Casual Fridays: New Job

Hi guys, it’s been a couple of weeks but welcome back. I’m pleased to see that so many of you have joined up since the last time I posted. So, welcome new readers and welcome old friends. I have a couple of announcements to make but this is Casual Fridays so it won’t be as formal. With everything happening to my format lately plus real life kind of becoming an issue I feel like these are light-hearted enough that an update on my life just might make you happy. So let’s get started.

First, I am delighted to announce that through the hellish wasteland that is this pandemic I have actually broken through and found an oasis. An LLC hired me last week to be a customer service agent. I know it’s not the grandiose job that seems perfect for me and it has its own share of problems but at least I’m making money I could possibly put into the blog. Don’t worry, I will still be creating content on the weekends and whenever I get a free moment so you don’t have to worry about anything there. Just stay tuned and try to bear with me.

Secondly, I want you guys to know that the Animeverse Podcast will remain a thing and Will soon be getting its own site page. This will be an archive where I will be posting new episodes and their descriptions. So if you just so happened to miss its debut on anchor or any of the many podcasting options out there, you can always come here and get it straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak. I really enjoyed doing the podcast, and with my tech capabilities currently limited (due to a blown graphics card) making the podcast as much easier than making videos.

I will also later be taking the podcast archives and converting them into YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure. But for now, if you want to see what’s going on with the podcast stay tuned to anchor, Apple music, Google Podcast, or wherever you prefer. If you feel so inclined, you can even contribute to my podcast through donations via anchor. Who knows, I might have you to thank for buying my new setup.

Either way, I want you to know that nothing will change. I’m still your local weeb with quite a bit more culture than most and who knows you might actually like my attempts to do what I love. Well I hope you enjoyed my little update and please stay tuned for more.

Re:ZERO Live Tweet First Session TONIGHT

Good evening all, and as always welcome back to the blog. As previously stated, I will be life tweeting my reactions to the anime Re: ZERO Starting tonight at midnight. I hope you all enjoy and here’s hoping that I’ll be able to do more content like this in the future. If you guys want to join in on the fun my Twitter handle is @MrPhoenixOtaku. And I hope you enjoy.

RE:Zero Live Tweet Reaction Thread

Good afternoon dear reader, I hope that Valentine’s day treated you well, and welcome back to the verse. Many of you might have noticed that, in the past two years, I have rarely posted any anime-centric content. This is true for many reasons, however, I feel like it’s time for the drought to end. While I will not be doing a major review for some time, I am willing to engage in my old habits in a new and exciting way.  So, I had a brand new idea.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 or so years you’re aware of the social media platform Twitter. It’s a platform where you are forced to keep things short, sweet, and to the point to get a message across. You have 240 characters to make your statement and after which you’re confined to hashtags web links and @ mentions. While I probably won’t be using it for long-form critical reviews anytime soon, I do feel like the platform is well suited to short-form of reactions to a certain series. So, just to show off my expertise and social media I want to tweet my reactions to an anime series in real-time. 

This format has the advantage of giving my honest opinion without much thought. This means that, by and large, these will be my uncensored and on a show’s story, style, characters, music, and the like. While I am fully aware of just how dangerous giving my full unfiltered opinion might be, I think this is a good time to refresh myself as a critic. To do that I feel like I must level with you without being given time to formulate my opinions the way I usually would.  So, the only question remaining is what show should I do.

The selection of this particular piece has come from quite a bit of consideration. As we all know, the Isekia, or trapped in another world anime, has gained quite a bit of popularity and I figured I would go with one of the most prominent titles. Therefore, I have selected the Funimation dub of Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World. As one of the leaders in its genre, I should have seen this a long time ago. Sadly, given the fact that my time in university and the subsequent pandemic, I have as yet been unable to watch this now legendary series.

I’m sure the chief question among you is how exactly is this going to work. Well, for those of you who don’t know, I do have a Twitter that coincides with the blog @MrPhoenixOtaku though it is rarely used. So, I’m killing two birds with one stone by taking action like this. But, how it’s going to work is I will start watching the anime between in a few sessions conducted at my discretion. they will be announced 2 hours before and I will be stopping periodically to tweet throughout with each tweet marked with a time code and an episode number. This style of marking can be seen below just for your reference:

Ep.# (00:00) Content

I know it doesn’t matter overall, but just in case you ever get lost in the Twitter archives for this that’s your way of being able to keep an eye on what I’m commenting on. That and when I go back through this I’ll remember what scenes I need to rewatch just in case I want to do a review in full. But, rather or not I do this depends on the success of this venture, I suppose.  Anyway, I hope to enjoy the show with this stipulation in mind and I hope that you’ll enjoy it along with me.

