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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Your AX 2012 License Announcement Round-Up

Note: List cannot be verified as complete. I've probably missed a few licenses. Feel free to point them out to me so I can keep this list as thorough and accurate as possible. Has now been updated with license announcements from day three.

????: Mawaru Penguindrum; Nichijou [source]

Aniplex: Mikunopolis; Blue Exorcist (dub) [source]
  
Crunchyroll: Cardfight!! Vanguard Asia Circuit; La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia; Horizon On The Middle Of Nowhere 2; Chitose Get You!!; Campione!; So I Can't Play H!; Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita; Natsuyuki Rendezvous; Kokoro Connect; Tari Tari; Sword Art Online;  [source 1 / source 2]

Digital Manga Publishing: Puku Okuyama's Caramel; Nozomi Yanahara's Takasugi-san's Obento; Takayoshi Sano's Idolhouse GN 1; Rize Shinba's Juicy Cider; Kokoro Natsume's Lovephobia GN 3; Harumi Chihiro's Velvet Kiss GN 3 [source]
 
Funimation: Blood-C The Last Dark; Appleseed XIII; Binbogami ga! (streaming only); Aria The Scarlet Ammo; Jormungand; Eureka Seven AO; Michiko & Hatchin; Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero (streaming only); Ikkitousen GG & XX [source 1 ; source 2]

Right Stuf/Nozomi: Ristorante Paradiso; Hyakko; Aoi Hana [source]
  
Sentai Filmworks: Mayo Chiki!; Campione!; Natsuyuki Rendezvous; Idolm@ster Xenoglossia; La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia; Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita; Space Brothers; So I Can't Play H!; Detroit Metal City; Qwaser of Stigmata;  [source 1 / source 2 / source 3]

Viz Media: Tiger & Bunny; Neon Alley; Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal [source 1 / source 2]

Tokyopop: Hetalia GN 4 & 5; Bizenghast finale; Psy-Comm GN 3 [source 1 / source 2 / source 3]

List will be updated as more license announcements are released and verified. Also, if Tokyopop's panel at AX actually ends in any announcements beyond their comeback, that will be added as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (6/28/12)

What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:
Reviews: 
 
Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Manga Review: I'll Be Your Slave

I'll Be Your Slave
Author: Miki Araya
Digital Manga Publishing
196 pages


Big boss Moriya has his entire company eating out of the palm of his perfectly manicured hand. He has just one problem: where can he find the perfect face for a high-profile ad campaign? In the nick of time, the angelic Ouno appears like a vision on a crowded street. Moriya will do anything to win Ouno's favor and keep him on the job...but will the coverboy sign on the dotted line and surrender his heart? (Source: DMP)

A lot of people will hate this story. In fact, a lot of people do hate this story. I cannot blame them, considering the story. It is, after all, about a man named Moriya who is pretty much a lovesick slave for Ouno, a spoiled rich brat who displays no emotion except for beauty. What could possibly be found in such a story? How can anyone enjoy a relationship between a weakling and a brat?

The answer is: surprisingly easy, if you want to! Even people who think they'll hate the characters might find something to enjoy in I'll Be Your Slave's odd take on the typical boys' love romance.


PR: Viz Media Brings 24-Hour Anime Channel, Neon Alley, This Fall

This could be huge. And I think that is putting things lightly. The new Toonami may need to watch its back, especially if Neon Alley brings back some of the older titles that Toonami's audience has been looking forward to. On the other hand, not everyone owns a major game console that can stream video, believe it or not (like me!) so not everyone will reap the benefits of Viz's new channel.

VIZ MEDIA UNVEILS NEON ALLEY
24-Hour Anime Channel Launches On The Game Console This Fall

San Francisco, CA, June 27, 2012 – VIZ Media, the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, unveiled plans for Neon Alley, a 24-hour anime channel featuring the world’s best titles set to debut on a major game console this fall. The service will be available in the United States and Canada.
 
