claim that Brand New Animal is “a show done by Studio Trigger”, and Matt forcefully takes the discussion into his own hands to say that DADDY! DADDY! DO! is, to quote, “pretty good”. Strap yourselves in, because we’ve got a lot coming your way!

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded June 26th, 2020.

The Missing Manga Platform

I’ve been reading online comics since they were probably a thing.  I loved catching up on Penny Arcade, Mega Tokyo, and XKCD, and have kept up the habit into award-winning series like Sunstone, Always Human, and Lore Olympus.  Obviously, the art and writing are why I continue to read, but the reason I’m able to pick these comics up in the first place is their accessibility.  While it was a little harder back in the day, free or low-cost access to a ton of comics online is an incredible achievement for independent artists and only doubly so in recent years with the start of various sites/apps like Webtoon, Tapas, etc., which not only host these comics and allow for more traffic, but also enable creators to get paid for their comics and make a living off of their art.  I’d never be able to find and keep track of all of these incredible international comics, whether from Korea, Australia, Europe or anywhere else, if it wasn’t for platforms like these.

So it’s odd to me that even with these platforms, I don’t see any indie Japanese comics internationally.

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Monthly Manga – Go with the Clouds, North-by-Northwest

Author’s note: What’s up, nerds! This is your captain, General Tofu, speaking. Our regular Monthly Manga host, Mythos, is not currently helming this month’s selection. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to fill in for this month’s post, and then to slowly take over the series as if it was mine all along. Nothing sinister at all! Anyway, thanks for hopping in, and enjoy!

Sometimes, I just get the urge to go through a bookstore and peruse the manga section. (Obviously, we can’t really do that much right now, given the whole badness going on, but join me and journey into this mind palace we’re gonna create together. Just imagine you’re doing it.) Most of the time, I’m not going with the intention of grabbing anything specific. I’ll find volumes of series that I love, or that I’ve heard great things about, and I’ll happily grab them. Really, though, what most draws me to a volume or a series is the art itself. There have been numerous series that I knew nothing about, but I dropped some cash to buy a volume simply because it looked gorgeous.

Nothing quite fits this “that’s absolutely coming home with me today” status quite like Aki Irie’s series Go with the Clouds, North-by-Northwest. I literally had nothing to go off of for this series. Where the back of manga volumes usually give you a synopsis of what’s gonna happen in that edition, Go with the Clouds has…well, it’s better to just show you.

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Log Time Podcast | Death March Discussion — “I Really Didn’t Mean to Call Him Kirito!”

Remember how it feels like we just talked about shows in digital worlds, or with an isekai plot, or some combination of those ideas? We just watched another one. It was an awful decision.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody is a pretty decidedly “meh” fantasy MMO isekai harem series, and we had to watch all of it. It’s not all bad, of course – we get some pretty good discussion out of some of the show’s clever use of UI elements (until it starts to suck), for instance, or how the protagonist definitely isn’t the same guy as the protagonist in the other fantasy MMO isekai harem series. That being said, what you really want is the complete and utter beatdown that we give the show, and by god, do we give it to it. In a loving, constructive criticism sort of way, of course. Don’t watch the show, but do listen to us tell you why not to watch it.

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded June 4th, 2020.

Improving Tiresome Anime Debates — A Response to Irina

In the past five years of being a blogger and almost eight years of being an anime watcher, I’ve personally seen a lot of discourse and discussion over a variety of topics from plenty of angles – opinionated and factual alike. There are always those debates, though, that continuously circle back around after some time again and again, almost as if they are scheduled to appear once a few months have passed. There’s never really any reason for them to re-appear sometimes, nor is there really anything new to add to the discussion, but they reappear anyway and suddenly they become the hot topic of whatever your preferred social media platform is. It’s akin to watching some horrible rendition of Re:Zero where instead of watching Subaru trying his best to reach his goal and making several mistakes that result in his death instead, it’s watching people you know engage in futile discussions until they’ve either said their piece or become a completely different person than you once knew.

This is why when I found that fellow blogger Irina posted an article about this sort of phenomena that occurs so frequently, I was curious to see what sort of community debate overlap or dissonance we were experiencing within the anime community. I found some of these topics discussed in the post lined up pretty well with what I had noticed from the community and definitely shared some of those same sentiments. While I could also add many other topics to the list, I wanted to take some time to focus on what Irina is talking about in the post itself: the nature of how these debates are no longer “interesting” to have.

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Log Time Podcast | Dennou Coil Discussion — If Google Glass Was Good, But Also Sometimes Cursed

Collectively as a group, we’ve watched a fair number of anime about digital and physical spaces, like .hack//Sign, Log Horizon, Serial Experiments Lain, and something about swords making art on the internet. But it’s pretty safe to say that we have yet to watch anything quite like Dennou Coil – a story about kids with really powerful augmented reality glasses tech that blurs the line between the physical and digital worlds.

Join us as we talk about some really, really bad computer viruses, tech from the show and world-building elements that we’d love to see more of in other series, and sentient facial hair (it’s actually related to the show, I swear).

Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud

Intro/Outro Music: The Elephant by A Shell in the Pit

This podcast was recorded May 14th, 2020.

Monthly Manga – Cheerful Amnesia

We all know the trope.  A character wakes up in a hospital bed and doesn’t remember anything.  Next to them is someone claiming to be their lover.  However, instead of lamenting the loss of a relationship with this person, what if this amnesiac is so stoked to be in a relationship that they dive headfirst into loving this new person?

That’s the premise for Cheerful Amnesia, in which a character not only finds that in the three years they’ve lost they were able to find love, but that they’re gay and hella into it.  Arisa wakes up to find a slightly older Mari by her bedside, who explains the situation.  Arisa is overjoyed and immediately falls back in love with her.  They then begin a journey together helping Arisa regain her old life and romance, with plenty of hijinks from the lack of memory.  For instance, like when Arisa who only remembers being a kid in high school who seemingly never dated, finds herself sleeping in the same bed as another woman.

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