Off-topic post: Anime and manga discussion (fifth post)

This will be my fifth post on anime and manga, and I will make it a quick post. This season, I have only picked up one anime, but there are a number of anime I’m considering for the following season.

For this season, I’m only watching Hitoribocchi no Marumaruseikatsu. Based on the manga by Katsuwo (also the author of Mitsuboshi Colors), it follows a girl, named Bocchi Hitori (voiced by Chisaki Morishita; and yes, hitoribocchi literally means “alone”), who, after graduating from elementary school, is tasked by her only friend to befriend everyone in her class by the time she finishes middle school, or else they will break up. Unfortunately, our protagonist is extremely shy, and she vomits and gets leg cramps whenever she is stressed.
Among the girls Bocchi befriends include Nako Sunao (voiced by Minami Tanaka; sunao na ko means “honest girl”), a girl who appears to be unapproachable from the outside, and is quite blunt, but is kind; Aru Honshou (voiced by Akari Kitō; honshō aru means “has a hidden trait”), who keeps a front of being friendly and reliable, but is in reality clumsy and prone to forgetting certain things, hence being called “unfortunate” (particularly by Nako); and Sotca Luckythar (voiced by Yūko Kurose; and yes, that is how her name is spelt; it’s a pun from soto kara kita, meaning “came from outside”), a blonde, blue-eyed foreign girl who is not only a fan of ninjas, but also sees Bocchi as a ninja. There is also Kako Kurai (voiced by Kana Ichinose; kurai kako means “a dark past”), the public morals officer of the class, and a girl who tries to gain strength through self-sufficiency, making her a foil to Bocchi.
Needless to say, nearly everyone’s names are puns of some sort. The teacher’s name is Teruyo Oshie (voiced by Minami Takahashi), which comes from oshieteru yo (“I’m teaching”). Bocchi’s elementary school friend is Kai Yawara (voiced by Konomi Kohara), from yawarakai (“soft”). And pretty much nearly everyone in Bocchi’s class is named after a pun of some sort; the only exception I can recall is Hanako Yamada (Aru’s friend and clubmate), whose name is as generic as generic can be. Granted, the naming situation is better than in Mitsuboshi Colors, where I only know the full name of one character, and the surnames of three more (two aren’t given given names, and the third is mainly known by a nickname).
While the personalities of the girls are wildly different, overall, I found that the manga and anime actually did the interactions between the girls very well. While at times a bit idiotic (well, they are only twelve or thirteen), they provide support for each other. The story ultimately follow’s Bocchi’s journey to create as many friends as possible, and throughout the story she gets a number of people she can rely upon.
I cannot be bothered to give a review right now (or any time in the near future). However, I’m enjoying this anime. The final episode will air this week.

As for the summer season, so far I’ve chosen two I’m definitely going to check out. One is, of course, this season’s Manga Time Kirara adaptation, Machikado Mazoku, and I have been waiting quite a while for even the announcement that it will be animated.

The second is an original project by the animation studio Nexus. From what I know, Granbelm mixes magical girl and mecha (the only other time I’ve heard the two terms together was in relation to Lyrical Nanoha), and I’m exceptionally interested in how this will turn out. Now, to be fair, Nexus hasn’t had that much experience in the anime industry; as far as I know, there are only two anime animated solely by Nexus (Wakaba*Girl and Comic Girls) and only one with full-length episodes (Comic Girls). However, I’ve watched both and enjoyed both (and if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a big fan of Comic Girls), so I have rather high expectations.
On the other hand, I was burned out by the previous mecha anime I watched, so…

As for the rest, well… I should do more research.

For manga, I’m intensely following the new manga being published in Manga Time Kirara to see which will become popular. Personally, of the currently serialising manga that have yet to receive anime adaptations, the following interests me, in no particular order:

Manga Time Kirara:

  • Umiiro March (Minamito)
  • Sakasama Lollipop (Sunao Kasuga)
  • Musunde, Tsunaide (Cherry Arai)

Manga Time Kirara Carat:

  • mono (Afro)
  • Spirits’ Difficult Life (Cotoji)
  • Kagura Maimai! (Ahiru)

Manga Time Kirara MAX:

  • Take Me to the Baseball Stadium (Super Masara and Uminotomo)
  • Bocchi the Rock! (Aki Hamazi)
  • Shoko Sensei! (Najimi)
  • Welcome to the Demonlord’s Castle Tour (Harusame)
  • First Love Railtrip (Yūnon Nagayama)
  • En and Yukari (Urayama Shiro)

Manga Time Kirara Forward:

  • Tamayomi (Mountain Pukuichi)
  • Chotto Ippai! (Kayou)
  • Cosmo Familia (Hanokage)
  • Slow Loop (Maiko Uchino)

In particular, I want to mention En and Yukari. While the premise seems generic enough (a high school girl named Yukari gets hit by a truck and dies, only to go to another world), the author is in fact a former assistant of Namori (the author of YuruYuri and the character designer for Release the Spyce and Endro!), and Namori herself posted this illustration on her Twitter account.

