While I’m sitting home, working from home, and eventing from home under this COVID-19 scheme of things, the world keeps on ticking. Just because life may have paused somewhat for me, the world has not. Which is just to say, I feel like this blog could use a change.
I thought about doing a newsletter type format thing for this blog for a while now, and maybe that makes more sense. Of course, to make a proper email newsletter, it’s a different type of syndication. I will probably still post the letters on this site for posterity sake. It is going to have a similar voice.
Nonetheless a newsletter format of journaling seems a bit more appropriate for the things I’m thinking about. It takes a lot of time to germinate ideas worth the while for public posting, and then survive the iterative review I do. It’s not like my unpublished draft count is going down… Only a portion of what I write is gets published in the end, no matter how stream-of-conscious the rambling gets. I don’t have a formal clipboard process but that might change as a result?
In short, below is an example from this week. I’m not committed to a set schedule, but I’ll aim for a weekly schedule. I’ll post them in the emails at least, and probably on the blog too, as I go. You can subscribe to it by entering your email below. At some point those emails will go out, when I figure out how this works anyways. Meanwhile I’ll post them on the site for now.
Something about following seiyuu, who mostly promote their works on SNS, makes it weird that I found out about the new Overlord anime from following Yumi Hara. But yes, a new film and new TV season is always good. From the first batch of Kadokowa isekai radobe hits I always connected with this one the most, although story-wise it has degenerated like the rest of them at this point. Maybe it can complete the full pivot into absurdist dark comedy (who am I kidding).
IDOLM@STER Million Live seiyuu Megumi Toda, who also voiced the genki one from New Game, seems to have a lower back issue which pulled her out of the lineup from Million’s next big live show. It’s still called Million Live 7th Live Q@MP FLYER!!! but with a new title: Reburn. Its logo also burns blue, because burning blue, I guess, as the joke goes. Get well soon Todakun!
Last but not least, Japan has extended its COVID-19 State of Emergency until the end of the month. This means some more cancelled events and postponed events, some becoming online only, and some not affected at all. Well, some are also just in limbo now, such as Shiny 3rd tour Fukuoka. It has not affected Million 7th, because the SOE only applies to some prefectures–Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi and Fukuoka. There’s some consolation when Q@MP FLYER is at FujiQ, I guess, but it makes you think if it’s really a good idea.
On the Mind
I just watched the 4th episode of Thunderbolt Fantasy S3 before sending this post out the door and, did the general guy apologizes for Shāng because they are fellow countrymen? So Singaporean! They were even fighting just earlier in the episode. And yes, this is an inside joke.
I find the childhood love interest winning anime a little too…low tier? I don’t know how to explain it but there is a rawness to the show that does not serve to further the purpose of its thematic notion. Instead it’s like, WWE, but trashy anime characters. It isn’t to say you can’t have trashy characters in anime or anything, but I feel there’s more of a mismatch in Osamake than, say, Vivy.
Wish I can take some time off to catch up on some of the other stuff.
With the SOE going on, all of this is subject to change. And it has already changed some.
Really, just another weekend where I can actually get sleep and plan for ML 7th.
My free time lately has been spent mostly with some rare family visits. It felt nice because, well, COVID lockdowns for the past however long, but also just trying to decompress. As a result there hasn’t been much time spent on anime. I guess we did talk about anime with my relatives since it’s kind of relevant in pop culture, no thanks to Demon Slayer and other tidbits. One of my siblings likes Jujutsu Kaisen after I introduced it to them. Which is to say I also want to watch more of that… The other one is the middle of finishing Kuroba….which is okay, I guess, except it’s my pet peeve sort of sports anime.
What else time I can leisurely spend, I put it into horse racing, of course. I guess I should raise some B rank horses? And there’s some con that I ought to be helping to run…
A lot of stuff going on during Golden Week, but also not–people are on vacation and playing games. I don’t know what that means for someone out here on the other side of the planet. Less events, more chill I guess.
I caught up on Odd Taxi, and it was…nice. In a way that not watching season 2 of Beastars is like. I really should, on that note. Probably will stick with it.
This season has some interesting stuff, but none are super compelling to me. Any recs?
Ever since 2020 I have been waiting to make this joke where you combine vaccination with this seiyuu porgramming brand. Yes, you don’t actually get the vacc at Second Shot Girls Party 2021. What a wasted opportunity. That said the guests are interesting so I might try to watch it.
Kurocon announced a guest so that stuff is happening. Work and family continues to pummel while I try to race horses on the side. It’s tough being a trainer and I really should cut one of the 4 mobile games I’m still playing somewhat seriously. Pricone EN probably makes the most sense, because I just don’t have the time to enjoy the localization (such as read all the stories). But I also want to read the stories lol. More over Priconne is not that time consuming, and it’s just going to get easier over time.
I should just take some PTO.
Just to highlight Netflix a bit, they are doing things like this. More is always good, especially beyond the usual seasonalsplash.
This post is brought to you by a 12-hour maintenance for Umamusume game.
