[Link] How Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun compassionately handles mental illness

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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!

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[Link] Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and (Adult) Sexuality

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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.

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[Link] Summer 2017 premiere rankings

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Sorry, readers; I’ve been spinning a lot of plates as of late between recording and editing podcasts, doing week to week posts like this one, and working on projects that haven’t quite made it to air yet (in addition to an upcoming month of real-world concerns that are going to take up a lot of time and effort). In the meantime, I wanted to make sure you at least had SOME content, even if it’s crossover stuff. 

Another season of premieres watched and reviewed! Now that we’ve gone through every premiere, it’s time to line ’em up next to each other and see how they compare.

Which shows do you review? 

We don’t review shows that are sequels, shorts, or for young children. Anything not licensed and immediately available is off the table as well (lookin’ at you, Netflix titles). This left 26 eligible premieres in 22 days.

How do you write the reviews?

This time Vrai tackled the majority of the premiere reviews (like a rock star) with assistance from Dee and Amelia. We don’t always like or dislike the same shows, or to the same extent, but we respect and support one another’s positions and critiques.

Read the rest at Anime Feminist!

[Link] Feminist anime recommendations of Spring 2017

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It’s that time again! I’m usually the least up-to-date person on the AniFem team, but I still had some favorites that I wanted to write up. 

Now that we’ve knocked out the Summer 2017 premieres, it’s time to take a fond look back at our favorites from last season. 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)

We’re organizing things a little differently this time around. Rather than have people pick three favorites and wind up with repeat write-ups (a bunch of us really liked My Hero Academia and The Royal Tutor, okay), we had everyone list the shows they’d want to recommend to our AniFam and then divvied up the write-ups among the staff. The series are organized alphabetically below, along with the staff members who named it as a “favorite” and a brief review.

Read the rest at AniFem!

Summer 2017 Anime Premiere Masterpost

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I watched so much anime over the last two weeks, readers. More than I think I’ve ever tackled during the start of a new season. You may recall that I reviewed a handful of titles for Anime Feminist during the Spring season. That handful rocketed up to a whopping seventeen titles, running the gamut from pretty awesome to huffing the fumes of existential despair.

I’m including bite-sized impressions here, and links if you want to check out the full coverage. Happy reading!

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[Link] “KADO: The Right Answer” Should’ve Been a Dating Sim

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Nobody seems to know what to make of KADO: The Right Answer, and that includes the production team. Like the anisotropic, KADO’s dimension beyond our own universe, the show contained multitudes: it was a deliberately paced political thriller one minute and a twist-laden character drama the next; its visuals shifted between traditional 2D animation and CG, the latter of which ranged from downright stunning to “average ATLUS game;” and while it was just sort of okay sci-fi, it eventually revealed itself to be way more engaging as a gender-equal harem show.

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