I’m riding high off of three things: recent elections defied expectations, the VTubers of holoX have just been celebrating their one-year anniversaries, and it’s been 15 years of Ogiue Maniax! It’s hard to believe each one for somewhat different reasons, but I’m hoping I can carry this joyous monentum through this month and into the eventual new year.
Here are my Patreon subscribers for December 2022! Thank you to everyone.
As with every year, I’m going to be rating the anime characters I think are the best of 2022. It is unbelievable how tough this year’s field is. I feel like the top candidates would have won in virtual every other year had they been eligible.
In contrast to last month, Kio Shimoku tweeted up a storm in November. The big topics: Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, drawing characters playing baseball, and…sketching out manuscripts for pornographic manga?!
Kio announcing that Chapter 41 of Spotted Flower is out. He mentions that the way the image is cropped unintentionally makes it look more improper than it actually is.
Kio finally got the chance to see the theatrical version of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (which had recently been playing again on the big screen). He didn’t even know about it back when it first released, though he’s seen the TV-broadcast version tens of times. In fact, he’s seen it on TV so much that seeing the scenes cut from that version added back in felt kind of weird. The full theatrical version adds a lot of nuance to places missing from the TV version, but Kio still has an affinity for that one, and he thinks they did a good job with the edits. He talks about how nowadays, it’s unusual for people to want to watch cut versions, but he still loves it nevertheless. He doesn’t have the TV version, and Wikipedia doesn’t even mention it at all. Kio wonders if anyone actually remembers it.
A follower also talks about the cut TV version of Castle of Cagliostro, which Kio also has a recollection of. Others chime in that they have seen Royal Space Force on TV, including one person who remembers Anno Hideaki providing commentary on it for an airing on the program Friday Roadshow (which airs movies on TV). Someone else chimes in that they can remember Anno explaining a few things. Namely, how good the scene is where Marty says 「誰かが必要としているからここにいられると思っている」[If anyone can provide a translation with proper context, that’d be a big help], and how the TV version uses monoaural sound, so it couldn’t replicate everything, like the way the sound changes as they go up into space.
“I think I’m here only because somebody needs me.”
The saga continues: Watanabe Shigeru, the editor of the TV version of Royal Space Force actually replied to Kio! In a rare instance, we get to see Kio fanboying over someone. Watanabe mentions that while he’s an anime producer now, back then he was a mere tradesman. Kio asks if there’s a betamax version, but Watanabe says there isn’t, and the TV version was basically a “necessary evi.”
Watanabe also recalls that they had Okada Toshio and Yamaga Hiroyuki (also of Gainax fame) for the TV broadcast as well.
Someone else mentions that there’s a scene with the characters drinking milk that was included in the laserdisc release but according to Kio, it wasn’t in the theatrical re-release. Watanabe chimes in again and explains that this extra scene wasn’t shot on 35 millimeter so it didn’t look good when upscaled. However, it’s included with the blu-ray as an extra.
As a follow-up to last month’s trip to the batting center, Kio has been drawing Hashikko Ensemble characters playing baseball. There’s also some discussion about the characters and how
As an aside, my friend Diogo Prado (and a Patreon member of Ogiue Maniax) got retweeted by Kio!
A fan apologizes for discovering Hashikko Ensemble too late, and asks if there’ll be a sequel (like Genshiken Nidaime). Kio says not to sweat it, and that everyone discovers works at their own timing.
Kio also went to see a new theatrical run of GOTHICMADE. Much of the story has also been told through the manga, but the last part of the film has still yet to be adapted.
Someone replies to Kio’s preview of Spotted Flower Chapter 41 by saying the meme line, “But he’s a guy” from Stein’s;Gate. Kio replies “They’re both,” to which the replier apologizes. However, while the replier assumed he meant that Not-Kohsaka (depicted there dressed like Not-Hato) was nonbinary, what Kio meant was that both characters are guys.
(I guess this answers the gender identity of Not-Hato).
Kio reacts to the official Twitter account of Kumamoto Castle tweeting a saying popular among idol fans and the like: You’ll stan the ones you stan when you stan (the actual word being oshi). It’s basically saying you’ll know who’s your favorite because it’ll come out from you.
