wow, i barely touch this thing these days

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For better or worse, I haven’t felt any super pressing need to update my blog in a very long time with anything of particular significance. I do still regularly update the Anime Connection page, though.

I’ve been finally following through on my desire to learn Japanese, albeit slowly and lopsidedly. I sprained my ankle back in April, so I was also healing up from that for a while. I should be back at 100% pretty soon, but that was an ordeal. I also started a new job recently, a local one, part time but in an industry I like a lot more than healthcare, so I’m hoping it turns into something full time down the line. Prior to that, I was just sitting at home, reading and playing mobile games, slowly watching my bank account empty…

On the entertainment front, how about Endgame, huh? I do want to watch it again, but since I don’t have any local friends anymore (they all moved away!), plus being occupied with the new job, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. What else… a preview for Westworld 3 dropped like a week ago! It looks pretty intriguing, very different from the first two seasons, which is honestly both welcome and exciting. Can’t wait!

Nothing too interesting going on in the anime/LN world, at least not that I can think of off the top of my head. Kimetsu no Yaiba is the best anime I’m watching this season, Kono Oto Tomare! is good too but some of the production values and director decisions are a bit subpar (a series about playing koto music, choosing not to have that much koto music in the soundtrack? what?). The light novel 86 -eighty six- is being translated by Yen Press and is probably my current biggest newer-license recommendation out there. J-Novel Club picked up Ascendance of a Bookworm too, which is getting an anime this year, also a high-quality read.

Anyway, I doubt I’ll be writing a lot of blog posts, but I do plan to keep updating the connection database and posting stuff here and there. Thanks for keeping up!

i’ve realized that i’m not really cut out for blogging

Thor Ragnarok: Slaves

Well, it’s been a month since my last extremely short post. What has happened in between? Let’s take a look into my boring life.

As usual, I’m still playing Fate/Grand Order, both the JP and EN versions. JP recently celebrated the 3rd anniversary, so there were some neat collectible Craft Essences you could get. You can see pictures of them all here. We found out that the new summer Servants will be Jeanne d’Arc, Ibaraki-Douji, and Ushiwakamaru, but still no word on exactly when the new summer event will be starting. Meanwhile in EN, the first summer event is about 10 days in, and I’ve finished clearing out the shop, so just waiting for part 2 to begin (in 7.5 hours) so I can roll for Artoria Archer :v

I got a bunch of books a couple weeks ago, so I’ve been working through those as well. I was very happy with Didn’t I Say to Make my Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, though Seven Seas could really use a better proofreader since I caught at least 2 instances of the wrong name being used when an action or line clearly should have been attributed to someone else. Accel World 14 turned out to be another cliffhanger, so now I have to wait for the next book to finish this plotline -.- Kumoko 3 was good, though not much to report on it, just eager to read the next part.

In other LN news, J-Novel Club announced yesterday that they’re picking up Bakarina! The full Japanese title is Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta…, or “I reincarnated into an otome game villainess who only gets destruction flags.” This series I super adore, since it’s just completely hilarious but also very heartwarming. The fan translation ended halfway through volume 4, so I’m very happy we’re getting this officially, and JNC’s releases should catch up very quickly!

Anime this season is pretty meh. Planet With, Mizukami Satoshi’s pet project, is super great, and How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord is surprisingly done well, but I’m not really excited about any other series. There are some that I’ve heard are quite good but I just personally haven’t given a shot yet, like HanebadoHarukana Receive, and Grand Blue Dreaming, as well as Cells At Work.

I started rewatching Orphan Black since I was showing it to a friend and got back into it :) I still haven’t watched season 5, so this is a good way to refresh myself on the entire mystery before bidding the series farewell.

Finally, I am hoping to try devoting myself to learning Japanese again and maybe picking up a web novel to translate for practice. Or I might try writing again in general. Or both! Main problem is I spend so much time in front of the computer that I’m starting to really think I should find other hobbies haha.

