Jotaku News Roundup (06/21/20)

Welcome to the Jotaku News Roundup, our way of providing you with a quick roundup of the latest anime news stories.

This week we’ve got an update on the charges against studio Ufotable, new manga piracy laws coming into effect, and the return of Studio Ghibli with a CGI film.

We’ve be uploaded the roundup onto Soundcloud and a transcript here. Let us know what you think and any ways we could improve!

Intro

Welcome to the Jotaku News Roundup. I’m your host, Derek Chaplin, and today is Sunday, June 21st, 2020. It’s also Father’s Day so Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I’m still new to this podcast format, but hopefully I’m starting to get better.

Anyways, I’m back with the latest news highlights in the anime-sphere. This week, we’ve got an update on the charges against studio Ufotable, new manga piracy laws coming into effect, and the return of Studio Ghibli with a CGI film (didn’t see that one coming).

So let’s get started with this week’s roundup.

Ufotable tax evasion update

The story of Unlimited Budget Works continues, as Bunshun Online published an interview that gives more details into the tax evasion charges against studio Ufotable and its president Hikaru Kondo.

The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau filed the charges after discovering president Kondo routinely took proceeds from Ufotable restaurant chains and hid them in a personal safe at his house.

The search that uncovered the hidden cash, and led to the tax evasion charges, happened a month before their adaptation of Demon Slayer started airing. Kondo ordered employees not to leak this news to the public, as the 500 million yen production could risk tanking the whole company if the manga publisher and TV stations found out.

When the news still managed to get out, Kondo was furious and began monitoring employees with cameras he installed in the cafes. The interviewee believes the charges against studio Ufotable and president Kondo were purposely timed for after the manga and first season of Demon Slayer was over.

Despite Ufotable and Kondo repaying their taxes and issuing public apologies, they could still face prosecution.

Virtual Anime Events

Now let’s talk about virtual anime conventions.

The impact of COVID-19 has caused a lot of event cancellations in order to prevent crowding too many people together during a global pandemic. As a substitute for these anime events, brands have been opting for their own virtual events, which seem to consist of free attendance live-streams including announcements, guest panels, and musical performances.

A staggering number of conventions are going online this year, at the time of this report Crunchyroll has a massive list of 71 confirmed events. The bulk of the virtual cons will take place in July and August, with at least one event every week. Whether or not these online conventions can live up to their hype remains to be seen, but at least they’re all free.

Crunchyroll has also confirmed that Crunchyroll Expo will be joining these virtual conventions, which we suspected before but didn’t receive confirmation on until this week.

Manga Piracy

The fight against manga piracy is ramping up.

More strict copyright control laws come into effect in October that sees repeat illegal downloaders in jail for up to 2 years, fined up to 2 million yen, or both. The law also bans torrent leech websites and even pasting links to illegal sites onto message boards.

Yet despite the strict laws, it’s acknowledged that this won’t stop all piracy sites. Most of the offenders host their content on overseas servers where laws aren’t as strict, for example.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) is publishing anti-piracy manga by featured authors. CODA is hosting 4 new manga chapters on their website every week for free. The “Stop Piracy!” campaign seems largely targeted towards Japanese readers based on their content, but the comics are also available in English.

I’ve actually given them all a read as there’s only currently 8 available. They seem to assume most offenders are just innocent readers that don’t know what piracy websites are and don’t understand the financial impact it has on authors.

The hope is that the new laws mixed with the bringing awareness to the general public should reduce piracy’s impact on the manga industry.

Summer 2020 anime season

The anime spring season is starting to wrap up, and as it does it’s time to take a look at some noteworthy upcoming shows.

Let’s start quickly with some returning big shows:

First we have Re:Zero season 2, which we reported on last week when the new trailer dropped showcasing the show’s new antagonist and it’s opening song.

Next we have Oregairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax, which is the third season of the show that was supposed to air during this season but ended up delayed.

A few delayed animes seem to be restarting this summer season too, the most notable being Millionaire Detective.

Moving on, we have Sword Art Online Alicization: War of Underworld Part 2, the final part of the Alicization arc.

And we have season two’s of the fiery action anime Fire Force and sci-fi drama No Guns Life.

Now let’s go over some new shows coming up:

The God of High School, the newest Crunchyroll Original WEBTOON-based action anime, features Korean students in a fighting tournament with powers borrowed directly from the gods.

Rent-A-Girlfriend is a comedy romance about a heartbroken, desperate guy using a rental service to meet a fake girlfriend who’s trying to keep her side hustle a secret.

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!! Not with you, unfortunately, but with her senpai who just wants a quiet life that he can’t have with Uzaki and her peppy persistence in this ecchi slice of life. 

Aya and the Witch

Studio Ghibli is back with their newest film Aya and the Witch coming out in Japan at the end of 2020.

The film is the studio’s first CGI adaptation, with key visuals depicting a young girl and a literal band of witches performing a song together.

Based on the Diana Wynne Jones fantasy novel, Earwig and the Witch, the story follows the cheeky but cute Aya as she’s taken from an orphanage into the home of a witch and must plot to escape.

Aya and the Witch will be directed by Goro Miyazaki while his father Hayao Miyazaki is writing the screenplay with Toshio Suzuki as the producer.

Sazae-San returns

Japan’s longest running TV anime, Sazae-san, went on hiatus starting May 9th for the first time in 45 years due to COVID-19.

But now the series is back starting today, as the series continues its very long run of more than 8000 episodes.

Sazae-san is a 30-minute comedy show that’s been airing since 1969 and holds the Guinness World Record for longest running TV animation in the world.

Man… And I thought One Piece was long.

Other News

And now for some other short news.

Two popular series Carole & Tuesday and The Promised Neverland recently confirmed that their manga runs are ending. The Promised Neverland finished already with chapter 181 while Carole & Tuesday will end sometime in July.

My Next Life as a Villainess is coming back in 2021 with a second season that the show proudly announced in its final episode that aired this week.

Manga Planet is bringing three Nobuyuki Fukumoto titles to their platform, The Legend of the Strongest, Kurosawa!, Gambling Emperor Legend Zero, and Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji.

Masayuki Suzuki’s music video for the Kaguya-sama season 2 opening, “DADDY ! DADDY ! DO !” has reached over 10 million views on YouTube (rightly deserved, I say, go watch that man groove).

A famous Studio Ghibli themed clothing brand, GBL, is opening a permanent location in the Miyashita Park of Shibuya, Japan this summer.

And finally, game developer 5pb has announced a new KonoSuba game in the works called Love for the Clothes of Desire!, an adventure visual novel coming to PS4 and Switch on September 24th.

Outro

That’s all for this week of the Jotaku News Roundup, I’m off to go binge-watch all of My Next Life as a Villainess, so tune in next time and check out the Jotaku Network website and our Twitter for more content.