Everyone and their cat knows how Shinkai Makoto’s Your Name revolutionized anime cinema in 2016, breaking through Spirited Away‘s records. What few know, however, is that another movie made anime history the same year: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm.
As you may know, the KING OF PRISM movies are spin-offs of the Pretty Rhythm franchise. The first movie, KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm (shortened as Kinpri) was initially released in 14 theaters on January 9th 2016. Three weeks after release, it was only screening in 9 cinemas, and the staff was preparing for the worst. However, the movie ended up earning more than 800 million yen, and by May 2016 it was in over 100 cinemas across Japan. All thanks to dedicated fans’ word to mouth and the movie’s “Cheer Screenings” (応援上映 in Japanese), screenings where you can come in cosplay, use glowsticks, scream and sing along during the movie, or dub lines during subtitled scenes specifically made for it. The movie had a 9 months run in cinemas, and its final screening was at Shinjuku Wald 9, on September 2nd 2016, even though the movie was already out on DVD/BD since June 17th. KING OF PRISM was a huge success in South Korea as well. The first movie released there on August 11th 2016, and broke the record of longest screening period for an anime film, a record previously held by Love Live! The School Idol Movie! The sequel movie, KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-, ended up releasing simultaneously in Japan and South Korea on June 10th 2017.
However, the Kinpri movies have a hidden history unrecorded even on Japanese anime sites. In the first place, how did a kids franchise spawn movies geared towards adults? Why are the movies gayer than actual Boys Love anime? Why does what seems to be a Yuri on Ice! ripoff with Shinji and Kaworu clones is a big enough deal to be screened at Los Angeles Anime Film Festival???
Note: While similar, I’ve added a lot of things compared to the French version of this article I published back in May 2018. This is basically the XX+ Reloaded Definitive edition of the “Pretty Series History”.
Edit: I fixed the post’s layout, as it got screwed up after I changed the blog’s theme, even though it was fine beforehand during preview.
really sad and stunned. Sorry for the typos and stuff just need to get this all out. gonna also use this to compile homages and messages shared by SRW related staff and personalities.
My friends know how i regularly ramble about that tv channel called Nolife that had a huge impact on my life from its birth in 2007 to its death in 2018. It’s thanks to it that I was inspired to become a game journalist. The channel’s ex-boss even gave me a big confidence boost in 2018 after I won an award at an otaku article writing competition he was part of the jury of that year. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to start applying to gaming sites for real.
Some of the streamers i watch weekly are related to Nolife. Some discord servers i’m active on and some french friends I’ve made these last 4 years are also things I met through Nolife.
The first time I saw Nolife in late 2007 or so while randomly going through channels, they were showing concerts of Mizuki Ichiro. It was showing the Captain Harlock song specifically. My head went “woah what the hell it’s the Mazinger Z OP guy and JAM Project guy! how come they’re showing this on TV????”. The channel also had several eyecatches, and one of them was Mizuki Ichiro going “Bonjour, it’s Mizuki Ichiro, and you’re watching… NOLIFE Z!!!!”
Mizuki Ichiro is one of those people that if not for them, japanese media and anime and everthing it influenced, so american/global north pop culture too, would be fidderent.
the beginning of the international reach of anime can also be partly attributed ot him as his songs were OPs for a lot of the first anime ever aired in europe, south america, arab world etc in the 70s-80s. (technically a lot of OPs in these countries were covers of the japanese one in the native language or changed altogether but a lot of people who became fans of anime with these series soon learned about him too).
Had a 54+years carreer so even after the 70s 80s he was still a huge influence too most notably with the formation of JAM Project in early 2000s
These last 4 years i would often read his tweets on twitter too. He’s one of those japanese personalities who’d always make a good morning tweet everyday so it was heartwarming to see. he’d talk about the games he played a lot too especially BOTW as famitsu’s obituary mentions:
Not only the main story, he’d even do the side content and challanges in a lot of games too despite his age or schedule. He was also a huge Super Robot Wars fan and played a lot of the games himself. I forgot if it was during an old SRW-related stream or a live concert or on twitter, but I also clearly remember him talking in very great detail about SRW Alpha 3 and talking about how he’d spend a lot of time reorganizing his squads.
It’s a weird feeling because it’s not like that i’m that sad because i feared for the worst even since he revealed his cancer a few months ago.
And it’s kinda like when you have old grandparents or family members, i was already preparing myself mentally, but at the same time i obviously wasn’t prepared, and didn’t want to see it, and i even regularly think like “you’re worrying about this family member dying or this personality you like dying, but you might as well end up dying before them” because whether you’re old or sick or whatever doesn’t change anything and you never know what might happen.
Even before he made his cancer public, during the SRW 30th anniversary live event a bit more than a year ago, he apologized at some point saying he can’t sing as well as in the past, and how he hesitated a lot on whether to go to the event or not, and how he hopes to sing better next time
So for me and im sure for many people around the world watching the event, that moment was like a (re)realization that he’s getting old and will leave us one day (and even so he was still pretty young he passed away at 74) .
I’m just a drop in the sea and I’m not implying i make much of a difference but in times like these I wish I still had a writing job right now to try and make an obituary in English that tries to be a bit more indepth than most. Though at the same time I’m happy to be jobless right now because it’s just a terrible feeling to have to write an obituary under a time limit or seo constraints and it feel like you’re disrespectful. In the first place it’s really messed up just having to pitch it and try to manage to explain to some ??? manager why is it important even if it’s not trending on google much.
