Dee, Caitlin, and Vrai look back on the 2020 Spring season! Well, some of it. About half of this season will be making special guest appearances on the summer podcast due to COVID delays.
Date Recorded: July 4th, 2020
Hosts: Dee, Caitlin, Vrai
0:02:29 SING “YESTERDAY” FOR ME
0:06:03 TAMAYOMI: The Baseball Girls
0:09:56 Princess Connect! Re:Dive
0:23:02 Gal & Dino
0:27:10 Digimon Adventure:
0:28:22 Tower of God(?)
0:29:35 My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
0:39:08 Wave, Listen to Me!
0:52:48 Kaguya-sama: Love is War 2
1:00:18 Ascendance of a Bookworm
DEE: Energy. Okay.
DEE: Hello and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime— Well, okay, Vrai, I have to do a clean take now because you chuckled! [Chuckles] All right.
[Intro theme music]
DEE: Hello and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. I’m Dee, an editor at AniFem. You can find all my writings on my blog, The Josei Next Door, and you can also hang out with me on Twitter @joseinextdoor. And I am joined today by fellow AniFem staffers Caitlin and Vrai. If you’d like to introduce yourselves.
CAITLIN: Hi, I’m Caitlin, writer, editor, technical editor for AniFem, reviewer at Anime News Network. No longer a reviewer at Daily Dot. It’s okay. I’m not upset…
CAITLIN: [Chuckles] Um…
DEE: Was that it?
CAITLIN: Yep. Sorry that I made a hum like I was continuing.
VRAI: Awkward silence.
CAITLIN: We’re gonna get Sleepy Caitlin today.
DEE: There were ellipses at the end there, yeah.
VRAI: Gotcha. Hey, I’m Vrai Kaiser. I’m a managing editor and contributor at Anime Feminist. Like Nomi Malone, I freelance different places. You can find me on Twitter @WriterVrai or the podcast I cohost @trashpod.
DEE: And today we will be looking back at the spring 2020 season, an odd season with lots of delayed shows, but also some pleasant surprises—and also pleasant surprises on the sequel front. And we should definitely have time to talk about sequels this time, which we usually skip on the midseason.
So, for folks, if this is your first podcast with us, cool! Welcome. We will be going through the list using our Premiere Digest, so we start from the bottom of that list and work our way up. We have those loosely categorized based on feminist-relevant topics and interests and things like that. We will be skipping over a lot of the bottom of this list because the three of us have not been watching these shows.
And a lot of them are delayed, like Appare-Ranman. We’re all, I think, looking forward to it starting up again soon. We’ll check in with that one for the summer season, I guess.
VRAI: I think episode 4 did go out today as we’re recording, but we haven’t had the chance to watch it, so…
DEE: Oh, yeah. And, I mean, that wouldn’t be a retrospective anyway. So, we’ll get to it. It’s no big deal. I did just see, Caitlin, you did finish Sing “Yesterday” for Me, though.
CAITLIN: I did.
DEE: You want to hit us with some hot deets on that one? I have not heard great things.
CAITLIN: It was a little bit of a bizarre ending. Honestly, I kind of did end up emotionally, mentally, cognitively checking out towards the end. God, I don’t know how much to say other than that it just wasn’t really a satisfying ending. Much like my intro, it ended with an ellipsis rather than a period. And honestly, by that point, I was pretty much just whatever. So, whatever. [Chuckles]
DEE: Yeah, my understanding is they crammed a lot of manga into the final episode, that the way they paced it made for a very bizarre finale.
DEE: I have also heard that the age gap concerns going into it are borne out in full. Is that accurate?
CAITLIN: Yeah! It was really weird with… Okay. I honestly have less of an issue with Haru and Rikuo than I do with Shinako and… God, what’s his name? Her student.
DEE: Oh boy.
CAITLIN: The younger brother of her dead boyfriend.
DEE: Oh! My goodness.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Hoo boy!
DEE: All right!
CAITLIN: There’s a lot to unpack there.
DEE: That’s so much!
CAITLIN: And they didn’t actually get together at the end, but like I said, there was an ellipsis there that made me feel very awkward and concerned. But also, like I said, I mentally checked out so I might have tuned back in for that instant and totally misread what was going on. I’m sure there will be people yelling at me in the comments if I was completely off about it.
DEE: So it’s not 100% clear if they’re actually going to get together or not?
DEE: Like there’s a vagueness to it where maybe not, maybe so? Yeah, that kind of fits what I’ve seen about it. I’ve seen some interpretations of it where it’s like, “Well, no, the way she worded it makes it sound like she was shutting him down and basically saying ‘You’re important, but I’m not romantically interested.’” But I’ve seen other people who are like, “Mm, I don’t think that’s what was happening there.”
CAITLIN: Yeah. Don’t date your students, y’all. Don’t. Don’t. Just don’t, ever, regardless of the age.
