In today’s update: a fascinating article on hikikomori, a rather suspicious elementary school-themed OVA (with Mamiko!), eroge scoops from the March edition of Tech Gian (Zergling waitresses ahoy), and a new site plays pin the tail on the figure release date.  Check out the Aruto OP movie, it’s the perfect antidote to Zergling bites.
- The New York Times Magazine has posted a lengthy and informative article on the hikikomori phenomenon. It doesn’t address the impact of anime and games directly, but is recommended reading regardless as a good primer on the subject, theories as to its nature and root causes, and what’s currently being done in Japan to address the issue. I wonder if I could sign up for a “rental sister” to visit my house… thanks to MVB for the link.
- Kyou no 5 no 2 is a two episode OVA slated for release on March 24th (first episode) with the second coming some time in June. Description: the just-a-bit ecchi daily life of [elementary] fifth grade, class two! Based on a manga by the same name penned by Sakuraba Koharu. I spy Mamiko!
- The March edition of Dengeki Daioh went on sale yesterday, featuring a Hayate x Blade drama CD (presumably a preview for this).
- When in Akihabara, be sure to pick up your Solty Rei advertis- err, “Culture Map“.
- The March issue of Tech Gian was released yesterday, and a summary of its contents is now online. The biggest scoop of the month is Leaf’s next title, dubbed “Furuani”. Why? Because it’s full animation! … similar to 0verflow’s School Days, I expect. More information on this as it emerges. Of greater personal interest are the announcements of Front Wing‘s upcoming Megami to Issho (visuals in the vein of the Jibril games) and West Vision’s Bakunyuu Kissa, which along with astoundingly large chests features one of the more hilarious eroge images of the year thus far.
- Fulltime has a flash mini game online for their upcoming 3D CG eroge Eroi, but you can’t access it without the password available only to members of their email magazine. Bastards. Membership is free, but still.
- New Site Launches / Release Announcements
- We’ve Got Movie Sign!!
- Demo Downloads
- Sample CG
- Wave’s Angel XX series Sachiel XX PVC (very loosely derived) from Evangelion hit store shelves yesterday, with a thud. Infectious Residuals indeed.
- Figure Alternative updates its bishoujo figure release schedule through May, currently showing 22 titles for the fifth month of the year. Note that Alter’s Meg PVC from Bakuretsu Tenshi has been pushed back to late March… Another great resource for figure news recently stumbled across is Midareuchi, which tries to peg exact release dates as closely as possible. This is a bit like predicting the weather, but a noble effort indeed and one worth watching.
 The Aruto opening movie is totally awesome – one and a half minutes of fully animated bishoujo goodness and a peppy theme song to boot. I highly recommend taking a look, despite the daunting file size (220MB decompressed), it would brighten the day of even the most maid-Zergling-harassed protagonist.