Premieres are a tricky business: production teams do their best to look spectacular in terms of animation, intrigue, and (depending on the series) fanservice in hopes of getting viewers to stick around for Episode 2. But that “best foot forward” approach can be a double-edged sword, as viewers find themselves disappointed by a show that veers in a different direction from what the premiere seemed to promise.
Taking a one-week break from our Berserk watchalong, Dee, Vrai, Peter, and special guest Natasha do a deep dive into one our favorite anime of last year: Flip Flappers! SPOILERS: for the entire series of Flip Flappers
Before I saw Princess Mononoke, it was recommended to me by a lot of people—in anime blogs, on Facebook, by friends and classmates. Most of them were women like me who said the movie made them feel hopeful and brave, which to me meant that I would either love the movie or hate it. For a movie to appeal to me as a woman, female characters had to be more than just caricatures and stereotypes. They had to make mistakes and learn from them; they had to have bad hair days. Without that, I couldn’t connect with them and it made their story seem more wishy-washy, as if it was made to just placate viewers who happened to be women instead of actually making them think and feel.
Let’s get something out of the way:I’m about to talk about some problematic stuff. Some of it is pornographic and graphically violent. So I’m flagging you all with this content warning. I’m going to be talking about issues with gender dysphoria, rape, and sexual harassment. Also, given the topic features characters who change their gender presentation throughout the story, I’ll be referring to each character as how they originally presented, unless they self-identify otherwise in the story after their transformation. This article also contains NSFW images. All right? Let’s go.
Sex workers, misogynistic marketing, and inhumane conditions for animators.
Last week many Yuri!!! On ICE fans rejoiced as a MAPPA producer and later the YOI PR team made statements seeming to confirm that Yuri and Victor’s relationship is romantic in nature. This raises important questions about the involvement of creators in audience interpretations – particularly when those interpretations are by marginalized fans regarding their own representation.
Another season of premieres watched and reviewed! Now that we’ve gone through every premiere, it’s time to line ’em up next to each other and see how they compare.
Part 2 of the four-part watchalong of Berserk with Amelia, Peter, and special guest Kara Dennison!
After THE REFLECTION, some of the people in all parts of the world are discovered with super powers. Some become heroes, and others villains. How did The Reflection happen? What was the cause of it? With many unsolved mysteries, the world is lead into turmoil. Source: Crunchyroll Oh, Studio DEEN. I thought that perhaps the truly lovely Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju meant you’d finally broken through your well-deserved reputation for heinously cheap animation. I was wrong. Shame on me.
At age five, I was diagnosed with Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscular condition that mainly impacts my legs. The process was slow, providing me the opportunity to confront my identity as a person with a disability. While my family fretted over my diagnosis, I felt confused. My parents emphasized that I had to respect my physical limitations, to avoid overexertion, or my condition would worsen. “Did my body not work like everyone else’s?” I wondered, piquing both my curiosity and my concern. Drawn by these feelings, I became compelled to study Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition similar to my own, and pursue a PhD in biomedical science.
As a queer woman, I find that a lot of queer literature isn’t really made with my perspective in mind. Often times, it feels like most of the queer female media is made for men’s enjoyment and depicts unrealistic or frivolous relationships between women. When I found the manga Girl Friends, I was not only excited to see a yuri that seemed made for me; I also felt as though I related to the girls on a very intimate level because of the authenticity presented in their relationship. SPOILERS: Detailed discussion of the Girl Friends manga
Positive trans representation, what’s up with the isekai boom, and abuse in shoujo.
We started our second watchalong podcast yesterday, on long-running seinen powerhouse Berserk. A watchalong is when two people who haven’t seen an anime watch six episodes of it at a time, then record a podcast with one superfan to discuss those episodes from a feminist perspective before moving on to the next six episodes. It gave us some insightful, rewarding discussion on Shirobako, and now we’re considering applying the format to manga as well. The only criteria would be that the manga are available to legally buy in English and lend themselves to interesting feminist discussion. (As you might have guessed from the featured image, Akiko Higashimura’s Tokyo Tarareba Girls is already on the list! ) Just one question today then: if we did a manga readalong, reading through one volume of manga at a time then discussing it before moving on to the next volume, which manga would you like us to cover? At this stage, we have raised enough money to be able to pay for contributed posts, behind the scenes admin, and audio editing for weekly podcasts. Our next goal is to pay the editors who have worked on AniFem as volunteers since before launch, making enormous contributions for no pay. Help us pay them for their work at a rate of $15 an hour by becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!
