Now, this looks like a nice, nonoffensive comedy series that I can enjoy this October.
Earlier today, a brand new key visual was released for Ms. vampire who lives in my neighborhood along with some cast and crew details. Shall we just dive right in?
The series is based off a four-panel manga series created by Amatou and serialized in Monthly Comic Cune since 2015. It has four volumes out in Japan so far, but hasn’t been picked up for an English release as of yet.
In the series, a young girl named Akari Amano is rescued by a socially awkward, mild otaku vampire Sophie Twilight who has a doll-like appearance. Akari happens to love dolls, so she falls in love with Sophie and decides to move in with her. Hilarity ensues.
The October series will feature animation from Studio Gokumi and AXsiZ, with Noriaki Akitaya sitting in the director’s chair. Tackling series composition will be Tatsuya Takahashi while Takahiro Sakai handles character designs.
As for the main cast, we know that the leads will be played by the following:
As I stated in the beginning, this looks like it will be a fun and lighthearted series that I can just enjoy without putting too much thought into it and honestly, the world needs more of this right now.
Usually, when Japanese games are censored in the west or denied release at all, it’s a moot point for me because it wasn’t a game I wanted to play. When a risqué feature was removed from the English-language version of the mobile game How to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon: Memoria Freese, I thought that the game should not have been changed, but I wasn’t that invested in the subject. I am anti-censorship, but I understand that private companies aren’t obligated to localize features they think won’t do well in their market, etc. etc. etc. It didn’t seem like that big a deal overall.
Now the game Omega Labryinth Z has been cancelled outright, and this seems a lot more important to me, only because it sounds like something I want to play. Ever since trying Lightning Warrior Raidy almost (gasp) ten years ago, I’ve been kind of intrigued by the naughty-dungeon-crawler genre. I haven’t devoted the time to play any besides Raidy, but I’ve always wanted to go back and explore the subgenre. I’m not generally a fan of ero media– I’ve seen maybe two hentai anime in my entire life– but something about the combination of really ribald sexual humor and the grindy, meticulous gameplay of roguelike dungeon-crawlers appeals to me. It seems like a fun send-up of the type of masochism inherent to the genre. Plus, I don’t need much of an excuse to play a dungeon-crawler.
According to Eurogamer, the reason why the game was canned (by Sony itself, no less) is because of the youth of the characters: the girls are explicitly minors, making their sexualization unacceptable in Western markets. This is a problem that always leaves me scratching my head, because while I understand the reticence regarding sexualization and children in general terms, anime girl drawings are not minors.
Some anime depict children that look like children and adults that look like adults, but a lot of anime media portrays characters of an indeterminate age, and you need to know the background of the story to know what age anyone is supposed to be. Anime use similar designs for characters that are supposed to be 13, 23, even 33 or 43 at times. Just to pick a recent example, in Comic Girls, Kaos’ mother doesn’t look any older than the rest of the girls on the show; she’s just dressed in a more mature fashion. One of the things I commented on while watching Comic Girls was that Ruki is supposed to be 14 years old, but successfully pulls off an “older sister” act to an audience of 30-something women with only the aid of a little lipstick and eye shadow. Age is just weird in anime and it’s sister media.
I’m not saying “age is weird in anime” is a handwave that can be used to dismiss any criticisms or concerns about the sexualization of minors, but it does make me wonder. The developers could have choose to make everyone in the game exactly 19-years-and-four-months old, and then the sexualization would have been deemed acceptable, even if neither the artwork or writing had been changed in any way other than that.
I’m not getting super-upset here and calling for a boycott of Sony or anything; actually, considering my love of PSX-era games, boycotting Sony would hurt me a helluva lot more than it would ever hurt them. I just wonder what opponents of this sort of game being localized expect to happen. If this continues, when developers of erotic Japanese games want their product to have an opportunity to sell in the west, they’ll just change their premise from “everyone is always in high school!” to “everyone is always in college,” while leaving everything else exactly the same. Does that solve the underlying problem here, assuming there is one?