Omonomono Newsletter, 2021-04-27
This Past Week
Animator and director Osamu Kobayashi passed away on the 17th due to cancer. You can share your condolences with this project, who will present comments from oversea fans to the grieving. Maybe time to remember him through that episode of Ekoda-chan.
Japan raises the flag on State of Emergency, because you guys know how crowded Golden Week can be. It gave all the eventers a scare since some weekend events had to publish statements about it. Next week though…
The Demon Slayer movie debuted in US this week (Thursday night and onward) and it had the biggest box office in the country on Friday. I am a bit surprised–not very, given this is a hit film in a COVID-ravaged country that still loves films in the theater–but it beat Mortal Kombat is still quite impressive. It also helps that MK does…overlap with that audience somewhat, which is kind of curious. Did it make it harder or easier, actually? Needless to say the film did well for the full opening weekend–well for a [insert qualifier here] film. Variety says it’s a foreign language film, except a lot of the Demon Slayer screenings were dubbed (and pendants would let you know about that Passion of the Christ film had the biggest opening for a film actually in a foreign language). It’s not the biggest anime film opening in the US, because the first Pokémon film in the 90s (which was released only dubbed) did better. CR says best in the 21st century, which is lols. Or you can be an ANN and say it’s second. So yes, for an anime movie, Demon Slayer Mugen Train did really well on opening weekend.
For the late horse trainers. Zombie Land Saga had a Vtuber stream where Yugiri snack-mama smacked the audience, but dropped a note about Umamusume, which is interesting given since her taking over the role from Yuka Aisaka, Rika Kinugawa hasn’t done much.
On the Mind
State of Emergency declared in Tokyo as Japan faces the current surge (3rd?) is cancelling and otherwise affecting a lot of events. It’s also a giant bother for folks locally. The Olympictorch thing is just unfortunate. The real fear is that wave three is going to amplify as a result of Golden Week, replaying wave 2 (New Years break), creating higher numbers there. Which is all just to say these things are insignificant compared to what India is facing.
Kamaburn makes good points about these two shows, but sometimes all I want is to look at is the JK getting laid, I suppose. It’s an interesting dichotomy in between doing the right thing but indulging in the fantasy. I think this is basically the mark of a responsible adult in a way, this sort of almost-hypocrisy.
The new season of Kobayashi Dragon Maid anime begins properly in July but there’s already a “short” running this season.
Still trying to catch up on some new shows. Horse racing and baseball aside, my biggest hurdle is the Funimation Now app on Apple TV–it outright doesn’t play all the shows I want to watch this season. It used to be just a few shows this wouldn’t work on–and I invariably I end up not watching those just out of habit. This season I tried using Airplay, which doesn’t work with subtitles on an iPhone. It does work fine when I use my Chromecast, or watch on PC, but this is unbecoming in 2021 to have a streaming app not work on the basics. Maybe I should request a refund?
The Aniplex-produced original about time traveling AI was ok? Better than expected.
With the State of Emergency going on in Japan, it’s hard to say for sure any event this coming week will still continue as is. Most are making some adjustments. I also forgot to post about Chokaigi last week but that’s continuing online this week until 5/1.
Kurocon is afoot, or at least the work. Between that, work, family, and Umamusume lol my time orz. Which guests do you guys want to see this July? Let me know. I’m secretly hoping the versus mode in Umamusume actually drop before the con so that could be integrated somehow.
Not so much long reads but just want to promote this long listen.
In the anime for Super Cub, high school orphan Koguma has no life until she purchased a used Honda Super Cub for ten thousand yens. That’s about a hundred US dollars.
It’s a price that’s only really possible in Asia, because the Super Cub is much more prolific in that part of the world so there is a robust used economy for it. A brand new Cub retails for about $3000 in the United States. It’s also a sort of plot twist that only signals the age that we live in–our life can change for the better with just a little bit of something. A smartphone app? How quaint. How about this motorcycle that help jumpstarted the Japanese economy back in the 1960s?
High school girls riding motorcycles is already the kind of thing that bucks the norm in some ways: RIP to mopeds I guess. The Super Cub today is the world’s most produced motor vehicle, it also exists in a wide variety of forms. The postal Super Cub (MD90) that Reiko rides is a good example, which looks just like the purebred Cub that Koguma rides once you add the splashguard part back in. The step-through chassis is a big plus for high school girls, other skirt wearers, and folks with issues straddling a traditional bike chassis, which is partly what makes the motorcycle popular, at least before scooters completely took over Asia in subsequent decades since the Super Cub’s international launches. Honda’s DNA for utility in their vehicles is possibly best expressed in the Super Cub, with its reliable engine, tubeless tires, semiautomatic transmission, plus the aforementioned design and chassis–the most Japanese bargain you could have in the post-war Twentieth Century.
I’m just subtly raising one point: all of this is, well, old. The Super Cub light novel and comics project was partly created to commemorate the 100 millionth unit sales of the Honda Super Cub. That it feels like an ad is besides the point. The fact is that this is history in the making, the keyword being history. All of us celebrate Super Cub not for what it is per se–an extremely practical personal transport for a developing economy–but what it has been.