The batting center is a 30-minute walk for Kio, but that walk is a good way to sober up, apparently.
Kio went to see Royal Space Force in theatersagain! This time, he noticed a sound similar to a baby crying that had never registered to him before while watching.
Kio and another talking about how they can’t stop humming the music from Royal Air Force
Kio’s reaction to a mecha from The Five Star Stories: “Oh? Whoaaa! Magnapalace!”
Kio mentions Ueda Masashi as one of the all-time greats of 4-panel manga, and writes about how even these simple characters could be portrayed as having unseen “adult” sides to them. He even used Ueda’s work as a basis for a scene between Not-Ohno and Not-Tanaka in Spotted Flower Volume 5.
Kio saw Shinkai Makoto’s new film, Suzume no Tojimari.
Sometimes, Kio sketches out ero manga manuscripts, but finds striking the right balance between elements difficult. Moreover, he feels that the order of priority is different for ero manga: Instead of paneling -> text -> images, it’s the other way around. After all, you can’t tell if something is gonna be hot just from a barebones layout. (Note that Kio had previously praised ero manga artists for their talents—this seems to be a follow-up to the idea that it’s not that easy.)
When asked what he’s drawing, Kio says it’s new and original characters. He’s also entertaining the notion of quietly putting something on the adult website Fanza.
Related to the above tweets, Kio struggled with the most recent manuscript for Spotted Flower.
Kio went on vacation for a few days, taking a break from Twitter.
Kio watched the first half of the Japan vs. Germany World Cup 2022 match and went to sleep early assuming it was all over for Japan, only to wake up to headlines about the upset.
He planned to watch the second half once he got home, wondering if player Ito Junya went wild (which Kio later confirmed).
After retweeting a bunch of plastic-model-related tweets, Kio says he really wants to build plastic models, and remarks about the “big wave” of model-building hitting after all this time. Author Ikuhana Niiro encourages him to do so, to which Kio responds by wondering whether he should finally open all the cardboard boxes that hold his model kits.
The new anime season is in full swing, but while I’m enjoying the hell out of so many things (like Gundam: The Witch from Mercury!), my mind is on the upcoming US midterm election. I plan on (sort of) following up with my thoughts on this subject in a few days but for now, I’m using this time to encourage citizens to vote however they can: in person on Election Day, by mail, by early voting, anything.
I’d also like to thank my Patreon subscribers for this month of November 2022.
Kio went to a batting center for the first time in about 30 years. The speed of the balls was scary. Though he did play in a softball club as a kid and was pretty good at it, it also has been almost 40 years. He did manage to hit a home run, though!
This is looking to be one of the most competitive anime seasons in recent memory. I don’t think you need me to tell you all of the highly anticipated shows hitting this month, but the ones I’m really going to be watching out for are Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, Golden Kamuy Season 4, Chainsaw Man, Spy x Family Season 2, and Pop Team Epic 2. There’s a good chance I simply won’t be able to watch everything I want.
On top of that, New York is hitting its big con season with New York Comic Con this month and Anime NYC the next! I have some concerns that NYCC is becoming too expensive and unwelcome for many, but we’ll see how it turns out.
Speaking of events, I’ve gotten my Omicron booster, which has prompted me to start watching anime in theaters again—masked and as safely distanced as possible, of course. You can check out one of my reviews in the highlights this month, with the next on the way in the coming weeks.
Thank you to my Patreon subscribers for October 2022!
My criticism of entertainment that ties to monopolize your attention in the worst ways possible.
On Twitter, Kio Shimoku has some issues with his arm lately.
I’m entertaining ideas to better replace the $15 Patreon reward, which basically has only ever been used once. If anyone has suggestions for things they’d like to see out of the Patreon, I’m all ears. I’m not sure what concrete bonuses I can offer at this point, but I’d like to at least have something that might interest supporters.
Not many Kio tweets in September, so this is a pretty sparse entry this month. That said, there are some drawings that notably use Kozue from Hashikko Ensemble as Kio’s avatar. It’s interesting that he regards her (or at least her design) so fondly.
