As always, I do the twelve days of anime post. For this year, we are back with the usual sharing the anime along with any other moments related to Japanese video games and such. As always, nothing is in particular order.
Pocket Monsters Sword and Shield Controversy
When Game Freak announced Pocket Monsters Sword and Shield, which the new region is based on the United Kingdom, I was excited. It’s the first full experience Pocket Monsters game on the Nintendo Switch. When they revealed more information about the game, there is one thing that caused fans to become upset. Yes, it’s the dreaded Pokémon cut.
In past games, you can transfer Pokémon to the new generation despite not being in the Pokédex. The Pokémon cut is known as “Dexit”, which is a play on Brexit. Brexit is the withdraw of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Now, you can’t bring in all your Pokemon into the new games as the Pokémon’s data do not fully exist in the game. Game Freak decided on this change to improve the graphics and make the Pokémon “more expressive.” However, fans became upset. Eventually, the hashtag BringBackNationalDex became viral as fans want Game Freak not to cut their favorite Pokémon from the game.
However, when some people got their games before the release, they find out that they did not do anything they promise. There are some graphic quality issues such as frame rate drops, that tree in the wild area and lackluster animations. Disgruntled fans start attacking Game Freak with hashtags such as F***YouGameFreak and GameFreakLied and even sending death threats. Also, fans are comparing Game Freak to Bethesda for lying and comparing the game to Fallout 76.
To me, while I am kind of upset with the Pokémon cut, it’s not really a deal breaker. A good amount of my favorites, especially the Eeveelutions are still in the game. Also, I am enjoying the overall experience even if the game has flaws. Still, I don’t think it’s bad as the fans make it out to be. There various quality of life improvements to make it easier to prepare Pokémon for competitive battling. Still, I kind of wish the Pokémon Company would slow down on the yearly releases so that they wouldn’t have to make these controversial decisions that enraged the fandom.
Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita – Hinata and Noa, the cutest pairing?
Sure, some have mixed feelings of age-gap yuri pairings, especially after two yuri anime that aired two seasons before had age gap relationships. Still, I think Hinata and Noa makes an adorable pairing.
In the second episode, Noa decides to have a cosplay contest. With everyone scoring higher than her, she becomes depressed as she wants people to see her as being cute. Of course, Hinata is the only one that calls her the cutest. This is where Noa starts developing feelings for her. She even went so far to become like Miyako when Hinata couldn’t get close to her older sister. Not only that, they even went on a movie date and Noa wore the cutest outfit she has. Still, I think Noa has a good chance to win Hinata’s heart opposed to Kouko with Miyako.
Mobage Mania and Becoming Hyped up for Magia Record
Earlier this year, I decided to get a used iPad Pro 9.7. I wanted the newest iPad Pro 11, but I don’t feel like spending all that money I received for Christmas. Since my iPhone 8 doesn’t have much storage since it’s taken up mostly by music, I couldn’t play those games. With the iPad Pro, I decided to play a few, primarily Magia Record, Kirara Fantasia and Revue Starlight, the latter I stopped playing.
Of course, I spent most of the time playing Magia Record, starting in February for obvious reasons. Besides three of the main characters being voiced by one of my favorite units, TrySail, it’s nice to experience another story from one of my favorite magical girl franchises. With the English version out, yuri pairing units, and an anime coming out in 2020, there is a lot to be excited for.
Endro and the Lily Princess
Endro is a funny take on an adventure fantasy genre story with an enjoyable female cast. Sure, I enjoy Mei obsessing over Cartado Cards and Fai biting Seria’s ear, that is not the highlight. No, it’s Princess Rona who waits for the day to see the chosen hero. However, she finds out that the hero is Yulia, which is a girl.
No worries, she is willing to change the rules of the kingdom to be with her. She even joins her party and even spend time with her friends individually. I guess in a way, some viewers see her as the Lilly Princess (百合姫). This is interesting since there is a yuri manga magazine with the same name. Either way, it’s a nice pairing.
Hitori Bocchi and Her Friend Quest
While I detest Kai treating Bocchi coldly by not being her friend anymore, it’s bound to happen. Bocchi kind of relies on her too much and don’t make other friends. After all, she is very shy. Regardless, Bocchi tries her hardest to make new friends and she is fairly successful. In the first year, she made six new friends. I guess this wouldn’t be possible without Nako of course. Hopefully she keeps up the momentum in her second year.
Cinderella Nine and the Cat Eared Hoodie Girl
I have to admit, I do like an underdog story of Tsubasa who was part of a baseball team build up a girl’s baseball team from the ground up. As expected, she and her team members faces a lot of challenges, but still managed to make it to nationals and win the first round.
Of course, the girl who usually wears a cat girl hoodie, Ukita Akane who is best friends with Yuki is adorable. While she is not that confident when it comes to sports and lack confidence, it’s nice to see how she develops throughout the series and gaining the confidence. She eventually gains confidence and becomes a valuable team player as a base coach, especially during nationals.