Part 1 of the four-part watchalong of Berserk with Amelia, Peter, and special guest Kara Dennison! WARNING: Due to the nature of Berserk, sexual assault, abuse and violence will be discussed in this and future episodes.
Now that we’ve knocked out the Summer 2017 premieres, it’s time to take a fond look back at our favorites from last season. We talked about three kinds of recommendations: Feminist-friendly favorite (you would recommend it to a feminist friend with no caveats) Problematic favorite (you would only recommend it to a feminist friend with caveats) Surprise favorite (you expected it to have caveats, but actually would recommend it without) We’re organizing things a little differently this time around. Rather than have people pick three favorites and wind up with repeat write-ups (a bunch of us really liked My Hero Academia and The Royal Tutor, okay), we had everyone list the shows they’d want to recommend to our AniFam and then divvied up the write-ups among the staff. The series are organized alphabetically below, along with the staff members who named it as a “favorite” and a brief review. Here’s what the team thought – let us know your picks in the comments!
Keita Amano is a lonely young man who loves video games; Karen Tendō is the beautiful president of the video game club; Chiaki Hoshinomori constantly fights with Keita; and Tasuku Uehara puts on a facade of being satisfied with his life in the real world, but he in truth loves video games. Source: Anime News Network I am as surprised as anyone to find myself wanting another episode of GAMERS!. Given how hit or miss club shows can be, combined with the infamously toxic atmosphere that is actual gaming culture, the show had an uphill battle ahead of it. But skin my flesh and call me a newb if I didn’t walk away endeared.
Kōdo Ikusei Senior High School is a leading prestigious school with state-of-the-art facilities where nearly 100% of students go on to university or find employment. The students there have the freedom to wear any hairstyle and bring any personal effects they desire. Kōdo Ikusei is a paradise-like school, but the truth is that only the most superior of students receive favorable treatment. Kiyotaka Ayanokōji is a student of D-class, which is where the school dumps its “inferior” students in order to ridicule them. For a certain reason, Kiyotaka was careless on his entrance examination, and was put in D-class. After meeting Suzune Horikita and Kikyō Kushida, two other students in his class, Kiyotaka’s situation begins to change. Source: Anime News Network Classroom of the Elite thinks it’s a lot smarter than it actually is. This is a show that opens with a quote from Nietzsche (which is slightly more or less stupidly pretentious than quoting Rand, depending on who you ask) and ends on La Rouchefoucald. Simultaneously, I had guessed its end-of-episode twist by about the five-minute mark. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, because there are several hints of genuine intrigue here, but is certainly sets a tone.
Junichi “Jun” Hashiba is an uncool high school student who frets about wanting to lose his virginity. Egged on by his friends, Jun gets on his knees and confesses his love to a classmate named Yukana Yame. The confession surprisingly works and the couple goes out. However, Jun finds himself in uncharted waters with Yame, a trendy and fashion-conscious “gal.” Source: Anime News Network “Oh, there’s this season’s obligatory T&A show,” I thought, as the opening seconds of the episode framed a set of censored labia and the opening credits showed off the kind of watermelon boobs that would give an actual human serious back problems. I could’ve called it there, but I kept on—you may all remember that I had a grand time laughing at Seven Mortal Sins last season, so I didn’t want to miss any idiotic gold. The only idiot was me, flying ever higher on wings of wax. Caution: So very, very many NSFW images below.
A huge stack of premieres, schoolgirl exploitation, and anti-consumer behavior.
Mochizuki Touya is the unfortunate victim of a bolt of lightning thrown carelessly by God. Because he really wasn’t supposed to die at fifteen, God is willing to cut him a deal – Touya can be reborn, or rather, re-placed, at his present age in a new world in order to continue living. To sweeten things, the world will have magic, which Touya will be able to use, his physical abilities will get a boost, and he can bring any one thing with him. Touya opts to take his smartphone, which God kindly equips with the appropriate maps and translation functions for his new life. And that life looks like it’s going to go pretty well – within moments of awakening, Touya has been paid for his other-world clothes, formed a party with twins Elze and Linze, learned he can use all seven forms of magic, and introduced his new world to ice cream – and this is only the first day. Source: Anime News Network If you’ve been watching anime at all these past five years, you’ve seen this series before. A teenage boy dies and gets sent to a fantasy world. He meets some cute girls around his age and they go adventuring together. There’s a bunch of world-building about Guilds and magic systems. Our protagonist turns out to be Very Special And Talented. Okay, sure, the kid gets to use his smartphone to help people invent ice cream, but beyond that this is a straightforward, by-the-book, boilerplate isekai light novel adaptation. I, uh… kinda liked it?