I know I’m probably not the first person to say this, but the Spring 2022 anime season has been rock-solid. I can’t watch every show, but the sheer amount of quality made for quite an enjoyable April, even as the world continues to teeter between hope and despair. Spy x Family, Ya Boy Kongming, Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, Birdie Wing, and a whole host of other series are just knocking it out of the park.
Kio Shimoku’s Twitter was full of design drawings for Hashkko Ensemble. There’s a lot of insight into his early decisions for the manga!
One other piece of big news from April was the announcement and release of the final DLC for Super Robot Wars 30. I still can’t believe Shinkalion made it in! It makes me want to draw giant robot fanart…
Mou mantai is Cantonese for “no problem.” It’s also a signature phrase of Hong Kong native Zhong Lanzhu from Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, whose second season started today. The new anime season is upon us (again!), and I’m feeling positive about new shows, including seeing Lanzhu and the other Monster Girls in Love Live!
Of course, to say that there aren’t any issues is not entirely truthful. April Fool’s, I guess?
Life is good, but not perfect by any means. There are things we can’t control, like the unexpected twists and turns of international affairs. But there are things I can affect, and because life is personally busier at the moment, a part of me wonders if I should reduce my output for Ogiue Maniax. Right now, I typically do 2–3 posts a week (which I’ve kept up for the past 11 years or so), and the new result would be 1–2 posts a week. This would obviously make things easier for me, but then I feel like my Patreon might not be worthwhile anymore for those who still follow me.
A part of me also wonders if the reason I’m feeling this way is because Super Robot Wars 30 is so danged long. Enjoyable, but I think only now (months later) am I reaching the final third of the game.
Speaking of Patreon, my patrons continue to support me. To them, especially those below, I say: Thank you.
I’d be lying if I claimed I wasn’t full of fear of where the world is going. While violence is nothing new, there’s something about these particularly brazen lies we’re seeing used to justify a takeover of a sovereign nation that has me worried that the world is going to scary places, if not already there.
That said, while I sometimes would like to more fully disconnect my fandoms from the world at large, it’s a great deal harder than one might expect. Case in point, I started watching 2001’s Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier, which is about people who were kidnapped and forcefully integrated with machines, who then rebel against the massive warmongering arms dealer that made them who they are. Even an adaptation of a classic action manga has dimension. That’s not in the same ballpark as, say, a harem series, but I think it’s ideal to discuss both the anime and manga that embraces every level of political engagement to those that are more passively political. Heck, isn’t the biggest anime basically Attack on Titan?
Here are the special Patreon members who continue to show me their generosity. While the lack of new members might be viewed as a sign of stagnation, the fact that so many continue to stick with me is something I appreciate.
It’s been a long time coming, but here are my thoughts on Gundam Unicorn at last. Speaking of political anime…
Kio Shimoku’s Twitter was pretty light in February, but I expect that to change in March with the final volume of Hashikko Ensemble.
I’m impressed how well Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier holds up. It feels just as fresh today as it did when I’d catch episodes on Cartoon Network back in the day, and the focus on diversity, peace, and criticism of warmongering feel more relevant than ever before. I hope the ideals that anime brings can be something we can reach in our lifetimes.
Happy New Year (again!) to all who celebrate the lunar calendar and the Year of the T-T-T-T-Tiger.
As the Omicron variant (hopefully) peaks at varying times, I’m naturally spending a lot more time indoors—even more than usual. A new anime season has made things easier, with returning favorites like Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and Princess Connect! Re:Dive, as well as interesting new stuff like The Kodama’s Lazy Life and Tribe Nine. I’m also catching up on Ranking of Kings, which I’d heard such good things about, and there are still a few shows like Slow Loop I’m planning to check out.
I’m also delving into the world of Webtoons a bit more with Higashimura Akiko’s A Fake Affair (perfect for Valentine’s Day maybe) as I also read through her autobiographical series Blank Canvas. Her stuff is amazing, and I will almost always recommend Higashimura works. I’m relatively inexperienced when it comes to Webtoon stuff, so I’m open to suggestions.