DEE: Yeah, that’s very predatory. Okay. So, that was Sing “Yesterday” for Me. Anything else you want to say on that glowing recommendation you just dropped on us?
CAITLIN: I mean, it’s pretty. It’s a great-looking show. That has never changed.
DEE: [crosstalk] Yeah. We talked about that during the midseason as well, that it looked really, really good.
CAITLIN: Yeah, that hasn’t changed.
DEE: Someday Doga Kobo will use their powers for good again.
DEE: That’s the studio that does Sing “Yesterday” for Me, for the folks at home. Okay, let’s move on then, because I think it would be nice if we clear out the bottom half quickly, and then we can spend some time chatting about the other stuff.
You, Caitlin, also finished Tamayomi—I believe, for work more than anything else, but you did finish it.
CAITLIN: For work, 100%!
DEE: Yeah. What were your final thoughts on that one?
CAITLIN: [Sighs] So, all right, I’ll try to keep it brief because I’ve already written a whole review, so I could just rehash that entire review. But there are three things that are important for a sports show, right? One, the sport. Two, stakes. Not everyone’s going to agree with me on that, but for me, it’s important. And three, compelling characters, right?
CAITLIN: Yeah? So, Tamayomi actually does pretty okay by the sport. I’m about as into baseball as I am into any other sport, which is to say not. But it seemed like it had a decent understanding of the nuances of the sport.
In the latter half where they are playing a competitive game against another school, it actually picks… Like, the first episode is like “We’re playing catch! Oh, you know, that’s great!” And it’s just very lukewarm. But in the second half of the show, a lot of the nuances, I think, of baseball kind of come up. They’re talking a lot about the strategy of which pitch to use with which player, when, so on and so forth.
So, the sport is fine, and there are actually some pretty good shots, particularly of Yomi pitching. Also, a lot of shots of her butt and thighs.
DEE: [With a click of the tongue] Hmph.
CAITLIN: [Chuckles] There’s also stakes. The stakes actually could have been really interesting. They’ve got this disgraced club. There’s some stuff going on with people saying the school stole players from other schools. Like I said, the stakes could have been really interesting. But the problem is the characters.
CAITLIN: Because the characters are so boring.
DEE: I dropped it at 3, and I kind of had the same reaction, where anytime they were playing baseball, I was like “Oh, this is kind of entertaining.” But the characters are very—or they were for the first three episodes, anyway—just very archetypal and in kind of bland ways.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] So bland.
DEE: I think you can have fun with archetypes and make those entertaining. But yeah, it was very like they sanded off rough edges, was my vibe on it, too.
CAITLIN: Everyone’s just kind of blandly pleasant.
DEE: Yeah. Yeah.
CAITLIN: Now, I would argue there’s also a fourth ingredient, that is not necessary to a good sports anime, which is homoeroticism.
CAITLIN: I feel like Tamayomi promised way more than it delivered with that. Most of it was Yoshino poking random girls’ thighs.
DEE: Ugh, yeah, I did not care for that either in the early going.
CAITLIN: Yeah. Nope, Tamayomi’s not worthwhile.
DEE: Yeah, better sports anime out there.
DEE: I’m in the middle of Princess Nine right now, and there’s a pretty good chance that when I finish it, I’m gonna start shoving it at people. I think it’s a good one to talk about, too, and ticks those checkboxes you were talking about a lot more effectively. So, okay, well, that was Tamayomi.
Next on our list is Princess Connect, which, Vrai, shockingly, you’re the only person on staff who didn’t watch Princess Connect—of the core, main staff anyway.
VRAI: [crosstalk, protesting] I watched a couple episodes of it! And it was fine.
DEE: [crosstalk] Okay, you watched a couple episodes, but…
VRAI: There’s nothing wrong with it. I just wasn’t in the mood for that sort of hangout right now. So, maybe later.
DEE: Fair enough. I was 100% in the mood for goofball fantasy hangouts. So, I loved Princess Connect start to finish. The ending is kind of a non-ending. So, that would be like my main critique with it. It kind of resolves some character stuff but doesn’t really resolve… It actually makes some reveals that would be great for a second season, so I’m hoping there is a second season.
I had a great time with that one. I loved the cast. I loved the lowkey shipping between Peco and Karyl—I’m not even sure if it was lowkey; it might have been high-key shipping between Peco and Karyl—was very good as well.
VRAI: [crosstalk] I was gonna say, I’ve got a screenshot on this week’s Links that says it’s very high key!
DEE: Yeah. And their developing relationship throughout the show as they form this family unit and go out and help folks out and get into scrapes and eat delicious food.
CAITLIN: And bugs.
DEE: And bugs. Oh, the bugs.
CAITLIN: Lots of bugs.