Neon Alley’s schedule will include a mix of action, adventure, science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, all uncut and dubbed in English, and presented in HD (when available). Programming will include blockbuster anime titles like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT, and DEATH NOTE, and will allow fans to discover new titles such as TIGER & BUNNY, BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC, ZETMAN, and NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, along with original content that provides news and behind-the-scenes access for fans of anime and manga.

“We created Neon Alley for fans to watch the best anime titles in the world right on their TV,” said Ken Sasaki, President and Chief Executive Officer for VIZ Media. “Neon Alley will have weekly exclusive premieres of the hit titles they love, along with a mix of new, cutting-edge titles they didn’t know they were missing.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Manga Review: Two Of Hearts

Two Of Hearts
Author: Kano Miyamoto
Deux Press
208 pages


Haruya, a magazine article writer, is constantly frustrating his editors with his lack of inspiration. However, upon meeting a shy boy undressing on the beach, their lives become linked. An unusual relationship follows that will ultimately be beneficial for the both of them. (Source: Goodreads)


I seem to have unconsciously hit a streak with my BL reading as this is the second yaoi story I've read in a row in which one of the main couple is a writer. Except that this is a struggling loner writer named Haruya who has given up his dream of writing a novel and has resigned himself to writing for a magazine, seemingly destined to never become anything greater. 

His "slow and complacent lifestyle" gets changed completely by the arrival of newcomer Maki washing his clothes in the water at the beach. It soon becomes clear that Maki has been through some terrible things and needs a gentle touch, like Haruya's, to change for the better. Naturally, these two guys become unlikely housemates and friends that threatens to become something more.


It's a slow-moving romance that takes as many steps forward as it does back, but it ends up in a satisfying, endearing relationship. Despite some snags in the second half and a bit of bad play by Haruya's editor, Two Of Hearts remains a wholly decent and entertaining boys' love drama that has me intrigued in Kano Miyamoto's other stories in English.


Monday, June 25, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Run Devil Run

This week's AMV is a big fun unusual Kuroshitsuji fan vid that will certainly please fujoshi and Ciel/Sebastian fans. A clever mix-up of anime, manga, and special effects makes this one of my favorite Kuroshitsuji fanvids yet.

Also, for SNSD fans wondering what the eff, read the video's notes for the history of "Run Devil Run" and how it actually started with Ke$ha, not Girl's Generation.

AMV: Run Devil Run
Author:  CeliaPhantomhive
Music: Ke$sha's "Run Devil Run"
Warnings:  Flashing lights, occasional strobe, quickly edited clips, scenes from the manga that may be seen as 16+ content.


PS: I think SNSD did a better version of this single, but the demo version works better with this video. You are, of course, free to disagree!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Novel Review: Like A Love Comedy

Like A Love Comedy
Author: Aki Morimoto
Illustrator: Yutta Narumi
June Manga/DMP
160 pages

Biwa was a fledgling screenwriter working at an American TV drama production company. Now, he's been named to a drama production team But, before the team's first meeting, Biwa, distracted, slams into a man he doesn't know, who glares at him. It's Japan's top actor, Yamato Toyohira, the star of the drama Biwa is supposed to be his assistant, but Yamato's arrogance is driving him crazy. (Source: Goodreads)

I never thought I'd find a boys' love prose novel that would sate my love of screenwriting, rolebending seme/uke dynamics, seemingly hopeless love, and Frasier references all in one go - and yet, that is exactly what Aki Morimoto has written with Like A Love Comedy, a light novel released by Digital Manga's prose arm of publishing, June. Coupled with Yutta Narumi's quite lovely (and sometimes rather steamy!) artwork, this story really reads well for something originally published five years ago.

The drama of working on a tight deadline for a risky television pilot mixes with the unlikely romance between a fledgling screenwriter and a Japanese actor looking for his American debut on the small screen to create quite an enjoyable and quick experience.

