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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[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!

Fall 2017 Anime Premiere Reviews

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It’s that time of year again! I’m absolutely crushed under the weight of the premieres this season–good and bad. Here’s the first batch, summarized in a sentence with links to the longer review, and you can look forward to more in the coming week.

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[Link] Neo Yokio’s Camp Is Hard to Enjoy Through the Transphobia

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Neo Yokio—an anime-style Netflix miniseries written by the lead singer of Vampire Weekend, steered by the executive producer who was also behind Metalocalypse and Superjail!, and starring Jaden Smith—was released this Thursday to great…well, there were a lot of tweets about it, anyway. The series revolves around Kaz Kaan, an exorcist and member of the “neo riche,” as he battles very relatable concerns like purchasing a tuxedo that’s slightly the wrong shade and having to clear out a dead relative’s house in the Hamptons. Some have defended the series as satire, some have embraced it as camp, and some have settled in to watch the garbage fire secondhand.

This was not a series to be watched alone, so I enlisted fandom academic and acerbic wit (and, full disclosure, my partner) Dorothy Kingswood to help me truck through all six episodes. The experience left us four hours closer to death; hopefully our discussion will shed some light on the baffling fumble of execution that is Neo Yokio.

Read the rest at The Mary Sue!

[Link] Who’s the Hero, Anyway? Made in Abyss, gendered tropes, and damaging narratives

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Made in Abyss is frequently one of the most breathtaking shows of the season (you might recall Dee’s glowing premiere review), juggling gorgeous cinematography and dark fairy tale elements with a grim but (thus far) not hopeless narrative. Its young lead, Riko, is an endearing sometimes-crybaby who never gives up or lets her fear get in her way; and the show has also played with gender fluidity, featuring two nongendered characters whose designs contrast feminine-coded presentation with masculine-coded pronouns (a shy child who wears dresses and uses the politely masculine “boku”; a fuzzy bunny-person who wears pink and uses the casually masculine “oira”). Even when it’s frustrating, I’ve never wanted to tear my eyes away.

Unfortunately, it’s also a show whose flaws are all the more glaring in comparison to its moments of excellence. Discussing those flaws offers a unique challenge, however, as many of the show’s failings are cloaked beneath a layer of in-narrative justification; in other words, it makes sense on the surface as to why these things are happening in the plot. But no media exists in a vacuum, and justifying a trope doesn’t stop it from playing into broader harmful trends.

CONTENT WARNING for nudity and discussions of sexual harassment. SPOILERS for events in Made in Abyss Episodes 1-9.

Read the rest at Anime Feminist!