In any case, reading about this issue has given me an urge to play a hentai dungeon crawler again, and Lightning Warrior Raidy was never really my cup of tea; I may have to import Omega Labryinth Z. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes, in exquisite (excruciating?) detail.
Here’s the official trailer if you want to get an idea what the game looks like; for more detail on the gameplay, look forward to my upcoming Let’s Play! HAHAHAHAHAHA…am I kidding? I’m not sure. I might not be kidding.
Dipping back into the well for this piece of news, and I hope that you’ll forgive me for doing so, but did you hear that yokai mystery series The Morose Mononokean is getting a second season? It’s true and that’s fantastic news!
The series will see the return of the beautiful animation that peppered the first season by Pierrot Plus. Also included in the announcement is that the primary cast and crew will be returning for the second season as well! Double score!
The series is based off a manga of the same name and began running in Gangan Online magazine in September 2013. Crunchyroll is serializing the series on their website and describe the series as:
The duty of the morose guide who leads mononoke from one world to the next. Ashiya has spent the first seven days of high school stuck in the infirmary because of a youkai attaching itself to him. He ends up asking the owner of a small tea room called the “Mononokean” for help.
The series was adapted into an anime series in June 2016 and simulcast by Crunchyroll. Funimation eventually released it on home video earlier this year.
From what I understand though, this series received something of a lackluster reception, which is a criminal shame. This is a series that I watched on a whim earlier this week and I was absolutely floored that I had never stumbled across it before, or had even really heard of it before now.
If you haven’t checked out this easily digestible thirteen episode series, I urge you to go show it some love.
The last time we heard anything about KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! was about a year ago, when it was revealed that a new anime project was in the works. No other details were revealed at the time, so everyone just kind of forgot about it and moved on to other titles.
Earlier today, however, that changed when the Konosuba camp broke their year-long silence to reveal that a brand new movie is in the works! No other details are available at this time (naturally), but we’ll keep you informed as new details arrive.
The series is based on a light novel series of the same name. Yen Press is currently releasing the light novels in English and describe the story as:
Game loving shut-in Kazuma Sato’s life as a young schoolboy in Japan abruptly comes to an early end…or at least it was supposed to. When he opens his eyes, though, he sees a beautiful goddess that offers him a once in an after-lifetime chance to be reborn in a parallel world. The catch is that the world is violent and threatened by a growing evil! Fortunately, he can choose any one thing to bring with him. So he chooses the goddess, Aqua! And so his adventure with his gorgeous companion begins–if he could just get enough money and food to survive, keep his goddess out of trouble, and avoid grabbing the attention of the Demon King’s army!
The series was eventually adapted into two TV anime seasons, simulcast by Crunchyroll as they aired.
While I didn’t love Konosuba, I have to admit that it definitely has its charm and can be quite fun to watch. I’m really quite excited to see what the staff does with a theatrical movie budget. [Editor’s Note: Just don’t give that budget to Aqua, she’ll waste it.]
Sad news for those of us who are watching the simuldub of My Hero Academia on Funimation. Earlier this weekend it was revealed that the simuldub is undergoing a bit of a timing change.
While up to this point Funimation has been fantastic about releasing the new dubbed episodes the same day as the subbed episodes, this streak is now coming to an end.
According to the announcement, My Hero Academia will now be released on a two-week delay starting with episode 50. That means that the next episode of My Hero Academia won’t be hitting the website until July 7 with future episodes being posted weekly after that. Womp womp.
This is understandable, but still a kick to the gut for those of us who have been watching this series week to week on Funimation. I’d like to say that hopefully, Funimation will be able to get back on track for same-day release, but that doesn’t appear to be happening at any point in the near future. I guess the rest of us will just have to tiptoe through the wilds of the internet to avoid spoilers from here on out. How sad for us.
