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Emerging from the well

To one and all at Milkcananime,

From memory, the last time I posted here might be nearly 2 years ago, where season 2 of My Hero Academia was still airing, or has already finished its run. (I have to check that one later.) Much of life and personal reasons kept me from posting as much as I can, so I decided that a long break was in order. Again due to reasons, I wondered if I would ever post here again, but now here we are; yours truly has made a comeback, and hopefully for the longer term.

As with the timeframe, many things did happen while I was away. I will start with the franchise that grabbed my attention right after I was done watching My Hero Academia in the second half of 2017, and has held it to this day.

1. Touken Ranbu

Touken Ranbu's peak was during its debut year of 2015. Friends and the local anime community, almost everyone were talking about the characters, the local anime shops were swamped with its merchandise, discussion about the game were plentiful on social media. I never really caught onto the hype back then; it all started with its (region-blocked) game - made by Nitroplus, hosted by DMM. I managed to access the game, but the tutorial did not particularly interest me, so I dropped it.

Along the way I vowed to try get into the series again, maybe when it has gotten an anime. However it wasn't until late 2017 when Touken Ranbu has gotten 2 entire anime series that I started on its Katsugeki anime, recommended by a friend.

There were apparently concerns amongst the older fans that the Katsugeki anime does not have an appeal powerful enough to interest people with completely no knowledge of the franchise. Well, at least it was enough to interest me, to want to know more about the series and also the other characters that were not shown in Katsugeki. In comparison with the Hanamaru anime, only a few characters were selected to be part of the storyline in Katsugeki, while Hanamaru tries to account for everyone added into the game so far.

I have rambled this far, but what exactly is Touken Ranbu about, and why is it appealing?

(Slowly loading the official summary page) It all started as a game, so the players, taking on the role of a Saniwa (審神者-sage) are in charge of stopping evil forces from trying to change the course of history. A Saniwa has the ability to summon famous historical swords to life as Touken Danshi (刀剣男子 - swordsmen, or as the fandom calls them, sword boys), and the Touken Danshi's main purpose is to defeat these evil forces. Yes, it follows the same Tsukumogami concept as Kancolle and similar games, where spirits reside in inanimate objects and can be awakened by the player.

The appeal really depends on person, since it was able to draw in fans from different demographics and backgrounds. My circle of friends mostly stayed for the beautiful swordsmen, and I stayed for the sheer amount of colourful personalities I can come across!

The franchise is so well-established that I could go on about its anthologies, manga adaptations, live-action productions etc, but that will be for another time!

2. Bang Dream! Girls' Band Party

If anyone remembered me from my Love Live phase, sad news awaits: I have dropped SIF (School Idol Festival) completely and the only rhythm game I play now is no other than Bandori!

It has been more than a year since I started being active on the game, and although there were the same woes as not being able to get best girls' cards even after throwing my stargems for a 10scout several times, I feel that the good mostly outweighs the bad.

a) The illustrations! Just look at them. (Here are some of my favourites. Not that I'm biased or anything.)

b) At least to me, the gameplay is somewhat refreshing. This is a game where you can't only rely on the cards you've scouted. Area items that boosts the band power or certain attributes are also part of the game!

c) You can tap to see various character interactions!

I still play it almost daily save for the few breaks I take. It does get boring playing the same "meta" songs day in day out, but being somewhat of a high achiever I relish in getting scores or event points as high as possible in one song. It'll probably wear out one day, but today is not that day.

3. My trip to Japan

I finally managed to pay a visit to the land of anime! (Cliche, I know) Since I was travelling with my mom, I didn't manage to go to as many animanga-slash-game-related places as I would like, however I did have some memorable moments from the trip itself.

We were at Odaiba! It was the main setting for the original Digimon Adventures gang. I planned to head to a museum there without knowing I was heading for the Odaiba area. I got quite emotional and snapped quite a few pictures XD Even without it being a Digimon premise, I think it's a very beautiful place!

The museum in question.

I also managed to pay a visit to the Japanese National Museum, the main purpose of the trip down was to catch a glimpse of the sword Kikkou Sadamune, but the tour I attended about the National Treasures of Japan was also quite the enriching experience. Before the trip, I never knew sliding doors for houses have such beautiful art and that trained artists were commissioned to decorate them.

Kikkou Sadamune the sword:

Kikkou Sadamune the Touken Danshi:

4. Others

Truth be told, the past one or two years went quite slowly for me in terms of getting into more Animanga. After all, I was mostly content with focusing on the two or three things I was into. Now that I have a bit more time in my hands, I hope to explore more, or at the very least, catch up on the series I've paused on.

In any case, I'll probably be back to talk more about Touken Ranbu, or give random anime/manga reviews. Hope to see you all around!

- mayu
(formerly ritsu)

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