What Happens When You Fangirl Something and Everybody Loves It.

I want to talk about Yuri!!! on Ice. And I want to make something very clear.

This post isn’t about how awesome it is. Or how we finally have an anime with a realistic gay couple. Or how the animation flounders if Yurio and Viktor are not skating or how groundbreaking it is. Or how beautiful the music is. Or any other accolades the show is getting. Other people have done that, and done it better.

I’m here for a different reason and one that I dread sharing, but share I must.

But first, a little background. Bear with me.

When Free! Iwatobi Swim Club came out in 2013, it took the world by storm. I mean, the test video that KyoAni and Animation DO released back in the day had fans foaming at the mouth. I remember Crunchyroll created a crusade to have the show animated. And when it was official  it was coming to our small screens, Crunchyroll licensed the streaming rights. Oh happy days those were.

But that was nothing compared to when it actually streamed. I discovered and fell in love with so  many voices. Of course I already knew Mamoru Miyano, but the others? Holy cow! I was blown away by all of them. Specially when I watched other shows they were in.

Every week I wanted more of the Iwatobi Swim Club. Their story was captivating, fun, and emotional. All. At. The. Same. Time. I kept telling myself that I wanted 1000 more episodes of them.

This anime was so popular in Japan and abroad, that a second season was green-lit. I was ecstatic. The whole fujoshi world was ecstating. Tumblr was annoyingly ecstatic. We could not wait for the second season.

Free! Eternal Summer did not shine as brightly as the original had. At least for me.

Even two years later, I don’t remember much of the plot. Or the scenes that Tumblr is still squealing itself silly with. I have no desire to rewatch it or buy the super-duper-you-gotta-buy-it release from Funimation.

After my burning desire to have more of Free!,  I was feeling very meh about its sequel. I still loved my ships and the few that caught my attention on Tumblr.

And now I’m afraid the same thing will happen if a second season of Yuri!!! on Ice is green lit. I would prefer if it didn’t happen, but I’m also aware it’s all wishful thinking.

My fear is that it won’t shine like the original did because the stakes and expectations are much higher. I will watch it with the tiny hope that  it won’t suck major balls. I will watch it because I love the original. I will watch it because the feels for them are still there. But mostly, I will watch the second season, because I want to support the creators so more creators give us content like Yuri!!! on Ice.

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Seiyuu: Irino Miyu

Taken from AniDB

Irino Miyu

Irino Miyu – 入野自由

First anime: D.N. Angel – eons ago when I was working at a now-dead bookstore, I started reading the manga and I was hooked. Then somebody told me there was an anime. I looked at the listing and at the time, the set was expensive. I didn’t care, though. I wanted my hands on it, sight unseen. That was a purchase I haven’t regretted. D.N. Angel is an anime that I always go back to and watch.

Latest anime: Karneval – whut? Yes, he was in Karneval. And I say was because…it’s a spoiler if I say more. I did not recognize his voice at all. I always think it’s a sign of how good a seiyuu’s voice talent is when I can’t recognize them. I’ll have to rewatch those episodes and try to catch this awesome talent.

Yes: His voice is very distinct when he plays young boys like Niwa Daisuke in D.N. Angel, Kitamura Kou in Cross Game, or Kobayakawa Sena in Eyeshield 21. When he plays older characters, you can still hear the youthfulness he displays in his younger characters. It’s that aspect of his acting that totally blows me away.

No: I still haven’t heard him playing a bad guy. So I can’t say there’s anything he’s done that I didn’t like, even with Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom.

Body of work I’ve watched: (in no particular order)

  • D.N. Angel – Niwa Daisuke
  • Cuticle Tantei Inaba – Nozaki Kei
  • Karneval – Yotaka
  • Chihayafuru 2 – Tsukuba Akihiro
  • Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (Nichibros) – Tadakuni and Shitsuji Toyogawa
  • Kimi to Boku. (both seasons) – Tachibana Chizuru
  • Wolf’s Rain – Hasu
  • Tsuritama – Haru
  • Tiger & Bunny – Isaac
  • Nurarihyon no Mago – Tosakamaru
  • Ookiku Furikabutte (Oofuri) – Kawashima Kou
  • Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – Fiole Folkal
  • Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle/xxxHolic/Kobato (all seasons and OVAs) – Shaoran
  • Cross Game – Kitamura Kou
  • Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – Zwei
  • 07-Ghost – Shuuri Oak
  • Asura Cryin` (both seasons) – Natsume Tomoharu and Natsume Naotaka
  • Kidou Senshi Gundam 00 (both seasons and all movies) – Saji Crossroad
  • Naruto Shippuuden – Yagura and Namikaze Minato (young boy)
  • Eyeshield 21 – Kobayakawa Sena
  • D.Gray-Man – Narein
  • Spirited Away – Haku

Yaoi Con 2012 Survey: My Answers

At the end of October 2012, DMI sent out an e-mail asking con goers to fill out a feedback survey. I jumped at the opportunity and here’s the survey and my answers. My answers are marked in bold.

Name: aoi_aka
E-mail: (deleted to avoid spam)

Please rate how satisfied were you with the pre-registration process for Yaoi-Con 2012:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied
N/A

Please rate how satisfied were you with the at-con registration process for Yaoi-Con 2012:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied
N/A

Please explain your satisfaction with registration in more detail (Optional).

[The guide and scheduled listed the registration tables in the Odessa room on Thursday. It was in a different room with a sign that I happened to see by pure chance. Once I got into the room, there wasn’t a sign or signs directing people to the right group of badges. The woman at the table made me feel stupid for getting on the wrong side of the table to pick up my badge. In the past there were clear signs telling people which side of the tables to go to and no smarmy staff telling me off.]