You can read the rest of my review after the jump!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mini Manga Review: Kanjou Spectrum

Kanjou Spectrum
Author: Kou Yoneda
Libre Publishing
20 pages (Kindle Ed.)

Walking down the hall with his friend Nakaya, Kugou notices a boy looking their way. Interested, Kugou offers to help him get closer to Nakaya, but of course the situation becomes more complicated. (Source: MAL)

Boy likes boy. Boy is socially awkward. Boy somehow gets the other boy's best friend to help him out. Somehow, it ends up with two boys in love, despite the obstacles. Kou Yoneda is rather apt at cramming a whole lot of characterization and story into a one-shot that is absolutely delightful.

At 20 pages, there isn't a whole lot of room for conflict or plot, so Yoneda decides to focus on characters: the shy love-stricken Usui, the stubborn and romantically confused Kugou, and the goofball class favorite (and target of Usui's pining) Nakaya. And this is where the story really shines - in the interaction between these three young men. It is the heart of this story, especially when the three of them finally get scenes together and you can see their differing personalities get mixed up with all of their teenage hormones. Ah, young love.

My favorite character of them would definitely have to be Kugou. I really felt for Kugou; he was confused and struggled to find out how he really felt about the people he considered friends and the people he considered nuisances. His sudden relationship with Usui really transformed him into someone who could be loved and allow himself to love others, not just use them for physical relationships.

All in all, it was a wonderful and brief one-shot with some pleasant art, carefully crafted characterization, and adorable boys smooching it up in the end. And most important of all, it was so much fun to read! It's a Kindle-only release as far as I can tell, so you should definitely get your hands on one or download the Kindle program for the PC, buy it and read it (and then re-read it) as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PR: Viz Speeds Up Print Release Of BLEACH For The Summer

BLEACH © 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc.
I've already gotten my mitts on the double-release for this month, volumes 40 and 41. Can't wait for July's releases! About time Bleach got the same 'catch-up' release schedule as Naruto and One Piece.

VIZ MANGA ANNOUNCES BLEACH PRINT MANGA ‘SPEED UP’

2 New Volumes Of Hit Action Manga Debut Each Month Thru The End of 2012 To Synchronize Series With Japanese Counterpart

VIZ Media kicks the Soul Reaping drama of BLEACH into high gear as it announces a special speed up of the print editions of Tite Kubo’s hit supernatural action manga (graphic novel) series. Beginning this month and continuing through December 2012, two new BLEACH manga editions will debut every month.

BLEACH is published by VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The accelerated schedule is designed to synchronize the series with its digital counterpart on VIZManga.com by the end of the year.

Ichigo Kurosaki never asked for the ability to see ghosts – he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul—Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace. Find out why Tite Kubo's BLEACH has become an international manga smash-hit!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Top Five Anime of 2012 (So Far)

Do you know what kind of blog posts people with limited access to computers write up when pressed to update their blog? This kind! Honestly, it's already June, why aren't more people making posts like this? Probably waiting for the summer season to end, but I've never been known for my patience.

Note: I have limited interests when it comes to new anime. I don't watch sequel series of series I haven't seen yet (like Fate/Zero) and harem/ecchi series for the most part do not interest me. Without further ado, here comes the top five!

5. Recorder to Randoseru Re



What can I say? The first season was loads of fun and so was this. I especially enjoyed how the humor shifted away from Atsushi's height to Atsumi's size, and we saw more of the high school and of their slacker neighbor. Also interesting has been the story arc between Atsushi and Sayo, who first thinks Atsushi is an adult - and then learns the hard way how old he is. Despite that, Sayo can't help but have a crush on this older-looking grade schooler. I can only imagine what direction this season will take that in. Hopefully nothing too Kodomo no Jikan for most people!

Also, the way they've been alternating opening sequences and have had different characters in the OP is lovely. My favorite so far is the one with Atsushi's female classmates in the recording studio.

