Miss Hokusai || Summer Film Spotlight #3

THE UNTOLD STORY 🌊✍️

Hey guys! Welcome to the third Summer Film Spotlight! Today we are celebrating GKIDS’s beautiful dubbed Blu-ray release of Keiichi Hara’s Miss Hokusai. This movie is full of important artistic values, from finding creativity in everyday life to balancing family life. O-Ei’s tale continues to inspire me as an artist, and I want to share it with you guys.

I hope you’ll continue to join us on this summer journey through film. See you next Saturday with another Summer Anime Film Spotlight!

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Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto

Tokyo Godfathers || Summer Film Spotlight #2

IT’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY ✨🎄✨

Hey guys! Welcome to the second Summer Film Spotlight! Today we are celebrating GKIDS’s beautiful dubbed Blu-ray release of Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers. Although it is neither Christmas nor July, I thought it’d be fun to kick off the summer with beloved anime movies that fans have been loving for years, and Tokyo Godfathers is just that kind of film!

I hope you’ll continue to join us on this summer journey through film. See you next Saturday with another Summer Anime Film Spotlight!

Don’t forget to read the original blog post ➡️ Finding a Place to Belong: Tokyo Godfathers & the Gift of Kindness | OWLS “Miracles”

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Thanks for watching~! –

Takuto

Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel I. Presage Flower || Summer Film Spotlight #1

SUMMER AT THE MOVIES BEGINS! ☺️

Hey guys! Today begins a series of weekly videos that will highlight an anime film I recently watched! First up is Ufotable’s Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower, released by Aniplex of America. I love me some Fate, always, and it’s about time I figured out if all the hype surrounding these movies is worth it. (Spoiler alert, it is.) 🌸

I’ve been wanting to start a project like this for months now, and I finally have the time to sit down and talk about my favorite anime movies. I hope you’ll join me on this journey through film! Oh, and regular posting should resume again soon now that I’ve graduated from uni (more on that in an update forthcoming). See you next Saturday with another summer anime film spotlight!

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It’s good to be back. Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto

Doing What Must Be Done

If you couldn’t tell by the infrequent blogging, video content, and social media presence in general, I am currently in the midst of fighting one of my hardest battles yet: graduation, and all the struggles involved in preparing for life after.

But surprisingly, school isn’t what’s occupying most of my energy these days.

At the end of 2020, I took a risk and applied for a job as an assistant coach to my high school swim team. The winter semester was fine since I didn’t have college during my break. But the spring, oh man, it’s been tough coordinating all of this.

So, why am I writing this backstory? Tomorrow is our high school meet. We host twice a year, and for the first one, we were able to rely on people who had been running it for years to run it once again for us. This time, however, they won’t be present. With no one to run the meet software and timing system, I was forced to step up.

That’s right. Though running a swim meet computer system wasn’t in the job description, here we are. I’m simply doing what must be done.

But I didn’t realize how much the stress would wear and tear on me over the past couple weeks. There are A LOT of moving parts—physically, digitally, and interpersonally—to running a swim meet.

Even though I’ve spent my April learning about the equipment, fighting old software, fixing broken parts, fiddling with new computer programs, and trying not to buckle under the pressure, it’s definitely starting to get to me. I even got permission to hang around the computer table at two other meets and “shadow” how they do things. One lady called it “baptism by fire,” and she’s absolutely right.

I’ve lost sleep over this meet. Although people keep telling me that I’m not alone in this (and I know it’s true), it’s still going to be my responsibility to know how to run the computer correctly—and my job to know what to do when a problem inevitably comes up.

Had the first swim meet (where I mainly tried to observe and pick up tips) not already scarred me, I wouldn’t be so nervous. But my brain is one hardwired for these kinds of anxious thoughts, so now I’m just trying to stay afloat against the sea of worries in my mind.

Have you ever stepped up to the blocks for something you felt severely unqualified for, yet dove in headfirst anyway because someone had to?

I’m just waiting until tomorrow comes. I’ve spent hours each day preparing for this. And this, too, shall pass, right?

