[History] The diversification of otaku in Japanese media

While as a westerner it’s difficult to have a truly nuanced understanding of the cultural norms surrounding the term “otaku,” we can get an idea of how stereotypes and expectations have changed by looking at how otaku are portrayed in anime and manga, and how those portrayals have evolved to include more diverse, sympathetic, and positive depictions over the years.

[Interview] Sayo Yamamoto, director and storyboard artist

Sayo Yamamoto became a household name in anime fandom in 2017 after Yuri!!! on ICE became an international phenomenon. However, even before that, she had an impressive career with series such as Michiko and Hatchin and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, earning her a cult following for their stories about complicated, sexy women and feminist themes. AniFem staffer Caitlin sat down with her at AnimeFest 2017 to talk about Yuri on Ice, her themes, and her career.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 41: Miss Hokusai Retrospective

Caitlin, Amelia, and Dee discuss Miss Hokusai, the 2015 feature film from Production I.G. Set in the early 1800s, this historical fiction follows real-life artist O-Ei as she navigates her relationships with her famous father, her young sister, and her own developing art in a society and profession dominated by men.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 40: Fushigi Yugi Watchalong – OVAs (Part 2 of 2)

The 10th and final installment of our Fushigi Yugi watchalong with Dee, Vrai, and Caitlin! The team finishes out the OVAs in trademark rollercoaster fashion as they bask in one of the series’ highest highs, suffer through one of its lowest lows, and still come out the other side fighting for this messy, sincere franchise. Taka finds himself. Chichiri needs a hug. Mayo does everything wrong.

[Feature] DEVILMAN crybaby, legacies of queerness, and diversifying remakes

DEVILMAN crybaby has been tearing up the internet since it dropped a few weeks ago, sparking conversation about its use of sex, violence, horror, and taboo to tell a story about love and the end of the world. Not an inconsiderable amount of that discussion was centered around the series’ queer representation. What do you do with a series that features sympathetic representation while also killing queer characters off, and does it make a difference that everybody is dying?

[Roundtable] Age-gap relationships in fiction

During the Chatty AF Fushigi Yugi watchalong, Caitlin, Dee, and Vrai would frequently chat privately about the show. While watching the OVAs, the conversation turned to the relationship between a pair of supporting characters, which in turn developed into a spontaneous discussion about age-gap romances in fiction. As the subject is a complicated one (and particularly topical given recent anime), the team thought it worthwhile to expand it into a roundtable and publish it for the site.

[Interview] Makoto Kageyama discusses mental health issues in Japan and anime

The recent controversy around Logan Paul’s decision to film the bodies of the dead in Aokigahara forest has opened up discussion about Japan’s mental health crisis and the ways in which a lot of western culture has diminished, fetishized, or othered that issue. Makoto Kageyama, a former volunteer at Aokigahara, was kind enough to speak with us about their experiences living with mental illness, how the mentally ill are treated in Japan, and how those issues are depicted in anime.