Spring premieres are finally over, and we can get down to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Meanwhile, it’s a pretty quiet week in news.
Want to see all the titles and review links in one place? This is the post for you.
A male power fantasy about supposedly emasculated men fighting back against an all-female power structure. Gross, misogynistic, and transphobic to boot.
An interesting premise with dull execution and a potentially uncomfortable emotional power imbalance between the leads.
A post-apocalyptic action show that mostly involves the female robot throwing herself at her barely pubescent “master.”
Loud, unfunny harem shenanigans and cheap Death Note parody with a cherry of homophobia on top.
Pretty bog standard “cute girls do cute things” show that could get better or worse with time.
Want a club show? This is one. Probably with genderplay and fujoshi undertones to come.
About as straightforward as magical girl shows get, with slightly more fanservice and a pretty likable lead.
A fantastically promising fantasy series sadly locked behind Anime Strike’s paywall.
Would be a nice family drama if it didn’t constantly insist on reminding you that the protagonist wants to fuck his (step)sister.
A throwback magical girlfriend show that also brings back that hilarious combination of groping and physical abuse.
Fantasy travelogue with great chemistry between the leads and potentially nuanced metaphors on oppression.
Might be a promising shoujo love triangle, but suffers from uneven presentation and a miscast lead.
An light novel adaptation with no fetishization of its young cast so far and an endearing family dynamic. The bar for LN adaptations ain’t high, but this one clears it with ease and a lot of charm.
Ecchi battle show wearing a Christian mythology hat. It’s garbage. Vrai loved it.
Prequel to Astro Boy. An exposition-heavy intro but a lot of potential going forward.
Despite being the country that holds the annual Kanamara Matsuri, Igarashi was still brought up on obscenity charges for depicting vaginas in her art.
The lower court ruled that the 3-D data “realistically reproduce the shape (of female genitalia) and stimulate the viewers’ sexual desire,” but the sculptures do not immediately suggest they are female genitals, as the plaster figures are decorated and painted with colors different from skin tones.
“I’ve always believed that I’m innocent. But the 3-D data is guilty and Decoman (plaster artwork) is not—the same judgment with the first trial, which I can’t agree on,” said Igarashi at a news conference in Tokyo.
A look into the relationship dynamics between the at-long-last returning show.
Nothing can replace these fundamental connections. Where the Ebisugawa’s have immense wealth, Suzuki Satomi has grown into power sufficient to be referred to after the Shinto goddess of fortune, Benten. Her reputation is one of unrivaled invincibility, provided gifts from tengu and tanuki alike as appeasement. She resides at the top of the social hierarchy among all three races. For all this, she may be the most tragic character in the series.
Some more Dragon Maid discussion if you, like some of us, aren’t quite ready to let it go; and a dip into the new cute trash boys show.
Mike Ferreira: Tonight, we have a good amount to talk about – it’s time to say goodbye to Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and welcome The Royal Tutor as we march into the new season.
L.B. Bryant: I know it’s super early but at this point I’m willing to say that Maid Dragon is an early contender for AOTY.
Well…a focus on marriages and domestic life is certainly a new take on the “waifu” idea. There’s an essay in this somewhere, no doubt.
Hibiki Works’ idea is to let players court the object of their affection in the early part of the game, and then let the gameplay experience continue on into their blissful, physically affectionate married life, as alluded to in the game’s opening animation.
We’re not sure how inclusive this actually is–boy bands kissing for fanservice isn’t new, and as we saw last week a lot of groups are required to hide their actual orientations–but it seemed worth including for its relatively mainstream visibility.
The song, called “Shadow Kiss“, is performed by relatively new boy band MeseMoa., a nine-member group first formed in 2012 under the name Morning Musumen, so-called as they used to cover songs by the popular Japanese female idol group Morning Musume.
As the lead single from Secret, the first album released under their new moniker, a theme of shrouded secrecy runs through the new video clip, which is making news around Japan for its extraordinary number of male-on-male kisses.
Quite a few movies on this list have female leads or themes relating to identity and societal pressures (hi, Satoshi Kon!). Worth checking for any gems you might’ve missed.
It’s safe to say that Ghibli corners the market for 90-minute escapist anime that makes you feel good by the end. But there are psychological heights some Ghibli movies don’t hit. Below are my top picks for non-Ghibli films. Many are pretty disturbing. All of them are genius.
Yet another take at outlining the downsides of magical girls, this time in the form of “what if they were thrown into the wrong genre.” Watch for spoilers.
This episode is an excellent thought experiment showing what would happen if a fictional magical girl found herself in the real world—a world with consequences and complex morality far beyond any in her own. But what we have seen so far is just the immediate shock. What will really be interesting to see is how she grows from here—how she rationalizes what she’s seen and done and how it changes her as the series continues on.
Clock ticks for women in Japan seeking love at work (The Japan Times)
In spite of strides forward, Japanese society still pressures women to marry before 30.
Apparently, 30 is the cut-off point — 婚活 (konkatsu, partner hunting) agencies point out that only 23 percent of Japanese women get married between the ages of 30 and 34, and that rate gets whittled down to 11 percent between the ages of 35 and 40. No wonder a lot of the young women I talk to these days say more or less the same thing: 学生時代の彼氏をキープしとかないと後がつらい (Gakusei-jidai no kareshi o kiipu shi to kanai to ato ga tsurai, “It’s better to keep your college boyfriend close at hand, because hard times may be ahead”).
Japanese PTAs: My Not So Brilliant Career As A Yakuin (Savvy Tokyo)
One foreign mother’s experience of being a part of an elementary school PTA.
But things were about to change. You could have cut the air with a knife when during our first parents-teachers meeting, my son’s first grade teacher smiled brightly and asked, “Now, any volunteers for class yakuin for PTA this year?”
The teacher persisted. Indeed, she had no choice—she was duty-bound to produce three volunteers before she could end the meeting. If there were no volunteers, then we would have to revert to the time-honored method of drawing names from a hat—or perhaps a few rounds of the ever-popular janken (rock, paper, scissors).
Have you caught up on everything you want to try this season? Got a favorite, least favorite, or guilty pleasure? Tell us all about it!
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