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!
It’s what I continuously say season after season when another discourse comes to light within the anime community. I don’t think it would necessarily be a problem if the discussions were fruitful and people were more understanding, a problem that I talked about back when responding to Irina’s article several months ago. That’s not to say that I think discourse is invalid or that I think that people shouldn’t be discussing how they feel about a particular show, but there’s a limit as to how you should do it and treating your debate partners with respect and understanding while doing so.
Okay, folks – it’s here. It’s week seven, and all shows have at this point finally hit the middle of their cour, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a mid-season ranking post!
I want to treat this post a little differently than the ones I’ve put together so far – I’m going to be giving a look at each show that I’m still watching this season and rank them according to…criteria. Magic stuff. You know. We’ll start from the bottom and progressively work our way to the top of my list for this season. I hope you’re ready, because, uh, I’m not.
Putting together a ranking for the shows I’m still watching has proved to be a genuinely grueling task. While I initially felt that it would be a simple task, once I got past the bottom two, the reality of the situation set in pretty hard when I found my list constantly switching shows around to hugely different positions. I think, however, that I’ve finally hit a spot I’m comfortable with, so join me, won’t you?
Well, folks, here we are almost at the halfway point of the Summer 2020 season. This just feels…weird. The middle of a season always seems to creep up on me, and it always feels as though it gets here so much faster than anyone would really expect it to. And as a teacher, it took me by surprise even more than usual, since I’m preparing to be back in the classroom in a handful of days. However, I am pleased to say that everything I’ve stuck with has yet to really disappoint me, even this deep into the season. This week, as with last week, I’m going to highlight a few series that I want to give some special attention to. Check ‘em out!
I’ve never gotten into Super Sentai style shows and manga outside of Power Rangers as a kid, and Gatchaman Crowds’ wonderful story and absolutely brilliant theme song. However, of the ones I’ve happened to catch, this is one of my personal favorites. A twist on the Super Sentai-style genre, Hero-San and Former General-San is a story about two unlikely women falling in love. After defeating the hero, Rapid Rabbit, and forcing Rabbit to transform back into her regular self, Honjou Hayate, the evil Antinoid general sent to destroy humanity immediately gets the hots for her nemesis. Unwilling to kill Hayate, the general, Honey Trap, runs away back to base, upon which the evil leader X fires Honey for not doing her job and sends an assassin to finish her off. By happenstance, Hayate finds Honey and nurses her back to health. Falling deeper in love and pissed at being fired, the ex-general joins forces with the hero and fights against her old employer.