As the debate on the status options of homosexual relationships gains international attention, it is essential to note the increase acceptability and presence of media and entertainment options, which include these themes as the basic premise for plotline and conflict. This can be no better exemplified than in Japanese entertainment productions specifically animation and manga. Recent years has seen an exponentially increasing theme in Japanese media. This usually involves a specific genre known as Girls Love (Garuzu Rabu); this term is primarily used for the genre within the publishing community. In general, the fans know this genre as Yuri or Shoujo Ai.
This genre has been getting an increasing amount of attention from fans as fan based media appears all over the web and conventions. The genre even has its own annual convention. Speculation has begun as to exactly what is causing the increase in media productions that reside within this genre in Japanese media to increase. Is it the fact that the world has begun to look at same sex love and relationships in a different light, or is it simply the fact that there has been an increasing outcry for this type of media?
It is well known that if it is taboo and forbidden the desire to possess it increases, could this be the cause for the increase in production and if so why? As with any media, production profit is at the forefront of any decision. This means that one can assume that the reasoning behind the increase in Yuri based animation and manga has to deal primarily with the demand and the prospect of profit.
One of the largest difficulties that the animation and manga industry faces is the fact that turning a profit can be difficult, especially now that scanning and streaming technology has made it possible to share animation and manga all over the world, free of charge. The benefit however, has been the increased fan base, this in turn has increased demand and could be one of the driving motivations behind the increase in Yuri based media.
Creation and distribution of this genre has steadily increased as same sex relationships have become more accepted. It is now common to see at least one anime production including aspects of the Yuri genre per season. Recent titles include Kamper released in the Summer/Fall season, Seikon no Qwaser, which is currently airing in the Winter/Spring season and Aoi Hana also released during 2009. Older titles include Maria-sama ga Miteru and Girl Revolution. Yuri elements can be found in a long list of anime including Sailor Moon and Ikki Tousen.
In addition to the increase in titles, the increase or level of intimacy within these titles has also increased. Older animation containing girl love would show at the most embraces and a few chaste kisses in the extreme. These days it is not surprising to see embraces that are more intimate and actions portrayed as acceptable additions to plot and action.
Demand for titles, which contain an element of girls love, is on the rise and is evident with the level of increased productions that have been appearing within this genre. As to whether the demand comes from an increase in the acceptance of these relationships in mainstream society or simply the relaxation of media restrictions may be more a question of which comes first the chicken or the egg.
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Reborn! Special Short to Get Special Edition DVD
The Katekyo Hitman Reborn! short that aired during last year’s Jump Super Anime Tour will finally have its own special edition DVD released on July 21. The DVD will contain the short itself along with additional scenes such as a hot springs trip and a display of talents between Tsuna’s Family and the Varia. The Jump Super Anime Tour traveled through five Japanese cities last October and screened various shorts based on their properties, the Reborn! short being among them. Viz Media will be publishing the 15th volume this week, and the anime series is currently available on Crunchyroll.
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Boomerang Launches Pokémon’s 1st Season
Boomerang, Cartoon Network’s spinoff channel for “classic cartoons”, will start running the first season of Pokémon in April. The series is slated to run every weekday on Boomerang at 6:30 PM EST (3:30 PM EST). The anime adaptation of Nintendo’s popular video game franchise first premiered in Japan in 1997, and then reached US shores a year later where the phenomenon exploded. Since then the Pokémon series has remained ongoing and is currently entering its 12th season, with the 13th season seeking to end the Diamond and Pearl arc. While the original series will be airing on Boomerang, the current series, Diamond and Pearl, will be airing on Cartoon Network’s primary channel.
On April 7, 2010 the official websites for the Naruto films had been relaunched with the title and date of the 4th Shippuden movie confirmed. Naruto Shippuden: the Lost Tower will be set for release on July 31. The new movie will have the titular hero Naruto travel back in time to meet his father, the 4th Hokage. Once again, director Masahiko Murata and screenwriter Junki Takegami will be collaborating again for this movie as they had with the third Shippuden movie The Will of Fire Still Burns.