Really sad. My prayers are with him and his family.
Watanabe Chumei also passed away earlier this year, so both the composer and singer of Mazinger’s Z OP have passed away. Watanabe Chumei and Ichiro Mizuki are among those who pretty much invented mecha songs and anime songs.
these past 12 months i started watching a streamer who became my favorite streamer. She’s a single mother who does a lot of chatting. She just says what goes through her head but she often says a lot of funny and insightful things. She always talks for 1 or 2 hours firt and then stream a game for a very long time, like at least 8 hours every time. and is playing spiceandwolflive now
Maybe I’d like it better if I was actually playing myself but from what i’ve seen of it so far I don’t want to play it. It seems like an ok game. maybe the story gets incredible later on I dunno. Right now we’re at when the three dudes traps the MC in the dream world and MC needs to find Essence.
I shouldn’t say this on the internet because 1 no one will get it 2 dumb (american) kids who might see this might think I mean to say that there’s something problematic in the game or whatever, but after hearing the voice of a boss, the floating lance boss in the dream world, and how annoying it is wheneverh e attacks, i thought “this is the kind of soundclip voice that white people think is exotic and would fit a boss like this” and so i googled it and wow 3 white people are the developers.
it’s definitely impressive that apparently these 3 alone made everything though
(maybe they didn’t and someone else made the music etc, but i don’t care about fact checking when writing here, nor about ypos not about making sense, for the moment I am only using this blog as a means to distress. don’t think about it too much whoever ever reads this)
lol im catching up on this for the first time in a while and I always thought it was good I always felt it was kinda pretty generic and predictable, including that sudden “parent collapsed” right in the middle of a confession moment at a festival during fireworks in order to keep dragging things on.
but everything that happens after that i point I did not expect loooooooool this is pretty good
Shiki’s mom being a possessive crazy mom with poor health and wanting to plan everything about her son is not something i expected. And she wants him to date student concil girl.
triangle strategy spoilers for what i assume is the penultimate chapter
I did not correct the typos on prpose, dont ask why
I fucking knew it bro fucking triangle strategy what a dumb game
even if it’s technically not the same staff,
seeing all the incredibly dumb twists and bad writing in Toshinden Traveler+ how disappointing boring and repetitive the game was after 30 hours
+ never played bravely but i heard the 1st gam had super dumb writing used as a reason to make you play the same thing twice,
so ive always been wary of Asano games, I kept being wary of Triangle Strategy. And the game actually never disappointed me, until now and this final choice. I expected some forced drama to happen between Roland Fredrica and Benedict at some point but I never expected it to be so forced and so dumb. None of their reasonings make sense
too busy to go into huge detail but
what was the point of showing roland going from ”wow cool country” to ”wow bad country” when they see the salt lake rozelians slaves, if at the end of the day he still thinks hyzante is ok. what was the oint of me always sticking with him and helping him out because i speciically expected im to be the most unstable caracter and the one who could make the dumbest decision?
also hyzante was clearly inspired by islam as its the sole widespread religion IRL with people actually praying, and I think its a a terrible way of using it.. its not like im offended or anything. i just think its badly written.I dont like is that it was inspired by islam and yet way too different and has completly nothing to do with islam, but yet you can still tell that it was inspired from it, so it could give some ignorant people some weird ideas about islam, especially when hyzante is the worst country of the three by far.
even if you want to depict a islam based stat that has been corupted, hyzante’ depictio is noting close to it. and if done right then it would be corupt because of it leaders influecned by an outsid epower as thats realistic an dwhat always happen,see eve burst error.
frederica’s plan shouldnt even exist because as long as we fuck up hyzante we can liberate the rozels anyways too. And the lets escape to centralia part is too sudden and makes no sense at all.
the best would be to let hyzante and aesfrost fight and kill each other, or some other plan than these 3 stupid ideas I dunno.
i dont get why earlier i the game you can have the choice to pretend to ally with aesfrost and then betray them in that sorsley and avlora boat batte stage, but now suddenly you cant do that anymore
Also the serenoar royal blood reveal feels completely unnecessary and irrelevant. feels like the only role it plays in the story is to give bigger credence to this forced drama and benedict’s plan.
a better scneario would be that after the patriate arc, (speaking of which that was the 1st ultra dumb thing in the game and totally forced drama. made no sense that the Greenbook population is too dumb to realize the taxes and random killing was this patriate trash’s fault and that roland only stopped him. the ”wow what a ruthless king we cant trust him he just killed his right hand man” part was complete trash writing even considering this is a medieval setting with few accurate way to transmit infromation.
anyway after the a patriate thing, i expected something like roland saying hes no fit to be king and asking serenor to take his place or something. and then if the royal blood reveal happened now it’d make much more sense
it also makes no sense at all that roland is still so opposed to aesfrost and gustadolv aftr all this, especially after how he almost killed his sister because of being blinded by hatred. speaking of which this scene too was weird. its like if they originally wanted for cordelia to die there, but they realized it would be forced drama and too fucking stupid, and let her survive instead. but whats the point of her surviving and even joining the party, if she apparently never got a good talk with roland to tell him to stop being such a coward?
