My Top Obsessions From This Month: September 2019

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Welcome to a new series for the blog: “My Top Obsessions from this Month” (title still under construction). This came about after some consideration on the nature of my blog and what I really want to talk about. I love having a blog specifically dedicated to Romance and all the anime, manga, and comics that fall under that genre, but there are times when I want to gush about other things. Well I figured I’d create this little space for myself to talk about some of the things I’ve fallen in love with on a monthly basis (to be published on the last day of every month), to give me the space to step away from the romance genre for a little bit and give everyone some more exposure to different things and myself the space to gush about various things on my mind. For this month I’ve included sections for manga/comics, books, TV shows/Movies, Podcasts, and youtube channels. Let me know in the comments if you also are obsessing over these things or have anything in particular that you’re currently obsessing over.  Continue reading

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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (9/23 – 9/29)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. Next week starts the October Halloween specials on the blog, and I hope you all will stop by during next month to check out some great fantasy/magical anime and manga I’ll be highlighting. As for highlights from this week: Sony Pictures has merged Funimation and Aniplex to improve their world-wide distribution; HIDIVE and MyAnimeList have formed a partnership; and the Joker movie is drawing a lot of controversy and fears of violence as it begins screening in theaters. Make sure to check out some of the articles and videos linked below as well, and as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Waxing Philosophical: “Nobody Likes a Critic”

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I feel like being a critic or a reviewer of anything pop culture related has always been a hard job. Especially when it comes to large news outlets, pup-culture criticism and reviews have always taken a back seat to politics and larger news stories. In the past couple years, a lot of newspapers and websites have dramatically scaled down their review sections in favor of covering more political news stories, which is understandable in this volatile climate, but I think people forget just how important pop culture criticism can be for the wider population of fans or future fans. 

Being a pop culture reviewer can at times seem like a daunting job when you start seeing the kinds of backlash reviewers get for daring to voice any sort of opinion about a specific franchise. Marvel is one of the recent examples, with each movie garnering a wide array of opinions, some of them toxic and others not. We had boycotts of Captain Marvel and fights over Wonder Woman and Avengers: Endgame. In addition to this, we have the anime and comics fandom that have shipping wars, arguments over the opinions on Goblin Slayer and Rising of the Shield Hero, and comic book fans trying to gatekeep women and minorities out of the fandom. It’s an interesting time to be a reviewer right now, and I think a lot of writers wonder with every post whether they’ll get barraged with hate. 

While I think the climate of pop culture reviews and criticism has definitely changed over the years–especially with the rise of social media–where there has been art there have always been critics of some form or another. But what I think has changed is the fans and how much of fandom has become tied to the creation of individual identity and pride.  Continue reading

Way of the House Husband (Gokushufudou) Manga Volume One Review

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I have a hard time finding a better heart-warming comedy than those involving yakuza members. Hinamatsuri was a fantastic anime a couple seasons ago that highlighted a relationship between a young homeless girl (who happened to have psychic powers) and a yakuza member. Now we have Way of the House Husband that takes the over-masculinization of being in the yakuza and flips it on its head. I spoke about this series in the past when I wrote about it in the article “The Changing Face of Paternity in Japan as Told Through Anime and Manga,” but just last week it got its first English release to the states by Viz, introducing more people to this hilarious series. I honestly have to say that this series is up there with Hinamatsuri in its hilarious comedy and portrayal of the yakuza. With its fantastic art, great exaggerated gags, and hilarious premous, Way of the House Husband is sure to entertain fans of comedy manga.

This manga features Tatsu, the former Immortal Dragon, an ex-yakuza member turned house husband who is just trying to adjust to being the best husband to his wife. From cooking her lunches to running to the grocery store to doing all the cleaning in the apartment, Tatsu takes his duties as stay-at-home-husband very seriously, trying to leave his yakuza past behind him. But sometimes that’s harder than it might seem as people from his past start popping up around town. Created by Kousuke Oono, the English edition of this manga is now being distributed in North America by Viz.  Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (9/16 – 9/22)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’ve been slowly getting back into writing and will have an announcement on some special posts for the month of October coming up next week, so keep an eye out for those. There wasn’t too much going on in the anime/manga front for news this week except for a few key season announcements. As for highlights for this week: Promare hit #3 on one of its days in theaters in the US; The Boondocks will be getting a reboot on HBO Max; and “Carmen San Diego” is under fire after its Philipine studio fired an animator for asking for better pay. Be sure to check out the interviews and videos linked below, and as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Tokyo Tarareba Girls Manga Volume 4 Review

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What are you willing to give up when it comes to making a relationship work? When does a compromise start to affect your values or sense of self? Volume four of Tokyo Tarareba Girls digs into these questions among many others, using the character’s relationships as a frame to examine some pretty tough questions about love and relationships. The series was recently nominated for and then won the award for “Best US Edition of International Material – Asia” during the Eisner Awards this year. Honestly, I definitely think it’s well-deserved considering the scope and gravity of some of the things this series talks about and they way Higashimura uses comedy to address serious topics. I wanted to revisit this series this week both because of the recent Eisner win and because the series is very soon coming to a close with its 9th volume next month. Higashimura has given us so many great manga series with Princess Jellyfish and now her autobiography Blank Canvas, which is currently on volume two, that I really think this hilarious Josei series deserves to sit equally next to her other series.

Volume four picks up with the story as Rinko continues with her relationship to her current cinephile, bartender boyfriend. But something is nagging at Rinko about their relationship, particularly his insistence that she change her hairstyle to match that of his favorite actress. Even as she dreams of marrying this man, she begins to question how much change is too much to ask for in a relationship and how much she’s willing to overlook for the man she wants to marry. With the 2020 Olympic deadline for marriage still looming on the horizon, all three women scramble to balance relationships and careers. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (9/2 – 9/8)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’m back from vacation and trying to put together a few posts for the blog. I know it’s been sparse lately, but between work, wedding planning, and general exhaustion I just haven’t had the energy or head space to write anything. I’ll get back into though, and you can count on consistent news posts like these in the interim. Anyways, in terms of highlights from this week: the court case brought by Vic Mignogna against Funimation and various voice actors has been dismissed; the piracy site MangaRock has shut down and is rebranding to an official comics platform; and Marvel is partnering with Shonen Jump to bring some Marvel themed manga to their audience. Be sure to check out the articles and videos list below (I highly recommend The Cartoon Ciphers video), and as always, enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Continue reading