Until tomorrow comes. I’m simply doing what must be done.

Thanks for reading. ‘Til next time, wish me luck.

– Takuto

Mushoku Tensei: A Jobless, Shameless Reincarnation || Review

A brief spoiler-free review of the 11-episode Winter 2021 series “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation,” animated by Studio Bind, directed by Manabu Okamoto, and based on the light novel series of the same name by Rifujin na Magonote.


Reborn in a World of Magic

A thirty-four-year-old shut-in has just about had all of life that he can handle. Even when he tries to do something heroic for once in his life, it ends in a tragic accident. Fate, however, has other plans for him, and the man awakens in another world as Rudeus Greyrat, the newborn baby of two loving parents.

With the memories from his previous life still intact, Rudeus quickly adapts to this new fantasy environment. The knowledge from his adult past allows him to latch onto the world’s magic system faster than the other kids, and before long, his parents hire a mage tutor named Roxy Migurdia to help hone his skills. Rudeus learns swordplay from his father, Paul, and makes his first friend in the beautiful Sylphiette. Although Rudeus is no knight right now, his time with the blade will come in handy when he eventually takes on his own young pupil—the fiesty Eris Greyrat—and her buff, beast-human guardian Ghislaine.

Granted a second chance at life, Rudeus endeavors to live in a way that his old self would be proud of. As Rudeus attempts to conquer the traumas of his past, he starts to believe that maybe, just maybe, there is love for him in this world after all.

Gonna have to spit this out there now, but I absolutely despise the isekai story-starter trope of reincarnation. Rarely is it explored to full effect in these shows, and often is the tragic death overlooked by episode 3. That said, Mushoku Tensei is different. Throughout the series, we receive direct narration of events not from the voice of young Rudeus, but rather that of his past self. At first, the cynical and snarky dialogue comes across as largely pessimistic and cruel. But, as Rudeus starts to make connections and brave his way outside the comfort zone, the narration slowly adopts a note of hope. And of course, Rudeus is a pervert both then and now, but you’d be surprised how well he fits the bill as “The Son of Paul Greyrat.”

THE GREYRATS ARE SCUM

I know he’s really a 34-year-old man on the inside, but boy is Rudeus a cutie. I mean, just look at that name ~Rudeus~ I love it. Although we know who he really is, no one else does, and so Rudeus plays the innocent young prodigy part remarkably well. A lot of viewers may not take to him because of this fact (plus that he’s a whole-ass pervert), but I like Rudeus, and I hope he does find that self-love and acceptance he was missing out on in his sad past.

The same well wishes cannot be said for Rudeus’ father, Paul. I won’t spoil what he does (or who he does, yikes!), but don’t let that knightly title lead you to believing that honoring and respecting women is a virtue he exemplifies. THIS MANS IS SCUM. Hell, ALL OF THE GREYRATS ARE SCUM. And yet, I still love ’em all, the horny bastards. Paul is lucky to have a charismatic babe like Zenith!

Although the kind and soft-spoken Sylphiette is who propels Rudeus to become a stronger mage, a character I believe most audiences would resonate more with is Roxy. A wonderful teacher and talented water mage, Roxy serves as a huge motivation for Rudeus. Rudeus’ graduation ceremony from Roxy’s teachings had tears welling in my eyes, and as a teacher of young students myself, I just really hit it off with her reserved yet inspiring teaching style. Roxy rarely yells, but rather guides, and her realizing Rudeus’ potential (which far exceeds her own) hit me in the feels. The prospect of eventually reuniting with Roxy incentivizes Rudeus to work hard at not only magecraft, but also other avenues of life.

Then we have Eris Greyrat, who comes in and stomps on all of Rudeus’ hopes and dreams. I kid, but she’s definitely a stubborn pain in the ass. As Rudeus’ charms slowly start to rub off on Eris, however, she becomes noticeably more tame, even likable to an extent. Were it not for Ghislaine’s overwhelming strength and presence to hold Eris back, I’m not sure how far Rudeus would have gotten in his mentorship!