Please rate how satisfied were you with the security and badge checkpoints of Yaoi-Con 2012:

Security:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Badge Checkpoints:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please explain your satisfaction with security and badge checkpoints in more detail (Optional).

My dissatisfaction was not having a clear place where we could stand in line (which turned out to be unnecessary anyway because not a lot of people were in attendance) so as to not block the space in front of the Centennial room.

Please rate how satisfied you were with the venue for Yaoi-Con 2012:

Transportation to and from Hotel

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Customer Service from Hotel Staff

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Hotel Costs

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Hotel Area: Proximity to Food/Markets/Entertainment/etc.

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Overall Satisfaction

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please explain your satisfaction with the convention venue and surrounding area in more detail (Optional).

I am dissatisfied with how blindly I had to look for a way to the hotel. There was the name “Super Shuttle” on the website, but for all I knew it was just a misnomer. There wasn’t a live link to the company’s website to make a reservation. I didn’t find out they were an actual company until I was outside the airport and on the curb telling the guy where I wanted to go. It was very nerve wracking.

Please rate how satisfied you were with the signage at Yaoi-Con 2012:

Location of Signs:
Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Clarity of Information:
Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please rate how satisfied you were with the program book and goodie bag for Yaoi-Con 2012:

Program Book

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Goodie Bag
Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please explain your satisfaction with the program book and goodie bag in more detail (Optional).

[blank]

Please rate how satisfied you were with Yaoi-Con 2012 logo:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please explain your answer in more detail (Optional).

The whole “Arabian Nights” theme reminded me more of Magi (which I’m watching on Crunchyroll) than Black Sun even with what’s-their-names on the cover. I didn’t help that there were a lot of Magi cosplayers.

Please rate how satisfied you were with the performance of the Yaoi-Con 2012 Staff:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please rate how satisfied you were with the Yaoi-Con 2012 Information Desk:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Which Main Events did you attend? Please rate you levels of satisfaction for each event:

Bishonen Bingo:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

AMV Contest:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Guest Meet and Greet:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Guest Autograph Sessions:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
[N/A]

Guest Panels:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Masquerade:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Bishonen Auction:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Yaoi-Con Dance:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Spanking Inferno Raffle:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Savenger Hunt:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

What other events or activities did you attend? Please rate your satisfaction for each event:

Swap Meet:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Art Show:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

The Ultimate Yaoi Fan Caption Contest :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Library :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Attendee Panels :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

What attendee panels did you enjoy this year? (Optional).

SuBLime panel

Video Room :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Fan Market :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Dealers Room :

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Cosplay Photo Room:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
N/A

Please rate how satisfied you were with your overall experiences at Yaoi-Con 2012:

Satisfied
Somewhat Satisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied
N/A

Please give us any other comments, concerns, or suggestions that you’d like us to hear. (Optional).

The location and hotel were great compared to other years. In the past the money collected from the auction was donated to local San Francisco charities. Was that the case this year or did DMI pocket the money? I asked a woman who attended and she didn’t think the emcee mentioned anything about a donation to a charity. I couldn’t buy a single SuBLime book. This felt more like DMI had a party and decided to call it Yaoi Con because it’s a brand that attracts the fujoshi. It didn’t attract the crowds I’ve seen in past years which makes me wonder if somebody lost money on this year’s YC. I know it’s the first year DMI has the convention, but it felt too one sided. SuBLime ended up with the most attendance at their panel and their news were so much better and like real news, everything I spent and the aggravation from some staff was more than worth sitting in that room. The other bright spots were Guilt|Pleasure and Hamlet Machine in the dealers room and their respective panels. Social media for this event sucked. You guys advertised, but didn’t bother much with either the forum, Twitter, FB (which was locked and I couldn’t see what people were doing for the shuttle to the hotel), LJ, and Tumblr. What the hell? Tons of ways to communicate with the fans and EVERYBODY AT DMI DROPPED THE BALL. Not very customer service oriented, are you? I’m sure you’re going to ignore my survey because I know that’s how you operate specially when people are not kow towing to you. That’s okay. I’m used to it.

And there you have it. Not pretty for them, but as close to how I saw and experienced things as possible.

La-di-da! Anime for Summer 2012

Spring 2012 finished up this past week and that corpse is barely in the ground when the new season starts.

I had marked on AniDb what I wanted to watch and today it starts with Arcana Famiglia. I watched the first episode on Crunchyroll and aside from the seiyuu (only two females so far), I’m not 100% sold on it. I may have to drop it because it’s not as appealing as I thought it’d be. I keep thinking of Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn and all the different famiglia and I find those stories more interesting, and fiercer, than a reverse harem Italian mafia story, male seiyuu notwithstanding.

I’ll probably update this post as more anime start coming out. It looks like everything I wanted to watch is getting simulcast by Crunchyroll at least.

NIS of America, Inc.

Japanese media company that provides games and anime. I’m mostly focused on their anime offerings.

Their anime page is here. The titles they have licensed so far that I want are these:

  • Zakuro – coming out next week!
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge
  • Katanagatari
  • BRAVE10
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys

Got in my hot little hands:

  • Zakuro
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

I have decided.

The name for the reviewing blog is Cherry Blossom Reviews.

Why Cherry Blossom?

Well, it’s a Japanese thing. Plus cherry reminds me of virgin bois. And blossom because. Simply because.

Plus it won’t be just yaoi that will be reviewed there and I wanted it to have that Japanese “flavor” without turning the non-yaoi fans away. It’s a friendly enough name.