even if theres actually a fourth secret ending that is better than these three, I’ll also be pissed because it should be the default ending and there shouldn’t be any choice in the first place for the other thre. why at this point after everything they went through, benedict, frederica, and roland would split like this.
imo the best ending and what grebrook and the wolford cold definitely do seeing the events in the past of the game is to temporarily ally with aesfrot to destory the hyzante goverment and expose the religion’s lie, and then killing gustadolv too
i assume you can do that in benedict;s plan, except that you’ll be forced to kill roland for some forced drama.
lastly, and its also one of the biggest problems, why the hell isn’t serenor himself coming up with his own plan too instead of listening to these three idiots? first, punch roland with cordelia and tell him to stop being such a coward andif he want to stop being king then just show him serenr is of royal blood and says replace him. then tell frederica that her ‘rozelians wll suffer even more if the war continues” ”but gustadolv wont help the weak rozelians!!’ and ” let sescape to centralia” makes no sense as 1/rozelians cant suffer more than they do 2/shes assuming we wont fuck up gustadolv for some reason 3/even if we dont give a shit about protecting the wolfort domain etc (the reasons why benedict is against this plan), escaping still makes no sense at all
3 tell bendict that yes we can ally with aefrost but just temporarily, get svarog on our side and then kill ustadolv. makes no sense that svarog decides to stick with gustadolv, what was the ponit of the svarog arc I got after deciding to help deliver the illegal salt? maybe im wrong though as the gustadolv speech a the big gate cutscene implied svarog still doesnt plan to trust him, we’l see.
FIRE EMBLEM THREE HOUSES SPOILERS note that im playing claude route and i still havent finished it though
In games like fire emblem switch, i dont fully agree with all the plot points and i think there are stupid things, like how dimitri is handled in claude’s route, but the concept of inevitabl ewar and division betwen you comrades was still way better handeld than this trash in triangle strategy. In fire emblem three hosues im happy theres no common route with all three leaders being friends. It wouldnt make sense. However, i still think there should have been a way to save the other two protaognists than the one you side with, even if they’d just end up in jail. Im playing claude route, dimitri already died killed offscreen for no fucking reason because of his dumb must kll edeldlgrd at all cost stance, and im at the eldegard castle map of claude’s route and I assume eldegard will die there. i havent played the game in like two years, no time.
anyway i guess I’ll pick benedict route and then see if its possible to do it wthout killing roland and without actually allying permanently with gutadolv, by allying with svarog instead. (needless to say do not tell me the answers , i dont want spoilers)
then i guess ill check the frederica ending on youtube. roland ending soudns so dumb im not sure ill even check it.
im genuinly angry i spent 60h on the game and it was really fun, only for the story to be completely wasted by dumb writing like this at the end.
TACTICS OGRE LUCT CHAPTER 1 SPOILER
I think comparisons to tactics ogre’s moralistic choices are a insult to tacics ogre, it wwas much better. and sure TO technically also has a dumb choice most people will never pick – burning the village- that is ekuivalent to following rolan’s idea. But in TO’s case, that choice is at the beginning of the game at the end of chaptr 1. so i you pic the hoice you can assume the game’s stoy will give ou a lot of opportunities to see how it will velop and see if you picked t erght coice or not and wll be abl to change again. you can also jus pick it out of curiosity since its at the begning. in ocotpat that highly imbecilistic choice is AT THE END of the gam after dozens hours of showing to rolan how shitty hyzante is, it just makes no sense.
no proofreading and full of typos, not paid for this after all.
These days, I don’t have the time to write here. However, I’m not planning to abandon this blog and would like to come back to it every now and then most notably to vent. Around tow years ago, I started renewing it changing the theme. A few months ago I also added an actual banner. The Prichan Rinka smug smile one I added around 2 years ago was temporary. The very first banner was hakomari, then it was the Prichan Rika smug smile. And now I have an actual banner. The Nekketsu Nikki banner is by Mochiplanet. You’ll have my respect if you can guess who the characters are.
I’m currently writing about Japanese games at an american gaming site, and all the time I used to spend on my blog these past 9 years now go to there. Please check the site out and my Japanese news there if you liked my way of writing here and my Pretty Series coverage. Speaking of that, I’m still planing to write and translate more Pretty Series material one day, but it’s not a priority for now.
Yeah. I want to write on my blog, without Twitter’s limitations, and free to share my own thoughts. Twitter rots your brain. It’s bad for to talk about anything serious on it. Everyone betllitles each other and wants to correct and crush each other in public.
So I’ve got this idea to start this post and frequently update it with new thoughts. I’ll try to expand on the ideas I share here on a weekly basis, and explain my thoughts, but I might not either. I want to spend as less time as possile writing this so I’ll be very brief and blunt. Meaning there’s a high chance you won’t get what I mean or misundertand. But it’s fine. I’m not proofreading either.
XXX Virtual YouTubers
I don’t have aything against people making Vtuber content. However, I hate companies who try to profit from it in a capitalistic way and try to turn it into a brand and exploit people adn stuff. Also you can’t eveb begin to imagine how much I judge people who watch vtubers for a very long time. Not “hate” mind you, as disliking someone for their taste is a bad thing. And I wouldn’t bring it up in a discusison? But yeah I think that maybe around over 2 hours a week? is too much ctuber a week. In the first place v tubers themselves shouldn’t make too much content each eek, because of all the work it is.