Quality Character Animation

While searching for more information about the studio behind making Mushoku Tensei, it appeared to me as if this is Studio Bind’s first work—and to this, WOW, I’m quite shocked. The animation of the series keeps up with the spellcasting elements of the show just as well as the dumb ecchi-comedy moments. Specifically, it was the quality of the character animation that grabbed my interest. In fact, I had no plans to watch Mushoku Tensei until one of the sakuga-crazed Twitter accounts I follow retweeted a short animation of Roxy splitting a tree and then healing it. From that moment on, I looked forward to seeing Rudeus’ water magic develop just as much I wanted to see that perverted little face of his warp into a devilish smile.

If I’m being honest here, the whole production of Mushoku Tensei won me over far before the story’s premise. The series is accompanied by a wonderful fantasy soundtrack from the genius Yoshiaki Fujisawa. Likewise, all of the grassy plains, vast deserts, and medieval cities provide a pleasant background to the show’s relatively soft visual aesthetic. Lastly, since I watched this one subbed, I did want to toot the seiyuu voicing the project, especially Yumi Uchiyama’s cute lil’ Rudeus, Ai Kakuma’s fiery and passionate Eris, and Megumi Toyoguchi’s tough and throaty Ghislaine.

A Debauched, Self-Indulgent Comedy

Mushoku Tensei probably wasn’t meant to be this enjoyable, at least for me. The series blends ecchi and isekai elements (which I typically cannot stand) into a fantasy drama with ludicrous amounts of world-building lore and pleasure-seeking fun. In addition to the nice magic animation and memorable character design, the series also pursues themes of self-love, reclamation of youth, and goodwill to others with Rudeus’ narrative. You can tell by the end how much taller he stands, and how he’s already so much prouder of the chances he’s taken in this life than the scarring, regret-filled life of his past. With this first season, a man is finally starting to overcome his fears from being bullied and enjoy life under the sun for once. I hope he’s able to go even further in subsequent seasons.

However the story tries to move you, this dramatic character development doesn’t stop Rudeus—and all of the Greyrats for that matter—from being horny on main 24/7. The series is never afraid to have fun with itself, and it remains wholly dedicated to its cause of debauched, self-indulgent comedy. If you’re wanting an isekai fantasy series with perverse, no-holds-barred commentary (and a slice or two of redemption), step right up to the house of Paul and Zenith Greyrat—I’m sure they’d love to have you.


“The worse I am at something, the better I feel when I work at it and learn how to do it.”

Rudeus Greyrat


Afterword

I’ve spent the past weekend trying to finish all the Winter 2021 simulcasts I started months ago. It’s actually been fun seeing how some of these shows ended, and it was equally exciting to see the season two announcement for Mushoku Tensei already greenlit! While I’m guessing the story from here on will lean more on the serious side, you can bet I’ll be back for more Greyrat degeneracy when the sequel airs this summer. For those wondering, I’m welcoming Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation as a “Cake” title here at the cafe, a show that’s not for everyone, but one that certainly scratches that itch you might’ve not have even known you had. I like the show when it’s both dumb and endearing, and that’s rare for even me to admit.

What are your thoughts on Mushoku Tensei? Do you think Paul Greyrat is scum or do you think he’s scum? Also, are you looking forward to more of this series or was this first season enough for you? Let me know your thoughts about the show or this review down in the comments! Thanks for reading, and ’til next time!

– Takuto

I bought forbidden Evangelion 3.0+1.0 goodies :) || Spring Anime Merch Haul

RANDOM OTAKU MERCH HAUL DAY!!!

Hey guys, I’m back to share with you all the anime-related merch I’ve picked up over the past month. Some of it was ordered months ago, but all of it arrived this past week, and I’m excited to talk about what I’ve got!

Packages from Sentai Filmworks, Good Smile Company, a Kickstarter order, and some odds and ins from eBay make this a random blend of my favorite franchises, from Evangelion and Sailor Moon to Haikyuu and Run with the Wind! Let me know your thoughts about any of these items down in the comments!

Follow me on Instagram @ takutoac!

