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.
Nostalgic retrospectives, sexual harassment, and possibly unscrupulous trademarks.
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.
Part 5 of our Fushigi Yugi watchalong with Caitlin, Dee, and Vrai! Emotions run high as the team grapples with the loss of a beloved character and the many, many problems with the story’s handling of gender and sexuality. Miaka applies for dual citizenship. Tamahome invents a stereotype. Nuriko opens up.
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.
For many years and through countless delays, Persona 5 was my most anticipated game of the year. Persona 4 was an amazing starting point for the Persona series’ examining of real-life issues, and Persona 5’s concept of being a slave to society and needing to break free resonated with me on many levels.
History lessons on queer comics, troll culture, and Black men’s connection to Dragon Ball Z.
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.
Vrai, Caitlin, and Peter check in with 18 anime of our Fall 2017 premiere digest. Listen to find out our biggest surprises, disappointments, and guilty pleasures of the season along with our top recommended sequels!
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.
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.
14-year-old inventors, compensation for panel presenters, and the politics of subtitles.
Last week we talked about female friendship, and it was awesome. Some of the examples sprinkled between those good, good friendships, though, were out-and-out love stories. So today’s the day to celebrate yuri!
Part 4 of the Fushigi Yugi watchalong with Vrai, Dee, and Caitlin! The ensemble cast shines in another strong stretch, but there’s a storm on the horizon, and we ain’t just talking about Soi’s lightning powers. Chiriko gets real. Miaka straps on her chastity belt. Tamahome has a very bad week.
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?
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.
Depressing news about the fight for gender equality, academic studies of BL, and hobby manga.
The world needs more stories about relationships between women, both romantic and platonic. Today we want to highlight the latter: tell us about your favorite female friendships 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.
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.