[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!

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Summer Anime Wrap-Up

The summer season is finally over, and it’s finally time to look back at what worked and what didn’t. I talked about the good, sweet mental illness sports show, my new favorite yuri spy series, and my fond if very, very complicated feelings about the Sad Children Adventures Fairytale.

Show notes are over at Anime Feminist!

[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!