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Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto

RePlay: A Sweet Single-Volume Baseball BL || Review

A brief spoiler-free review of the single-volume BL manga “RePlay,” story and art by Saki Tsukahara, published in 2020 by TOKYOPOP.


Out of the Game

Although Yuta and Ritsu have been playing baseball together since they were children, a devastating defeat in a local tournament the summer before their senior year results in the “married couple’s” retirement from the high school team so that they can focus on university entrance exams. Yuta still yearns to play baseball again, but even when he’s given the chance, the game just doesn’t have the same appeal without Ritsu. Whenever Yuta brings up the sport, however, Ritsu seems to distance himself further.

What does baseball mean to Yuta, and why should it matter whether Ritsu is there or not? As the boys begin ask themselves these questions, feelings that have always been present are realized, and the bond between teammates develops into something far more affectionate and intimate.

This has got to be one of the most satisfying BL manga I’ve ever read. To Saki Tsukahara—where can I read your other works??? I had so much fun getting to know the history of this couple, as well as watching Yuta and Ritsu realize their feelings for each other. A surprising amount of character depth is crammed into this book, and the ending beautifully rounds out this story of compassionate love and fresh starts. The final pages (following our one sex scene, of course) left me happily content and hopeful about their future. Older audiences may also appreciate the high-school-to-college shift—along with the “separation angst” of changing friendships—that Tsukahara tries to capture.

Teammates to Something More . . .

Since we mainly take in the story from Yuta’s perspective, let’s talk about him first. Yuta Mizuhara is your typical loudmouth, food-snatching, panic gay who can’t seem to understand that others may actually like him. A lot. Defs the jumpy uke type. Still, he’s got a really cute face and them ATHLETE ABS THO, and most readers will enjoy him if even just for that. Compared to Ritsu, Yuta has to try a lot harder in his studies, especially if he’s wanting to attend the same university as Ritsu. I’m glad that his studying habits (or lack thereof) play a prominent role in the plot.

As for Ritsu Mashino, the dude’s RIPPED and ready for college life. The smart, quiet, handsome-type seme. Because he can get into practically any university, he spends a lot of his time going behind Yuta’s back to prep “surprises” for him. (If I say anything more it’s spoiler territory, so my lips are zipped.) Anyway, he’s also got a cute hairstyle and face to match, and I simply can’t express enough how PERFECT Saki Tsukahara’s characters look! The whole manga is just plain pretty. (And for my friends wanting something steamier, RePlay is fairly tame, save for the occasional shirtless scene and the last couple pages . . . )

The only part of the manga I found a bit cringe was how Yuta and Ritsu’s fellow teammates and classmates would keep calling them the “married couple.” They’d even refer to themselves in this way, and it’s such a weird term, even for manga. Like, when you’re this adamant on calling each other the school’s married couple, you’re not even queer-bating at this point—they both might as well just come out to each other already. At first, it’s a cute label, but it becomes harder to take even as a joke with each repetition.

A Satisfying Single-Volume BL

RePlay explores the attraction between two high-school seniors who are trying to sort out their long-withheld (or unrealized) feelings for one another while also preparing for university life. Since both boys have graduated from club activities, the sports element mainly serves as a backdrop to the soft and sweet story about the fear of growing apart. The volume reads like a sports anime fanfic, yet also has a sense of completeness that is rare for this kind of manga.

Saki Tsukahara’s lovely art remains consistently light and gorgeous, and their character designs match my tastes to a T. If you’re a fan of childhood-friends-to-lovers romance and are looking for a BL that looks fondly back on high school life as its characters make plans for college, I highly recommend RePlay as one of my new favorite single-volume BL manga!


“On the field, we understood every facet about each other, but now . . . “

Yuta Mizuhara


Afterword

This was such a great read, my goodness. Thank you to all who recommended this manga to me! If my enjoyment wasn’t obvious enough in this post, RePlay is a certified “Caffe Mocha” manga here at the cafe, a rating reserved for my favorite reads and watches! I’ve got a growing list of TOKYOPOP single-volume BL manga that I plan to pick up soon, so hey, if you liked this post, I’ve got more on the way! Drop your thoughts on this manga review (or your BL single-volume recommendations) down in the comments! Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!