When Reika took to remove the rear storage of an aging Super Cub from the local credit union with Koguma, there was this shot:
The fact that a high school girl is taking WD40 to a screw in order to remove the vehicle accessory is evocative. I don’t know how else to describe this. It’s like when children do what adults do, or what men do what women do, or vice versa? The Super Cub is a vehicle that broke gender bounds in motorcycling, especially in the bike’s marketing. And by design, thus the skirt wearing point I raised above. So this is probably some of the strongest tribute you can give it. Like, this is not even a moe thing anymore. This is just a weird nerd moment. (Although Super Cub the anime still has that slant to it, it plays very safe.)
The computer graphics hardware portrayed the motorcycles in the show are kind of clean. But taking some solvent to a rusted-in screw is SOP. The color palette in the Super Cub anime is, in a word, drab, but somehow various moment in my mind that’s associated with gunk: the smell of motor oil, the smearing of machine grease, the discoloring of rust–all replaced simply by a tone that I describe as time-worn? When Koguma went to the bike store it did not seem like, well, it was the cleanest place. When you travel to that part of Japan, I suppose, it feels that way to the people who live there. (As opposed to the people who go there to camp.)
Some expiring licenses over at CR listed here. Notable is the IDOLM@STER TV anime, among others.
On the Mind
Got more time to really lay into the new anime season. Just a few things, although I probably sampled almost every show I wanted to try.
Still have a lot to catch up to be honest, but To Your Eternity is as haunting as the manga–I vaguely remember reading the first chapters for some reason, years back, but this anime is spot on I think.
A bit of Aoi Yuki fatigue personally, between these isekai shows. Don’t get me wrong she is great at this, but the shows are getting a bit too tied up to her voice between some wildly different works, and it’s wild to hear her between shows. It’s like using the same spoon to eat sweet food and then salty food, I guess? It’s probably more me than her, but it’s kind of a meta problem about casting.
I was weirded out learning about Farewell, My Dear Cramer prequel from this article. So far this soccer anime has been really just spot on, in many ways. Which is just to say I recently watched some random episodes of Kuroko’s Basketball and I wonder if this is just the difference between late-night anime (is 11:30pm late enough?) and other types of anime. The manga has to be a banger if the anime is like this. That said, I also can’t really see myself reading this manga…
The new Battle Athletes reboot is the one old anime reloaded that I chose as … my poison I guess. Not Shaman King or Orphen or whatever. Battle Athletes. And it feels as old as the old one which says a lot lol. That said if you’re in for a taste of the 90s/00s and with a bit more spit and shine from 2020, check out Gekidol instead.
It’s so weird playing Umamusume with Mihono Bourbon and watching 86, as the lead female character has the same CV. I think it is a good kind of weird though, because Bourbon…is actually quite level-headed. That said I’m not sure which show does despair as good as To Your Eternity.
Last week I marathoned the Way of the Househusband anime on Netflix. I think this is great and while I’m glad that good comedy still can be made in this form, I hope Netflix doesn’t corner it LOL.
Which is just to say Sentouin, Hakenshimasu! just don’t quite hit the same way but is probably retro instead? I should really watch this instead, of, like, Tenchi Muyo reboot.
I feel like Super Cub would be a great anime if it wasn’t so much just an ad. But every time someone makes this point I wish all ads were like this. Is it a great anime, unqualified? No. Like, the clash between ennui and satori is so strong in that show that I’m drowning in it. But once in a blue moon we get an anime like this, and there’s not much we can do but to pay that $8 a month or whatever CR or Funi charges for (the price of one bubble tea this month), and enjoy it.
Personally, I am going to battle time lag with IDOLM@STER Shiny Colors 3rd Tour Tokyo stop this weekend.
The other show I have some some interests in this weekend is Hachisama 5. This is Hachinine’s big show this year I think. I play the game on and off for a couple years but not lately… Still would be nice to see the ever-expanding cast and units sing and perform.
Adjacent for sure, but Kizuna AI (it feels so weiiird to say it in the first-last name order) is doing a US tour? Or something? Might be worth to me it if I knew anything about this relatively-OG vtuber. Anyways the “LA” stop is Saturday night US time and 5/29 is the “NYC” stop? Really not sure what’s going to happen to be perfectly honest.
Probably the last note on DST switch until the Fall: My clock is still messed up, although at this point there is equal blame on my weekend sleep schedule as my inability to “spring forward” my bio clock by an hour. I don’t recommend going to bed at 2am or later every day. I did hear back from both US senators that I wrote to about this, and one of them actually gave me a full answer on this policy topic which I respect. Unfortunately I don’t think he’s fully on my side of this issue.
Not that long, but this fansubbed interview for IDOLM@STER Shiny Color’s Kitahara is worth it. Straylight is really the strongest unit from that game if you ask me, although each of them hit in their own ways. Also since this is a TIF interview, it’s got that usual mainstream TV overlay which makes it…just that much more IDOL-Y.