Speaking of Namori, she drew a number of fanart illustrations a while ago of various works. A complete list is below:

And not exactly “fanart”, but here is Mei Yachiyo of Release the Spyce.

That will be all for now.

Edit (2019-06-22): Additional cast for Machikado Mazoku:

  • Sayaka Senbongi as Anri Sata
  • Ayaka Suwa as Shion Ogura
  • Hitomi Ohwada as Ryōko Yoshida
  • Sayaka Ohara as Seiko Yoshida

This is Suwa’s third major role in a Kirara anime (after Honoka Matsubara of Kiniro Mosaic and Saku Iroi of Urara Meirochō), and Ohwada’s second major role (after Tsubame Narumi of the second season of New Game!). As far as I know, this is Senbongi’s first role in a Kirara anime or video game, and this is Ohara’s first major role in a Kirara adaptation (she did have a major role in ALDNOAH.ZERO, and also voiced Alice’s mother in Kiniro Mosaic).

The original cast list:

  • Konomi Kohara as Yūko Yoshida
  • Akari Kitō as Momo Chiyoda
  • Minami Takahashi as Lilith
  • Tomoyo Takayanagi as Mikan Hinatsuki

This is Kohara’s first major role in any Kirara anime or video game (she did have a minor role as Kei Iwasaki of Slow Start), while this is Kitō’s third major role and fourth overall (her first two major roles are Kaho Hinata of Blend S and Ai Tanahara of Harukana Receive; she also voices Emiri Kisaki of Magia Record). This is also Takahashi’s first major role in a Kirara anime, as well as Takayanagi’s first major role.

Finally, I have some news to announce in two days. Watch this space.

Edit (2019-06-24): The August 2019 issue of Manga Time Kirara Forward has announced that Tamayomi will be receiving an anime adaptation. So far, there are no details on the studio or staff for the anime.

Also, congratulations to Yūki Kaji and Ayana Taketatsu. I wish them all the best in their new life as a married couple.

Edit (2019-07-26): It has been announced that Koisuru Asteroid will air in the Winter 2020 season, and be animated by Doga Kobo. Cast details will come later.

The following additional works will feature in the second edition of the Manga Time Kirara Exhibition:

  • Slow Loop, by Maiko Uchino
  • RPG Fudōsan, by Chiyo Kenmotsu
  • Bocchi the Rock!, by Aki Hamazi
  • Maid-san no Shitagi wa Tokubetsu desu, by Mirakururu

And both Magia Record manga, namely, the official parody strip Magia Report by PAPA, and the manga adaptation by Fujino Fuji.

Edit (2019-09-21): Since I cannot be bothered to make a new post, I’ll just put some news I want to say here.

The cast of Tamayomi has been announced:

  • Kaori Maeda as Yomi Takeda
  • Satomi Amano as Tamaki Yamazaki
  • Ruriko Noguchi as Nozomi Takamura
  • Marie Hashimoto as Sumire Fujita
  • Airi Eino as Risa Fujiwara
  • Rina Kitagawa as Ryō Kawasaki
  • Miyu Tomita as Ibuki Kawaguchi
  • Yume Miyamoto as Rei Okada
  • Rina Hon’izumi as Shiragiku Ōmura
  • Nao Shiraki as Yoshino Kawaguchi
  • Haruka Yoshimura as Kyōka Fujii

The most notable names in the above list are Miyu Tomita (Yume Nijino of Aikatsu Stars!, Riko of Made in Abyss) and Rina Hon’izumi (Saaya Yakushiji of Hugtto Precure!; she also won a Seiyu Award). For Haruka Yoshimura, this is her second major Manga Time Kirara role, having voiced Nono Natsume of Urara Meirochō previously; for the rest, these are their first major Kirara roles.