Celebrate Shoujo with us
Konnichiwa Fanatiks. The past month we look at several genres and demographics like ecchi, seinen and isekai. This month we focus on Shoujo. We have the origins of Shoujo, as well as AMVs and a yummy shoujo anime challenge, we have a fruit dish in our food section plus news and an interesting Only in Japan section, You think that’s all? Feast your eyes, we have more, so enjoy your bento, it is freshly cooked up for you by the AnimeFanatika crew. We are YOUR monthly source of anime and Japanese news and culture. Itadakimasu!!
What made the news in August?
A Multi-lingual Evangelion Preview!!!
Earlier in August the fourth and final Rebuild of Evangelion movie became available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video, and it was not just in Japanese but also in 10 different foreign-language dubs! Amazon, in celebration, released a multi-lingual teaser trailer for Thrice Upon a Time and the three previous Rebuild Of Evangelion movies that feature clips from all and dialogue that shifts from Japanese to French, then German, Mandarin Chinese, Castilian Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Italian, and, finally, English. Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time and the rest of Rebuild of Evangelion became available on August 13th,
Ghost in the Shell becomes an IMAX experience
Lovers of the classic neo-noir anime movie Ghost in the Shell will be happy to know that the movie is going the next level: It is coming to IMAX theatres across the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, as well as other select markets for the first time on Sept. 17. According to its distributors Bandai and Lionsgate the movie will screen in 4K using IMAX’s DMR digital remastering process.
Set in the year 2029, this landmark Japanese animation film is centred on Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg undercover agent on the trail of the Puppet Master, a highly wanted hacker. The barriers of our world have been broken down by the net and by cybernetics, but this brings new vulnerability to humans in the form of brain hacking. When “The Puppetmaster” begins involving them in politics, Section 9, a group of cybernetically enhanced cops, of which Kusanagi is a member off, are called in to investigate and to stop the infamous Puppetmaster. Kusanagi has been cybernetically altered to the point of questioning her humanity and the existence of her “ghost,” or her soul. The Puppet Master’s quest for a human shell and thus, sanctuary as a life form, only adds to Kusanagi’s existential dilemma. The pursuit will call into question what makes a human and what is the Puppetmaster in a world where the distinction between human and machine is increasingly blurry.
Showcasing Japan's work culture, retro-style
The Japanese human resources firm SmartHR, wanting a visual retrospective on the changes of the Japanese work culture over the past 100 years reached out to pixel artist Motocross Saito to make it a reality. The result is Hataraky no Hyaunenshi or 100 Years of Work in Japan, a beautiful retro video. The video shows every decade from 1920 to the 2020s, from the time when women were not working outside of the home to the time when women became a permanent part of the workplace. We see the origin of the salaryman, the beginning of mobile communication devices as tools for business and even how people worked through the COVID-19 pandemic. It is all there in its nostalgic glory, a job incredibly well-done for a video under two minutes!
Sony's acquisition of Crunchyroll is complete
It took nearly $1.2 billion, and now Crunchyroll belongs to Sony. This acquisition brings Crunchyroll to Funimation, which is a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Sony Music’s Aniplex, giving Sony the ability to expands its status in the anime industry. Crunchyroll has 5 million subscribers and more than 120 million registered users. The platform has over a thousand anime titles and distribution rights for more than 30,000 episodes. That is a huge chunk of anime content now in Sony’s hands.
Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony Group Corporation stated:
“Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthrals and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”
Only in Japan
Welcome to that part of the bento where everything goes, Japan-style, We cover everything from teen girls in love with Godzilla to the creepy, amazing and even strangely beautiful stories that are Only in Japan.
The day a mecha took a dog for a walk
It sounds bizarre but mechas walking dogs exist, granted that said mecha was built without any welding, and only using cardboard. Japanese Twitter user @travis37564 created the cardboard mecha cosplay suit for the Amazing Shotengai doujin exhibition which took place in Tokyo’s Taito Ward in July. The mecha, an Ideon from Space Runaway Ideon is still in @travis37564’s possession and he recently piloted the mecha to walk his kawaii little dog. They did not get far, but it is a sight to remember.