– Takuto

End of March Update 4/9/21

Hey guys,

Once again, I don’t have too much to report on from March. Throughout the past month, I mainly spent my days studying, reading manga, and rewatching a few of my favorite anime. It was a therapeutic month, if a somewhat unproductive one on the blog side. While I want to spend April making posts over the things I enjoyed in March, another part of me wants to keep on moving forward. So, there may be posts for older stuff, but also maybe not. I’ll play it by ear. For now though, let’s look at how terribly I failed my goals for March. >.<

Goal Reflection


Write Five Posts Each Month | Did I really only write two or three posts in March? Yikes.

Review More Anime | I did not do this either. If it counts, I did discuss my hopes and dreams for the Evangelion 3.0+1.0 now that it is finally in theaters! And it was a “Cafe Talk” post–like, when was the last time I wrote one of those!?

Continue Writing Manga Reflections | I was able to write a post (AND film a video) for my first impressions of Battle Angel Alita that you can read right here! April will have more manga content for sure!

Write Posts for Video Content | All four of my March videos were uploaded here as blog posts. I’m one short of my YouTube goal there of five videos a month, but please check those out if you’re interested!

Achieve 750 Followers | Current count is 724. Thank you so much for reading and following along~!

What I’ve Watched


The Mystic Archives of Dantalian — I actually started this early 2010s gem quite some time back, but I’ve yet to go further than the first 3 or so episodes. My main reason for starting Dantalian was because it had the same look and feel as Gosick, one of my favorite mystery anime. Although the plots differ, the energy is the same, and I’ll try to keep going with it even if it leans on the slower side. Has anyone else seen this show?

Crest of the Stars — The hype of Evangelion 3.0+1.0 has led me down a tunnel of craving vintage sci-fi anime. I won’t lie, this series didn’t initially catch my eye until Funimation licensed and released it on DVD a couple years back. The art looked mystifying, and I finally caved to watching. I’m 3 episodes out from the end (I think) and I’m enjoying how sad yet romantic it is. Loving the space travel aspect, too. More to come in a review!

Sword of the Stranger — I plan to watch more films in 2021, and it looks like this samurai-turned-vagabond adventure flick was first up. I won’t lie, this era of Japanese history isn’t my favorite. BUT, it’s definitely starting to grow on me, and this film was fantastic from start to finish. The fight choreo and animation hold up super well after all these years, and the MUSIC, oh my GOD, so riveting and passionate!! I might review it, but . . . just know that the Blu-ray will stay on my shelf.

Great Pretender — HELLS YEAH I watched Great Pretender, and HELLS YEAH I loved the shit out of it. This is the kind of series I needed to fill the void left by Eden of the East, Baccano!, and Terror in Resonance, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more than I did. In fact, I binged all 23 episodes of the series in a SINGLE DAY it was that good, and while I want to review it, I already know my words will be senseless squealing over my mans Laurent, my queen Cynthia, my girl Abigail, and mah boi Edamameeee ❤ Seriously, this was the thrill ride I needed to kickstart my love for anime again. The dub is phenomenal, too! GO WATCH IT!

Attack on Titan Final Season — This was the ONLY simulcast I actually finished in time, and WOW what a series this has been. Of course, we’re not done yet, though, as a the second cour of this anime giant is set to conclude the story this winter. I’m thrilled to see how it ends, especially with the manga’s recent completion. But for now, we wait!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 — CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FIRST SIMULCAST ANIME I EVER DROPPED. LOL. After 5 or 6 episodes, I couldn’t do it anymore. Because I still love the story and characters, however, I took to the Shounen Jump app to start reading the manga. That’s right fam, ya boy’s reading Neverland. I can’t wait to get past the content of the first anime to see where the sequel started. Maybe I’ll revisit season 2 after I’ve read it all just to see how some of it was animated, but otherwise it’s manga-only for me from here on out!