Anyway, this has been your August 2018 update! I should stop swearing to be better about my blog, since I know I just won’t place that much importance on it haha.

anime connection database

Furuhashi despair!
I started a new page about a topic that I tend to stay fairly up-to-date on and thought it would be nice to keep around in permanent form: how anime is related to source material, and where to start on the source to continue past where the anime ended. I hope to update it fairly frequently, especially as new shows come out or anime continuations air or new English licenses are announced. I definitely don’t aspire to hit every possible anime adaptation, but I’ll definitely at least do the ones I like, as well as any requests.

https://simplephobia.wordpress.com/anime-connection/

Feedback is definitely welcome! I kind of just threw in information I thought would be useful, but will gladly rework things based on what seems to work and what doesn’t.

a day of good news

So I’ll lead off with less news and just remarks. Boku no Hero Academia anime is in the sports festival arc, and just like the first season, they’ve perfectly capture the spectacle and excitement of the manga. A lot of fun to watch! Granblue Fantasy has also aired its first episode following the anime-preview double-episode from January, and it’s looking great. Obviously, events in the anime are changed from how they play out in the game, but I think they adapted it well.

So, what exciting things were announced today at SakuraCon? First, Aniplex has announced that it’s translating and releasing Fate/Grand Order in the US this summer!

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-04-15/aniplex-to-release-fate-grand-order-smartphone-game-in-u.s/.114884

Here’s the English announcement trailer (which is simply the original announcement trailer with English subs :x):

For any current Fate/GO players, this is an entirely new server, so there is no option to transfer your Japanese account over. Unfortunate, but they have announced that the original audio will be used, everything will just be translated, and there will even be US-exclusive Servants. Whether this means the game will eventually come to other regions is unknown at this point. I’m happy to be able to experience the story in English, though, even if I can’t have my current JP progress :)

Second, Yen Press has announced licenses for new titles, and 2 of them are must-preorders for me.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-04-15/yen-press-licenses-saga-of-tanya-the-evil-acca-13-one-week-friends-a-polar-bear-in-love-more/.114879

Can you guess what they are? Check after the jump ;)

Read more

overlord season 2 announced

Overlord_Volume_2

So, the Overlord anime got a couple compilation movies. The original anime adaptation depicted novels 1-3, and the movies recapped novels 1 and 2 with some new footage. At the end of movie 2, they included an announcement video revealing a second season of the anime!

The third Overlord novel, titled The Bloody Valkyrie, was the final arc in the anime adaptation and was released by Yen Press in January of this year. The manga adaptation in Japan is currently on book 4, which is slated for an English release on May 23.

Recently, I’ve been reading online translation of the novel “Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu,” which roughly translates to “A Moon-Led Journey in Another World.” It’s been very addicting, and it’s actually got a lot in common with Overlord. Both involve “regular” Japanese people who are suddenly transported to another world and have to deal with the responsibilities and ramifications of tremendous power. The big split is that Overlord’s Momonga appears to be slowly losing his humanity and knowingly puts himself and Nazarick opposite the powers of the world. Conversely, Misumi Makoto goes through a more stereotypical teenager’s journey, trying to find his place while continually learning more about himself and the world, and making mistakes along the way, while the world tries to figure out how to deal with there all of a sudden being a new faction with the power of a country.

What I really like about Tsuki ga Michibiku is that its world is set up to be very complicated. There are 5 major countries, an alliance of 4 human countries waging war with the demon race, but it’s very clear that neither side is really in the right. Makoto’s faction clearly shows itself to be a force that can turn the tide either way, but he refuses to take part, so unknowingly becomes the lynchpin behind the war. Whichever country can manipulate him best, or foresee how his allies might act, can gain a tremendous foothold in the war, but Makoto himself just keeps kind of doing his own thing. He clearly grows tremendously throughout the story too, as he finds out that some of his beliefs can be defended while others are just completely at odds with the logic of this new world.

I’m really looking forward to the next Overlord book, since it’s going into new material, and the new anime season which does the same. I do hope Tsuki ga Michibiku gets some attention to maybe get an official English release, as it’s a very good read with great characters and development.

new arrivals, and pax!

