This is just a quick PSA to address a misconception that’s been floating around for the past few days.
In 2018, I had a New Year’s resolution: “Don’t fuck up.”
Since the start of November, my duties at Anime News Network have changed: I’m now co-managing the Interest feed alongside the managing editor Lynzee Loveridge. I still do events, interviews, editorials and the other stuff I was originally hired to do, I just have to write Interest articles every day on top of that. I work more hours now because of this, but I’m also getting paid more, so I definitely don’t mind.
As a result of my changing duties, the number of articles I write per month has skyrocketed. This month, I published 54 articles.
Yes, that’s more than one a day. Since there are so many articles, I won’t go through all of them here, but I do want to highlight some that I particularly enjoyed working on.
This was a difficult volume to get my head around. I’m writing this summary not just so that fans can get an idea about what happens, but so that I can sort out my feelings on it.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of work-life balance. For a lot of people who work in the anime industry, it’s non-existent, and not just because they work for punishingly long hours. Many people get into anime because it’s a vocation, so they’re okay with making it their entire lives. Even when they’re off the job, they’re still thinking about anime.
Re:ZERO was one of my favourite anime series of 2016. I remember being kind of skeptical about the series at first since it seemed like your cookie cutter isekai anime, but I ended up loving it by the end. It had some interesting things to say about the hero’s masculinity, and plus it had some of the most memorable side characters I’ve seen in this subgenre.
Now that the Memory Snow OVA is finally just around the corner, I found myself revisiting Re:ZERO and falling in love with it all over again. I read the first two volumes of the short story collection (短編集), which focus on the slice of life antics of Subaru and co. that occur between episodes 11 and 12, and was surprised at how much I liked it. I thought that most of my fondness for this series comes from the side characters, worldbuilding and the harrowing adventures, but somewhere along the line, Subaru and his friends have grown on me. At least, I wasn’t bored reading two volumes worth of stories about them where nothing much happens.
I’m not going to bother summarising what happens in the stories themselves, as those details don’t matter much to me. Some other dedicated fans have probably already summarised all the books anyway. What I am going to do is list some things I thought about as I was revisiting this series for the first time in two years. Spoilers for the anime to follow.
I’ll be going to the UK next month for a business-that-is-also-a-leisure trip. I’ll be starting off in England on October 8th before making my way up to Edinburgh for the second part of Scotland Loves Anime on the 18th. It’ll be my first time going to the UK (and, well, outside of the Pacific in general). I’m pretty excited to visit the land of tea and scones!
If any of you readers in the UK want to hang out or something, shoot me a message and I’ll let you know more details about my schedule.
That’s about it for important notices! Below is the usual list of articles I worked on this month:
The Witch of Tata (タタの魔法使い) by U Pa is one of the most interesting isekai light novels I’ve ever read. I’ve mentioned it before as one of the better examples of its genre, but I want to go into more detail about what makes these books so interesting now that the second volume has hit Japanese bookstores.
It is pretty interesting to see how Comiket has been mythologised, both inside and outside Japan. Just like Akihabara, the electric town, Comiket has become a symbol for the Otaku Lifestyle. Every year, hundreds of thousands of anime fans from around the world gather at Tokyo Big Sight to get a taste of this time-honored otaku tradition.
Many come away disappointed.