IMG617Finally got my hands on a used copy of Forbidden Dance 4. It’s not that it’s rare, but something else always took priority. Thankfully the used copy’s condition isn’t too bad and it wasn’t expensive. It’s also good to finally finish collecting another of my many in-progress manga.

Summary


The anniversary performance for COOL is a day away, but Akira is not back yet. Aya becomes distressed after receiving a cryptic call from Diana, but Tetsuya manages to calm her down. Aya then decides she has to protect COOL for Akira and cuts her hair short to pass as a boy. And since Akira isn’t back for the performance, the members go with this alternative and have Aya dance as one of the guys. Unfortunately, the audience and their sponsor notice Akira is missing and become annoyed, but the COOL members keep dancing hoping to show their talent through their hard work and sweat. Seems it pays off and Akira shows up not long after too! He apologizes and tells Aya to get ready for their solo. Aya is shocked because the solo was suppose to have been removed as the sponsor did not want her dancing with the other COOL members. The solo becomes rather popular and the press announces that COOL has taken their first female member to great success. Bringing the main story to a finish. (more…)

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I was going to skip doing this this year, but then I felt sort of sad about not reminising about what I’d played, so even if this post is long overdue, here it is! (Unfortunately I have no idea if I’ll be back to regular blogging any time soon. My free time is rather strained due to multiple hobbies, work, trying to study, and real life obligations. But I haven’t forgotten about this site! And I still hope to come back at least semi-permanently).

I didn’t really get much done in 2014. It was a busy year for me and I only managed to finish 11 games. So far my momentum in 2015 has been better, so hopefully I get more games finished this year!

BD banner
The Game that Lived Up to the Hype
Bravely Default (3DS) (more…)

Strength Does Not Matter! The Beautiful Warrior, Shutumon

That’s the title of episode 16 of Digimon Frontier. There are two things going on here: first the title is suggesting that strength is unimportant and the second that Shutumon is beautiful. It’s not hard to realize what the implicit meaning here is: for girls, their strength is irrelevant, what is key is their beauty. And paired up with episode 15 where the enemy digimon gains her new evolution with lots of strength but at the price of being hideous, well, these two episodes are quite loaded with gender norms and tropes are old as human civilization.

It’s actually been a while since an anime (or manga) that I’ve seen has been so overt with expectations of beauty for women versus men. It’s not at all subtle in the least; there is only 1 female enemy digimon and it is only in her case that the question of appearance is ever raised. The other digimon are all male and are not particularly aesthetically pleasing. One is a mix between a gnome and dwarf, another is an inhuman lizard-like digimon and another a metallic humanoid. None really scream bishounen in the least and when they evolve into beast form, never is there any talk about their new appearance. In contrast, the animators of Digimon Frontier felt the need to make the single female enemy digimon not only cute and resembling a young girl, but also made her into a sort of idol in the digital world. Furthermore, they gave her a vain personality. In other words, they created her in a way that put appearance at the forefront of her character.

ranamon as an idol

Ranamon is an idol in the digital world.

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tonariTrigger warning. Also mild spoilers for the anime Hana Yori Dango and Rose of Versailles.

So back in 2012, the manga Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun got an anime adaptation and the anime blogosphere raised hell (or maybe it was a select few sites I happened upon). A few managa bloggers also chimed in with their outrage. The main point of contention was the threat of rape that happens in the very first episode (and chapter) of Tonari. A little later, I had decided to run a feature that looked at the worst the shoujo manga demographic had to offer, and deconstruct, through snark, why it was so harmful and problematic. Given the hell that was raised around Tonari, I thought it would be a great candidate for the feature. However having finished the first 5 chapters for my feature, I have to say that most of the criticisms levelled at Tonari missed the big picture about rape acceptance in manga and anime. (more…)

IMG243 Picture to the left was taken with my phone, so I hope it’s not too bad. I decided to give the 3-in-1 edition a go with Skip Beat and my experience with this edition is mostly positive. It definitely took awhile to get through the thing as it’s pretty long being really 3 volumes. But I loved the story, so it was definitely a good thing to have more of it in a single volume.

Summary


At first glance Kyoko Mogami seems to be an average girl, but she has a secret. Her special prince charming is none other than the famous raising star in the Japanese music scene, Sho Fuwa. Kyoko has been deeply in love with Sho since a child and did not hesitate to follow him to Tokyo to help him achieve his dreams by working part time jobs to support the both of them.

However, now that Sho has gotten a big break, he seems oddly distance and moody. In an effort to cheer him up, Kyoko decides to bring him some food from her part time job. In the process, she overhears him bragging about how he brought her along as a maid and nothing else. He even declares to send her packing if his manager promises to “take care” of him (in other words, let him live with her and be bed partners). Surprisingly, instead of crying her eyes out, Kyoko snaps and vows revenge on Sho. Sho only sneers saying she can only have her revenge if she makes it into show biz (since a regular person can’t touch a star); but he is confidence she will be unable to make it. (more…)

I hope everyone had a great Easter (if you celebrate). It’s a little late, but I wanted to do an Easter themed post and what better way than a top 5/10 list~ These seem to be the to do thing for me for celebrations, so let’s not break the tradition! It’s not cause I’m lazy, I swear! Since there aren’t all that many bunny characters (that I’ve come across), I’ve narrowed this list to a top five encompassing both manga/anime and video games. Here goes:

yarne
5. Yarne ~ Fire Emblem: Awakening (game) (more…)

It’s part 2 of round 5 of SSS. In part 1, we saw that Black Bird and Sadist stuck with what they started in chapter 4. Tonari goes the same route and fails for the third time, which means it’s time for it to get kicked off this feature. Meanwhile, Hot Gimmick toys around with the idea of a more assertive Hatsumi, but ultimately doesn’t commit to giving her any character growth. Nonetheless, it results in a much more toned down chapter. From part 1,  Sadist also was quite tame (but incredibly boring) and only got a C+. Black Bird did manage a B- though; thanks to the super creepy behaviour from the rival love interest!

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Tonari really seems to want to push this taming animal thing on the volume covers, huh.

Tonari really seems to want to push this taming animal thing on the volume covers, huh.

 

  • Chapter 5 is the start of volume 2 of Tonari, and in keeping with the trend started in volume 1, volume 2’s cover features Haru on a leash. Whip him into shape good, Shizuku! (more…)

“Mini Mendacious Moments” is a feature about small moments (a page, an opening sequence, a character design, or something a character said) in manga, anime, or games that simply makes me pause and just wonder why something so silly, bad, demeaning, or pertaining to a double standard was even mentioned or briefly touched upon. Being such a small and blatant moment, in-dept analysis will not be given, rather, this is more for snarky me to share my snarky commentary.

We all know the silliness of the female wardrobe in the gaming industry. There are so many stupid design choices and double standards that it isn’t hard to find something to talk about, especially if one likes to keep up to date with all the newest games that are coming out and is constantly flooded with these “interesting” design choices. Nevertheless, there is one design choice that I loath quite a bit (maybe not the most but definitely in my top 5 worst female design choices) and that I not so recently came across an example of it on an article about a game called Dungeon Fighter Online. Yes, I refer none other than to the infamous Inner Thigh Cut-Off Pants (my name for them) that this game’s lone female character wears:

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