CONTENT WARNING for discussion of homophobia and suicide. SPOILERS for all of of Revue Starlight. Fittingly for a series so inspired by theatre, Revue Starlight has quite a spectacular finale. Across its twelve-episode run, the musical, magical, swashbuckling school story explores themes of competition and rivalry, unfair systems, and love and friendship. It brings these all … [Read more...] about [Feature] Rewriting the Script: Revue Starlight’s rejection of tragic queer tropes
CONTENT WARNING for discussion of sexual assault, homophobia, predatory behavior, and bullying. SPOILERS for all of Yurikuma Arashi. Fantastical fiction is an ideal space for working through complex real-world issues using the frame of allegory, metaphor, and a little bit of magic. Yurikuma Arashi is one such series, a step detached from reality but with something to say … [Read more...] about [Feature] Going Beyond Severance: Metaphorical and literal queerness in Yurikuma Arashi
On paper, Laid-Back Camp and Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles sound quite similar. They’re both slice-of-life shows about girls with niche interests or hobbies, portrayed in loving detail—camping and ramen noodles, respectively. Each series also has a small ensemble cast headed by two standout main characters: a quiet, withdrawn girl with the greatest dedication to the special … [Read more...] about [Versus] Cozy Campfires, Bitter Broth: Female Relationships in Laid-Back Camp vs Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
Pop Team Epic blasted onto our screens at the start of the winter 2018 season and has been confusing and amusing viewers ever since. It’s fast-paced, surreal, absurd, a little crude, entrenched in pop culture, and just plain ridiculous. It stars Popuko and Pipimi, a pair of schoolgirls who, in taking this wild and wacky spotlight, step into a role not often given to girls in … [Read more...] about [Feature] Pop Team Epic and the value of letting girls be absurd
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is a bit of a misleading title. Looking at this romantic comedy by name and genre alone, it seems at first to be about its geeky protagonist, Morioka Moriko, getting pried away from her addiction to online games and finding happiness (and perhaps some good ol’ romance) in the real world. Instead, MMO Junkie gives us a story about finding happiness and … [Read more...] about [Feature] Escapism and healing in Recovery of an MMO Junkie
FLIP FLAPPERS is many things: a magical girl adventure through visually stunning fantasy lands, a multi-layered exploration of its characters and the nature of perception, a problematic fave, and a queer coming-of-age story about an insecure girl who’s just trying to figure herself out. The story follows Cocona, a (seemingly) ordinary girl who gets swept up in a quest to … [Read more...] about [Feature] Escape from Yuri Hell: FLIP FLAPPERS’ critique of the Class S genre
ToraDora! tells a story about the bizarre tangled intricacies of teenage love, complete with matchmaker plots, zany schemes, and an increasingly convoluted love quadrangle that’s played for both comedy and drama. It also tells a story about how everyone has issues, inner turmoil, and inner selves that they keep concealed, usually with the intention of preserving a certain image … [Read more...] about [Feature] Adding Salt to Sweet Vanilla: The complex women of ToraDora!
SPOILERS: Major spoilers for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magical Girl Raising Project, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Sailor Moon, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion 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 … [Read more...] about [Discourse] The problem with the dark magical girl genre