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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

12 Reasons 2022 Has Been A Good Year for Geek, Anime, and Otakus

rainbow colored 2022 font for anime with otaku fantasy logo, 12 reasons why 2022 has been a good year to otakus, 2022 best anime news

The pandemic saga (2020-2021) brought a huge setback to many industries. The entertainment world, for one, suffered immense losses from canceled productions as everyone had to adhere to the stringent lockdowns.

The geek and anime sectors were no exceptions. Unfortunately, these segments faced numerous withdrawn projects and paused partnerships. Japanese travel authorities also halted international trips for a long time, which made many otakus, especially those who already got their passports, wonder when we could visit the country and finally see the new Studio Ghibli park or shop in Akiba.

On top of the pandemic casualties, there have been fully unrelated events reminding us that the worst is yet to come, such as volcanoes erupting, high-intensity earthquakes, strong typhoons, celebrities dying from vehicular accidents, and so on.

Despite the evident effects, believe it or not, geeks and otakus saw how media consumption shone amidst the pandemic's most destructive scenarios. Social media played a significant role in its survival, and many production entities adapted to the requirements of the new normal. 

But now that the majority of the world has attained a high percentage of the vaccinated population, 2022 gave the geek, anime, and otaku fandom endless reasons to celebrate. We listed below the top twelve.

#1 - Hunter x Hunter Is Back!

When the impossible happens, it must be divine intervention. The universe might feel like owing us big time over what happened in the past few years, and to compensate, it's now giving us all that we wished for.

Hunter x Hunter fans rejoiced over the viral post of Yoshihiro Togashi as he flexed screenshots of the new chapter. The chain of tweets continued, and on that fateful day of November 24 (in some countries), the hiatus officially ended with the release of Chapter 391.

The tension rises as the Heilly family continues to break the balance, jostling other mafia groups into a harsh reaction. Soon, the Phantom Troupe finds itself involved as they continue hunting down Hisoka. It's getting more complicated in the Kakin ship, but it's the kind of headache that we all asked for.

Before a full-blown war ensues, which is only a matter of time, you can read some Hunter x Hunter articles and theories we've written. It will bring you back to the what's ifs of the series and fuel up your curiosity about the puzzles and traps Togashi had in place for everyone. Is there any other way to go down deep into his masterpiece?

#2 - Japan Has Reopened For Travel

As vaccines proved effective against COVID-19 and its newer variants, different renowned tourist destinations have eased up and allowed leisure-seekers to come in. In their Youtube blogs, many influencers and celebrities took the chance to visit Akiba and other famous Japanese destinations.

One of these famous personalities is Pewdiepie. But unlike others, he is settling in the Land of the Rising Sun for good. After months of bloody preparation for immigration requirements, Pewdiepie can now finally call Japan his new and permanent home. In the video he posted last May 10, Pewdiepie outlines their difficulties while trying to migrate to their dream country. 

On top of this announcement, the board of travels eased up on travel VISA requirements. You may consult your country's foreign affairs website for more info. We'll see each other there in 2023 or 2024!

#3 - Anime Conventions Are Reappearing Once More

Everyone thirsts for a bit of social interaction. Even our introvert buddies craved a burst of nice sunshine and quick cosplay poses in a con-con.

Rejoice, fellow weebs! Anime conventions are finally reopening after two years of no mass gathering social events. The most recent anime convention to reestablish was London's MCM Comic Con, where Anitubers Animeman, Gigguk, and CDawgVA debuted as Trash Taste on a panel. Other anime conventions that reopened are the SMASH Anime Convention and the legendary Anime Expo of Los Angeles, California. 

#4 - More Anime Stuff Are Coming Out

2020 and 2021 are stagnant years for manufacturers and anime merchandise collectors. Many eCommerce shops have closed and were severely impacted by the complete logistics shutdown. These explained the late pre-orders, missing items, and stores disappearing from our radar. 

Now that everyone's back in the picture, enterprises seem to be applying what they have learned from their previous shortcomings. They placed more emphasis on brand loyalty, made wiser decisions on things that could impact customer satisfaction, and utilized social media's power more responsibly.