Fire Force Season 2 — With all of the Simuldub episodes finally available on Funimation, I was able to binge the second half of the series and see how it compares to the manga. The good news? Fire Force remains one of the most consistently adapted series that the anime fandom has ever seen. The bad news? At present, we’ve no guarantee for a third season. Keep on supporting the manga and the anime and maybe we’ll get a season 3 before too long!!

***I have yet to continue watching episodes of Wonder Egg Priority, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Skate-Leading Stars, Horimiya. Finishing these simulcasts is the first goal of April! I will have more to report then.

What I’ve Read


Please watch my March 2021 Manga Reading Log video if you have the chance, as I discuss all of these titles there in more depth!!

Battle Angel Alita Volume 1 — Read full the post here!

My Androgynous Boyfriend Volume 1 — Here we have a start to the relationship between a beautiful man who likes makeup and his wonderful graphic designer girlfriend. The art style is super cute, and these two pretty much just support each other for life! It’s a simpler story than I thought it’d initially be, but who knows where the story will go. Looking forward to reading more.

Eniale & Dewiela Volume 1 — Between this hope-yearning angel and trouble-seeking demon, a minor fashion disaster in heaven can spell major catastrophe for the people of Earth. Eniale and Dewiela are just about the pettiest (and prettiest) pair of friends you’ll ever find, yet their individual quirks and charms often cause the other to wreak havoc on the other. And of course, who else would be caught in the conflict than the innocent mortals of the lower world. I think there are only 3 volumes in this series, and you bet I plan to read all of it!

Phantom Tales of the Night Volume 1 — My favorite read of the month! In this series, we are following the innkeeper of an enchanted inn that exists between the spiritual and mortal realms. Seemingly innocent passerbys stumble upon the inn, and for safe passage, they are admitted at a single cost: they must forfeit one of their secrets to the innkeeper. Of course, in monkey’s paw fashion, nothing ever goes right for the guests, but that doesn’t stop the devilish innkeeper from preying on humanity and learning more about them. My only regret from this read was that I didn’t have the next 4 volumes waiting for me on my shelf!

Caste Heaven Volume 1 — This darker BL series explores what happens when high schoolers are forced to find cards scattered all throughout the school and that also dictate that student’s role in the social hierarchy. Poor Ones and Twos will yield to Fives and Sixes, and Sevens and Eights will obey Jacks and Queens. Of course, the King is on top, and anything they say goes–including manipulation and sexual favors. This series is far from clean, but I’m interested in seeing how certain characters will play the game past this initial volume.

Fire Force Volumes 19-20 — When you watch more Fire Force, you naturally want to read more of it, too. Things are starting to gear up towards the series’ climax, I can almost feel it. These volumes cover the end of Season 2 and some change, so if you’re dying to know what is happening to the Tokyo Empire and Company 8, Volume 20 will give you that sneak peak! Now that I’m all caught up with what I own, I can go out and pick up the two latest volumes, yay!


As a whole, March enjoyed a bunch of odd watches, random catch-ups, and much relaxation from school work. That said, April will be tricky if I try to blog more. But, as I’m sure you all know, I never choose the easy way out, heh heh. I’ve already got a head start into manga reading for April, and I don’t plan to slow down. Also, I’ll get back on my simulcast game so I can take a look at what’s new and airing. WAIT, are you telling me that the Spring 2021 anime season has already begun!? Looks like I’ve got lots to catch up on this weekend!

We had a couple rainy days this past week, which was an amazing relief from the dramatically warmer temperatures we’ve been having. Though, it also snowed the other day, so who knows what’s what with weather anymore. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Here’s to hoping I get my vaccine shot this weekend!! Thanks for reading, and ’til next time!

– Takuto

BL Metamorphosis: A Blossoming Relationship || Manga First Impressions

First impressions for volumes 1 of Kaori Tsurutani’s manga series “BL Metamorphosis,” published in 2020 by Seven Seas.