There are a lot of other things I want to add here and my thoughts aren’t complete but whatever. If you didn’t get my point or don’t understand me, please remember that the best wayt to summarize my opinion is that there’s nothing wrong with tubers but vtubers as a trends as it is now is bad.
j’aime pas parler de ce que les gens font mais vu que jaime bien la serie, hier j’ai lu beaucoup de tests de shin sakura taisen, et mon ressenti c’est que j’ai l’impression que y’a beaucoup de gens qui se focalise sur “les combats c’est passé de tactical rpg a action rpg donc c’est pas bien”, alors que la n’est pas la question, ca a jamais été super important ni l’interet principal de la serie les combats, mais la plupart des gens ont du mal a considerer le fait de lire, de regarder les personnages parler, tout en faisant des choix, comme etant du “gameplay”, en gros toujours le meme probleme de ce denigrement des ADV / visual novels j’ai l’impression
je redoute quand 13 sentinels aegis rim va sortir en dehors du japon et tous les gens comme qui vont dire “c’est pas un action RPG, tu fais juste parler pendant la moitié du jeu, c’est naze”
– c’est un peu comme les gens qui disent que les Super Robot Taisen c’est toujours trop facile, ou que l’aspect tactical RPG est nul, ou que ya certaines animation d’attaques beaucoup moins bien que d’autre. pour moi l’interet principal de SRT ca a toujours été l’histoire et voir les personnages et mechants de pleins de series interagir, apres maintenant je pense que ya moins de gens qui pensent comme ca, avant les gens été “obligés” de penser comme ça, moi compris, vu que les jeux étés pas traduits —
c’est pour ça que dire que “sakura wars ps4 se focalise trop sur les dialogues, le mix entre combat et visual novel est pas equilibré”, pour moi ca a pas de sens, sakura taisen ca a jamais été un melange plus ou moins equilibré de blabla et de combat comme persona 5, ca a toujours été completement different
— dans certains tests de sakura wars ps4 j’ai aussi vu “c’est plus fujishima kousuke qui fait le character design donc c’est pas bien” mais encore une fois je trouve que c’est pas du tout la la question et comme Bejito avait dit une fois, et il connait beaucoup mieux Sakura Taisen que moi, en vrai si tu regardes depuis des années maintenant, tous les nouveaux goodies, tous les nouvelles illustrations qu’il y a eu pour les art expo, les collabs, les collabs dans les jeux mobage, ou encore la toute nouvelle illustration pour le nouveau coffret bluray avec tous les OVA sakura taisen qui viens d’etre annoncé Tout ça, c’est pas Fujishima qui a dessiné mais Matsubara Hidenori. A la base Fujishima c’est le original character designer, et Matsubara le character designer qui redessine pour que ca soit animé plus facilement, mais depuis des années maintenant c’est Matsubara qui fait tout et Fujishima a rien fait pour la serie.
XXX Cosplay, Twitter, discriminations in france
Since 2019 or so, I often had instances of starting writing in Japanese (and maybe in English too )something explaining to Japanese people why non white people don’t care about skin color when cosplaying and cosplay any character they want. So similarly, if you want to cosplay Barret, don’t change your skin tone. While I don’t think I took an actual example like Barret, I’ve shared multiple tweets like this on Twitter over the years, mainly emphasising that my cosplay philosophy is that we’re human, not fictions characters, so we’ll never actually look like fictional characters anyway. So don’t do things like changing your skin tone. (kinda related but another problem: people who randomly accuse others of doing this. There’s a Pretty Series cosplayer I like who’s been a victim of this too and what made me realize this actually exists. This era of social media where people always look down on each other, try to bellite each other ,always being sour, is so wrong. If you believe someone did something worng, just chat with them about it in private. Unless it’s something like ultra bad like murder and sexual violence)
But then I just stop writing or don’t do it because I don’t have the time and I just don’t care enough. I guess maybe I’ll regret it one day. Or maybe I’ll feel a bit bad if a Japanese person I like on Twitter like a Prety Series fan ever does this kind of error. And no, I don’t agree with “yeah but they just don’t know” argument. Doing discirminatory things willingly is bad. Doing it by ignorance is bad as well, sometimes worse, especially as certain people won’t learn in purpose and use “yeah but I’m doing/saying this but I’m not racist” and use ignorance to defend the discriminatory thing they’re doing. Ignorance is bad. One of the worst kinds of ignorance and hte most annoying, sometimes even more annoying than racist people themselves, is when you have naive people, not necessarily white people, who see non -white people trying to fight against discrimination by often talking about it, and who tell them things like “why do you always talk about discrimination? Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t care about people’s skin color? Why are you so obsessed with that?”. They fail to put themselves into non white people’s shoes. They fail at reasoning. They fail. Because of ignorance. They failt to realize that of course we’d like to do tha,t but it’s simply not possible when the world has always been built around inequalities like this and we’ve felt and will always feel them. That’s why I tend to simply ignore people who say stuff like this, who say they don’t want politics, etc. Unless it’s someone I like, I don’t bother trying to explain all this either. Yet another example is people who act as if far right politicians and voters are the only discriminating people in france or in a country. Pretty much every single politician in france hates either muslim people, non white people, LGBTQ+ people, or everything before. Most of them act as if they don’,t but will often betray themselves with words or acts and fail to hide their discriminating views. I particularly hate when french humorists, singers, actresses and actors, artists in general, take a stance against racism and act as if iconic far right politicians like the Le Pen family is the sole problem. it’s not something done by a certian group of individuals. It’s something anchored in society, in institutions, in laws, etc. Like what true anti dscrimination activists say in france, there’s state racism in france, racism fueled by the governments and state themselves. And when these activists say that, they get shunned, criticized, sued, banned from TVs and media and get death threats.