My webspace is still down, and the administrators appear to be MIA. It’s kind of a pain, but this blog is old enough that trying to find every image I uploaded during my earlier years and switching to new hosting might not be feasible. If I get to the point where I’m supposed to renew, well, that’s another matter.
In the meantime, here are my biggest Patreon members, who help keep Ogiue Maniax going.
Every so often, I think about revamping my Patreon, as it’s been kind of stagnant in terms of approach for quite a few years now. One issue is that this is not my full-time job, and I don’t know how much I could actively devote to running it, so I’m hesitant to promise or aim for anything big. Would people be interested in Patreon-only content?
Happy New Year! As I say that, 2022 is off to an unusual start.
On the blog side, there’s been an issue with many of my older posts because the web hosting I used for many of the images has been down for the past month (and possibly more). I hope I can get it fixed sooner rather than later, but the hosting has been unresponsive. Fortunately, most of the content is primarily text, so even as many of the illustrative pictures are not displaying, there’s still plenty to read, if you want to check out the archives.
But of course, any and all web space woes pale in comparison to the unprecedented level of infection that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has brought. Last month, I wondered if I might have to temper my expectations about seeing loved ones in this environment, and that has turned out to be a pretty big understatement. For those living in places with record spikes in infection, I hope you can stay safe and well. Please, please get vaccinated (and boosted if you can), wear a good mask (N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2), and exercise discretion (especially indoors). We can still live our lives, but we should cherish the health of the people around us. While Omicron seems to have a greater ability to infect vaccinated people, it can still be the difference between an unpleasant day and your final one.
I order my masks from Bonafide Masks, but you can get KN95s at a Staples or equivalent shop.
Thanks to my patrons here in 2022, especially the following.
Thoughts on the difference between being a fan of something and participating in a fandom, inspired by someone close to me.
Chapter 47 turns out to be the second-to-last! Can’t wait for next month.
Kio Shimoku’s Twitter in December saw him reminiscing about older times.
In much lighter news, the winter anime season is starting up! I’m still trying to finish stuff from the fall, but in the meantime, I’ve decided on my favorite characters of 2021. Who do you think reigned supreme?
The past month has been quite a ride for me as an anime fan. I attended my first live convention in ages, I watched the finale of one of my favorite franchises ever, and I stumbled into my most popular tweet in a very, very long time.
I’ll definitely be watching the second G-Reco movie next month, so watch out for that review!
Meanwhile, I’d also like to thank the following Patreon sponsors for their continued support:
Sue Hopkins fans:
Hato Kenjirou fans:
Yajima Mirei fans:
Blog highlights from August:
I actually think I posted some of my best work in a while, so I recommend readers check out everything this month, but if you only have a little time, these are probably the best.
In terms of setup and interesting storytelling, I thinkLove Live! Superstar!! might be the best the franchise has to offer.
Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve noticed a funny thing with my blog stats.
Throughout 2020, I received many more hits than I have over recent years. This trend started to subside around spring this year (when the vaccine rollout started getting some steam), but now over the past couple months as the delta variant ravages the US (where most of my visitors come from), I’m seeing an uptick in blog views again. As much as I like having more people read my stuff, I’d rather everyone be alive.
Go get vaccinated and wear a mask in public and when around others. Stay safe, and I wish you all good health.
For better or worse, I’ve decided to attend Otakon 2021 this year. And barring an even more devastating report about COVID-19 and the delta variant than what’s already out, it looks like I’ll be on track. I’ll be vaccinated and masked, and while it’s basically impossible to ask anyone to be the former just one week out from Otakon, there’s also a mask mandate for the event itself. Stay safe, everyone!
I have a single Otakon panel this year, and it’s actually one I’d been trying to get into the con for a while now. Come see:
Saturday Morning MILFs (18+)
Did you know that kids’ anime has a long history of spotlighting hot moms?! They’re here to teach kids important lessons…and keep the parents from changing the channel! Explore the legacy of attractive mothers in Japanese animation and their continuing influence on the fandom.
Yes, I made an educational panel about anime MILFs. I looked at the schedule, and I’m the only 18+ panel on Friday, so it feels rather…daunting.
