June Updates: Summertime

Hello, all! Kate here.

I don’t know about you, but I hate the summer. June is only mildly bearable, and then it goes downhill from there. And yet, I love a summer setting—a moment around which everything in a fictional story revolves.

When thinking about summer in anime and manga, Summer Wars naturally comes to mind. My manga of the month is also a summer-y romance story. Other things jump out too: In my review of Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop I specifically call out how I wished I had watched it in the summer; Movies like Ride Your Wave and Lu Over the Wall highlight this time of year (maybe Masaaki Yusa has a thing for summer too now that I think about it); and I recently read the sweet romance My Summer of You and its follow up My Summer With You. Summer has so many distinct features and visuals, the season is a joy to behold in anime and manga.

Join us on Discord and let me know what anime or manga summer brings to mind!

-Kate

The Speakeasy #138: One Piece, Bubble, The Faraway Paladin + More

This month we get hype about One Piece and discuss a couple of shows and the latest Netflix anime movie release.

  • One Piece manga
  • Blade Runner: Black Lotus
  • Bubble
  • The Faraway Paladin

The Type-Moon (Moment) Minute

  • Comiket 100
  • Fate/Grand Order latest event

Join us on Discord!

Manga of the Month: That Blue Summer

That Blue Summer by Atsuko Namba

High schooler Rio romanticizes fate, especially when it comes to love. When her mom sends Rio and her brother to stay with their grandmother in the mountains for the summer, Rio expects a pleasant if boring break without her friends. But when she encounters local boy Ginzo twice in one day, she can’t ignore the signs. As Rio spends time with Ginzo and his friends, works at her grandmother’s soba shop, and gets to know the small town community, she starts to rethink fate in its many forms for herself and those around her.

Senior Ginzo works for his family’s local liquor store; his future is planned. He spends his free moments taking photos, designing postcards advertising the store, and hanging out with his friends. After he befriends Rio he can’t seem to accept his fate as much as he might like to or pretend to.

Rio spends her summer falling in love while also learning to understand other perspectives and growing up in the process. This story is thoughtful in how it portrays many points of view on small town life. Some folks see their small community as a boon, while others see it as a lack of choices, and still others grapple with the messy feelings of loving a place while also wanting to leave it. Refreshingly, not everyone ends up agreeing and all make the right choice for themselves.

Namba weaves a bright, first love story with complicated feelings surrounding what the future holds, living in a small town, and the choices people must make. This sweet summer romance has that extra little something making it a great way to start the season!

-Kate