It’s that time of year again, another family dinner and a little bit of dying inside. Me personally, I don’t care for Happy TB Blanket Day Thanksgiving, but I know a lot of who do celebrate. Or are forced to deal with the drunk Uncle, the nosey AF Aunt who wonders why you’re still single this year, or the cousin who only drops by once a year and always need 10 bucks.
To help make the suffering less painful and to provide something to get you through the next 3-4 hours, the Otaku Fam at PCU has a list of our recommendations for you to enjoy while you try not to choke on dry turkey and mac n’ cheese with raisins in it.
If you’ve ever attended a Thanksgiving dinner and felt yourself chained to the dining table waiting for the inevitable probing questions from family, you might have a sense of deja vu while watching Re:Mind. This suspense drama on Netflix, was surprisingly interesting to binge through! You’re watching a bunch of Japanese school girls trapped at a huge dining table and slowing getting picked off (not dying…I think…) one-by-one after having to reveal a secret they’ve each been keeping from the others. This series tastes like a mixed drink made from a blend of ‘Would You Rather?’ and ‘Mean Girls’, and topped off with some mysterious hooded figure that keeps coming in the room but never says anything, but keeps serving up a dish of horror and confusion! Will the girls be able to come together to make their escape, or are there too many lies and secrets to muddle through!? It’s a quick series to watch, with it only being 12 episodes, plus a special, but each one is only around 20 minutes long, so you’ll get to the end quick and easy, so you can find out what’s going on with these girls!
Bloom Into You
Most of the time when I’m get excited about a yuri anime, it’s me being otaku trash or an overly hopeful fangirl looking for even the tiniest morsel of non-problematic representation. With Bloom Into You, I’m finding that I’m not in either camp and that’s beyond wonderful. Bloom tells the story of the blossoming (pun so intended) relationship between first year student Yuu Koito and second year Youko Nanami, both young girls just beginning to grasp their identities and their burgeoning love lives (or lack thereof). At its core, this anime is a romantic coming of age story, with a heavy focus on growing into oneself and accepting the otherness that entails, as well as the notion that love as represented by media is not the be all end all definition of its true meaning. Personally speaking, this hit me right in the real life nostalgia and does a really great job of invoking feelings of growing up as something other than the expected norm. The series is still in progress, so you’ll only get so far in a binge, but it’s definitely one I’d suggest checking out if you’re into slice of life with a twist. Bonus? It’s pretty pure, with none of the squicky dub-con sometimes found in others of its genre, so it’s not a guilty pleasure you’ll have to sneak around any visiting relatives (at least not too intensely).
The holidays are coming up and some of you know what that means. For me, it means sitting around a dinner table trying desperately to avoid any kind of political discussion. It also means steering discussions away from jobs, school, buying a house, and the dreaded “boyfriend question.” It never fails. I only see most of my extended family twice a year and twice a year I get the same question, “When are you going to get a boyfriend?” Or worse, they’ll ask about an ex I haven’t dated in almost a decade. If you’re in the same boat, I have a solution. It’s an otome game so involved that with a little bit of timing, you’ll look like you have a partner. At the very least, you’ll look like you have someone blowing up your phone that you can say is your new boo. The answer? Mystic Messenger. The story starts with you downloading what looks like a messaging app. Immediately, you’re connected to an unknown person who says they found a phone and asks you to visit the address of who they think is the owner. In doing so, you are connected to another chatroom with 5 people who are surprised you were able to download their private app! As the game progresses you find out what the app’s purpose is and get to know each of the five participants through group message conversations and private messages. There’s even the occasional phone call. If you want to know more about this game, check out my review!
As much as I wanted to suggest My Girlfriend is a Shob**ch, I decided to go into a more wholesome and slice of life direction. I picked up this manga at work recently because the plot of the story seemed interesting and it reminded me of this anime I saw while browsing Crunchyroll (before Funimation took it back). Turns out they’re the same thing! After the Rain is this slice of life romance about a 17-year old former track star named Akira Tachibana and her growing feelings of love for her 45-year old divorcee with child boss Masami Kondo. I haven’t seen the anime, but reading the first manga (which is HUGE btw), Tachibana had an accident that required surgery so she can’t run track anymore. While down in the dumps about it at a family restaurant/café, Kondo treated her to a free coffee and did a cute magic trick to give her a cup of creamer. It took her mind off her problems for a split second and she had a new outlook on life. It’s a cute reminder that when you fall for someone, it’s not always something huge and dramatic but the little things that they might do that make you feel at ease and whole. Even though their possible love seems drastic and problematic to some degree, even Kondo comments on it in the manga (he looks like her dad, people might thing he’s paying for her company, etc,), I’m all the way here for it and it’s totally gonna keep my attention while the adulty adults talk over at dinner!