So over the last couple weeks, I got a few packages but neglected to post pictures. That shall be rectified right now, with the additional promise of a follow up post about PAX West!

french_manga_aug16

First off, my mom was in Europe visiting her family and she was able to stop by some bookstores (FNAC etc.) and pick up random manga. I actually have yet to sit down and read the ones I got last summer, so these will just be added to the piles haha. I am definitely happy to be able to get them in a language I can read, though!

yenpress_aug16

Here’s August’s Yen Press releases. Joining the collection are Baccano! volume 2, Index volume 8, and Sword Art Online volume 8. These are series I’m not actively reading yet, but I do know that Index 8 covers the Remnant arc from season 2 of the anime, and SAO 8 is a collection of short stories, including the murder-mystery from season 1 of the anime and the Calibur mini-arc, as well as a story that wasn’t animated if I gleaned enough information from skimming it. Trinity Seven just continues the story where it left off, ending with a nice one-two sequence where we see a couple timely arrivals.

Nozaki 4 is nearing the end of the animated strips, but also includes some strips that were left out of the anime adaptation, probably for time/consistency. These strips introduce Nozaki’s brother, with some flashbacks featuring his mother and father. I would assume that volume 5 will start delving into material for the entire cast that hasn’t been animated yet.

Hataraku Maou-sama 5 I finished on the plane from my new project in Memphis to Seattle. It felt rather similar in overall plot structure to the last volume, where the cast is doing some random, mundane activity, and somehow it relates to the baddy’s plans. As usual, the star of the novel is in the slice of life and just bouncing characters off one another. Every characters’ relationships in the main cast get touched on and change or grow, with a couple characters getting some upgraded scenarios in the story which will hopefully mean that treatment will continue into future volumes. The villain this time was kind of weird, with his objectives being less menacing than the newfound knowledge we obtained of one of the forces working against our protagonists. I’m looking forward to the next volume!

Finally, we’ve got DanMachi 6, the first entire volume in English to surpass the anime! I’ve only gotten a short way into it, but it definitely appears to share a common theme with a multitude of Korean manhwa, mainly the topic of bullying, or abuse of power. This is definitely something that came up in previous DanMachi novels, but I think this is the first time it’s the main plot rather than a subplot. I feel like power abuse plots are somewhat low-hanging fruit as far as character development goes, because most readers will readily side with the party being bullied and condemn the party doing the bullying, but we’ll see how Omori handles it.

opm_sep16

Last, here’s a package I just picked up today, from the VIZ sale that was on RightStuf a couple weeks ago. I’m taking the plunge into the One Punch Man world! And just in time for volume 8, which appears to be material beyond the anime! Along with that, I got the new volumes for D-FRAG and Monster Musume as well.

Anyway, stay tuned for my PAX post!

akatsuki no yona early!

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So I have no idea why I got Yona of the Dawn volume 1 so early, considering the street release date is August 6th, but I’m not complaining!

Anyway, here is my loot from the end of July!

On the continuing manga front, we have Food Wars volume 13, which covers the end of the Autumn Elections and the first half of the Stagiare arc. The current second season of the anime has just covered through chapter 80, which is about 2/3rds of volume 10, so for anyone who wants to experience the anime first, hold back on reading anything past volume 9 for now.

Horimiya continues to excel at just being a very thoughtful high school romance that cares most about its interpersonal relationships and interactions between characters as they encounter each other or something new. It contains natural humor in what is ultimately very normal situations, and so the humor arises from the weirdness that surrounds each and every person, even in real life, as they strive to find their place and make impressions on others. It’s not a bold or flashy manga, so it doesn’t always come to mind immediately, but I would definitely rank it very high on my favorite list.

My Monster Secret starts showing its teeth (or should I say fangs?) with volume 3, where we get to some content that isn’t shown in the anime adaptation. Aizawa Nagisa’s brother, Ryou, is one half of the comedy-gold duo, along with Shima, who make up some of the most hilarious, roll-on-the-floor gut-busting content in the later chapters. It’s really too bad they decided to make the anime a standalone, since we do lose some characters and chapters that make the series so enjoyable. I can’t remember if the anime includes any of it, but the faux-intimidating horror faces are some of the best panels, since they’re basically indicators of an upcoming incredible punch line :) We also get the original Mikan/Fuku-chan origin chapter, which I think works way better than how the anime did it. I also prefer my head-canon where Fuku-chan is voiced by a middle aged man rather than the anime’s squeaky, high-pitched woman :x

Last in the manga is the aforementioned Yona of the Dawn. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but I am a huge, huge fan of the anime, so I am really excited that VIZ took a chance and picked up the very long-running manga, which is currently at 20+ volumes. I hope somehow another anime season comes, but, until then, I’ll slowly collect the English manga releases!

