Omonomono Newsletter, 2022-12-30
As I sit and think about the 100s of links I’m about to repost below, I realize marble, the band we booked for Kurocon vol1, has a little series of shows to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Aoki Ume was announced for their 1/15 show in Tokyo and I could make it if I skipped the other show I ticketed for already. Just sort of a bummer that I couldn’t make it because I really want to see marble in person now.
It sure was better than the previous idea I had about opening this letter–on Hitomi Suzuki. I’ll get on with this later.
These Past Months
Tomori Kusunoki announces her physical disability in leaving her Love Live role. Good luck to controlling and recovering from her issue!
On sickness and COVID–Japan has been going bangers on these this month just so to note. Marika Kouno, Minami Takahashi, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Hinaki Yano, Yuka Otsubo, Momo Asakura, Machico (not COVID?), Masami Okui, Yoshiki Fukuyama, Risa Tsubuki (not COVID?), Kenjiro Tsuda, Shoya Chiba, Mai Fuchigami, Arisa Komiya, Hiyori Nitta, Miyu Takagi, Yoshino Aoyama, Ruka Fukugawa, and countless others…
One Piece Film Red was #2 in US ranking on opening weekend. Keeps number one spot in Japan for 14 weeks.
Hidekazu Tanaka was arrested in early November in a mind-blowing criminal charge, leaving some songs in limbo.
Sonic creator Yuji Naka arrested for insider trading.
The guy who ran A Fan’s View site passed away. As an aside, RIP, I also talked to him once.
Miku Itou found to possibly be dating? Except the rest of the internet are just her mom and dad.
Union Area CCG to launch, for Bannam shows. I see Mano, is she going mano e mano…
IBERIs& to major label debut next year. They are the next 81Produce seiyuu unit.
Lots of IM@S news this past month or two, so Let Me Put It Together here.
- There are going to be vtubers next spring.
- IDOLM@STER 3.0 is basically more AR/MR, more collab, and more corporate jargons. This happened recently at the Orchestra show with mocap performances from idols who weren’t physically there. Tamashii Nation stream gave a preview what MR looks like (most recently). IM@S MR is also happening for Million Live. Two anime series will be released next year (Million and U149). Outlined here and here. There was also a press conference.
- IM@S music is finally on streaming in a meaningful way. The big ones are 490 songs from Million Live, and almost as many from SideM. These are almost global releases too. 765Pro has the Greatest+Best series which gives over 100 classic hits, plus Japan-only Puchimas music. Cinderella Girls has under 100 songs new, but also almost all the in-game songs as game-size. Shiny Colors only has the latest CDs but more back titles will be released on streaming too. Details in my ex-password-protected post.
Last one for the day, seiyuu Hitomi Suzuki passed away from cancer at the age of 26. She was fighting to create music with the time she had left since her dire diagnosis about a year plus ago. The tragic death of a talented seiyuu aside, the heft of it really got to me when I started to look into NOW ON AIR, which is the group she was with until it stopped in 2021. Instead of clogging it up here, you can read my little obit-lite.
Get Thrice Upon a Time on UHD. Also, saw it in theaters and it was great. I should just watch Voyager right after.
The winter anime season is about to wrap up. Top of my list are Bocchi, Gwitch, and Chainsaw Man. But who cares about those? Don’t people want to talk about Renai Flops? DIY? YamaSusu? Or another interesting tier-B titles that gets washed away by the tides of time every season? Struggle as they might, top-tier fun shows like Akiba Maid Wars is not going to pierce through the boring chart toppers every season. It’s the kind of “gem” people talk about but few actually will end up watching, given how clichÃ© it looks in the marketing and relies heavily on surprise for its initial hook. As an aisde, besides being a straight-forward maid x yakuza homage formula, there’s a lot of poetic stuff in the series, including the way the members are cast. These anime original series are so interesting and keeps keeping me in the fandom.
I mean, Pop Team Epic anybody? I thought it would grate on me when I tried to catch up towards the end, but even watching a bunch of these back-to-back was pretty good overall.
I watched a handful of less stellar entries this season. The fake marriage anime is a lot of classic romcom fodder and Onishi was killing it. The sword catgirl anime was a thing, and using the world power curve as a plot device in the meta is a fun way to deal with the invariable overpower problems in today’s isekai works. Still enjoying the hell out of Reinhard and Yang. Spy Fam is good for sharing.
Anyways, I feel as COVID closures and cancellation, risks, and downward pressure ease in 2022, things are looking pretty good for 2023. I already went to 5+ cons this year, and next year looks way more busy. I have some Japan trips lined up too already. Maybe it’s time to resurrect the annual events page. I have been pretty blessed to not have to catch COVID but I did have to deal with family who got it, so it is really something I will continue to monitor and proactively avoid. Introverted indoor-kei people should naturally have less difficulty avoiding it, right? Truth is, in a way the risks hasn’t quite decreased as much as it has transformed into more manageable ways to deal with them.
Anyways, that’s enough rambling. Here is to a healthy 2023 to you and your close ones.
Some upcoming events this year and next–
Anisama 2022 gets TV program over new years over on satellite TV (you know where to find this). Momoclo’s 8-hour long New Year special features 3 from Cinderella Girls (free from Abema TV which just needs a VPN). NHK’s Kohaku program is just not what it used to be.
Both LycoRico and Uma stage plays are in January.
Mid-Jan is literally Million Live 9th. This is actually the “10th anniversary” date but I guess they pushed things back by a year for reasons. We are back at the Nippon Budokan though. It’s got the signatures of something remarkable but it’s just “9th” for now?
Trying to pair up some events with my Million trip. Aside from marble x Aoki Ume, there’s also Denobu Azabu’s rave, Maon Kurosaki birthday event the day before (and collab with Kurinoko on the Saturday).
Again, quite a bunch.
Youtube’s algo recs me Bocchi essays, this is the only one that’s “good enough” to me. It’s also still inaccurate and ignores the fact that certain other shows exist. Also please read the interviews transcribed here, lots of fun.
D-Yama interview. The Mogra guy.
IM@S Orchestra in November turned out to be the first “3.0” concert from the series. There’s a BTS video from the social media/youtuber guy along with Shunsuke Takizawa after day one’s show.