Read the rest of my top five list after the jump!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Wandering Son


Shûichi Nitori is a 5th grade student who likes to bake and has always been something of a feminine boy. When he transfers to a new school, Shûichi is mistaken for his 6th grade sister on his first day. Then he ends up sitting next to Yoshino Takatsuki, a tall, boyish girl who everyone calls “Takatsuki-kun.” They both have secrets they can’t let anyone know… (Source: Kotonoha) 

Note: I am using masculine pronouns for Nitori and feminine pronouns for Takatsuki as they personally have not in-text indicated that they use differing pronouns for themselves. It is not meant as a sign of disrespect; I am just indicating that they have not transitioned to referring to themselves as the gender they were not assigned at birth. Apologies if this becomes upsetting to anyone reading.

God bless manga-ka Shimura Takako. She has certainly tackled a lot of LGBT-related issues in her plethora of works, including the yuri series Aoi Hana (whose anime was licensed for streaming by Crunchyroll) and now Wandering Son aka Hourou Musuko/放浪息子, a story of two young people who are growing into their trans* identities as well as their own bodies going through puberty. Not the greatest of combinations for someone who is questioning their own gender, a kind of self-examination that society tends to frown upon (to put it extremely likely). 

The fact that Takako has based an entire series around this issue is amazing, and is just one of the many reasons why I've fallen in love with the Wandering Son manga. It also helps that the main characters - "handsome girl" Takatsuki Yoshino and feminine-presenting Nitori Shuichi - are so loveable and endearing and real that you can't help but wish for them to have the best lives as well as the best transitions possible.

Note: I am cisgender, so if I say anything that rings wrong, please feel free to call me out in the comments section and I will edit the post appropriately.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

PR: SuBLime Debuts THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN and HONEY DARLING in Print & Digitally!


Honey Darling© 2011 Norikazu Akira

GLOBAL YAOI/BOYS’ LOVE MANGA PUBLISHER SuBLime DEBUTS FIRST PRINT RELEASES WITH HONEY DARLING AND THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN

Bold Yaoi/Boys’ Love Manga Publisher Releases
Two Acclaimed New Titles This June

San Francisco, CA, June 12, 2012 – SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), delivers its first pair of print editions with the worldwide debuts of HONEY DARLING, by Norikazu Akira, and THREE WOLVES MOUNTAIN, by Bohra Naono. 

Both new manga (graphic novel) are available now, are rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers, and carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

Digital versions are available worldwide in a download-to-own format for $5.99 each from www.SuBLimeManga.com, are viewable as a PDF on any enabled eReader device or computer, and also may be accessed via the online manga viewer found on the web site.

Monday, June 11, 2012

AMV Of The Week: The Answer


This week’s AMV is just straight up naughty. There is no other way to put it. It's a naughty, fanservice-filled Sora no Otoshimono fan video that has managed to make me blush and laugh in a way most 'sexy' AMVs fail to do. Also, creative censorship for the win.


AMV: The Answer
Author: Cross00fade
Music: DaVinci's Notebook's "Enormous Penis"
Warnings: Loads of fanservice, boobs, and sexual situations/innuendo. Song lyrics are naughty as well. Very much NSFW.




Sunday, June 10, 2012

Initial Thoughts: The New Toonami Shows


Also known as: Yes, I've Finally Gotten Around To Blogging Properly On The New Toonami Several Weeks After Its Debut, Sorry!

So Toonami - the shiny brand new Toonami - came back several weeks ago amid a ton of excitement from otaku who are old enough to remember the old, classic Toonami, the one with Gundam and Sailor Moon and Outlaw Star and Dragon Ball Z and Ronin Warriors and Blue Submarine No. 6 and . . . well, you get it. It had a lot of anime. 

The problem is, new Toonami does not have the budget for a ton of shows, new or otherwise. Which is why, along anime that had already been airing on [as], like Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Toonami premiered two titles which may be familiar to those who pay attention to Funimation's licenses: Deadman Wonderland and Casshern Sins.

You can read my review of the new shows of Nu!Toonami after the jump!