Following up on yesterday’s simulcast news, Funimation is stepping up next to follow up with their own huge list of simuldubs, which will be hitting their website this summer. While many of these titles were obviously going to be there (Attack on Titan and Overlord III for instance), there are some surprises hidden within the announcements that will please plenty of fans.
Keep in mind that most of these titles do not have streaming premiere dates as of yet (I have listed the Japanese air dates, however, along with information on how fans can see these series as soon as possible such as via theatrical or convention screenings) but as soon as more details emerge, we’ll do our best to report on them here.
Starting things off, we’re going to go through the sequels and continuing series that have been announced along with their plot synopsis:
Attack on Titan Season 3 –
After recovering Eren and Historia, the recruits are put under the care of Levi. Stuck out in the middle of nowhere, Hange subjects Eren to a series of experiments in an attempt to find out more about his ability. But when their link to the secrets behind the wall is murdered, the squad must move out and find a new refuge. Except, a figure from Levi’s past has his own plans to stop them.
It premieres in Japan on July 22 but Funimation has already announced that they will be premiering the first episode of the new season along with the second season recap movie in early July so be sure to check your local listings if you want to be among the first to see it!
My Hero Academia Season 3 –
Summer is here, and the heroes of Class 1-A and 1-B are in for the toughest training camp of their lives! A group of seasoned pros pushes everyone’s Quirks to new heights as the students face one overwhelming challenge after another. Braving the elements in this secret location becomes the least of their worries when routine training turns into a critical struggle for survival.
Black Clover –
Asta and Yuno live in a world where magic is everything. While Yuno excels with powers, Asta is completely powerless. But when they receive their grimoires, the outcome shocks everyone! Who will become the next Wizard King?
Steins;Gate 0 –
A divergent continuation of the original Steins;Gate ending, Steins;Gate 0 explores an alternate worldline where Okabe abandons time travel. While attempting to forget past traumas and get his life back on track, he meets an AI that re-opens old wounds.
Overlord III –
A continuation of this fantasy series about a man trapped in an MMO that was supposed to be shut down.
No premiere date has been listed for this one beyond “July,” but fans who are attending Anime Expo will be able to check out an advanced screening.
Kakuriyo – Bed & Breakfast for Spirits –
A young girl is kidnapped by an ogre who tells her that she has been promised to him as a bride by her now deceased grandfather in order to settle a huge debt.
Now… what about the new stuff? Funimation has you covered!
How NOT to Summer a Demon Lord – Based off the light novel series (licensed by J-Novel Club), the story is described as:
In the MMORPG Cross Reverie, Takuma Sakamoto is so powerful that he is lauded as the “Demon Lord” by other players. One day, he is summoned to a world outside his own– but with the same appearance he had in the game! There, he meets two girls who both proclaim themselves to be his Summoner. They perform an Enslavement Ritual to turn him into their Summon… but that’s when Takuma’s passive ability <> activates! Instead, it is the girls who become enslaved! Though Takuma may be the strongest Sorcerer there is, he has no idea how to talk with other people. It is here he makes his choice: to act based on his persona from the game! “Amazing? But of course… I am Diablo, the being known and feared as the Demon Lord!” So begins a tale of adventure with an earth-shakingly powerful Demon Lord (or at least someone who acts like one) taking on another world!
This one premieres in Japan on July 5.
The Master Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar – Another adaptation of a light novel series (also licensed by J-Novel Club), it is described as:
Some urban legends are best left untested! Yuuto Suoh gets more than he bargained for when he joins his childhood friend Mitsuki Shimoya in testing out an urban legend. When he uses his phone to take a picture of himself with the local shrine’s divine mirror, he is whisked off into another world – one heavily steeped in the lore of the old Norse myths. Using his knowledge gained from school and from his solar-powered smartphone, he has the chance to bring the Wolf Clan, the same people who cared for him, to prominence, all while earning the adoration of a group of magic-wielding warrior maidens known as the Einherjar.
