Another anime series that caught my eye this season was Grisaia no Kajitsu, a harem-style show about a mysterious main character named Yuji who transfers to Mihama Academy, where he meets his five female classmates, each of whom possess secrets of their own. Like Clannad, Da Capo and Fate/stay night before it, this anime is based on a popular Japanese visual novel, something that can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because the anime has a built-in dedicated fan base right from the start, but a curse, too, because the rich subtlety of the story often doesn’t translate well into anime form. When studios base an anime on an existing game, they have to make decisions about how to translate the story. Should they animate the “true ending” (if there is one), as was is the case with Steins;Gate, or maybe throw everything out the window and make a totally original ending, as in the School Days anime? (The game is not nearly as dark as the anime’s ending was, and we recommend it a lot.) They can choose a heroine at random, causing frustration among fans who liked other characters (I’m looking at you, Shuffle anime), or perhaps structure things like Amagami, so that each heroine gets her own (slightly shortened) story arc and proper ending. Why not browse our lineup of English-translated H-games and all-ages visual novels now, and see what titles might interest you?
My daughter is surprisingly wise for being just 17 years old. While we were together in San Diego during the summer, she told me, “Now we’re not going to go to the same restaurants we always go to. Every time we eat out let’s find some new restaurant and have a new experience.” As a result, we hit a dozen or more places we might never have discovered, including a really nice Afghan restaurant downtown and some top-quality eateries in the Little Italy area. Considering my penchant for keeping too close to my comfort zone (I’m likely to find a video game I like and play it straight for, oh, eight years or so), I’ve tried my best to follow her advice in other areas of my life, for example by seeking out films I might not otherwise have picked up. The other night I watched a Spanish sci-fi movie called Los Últimos Días (The Last days) about an event known as el pánico (the panic) which makes it impossible for people to go outside, forcing them to live indoors. We never learn what the source of the panic is – the possibility is left open that it’s actually psychosomatic, a global epidemic of agoraphobia that has swept through every corner of humanity, though we’re never told for sure. The film seemed (to me) to be making some interesting commentary on the Japanese phenomenon of NEETs and hikikomori, which are discussed (and at times celebrated) in anime like Welcome to the N.H.K., Rozen Maiden and Heaven’s Memo Pad.
J-List has been really busy this month, adding hundreds of new stock items to the site in preparation for the upcoming Christmas season. This year is going to be extra special for Sailor Moon fans, since there are so many great products available, which has not been the case in previous years. We’ve got everything from Sailor Moon iPhone cases to Sailor Moon bento and plush toys and figures. We love the Sailor Moon Chara-Pos poster sets that were posted last time, so pick up a set before they all disappear.