If Nothing Else I Remembered Our 12th Anniversary

hisui_icon_4040_round Apparently, the 12th Anniversary is silk and linen so I went with a “classic” anime silk shirt for a picture for the post.  I would have gone with the more traditional Dragonball Z club shirt but One Piece is more on brand for the site.

If you give me nothing else I will note that I remembered the blog’s 12th anniversary before it passed this year. It might be a little odd to pat yourself on the back for something most people would remember as a matter of course but I will take my wins where I can. Also doing anything for twelve years is an admirable accomplishment especially for something that is as bespoke as an anime blog like this.

This has been a bit of an odd year for Reverse Thieves. If you have not noticed Kate has taken a year off from doing anything with the blog. I have been waiting for the right time to say something about it and the 12th anniversary seemed the right time. She wanted a year away from blog and podcasting to focus on herself since she has had several life-changing events (for better and for worse) hit her in a row. If she will be back in 2020 is yet to be seen but until then I will try and keep the porch light on for her if she chooses to return.

Until then I will try my best to keep up the weekly content on the blog. The beginning of the year threw me for a bit of a loop to the point were people understandably thought the blog was totally dead. After a bit of adjustment, I was able to get myself in the proper headspace in order to keep to a regular schedule. Now if nothing else I do some sort of editorial on Monday and the Type-Moon roundup on Saturday. It hardly peak Reverse Thieves but it is something.

I know several people miss the Speakeasy podcast but I utterly dread the thought of doing it as a solo podcast. I just have a feeling it would be an odd rambling affair if I did it in a free form manner and I just don’t have the energy to do it as a scripted affair. If Kate does not come back in 2020 I will look into restarting the Speakeasy in some form without her. I have some vague ideas in what form that might be but at this point, it is nothing even remotely definitive or concrete.

While I am at it I am fairly certain that there will be no Secret Santa Project this year or at least one run by the Reverse Thieves. That was always Kate’s project and possibly a little beyond my organizational skills without her. If anyone wanted to take over the mantle I would have no objection to it as I always liked it as a way for the community together in a way and for everyone to expand their horizons.

I do have a slightly interesting idea surrounding Sarazanmai and some other irons in the fire but that is for another day. Until then I apologize to any readers who have stuck with the blog during these odd times and hope that I can still provide some materials that make you appreciate the depth and breadth of anime and manga.

Has Shonen Jump Gotten Darker?

hisui_icon_4040_round I have a theory. I think Shonen Jump has recently gotten a bit darker than it has been in a while. A more accurate title for this post would have been “Have a Number of Shonen Jump Titles Gotten a Bit Darker?” but that does not really roll off the tongue. I’m not claiming that 2019 Shonen Jump is all Young King OURs or Afternoon. Let us be realistic. I’m not even saying it is back to its peak Fist of the North Star era level of Shonen Jump. It is more somewhere between the fairly light mid-2000’s Shonen Jump and the almost seinen era 80’s Jump.

My theory began with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. I will admit that Demon Slayer had mostly flown under my radar until recently. I was not really avoiding it for any particular reason. I even remember Carl from Ogiue Maniax giving it a thumbs up. What happened was I recently started using the Shonen Jump app when they changed how it worked. Now that that newest chapters are free I have started reading a bunch of titles. I saw that Demon Slayer was one of the titles you could read but there was enough backlog that it intimated me away from trying to catch up. The title was on my radar but never enough for me to add another title on to my regular reading schedule.

Then the anime from Ufotable came out. The mixture of word of mouth, impressive production values, and current positive reviews made me want to sample the series and now I could start from the beginning. The series was fairly entertaining. It is not my favorite Shonen Jump series but it is solid enough that I will probably make an effort to catch up with the manga when the anime is over. The far more interesting reaction I had was to the overall mood of the series.

I was a little surprised amount of blood, guts, and murder that was in Demon Slayer. Now Demon Slayer at its peak is a fluffy bunny panel of Berserk. But for Jump, it seemed a bit darker than I was used to. But then I looked around and realized that the median tone of the magazine had gone it the same direction. The recent batch of new titles have made me think there might be something going on.t

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Kunihiko Ikuhara: The Intro is Never the Beginning

hisui_icon_4040_round Sarazanmai just kicked off and it is 1000% Ikuhara from the start and shows no signs of stopping. At this point you can pick out some of the major themes he is going to examine and guess and some others but betting on details specifics is a fool’s wager. Heck, even after an Ikuhara show has finished fans will be debating points about it until the end of time. I myself have watched the first episode of Sarazanmai three times in an attempt to try to find some of the obvious threads to pay attention to as well as hopefully catch some of the more subtle paths as well. I did notice something I was not excepting that gave me a new insight into Ikuhara as a storyteller.

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