DEE: I feel like I covered most of what I would say about Princess Connect in the midseason. It pretty much stayed the course. Definitely, the last couple episodes got a little more serious, which is totally unsurprising for a show like this for them to wrap it up on kind of a big action beat with emotional arcs.
It was really well animated. The CG shadow monsters looked really, really good, like unnervingly. The way they moved was really spooky, and I thought that was great. And it had some nice emotional beats for the characters. And my main thought after it was “I want a season 2 so I can keep hanging out with these kids.” How about you, Caitlin?
CAITLIN: Yeah, I’m pretty much with you on all counts. I have not watched the last episode yet.
DEE: Oh, okay.
CAITLIN: Just because I’ve been watching a lot of stuff to review and it kind of takes some of the wind out of your sails with everything else.
DEE: Yeah, I can see that.
CAITLIN: But I’m going to. I just have not yet. But yeah, no, I would love to have another season. It just really makes me happy to spend time with these kooky kids. And yeah, we’ll see how it goes.
DEE: Yeah, they definitely had a good baseline and then, I think, developed the characters in ways that made sense and were really charming. But yeah, by the end of the final episode, it’s very much that sense of “Our journey continues!” So, I would love to see that continue, because I think there’s enough material there, and there’s clearly a lot of charm in the writing with the understanding of who these goofballs are, that I think it would be great to spend more time with them. So, fingers crossed.
Even if we don’t, I would still recommend it, just with the understanding that it has more of an open-ended conclusion than maybe I was hoping. But yeah, nice show. A very enjoyable 25 minutes each week. Definitely a recommendation for me. So, yeah, Princess Connect is great.
And again, the stuff I said at midseason… You know, some of the costumes are ridiculous and revealing and big bouncy boobs, but the camera’s really pretty chill about it. There’s some very mild fanservice, but overall, unless that is just an automatic dealbreaker, I think it’s not enough to really be a point of concern. And again, it helps that the characters are written and have personalities, so even Peco’s boobs bounce a little bit, it’s like “Yeah, but you’re also a person with a backstory and friendships and all that other stuff. You’re not just an object.” So, yeah, Princess Connect, good show.
Okay, let us go on to the next one. Caitlin, did you finish Listeners?
DEE: Oh boy. How far did you get before you tapped out?
CAITLIN: Three episodes from the end.
DEE: Yeah. I forced myself to finish it at that point because sunk cost fallacy, I guess. Listeners’ back half was increasingly convoluted nonsense. And it also did exactly the thing I didn’t want it to do, which was…
CAITLIN: Take itself seriously?
DEE: Take itself seriously, but also, it became Echo’s story about having to rescue Mu, and it was not set up in a way that it even felt well foreshadowed. The first half of the story very much feels like it’s about the two of them figuring out on their own paths to discover different things.
And then they drop this weird plot bomb about how Mu is like… I don’t know. It very much reminded me of the first season of Rage of Bahamut, but Rage of Bahamut set up from day one that the female character had connections to this demon lord-type thing and that she could potentially destroy the world. That was set up from like episode one. This was not.
And so, Mu has some weird connection with the king of the Earless, who’s called Listeners and launches this… There’s this big attack and… I don’t know. I honestly don’t know how to explain it because the last few episodes are nonsense. And almost everyone I’ve talked to who did finish it was like “What the hell did I just watch?”
It tried to say a nice thing at the end about “Xenophobia is bad,” I guess. There was this immigration undercurrent with the Earless and this idea of accepting differences and being willing to live among each other, and once people stop treating the Earless like monsters, they stop looking like monsters. And that’s neat, but, again, everything around it is nonsense and it is not handled particularly delicately.
So, I cannot in any good faith recommend Listeners. The last half was exhausting. And again, I really didn’t like what they did with Mu, where they kind of damseled her and made it Echo’s story. That was very frustrating.
CAITLIN: Yeah, it was really at its best when it was just a silly kind of anthology series where they bounced around in different musical genres.
DEE: Yeah, like a music road trip show. And I knew eventually it would come to a head with some of the plot stuff that had been circling around, like her trying to find her brother and stuff. But I feel like they went the exact worst way they could have with that. So instead of it being about Echo and Mu forming a team-up and going up against the big bad or whatever… Yeah, I really did not care for the way it wrapped up.
So that was Listeners, I guess. I finished it. It’s one of the few shows I’ve ever finished and given a one-star rating because I was like “That was just bad.” I didn’t hate it. I truly didn’t hate watching it, or I wouldn’t have finished it. But I got to the end, and I was like “I cannot in good conscience say that was good by any metric of storytelling.” So, yeah. Listeners, you tried, I guess. I’ll give you a “You tried” sticker. That’s about it.
Next up, though, I think we both finished because I remember you talking about this, Caitlin: Kakushigoto.
CAITLIN: Yeah, finished that one.
DEE: Yeah. I’ve been talking for a bit. Would you like to kick us off with Kakushigoto?