Join me on Twitter @MrPhoenixOtaku if you wish to join me on this journey. Feel free to join me on Facebook at PhoenixOtaku1990’s Animeverse if you feel so inclined. Also, if you feel like supporting my unreal attempts to make a lifestyle out of something I enjoy feel free to subscribe to my soon-to-be-open Patreon

This is going to be fun!

Casual Friday: Dating Sims and Eroge

Happy 2021 to all my followers and welcome back to the verse. It’s Friday, meaning it’s time for me to pull out the Hawaiian shirt and just gab with you about something that I’m into at the moment. On this entry of Casual Friday, I would like to take a walk on the wild side of otaku culture and discuss two of the staple genres explored by our kind, the eroge and the dating sim. Before we get started, I want to take a moment to thank my close, personal friend and self-admitted Holo stan BrandonColonel for the conversation that inspired this article. Be sure to check out his Youtube channel for a few knife reviews after reading this, now let’s go.
Note: Sorry for the lateness of tis post. This week is CHAOTIC to say the least.

What is an Eroge/ Dating Sim
The term eroge comes from the Japanese prefix ero meaning pervy, or more accurately pervert, and ge meaning game. Therefore, these pervert games are often seen as adult themed relationship simulators that include the naughty bits. This serves as a sub genre of dating simulators where you navigate the intricacies of a budding relationship. While dating sims might be eroge or include content of a sexual nature, not all dating sims are designed for the NC-17 or R rated crowd. Still, both types can be seen as influential in otaku culture and have gained some measure of popularity in the West. Surprisingly, some have even gained enough clout among their fan-bases to receive the anime treatment further cementing them as staples in both communities.
Why are They Popular
The key to the popularity of dating sims in their homeland of Japan comes from a great many factors.Among these, there’s a general sense of interpersonal disconnection among the people of Japan. Many teens and adults are discouraged from involving themselves in personal relationships in early adulthood in favor of pursuing a higher standing in the working world. This lack of social connection creates a social disconnect that is easily satisfied by a digital relationship. As such, many of these games include a harem of stereotypical men and women to pursue a relationship with. Through the lens of the digital relationship, they make small talk, tend to the betterment of a relationship, and go out on dates and scenarios that mirror common interactions with lawns of interest.
When the advent of the digital significant other, Betty citizens both in Japan and in the West seek out these games to enjoy a simulation of social graces as well as the combat loneliness. That being said, many people simply enjoy the abundance of situations presented in these games . In the strategic effect of each choice on a given individual. With these things in mind, it is interesting to see how the use of dating simulators and the like test our social acumen. After all, anyone who’s ever played one can say that, despite the awkwardness of socializing in digital space, those possessing a great social skill or charisma make some of the best players.
The stereotype and subsequent stigma that one who plays dating sends socially awkward and therefore incapable of finding a real-world date are outdated and untrue. After all, some psychiatric studies have actually seen their effective use in combating social anxiety. Begin giving choices in each encounter allows the anxious person to set aside their anxiety in order to play the role of the main protagonist. Apparently, in some respects, this is led to great success in the treatment of social awkwardness.
That being said, the sim allows the user to enjoy a certain distance from social situations thus allowing one to focus on the social strategy aspect of the affair. While the depth of these interactions are sometimes questionable, many people report playing to be useful for dealing with loneliness especially in these times. While they can’t completely replace social interaction as a whole, they can give you the experience of having a socializing without breaking social distance. Now I’m done sounding like a lonely weeb, it is important to recognize that the dating simulator serves to imitate a very stressful and under-recognized aspect of the human experience.some sims take advantage of normal social mechanics and linear progression to create a convincing simulation of a successful encounter thus creating a love story that is both relevant and relatable to the user. Moreover, many dating games include a diverse cast of many significant others with many different goals, wants, and proclivities. Each creates a unique, varied, and interesting dynamic between themselves and the main character mirroring the diversity one life.
Where the common dating sim offers these features and more, eroge replicates the more adult oriented outcome of dating in general. These often include high quality pornographic scenes which are often earned through mini games. Regardless of their perverse nature, this serves as a cathartic point of release from any who enjoy such things. Serves the purpose of rewarding the player for a game well played. This grants the player a satisfying and mature end to a storyline. Some games even remove the dating interaction elements to focus on the adult activity.
Most of the things that make the dating sim and eroge genres popular at home apply in the west as well. However, it seems the latter are more appetizing to certain audiences. Even so, both genres are gaining quite a niche in the US gaming market particularly on PC or mobile phones. The prevalence of play-throughs from Youtube personalities like Jacksepticeye and Markiplier have even given a few game in both genres a fair amount of public attention. But I suppose that can be saved for the next section.

