Let Me Pitch You Land of the Lustrous (aka the Agender Rock-People Body Horror Hour)

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As of 2017, we now officially have two series about sentient queer rocks. But while there have been too many variants on “Land of the Lustrous is anime Steven Universe” to count, the similarities more or less end with the basic premise. LoL’s rocks are not small gems with manifested forms made of light, but actual bodies made out of rock whose ability to take a hit is influenced by the Moh’s Hardness Scale; and while both touch on the issues of societies mired in stasis, their worldbuilding is wholly different. And finally, both series were in production in 2012, making it a true coincidence at least on a conceptual level.

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“But There’s A Reason It’s There!”: How to Meta Critique (Guest-Starring Land of the Lustrous)

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A group of children all meet and decide to play together. One kid takes it upon himself to assign everyone roles, and the other kids agree to it—Tim’s the best at coming up with interesting stories. So one little boy becomes a knight, and a little girl the princess, and another boy a dragon; Tim watched a fantasy movie a few weeks ago, and the ideas are in his head when he makes up his story. They have a good time.

One day, the little girl shows up with a super rad toy mecha. Everyone is very admiring of it, and they get back to playing pretend. At some point, Tim declares that the princess has to give the hero (him) her Mega Holy Ultra Robot so that he can defeat the bad guy. It’s the only thing with enough power. He gets to play with the robot for the rest of the day.

Hypotheticals are something of a cheap trick, I know—they inevitable reduce complicated situations to brief sketches that fail to fully take complex situations into account—but in this case, I thought it might help illuminate an issue that many find difficult to pin down. In spite of the free and frequent use of the word “meta” in internet discourse (usually for fourth-wall breaks or format experimentation), meta-criticism as it relates to narrative is often excluded from common understanding.

And just so we’re not speaking entirely in abstract terms, let’s also talk about a perfectly imperfect series that’s been dear to my heart this season: Land of the Lustrous.

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[Link] Fall 2017 three-episode check-in

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[I ended up with some surprises on my watchlist this season–things I didn’t think I’d like but ended up sticking with, and things I was excited for that wound up being a disappointment.]

Given the sheer number of promising new titles as well as the limited nature of a premiere review, we’ve decided to try a new, informal “check-in” roundtable to talk about the currently airing shows and our thoughts three episodes into the season. AmeliaDee, and Vrai got together to talk (and talk!) about the many shows in their queues and how they’re doing a few weeks into the Fall.

Like we do in our check-in podcasts, we started from the bottom of our Premiere Digest list and worked our way up. If we didn’t watch a show past the first episode, we skipped it, and we’ve used nice big headers to help you quickly jump to the shows you were interested in. Let us know your own thoughts on the season so far, as well as what you think about this new type of post, in the comments below!

Read the rest at Anime Feminist!

[Link] Feminist Anime Recs of Summer 2017

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Tis the season once again. Now that the Fall season is well on its way, there’s a minute to look back on some summer faves. 

We’ve logged all the Fall 2017 premieres, so now it’s time to take a look back at our favorites fromlast season. Princesses, heroes, and soccer boiz—oh my!

We talked about three kinds of recommendations:

  • Feminist-friendly favorite (you would recommend it to a feminist friend with no caveats)
  • Problematic favorite (you would only recommend it to a feminist friend with caveats)
  • Surprise favorite (you expected it to have caveats, but actually would recommend it without)

Thanks to a frenetic August Con season, half the team was just too busy to keep up with new series, so if you listened to the summer wrap-up podcast this list will sound mighty familiar to you. Like we did last season, we had everyone name the shows they’d want to recommend to our AniFam and then divvied up the write-ups among the staff. (Er, except for Made in Abyss, which was thorny enough that we all decided to weigh in.) The series are organized alphabetically below, along with the staff members who named it as a “favorite” and a brief review.

Here’s what the team thought—let us know your picks in the comments!

Read the rest at Anime Feminist!

Rewatching Fushigi Yugi (Part 1)

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Once upon a time I read one of the seminal 90s shoujo series (I…read a lot of Yu Watase, actually). It sucked me in and made me real mad, and then I didn’t think about it for a long time. And I never watched the anime.

When I was invited to watch Fushigi Yugi with two longtime nostalgic fans of the series–Dee and Caitlin, two of my favorite people to talk anime with–I figured it was time to give it a second look.

The first two watchalongs (episodes 1-14) are below the cut. Keep an eye out for the rest!

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