CAITLIN: Yeah, so, Kakushigoto… The conclusion didn’t really work for me. I want to be clear: I really enjoyed Kakushigoto right up until the last episode. However, I think the last episode dropped a lot of stuff that did not feel earned, because it went from this occasionally kind of bittersweet single-dad comedy and also workplace comedy, with all the foreshadowing with the flashforwards, to being almost immediately just a complete soap opera. There was a lot of stuff that was not really seeded in previous episodes at all.
DEE: Yeah. That was my biggest issue with it, especially a lot of the stuff with her mom and the fact that she had actually disappeared. And she was almost certainly dead because it was a boating accident. But the fact that he kept trying to look for her… None of that…
CAITLIN: There were no hints at that. It was like “Oh, he’s sad and he misses his wife.” It was like normal widower, Tiger & Bunny sort of character stuff. And then the amnesia storyline…
DEE: Yeah, based on the way the flashforwards were going, at this point when she’s 18 years old, I figured he was somehow not involved in her life. So the fact that he was in a coma… And the way the coma came about, I thought, was very on point for the story. He basically gets crushed under a bunch of Jump magazines. [Chuckles]
There were certain things about the finale I really liked, and I liked the way that— I’m trying not to spoil too much for folks who do want to watch it, because I would still recommend it even though the last episode gets, like you said, soapy and some of the plot points are not well seeded beforehand.
The main beats between her and her dad and her figuring out his secret, and then you find out that she’s got her own secret… I thought that was really sweet. But yeah, I agree. I feel like they crammed a lot of dramatic beats into the last episode that were out of nowhere and were then rushed because they only had an episode to do them in.
CAITLIN: Yeah. There was some stuff that I really feel could have worked a lot better if it were not so crammed in. And the foreshadowing that was there in the previous episodes was good, but it was just so much. There’s a way to do that without making it totally maudlin.
And I feel like the pacing issue is such a common thing in modern anime, because a lot of series it’s like, well, you can either have not quite enough time to tell the story well in 13 episodes or have way more time than you need and thus have to have a bunch of filler in 24 episodes. So, take your pick! It’s probably going to be 12 episodes, because that’s just how it is these days.
DEE: Yeah. And I think for the most part, it told a more or less complete story. But again, the fact that it tried to throw in a lot of plot stuff at the end when up to that point it had really been a comedic slice of life, and a good one… Again, at the midseason mark, I talked about a few points of concern as far as cultural insensitivity. But overall, I think it was a fun comedy. I think it hit a lot of really on-point beats for artists and working in the manga industry and would hit these really nice moments with him and his daughter. Yeah, so I really liked it up until the end.
The ending was a little bit of a mess, but you know what? I still teared up a little bit. So they did something right. For me, anyway. Would you recommend it, Caitlin, even with the finale kind of leaving you cold?
DEE: Okay, that’s good then. Yeah, so, folks at home, if you’re looking for a backlog show that you were maybe sitting on, Kakushigoto, barring the Yellow Flag points that I mentioned in the midseason, I think it’s a good one. Again, it’s another nice 25 minutes a week that usually got a good giggle out of me at least once, so I appreciated that about it.
Okay, the next one… Vrai, you can talk about this a little bit. We didn’t get into this one at the midseason: Gal & Dino. I know it is on break because of, you know, 2020.
VRAI: [crosstalk] The Unpleasantness.
DEE: Yeah, but they still made it past the midway mark, or they made it to the midway mark before they took their break.
VRAI: Yeah, I’m honestly uncertain as to what’s going on with it. It’s just announced it’s on hiatus right now. But rather than staying paused, I know ANN announced that they did a five-episode rerun when other shows were starting to ramp back up to airing again. And part of me wonders if that’s just gonna be it, because the show is very episodic and it has a heavy live action component, and I just don’t know how they get back to doing that with the everything.
DEE: Oh, yeah.
VRAI: Yeah. Especially because a lot of the… Watching the show is very odd in a good way. It reminds me of when I was younger and I would watch anime that I could tell were referencing these other works, but I wasn’t necessarily sure what they were, except in this case, it’s all of the weird underground comedians that the creative team is fans of.
Because the live action segments will just be somebody in the mascot suit, and then there will be a special guest appearance by these people who were either famous for being on television for years or just comedy acts from revue shows or live action competitions. And they’ll do their bits on this television show. And it’s very “I have a TV show now. I’m gonna get these comedians I like to come on, and then they will be here and they’ll hang out with us, and that’ll be great!” And it kind of is great.
DEE: [crosstalk] And interact with a dino. [Chuckles]
VRAI: I have no idea what’s going on half the time, but I am pleased by it.
DEE: What a weird recommendation! I love it. [Chuckles] “I don’t understand it, but it’s fun.”
