What better way to move into the year than by staring determinedly backward at the year that was? I did several write-ups about the Fall 2017 season and the year in anime as a whole, as well as some podcasting for those of you looking for an audio version. Short version: rocks own my heart, and it was a quality year for gay.
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.
Feminist-friendly favourite (you would recommend it to a feminist friend with no caveats)
Problematic favourite (you would only recommend it to a feminist friend with caveats)
Surprise favourite (you expected it to have caveats, but actually would recommend it without)
Just so you know, every one of us would have picked Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjufor the feminist-friendly favourite. (For those who loved it as much as we do, we highly recommend our own Dee’s insightful episode recaps for both seasons.) To give you a more diverse selection, I asked that only one person cover Rakugo and that the rest come up with other options – easily done, since we all had other anime from the season that we had loved.