While some are still struggling to recover, it is good news for otakus that everyone in this industry of anime merchandise collection is trying their best to get out of the rubble. We're in again for some real competition and the exciting circulation of all the good stuff, from vintage anime goods to surplus commodities.

#5 - Continuation Of More Anime Series And Movie Releases

We can't cover everything, but recent conversation starters in different anime corners are the following:

Kaguya-Sama Season 3 Has An Hour-long Episode

Celebrate small wins, even if it's just one episode. Kaguya-sama ran new installments for its third season. In this part, the show shifts to the romantic progression between the characters. That's after many bouts of intellect! A1-Pictures Studio furthers the hype as they make the climax of the romantic chase an hour-long episode. 

One Piece: Wano Arc End

The curtains in the land of Wano finally close as Luffy and his alliance defeat two of the Emperors of the Sea. As one arc closes in the manga, another arc will open in which fans are happy enough to speculate. What will Luffy's next bounty be? What will happen to Wano? How will the World Government react to the outcome of the war? 

One Piece: Red 

Every time the One Piece film is released, fans expect action-packed sessions with entertaining non-canon premises and animation. This is no different when the anime community shares excitement as Toei announces One Piece: Red. The film's trailer hints at a female character that fans believe to be Shanks' daughter. 

Slam Dunk

The 90s kids' favorite is back, surprising many of us. The first teaser aired on July 7, 2022, and will be released in Japan on December 2022. We still know very little of the plot, but it bears the title "The First Slam Dunk." This is the anime your uncles and aunties look forward to. Maybe you should, too.

The Return of Maou-Sama

This is not a drill; the Devil is a Part-timer will be having its second season. The show will air on July 14 under its new studio, Studio 3Hz. Despite the studio change, fans have high hopes that the anime adaptation will align with its original media. Anime enthusiasts knew the show from its 4th wall-breaking antics, meta-humor, and reverse isekai. 

#6 - Changes In The Gaming Industry

While a huge part of eSports occurred virtually, the gaming industry had to make adjustments to meet the needs of those stuck at home. But with more gamers jumping into the streaming business, 

Fortnite Building Mechanics Removed

Building Mechanics is an iconic game mechanism in the game Fortnite. So when the developers decided to remove the mechanics in the game temporarily, the community was happy and angry about it. Supporters, however, argue that players should spend more time in the FPS aspect than the construction aspect, which cannot guarantee a win. 

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet 

Game Freak is at it again, introducing another generation's worth of pokemon in their upcoming game, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Scarlet and Violet is now the 9th generation of the long-standing famous Pokemon franchise. Enthusiasts expect the release of the said 9th component of the game around November this year.

More Epic Games Released

Ghostwire: Tokyo, Elden Ring, Bayonetta 3, As Dusk Falls, are some of the loudest names we heard around the community and in our circle of Otakus. Still, what caught our hearts is Pokemon Legends: Arceus. It's the kind of game you wished had existed twenty years ago. That being said, if you haven't got a Nintendo Switch device, you're missing out on a lot.

Genshin Impact Craze

It's official: Genshin impact hits success in its mobile platform and will slowly dominate the JRPG genre of the PC platform. Albeit a Chinese game studio product, Genshin impact mastered the elements of a good JRPG and is crawling its way into Japanese culture. 

Elden Ring Storms the Gaming Community

From the makers of the notoriously difficult Dark Souls, FromSoftware released yet another notorious game named Elden Ring. The game retains the dark fantasy visual elements with interest-piquing lore hidden beneath the surface of the game's difficulty. Like it or hate it, Elden will inevitably remain a top-game contender this year. 

#7 - More Monetization Opportunities For Content Creators

Game creators, gamers, artists, product reviewers, writers, and other professionals specializing in unique and engaging content have bigger opportunities to exploit in 2022. While it's inappropriate to say that the pandemic is actually a blessing in disguise, it surely opened a different world for people who continue to find the silver lining in the harshest situations. 