VRAI: And the animation bits are just nice because it’s very lowkey. It’s a very “weed and chill” show, I said in the three-ep, and that’s pretty much still true. But I just love how committed it is to putting the artistic bylines front and center and really celebrating that aspect of the show. And it’s not really doing anything different across any seven of these episodes, but it’s just nice and fun to watch if you are somebody who enjoys that more technical aspect.
And I don’t know, I like it. I hope they make the other five episodes, but if they don’t, it’s also a show I would still recommend as a pleasant seven-episode OVA, you know?
DEE: Yeah, sure. That’s good to know. So, anything listeners should be clued in on that might be concerning or a flag or a dealbreaker or anything like that?
VRAI: Not really, no. Honestly, for having a gal as the main character, it’s very positive about her. She has an annoying ex-boyfriend who is a little bit pushy, but it’s not really gross. And she makes friends with one of her female coworkers and they hang out. And it’s a very gentle show.
DEE: [crosstalk] That’s nice. That’s good to know.
VRAI: And I’m glad it exists.
DEE: Yeah, I hope they are able to come back so you can get the full cour out of that one, for sure. So, yeah, another pleasant one to check out, folks, if you are interested in some silly, nice comedy.
VRAI: Yeah. If you’d liked the feltwork sequences in Pop Team Epic, very… vibe like that.
DEE: Yeah, I remember you did say you thought it was a little bit like Pop Team Epic but maybe kinder, a little sweeter, a little more chill.
VRAI: Yeah, gentler and more chill.
DEE: Less frenetic? Yeah. So, good option for folks at home as well.
The next two, Vrai, I will allow you to touch on if you want to. They didn’t get very far. Digimon Adventure Colon, as we’re calling it, and Diary of Our Days at Breakwater. Both of those took a break; were delayed pretty early in their run. I know you were keeping up with them. I don’t think we really touched them at the midseason, so if there’s anything in particular you want to say about either of them, I’m giving you the option now.
VRAI: There’s not really much to add. With Breakwater, there hasn’t been any new episodes. I think those are starting again next week, so you can just read the three-episode check-in and that’s kind of what the show is.
Digimon has had one new episode since the break, which was Sora’s episode, which was good and nice. She got a focal episode. I was happy with it. But again, it’s too soon to see what the narrative is doing, so I guess we’ll check back in in a future seasonal podcast with that. It still looks nice.
DEE: Yeah, that makes sense. That’s good to know. For the Digimon fans at home, maybe give this one a try, and we will check back in with it later.
Okay, so, typically I just skip over the ones that none of us are watching, but I do want to make a quick note that Tower of God is the big gap in the podcast this time around. None of the three of us were watching Tower of God.
I know it was a popular show, so probably we should have, but there’s a lot of other things to watch and I think we’re all in that place where we enjoy shounen, we like action fantasy series, but it can be very hard to commit to one that you know is ongoing for ten years and God knows how many episodes there’s going to be. I know that’s where I was on it. And Vrai, I know we’ve had similar conversations where it’s like, “Do I really want to commit to this?”
So, none of us have watched Tower of God. There was a lot of conversation around it, especially the last couple episodes. I’m worried that if I try to talk about it, it will be a lot of hearsay and I won’t get the details right, and I don’t even want to accidentally step on that landmine.
So, folks at home, I know we had an article pitched to us, so hopefully that’ll be up at some point. You can talk about it there. Feel free to talk about it in the comments. If it gets to season 2, we will make an effort. So, sorry about that.
But we will be skipping over that one and moving on to the next one, which I think was a favorite of basically everybody who was watching it, which was everybody on the core team: My Next Life as a Villainess.
VRAI: It good!
DEE: Yeah. I want to wait to talk about it since I’ve also read the light novels. Caitlin, you’ve been a little bit quiet for a bit here. What were your thoughts on Villainess?
CAITLIN: It was a really lovely show. Made me happy every week. And it’s nice seeing Catarina sort of win the day by not being bland but being kind and caring. I know some people weren’t super hot on the last twist, but I really liked it, with—ah, God, Serious Dick.
DEE: Oh, I was gonna say, I don’t want to give away too much for folks at home who are listening to this to get recommendations. So, yeah, there’s a plot involving a character. Yeah.
CAITLIN: Yeah. I just wanted to say Serious Dick.
DEE: [Chuckles] Okay.
CAITLIN: Because I’m an adult! And yeah.
So I was actually having this discussion earlier with my husband, Jared. And we were talking about, once again, length of shows. And I personally would think that it would have benefited the show a lot to have an extra cour so that we can have some more character-focused episodes, spend some time with the other characters, because I feel like we got to know most of them more as children than we did as adults, except for Maria—and Serious Dick. [Chuckles]
So I would have really liked to have spent some more time with the characters. But all in all, I’m satisfied. I think it told the story it needed to tell. I’m not sure what the second season is going to look like.
