Take Four – April 2014

Hunter x Hunter Manga Returns in June – Kaze

Art by 烏鴨
Art by 烏鴨

The Hunter X Hunter manga will be returning from its hiatus this June. Of course, this is only the continuation of the cycle as the writer Togashi is infamous for never being able to write for very long. As such, it is surely only a matter of time before the next 2 year hiatus. Regardless, we will finally get a new arc started as the manga last left readers hanging with a rather large revelation. Meanwhile, the reboot of the anime has been doing an amazing job with the chimera ant arc. I am certainly glad to see one of my older favorites still getting a good amount of attention with new material for both the manga and anime, and the only thing I really hope for is that Togashi actually finishes it eventually.

Narcissu 1st & 2nd Released on Steam – Japesland

Setsumi Sakura
Art by ごとP (Pixiv ID 4101665)

If there’s one thing that Kaze and I share as writers at Beneath the Tangles, aside from the obvious, it is our shared interest in the visual novel medium. And if there’s one visual novel (or kinetic novel, to be precise), that every consumer of the medium should read, it’s Narcissu. Although both Narcissu titles have been available in English for free (available here) for years now, they still have had yet to escape obscurity simply due to their nature as indie visual novel releases. As much as I tend to be a Japanese media “hipster” (if it’s popular, it can’t be good!*), the more exposure the Narcissu series can get, the better! Now being available on the West’s most popular digital PC game distribution service is a huge step in popularizing the visual novel art form, and it is something I am very excited about!

On another note, as we continue to work on our guide to anime and otaku-dom, we have also added a visual novel recommendations page (with Narcissu featured!).

*Kidding, of course.

SNAFU Gets Second Season – TWWK

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Art by LuZi (Pixiv ID 39131585)

Anti-social male lead.  Check.  Popular but uptight and mysterious female protagonist.  Check.  Peppy female protagonist who likes the male lead.  Check.  OreGairu, or My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU, broke exactly zero new ground when it aired a couple season back.  But unlike the usual slate or recent romantic comedies, each week, OreGairu was fun and compelling.  The three leads were written well, and so they avoided becoming bland or annoying.  Hachiman, in particular, is a terrific character – a grump that we all like, more reminiscent of a dynamic character like Kyon than of <insert generic harem lead here>.  When it ended its run, I hoped we’d get to see more, and thankfully, a second season of SNAFU is coming our way!

Grisaia Anime Adaptation Staff Announced – Kaze

Art by こしの
Art by こしの

After 3 years of referencing an anime was in the works, we finally have some additional information and an official webpage. The director will be Tensho of Kiniro Mosaic and the studio will be 8-bit. The character designer remains the same as Watanabe Akio (most notably, you will notice a very strong resemblance between Yumiko and a certain Monogatari heroine). As a reader of the Visual Novel trilogy (working my way through the finale as of now), I am quite interested to see what approach the anime takes. While it has all the makings of another textbook harem, a well done adaptation would result in some very interesting topics to explore. Furthermore, even if it goes the route of a standard harem anime and tosses out all of the noteworthy parts, the comedy in this series can be pretty amazing, so I hope nobody preemptively labels this as another generic harem to ignore. In the end, it will surely depend on whether they intend to adapt the trilogy or only the first novel, so I will continue to keep tabs on further info.

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