China makes its first shots and corrects for windage and elevation
by Punch Rockgroin

If the new Diablo: Immortal game is any indication, mobile gaming has yet to take off in the West in the way it has in Japan. Mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, while the Diablo fiasco is only exacerbated by the statement “You guys don’t have phones?” As other parts of the gaming market lag and dwindle, mobile gaming has found its footing.

Japan is spoiled for choice when it comes to mobile, such as Granblue Fantasy and Fire Emblem Heroes, among others. One such mobile game I have mentioned before, Kantai Collection (for a time overtaking Touhou Project as the top spot for doujins released at Comiket), has stagnated and is falling behind a rival with a similar premise.

A rival made in China. Continue reading

City Pop

-or- How I Learned To Stop Worrying About the Radio In My Supra
by Gristle McThornbody

Once the domain of vaporwave-blaring hipsters pining to be ironic under the guise of A E S T H E T I C, city pop is Japan’s answer to the bombastic 80s. Clawing back from relative obscurity, we are treated to neon-filled, tape deck fueled ode to the big city life. Filling this watercolored, pastel world is the melodic and often horn-filled songs that toast to the bustling life of a never-ending, 24-hour day. To some degree, it mirrors America in the same time, with artists like Chris Cross who –well sparkle- with some technopop elements, while letting the mix aerate with elements that naturally advect into our stream of consciousness, and you have the recipe for that musical entrée.

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Gods, Gold, and Revenge

Golden Kamuy‘s Hokkaido Treasure Hunt

by Punch Rockgroin

Great Hunter Asirpa

A young hunter, with the greatest facial expressions known to man.

On rare occasion, I will buy a manga based on its cover. Golden Kamuy ended up being an exception simply based on the fact said cover had what I assumed (correctly) was the main character wielding some type of well-detailed bolt action rifle. Reading the description on the back cover stated the story follows a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war. Being this is a time period rarely covered in fiction, historical or otherwise, I picked it up without much hesitation. Best of all, I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent story with great art and GTO-worthy facial reactions.

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What am I watch?! – ACCA 13

ACCA: 13-Province Inspection Department is a romp through a fantasy kingdom composed of distinct locales that are like a photo tour of the real world.  It’s about bureaucracy and baked goods.

Blonde ’nuff for ya?

Our hero is a guy by the name of Jean Otus, who catches wind of the biggest conspiracy since Welcome to the NHK!  and cracks it like a pro, all while making gourmet sandwiches.

It’s a slow burn, but it was fun and classy all the way.

A Man and his Sword

My Love For You is Like a Truck
by Bolt Vanderhuge

If you want to know more, you’ll have to read the manga!

If you want to know more, you’ll have to read the manga!

Berserk is yet another one of those series that I’ve come to appreciate more upon later viewings.  Just as with Dirty Pair and Deep Space Nine, the first time I watched it, I just couldn’t really get into it all that much.  I suppose I could blame the obsessive yaoi fans ruining it for me, but really I’d say it had more to do with me not enjoying hack-n-slash all that much.  On repeat viewing, though, I’ve come to appreciate this show for the over-the-top action, and its story about love, loyalty, betrayal, and rape.  Also there’s plenty of joke fodder if you’re into giving anime the MST3K treatment like my friends and I are.

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A School Boy’s Life for Me

by Punch Rockgroin

Anime clichés get smacked by reality in Daily Lives of High School Boys

High school girls in Japan live the life. Before them stretches a vast array of possibilities: They could be magical girls saving the world from evil, having other-worldly adventures surrounded by the most beautiful men in the universe, or even just starting a band and having a great time with their friends. With so many fun and exciting activities to choose from, it’s no wonder the anime industry has made it their duty to show the many teenage girls of Japan what they can do while in high school. Despite the myriad of options available to the Japanese high school girl, high school boys in Japan are only good at fighting or sports, and are thus much more limited in what they can accomplish during the golden years of their life.

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Dirty Good Fun

by Bolt Vanderhuge

This Lovely Pair Really Delivers

You know how “classic” doesn’t always equal “good”? As it turns out, Dirty Pair actually manages to be both. Just in case you’ve never heard of this classic ’80s anime, Dirty Pair follows Kei and Yuri, two “trouble consultants” who work for the World Welfare Works Association, or 3WA for short. Their official team name is Lovely Angels, but as the title informs us, they’re better known by another name, much to their annoyance. This is essentially a buddy cop show, except this one is set in the 22nd century, with humanity having colonized much of the galaxy.

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