We’re ringing in the new year with a fond look back at the old! 2017 may have been a dumpster fire in the real world, but it was full of ambitious, entertaining, and emotional stories in the anime-verse. Our staff got together to recommend their favorites from the last 12 months.
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.
I’m very pleased to announce that Chatty AF is now available on iTunes and Stitcher! Unfortunately, Google has regional restrictions getting in the way of us getting on Google Play, but we are available through Player.FM, which offers a free app Android users can access. If there is another service you would like us to apply to, let us know in comments! We want all of you to be able to go back and catch up on the shows you’ve missed.
Now we’ve reviewed all the Spring 2017 premieres, we thought we’d round up some of our favourites from shows that ended last season. We talked about three kinds of recommendation: 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 Shinju for 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. Here’s what a few of the team thought – let us know your picks in the comments!
We finally managed to co-ordinate across three timezones and record a podcast! This is very much a trial episode, and we need your feedback to know if/how we should continue.
Last week we talked about the erasure of lesbian romance in the dub of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. This week, let’s look at lesbian representation in yuri anime/manga and other Japanese pop culture.
When the first episode dub of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid came out, fans were quick to notice a problem: lines which had been accurately translated for subtitles had been revised for the dub. This is not unusual; lines must be expanded or trimmed to synchronise with lip flap movements, and jokes in particular can fall flat if not overhauled. But that’s not what happened here.
Another season of premieres reviewed! I have never found a season as disheartening as this one. It was five painful days before I finally found something to enthusiastically recommend, and I credit Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju for reminding me in that time of the heights anime can reach. It felt like a constant process of my bar for quality being lowered and lowered again, then occasionally spiked back up to where I had forgotten it could be.
Miss Kobayashi, a developer, wakes up one morning to discover she invited a dragon to come and live with her as a maid while blind drunk the night before. The dragon, Tohru, can either appear as full dragon or mostly human with just a hefty dragon tail behind her, and must adapt to such human customs as “washing laundry without using your own saliva” or “cooking something other than your own tail”.