DEE: Yeah. The second season is… Well, I shouldn’t actually say anything about it because the anime improved the light novels in almost every conceivable way. I think about the only thing that we did lose is a little bit of that extra character work that you’re talking about, Caitlin, because the books do give you…
The way they’re written is kind of interesting because each chapter you’ll get half the chapter from Catarina’s perspective and then the second half of the chapter from somebody else’s, from another character that she’s been interacting with. And on the one hand, it does lead to, like, you kind of have the scene repeated to you, which can be a little tedious to read. But you also get, throughout that, their perspective on what’s happening and some flashbacks and backstory information on them.
I really like that the anime worked in some side story stuff in the middle to give you more time to hang out with the cast as a group, and I thought they did a really good job with Sophia especially during that stretch. Yeah, I was really, really pleased with this adaptation. I appreciate the crew.
I had said in my premiere review that this was kind of a problematic fave for me, because while it definitely had a bisexual harem, there was a lot of no-homoing in the books as far as the internal monologue stuff. That was completely dropped from the anime, which was wonderful. So it really was just a bisexual harem with an extremely oblivious protagonist, which I appreciate.
And in kind of a normalizing sort of way. It’s not really called attention to, other than a couple of times where Catarina maybe makes an assumption, like “Oh, well, are there any boys you like?” and the girl is like “There aren’t any boys…”
CAITLIN: [Sighs fondly]
DEE: Which at least feels a little bit more normal, right? It feels a little bit more like Catarina just has this particular gap in her knowledge or this assumption that the other characters don’t have, as opposed to the sense of “Well, I’m not like that!” which sometimes happens in the books and can be frustrating. So I appreciate the anime didn’t do that.
VRAI: It did stretch credulity for me a little bit by the end, because she is ostensibly a nerd from 2020, our world, and you have that final moment with Maria, where I kind of wanted them to… I didn’t necessarily need her to “get it” get it, but they doubled down on the obliviousness so thoroughly that I was a little bit frustrated.
DEE: That’s fair. No, that’s fair. I genuinely love the ending—and again, I don’t want to give stuff away for folks at home—because it feels like such a Catarina thing to do to get ending X and you think you got ending Y because she’s so convinced that she’s not the hero, she’s the villain, and what that means for her.
And I think that part of the strength of her character is the sense of “Well, I’m not the protagonist, so clearly I’m not the one everybody’s paying attention to. I can’t come in and save the day, but I can be there for you while you’re going through your troubles.” I think that’s a really nice point that the series makes with her.
But I totally understand your frustration at the end, especially if you’re looking for… This is not a series with an explicit ship. I mean, it kind of is, but it’s a lot of shipteasing, and then, again, that harem vibe to it in a way that most shows stumble all over and I think this one does a better job with. They also cut out a lot of the boys being super possessive and weird. Some of it’s still there, because you can’t cut it out entirely.
But overall, I thought this was a really good adaptation of the source material. And I have zero desire for a season 2. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m perfectly happy pretending this is a 12-episode complete story, because I think the ending is very on point for the series and the character.
CAITLIN: Yeah, I’ve heard that this initial arc was really everything that was originally planned.
DEE: Mm-hm. It was planned to be a two-volume light novel miniseries. And that is what they covered in the anime, which is what I was hoping they would do: just take time to do two volumes in 12 episodes.
But it was popular. And so, whoever makes these decisions was like “Do you want to keep going?” and the author was like “Sure.” [Chuckles] So, I mean, I’ll be curious to see how the anime does it. I read one more light novel after this, and it really just kind of felt like filler, and they started to fall into the otome-style tropes that I’m maybe not as fond of, as opposed to playing with them like they do in these early volumes.
So… Is it fair to say we all recommend it?
VRAI: Very highly, yeah. I had a heck of a great time watching this.
DEE: Yeah, sorry, Vrai. I didn’t really stop to ask you your thoughts on it. I just knew that you had been enjoying it, so… Did you want to add anything to the convo?
VRAI: Not really. I mean, I really don’t think it can sustain a second season because I think you’re right: it maintains the sort of harem-y dynamic tension well for 12 episodes, and if it were to continue any longer without actually picking a romantic tension it wanted to develop through to a conclusion, it would be insufferable.
DEE: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, at a certain point, Catarina does need to Get It— to some degree, even if that degree is “Oh, but I don’t feel the same way,” because sometimes Catarina does give off pretty strong aro vibes. But again, I don’t want to say that and then be like “It’s aro rep,” because she is the quintessential shoujo/otome Oblivious Protagonist.
VRAI: Right. Because she does get flustered now and then, too.
DEE: She does, yeah. But you can be aro and have sexual attraction to people.
DEE: My point is just that I think those vibes are there, but it’s not intentional from the crew. It’s—she is intended to be almost a parody of the oblivious protagonist, because, again, the series does play with some of those tropes in ways that I think is really fun and fresh.