Novel Review: The Future Is Japanese


The Future Is Japanese: Stories From and About The Land Of The Rising Sun
Authors: Ekaterina Sedia, Bruce Sterling, Rachel Swirsky, TOBI Hirotaka, Catherynne M. Valente, Pat Cadigan, Toh EnJoe , Project Itoh, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Ken Liu, David Moles, Issui Ogawa, Felicity Savage
Haikasoru/Viz Media
350 pages

A web browser that threatens to conquer the world. The longest, loneliest railroad on Earth. A North Korean nuke hitting Tokyo, a hollow asteroid full of automated rice paddies, and a specialist in breaking up “virtual” marriages. And yes, giant robots. These thirteen stories from and about the Land of the Rising Sun run the gamut from fantasy to cyberpunk, and will leave you knowing that the future is Japanese! (Source: Goodreads)

I don't do anthologies. Well, short story anthologies at least; I've no problem when it's poetry or non-fiction pieces. The problem with (short story) anthologies and myself is that I get too attached to the characters and the setting of one story, only to have it end too soon and leave me wanting for more although I know full well there won't be. Plus, with so many authors in the pot, the likelihood of several bad apples spoiling the bunch climbs higher and higher.

But I felt obligated to pick up Haikasoru's collection of sci-fi/fantasy stories from and about Japan, mostly because it is Haikasoru and they are known for quality fiction of those genres (and typing that makes me wish I had picked up the paperback of Battle Royale I'd seen in a new and used book shop today, whoops). And this is a decision I do not regret, and neither will anyone else who follows suit.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Escalation: Accel World 9


Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the ninth episode of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 9: Haruyuki’s little guest is revealed as Scarlet Rain, a.k.a. the Red King. (Source: Hulu)

For an episode labeled "Escalation" - well, things certainly escalated, especially for poor Haruyuki. He's got two cute girls vying for his attention – one princess-type yandere (Kuro) and one small but aggressive tsundere (Niko) at that – and has now been roped into a horrifically risky scheme to take down the fourth Armor of Catastrophe as his is the only avatar who can get close enough. 

Suddenly, Haruyuki has all this darn responsibility and so many people relying on him to get stuff done and pretty much save all of Brain Burst from a berserk set of armor intent on destroying everything. And he has to do this while flanked by his two lady protectors, who are both keenly invested in getting close to his . . . avatar.

Oh, the burden of being Haruyuki, slowly but surely amassing his Burst Link harem. And, um, Taku.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (6/7/12)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:

Reviews:

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PR: Viz's Haikasoru Debuts METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS Novel


© 2012 Konami Digital Entertainment
© Project ITOH 2008, 2010

HEAVY WEAPONS AND A DEADLY RACE AGAINST TIME BECKON READERS TO EXPLORE METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS,
NEW FROM VIZ MEDIA’S HAIKASORU IMPRINT

Action-Packed New Novel By Famed Japanese Author Explores Key Characters And The Plot’s Connection To Previous Metal Gear Solid Franchise Videogames

San Francisco, CA, June 6, 2012 – VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint brings the high octane futuristic military action of Metal Gear Solid to North American readers with the release of METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS, a brand new fiction title by the late Japanese science fiction author, Keikaku (Project) Itoh. The forthcoming novel, which is inspired by the massively successful videogame franchise, hits retailers on June 19th with an MSRP of $15.99 U.S. / $18.99 CAN. An eBook edition will also be available for the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks Store, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books Store, and the Sony Reader™ Store.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS delivers the latest bullet-ridden adventures of Solid Snake, a crack soldier who is part of a worldwide nanotechnology network known as the Sons of the Patriots. Time is running out for Snake though, as he will soon succumb to the FOXDIE virus, but not before spreading the disease to nearly everyone he encounters, in essence becoming a walking biological weapon. Snake will need every advantage he can get, as the SOP network is about to be hacked by his old enemy Liquid Ocelot, and whoever controls SOP controls the world.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

AMV Of The Week: You Can (Not) Beat It


This week’s AMV is techno beat madness, Evangelion style, and I quite love it. It's like someone crunched together all the action scenes from the first two Rebuild films to the beat of a killer dubstep track. Any NGE fan who lives for the battles between Angels and Evas will really like this vid.