I’m not saying I’m perfect either. I’ve been writing this blog for tean years. I changed a lot in ten years. I’m sure that if we go back to at least the first five years of the blog, I had at least once written something offensive towards LGBTQ+ community, seeing how ignorant I was in the past, and I apologize for that.
XXX Depressive and pessimistic protagonists, Sword Art Online, isekai stories, sexual fanservice in anime and manga. Gyaru manga. Okamoto Lynn. Japanese politicians who want to ban “unhealthy” manga. Manga and japanese media produced in a world pririotizing profits above everything.
It’s obviously not enough to make me stop reading a manga since most of the time it happens in the first chapter, but I really hate how since like post 2015 or so a lot of protagonists have low self esteem of themselves and also rank people and say they’re at the bottom etc. I don’t know if it’s true though but IIRC I once read on ANN it’s because the protagonist of Romantic Comedy SNAFU or whatever the name was, never read it, is like that, and everyone copied him since it’s one of the best selling LNs of the 2010s.
One thing for sure is it’s a shame a lot of actualy good manga have protagonists like this, I think they’re a bad influence for teens kids who read the manga. There’s that manga whose name I forgot about a guy ranked 1 in a fighting game meeting a girl who’s ranked 2 and who starts coaching him to be fashionable.
“other people had high specs from birth, we’re not the same race”
“this person is rank A in the school while I’m just a “background character””
This kind of dumb mindset from the protagonist made me temporarily stop reading this manga. It’s a shame because it’s actually really fun and well written most of the time, and actually seems fine / realistic as a basic tutorial on: talking with other people and social interactions, dressing up like what is deemed good, fashionable and attractive in a western country like Japan, and date people.
If I was a japanese politician I’d crackdown on manga like this. And badly written manga in general. For example, when it comes to the blood donation uzaki chan poster controversy, I agree with those saying the poster is unappropriate for what it’s advertising, something as serious as blood donation. But other things, for example the blood donation collab Valvrare did with shouko saki and l-elf dressed as doctors, was good imo.
IMO the main problem in the first place is that the world is screwed up by big corporations who make this kind of dumb manga exist in the first place for money. we need less quantity and more quality. I never read Uzaki so maybe it’s a actually good, but from a first glance it looks like gag manga with smug acting girl with a big chest number 84894984984 and has 0 attractiveness. Why would I check it out when I already read ton of other similar manga? This kind of manga who seem to only have been made to follow a trend shouldn’t exist in the first place (again I’m assuming Uzaki is as bad as it looks).
That’s also why I don’t think (the vast majority of) isekai stories with male protags should be called trash because of reccuring themes such as sexual slaves. The vast majority of Isekai is trash because it’s trash for a billion of other reasons of that on top of being sexist. Bad writing being the biggest reason. Writing essays about isekai and why it’s a bad influence would be a complete waste of time. Isekai doesn’t need analysis. It’s just trash. If you actually pick and read isekai stories with themes like sexual slavery, it’s so badly written and lazy that nothing actually comes out of it. The girls in the vast majority of these aren’t “real” slaves but just willingly end up falling in love with the protag just like any other shonen. It’s not any more sexist than the usual stuff.
Saying isekai stories are sexist is giving them too much credit for what they’re worth.
For the same reason, I don’t call SAO bad for its sexual assault scenes, but because it’s badly written in general. There are actually some goods things SAO, and I ultimately do like the series, with ALO arc and Mother Rosario being my favorite parts, and GGO arc ad Alicization being the worst. Anyway. What makes the sexual assault scenes so bad in SAO is the fact that barring the very first arc’s villain, it’s nearly ALWAYS what SAO villains try to do, bringing up a “he’s trying to taint the girls, our trophies, so he’s evil” sexist vibe that definitly gets annoying after a while. There’s also how the sexual assault attempts tend to be used for sexual fanservice, trying to titillate the watchers instead of dread or shock. The animators depict the scenes by including things like boucing breasts animations when the assaulted girl’ clothes get ripped. That’s a thing in a lot of Japanese media and I’m used to it though. My theory is that the people who work on anime ultimately believe it’ snly entertainment and made to please people as a hobby. That’s why they still do things to please people even in darker scenes like this. I believe that’s true for most japanese fictional entertainment. Of course there are exceptions. And SAO is like that because it’s a entertainment and supposed ot make readers feel good. Same with some of the stuff Okamoto Lynn makes. Meanwhile, stories that are dark from the start and whose goal is to make you sad or depressed don’t do that. If you take a look at Uta Kata, it’s a dark anime with a lot of dark themes, so while it does have sexual fanservice scenes, stuff like sexual abuse isn’t depicted in a sexual fanservice manner. Same thing with stuff like Narutaru etc. For example, iirc the goblin slayer main manga doesn’t show you much of the goblin raep scene at the beginning, which effecively makes it scary and disturbing. At the end of the day though, Goblin Slayer isn’t supposed to be a dark story. And if you take a look at the spinoff goblin slayer year one manga, it does use the raep scenes just a typical sexual fanservice scene, showing the girls blushing, etc. But yeah it’s thanks to being used to this and not being bothered by it that for example I kept watching Cross Ange past episode 1 and saw how amazing and feminist of a show it actually is.