Some Examples
With the previously stated popularity of both genres established, its time to give those who might not know much about about dating sims and their mature cousins to see some examples. These will include synopses of the game’s story and where to buy it legally if possible.

Dating Sims

Doki Doki Literature Club
Developer: Team Silvado
Availability: Steam
Price: Free
Synopsis: The main character is forced to join their high-school’s literature club by their best friend. Through a series of gameplay section he dates each girl in the club with each route coming to a dark and twisted end.
Phoenix Says: “This game is terrifying in the most unsettling way possible. I like how it is a horror spin on a mediocre dating sim. It can be fun until you get to each girl’s death scene. It’s not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Always remember the dating sim elements are here just to give a backdrop to the scares.”

Hatful Boyfriend
Developer: Mediatonic, Hato Moa, The Irregular Corporation
Availability: Steam
Price: $0.99 USD ($4.99 normally)
Synopsis: You play as a student at a high-school the exlusively services pigeons. You must navigate the comical path of love as you woo one of these beautiful birds.
Phoenix Says: “I played this with a few friends for a laugh only to find it oddly satisfying. Something about how the comedic setting is played completely straight was enjoyable. But it was still weird.”

Eroge

Hunipop
Developer: Hunipot
Availability: Steam
Price: $2.49 USD ($9.99 normally)
Synopsis: You play a lonely man under the guidance of a succubus . You use gifts and conversation to get to Bejeweled style dates and bedroom scenes. There’s a diverse, if not odd, cast of characters to have your way with. Otherwise, its a smorgasbord of H scenes wrapped in a dating sim.
Phoenix Says: “Sadly, I’ve never played it, but I have watched Mark’s playthrough. It looks fun, but the Bejeweled style mini-games seem a bit overdone.”

Fate/ Stay night (Unpatched)
Developer: Type-Moon
Availability: Jlist
Price: Unknown
Synopsis: Here’s the most famous eroge of them all. You play as Shiro Emiya, an orphan turned Master in the Holy Grail War. The game has three routes that focus on the three main heroines in a visual novel style game. Pre-patch you can play through H scene stills where Shiro makes the love with the lady of your choice.
Phoenix Says: “Okay, it’s no big secret that I love the Fate series, but I only found out about the visual novel after my introduction to the Studio Dean anime. That being said, I played the patched English version and it was surprisingly good. I don’t see where the addition of H scenes would make it much better.”

Final Thoughts
Dating games, be they sim or eroge, can be extremely divisive but are nonetheless a growing part of gaming culture. While I feel the stereotypical description of the nerd playing for experience is a bit degrading your opinions are your own. As always, feel free to form your own opinion. I hope you enjoyed this look at the various dating games and their graphic subgenres. In closing, I want to leave you with one last message. No matter your relationship status, I hope all my readers have a happy Valentines Day.

News: Kishimoto Takes Over Boruto Manga

Original Creator of Naruto to head Boruto Manga.

Hello everyone and welcome back. the verse. Today, I came agross a particularly good piece of news in my social media feeds. Famed Magaka Musahi Kishimoto, best known for his work on Naruto has come forrward to take the helm of the Boruto: Naruto Next Generation manga as of chapter 53. Taking up the slack for former protage Ukyo Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto, Kishimoto san will be assuming the post of writer as of November 21, 2020. While his return warrents some fanfare, I think the damage done to the lore of the Naruto universe is irrepairable at this point. But, with Kishmoto back at the helm we might se a retuern to consistancy at the very least.

