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.
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.
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: , , , .
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.