(There are some parts of SAO I like a lot, most notably the first arc, the ALO arc, and mother rosario. I hate GGO arc, and I really dislike Alicization and it’s what made me stop reading. I often say SAO should have ended at Mother Rosario, would have been a perfect ending too.)
(Note that to me, isekai is a trend, not a gnere, I don’t consider things like Escaflowne a Isekai, and I don’t consider Sengoku Collection a reverse isekai for example, because neither follow the trends and patterns of the isekai boom trend of mid 2010s.)
My point is, if we had better stories/ less copypasted stuff being published in the first place it’ll help solve problems like sexism. Then again, I’m not saying manga made on a trend are automatically bad. Since 2015 or so, there’s been a influx of manga with gyaru characters, kinda like how delinquent male protagonist were popular in the 80s. It’s not like they’re all bad. Gyaru Tensei was great and sadly ended way too soon and got canceled, its author is a genius. Gyaru Gohan is really good. Thatmanga about gyaru hokkaido is really good too. Etc. (most of the “gyaru” characters in these manga barely actually feel like “gyaru” imo and show how the various gyaru fashions uniformed themselves sadly and “gyaru” post 2010 means any fashionable/cute girl)
So yeah in conclusion, If I was a japanese politician who wants to remove “unhealthy” and “bad influence” manga, I’d start by making some kind of laws/plan so that every publishing company has better authors and editors. So there are less bad manga in general. I wouldn’t bother mangaka like Watashiya Kaworu for her Kodomo no Jikan lolicon stuff, especially as she actually did a really great, helpful, educational manga like Jouo sama no Eshi. Instead, there are specific authors I’d ban instead like Okamoto Lynn and prevent them from writing and publishing anything forever.
(We need less pessimistic&society ranking protags, but we also need less characters who play gacha games and glorifies it too. Screw that and how it got normalized. Imagining that out there, be it in france with DBZ dokkan battle, or in japan with random billions gacha games, it’s possiblle that there have been kids at school who got bullied into gacha or for not having rare enough chars in a gacha game pisses me off a lot.)
April 14, 2020, Kancolle, Azur Lane and Touhou
I recently saw a video with Azur Lane’s stuff. It made me realize as much as I look down on the game, it’s made by (seemingly, as it’s on camera) really cool people and I really wish it stays that successful. At the same time, I really can’t like it, just like many similar girls characters only mobage, for multiple reasons I might explain another time.
IMO, in ten years no one will remember Azur Lane unless its staff manages to do something awesome with it. Meanwhile people will still remember Touhou and still do Touhou doujin content. I think FGO will stay too. the sole reason why is because while most people only know FGO, its ultimatelypart of the bigger nasuverse, and Nasu is definitly a great writer who can make new stories about it. But that’s not enough. What makes me certain FGO (and the sequel it’ll probably get in the next five years) will always stay relevant even in ten years is that Nasu is also smart/witty/lucky to have been friends with many other excellent authors since his doujin days. When worst come to come, he could just ask Narita Ryougo or Haganeya Jin to write an arc or two for him for example.
april 14, 2020, Sengoku Collection
I spent some time rewatching Sengoku Collection again. If I ever finish a top 50 list of 2010-2019 anime, it’ll definitly be in top ten along with G Reco, Gundam Tsubasa Yugioh Fighters, Pretty Rhythm, Tiger& Bunny, and Moretsu Pirates. I think one of the manyreasons why I like it is how it doesn’t suffer from the same syndrome most japanese anime mang agames suffer from since the end of the nineties imo: how things stopped inspired themselves from outside Japan. If you pick a random 80s anime or manga, there’s a high chance for no reason at some point you’ll see an Alien lookalike villain in it or a totally not che guevarra character. You never see that anymore. I’m oversimplifying my thoughts cuz no time. Each episode of Sengoku Collection is inspired from a classic movie or something form the 80s. Stuff like back to the future. It’s mainstream stuff even I who don’t know much outside of islam, anime games and manga, knows about. it’s fun.
13 sentinels aegis rim is the same too.
Another reason is how touching the story is with most characters ending up in a dilemna choosing between their dream or what they think is their dream, against their friend, and always choosing the later ultimately. It’s also a ver ygood mix of happy and tragic moments, like pretty rhythm, princess sarah, ie naki ko 1977; hokuto no ken, etc etc; al my favorite stories are like this.
April 4, 2020 / I hate Japan part 1
I hate Japan so much. You can’t even imagine. At the same time, I love the country. But there are more social, cultural, etc hings I hate about the country than I can count. One of these is the global idea that europeans/american/westerners are better or more beautiful. (I consider Japan a “western” country though). Like “oh, this guy is “half”, no wonder he’s so beautiful and smart”. You also see that in a lot of sports manga but with varying degree.
