June (2019) Monthly Favorites

It is your favorite monthly round-ups, now back in the one blog version. Yes, I am attempting to be back in action in an incredibly condensed version in comparison to last month’s editions.

Now surprisingly, this month I have significantly less content to share. I can’t tell if I just missed a bunch of content, the summer heat got to the blog-o-sphere, or if I’m still a bit burnt out from last month. I think it’s mostly the latter, but let’s dive in to what I got.

Instead of video content, I’ve decided to highlight a newer artist for people to check out. Below is the first single by the new Visual Kei band, nurié. I stumbled across via youtube recommendations. Safe to say, after one listen I was hooked. They’re currently gearing up for their debut live in July 29th. If you have the chance, give it a watch since when the video hits 10,000 views, they’re going to release another music video for the second track.

So, let’s get into our anime/manga content for this month! A little sparse on my end but, it’s like that. Not every month can be a double month round-up’s worth of content.

First up, is “Foreigners in Anime” posted on 100 Word Anime, and written by Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime. The title is well, straight forward about the topic. Seeing Irina’s perspective, and the noticeable rise of non-Japanese character in anime is certainly interesting. I don’t want to repeat myself, so I highly recommend taking the time to read the post and my subsequent comment. It’s very interesting to consider and a topic I’d like to talk about myself later on!

Following up with just Irina on her own blog is “Anime adaptations go both ways”. It’s a very interesting look about how fans, including myself tend to overlook various Western medias becoming anime. We often focus on Hollywood taking things and well… giving them a bigger budget but not exactly getting better exposure. Knowing that my own students well love many European stories that were adapted into anime, it’s certainly something to consider more often.

Next, is one post that really discusses it all, Jenn from Welcome to the Hell Zone, goes in deep with “Anime First Episodes: The Good, The Bad, and The Forced Exposition”. This was such a good read about Jenn’s methods for deciding if a series is worth watching in an episode or less. I agree that there’s many pitfalls that anime series tend to immediately sink into, that get me to drop them. So worth it to read to have examples that explain the title in full!

Following up is a post any fan of Cardcaptor Sakura needs to give a read. Grimmgirl gives us “Cardcaptor Sakura We Need To Talk”. A solid post that points out how biased the series was against a consensual gay relationship, but normalized a lot of inappropriate age gap relationships as being more ‘positive’. Part of it is CLAMP not knowing how to write relationships that aren’t romantic or bound by duty. Part of it is the dating of the series, and some of it a reflection of what people will let slide because it’s ‘fiction’. I left a meaty comment myself, and eventually I’ll need to write up my own post on these relationships because clearly I have some thoughts. Thanks to Grimmgirl for writing such an inspiring post!

Krystallina of Daiyamanga gives us, “Manga Review – Mink”. It’s always interesting to see less popular, or series most of us have never heard of, get a bit of limelight. Admittedly, even with the overall cheesy and simplified story; I’m curious. That’s the power of a good review and some choice images!

As a transitional step Jon Spencer Reviews gives us a review of “Liar Game (Season 1 & 2)”. Given the status of both this drama and it’s manga counterpart it was refreshing to read someone’s thoughts on it who went in knowing it was originally a manga, but not having read it in full. Bonus points that they forgave the over-acting that plagued JDramas back in the day. Worth a read if you’re looking for more manga/JDrama goodness in a review format.

Changing gears is It Started With A K-Drama, giving us “Japanese Dramas on Netflix”. It’s short, straight-forward but hopefully more people will give it a read. It’s a good place to start if you’re not sure what series are available legally!

On a completely different note, I’m 98% sure this is a crime on my part. How have I not done this sooner? This is the first time I am featuring the ever talented, and we have scarily similar tastes in music Leap, with their post “Until Forevermore: The Quick Rise and Gentle Fall of the Mushroom Empire (A Tribute to Kinoko Teikoku)”. It’s a heartfelt piece talking about the expectations that come with being a band with unique style and the subsequent changes that come with popularity. If you’re not up-to-date with Kinoko Teikoku’s story, Leap’s post is a good place to get caught up and have a fuller grasp of the situation.

Now, let’s get into the non-bloggers of this month. First up Japan Times snagged an interview with Yuki Hashimoto. Who is Yuki Hashimoto? She’s and ex-idol from Alice Project (alt-idol for the win!) and she’s now a Shibuya Ward Councillor. It’s quite the career shift to the outsider looking in! Well worth the read if you’re an idol fan, or are keeping your eyes on politics in Japan.

Nippon.com has given some food for thought with “The Future of Japan’s Idol Industry”, which is a fairly even perspective written by someone with actual background in following idols and their fans. I don’t agree with every point in this post, but I appreciate the consideration and possibility for change that this piece provides.

It wouldn’t be a round-up without me talking a little about Visual Kei. Luckily, JRockNews picked up that B.P. Records, which currently houses artists Kiryu, Royz, Codomo Dragon, Zero [Hz] and BabyKingdom announced online streaming of their track on June 19th. Not only are the groups on Spotify, but many more. Here’s hoping even more Visual Kei artists follow in their wake!

My parting gift, is SHiSHi’s first official single “Kamachiyo”. Reno, formerly of Starku, has now singing again and I couldn’t be happier.

With all that, I’ll see you next month!


    • You’re most welcome! I always enjoy seeing opinions from people who aren’t use to JDramas watching a JDrama! I agree that overacting can for sure make a series more enjoyable!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s true, I haven’t seen very many. Mostly an anime guy here. That said, I’d be down to watch more as long as I have access and interest. Feel free to recommend and I’ll look into them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Aww, you think too highly of me Rise >///<
    But yeah no thanks so much for including my tribute post in your round-up! (and yes, we have sooooo much overlap in the stuff we listen to it's crazy xD)

    Also thanks for linking the article on "The Future of Japan's Idol Industry". The author Nakamori is someone I'm fairly familiar with thanks to his writing on contemporary otaku culture, and his comments on idol culture in particular are something that I continually reference in my own writing about idols, so this was a nice surprise. I share his views with the transactionary nature of idol fandom, and it was very interesting reading his thoughts on the current landscape of media and how that relates to idol work.


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