[History] From Eroica with Love is the 1970s gay thief caper you never knew you needed

The year is 1976. Dashing and romantic art thief Dorian Red Gloria, codename Eroica, rescues the young supergenius psychic Caesar Gabriel (who is desperately in love with him, of course) from NATO. He’s pursued by the dogged agent Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach to the frozen edges of the earth, where the newfound rivals find themselves stranded and at a stalemate. Forced to bunker down together while waiting for rescue, Dorian realizes that he has far better chemistry with the prickly Major than his unspeakably bland love interest. And thus 40 years of unresolved sexual tension begins in earnest.

[AniFemTalk] Winter 2017 wrap-up

The winter 2017 season is coming to an end, and we want to know what you thought! In the end, which were your favorite anime of the season? Which was your biggest disappointment? Which was the biggest surprise, either for better or worse? Which has inspired you to seek out its source material? What are your favorite blog posts, tweet threads, or videos about shows from this season?   Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems. Thanks to our generous patrons we are now able to pay all writers! Next we need to be able to pay members of the team for their work behind the scenes, especially their time spent editing the work of paid contributors. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying people fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today! 

[Podcast] Chatty AF 4: Japanese versions of Ghost in the Shell

Two weeks ago we talked about the main characters of Re:ZERO: entitled teenager Subaru, noble magic-user Emilia and submissive, self-sacrificing Rem. This week we go in the opposite direction as possible to talk about the manga and anime versions of cyborg military professional Motoko Kusanagi in the Ghost in the Shell franchise with special guests Valerie Complex and Brian Ruh!

[Feature] Love in the Time of ClassicaLoid

Welp, they’ve done it again. The creative team who assured us that being a girl was a state of mind rather than a state of body brought that same chipper progressivism to their silly romance episode, and they did not disappoint. ClassicaLoid may be first-and-foremost a wacky comedy about the importance of community and the transformative power of music, but it’s also proven itself adept at quietly challenging cultural norms about gender and sexuality. Guess it’s true you should never judge a book by its cover—or a series by its goofy premise.

[AniFemTalk] Disability in anime and manga

As Naoko Yamada‘s film adaptation of Yoshitoki Oima’s manga A Silent Voice receives consistently glowing reviews, we started thinking about other representations of disability. Which representations of disability in Japanese pop culture are particularly realistic? Which representations are particularly poor? Who is your favorite disabled character in Japanese pop culture? Are you a disabled fan who feels connected to a particular character? If you are a disabled fan, how would you most prefer to see your disability represented in anime or manga, if at all?   Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems. Thanks to our generous patrons we are now able to pay all writers! Next we need to be able to pay members of the team for their work behind the scenes, especially their time spent editing the work of paid contributors. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying people fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today! 

[Feature] Reimi is Unbreakable: Female empowerment in Diamond is Unbreakable

SPOILERS: major spoilers for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki is not exactly a conventional shonen manga. The series, which turns 30 this year, tells the multi-generational epic of the Joestar family and the strange – one might even say bizarre – supernatural forces that touch their lives. The first three arcs featured heroes clashing over the fate of humanity in exotic locales such as Egypt and Peru. The fourth arc, Diamond is Unbreakable, breaks from that tone with a suburban horror tale featuring Josuke Higashikata, the product of Joseph Joestar’s extramarital affair, in the sleepy seaside suburb Morioh.

[Throwback] Male power fantasies in Re:ZERO

Recording our recent podcast on Re:ZERO made me want to share one of the earliest explicitly feminist fandom posts I read, from a writer who has since become a personal friend and an honorary member of Team AniFem (and will one day write something for us, no doubt!). Re:ZERO and the White Knight Complex (Frogkun.com) The white knight complex is one of the reasons why I personally find harems so endlessly fascinating in spite of (or maybe because of?) their generally poor writing: they might say very little about how women are actually like, but they do say a whole lot about male anxieties. This is sort of related to what I was saying about all those otaku power fantasies in an earlier post, about how they offer a way for a disenfranchised male to depict himself as the top dog. If the male otaku in these stories can’t live up to the impossible ideals of heteronormative masculinity, his answer is not to reject those ideals altogether, but rather to create a world where he can cheat his way to the top. In this scenario, women are relegated to trophy status; by loving the protagonist, they affirm his manhood to the eyes of the world. People sometimes ask why we cover any texts targeting men, as if they should be exempt from feminist analysis. Posts like this (and the resulting conversation in comments) demonstrate the kinds of nuanced discussions we can have about male characters and masculinity by viewing shonen or seinen anime through a feminist lens. Read the full post then let us know what you think in comments below, or tell Frog-kun directly on Twitter @frog_kun!   Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems. Thanks to our generous patrons we are now able to pay all writers! Next we need to be able to pay members of the team for their work behind the scenes, especially their time spent editing the work of paid contributors. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying people fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today! 

[My Fave Is Problematic] Cross Ange

I first ran into Cross Ange when my husband tried to hide that he was watching it. Knowing I’m a feminist, he assumed I would be scandalized by the cheapness and frequency of the show’s fanservice. He wasn’t exactly wrong. The fanservice in Cross Ange begins before the opening credits on the first episode, and doesn’t stop until the main character spends most of the final episode completely nude. In between, she fights dragons on a giant robot. What’s not to love?

[Podcast] Chatty AF 3: The Re:ZERO Triangle

Two weeks ago we brought you a retrospective on Revolutionary Girl Utena with some of the most dedicated Utena analysts out there. This week we’re talking about a show very dear to my heart: my problematic favourite of 2016 and the reason I became friends with Peter and Frog-kun, Re:ZERO. As I say in the intro, we will definitely talk about Re:ZERO again, but this episode focuses on the main characters of the central love triangle: Subaru, Rem and Emilia.

[Discourse] The problem with the dark magical girl genre

Magical Girl Raising Project finished airing a few months ago, drawing its Battle Royale-esque death game to a close with most of its young, frill-clad, magical girl cast dead. It’s the expected outcome of anything that comes with that formula, but it’s an incredibly grim way to describe a magical girl show—shows that are, traditionally, at their hearts all about girls banding together to support each other and saving the world with the power of love and friendship. Murder and despair are normally nowhere near the magical girl archetype, but that’s changing in some recent and disturbing developments.

[Throwback] Cosplaying while black

Earlier this week we invited you to showcase the contributions of black fans, and initial response was disheartening. It looks like our community just isn’t too aware of the work black fans and creators are doing in anime and manga fandom. To begin addressing that, let’s take a look at a 2013 post by Chaka, a.k.a. @princessology, creator of February’s #28DaysofBlackCosplay.

[Discourse] Strong Girls Doing Strong Things: Moe, femininity, and being your own hero

SPOILERS: minor spoilers for K-On!, Yuri!!! on ICE and Food Wars! A wide-eyed innocent is staring at you through the screen, her lashline shimmering with tears. “Take care of me”, she appeals without words, to a hero on screen, perhaps you as her hero. Or maybe even to the part of you that’s fragile, which you protect from a world of strangers. Many of us would recognise this as moe, what some would suppose a ‘moeblob’; a character that exists only to be vulnerable and sweet, an empty sugar shell we long to keep safe. But many of us will find something deeper to relate to in this trembling dear, kind to all, yet afraid of some imagined danger.