Over the past month I got together for maybe the best podcast series Anime Feminist has put out so far–certainly the one I’m proudest of, and I say that having been proud to stand behind all the podcasts I’ve been part of for the site. My cohosts had fantastic insight into the series as women and enbies of color–it’s well worth listening for the discussion of police brutality, Brazil’s favelas, colorism, and double-standards re: WOC and sexuality.
I got to geek out about Sayo Yamamoto and Atsuko the magnificent disaster lesbian in between listening to the great discussion.
When I reviewed the premiere for LUPIN THE 3rd PART 5, I said I was disappointed to see that the franchise looked like it was sinking back into the slurry of mediocrity that characterized the late ‘90s and 2000s, interested only in updating the aesthetic sheen without tackling any of the franchise’s extremely outdated ideas (the movies, meanwhile, took all of the grimdark edge and none of the feminist themes from The Woman Called Fujiko Mine). Episode 2 seems to confirm those fears, making a joke out of marginalized fans rather than trying to sincerely include them.
I made it to the end, for better and worse. The short version? This is a real case of diamonds encased in shit, Ryumako is a good and canonical ship, the StuCo are cute kids, and if anyone tries to talk to me about this series in future without me bringing it up first I will melt them with fucking lasers, because this show has the most intolerable fanbase since Madoka and Evangelion.
Kino’s Journey (2003) is one of the great classics of anime: directed by the late Ryutaro Nakamura (Serial Experiments Lain) with his characteristic eye for negative space and eerie, melancholy sound design, the series is a quiet but purposeful sequence of short stories ranging from the fantastical to the mundane. All of them are about human nature, and as Kino meets various people, we learn a little more about why Kino is on that titular journey.
The show lulled me into having a fun time with the Kansai arc and then sucker punched me directly in the anus with The Worst Scene Ever. Just in case I forgot that every nice thing in KLK has to be balanced by a heinously awful thing.