Manahum Friends

There are so many series worth watching each season, it can be easy for some to slip under our radar. Here’s a post about the currently running Rage of Bahamut: Manaria Friends, an adorable yuri fantasy anime that brings healing and calm.

As a longtime student of the anime industry, I’m interested in the way the medium I love gets its funding, and how that’s changed over time. Back in the old days, when the industry was taking its modern form, traditional broadcast TV advertising was the main method of funding, which gave way to selling laserdiscs/DVDs directly to fans and licensing anime for broadcast overseas, and increasingly, through funding provided by Western companies who stream the content to subscribers. Another popular method of funding anime is to make a bazillion yen on a hit mobile game, then use the profits from the game to fund a mainstream anime. This is done both as a tax management strategy (why pay taxes on current profits when you can roll the money into future projects?), and also to extend the IP to new areas, which is known as “media mix.” That’s the model Cygames has adapted with their hit properties like Idolmaster Cinderella GirlsGranblue Fantasy and that fun horse-girl anime, Uma Musume. It’s also the model behind the new Rage of Bahamut: Manaria Friends, a charming high-budget series about girls attending a school in a magical fantasy world, based on the company’s popular card game for Android and iOS.

It’s the story of students attending Mysteria Academy, a school that educates all magical races equally. The story centers around the girl-mance between a clumsy and curious princess named Anne and a half-dragon girl named Grea. Anne is bored with her perfect life and is infatuated with half-dragon Grea, who is exotic and mysterious to her. How far will their relationship progress? Being a slice-of-life show, there’s not much specific story or drama, yet the interaction between the characters, as well as the high quality of the animation and backgrounds, keeps me coming back.

Obviously we’re used to beautiful characters being created for us by animation studios, but they’ve taken the cake with the character designs in Manaria Friends, especially the dragon girl Grea. Everything about her, from the meticulous physics of how her wings and tail would work to the care they give animating the “Tartan check” (as it’s called in Japan) plaid design on her skirt, is breathtakingly beautiful. If nothing else, Grea is a great “side-waifu” to tide you over until we get more Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

Manaria Friends is a fun show that will heal you through the power of adorable human and dragon friendship. Will you check it out? Tell us on Twitter!

Lilium Trianble Game 02

We’ve got some great news for you today. Our friends at JAST USA have launched a fun new game called Lilium x Triangle, and fun and sexy visual novel that explores yuri themes. It stars a succubus from the demon world, who’s come to Earth to kiss lots of cute girls and suck their energy. Sounds good to us! The game is uncensored, and you can download and play it right now, during our launch sale!