[Discourse] The failed feminism of 18if

Sparse as it was, the Summer 2017 anime season did bring us a number of ambitious projects. Less discussed in my circles, however, was this little show called 18if—understandably so, given its often less-than-stellar animation and lack of an obvious narrative hook. The most distinctive thing about it is easily the production itself: each episode offers lesser-known creatives free reign over a largely self-contained story. Supervised by industry veteran Morimoto Koji (Magnetic Rose, Animatrix), 18if varies wildly from episode to episode in both writing and visual design, which is both a strength and debilitating weakness.

[Roundtable] Fall 2017 three-episode check-in

Given the sheer number of promising new titles as well as the limited nature of a premiere review, we’ve decided to try a new, informal “check-in” roundtable to talk about the currently airing shows and our thoughts three episodes into the season. Amelia, Dee, and Vrai got together to talk (and talk!) about the many shows in their queues and how they’re doing a few weeks into the Fall.

[AniFemTalk] Adapting classic manga

Over the weekend it was announced that Banana Fish—a crime manga from the 1980s that was one of the few to feature prominent gay characters (albeit in some problematic ways)—will be getting an anime adaptation in 2018. Let’s open the doors a little wider.

[Feature] Those Who Defy Their Fate: How Princess Tutu rejects traditional narratives

Ikuko Itoh’s Princess Tutu, which aired in Japan from August 2002 to May 2003, is a lesser-known yet widely praised addition to the mahou shoujo genre. The series pays tribute to various classic ballets and fairy tales, such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, while simultaneously weaving a new fairy tale-like story that upends gender roles and rejects the archetypal tragic narrative found in most ballet. In doing so, Princess Tutu embraces feminist ideals of individual freedom, rebellion against archaic tradition, and the construction of a new, more liberating society.

[History] Sazae-san and the Grandmother of Manga

Ahh, Osamu Tezuka, the Godfather of Manga. Even if you haven’t read his work, you know he’s had a lasting impact on Japanese animation and comics. But Tezuka isn’t the only person who’s influenced the creation and development of these art forms. If there’s a Godfather of Manga, does that mean there’s a Godmother of Manga, too? There is, in fact—although she’s usually referred to as the “Grandmother of Manga” instead. Her name is Machiko Hasegawa, and she’s profoundly influenced animation and manga with her most popular work, The Wonderful World of Sazae-san.

[Review] Inuyashiki – episode 1

Ichiro Inuyashiki is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he’s constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he’s done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world. But just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichiro stands.

[Review] A Sister’s All You Need – episode 1

Itsuki is a novelist and “modern day Pygmalion” who works day in and day out to create the ultimate younger sister. He’s surrounded by various other characters: a beautiful genius writer who loves him, his big-sisterly classmate from college, a fellow male writer, a sadistic tax accountant, and his editor. They’re all looked after by Itsuki’s perfect younger step-brother, Chihiro, who has a serious secret.