The Japanese premiere date for this title is listed as July 7.
Angels of Death – An adaptation of the manga series (licensed by Yen Press), the story for this one is described as:
When Rachel Gardner wakes up in the basement of an unfamiliar building, she finds herself face-to-face with Zack, a serial killer wrapped from head to toe in bandages. Narrowly escaping his bloody scythe, she makes it to the next floor, where she meets a man named Danny who claims to be her doctor. Rachel breathes a sigh of relief, but she can’t help noticing that Danny’s got a strange look in his eyes…
Japan will be getting its first glimpse of this series on July 6.
Magical Girl Raising Project – Now we come to the final addition to the list, which originally premiered a few seasons ago, but is finally getting a dub this summer. Funimation describes it as:
For the girls of N-City, being a magical girl is a dream come true! At least, online it is. When a lucky few are given the chance to be real-life magical heroines, their lives go from sweet to deadly. And after the city decides to halve the magical girl numbers, what once seemed like a race for glory becomes a desperate fight for survival. Cute turns wicked in the prettiest death game around.
This series originally premiered in the fall of 2016, so it’s a couple of years old now, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable than anything else on this list!
Are you excited to check out anything on this list after it premieres? Sound off in the comments!
It’s that time of year again! The time of year when journalists like myself scramble to keep up with the deluge of press releases as companies announce their seasonal simulcast plans. Joy!
According to the press releases that I just received, Aniplex of America are the first ones up to the plate. Here’s the wind-up… and the pitch… Bam! Two series announcements in one shot!
The first to be revealed is the comedy series Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. Premiering in Japan and the US on July 14 (though the specific time for the simulcast premiere is TBA), this series from XEBEC and director Tsuyoshi Nagasawa is based on the manga of the same name which is currently available in English from Seven Seas Entertainment. They describe the series as:
Homeless and haunted by ghosts, high schooler Kogarashi thinks his luck has finally turned when he finds Yuragi-sou—a cheap boarding house that was formerly a hot springs inn, now full of super sexy, scantily clad female tenants. If Kogarashi can use his spirit abilities to banish the ghost that haunts the inn, he can even live there rent-free! But when the ghost, a beautiful teenage girl named Yuuna, appears before him, Kogarashi takes pity on her and is suddenly not so sure about the exorcism. Will he help save Yuuna from becoming an evil spirit? And what supernatural secrets do the other boarders hold?
Second up we have another comedy series in the form of Cells at Work!. In this series from David Production and director Kenichi Suzuki, the story is, once again, based off a manga of the same name available in English from Kodansha. They describe the story as:
Strep throat! Hay fever! Influenza! The world is a dangerous place for a red blood cell just trying to get her deliveries finished. Fortunately, she’s not alone … She’s got a whole human body’s worth of cells ready to help out! The mysterious white blood cell, the buff and brash killer T cell, the nerdy neuron, even the cute little platelets—everyone’s got to come together if they want to keep you healthy!
This series will premiere in Japan on July 7 but a specific simulcast release date and time have yet to be revealed.
Anime Expo keeps up the momentum with another big announcement!
Earlier today on their official website, AX announced that they will be premiering the anime Kase-san and Morning Glories at a special screening, attended by director Takuya Sato and producer Yusuke Terada. The anime will be shown on Sunday, June 8 at 12:30 pm in room LP2.
Based on the original work from Hiromi Takashima, this release will feature animation produced by ZEXCS (Say “I love you”, Rental Magica, Sister Princess). The series is currently licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment who describe the series as:
Kase-san and Morning Glories is the debut release of Hiromi Takashima’s ongoing yuri series about a high school romance between the clumsy, flower-adoring Yamada and the exuberant Kase-san, the school’s track and field star.