But yeah, I think we all had a good time with it and would recommend folks check it out for your bisexual harem shenanigans needs. It hits its emotional beats well, too. I was really pleased with the way… Especially the stuff with Sophia I thought was really good. So, hooray!
Okay. Next up is a problematic fave if ever there was one. Caitlin, would you like to start by talking about Wave, Listen to Me?
CAITLIN: Yes. Okay, so I still really like Wave, Listen to Me. Let’s be real: Minare is not a nice person. I don’t know if I have anything super new to add since the midseason. I think it is definitely a character-driven show. And if it were focused 100% solely on Minare all the time, it probably would have been weaker, but we get some glimpses at other characters who are also really interesting.
I’ve really been interested in… God, what’s her name? The sister of the guy who was in the car crash? Yeah. Makie’s whole storyline is really interesting with her brother and trying to get away from him. I think that’s really compelling. I continue to love Chuya’s older sister.
DEE: She’s great. Yeah.
CAITLIN: She’s my favorite character. I wish we got to see her more.
DEE: Yeah, she steals every scene she’s in because she’s such a presence, and I love her.
CAITLIN: She really does. And I love her because… She’s not pretty, obviously, but she’s still very human and she’s very perceptive and on top of things. Yeah, no, I wish we got to spend more time with her. And listen, Minare… She’s not a nice person.
CAITLIN: But I love—
DEE: She’s mostly just a self-centered disaster; doesn’t think necessarily about other people, except for the fact that she’s a homophobe. If she wasn’t such a fucking homophobe, despite the fact that she’s clearly attracted to Mizuho—
CAITLIN: Yes! Yes, this is an issue.
DEE: It’s such a weird element where she clearly wants to hook up with Mizuho but is also a total homophobe to her gay boss, and pretty much any time she thinks a guy isn’t into her, then, “Oh, must be ‘cause he’s gay.”
If it weren’t for that element of her, which is such a sticking point, I think she’d be a lot more enjoyable because, other than that, when she does something and screws up, she’s like, “Oh, boy. I really screwed up. That was a bad thing I did.” And it’s very much that sense of : she just doesn’t think about it before she does it, and then she feels bad about it and is trying to correct that behavior. Because she even talks about, like, “I’m such a mess. I keep hurting people and I don’t mean to and I’m hoping to do better.”
CAITLIN: She wants to improve, which is really interesting. And that whole arc with her and Mitsuo, where you can see sort of how she fell into his trap.
DEE: That was so good. The Mitsuo stuff with her ex-boyfriend was so good because that whole episode I’m like, “Oh, God. Is the show gonna pull some kind of switcheroo where it turns out that her reading of this guy was completely wrong and he’s actually fine?”
CAITLIN: No, he’s terrible.
DEE: No, he’s a piece of trash. Yeah.
CAITLIN: But it’s weird because you can also still see why she was attracted to him.
DEE: Oh, it’s a really smart way to show how charming garbage people, especially dudes, continue to get away with stuff. And then to call him out on that at the end was so satisfying.
CAITLIN: Because he can play it off as just being very gormless, like, “Oh. Darn it! I didn’t mean to do this.” But then also, he says stuff like, “You really should wear light lipstick.” And it’s like, “Shut up, dude!”
DEE: He’s emotionally manipulative in an exceptionally, quietly dangerous way. And I really like the way that ended—again, not to give too much away for folks at home.
CAITLIN: But the homophobia is such an issue. And the problem is also not just that Minare is a homophobe, but the fact that it kind of plays it straight. This is such a small thing: in the last episode, it shows her boss reaching towards the Tachibana brother’s butt and then snatching his hand away. And it’s just like, “Really, y’all? Can we not?”
DEE: I mean, I’d like to think maybe the two of them get together and he was making a move because the other guy was also into him. But they’ve clearly made him this overly handsy, somewhat predatory stereotype character. So you can tell it’s not… A lot of Minare is like, “Wow, Minare is being crappy,” the show is like, “Yeah, we agree Minare is being crappy right now.” That element feels like it’s baked into the narrative.
And so, it makes it so hard to recommend it when just about everything else about it I really enjoyed, especially once it got away from making radio inside jokes. The weirder and more into Minare’s new job and her past relationships… I genuinely enjoyed the last seven episodes or so, other than these few really sour moments in there.
CAITLIN: Great last episode.
CAITLIN: I’m glad I’m not… [Chuckles] Dee, I’m glad you’re with me on this.
DEE: I am, yeah.
CAITLIN: Because I was so worried that I was gonna be the one sitting there being like, “I still really like it,” and y’all would be like, “But the homophobia,” and I would be like, “I know! But…”
DEE: Oh yeah. And again, it’s so weird because of how much it seems like it’s playing— I can’t tell if it’s trying to play for laughs or play for… It feels like it’s playing sincerely the fact that Minare has a crush on Mizuho.