The Mysterious Kyoto Bag Horror
August, Friday the 13th, 2021, Kyoto. Weird stuff happened that seems as if it comes out of a slasher flick. A man in one of Kyoto’s suburbs returned to his home, only to find that a mysterious bag has been left on his front doorstep. Curious he looked inside and made a creepy discovery, Inside was a pile of knives, dozens of the blades stained with a macabre reddish liquid. A video confirmed that earlier that evening another man, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt walked up to the house and left the gruesome bag there.
The 17 knives found included both cooking knives and nata, a cleaver-like Japanese hatchet. A further investigation found that the red knives were coloured with paint, not blood… still even if it is not blood, it is still creepy, especially because the owner of the house has no idea who the man was that left the disturbing package. He has never seen the man in the neighbourhood nor someone the owner had contact with at work,
The owner had a similar incident two years ago where someone left a mysterious bag of knives by his front door, which, even if Japan has a low crime rate, prompted him to install two security cameras to cover his home entrance. It is likely that the bags were left by the same person, why he did so is a mystery, and why wait two years between every ‘delivery’.
And that is not all, our tale gets weirder. The ‘knife man’ was wearing a glove on his right hand as he carried the bag, but he also used his ungloved right hand as he set the bag down. Maybe the police can find fingerprints and arrest the bizarre man on charges of violating the Firearms and Sword Control Law. This is one mystery we hope will be solved.
Kawaii Kulture: The origin of Soujou
Shoujou, the demographic genre with as many layers as there is to spell the word. Call it shojo, shoujo or shojou, the genre is a big chunk of the anime community. The word shojo means ‘young woman’ and the anime and manga is aimed at the teen female market. Shojo, like seinen, shounen and josei cover many subgenres and narratives like historical drama, isekai, science fiction, fantasy and even light horror, and often focuses on romance and emotion.
Magazines of the shoujou genre first appeared in 1902, when Shojo-kai (Girls’ World) started its publications, soon followed by other magazines such as Shojo Sekai (Girls’ World) and Shojo no Tomo (Girls’ Friend). It is said that Tezuka Osamu, the father of shounen manga also was an important part of pioneering the shoujo genre. Ribon no Kishi (Knight of the Ribbon), written in 1953 is most definitely not the first manga series aimed at girls but it is regarded by shoujo experts as the first title that unquestionably incorporated many of the standard shoujo elements. Ribon no Kishi focussed on sophisticated tales of fantasy, love and drama, and a lot of series thereafter followed that narrative.
The 1950s and 60s is the next big step for shoujou, large audiences for manga rose with the rise of two genres: Shonen manga for boys and Shoujo for girls. Shoujo at the time was heavily influenced by American TV dramas, what is more, that teenage mangaka Machiko Satonaka debuted in 1964, proving that becoming a female mangaka is something young women can dream into reality. The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo also inspired a series of shoujo sports manga. Shoujo was now becoming a genre for girls, made by girls. Women artists broke into the field of manga with a bang.
The decades thereafter brought great titles to further set the tone for shoujo manga and anime, titles such as Red River, Basara, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Sailor Moon. Many shoujo today are also enjoyed by older women, men as well as boys. It is a strong influence in the manga and anime entertainment scene and it is here to say.
Link of the month
Youtuber Manime Matt gives us an in-depth discussion on what anime is the worst, Ecchi anime or Shojou trash.
Recipe of the month: Japanese Fruit Sandwich
To many, fruit sandwiches are a weird notion, to others, a signature dish that is comfort food. AnimeFanatika staff member Takeshi loves peanut butter and banana sandwiches and ookami loves banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. In Japan they go the next level with fruit sandwiches or fruit sando as they lovingly call it, making delectable, colourful snacks that are salivating to the mouth’s eye, if you know what I mean. In Japan, this humble snack is all about the ingredients and the technique.