Anyway, I’d like to thank the following Patreon sponsors for supporting the blog and allowing me to indirectly research topics like attractive anime moms:
If I see you at Otakon, I’ll be glad to give a solid thumbs-up from a safe distance. And remember: Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wear a mask. Let’s make this a memorable convention where no one catches COVID-19.
And one last thing: I’m really, really looking forward to seeing Gaogaigo in Super Robot Wars 30. I hope I can finish the last novel before the game comes out.
Summer 2021 anime is just beginning, and there are plenty of shows I’m looking forward to. Chief among them is Getter Robo Arc, bringing the classic giant robot franchise into the 2020s. I definitely plan on reviewing it once it’s done, but I’m curious to see how it does with a modern-day anime audience.
Speaking of robots, Bandai just announced the GX-100 Soul of Chogokin: Gaiking and Daikumaryu. Coming in at 82,500 yen and measuring about 750mm, it is going to be an impressive hunk of diecast metal. I’m not a super big fan of Gaiking, but I’m looking forward to all the toy reviews.
Also, check out this GX-100 celebration stream featuring Sasaki Isao, singer of Yamato, Gaiking, Getter Robo, and many other classic themes.
Before getting into the posts from the past month, I’d like to thank the following Patreon sponsors:
I mentioned last month that I am fully vaccinated, and it’s given me a new sense of security and freedom I didn’t have before. However, now we have a new COVID-19 variant, the Delta variant, wreaking devastation around the world. It’s also getting a foothold in the US, and I find myself nervous that I’m getting a little too complacent and worrying about trying to neitheo over- or undercompensate for the current situation. Having to balance the psychological happiness that comes from doing things again with some sense of normality with awareness that we are in no way close to getting out of this pandemic reminds me of all the conscious decisions I’ve had to make these past 18 months, and the toll it can take.
That being said, I plan on being at Otakon next month. I’ll be fully masked, and playing it as carefully as I can short of canceling. I hope it’s the right choice.
Last year at this time, it felt like the world might not ever be the same again. This past month, I became fully vaccinated.
While I’m still exercising caution in a lot of different ways (including wearing a mask in public), the extra safety a COVID-19 vaccine has provided has helped tremendously to alleviate some of the psychological pressure I’ve been feeling since 2020. For the first time in a long while, I feel like I can grasp some sense of the normal again. I’m still undecided if I want to attend the recently confirmed Otakon 2021, though.
I just hope that we actually learn from the mistakes we’ve made on a social and political level, and that we must create a better “normal” than the one that resulted in a global catastrophe powered by greed and willful ignorance. I’m fortunate to be in a place where I could obtain a vaccination after a year and a half of keeping safe, as not everyone has been able to do that. The real failures—whether they’ve been in the US, Japan, Brazil, Sweden, China, India, or elsewhere—are the consequences of poor leadership above all else.
I can’t make anyone get the vaccine, and availability varies from place to place, but I hope everyone does what they can to at least protect themselves and those they care for.
Thank you to June’s Patreon sponsors, with special gratitude to the following.
I just learned that Zettai Karen Children is ending soon after 17 years. It’s amazing to see a series that ran for seemingly forever actually reach the finish line. Authors and artists, take care of yourselves!
There’s a lot going on in the world that seems out of strangest dreams and nightmares, but within the specific realm of anime fandom, the big news has been that licensing rights for the Macross franchise have, at long last, been resolved. It’s like seeing pigs fly, then transform into Gerwalk mode. For all fans who have wanted to support Macross more directly but haven’t had the means to do so, this is our chance to let the creators and everyone else know what an impact Macross has had on our lives. I haven’t written any blog posts about the topic, but I don’t have that much to say except “Listen to my song!”
There’s not much out of it yet, but in the meantime, the official YouTube channel has uploaded the full Macross Flash Back 2012 (a sort of music video compilation) for a limited time. “Tenshi no Enogu” best song, by the way.
Oh, and despite the title of this month’s update, I’m Team Misa all the way.
Moving on to May’s Patreon sponsors, I’d like to say thank everyone, especially everyone here: