Good afternoon everyone! We’re nearly at the end of the week, so it’s time to celebrate with a flurry of correspondence from you all. Yes, it’s the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
We’re always open to new letters, so don’t be shy about sending us stuff in the week — we’ll go through all submissions on Fridays and respond to anything that is more than “hi” or, as we got this week, something apparently untranslatable in Persian. (Seriously, I plugged it into Google Translate, and the “English” translation was still in Persian script.)
From any page on Rice Digital, cast your eyes over to the right of the screen and click “Write to Rice!” to pen us a missive. No personal information is required other than a nom de plume and your message, so go nuts! Ask us a question, shill your own stuff or just share something funny that you happened to stumble across this week. We’d love to hear it, and the community would love it if you shared it, too!
So with that in mind, let’s get started!
Maybe I am slightly biased but there seems to be a real shortage of plus-size waifus.
Is this something you ever see changing, or will I just have to get used to it?
At least I’ll always have Super Pochaco.
Chubby Waifu Lover
Hello Chubby Waifu Lover, and welcome to the Rice Digital Friday Letters page! I understand your frustration here, but all hope is not lost. There are definitely artists out there who specialise in the plus-size side of things — though as you might expect, many of them are regarded as somewhat “niche interest”. Conventional beauty standards strike again and all that.
From a more “mainstream” perspective, Senran Kagura’s artist Nan Yaegashi certainly isn’t above presenting the Senran Kagura girls as being a little on the chunkier side of things in certain pieces of artwork, though as physically fit ninja girls I wouldn’t necessarily call them “plus-size” or “chubby”. It’s obvious that Yaegashi has a certain appreciation for the fuller figure, however, so be sure to check out their work — including from outside the Senran Kagura series, such as the excellent eroge RPG Evenicle.
Manga-wise, Plus-Sized Elf by Synecdoche is well worth a look, as it’s an entertaining and light-hearted look at the idea of nutrition, weight loss and general “chubbiness”; as a bit of a roly-poly sort of person myself I certainly didn’t find it patronising or insulting at all, which is always a risk when dealing with this sort of subject matter. The “reverse isekai” setup is very appealing, too, and the girls throughout are the height of cute.
If you want to delve into things a little more, uh, “niche”, my personal favourite plus-sized artist is probably KipTeiTei, probably best known for their free comics No Lunch Break and Breakfast with Sister, both of which are very very lewd and very very wonderful. Maybe don’t read them at work, unless you work at Rice Digital. You have hereby been warned.
Shoutouts to the underdogs
Having recently got into VTubers, I’ve been enjoying the stuff from Hololive and Nijisanji EN, but I’m also interested in finding out a bit more about smaller streamers and showing them some support. Do you have any recommendations?
Hello Aspiring Simp — set your goals high and all that — and welcome to the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page. We actually did an article on independent VTubers a while back, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate some of the names in there, as well as including a couple of others.
Full disclosure: a couple of these folks are my personal friends, but I think they do a fine job at their VTubing shenanigans, so they’re well worth your time regardless of whether or not I know them.
First up is Play-Asia’s official mascot Obake PAM, who is a constant bundle of energy and enthusiasm, and the perfect representative for Play-Asia as a brand. Her streams are filled with joy and a real sense of fun, and she’s always a pleasure to watch in action. Here’s her discovering Final Fantasy XIV for the first time:
Next up is Ayamy, who I stumbled across recently. She’s a bilingual streamer who performs in both Japanese (her first language) and English — and her streams are also noteworthy in that they often incorporate a “mixed reality” element, featuring her real-life hands doing cooking or art, and her Live2D avatar presenting to the audience. She also does a lot of ASMR streams if you’re into that sort of thing. Here she is making breakfast:
Koopa Fortuna is someone that several people made me aware of when I was researching the article above, and I was thoroughly enamoured with her right from the moment I started watching. She mostly streams on Twitch now, but has a YouTube archive of streams when she remembers to update it — as well as a selection of clips and short shitpost videos. If you enjoy powerful mommy energy, you’ll have a lot of time for Koopa.
Erichannel is the first of two personal friends I’d like to give a shout-out to — they work hard on their streams and have been greatly enjoying themselves since switching from being a “regular” streamer to a VTuber. Their work is particularly relevant to us here on Rice because they cover a lot of retro and niche-interest Japanese titles on their channel — if you like that sort of thing, be sure to stop by and show your support!
Eri streams on Twitch so we can’t embed that here, unfortunately, as Twitch’s archived videos expire after a certain time — here’s an archived YouTube stream from the pre-VTuber days, and check out Eri’s Twitch channel for more current stuff!
Finally, if Koopa wasn’t enough mommy action for you, I give you stream mom Martyr, who should sort you right out with her comfy, cosy streams. Martyr is another friend, but I greatly respect how seriously she’s been taking the VTubing thing — she puts a lot of effort into her model, its numerous outfits and the tech required to get convincing motion capture, plus she’s a solid online performer, too. She covers a variety of different games from popular titles like Apex Legends to smaller indie titles; here she is playing Ori and the Blind Forest a couple of months ago.
That should keep you busy for a while — I’m sure someone in the comments will happily add to this list.
Round one, fight
I was interested to read your article about fighting games for newbies the other day. Do you have any recommendations other than Super Smash Bros.? I never really got along with that game, though I do enjoy the “gaming fanservice” angle. I’ve never dared approach Guilty Gear.
Hiya Dan, and welcome to the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page! I, too, have always had slightly mixed feelings about Super Smash Bros., though I’ve found Ultimate to be a lot more accessible than many previous installments. The important thing is not to take it too seriously, I think; yes, pro players and big tournaments do exist, but if you’re not having fun with the game, consider changing how you play — it’s a massively customisable experience.
That said, if you really don’t get along with Smash, my next recommendation would be SNK Heroines. This is a vastly underappreciated little gem of a fighter that takes a number of cues from Smash — particularly in terms of its simple control scheme — and combines it with a more “traditional” fighting game experience. I found a few hours with SNK Heroines to do a better job at helping me get a feel of the fundamentals of fighting games than any other fighting game has done in the past — and a lot of that is down to the fact that I’m not feeling continuous anxiety over the fact I’m completely incapable of performing a Dragon Punch motion.
SNK Heroines teaches you important concepts like managing space and understanding the reach of all your moves, but its simple “direction plus button” special moves and its deliberate use of “finishing moves” to conclude a round rather than simply knocking an enemy’s health down to zero make it a lot more accessible than most. I wish it had done a bit better; I’d love to see another game like this, but sadly a combination of dodgy online performance, the fact that not many people paid a lot of attention to it on release and a somewhat arrogant response from the more hardcore end of the fighting game community doomed it to obscurity.
Still fun in single player or local multiplayer, though, so if you find a cheap copy I say snap it up.
And that’s that for this week! Don’t forget you can pen us a letter at any time throughout the week — just follow the instructions above — and we’ll get to your contributions the following Friday. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend and we’ll see you soon!
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