Resurfacing for the blog’s 14th anniversary & getting into virtual YouTubers

Erika Kurumi being smug in Heartcatch Pretty Cure!

Hey there. I realized a couple days ago that it’s been 14 years since I published my first anime blog post on May 14, 2006. The time feels longer than that to me while I’ve been looking through many of my older posts that I may eventually re-publish/salvage here from web archives. (Some posts are more embarrassing than others…) I still get small ideas of things to possibly write about but almost none have been strong enough to motivate me to compose actual blog posts.

I continue to telling myself that I’ll revive Sport in Fiction in the near future, even though I encounter the same sort of inertia that has long hampered my standard blogging. I would also like to chronicle any forthcoming attempts to slowly read Japanese manga – those might become blog posts or maybe just Twitter threads.

Kaede serving udon to Dino at her part-time job in Gal & Dino

I have been watching a few anime series lately – Heartcatch Pretty Cure! with a group of online friends as well as Gal & Dino and Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater (currently on hiatus after 3 episodes) from the current spring season. Heartcatch is the first Pretty Cure series I’ve watched for more than a handful of episodes and it was fun and silly while also having dark and reflective moments. Gal & Dino has light slice-of-life animated segments and surprisingly dramatic live-action second halves. Breakwater has been relaxing and somewhat informative about fishing.

Tsukino Mito has some odd dreams and stories. [Source video]

I’m currently on break between spring semester and summer classes, which will very likely be online due to public health concerns. In the past week, I’ve been watching a lot of videos involving the Nijisanji and Hololive collectives of virtual YouTubers (aka VTubers). I was familiar with Kizuna Ai and Kaguya Luna before – they are two of the more popular VTubers – but not many of the others out there. Nijisanji and Hololive are organized akin to idol management companies – there are unit groups of three VTubers who do shared streams and many VTubers also have image songs.

Both companies have a heavy focus on doing livestreams and each VTuber has their own personality and gimmick. They feel relatable through their real-life anecdotes, gameplay commentaries, and interactions with other VTubers, though they also try to not reveal too much about their real identities. There are a lot of English subtitled clips and videos of VTubers from both groups available on YouTube; here’s some playlists of subtitled clips: [1], [2], [3], [4].

Some of my favorites from what I’ve watched so far include Tsukino Mito (Nijisanji), a class representative who sometimes breaks characters when talking about erotic things; Ange Katrina (Nijisanji), a red-haired alchemist with a deep voice and a knowledge of adult video tropes; Coco Kiryu (Hololive), a well-endowed dragon lady who hosts Hololive’s morning news show and speaks fluent English; and Nekomata Okayu (Hololive), a purple-haired cat girl.

About Tom

I have been blogging about anime for more than a decade. My other interests include sports, business & legal affairs, and philosophy.
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