Kio retweeted an image describing an idea from a Tokyo University professor, who says that motivation comes from a specific part of the brain, but in order to activate it, you have to actually start doing it. Kio comments that even if he knows this, he’s still not able to work up the motivation. He then mentions drinking the energy drink Lipovitan D, and that he seems to be putting a lot of faith in it.
A drawing of Not-Kohsaka dressed as Not-Hato from Spotted Flower. Kio comments that sometimes he does have the motivation to do a big, high-quality drawing to his satisfaction.
His right wrist hurts, but he can’t figure out what’s the matter. It doesn’t seem to be tendonitis. Kio ends up wondering if it might be that he’s using a different mouse.
This past summer, Kio’s pet tortoise started leaking some kind of snot-like liquid. To take the tortoise to the vet, he placed it in a cooler bag filled with ice, and also carried a sun umbrella. Kio remarks that this made him look like an ice cream vendor.
Apparently, the tortoise is 21 years old!! While it’s doing better, Kio thinks the issue might be a change in environment, as Kio recently moved to a place with no yard.
Kio realizes he promoted a sale for Spotted Flower too late…
There was a hodgepodge of topics this month from Kio Shimoku’s tweets.
Kio has always had a problem with the air conditioner in his work area, where 28°C (82.4°F) is too hot, but 27°C (80.6°F) is too cold. This year, though, he has an AC that can be set to a perfect 27.5°C.
Kio wishes a happy birthday to Aoki Ume, author of Hidamari Sketch. (Seeing two of my favorite authors interact makes me happy).
At an Oedo Choraliers concert.
Kio reminisces about the Zukkoke Sannin-gumi, a juvenile novel series. Because Kio turns 48 this year, he read the sequel series Zukkoke Chuunen Sannin-gumi (when the child heroes from the original are now middle-aged) and thought it was the best. He thanks the author, Nasu Masamoto.
Someone mentions buying all of the Zukkoke Chuunen Sannin-gumi, to which Kio replies, “Amazing.”
Kio is two volumes away from finishing Zukkoke Chuunen Sannin-gumi and loving it. A fan of the soccer team Sanfrecce Hiroshima replies that the Hiroshima-born author actually had a collaboration with that time, and that a lot of the matches during that period ended up being very zukkoke (unusual, foolish).
Mourning the death of Kobayashi Kiyoshi, the original voice of Jigen Daisuke in Lupin III, who played him up until last year.
Kio promoting some new digital chapters of Spotted Flower, specifically starring Not-Angela! A fan replies with an emoji for panties, and Kio finishes the statement with “Please”—another reference to Genshiken and Spotted Flower.
Mourning another apparent death. This time, it’s illustrator Suzuki Masahisa, who passed away back in June.
Kio bought a new printer with a scanner function, and has moved his old massive scanner capable of handling A3-sized (manuscript) paper off his desk. He mostly works digitally now so it’s not always practical, but that old one comes in handy with things like scanning in paper drawings to use as extra materials for manga volumes.
Having more room on his desk means being able to use a dual-monitor setup, so he can look at references while drawing. He does this most often with women’s clothing.
A fan expresses how much they love “An-san” (Not-Angela), to which Kio replies that all three extra digital chapters this month revolve around her.
Promoting the third of the extra Spotted Flower chapters.
b, the huge Kimura Jin fan, asks Kio if he wants to promote a special campaign that lets you read the first two volumes of Hashikko Ensemble until August 31, and Kio does just that.
Kio has gotten around to gathering the film recordings and books he needs to put into manga what he couldn’t before. When asked what he’s drawing and if it can be shared on Twitter, Kio replies that it might be possible but it’s better to play it safe.
Kio talks about how exciting it would be go to the live talk event for Hirakata Ikorusun, author of Special, and ask about what happens in the final volume. (Hirakata debuted in Rakuen, the magazine Spotted Flower runs in).
Kio admonishes himself for still not being good at drawing panty shots after 28 years as a manga artist, and also for still putting in panty shots after 28 years.
Apparently, it’s not exactly for “work” (or is it?).
The summer brings new anime, and new thoughts from Kio.