The Start of Something New

After the sad discovery that the coffee shop Ichinoi used to frequent with her late husband has closed down, the 75-year-old calligraphy teacher decides to cool off from the heat in a local bookstore. It’s been at least a year since she was last here, and while searching for the since-relocated cookbook section, an unsuspecting volume of BL catches the old lady’s eye.

The high school girl who rings up Ichinoi’s order at the register knows this BL series well. From this initial encounter, the two go on to form an unlikely yet endearing friendship. BL binds them, but is there a deeper lesson to be learned?

I’m going to keep this post short if only for the fact that it’ll quickly turn into a fanboy ramble about this sweet friendship. I totally see parts of myself in young Urara’s groggy eyes. She loves boys love manga, yet is ashamed to let anyone know—and I get it. There’s no worse feeling than being judged for liking something. Thankfully, Ichinoi is there to shine a light on the joys of living without shame.

And let’s talk about Ichinoi. Y’ALL, I love this lady. She doesn’t really understand BL, but she’s rooting for the boys anyway, and that’s all you need to say to win my heart! She’s also really kind, warm-hearted, and observant of others’ feelings. Sure, her approach is a little dated (like when she buys fruit for Urara as a thank-you gift, or how she decides to call when late to an email). But, the sentiment is always well-meant, and I wish there were more people like her in the world!

Living Vicariously through Manga

When you think about it, Ichinoi and Urara are living the dream. Two friends, both passionate about the same book genre, are making their way though the increasingly large and foreign world of BL and its collective fandom. They won’t need to hide anything entirely anymore because they have each other to gush over their favorite books and characters. I’m envious of their budding friendship just as I am happy they found each other! ;_;

Like how I find myself living vicariously though Ichinoi’s awakening to BL, I’m also noticing how Ichinoi is recalling her own life’s experiences through her friendship with Urara and the manga they read together. At the end of this first volume, Ichinoi faces the intense crowds of a comiket-like event. The last time she was here was when the building was built, some 30 or 40 years ago. She refused to ride the “world’s fasted elevator” here with her husband, saying that she didn’t want to wait for the line. Time caught up to both of them, and the “someday” she promised him slipped before her eyes.

It’ll be moments like this that make the manga worth reading. At face value, yes, the mutual fangirling is lots of fun, and it will keep me all warm and fuzzy until the final page. But, I hope BL Metamorphosis continues to reflect on Ichinoi’s life like this. Naturally, there’s a lot in this manga that you’ll want to pluck off the page and tuck away in your pocket for safekeeping.

In For a Penny . . .

So far, BL Metamorphosis is just as cute and endearing as everyone was telling me it’d be! I love Ichinoi so much, and I’m excited to see her catch her “second wind” in life with BL. ❤

While I’m hoping that subsequent volumes don’t go down the ~sad~ lane (if you know, you know), I do look forward to further exploring how this newfound friendship changes Ichinoi and Urara for the better. They’re like two peas in a pod, wandering souls in need of a friend like the other. I’m so glad they met.

Yes, I will be picking up all of this manga. And YES, you should read it! You don’t even have to necessarily like yaoi manga to appreciate the story that Kaori Tsurutani is trying to tell—though, a dash of BL and bittersweetness certainly makes the experience all the more exciting!


“Urara-san . . . Let’s get in that line!”

Ichinoi


Afterword

So yeah, read BL Metamorphosis. It’s a lovely manga. Thank you to all those who recommended this manga to me—I’m enjoying it immensely, and I hope to pick up the rest of it in my next Seven Seas haul and binge it in one sitting. Oh! That reminds me, I probably need to make sure I add them to my cart!

I’ll try to get out an update post here in a couple days. Same for more manga posts. School’s been slowly killing me, but hey, only one month left! Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!

– Takuto

Evangelion Manga Reading Vlog!

TODAY WE GET IN THE ROBOT

Hey guys! With the theatrical release of Evangelion 3.0+1.0, I couldn’t think of a better time to bust out Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s Evangelion manga than now! Plus, I found myself with a free weekend to just chill and read for a bit :3

Did you enjoy this manga read-with-me vlog style video? Share your thoughts about the vid or your love for Eva down in the comments!

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Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto