[Yearbook] Two podcasts…

In February, I realised for the first time how important LGBTQ+ women are to Anime Feminist. Anything we put out relating to Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid got a huge, enthusiastic and nuanced response from a range of queer women and femmes.

It’s hard to remember now, but at that time I was still in the mindset of defusing potential tension with would-be critics. The team had consistently reminded me that we should be focusing our efforts on the people we wanted to be in our community, not those we didn’t want anywhere near it. This was my first time really getting a taste of how rewarding that could be.

[Yearbook] And a Nazi in a pear tree…

Over the past 12 months, Anime Feminist has achieved a lot. 292 posts, a regular podcast, a patron-exclusive discussion forum, our first convention panel and party—and, of course, following through on our wish to pay every writer, editor and administrator who contributes to the success of the site.

To all our patrons: thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You make it possible for us to not just do our work, but to do it both ethically and to a high standard. (Over the next 12 days, I’ll be giving some insider information so you can see just how true that is.)

[Review] Battle Girl High School – episode 1

In the year 2045, the world has been contaminated by Irōsu (mysterious invaders who suddenly appeared), and humans find themselves restricted and contained. Standing boldly against these invaders are ordinary girls everywhere, without a powerful army or even weapons. The Shinjugamine Girls Academy is a school for these “Hoshimori” (Star Guardians) destined to fight the Irōsu. Source: Anime News Network The first 66 seconds of this premiere spend 24 of those seconds introducing 14 young schoolgirls who will presumably become equally important. That’s 14 character introductions in 24 seconds as they sit in a classroom, doing their best to extol the one trait which will tell each of them apart, as their names flash up next to each of them on screen. It’s a lazy, overdone approach to introducing large ensembles, and one which suggests endearing audiences to the characters is a low priority. And frankly, Battle Girl High School is pretty lazy and overdone overall.

[Review] Fox Spirit Matchmaker – episode 1

In a world where Spirits and Humans coexist and can fall in love with each other, many Spirits see their human loved ones die before them due to the Spirits’ much longer life expectancy. Even when that human is reborn, the previous memories of their past life is erased from their memory. However, it is said among Spirits that a certain “service” is spreading. This “service” is provided by the “Fox Spirit Matchmakers” who can revive the lost memories of their former lover. When a Spirit loses their lover, they can purchase the service of the Fox Spirit Matchmakers to attempt to restore their former lover’s memories, and continue their love story together. This story follows a young Fox Spirit Matchmaker who tries her best to restore lost memories and spread love. Source: Anime News Network This summary gives you the impression that Fox Spirit Matchmaker is a sweet, straightforward show with a consistent formula. In actuality, Fox Spirit Matchmaker is a bit of a mess.

[Editorial] The Big Problem Behind Unpaid Interpreters: Why anime fans should value their skills

This week Anime Expo, the biggest anime convention in the English speaking world, put a call out for volunteer interpreters. Anime Expo is far from a new event, and had over 100,000 attendees last year. How did they fail to account for the cost of professional interpreters when budgeting? If they can’t afford to pay interpreters, what hope do any of the smaller cons have? Let’s be real: they didn’t fail to account for it, and they can afford it. AX is a big enough event in the fandom calendar that they could have bumped ticket prices up by under a dollar each to bring in the necessary funds. If for some reason that wasn’t an option, they’re a big enough name that they could even have crowdfunded it. There’s no good reason not to pay every single interpreter for their work. There are, however, a couple of bad ones.

[Review] Atom the Beginning – episode 1

In Japan after a great calamity, there were two geniuses who dreamed of the future. One was Umatarō Tenma. The other was Hiroshi Ochanomizu. The two labored day and night in robot research — Tenma to create a “god,” and Ochanomizu to create a “friend.” Thus a robot, A106, was born from their collaborative friendship. Source: Anime News Network As a prequel to the classic TV anime of Osamu Tezuka manga Astro Boy, Atom the Beginning comes with the weight of more historical significance than this cartoony introduction can really hold up. In Atom the Beginning two young engineer misfits use up all their funding to create a robot which pushes new boundaries of science in a robot-friendly world – that’s a solid premise for a fun show, and viewers need to expect nothing more.

[Review] Anonymous Noise – episode 1

Nino, a girl who loves singing, made a childhood promise with her first crush Momo and song-composing Yuzu to someday find her voice. The three went their separate ways, but Nino kept her promise and continued to sing. Years later, the three are now high school students, and Nino is drawn into the world of keionbu or band club. Source: Anime News Network I go into most reviews cold, but I had already reviewed the first volume of the manga so was very curious about how the anime would handle its weaker elements. From my perspective, adaptations are an opportunity to either improve upon flawed source material or elevate already strong material, with completely faithful adaptations a missed opportunity at best. Which would the Anonymous Noise‘s anime be? The answer is: a mixed bag. Some positive decisions to make changes, some misguided decisions to stay faithful, some brand new and terrible decisions in their own right, all mashed into an inconsistent, lumpy first episode.

[Review] Grimoire of Zero – episode 1

Zero is a witch who is ignorant of the world and travels with a half-beast half-human mercenary who longs to be human. Witches who practice sorcery exist in the world, however, in this era no one knows how about the art and study of witchcraft. Zero is going on a journey to search for a magical tome called “The Book of Zero” that hides a power that can destroy the world. The mercenary travels with her as her guard. Source: Anime News Network Grimoire of Zero manages to pack an enormous amount of information into its premiere, most of it laser focused on the two main characters, Mercenary and Zero, and the fundamentals of the worldbuilding most relevant to them. We learn more about Mercenary’s situation as a ‘beastfallen’, the opposite to WorldEnd‘s ‘disfeatured’, from the origins of his species to the day-to-day discrimination he experiences. We are introduced to the difference between sorcery and magic, and given some intriguing details about the connection between names and power, witches and religion. It is an impressive amount of detail for a premiere, delivered at a fast enough pace in a (mostly) natural enough way to avoid losing the viewer’s attention. Perhaps more impressive is that it delivers all this information without scrimping on characterisation. This seems to be the story of an odd couple road trip, found family and marginalisation, told through two distinctive and well rounded leads. I’m already looking forward to episode two.

[Review] Re:CREATORS – episode 1

Sota Mizushino wants to tell stories as good as the light novels and anime he enjoys so much, like Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier. While watching an episode on his tablet one day, it flickers to show eerie messages like “You cannot escape from here” and “CHANGE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO”. Suddenly, the world around his tablet disintegrates and he finds himself in the situation he has just been watching – the world of Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier, where heroine Selesia is piloting her mecha, Vogelchevalier, to defeat a mysterious stranger attacking her with a barrage of flying swords. Realising Sota is there, Selesia dives across to rescue him. She finds herself in Sota’s bedroom, guard up and confused by Sota’s insistence that she is an anime character. This is my favourite premiere so far, and a serious contender for Anime of the Season (comparing like to like and putting aside the great sequels airing right now). Let’s talk about Selesia first.