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Voltron Live Action Movie Update (and Series)
According to Corona Coming Attractions, the live action Voltron movie will be getting an overhaul, abandoning both the previous script by Justin Marks and the rewrite by Jeff Davis. In addition to the script reboot, director Max Makowski will no longer be involved with the film. However, Voltron.com had announced the new production team of the movie which included members such as “Dark Knight” producer Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, and Steve Alexander.
In addition to the new plans for the movie, Corona Coming Attractions had confirmed the title of the newest Voltron series to be Voltron Force. The newest iteration of the classic series is set to air on Nickelodeon’s NickToons network, which promises to show off redesigned lions and a brand new aesthetic.
It's the prefectural mahjong tournament finals, and Koromo has Saki and the other girls gasping for breath under the power of her haitei raoyue. With things turning out for the worst, Saki suddenly breaks the ice and confesses her renewed love for Mahjong to everyone on the table. And just like a flower blooming atop of a ridge, Saki pulls off the impossible and takes the championship with a comeback win - a counted yakuman off of a melded kan, epically etched with her signature move: "rinshan kaihou". In a word, this episode is simply amazing, and is the epitome of everything the show has to offer.
Although this was a great episode, what struck me about this episode was the correlating Japanese interwoven within the actual storyline:
Haitei Raoyue - refers to winning off the last tile of the wall, and constitutes an additional han point to a player's score.
Yakuman - any of several "highest scoring hands" in the game, which automatically translates to 32,000 points, regardless of any additional han points.
Melded kan - completing a kan (four-of-a-kind) off of an opponent's discard. In completing a kan, one needs to draw a supplementary tile from the "dead wall". In the case of Saki's play, if she completes her hand (i.e. creates a "mahjong") off of a discard from the dead wall after completing a melded kan, the player responsible for discarding the tile that completed the kan (i.e. Koromo) must pay for the total value of the winning hand.
Rinshan Kaihou - literally means "a flower blooming on a ridge", which is a pun on Saki's name, which also means "to bloom". This refers to winning off of a supplemental tile from the "dead wall" after declaring a kan. An additional han point is awarded for going out in this manner.
When producers and creators take the time to add these little subtleties in, it really shows in the overall quality of the show and series; moreover it really shows that they care about the fans and want to produce something great.
When you watch, be sure to keep you eyes and ears open for more of these great little additions!
Did you know that Power Rangers ran in the US for 16 years, starting in 1993 to 2009. It's Japanese counterpart, Super Sentai, started from 1975 and still continues to this day. That's a grand total of 35 years!!
Naruto and his friends successfully decipher the code Jiraiya left behind with the help of some information Naruto has. The crew immediately calls Fukasaku over, but the message is not enough to solve the mystery of Pain.
Center City, West Coast, USA. Joey loves heroes, and lives together in the city with his grandmother. While working a part-time job to support himself, he enjoys his life surrounded by Psy, his sarcastic lone-wolf friend, and Lina, a bright, cheerful girl from a well-to-do family. One day, Joey picks up a toy that was thrown away, repairs it, and names it "Heroman." But just then, a bolt of lightning strikes the toy! To Joey's surprise, a giant-sized "Heroman" is born before his eyes!
The year is 3000 where magic is common place. Transferring to the Constant Academy of Magical Arts just as the new quarter begins, Sai Akuto hopes to become a High Priest. But during his aptitude test on the first day, the artificial spirit Yata-garasu says that he's destined to become a "Demon Lord"! So now Hattori Junko, who he'd sworn an oath of friendship with earlier that day, challenges him to a duel. The duel is interrupted by a girl named Keena as the misunderstandings get worse and worse!
Akuto, potential future Demon Lord, begins his days of trying to fix these misunderstandings!
Word of the Day
非モテ (pronounced: he-moe-tei): this word means the opposite of "moteru", which is not being popular with the gender of one's orientation.