Regardless of how you feel about yuri content, this looks like a movie that plans to play it right down the middle and tell an honest, coming-of-age story, much like other important titles such as Wandering Son.
It’s always great to see something progressive come out of Japan, and I’m certain that this title will be no exception.
This is news that a few of us already knew about but wasn’t widely reported on until Funimation made it official yesterday via social media. If you’ve never seen the vampire horror series Shiki, you have until June 30 before it disappears off Funimation’s catalog.
The series first premiered in Summer 2010 and was licensed by Funimation a few days before it premiered. While it rarely gets brought up as one of the best horror series ever, those who have seen it know that they watched something special even if they didn’t truly appreciate it at the time.
Funimation describes it as:
As citizens of a secluded village die off in alarming numbers, the head doctor tries desperately to save them—but his efforts are in vain. Panic and disillusionment run rampant as loved ones’ corpses rise from the grave with an insatiable thirst for human blood. Haunting and hallucinogenic, Shiki stares into the hearts of both the hunter and the hunted—and blurs the line between man and monster.
This just serves as a reminder that licenses don’t last forever so if you want to watch something or buy something, strike while the iron is hot. Remember Baccano? It goes for over $200 on Amazon right now. Black Butler? Almost $100.
Shiki is about to join an elite group of series that never got their time in the spotlight. Series such as FLAG, Petite Princess Yucie, Now and Then Here and There, and others are part of this special club and sadly Shiki is becoming one of them. At least it’s still up on Crunchyroll.
Three promotional videos hit the internet within the last day or so and we’re going to watch all three of them!
First up, we have the one that’s whole name is steeped in irony, Happy Sugar Life. This trailer is titled the “Painful” version for a reason. Yes, that’s right. This is 15 seconds of hot yandere action. Enjoy!
The series premieres on July 13 and features animation from studio Ezo’la while Nobuyoshi Nagayama is directing. The story is described as:
High-schooler Matsuzaka Satou has a reputation for being easy, but one day her lifestyle of sleeping with one boy after another comes to an end. It happens when she meets the child Shio, for whom she is convinced she feels true love for the first time. Satou may seem sweet and innocent, but there is nothing she won’t do to protect their life together, including committing murder. But from where did she acquire the little girl, and how long can their “Happy Sugar Life” together last?
Next up we have a trailer for one of the anticipated series of the season for many of you, Hi Score Girl. It’s another 15-second TV spot but it also features one of the theme songs in the background, so that’s something.
Premiering on July 13, this one features animation from J.C. Staff and has Yoshiki Yamakawa sitting in the director’s chair. The title is described as:
The year is 1991 and 6th grader Yaguchi Haruo only has video games to live for. He’s not popular in school and he’s neither handsome, funny, nice nor even friendly. The only thing he has going for him is that he is good at video games. One day at the local arcade, he plays Oono Akira, a fellow classmate but who’s popular, smart, pretty and a rich girl that absolutely destroys him at Street Fighter II. Not only does he lose to her 30 times in a row, he can’t beat her at any game. Haruo can’t seem to shake Akira off as she follows him from arcade to arcade everyday after school and beats him every time. As weird as it sounds, the odd pair begins a strange bond and friendship.
Finally, we come to the trailer that makes the least amount of sense to me because I’ve never played any of the “Tales” games. Apparently this show is based on a Japanese smartphone game and will be run in a 24-hour marathon loop at 8 pm local time in Japan on July 20, which doesn’t really matter to us because this series also received a global release that ended back in late May.
Regardless, if you’re a fan of the “Tales” RPG series you should absolutely be checking this one out.
If you’re wondering what it is you just watched, that would be 50 seconds of the title Tales of Rays Gekijou which, as mentioned, premieres in Japan later this summer.
And there you have it. We made it through all three videos! Any of these whet your appetite for seeing more? I definitely plan on checking out Happy Sugar Life, but we’ll see how far I make it before it creeps me out too much.