[My Fave is Problematic] Kare Kano

I was in middle school when I first got ahold of Volume 1 of Masumi Tsuda’s Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou, often shortened to Kare Kano and released in English as His and Her Circumstances (or Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances for the manga). The award-winning series details the lives of two outwardly “perfect” honor students, Yukino Miyazawa and Soichiro Arima, as they accidentally uncover one another’s imperfections, fall in love, and agree to be true to themselves.

[AniFemTalk] Socially conscious stories

All media shapes our sense of the world and how we understand and empathize with each other, but some creators are more conscious in their attempts to address serious issues: ones where the main themes are about inequality in media or society, or are dedicated to focusing on lives and identities not found in most popular media. And because they aim so high, they can wind up being very hit or miss.

[History] Not Just A Man’s Job: How war involves (and hurts) everybody in Gundam 0080

A memorable scene from Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket highlights the horrors of war: after much damage to the town, paramedics pull a female pilot out of a wrecked Gundam surrounded by debris. Our protagonist, a young boy named Al, is shocked, pupils as dilated as can be. To him, this female pilot occupies a very different sphere: a domestic one. In fact, she’s his old babysitter.

[AniFemTalk] Positively depicting sex and sexuality

Sex isn’t a four letter word, and all forms of sexuality (including asexuality and romantic interest) are part of the human experience. It’s only natural that those things will be part of our media. The conversation about when and how to talk about sex, or to have sexy characters (especially female characters) in an ethical and non-exploitative way, gets way more complicated.

[Feature] Princess Mononoke as a force of nature

San, the titular Princess Mononoke, is a force of nature, uncompromising and undaunted by violence. Raised in nature, she sought to become its hand of vengeance against humanity. A young woman pursuing her own goals against ignorance and petty enmity is a typical (albeit early) example of Hayao Miyazaki’s dedication to well-rounded female characters.

[Review] Anime Supremacy! is the SHIROBAKO sequel you’ve been waiting for

Anime Supremacy!, written by Mizuki Tsujimura and translated by Deborah Boliver Boehm, tells the interconnected stories of three women—a producer, a director, and an animator—working in the anime industry. Not quite a novel and not quite a short story collection, the book is divided into three main chapters, each following one of the protagonists through part of a single anime season.

[Feature] Escape from Yuri Hell: FLIP FLAPPERS’ critique of the Class S genre

In FLIP FLAPPERS, Cocona and Papika’s trips to Pure Illusion serve as both a genre homage and a character exploration, often touching on themes of coming-of-age and the complicated business of sexual maturation. As part of this trend, Episode Five, “Pure Echo,” develops and explores our heroes and the trials of adolescence by throwing them into a world that combines Class S, a genre of sweet yuri romance, with horror. Now, what in the world could that strange combination be trying to tell us?

[My Fave is Problematic] Ranma 1/2

When I read Ranma ½  during my first year of high school, I fell in love with Rumiko Takahashi’s signature expressive art. I loved her colorful cast just as much, always getting caught up in over-the-top situations. Like many people, I remember it fondly. Yet the older I get, the harder it is to ignore some of the most problematic aspects of the series, especially how it deals with femininity.

[Perspectives] Searching for neurodivergent role models in anime

I love many things about being a geek: I love researching various pieces of media for their histories and lore, I love the process of reading, watching, or playing the media itself, and I love interacting with other people who share my passion. These activities are viewed not only as normal, but essential to the identity of being a geek.
But replace the word ‘“geek” with the word “autistic,” and suddenly all the traits that were so readily accepted get read as strange and negative. These reactions are a daily reality when you’re a neurodivergent geek due to the overwhelming prevalence of ableism and ignorance in online spaces, which is often stressful and frustrating.

[Feature] The challenges of a queer immigrant and the shortcomings of A Certain Marriage

At first glance, A Certain Marriage by Ruri Kumashika is an attractive addition to the expanding collection of LGBT-oriented comics coming out of Japan. It tells the story of Saki Honjo, a Japanese woman who moved to Los Angeles to join her high school girlfriend Anna Abel, and their journey toward marriage. A bitter-sweet story, A Certain Marriage delves into the beauty of gay relationships and the discrimination LGBT people experience. The story, however, ultimately fails to delve into the challenges queer immigrants from Japan face living in America.