The Japanese fruit sando is simply two slices of bread, stuffed with seasonal fruit with a whipped cream spread, it is a marriage between a fruit salad, a sandwich and dessert. Don’t think this is a new trend, however, the fruit sando dates back to over a hundred years old, in 1869 in Kyoto there was a fruit stand called Yaoiso that claimed they were the first, selling fruit sandwiches long before they opened their cafe in 1972. Another one claiming to first hail from Tokyo, a fruit parlour named Sembikiya who opened for business in 1868. Whoever did it first we do not really know, but the fruit sando’s legacy lives on even today.
Japanese Fruit Sandwich Recipe Test
AMAZING FRUIT SANDWICH Tokyo Japan
AnimeFanatika's Top Five shoujo Anime:
We bring you our personal shojou anime recommendations if you want to try out something new, or you may find through our list that you have seen some shoujou anime before. We bring you series with romance, light horror, fairy tales, supernatural elements and even vampires. Feast your eyes and enjoy the recommendations.
Akagami No Shirayuki-Hime
AMV of the month: Shoujo rock and romance
We bring you AMVs of shoujo series with a taste of rock and a taste of romance. Our rock song is Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace featuring scenes from Vampire Knight. Our romance song is You’ll Be In My Heart sung by Phil Collins featuring scenes from Ore Monogatari. If you enjoyed the music by Three Days Grace and Phil Collins, be sure to visit their YouTube channels and show them appreciation, just click on their names in this sentence.
September Anime Challenge: Vampire Knight
To some students, school is already filled with monsters like pimples, homework and psychotic physical education teachers. In Vampire Knight it is not glowy cute vampires like in the Twilight series or a group of nerds led by a cheerleader like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The monsters are darker, much more beautiful and just love your blood type.
Vampire Knight was created by Matsuri Hino as a manga bearing the same name. The anime was produced by Studio Deen. Kiyoko Sayama directed it. Takefumi Haketa did the soundtrack. The anime is 26 episodes but are broken down into two seasons: Vampire Knight (13 Episodes) and Vampire Knight Guilty (13 Episodes)
The main protagonist is Yuki Cross a human girl, whose earliest memory is about a stormy night in winter, ten years ago, when a vampire attacked her and she was rescued by another vampire named Kaname Kuran. Everything before that night is a blur and she cannot remember.
Yuki is the adoptive daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, a school for human students by day and vampire students at night. Yuki is in love with the mysterious vampire that rescued her. As the series progress, she starts remembering her past, suffering from hallucinations and her mind sinks into darkness and corruption, which forces Kaname to awaken her and lead her to her true identity.
Another plotline involves the tale of Zero Kiryuu, who struggles with dark thoughts of hatred towards vampires since his family were wiped out by vampires and this turned him into a person slowly turning into one, the transformation only held bay with medication.
Birthday of the Month: Orihime Inoue (Bleach)
If you know the anime Bleach then you definitely know her, Orihime Inoue, the beautiful girl with the long orange hair and the brown dreamy eyes (In the anime the eyes are silver-grey). We know her as part of Ichigo’s group, Karakura Town’s own group of protectors against supernatural forces. Orihime is our birth girl for September and her birth date is on the third.
Orihime has very high grades at school yet she comes off as naïve and clueless, something that might be because she lives alone in her house since her whole family died (the last of which her brother Sora Inoue, to whom she was very close). Due to that solitary life, she also has an over-active imagination, which is very endearing, and she also is very perceptive about what drives people. She is also known for her love for weird food, invented from recipes she created herself.
She has two hairpins that her brother gave her and thanks to her spirit energy ‘leaking’ into it, it became also her weapon. The hairpins harbour the power Shun Shun Rikka (Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Field) and this power consists of six spirits all with flower names that reside in the hairpins.