AMV: You Can (Not) Beat It
Author: FedeBankai
Music: Noisia's "Machine Gun (16-Bit Remix)
Warnings: Fast fast clips edited together, flashing lights, violence and gunplay, spoilers for Rebuild films so far.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Interesting Geek Article Of The Day

Tor.com, I totally agree with you on this (as long as we're talking about U.S. television only, natch): Phineas and Ferb is the Best Science Fiction on Television.

For one thing, outside of its spec fic premise, Phineas and Ferb is a really good show in general. I could write whole other articles on how it’s a blisteringly funny satire of contemporary pop culture, or how it’s a loving portrayal of a blended family that treats divorce and remarriage as normal parts of life, or how it’s remarkably cleverly written using repetition, variation, and song to create complex and compelling characters, or how the secret protagonist of the show is actually Candace, the teenager trapped between her desperate need to be an adult and her own childish desires to have fun. 
All that aside, Phineas and Ferb is a great science fiction, by which I mean it uses an impossible world to tell real stories about real people. 

If you've been putting off watching P&F, let Steve Padnick convince you otherwise. It really is one of the smartest, cleverest, funniest, coolest TV shows currently airing and proof that not all American animation is brain-dead or made by Seth McFarland.

Also, name me a TV show that manages to have a song per episode that doesn't suck and is still original. Glee is automatically the wrong answer, by the way.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

PR: Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Debuts BARRAGE Manga Next Week!


SENSEI NO BARRAGE © 2012
by Kouhei Horikoshi/SHUEISHA Inc.
 

Not gonna lie, I've never heard of Barrage before WSJA planned to debut it (I was rather hoping for the Beelzebub manga myself!) but the artwork appeals to me. And who doesn't love a good space fantasy series?

Plus - you might know Kouhei Horikoshi from the one-shot Oumagadoki Zoo, which was later turned into a five-volume series. If Barrage goes well, these might get licensed too!

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES NEW SPACE BATTLE FANTASY MANGA SERIES BARRAGE IN WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA JUNE 4TH ISSUE

New Series Kicks Off In North America Just Two Weeks After Japanese Debut

Leading manga publisher VIZ Media thrilled fans last weekend during its panel discussion at the FanimeCon 2012 anime convention with the announcement of the launch of the new manga (graphic novel) series – BARRAGE – in the company’s digital WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA magazine beginning Monday, June 4th. New chapters of BARRAGE will debut every week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why Fanservice in Accel World Was Inevitable (And Not a Bad Thing)


Spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for episode 8 of Accel World. Do not read until you've seen said episode (or don't care about spoilers)!

It seemed to have to happen. Accel World's eighth episode was surprisingly heavy in fanservice of the bath time variety. Or is it that surprising? After all, the entirety of Accel World is built around pandering and personal fulfillment of one's deepest wishes. For some, it is to become stronger and beat back those who bully. For others, it is to see a cute girl wiggle about in a towel, pouting and blushing. Well, no one said these wishes were similar. 

Also, what is more wish fulfillment for the modern otaku than a fully immersive online role-playing game that you can access anywhere at any time and get into adventures like something out of .hack's The World? Not much!

The problem with a lot of fanservice in recent series is that it is often detrimental to the story and simply inserted to titillate the hetero dude audience (because let's be honest, anime companies don't exactly cater to LGBT fans outside of yuri/yaoi series, especially not in terms of fanservice). Now, I would argue now that the fanservice in Accel World actual serves the plot more than takes away from it.

That's right: seeing Haruyuki goof around with the second Red King, both in nothing but towels, was necessary to the story. Now let me explain why.