Spring 2018 Anime Premieres (Part 2)

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Back again! Here’s the second half of what I reviewed this season. Some unexpected gems and also the worst the season has to offer.

As always, one line summaries are also linked to my longer reviews.

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Vrai Watches Kill la Kill (Part 4)

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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.

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Spring 2018 Anime Premieres (Part 1)

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It’s that time again! The time of year when I don’t sleep and my schedule is completely wrecked by the need to have opinions about anime. I love it, I really do.

The season’s about half over, and there’s been a surprisingly good crop of potential. As always, I’ll have a one line blurb plus a link to my longer thoughts over at Anime Feminist.

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[Link] Kino is the non-binary protagonist we deserve

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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.

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The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Retrospective

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I got together with Caitlin and Dee to talk about one of my favorite anime of all time. You may remember it from the considerable number of essays I’ve dedicated to it over the years. And if you haven’t checked it out yet, I can’t recommend it enough (though be mindful of some pretty strong content warnings including torture, child abuse and sexual assault).

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Vampire Princess Miyu: We Need More Shoujo Horror

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This essay was commissioned by Shawn. You can find out more about commissions here. 

Horror anime is rare and rarely affecting. Series often have difficulty conveying or maintaining unsettling atmospheres and slow burns, and turn instead to gore and body horror—subgenres that can be quite effective but can easily take a turn for the silly.

It’s why series that can act with at least a certain amount of restraint have stuck in the anime fandom’s collective memory: the tragic Nina from Fullmetal Alchemist, Higurashi’s carefully spaced explosions of violence, and Tetsuo’s slow loss of bodily autonomy in AKIRA. Older anime fans in particular might add one more name to that set: Vampire Princess Miyu, a rare horror series both targeted toward and starring women.

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