In Yakitate Japan the author is joking when he says ever yfrench kid knows how to bake a baguette, and it’s funny. In kenran Taru Grande SCène however, Cuvie seems extremely serious and sharing the same idea when she make characters say that asians and Japanese are good at arts/sports like ballet but have a hard time when they get to the sekai level because they lack the cultural knowledge: Unlike their europeean peers, their parents never brought them to museums and ballets and opera since childhood to epxerience art stuff. She’s feeding the idea that all europpeans are like this; While not at all, especially when it comes to lifestyle. You can have rich parents and live in the center of paris meaning you’ll probably experience stuff like oper more, but it’s not 100% sure at all. meanwhile, you can be living in a poor paris suburbs, born from north africa immigrants whose parents fought against nazis for france, and have a bigger interest in opera than any white kid.
It’s even more weird when you know Cuvie actually visited France multiple times, so I expect her to know Franceh si the wost country in the world with Japan, and not idealize french and european people like that. I want to ask her about it one day. Maybe I could on Twitter. It’s pretty mch the sole thing I don’t like about the manga. Besisdes that it’s just like Pretty Rhythm, the ultimate sports shoujo. Though without romance in Kenran Taru Grance Scene’s case, which is an original twist for the genre. at least no romance so far. I haven’t read the manga for over a year now, and I haven’t read since vol 8 or 9, even though its so excellent. I’ve been reading it in Japanese, and in Japan volume 15 is releasing on 20 may 2020. My favorite character is Kurisu Sakura.
You can find other Tomino related events or interviews I translated in the past on this page.
Director Tomino held an around 30 minutes long Q&A on July 6, the third day of Japan Expo 2019. When he stepped on stage along with the MC and the translator, they explained how this was supposed to be a panel. What happened is, Tomino told Japan Expo’s staff beforehand how it’s his first time visiting France, so he doesn’t feel like talking about himself or his career, etc. Instead, he wanted to hear the audience speak. He wanted to hear our opinions on his works, answer our questions and chat with us. So they decided on holding a Q&A instead.
There were so many questions, I wouldn’t have been able to listen to all the answers if I concentrated on taking notes. So I just wrote down everything in my head. As such it’s possible I forgot certain parts or merged certain answers together. And I’ll update the post if I remember more.
(Needless to say, the feature image is a screen from the TV series version. I like Ringo a lot, though that doesn’t mean anything in a series where every character is awesome)
The first G Reco compilation movie had its world premiere at Japan Expo 2019 on July 5. Director Tomino Yoshiyuki also participated in a Q&A after the movie. He answered questions from the audience and revealed more on the upcoming movies.
Note that there’s another panel with Director Tomino happening on July 6 which I’m planning to cover as well.
I strongly dislike gacha mechanics and most mobage who use them. Even if an IP I’m super into, like Pretty Series, gets a mobage, I don’t play their games if they have gacha mechanics, satisfying myself with story summaries, videos, and screenshots. Despite being strongly interested in SNK’s characters and the Days of Memories series, none of which I’ve tried yet, I won’t be playing King of Fighters Girlswhen it releases for the same reason.
Seeing the popularity of gacha mechanics in Japan, following hits like Pazudora in the early 2010s, it was natural to see more and more characters in manga playing mobile games and even being addicted to gacha. And for some reason, it really pisses me off.
I wouldn’t say I consider gacha “gambling” as it’s something very different. I do believe it’s pretty dangerous and can be even more dangerous than gambling on certain individuals. Funilly, seeing other things in manga which can be problematic or are definitely problematic, doesn’t piss me off as much, probably because I’m not used to seeing gacha yet. For example, stalking being used as a joke in a manga probably never angered me as I’m used to it. (Even if it don’t myself think a certain element is problematic, it doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily keep reading a manga which uses certain issues as a joke depending on certain criteria. It’s a case by case thing, too personal and complicated to explain here).
What irritates me the most is when recent isekai manga have gacha mechanics and characters addicted to them.
I’m saying “recent” since as you already know isekai isn’t a new genre and always existed with works like Dunbine, Escaflowne, Rayearth, 12 Kingdoms, Ima Soko ni Iru Bokutachi, etc. What I call “recent isekai” are the ones that sprung forth following the boom of the genre, also in early 2010. This is when most people started calling these “isekai” too. This boom ended up having many isekai web novels getting light novels, manga and anime adaptations, to the point of saturation. There’s a huge problem with quantity over quality, most isekai being bad, with different issues plaguing most of them. I’d even go as far as to say that “trash isekai” is a pleonasm.
Nowadays most anime adaptations are only one cour long, speeding through content, and are even more ads for the original source material than in the past. Meanwhile, a lot of manga adaptations tend to be very slow paced. In my opinion, this will create an interesting situation in a few years when the isekai boom will end, the popularity of the genre will drop, and multiple long-running manga adaptations will end up getting canceled before finishing adapting not even half of the original’s story.
With that said, not all isekai are bad. I don’t think I’ll ever take the time to write a specific article on how to find good works in the vast ocean of Isekai, unless I’m paid. However, if you want to read good things, the easiest and quickest way is to simply pick Isekai with female protagonists instead of male protagonists.
