Given the hardcore fandom phase I went through in high school over this series (I was in it to win it, people), it was inevitable that I’d wind up watching the terribly conceived, terribly executed Netflix movie.
Spoilers: it’s not that it’s stupid. It’s that it isn’t stupid enough.
Also, like, spoilers for the decade old anime.
Show notes over at Anime Feminist!
I hosted an analysis of Wandering Son, one of the very few anime and manga to focus on the experience of growing up trans in Japan, and was joined by some special guests: including ANN’s Jacob Chapman; Rachel “Matt” Thorn, who translated the WS manga, and Youtuber Cayla Coats. I’m very proud to have been able to facilitate and take part in the conversation that ensued.
Show notes over at Anime Feminist!
When this season started out, Clean Freak! Aoyama kun had a huge uphill battle to win my respect. I can count the number of sports anime that have really grabbed me on one hand, and even if that weren’t the case… well, look at the title.
While admittedly that “Clean Freak” is more of a poor translation choice than authorial intent (the Japanese title, 潔癖男子, is more literally “Cleanliness Boy,” as seen on-screen during the opening theme, and can directly refer to the more clinical germaphobia), a series that chooses to focus on a germaphobic prodigy is still a gimmick that practically screams future exploitation. But, as I said when I reviewed the premiere, it won me over. Aoyama-kun is good. And it’s stayed good, mostly due to the compassion it shows for its ever-expanding ensemble cast.
Fujimi High’s soccer team is a tight-knit bunch of weirdos, each with their own quirks and conflicts, and the show works to endear us to them by showing how those oddities bring happiness to others (in the case of class clown Tsukamoto) or by validating a character’s emotional wants rather than mocking them (as with sweet yandere manager Moka). As successive episodes turn the spotlight to different members of the cast, it proves its determination to laugh with rather than at its characters. But nothing surprised me more than ”Narita-kun Keeps It a Secret,” which shines a light on both a new character and Aoyama himself.
Read the rest at Anime Feminist!
I got together with some other members of the AniFem team (y’all may recognize Dee from the Utena recaps) to discuss how this season is going so far. Some surprises, some serious disappointments, and a few uneven bits of promise.
Show notes are over at Anime Feminist!
Sorry, all! Moving…happened. Aggressively. A lot.
While I was at Otakon I got a chance to see some neat things, including a screening of the Hiroshima-focused In This Corner of the World. I’ve got write-ups for you all on my overall experience and on the film specifically (feelings were had).
Here at AniFem we talk a lot about fanservice—no surprise, given how predominant and normalized the sexualization of (mostly female) characters is in the industry. But it’s far from a cut-and-dried issue: a boobs ‘n’ butts show about adults isn’t the same as panty shots of a 13-year-old which, in turn, isn’t the same as fetishizing helplessness. And all of that can make it difficult to suss out grey zones like bawdy comedy or actual sex-positive content grounded in character agency. It’s easy to make a checklist and call it a day, and while everyone has their own line in the sand, those grey zones are worth exploring.
I got together with some fellow nerds to talk about the excellent (if sometimes uneven) coming-of-age story/queer romance, Flip Flappers!
Topics of discussion include (so much) yonic imagery, sexuality metaphors, holding onto personhood after motherhood, and sad garbage children doing their best.
Full show notes are over at Anime Feminist