If you would like to explore furthur thoughts on the matter click the video above to view my video on the subject

Announcement: reopening my YouTube channel

Good morning to you my fellow degenerates.I thought I’d let you guys know that I brought back a future of the site that I never thought I’d use again. I am now back in possession of my YouTube channel. That’s right, I’ve resurrected the memorific Grainger that was PhoenixOtaku1990 on YouTube. This time I’m promising reviews, anime related news, top tens, and even more fun stuff as we go along. So stay tuned ladies and gentlemen because I am back behind an editor and I promise you greatness.

Top 10 Shows to Binge While Quarantined

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to the verse. As always I am PhoenixOtaku1990 and I’m back with something I rarely do these days, an old-fashioned list.
Folks, 2020 has been without a doubt a hellish year for all of us. We have one of the most virulent plagues in the last century to ravage the human population, celebrities of note dying left and right, and for my American brethren we are facing an election that is more divisive than any in our history. As morbid and stressful as things have become I feel it is my solemn duty take give my readers some form of escapism. Given that many of us are still quarantined, I thought I would give us a little something to be happy about while our collective governments force us to fuse ourselves with our couches; so, without further ado I present to you the top ten shows to watch in quarantine.
Before we get into it let me lay down a few rules for this list:

  1. All of the anime on this list will be easily accessible via streaming sites like Crunchyroll, Hulu, Netflix, etc.
  2. Everything on this list will offer you some form of escapism rather it be supernatural, mental, romantic, or lighthearted. As such, I will try to stay away from anything that is dark and gritty as I feel that is enough of that in the world right now.
  3. Keep in mind that this list is expressly my opinion and any show that appears here in is out of order as I am not trying to rate them. This is simply an unorganized and uncategorized list of shows that I would recommend during quarantine.
    With the criteria established and the rules in place let’s begin the list.
  1. Cells at Work

I’m starting off this list with what is arguably one of the most lighthearted and downright kinky shows you can find these days. Admittedly, I have only watched a few episodes of this little slice of life series, however, its particular charms, and its characters and its comedy. As odd as it may be to recommend a show about cells in the body it’s funny heartwarming nature is what keeps me wanting to come back to it. Though I haven’t had much time to watch anime of late this is been at the top of my list. If you need to find it you may find it subbed on Crunchyroll.

  1. Food Wars

Proceeding to the nightspot on our list, I have what I can only describe as the perfect combination of shonen action show and food network cooking contest simulator. On its surface, food wars about students at an internationally renowned cooking school working to become the world’s most skillful chefs. Each episode of this show is is visually tantalizing and narratively delicious as the food served by our protagonists. If you’re in the mood to watch an amazing slice of life with a little bit of shonen tension and action mixed in and you’re in for a major foodgasm. So take my advice, pull up a chair, strap on the feed bag, and let Soma and the gang please your pallets with an awesome binging session.

To be honest the Disney nerd in me wants to start singing Be Our Guest while writing this but moving on…

8. Ouran High School Host Club

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll say it once and I’ll say it many more times. You cannot go wrong with a classic. This absolute legend of the reverse harem genre is one event I find myself taking a glance back at from time to time. It’s a slice of life piece that is heavy on the fluff, romantic, and easy to get into. Each person within the show has a great back story that serves to make them more lovable and alarming lead, the ever enjoyable Haruhi Fujoka makes for an interesting protagonist as she goes through the series. Every character, regardless of importance the cast has back stories to keep you emotionally invested in you really just want to see everything work out in the end.

So, if you guys want to sit down in binge this one with their partners in tow I would highly recommend it. Simply snuggle on the couch with your significant other, turn on the host club and let the emotional roller coaster begin. It is currently available on most streaming services and I can guarantee its awesomeness as an antidepressant.

  1. Case Closed: Detective Conan

An oldie but a goodie, I first saw the show in the early 2000’s premiering alongside Witch Hunter Robin of all things. Now, to be honest I was going to put Death Note on this list, but given the state of the world at the time of writing this I don’t feel like it would be a very wise thing to do. Detective Conan stores a team detective by the name of Jimmy Kudo who is turning to a child by happenstance and must find the people who caused this mishap in his life. By adopting a persona by the name of Conan he slowly works his way through a few cases and attempt to find the ne’er-do-wells that left him in his precarious position.
For the more cerebral among us, this show is going to feed that ministry H that we all have. While it doesn’t have the intense mental puzzle solving of shows like Death Note it does bring a camping ministry to the table with each new episode. If you like something with a bit more camp and less character drama this is for you. To my knowledge, I do believe you can still find Case Closed on Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll. If you want a decent ministry series with more thrills and less chills give this one a watch.