TikTok, Patreon, Meta, YouTube, and NFT platforms became vibrant channels for creativity and intellectual property. For the geeks, otaku, and gamer population who couldn't find jobs or got laid off during the quarantine periods, these venues became their bread and butter for months. Content creation will continue to reign as king in the years to come.

#8 - Good News In The Live Film And Series Realm

We all have our share of disappointing experiences regarding live films, especially with adaptations of our favorite animes. It gave birth to thousands of hilarious memes and probably millions of discussion threads on Reddit and Quora. While some may raise a botched flag, there are stellar launches and promising projects to look forward to.

Pirates of the Caribbean Depp Possibility

Will Johnny Depp star as Captain Jack Sparrow in the next Pirates of the Caribbean? This was the frequently asked question after Johnny Depp won the six to eight weeks' worth of judiciary hearing against her ex-wife. In the recent news, however, both Depp and a Disney executive tipped the media about the potential comeback of the series with the actor in it.

Ewan McGregor's return to Star Wars Franchise

Fans crowded in excitement when the Star Wars Franchise released a trailer for their upcoming televised mini-series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. As the show's name implies, the plot revolves around Obi-wan Kenobi and his perspective following the culling of the Jedi in Episode III.

Netflix Announces Squid Game's Season 2

Hungry for more dalgona candies and teal tracksuits? Netflix is happy to announce the second season of the top-grossing series Squid Game. Hwang Dong-Hyuk assures its fans with more gadgets, side character exposures, and forwarding plot twists. 

Alice In Borderland Season 2 Began Shooting

Still prisoners in parallel Tokyo, we'll see how the remaining survivors do their best to beat the game masters in a battle of wit, physical strength, balance, and psychology. They might have finished the scenes already, but it has been slated to premiere on Netflix this December 2022. 

Salem's Lot Gets a Remake

There was much content and debate when Warner Bros. Pictures decided to make a remake of Stephen "The King of Horror" King's Salem's Lot. The announcement faced excitement and disappointment from fans due to remakes making or ruining the originals. The question now stands: will the remake bring justice to a work of a living legend? 

#9 - More Hunter x Hunter Revelations (Spoiler Alert)

Another section about Hunter x Hunter because we're biased otakus.

First Blood After Four Years

Chapter 390 introduced the interesting ability of Hinrigh Biganduffno as he anonymously killed two corrupt Kakin guards of Tier 3, making it look like they ganked each other. He's the perfect assassin who can quickly erase the evidence and disguise his target's death so it will appear like an accident (or didn't die at all with the help of a post-mortem ability).

Hinrigh continues to wow us as he encounters more members of the Heilly Family. Although outnumbered, his complex ability made it seem like he was around a spider's caliber. Hinrigh killed a Heilly member and finally confronted Hisoka, thanks to the manipulation ability of Zakuro. What's more intriguing is Zakuro's Hatsu works like Kalluto's, so how come others found him first)?

A More Defined Gap In Strength and Abilities

Returning to Hinrigh, we liked him so far and expected so much from him. However, we are not sure whether he was humble or true when he mentioned that he is no match for Hisoka or any member of the spiders. It is partly true, as he took a blow from a beginner Nen user, but we are not sure of the extent of it.

Reading through the most recent chapters, it arose that Hisoka and the Phantom Troupe are atop the food chain, and everyone in the mafia will be like sitting ducks if the two parties decide to wreak havoc. They can only leverage with their money, status and words, but once the balance breaks, which they greatly fear, their families will diminish in a snap.

While some underlings of Morena (Head of the Heilly Family) can use Nen, one chapter shows how a high-level member was easily eradicated without the spider member using his Nen.

To conclude this part, Hinrigh may be one of the strongest mafia members in Tiers 3 to 5. While he showed preparedness with his conjured doves and proficiently handled multiple combatants, there were times when he and other Nen users of his team were careless, such as not using Gyo when raiding the Heilly hideout. Thus, they are still average fighters compared to the Phantom Troupe and Hisoka.

Is Kurapika the new MC in Hunter x Hunter?

After years of dormant inactiveness, author Togashi-san shook the world with his tweet post of a picture that hints at a continuation of his masterpiece, Hunter x Hunter. In its upcoming arc, the manga series will now follow the lens of Kurapika in exploring the Dark Continent. 