I’ve even seen one Isekai actually talk about this saturation issue: Gal Tensei, one of the best Original manga I read in 2018. It ended up getting canceled after two volumes, even though it was a particularly refreshing, genuinely funny, clever story and a commentary on social media. In the final chapter, through one of the characters, the author Sasaki Masahito shared their thoughts on the current state of the industry with the isekai boom, and it’s pretty much the same as what I’ve just said. In any case, You should definitely get Sasaki Masahito’s manga on Kindle and support really talented and nice mangaka like him. He even made me a drawing, seen above, when I praised his manga on Twitter. His new manga, Hachuurui-chan Wa Natsukanai, started this June 2019 and the first chapter is available on Shonen Jump Plus.
I wouldn’t go as far as say that I look down on people who play mobage with gacha mechanics. However, I do have a hard time understanding it. One convenient thing about mobage is how short play sessions can be, so it’s ideal for lifestyles with tons of commuting and when we don’t have time to play on consoles. At the same time, if you pile up the small amount of time put into a mobage every day, you’ll probably end up with way more time than what would have been spent on a console game.
I also strongly disagree with the idea that mobage players only ever play mobage, or that console/handheld console players all look down on mobage. This seem extremely obvious to me, but it’s possible it’s actually not the case. For example, Cygames Festival 2018 had Cygames reveal Granblue Fantasy Versus. One of the reasons behind the game they stated then is that they want more mobage players to try out console games and see how fun they are too.
I also recently started reading a manga calledGamers!, which is the adaptation of a novel of the same name by Aoi Sekina. Reading it is weird because it initially seems to believe exactly what I described above: that there’s a strong opposition between mobage players and console players. Most notably, that only console players can become (good or bad) hardcore players or bad elitists, which irked me a lot. However, I’ve only read a few chapters of Gamers! as of now, so I’m unsure yet if it’s only the characters thinking that way and that they will be corrected later, or if the author himself think that way and that this idea will stay in the story.
Gamers! is a pretty nice and original story. It’s about various high schoolers, their romances, and their different game-related habits, including game development. It has one big problem though, its lack of subtility. Maybe I have a bit too much otaku experience and it’s just that the target audience isn’t me, but the first chapter has the initial protagonist rejecting a girl’s invitation to join her gaming club. (Each chapter tend to follow a different character’s pov). The scene is done in a grandiose way as if it’s supposed to be shocking, while it was obvious he wouldn’t join. This lack of subtility was actually also a problem I had with Seitokai no Ichizon, a previous work also by Aoi Sekina, and it’s a bit frustrating to see it’s still there. Even if I probably can’t write a novel, this kind of stuff makes me think “even I could write this, it’s unfair.” At the same time, it’s nearly not as bad as childish stuff who think being dark is deep and mature, such as Akame Ga kill and its literal “wow look a character will die in this chapter, isn’t my story so mature and cool?” moments.
Another thing which makes me pretty reluctant to start playing mobage is the fact that the games have no end. Some can have interesting stories, though FGO and Granblue are probably the only mobage I’ve heard people praising their story regularly. At the same time, I can’t get invested in a game if I know the only way to end it is either to get bored of it or for the servers to close down. The servers closing down also means forever losing what you’ve put into the game, and I can’t stand that. It’s a different feeling than erasing your save yourself, losing it for some reason, or not caring about your save anymore once you’ve done everything you’ve wanted in a game.
If you’re looking for a never-ending experience and short play sessions, I think considering getting into fighting games is a much better choice than getting into mobage. While getting in touch with your fighting games’ community, you will definitely make some friends along the way too. This might be hypocritical on my part as I don’t play fighting games anymore because of multiple reasons, such as lack of time (saying it that way makes it seem as if I was ever a strong player).
In any case, there are multiple reasons I believe why most current isekai stories are bad. Most of the time it’s because of a sort of laziness. It’s not like I could write a novel myself so I feel bad criticizing authors, but most recent isekai are originally web novels, meaning they were written by people who didn’t necessarily practice how to write beforehand. And while the light novel adaptations, the manga adaptations and the anime adaptations will go through editors, you just can’t change the story’s core. Using the isekai boom means you can make a story by following the same mold as many other isekai and as such avoid shaping and explaining the world yourself. It’s a fantasy setting with goblins because that’s what people expect of Isekai. There’s an evil church. There are RPG mechanics and menu windows. There are demon lords. And in my opinion, one of the worst among worst choices is “there are gacha mechanics because that’s easy to explain since most teenagers already know about it”.
A quick tangent to wrap this up: while I dislike SAO for multiple reasons, I also like some parts of it, like Its deep worldbuilding. That aspect is one of its strong points, and works as a quick and strong indicator of how it was initially written in the early 2000s, long before the isekai boom.
I could go more in detail on certain points I’ve brought up, but this will end up getting too long and time-consuming for what it’s worth.
I’ll try to add comments soon. I have a lot to say and didn’t finish writing them yet. I’ll notify on Twitter when I add the comments.
Update on March 24,2019: I added my comments at the end, explaining what I thought about the episode and why Oto is written pretty badly especially. The comments include spoilers for DMF and RL. I don’t think anyone interested in Pretty All Friends’ dumb weirdness didn’t already watch all Pretty Rhythm though.
Pretty All Friends Episode 7: The Fairytale Country and the prince of the Lost Woods.