  1. Naruto

As odd as it sounds for me to be recommending a member of Shonen Jump’s big three on the list I’m putting it out here. Don’t sleep on Naro to as binge fodder. It has deep and complicated lore, a well-built world, and a likable protagonist (as long as you can get past the believe that stage.) If you’ve got some time on your hands and truly just want to watch one of the greatest shows in recent memory I encourage you to give it a watch. However, if you’re not a fan of the bright orange knuckle headed ninja I’m not forcing it. For those so inclined, it’s available on every streaming site you can get your hands on.

  1. High school DxD

this next once for all the few among you that just want to turn their brains off for a while and indulge in some good old-fashioned fan service. High school DxD is what you get when you combine a supernatural action story with some of the best designs of the harem genre. Throw in a pinch of superbly horn dog protagonist, given a plot that takes itself way too seriously and you’ve got this show. To be fair, the three seasons of the show know exactly what it is and makes no qualms about displaying its heritage loud and proud. If you’re looking into the eternal battle between good and evil flavored with interesting characters and a generous helping of plot this is the right show for you.

Okay harem junkie that’s enough out of you for now… Oh, sorry, sorry, next item!

  1. The Familiar of Zero

Though it is impossible to find this showed Doug beyond its first season in the United States, I have to make special mention of The Familiar of Zero. Not only do we have a fantastic setting and a brilliant cast of characters but if you’re looking for the origins of the fandom’s darling Isekai genre this is one of the first I’ve ever had the privilege of watching. The story follows a young girl and a magical school that’s is not as adept at the required talent. Upon summoning a familiar she actually pulls a young Japanese man across dimensions and into her world. After that, hijinks and hilarity ensue.
If you’re looking for a show that brings the best of fantasy elements, world building, and comedy to the table in one sitting this is your exact cup of tea. If you want romantic elements there here, if you want a slight harem element it’s even easier. Overall, I would recommend this one to any fan who has yet to partake in Louise’s particular brand of comedy.

  1. The Overly Cautious Hero

I know what you’re thinking, a newer title on a list like this? Really Phoenix? Honestly yes, of the few pieces I’ve had the fortune to watch over the last 2 1/2 years this is definitely one most worthy of writing home about. It’s essentially what would happen if you pulled the most cautious person alive into another world and cast them as the protagonist in their own good versus evil hero story. It features the most comical dissection of the format to date and even makes fun of the whole goddess hero trope. If you want a nice, comedic romp to keep you satisfied during your time indoors this is the best I can give you. To my knowledge it is sadly only available on Crunchyroll.

  1. Carnival Phantasm

Folks, I’m a major fan of Fate Stay Night and the Fate series in general. So, I’m going to put the most obscure series in the Type-Moon catalog (aside from Tsukihime). Carnival Phantasm is a comedic take on the masters and servants of the Fate Stay Night timeline. You get some of the funniest interactions between the characters that you will ever see the outside of their main timeline. More than that, you’re not weighed down by the convoluted story of the main series. It’s something that you can easily turn your brain off with and it’s still better than the fandom enema that is Prisma Illiya series. I do believe you can find it on Crunchyroll.

  1. Inuyasha

To close out our list I present to you one of the finest pieces of animated fiction ever to grace the screens of East or West. This has to be one of my oldest favorites on record. If you will like cultural fairytales mixed in with the generous helping of romance, love triangles and more than enough teen angst to qualify twilight for sainthood take a watch on this. The tension between the main leads, the slow acquisition of friends, and the comedic and emotional tones of the show itself come together to make a generous watching experience. Be careful though, you may cry at the end of this long series. It is both fantastic and relatable in terms of relationships. But don’t just take my word for that, you can watch the initial series and the Final Act conclusion on Crunchyroll so don’t be afraid to enjoy the feudal fairytale.

There you have it folks, my take on on shows to watch during the coronavirus outbreaks. It might not mean much but I hope all my readers are safe in this time of uncertainty. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to keep ourselves safe in this time of trial. So stay home, keep calm, and watch anime. Keep an eye out on the verse for upcoming content. I’m about to make a comeback in a big way and you guys are going to love it.