New chapter of Spotted Flower came out at the end of June! The digital version just came out, a month later.
Kio drew a flyer for a Night on the Galactic Railroad musical. He did some art for it last month as well.
Kio’s tablet has been acting up, leaving trails when he picks up the pen. The two images say “New book” and “Greeting cosplay wife by kissing.”
When Hashikko Ensemble first began, Kio actually drew rough sketches for all the classmates as background characters. This is actually how Shinji, Kozue, and Kanon started before being promoted to being a part of the main cast. He doesn’t really remember any traits he might have thought up for the classmates, though.
Kio at a Tower Records exhibit for BASTARD! That first image apparently was a defining part of his youth, as he wondered how the heck the artist managed to do what he did.
“Huh? Could it be that drawing manga is actually a huge pain in the ass?”
Kio is relieved that the anime adaptation of Uncle from Another World is good. He’s a huge fan (oshi) of elementary-school-era Fujimiya. (Note: Before you think that’s a lolicon thing, you have to actually see what the character was like as a kid.)
Kio struggling with a manuscript. He can’t seem to summon the physical will to work on it further.
Kio realizes that the original Genshiken was serialized for only four years. Reminiscing on that time, he remarks on how everyone who supported him helped him to develop his skills in real time. He remarks on how young he was then, looking back.
Another manuscript finished, with a little preview to boot.
This is the earlier “kiss the cosplay wife” brought to fruition. Read the latest extra chapter of Spotted Flower.
Kio would like to see an anime adaptation of the gag manga Overlord: The Undead King Oh!
In June, Kio Shimoku saw a bunch of movies and it was rad. He also responded to a question I asked him!
Following up on some tweets from last time, Kio managed to finally pick up some steam and finish some work. I believe he was talking about the latest chapter of Spotted Flower. He mentions having some movies he’s been waiting to watch.
Isekai Quartet—He loved seeing all the characters in this crossover get their time in the sun, but is especially found of chuunibyou Ainz from Overlord.
Inu-Oh—Kio found this to be a really moving and emotional film. The characters, the music, the animation, everything is great.
Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island—Yasuhiko Yoshikazu at full throttle. To Kio, it’s like seeing a manga that’s not supposed to exist bubbling up from deep within the brain (whose brain is unclear). Much praise for the staff for a satisfying film.
Top Gun: Maverick—A highly entertaining film that did everything it was supposed to, then provided second and third helpings of the awesome on top of that. Kio recalls watching the original Top Gun in elementary school and really enjoying it back then. He also had the Top Gun video game for Famicom. It was tough and he never managed to land the plane.
(His description of the confusing controls reminds me of the class Angry Video Game Nerd review.)
I asked Kio about something he wrote in a Star Wars artbook! You can read more about it here.
Kio drew a promotional poster for a stage musical of Night on the Galactic Railroad!
Kio can’t stop drinking wine.
Enjoying watching more of his physical copy of the variety show How Do You Like Wednesdays? This time, it’s a program called “Jungle Revenge.”
I purchased the artbook Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars for one reason: Among the many manga artists who contributed their talents to this collection is Kio Shimoku, author of Genshiken. I expected some nice art (of course), but the real shocker comes from his comments.
As seen above, Kio states that he once drew 350 pages of thumbnails for a Star Wars doujinshi…and that he’s a fan of Nute Gunray and Rune Haako. If you’re not that into Star Wars, you might be asking, “WHO???” And if you are a fan, you might be asking, “WHY???”
Nute Gunray is the viceroy of the Trade Federation, and Rune Haako is his right-hand man. In other words, they’re the bad guys at the beginning of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So that answers the “who,” but as for the “why,” I actually had to ask the man himself on Twitter. Here’s his response:
He even followed up by finding his original thumbnail with the characters and confirming something I suspected: The doujinshi he’s referring to is a genderswap doujinshi, titled Sister Wars. Kio had previously talked about it in his interview with VTuber Luis Cammy.
I don’t own the doujinshi—though I wish I did. That being said, there may be a few copies floating around on auction sites and such. I haven’t yet tried to get my hands on it, but maybe I should make the attempt…