Finally, there are 2 light novels. First is Log Horizon volume 5, which I believe will cover the entire or maybe just the first half of the last arc in season 1 of the anime, the Akiba fair and commerce war. Then, we have the highly-anticipated first volume of Re:Zero! The anime is still airing in its third arc and is a pretty hot conversation topic in the anime world right now with how intense the events are in the anime and how unconventional the material is compared to more typical stories of similar veins, specifically the “transported to another world” genre. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it, since I’m pretty behind on my books and also devoting a lot of time to Granblue Fantasy, but I have high hopes for it to be great!

i swear i want to update this blog more…

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I don’t think I mentioned it before, but I was laid off from my full-time job, so I’m back in consulting. This means for the last 3 months, I’ve been flying across the country every week to work, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to indulge in my hobbies :x and whenever I have a break, I want to indulge in my hobbies and don’t have time to blog ;)

But, (un?)fortunately, my current contract got canceled early, because we literally did too good a job and there is no work to do. I’ll be submitted for a new contract that starts in July, but that at least gives me this next week working remote, then 2 weeks off to kind of recuperate. The next project I know about is at least much closer, so flights won’t be as big a pain.

Anywho, onto the good stuff! Here we have a mixed package, some new stuff, some old stuff. Old stuff includes D-Frag, Arpeggio, and Trinity Seven, which have less to talk about since they’re long ongoing. Nozaki-kun and Horimiya are more exciting for me, first because I haven’t read the Nozaki manga so it’s always fun to see how the anime came from the source. Second, Horimiya’s recent chapters have been excellent, so having the official English version to peruse is awesome.

New manga: Not Lives, and Abandoned Sacred Beasts. Not Lives is another foray into the “stuck in a game” genre, except it’s framed more like one of those social trap stories, like Real Account or Judge/Doubt. The main character finds himself controlling a female avatar and seems to be in some sort of game. He quickly learns that he’s actually in control of another person in a strange fighting game of death. Losing means the “avatar” is killed, and the “player” becomes a new avatar for a new player. It’s quite far in Japan, seeming to be wrapping up the story within the year, or at least the current arc appears to be the final one.

Abandoned Sacred Beasts is, strangely enough, artist Maybe’s first manga printed in English. Why is it so strange? Maybe’s completed, more well-known manga is Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, which has an anime released by Sentai Filmworks. Perhaps they did not want to license an already-completed manga… but Crunchyroll has Tales of Wedding Rings, Maybe’s other currently ongoing manga, on their digital platform. Which means we’re getting Abandoned Sacred Beasts in physical form while Tales of Wedding Rings is only digital :X anyway, Maybe’s art is gorgeous, very detailed and high-quality, which makes it a great title to own. This is also my first Vertical manga; I have Kizumonogatari (which I am holding off on reading to watch the anime films first), but haven’t had reason to get any of their manga releases yet. They’re releasing stuff like the Attack on Titan novels, Cardfight Vanguard, From the New World, Knights of Sidonia, Gundam, Nichijou, Witchcraft Works… nothing I’ve really been interested in, but they’re also releasing Mysterious Girlfriend X in omnibus editions, which is something I’ll probably have to pick up. Very good manga.

OK, that covers the manga, so let’s talk a little bit about, in my opinion, the most exciting new item: the Overlord novel. Once again, we have a story about a person getting stuck in a game. However, the big twists make this a very interesting story and sets it apart from its companions: first, the main character has one of the most powerful characters in the game, and appears to be the only person stuck in the game; second, the NPCs supporting his guild, the most well-known power of “evil” in the game, have come to life, and he’s forced to put up a front, “pretending” to be the character he created in order to make sure they follow him and not risk them betraying him. I enjoyed the anime adaptation quite a bit, but I really just like the way this story is constructed, so I’m excited to read it and collect all the novels, which have wonderful art and are gloriously hardcover.

This is my collection post, so, maybe before next month, I’ll get another post in about games I’m playing or something ;)