Trying to impress your 12-year-old classmates

If you think about it, a coming-of-age story about first masturbations, puberty, and preteen social anxiety definitely has the potential to resonate with the life experience of aged viewers. The problem is, high school drama already gets on enough people’s nerves for taking itself more seriously than adults do; the internal, monologuing struggles of a 12-year-old dealing with rising libido and changing social awareness would not easily connect with the audience. This invites the question: how do you exploit the potential of such themes while not coming across as lame, immature and cringeworthy?

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ANNcast Under the Dog interview transcript

I invite those who don’t know about the currently running Under the Dog Kickstarter to watch the introduction video and see what it’s about. It might be the most exciting anime KS to date and it’d be a shame to see it fail and discourage future anime creators from turning to crowdfunding. It helped fund the international release of Time of Eve, the creation of Mizue Mirai’s Wonder, Trigger’s Little Witch Academia 2 and Yuasa’s Kick-Heart. It’s a great new way for creators to express themselves and I’m more and more hopeful that it’ll become a trend. It also seems the site Anipipo has made a convincing start.

ANN interviewed Hiroaki Yura (producer), Masahiro Ando (director) and Jirou Ishii (writer) about Under The Dog. You can listen to it and download it from their website, or you can read the transcript I wrote in this post. I based my transcript on Hiroaki Yura’s translation of Ando and Ishii’s answers and edited them to make the interview flow better and cut the fluff, so it might be a little off from their original answers. Unfortunately, Yura speaks with a Japanese accent and I couldn’t understand a few of the words; if you would like to fill some holes please go ahead! They are marked with question marks with sometimes the time when they occur (using the ENG+JP version of the interview).

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Yotsuba& is almost as good as Ryuushika Ryuushika


Among the manga serialised in Gangan Online (Barakamon, Nozaki-kun, WataMote, Danshi Koukousei), there is a little-known ongoing series I am infatuated with: Ryuushika Ryuushika.

The reason I gave such a title to this article is because I often see Ryuushika Ryuushika compared to Yotsuba& and never the other way around. This saddens me, because this gem of a manga very much stands on its own — not just as a side dish “if you liked Yotsuba.”

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