So far, the newer chapters focus on the friends of Prince Tsierriednich, the mafia family groups, and the mysterious Heilly faction, who plan to bring chaos alongside the events of the Succession War. Given his situation as the main guard for the youngest Kakin Prince, he is on the line of fire. Rumor has it that he will perish in this arc, but we doubt it. In upcoming publications, we will write why we think Kurapika isn't on our death list.

#10 - More Promising Anime To Look Forward To

Spy x Family is Trending

No one knows why Spy x Family was outright entertaining. Was it because of Anya, the peanut lover? Is it because of the crazy plot coincidence? Or romance? Regardless, when the show finally aired in April, it took the world by storm. Fans are now on standby with the production and the upcoming release of the show's season 2. 

Demon Slayer Merch Are All Out As Season 3 Nears

While the producers have not mentioned a date as of this writing, Kimetsu No Yaiba Season 3 is a big possibility, and everyone's looking forward to it. With an official trailer of the Swordsmith Village arc, it's only a matter of time before we witness their fantastic visuals again. 

It's indeed a long wait, but on the bright side, Demon Slayer merchandise keeps pouring out from different places. Just like Hunter x Hunter, it's a sign of life, and with the current circulation, we can say that the anime and manga series is at its peak of fame. We can't wait to see it on top or finally dubbed as one of the new big 3 of anime.

Junji Ito will Terrorize Netflix

From the minds of the Horror Manga Master, Junji Ito partners with Netflix to bring Junji Ito Maniac. The show centers on Junji Ito's creative and narrative mind and his oddly-specific and grotesque horror tales. Although both parties presented no target date for airing, Netflix ensures the release of the series within this year.

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Announced

It's one comeback after another. Bleach will continue from where it left off, and this time, Netflix began to air its new episodes. If you haven't checked, turn on your TV again, and you'll see it's already there.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunner 

Love and hate relationship is the best way to describe how the community feels about the game Cyberpunk 2077. So whether the fans love or hate it, Netflix announces an anime spinoff entitled: Cyberpunk Edgerunner. Unlike its game counterpart, the show focuses on its gusty aesthetics and characters. 

Movies Launched And Other Upcoming Films

We already mentioned the hit One Piece: Red. Jujutsu Kaisen also proved its clout with the successful Zero The Movie. Others you might have missed include Ensemble Stars!! Road To Show, Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island, Free!! The Final Stroke, and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. 

We are looking forward to a great That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime (our new favorite Isekai), Slam Dunk, Isekai Quartet Film, and The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh. It's hard to mention all, but if you have the will, you'll find the way if you want to watch 'em all!

#11 - Ash Became The Very Best

Here's one special anime event that's close to our hearts. For decades, we rode along with Ash's adventure in different Pokemon verses: Game Boy Games, the 1998 anime series, his several movies with Pikachu, and the Nintendo Switch launches with him as the main character -- we can go on all day! We're with him in all his triumphs and even silly failures, like the first time he got beat by Team Rocket

Now, we reserved a section for him and the show alone. We share the sentiment of millions of Pokemon fans who lived to see Ash finally achieving one of his best dreams -- to be a Pokemon World Champion and be the very best! 

We planned to throw a party for him. To those who'll do the same, we may not know each other, but we hope you'll also reach what you believe is your destiny. Let's say cheers to that!

#12 - Otaku Fantasy's New Partnerships And Sights

We've been around for almost a decade, yet we really didn't go serious about taking this wing to new heights until recently. Otaku Fantasy has been doing very well and has great potential to compete with leading geek blogs and magazines. This writing is a manifestation and an FYI to our avid followers who continue to support us. We're bringing our A-game into the field and will give you more consistent, valuable content moving forward. 

Soon, we'll have unboxing videos, a bit of animation, gaming insights, more anime reviews, and some posts from our high-quality contributors. Our blog remains open to those who want to share their knowledge, fiction stories, and experiences. 

For now, we'll let our articles and videos speak for themselves. 

Do you also think that 2022 brought us heaps of great news? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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