As an anime blogger, I like to keep an eye on the latest trends, so I can report on them here. Every year different character types come in and out of fashion, from the golden age of tsundere characters to the marriage of military mecha with cute anime girls to the Heisei Imouto Bubble, when every anime was required to mention a younger sister in its title. Recently the trend seems to be towards celebrating characters who are “thick” (or as they say on the Internet, T H I C C) in an adorable way, such as Rukoa and Kanna from Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon or Galko-chan. In a related trend, fan artists have finally realized that the best part of a girl’s zettai ryoiki — the “absolute zone” between the hem of her skirt and where her thighhigh socks begin — is that realistic bulge of flesh that pokes out at the top. So, which thick anime girls do you like?
I continue to enjoy the currently airing Scum’s Wish (aka Kuzu no Honkai), a dramatic anime that tells the story of a girl named Hanabi who loves her homeroom teacher and childhood friend Narumi, but he loves a slutty teacher named Akane, so Hanabi sort of dates a guy named Mugi, until a girl named Sanae tries to win her for herself…and that’s just in the first two episodes. I like it for several reasons, and not just because I’m the biggest yuri shipper on the Internet. I like it because it tries to tell a story with some kind of proper structure, which is frankly rare in anime. One of the more interesting classes I took in university was Screenplay Writing 101, which required us to watch many films and analyze the way they fit into three acts, consisting of the initial setup, a long middle with confrontations that bring the story to its lowest point, then a glorious resolution. (The best story ever told, structurally speaking, is Back to the Future.) One reason fans loved Kimi no Na Wa so much was that it followed a proper three-act structure, pulling their emotions to a very low point then resolving the conflict with a great crescendo. So while I don’t say “I wish anime was more like Hollywood” very often, I do wish more writers would understand what goes into a really well-told story and try to recreate this a bit.
We’ve got great news: JAST USA’s newest ecchi visual novel Nympho Sensei Ryoko has gone golden master and will be shipping soon. You can still preorder it and get the 10% preorder discount! To help people understand what a great game this is, I wrote a handy write-up on J-List’s blog. Thanks for supporting English visual novels!