Machikado Mazoku – Shamiko and Momo, a Pairing Match Made in Heaven?
While this year only saw one Manga Time Kirara adaptation, it didn’t disappoint. It brings one of the cutest and enjoyable pairings of the year. That is Shadow Mistress Yuuko or Shamiko with Momo. Shamiko is a demon girl who set on the quest to lift the curse on her family. She has to defeat a magical girl to achieve this.
The funny thing is that a magical girl saves her. It happened when she saves her ancestor statue from a runaway truck. After Momo used her magical girl powers to save her and gave her food, it seems that Shamiko fall in love with her, but won’t admit it. This eventually causes her to lose her will somewhat to defeat her.
Obviously, Momo has some kind of crush on her as she is willing to help Shamiko out, even if she sometimes sabotages what Shamiko wants. This becomes obvious why since her older sister helped protect Shamiko’s family. Despite their friendly rivalry, there is no denying that they are meant for each other.
Machikado Mazoku – Ryoko, Shamiko’s Purest Little Sister?
Compared to Shamiko, Ryoko is precious. She is very smart for her age and adorable as her appearance comes from her mother. Not only that, she very supportive of her older sister of achieving her goal of taking over the world. She is so precious that Shamiko wants to protect her from Momo. Shamiko goes out of her way by protecting the precious smile by saying Momo and Mikan are her minions.
After seeing how pure Ryoko is, Momo really want to take her home. Eventually, Momo lends her a laptop and tons of information technology equipment. The way she can use all of that equipment to back up her data and edit photos for her elementary school report is quite amazing.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru – Zina’s Crazy Idol Audition Attempt
While I am not into weight lifting at all, the characters are enjoyable, especially Zina. Despite being a Russian, she still has a strong interest in Japanese culture. She decides to enter an idol competition with Hibiki, Satomi, Akamai and Ayaka. Instead of singing and dancing on stage, they wore swimsuits and showed off various weight lift weights.
Sure, it’s was an unconventional performance from them, which got the audience excited. Of course, the judges didn’t think so and Zina’s attempt failed. At least they got a second attempt with a more suited talent competition.
Re:Stage – An Underrated Idol Show with Lots of Yuri
Sure, Re:Stage doesn’t receive as much popularity compared to idol franchises. There is one thing that stands out. Yes, it’s the Yuri pairings. The show has several of them with Mana and Sayu being the obvious. After all, Sayu was the one that helped Mana try becoming an idol again despite her bad experiences in the past.
In other words, they grown closer and Mana eventually helps Sayu when her parents want her to quit. She helps convince her parents to allow their daughter to continue to be an idol. Besides Mana and Sayu, there are other nice pairings such as Kasumi and Kae, and Mizuha and Minori. As always, they have their own intimate moments together throughout the story.
Granbelm – The White Lily
Surely, Granbelm is certainly fascinating with the combination of magical girls using mecha to fight with each other, there is one thing that is interesting. Mangetsu’s attraction to Ernesta. Even in the first episode, she gets along with her and even shares part of her lunch. After learning about her wish, Mangetsu shows her determination to achieve Ernesta’s desires.
Given that her Armanox is named White Lily, which is the symbol of yuri/girl’s love, this can explain why she is so close to her. It’s too bad they never went on a real date although they spend most of their time together and never face off against each other. The icing on the cake that makes Mangetsu’s feelings for Ernesta obvious is when she says that she is fighting for her sake to Suishou.
Lastly, when Ernesta learns that Mangetsu is not a human, but a doll, she wanted to use her new magic to possibly save her. Mangetsu doesn’t want her to and want her to fulfill her wish no matter what. After all, Magiaconatus created her for Ernesta’s companionship and help her become the Princeps Mage. Even so, I kind of wish they had the chance to go on an actual date before the final battle.
More Anime Production Woes
It seems that 2019 has its fair share of anime production issues. Besides the reduced number of shows noticeably in the spring, there are some noticeable delays. Several shows in fall season alone forced to air recap episodes since the respective studios can’t meet the deadline. In particular, Azur Lane’s anime production suffered the most from poor animation quality in the later episodes and a long delay. Ultimately, this production kind of faced the same fate as Märchen Mädchen, but for different reasons. The studio, Bibury simply took too much work than it can handle with the lack of talent to prevent these production blunders.
To make matters worse, animators still faces poor pay and working conditions. In fact, there are allegations that Madhouse’s abusive practices are not changing at all after someone at the company uncovered them. Not only that, salaries for animators haven’t improved at all. At this point, something has to change or otherwise the industry will collapse like a house of cards for being unsustainable. After all, there will eventually be a breaking point where quality issues and delays can adversely affect sales. Let’s hope that things will get better for them in the near future.
With that, these are the 12 defining moments in anime and anything related. With that, we wish everyone a Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. We will resume blog activities on Thursday as we wrap up the fall season and share my end of the year thoughts and plans.