DEE: When she leans over to have her listen to a song or something and she’s getting up in her face and Minare has this interior monologue that’s like, “Oh shit! Is she gonna kiss me? Is this happening? Am I cool with this? Yes, I am.”
DEE: And I’m like, “Really? Are we not going to investigate this at all?” So it’s weird, and it’s absolutely a sour point.
I forget what show it was, Vrai, that you described one time as—oh, it was Made in Abyss—like somebody is playing a beautiful melody and then every once in a while they just bang on all the wrong keys at the same time.
DEE: That is what Wave feels like any time it touches on the stuff with her boss.
CAITLIN: That’s a great metaphor. [Chuckles]
DEE: Ugh, yeah.
CAITLIN: Really beautiful.
DEE: So it’s one of those where I ended up enjoying it. Because, again, I almost dropped it after the third episode because the third episode was just awful, just nasty in a lot of ways. And I wound up sticking with it. And I’m glad I did, and I did end up liking it quite a lot, but it is a really difficult recommendation because of those bursts of homophobia that pop up every so often.
So, I don’t know, folks at home. It’s up to you, I guess, as to how much of that you think you can take in relation to the other stuff around it that is, in some ways, a progressive story about women in the workplace and trying to live your own life and freedom and empowerment and all this stuff. And it’s like “Why—”
CAITLIN: Raw women.
DEE: Yeah. Why did you have to put this shit in this show that’s about… I don’t know. Anyway, yeah. So, I did. I’m with you on this one, Caitlin. It’s definitely problematic fave territory by the end of it, I think. I’d like to believe the series would eventually address and rectify the homophobia stuff. I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will. So I think that’s just one of those things where… Yeah, folks at home, it’s up to you.
That’s probably all we can say about Wave. Can you think of anything else you want to throw in there, Caitlin?
DEE: Okay. Yeah, we’re coming up close to the top of the hour, too, so I want to make sure we have a little bit of time for sequels. Arte. Did you end up finishing Arte, Caitlin?
CAITLIN: I did.
DEE: Okay, what were your thoughts?
CAITLIN: It was kind of a nothing show.
DEE: Yeah, it was pleasant. I liked the Venice arc. I liked some of the stuff it tried to say about privilege and classism. And I thought the part where Arte… She gets a job offer that is in part because she is a woman—that they want her to tutor their daughter and do this painting in addition to that—kind of thing.
And somebody, not even maliciously, makes a comment about “Oh, yeah, being a woman painter, you have opportunities that I won’t.” And she has this moment where she starts to panic and be like, “Well, I have to work super extra hard to prove that it’s not just because of that.” And I thought that was—
CAITLIN: It was an interesting bit of intersectionality right there.
DEE: Yeah, absolutely. And the fact that she’s a noble and kind of coming to terms with: “Oh, the fact that I do have this noble background opens up some doors for me that wouldn’t be open for other people.” And also that anxiety about then suddenly needing to overcompensate, like, “Oh God! They only hired me because of this thing about my identity that I can’t necessarily change. So now I need to work myself to the bone to assure people that it’s not just because of this; it’s because I have talent.”
And then they have this nice little moment where she realizes, “Yeah, this is a part of who I am, and that is a part of my strengths and weaknesses: my past experiences and my lived experiences.” And so I think the show touches on some really nice stuff. Maybe it’s just that the adaptation is kind of flat.
CAITLIN: Yeah. I don’t know.
DEE: Because on paper, there’s a lot of things about it I really like. But when I’m watching it, I find myself sort of zoning out a little bit. So that’s where I was with it. How about you?
CAITLIN: Yeah, I… So in my first-episode review, I kind of touched on, like, you know, I think this is more interesting than it could be because Arte has got this kind of anger and frustration at the restrictions placed on her because she’s a woman, and that does come up every so often. And there are these sparks of interesting stuff, but mostly it is “Arte works really hard and proves herself, and isn’t that great!”
And yeah, the Venice arc was definitely more interesting, and I liked how it did look at how nobles have restrictions in what is considered right and proper but it does not compare to how the lower classes are restricted. But yeah, it was what I hoped it wouldn’t be.
DEE: Yeah. And I tend to like those more gentle chillout shows, but when you do it like that, there needs to be a lot of charm in the adaptation, I think, in terms of direction, storyboarding, music. You really have to bring it all together.
I know Snow White with the Red Hair bored you, but I adored it, and part of it was because it’s such a well-produced work in terms of bringing you into this world and lulling you in with the characters and making everything feel very real and breathed, and so it’s like sipping a cup of hot cocoa, is the way I describe it. Whereas with Arte, I don’t think it ever… It never quite got there.
CAITLIN: Arte is like sipping a tepid, over-sweetened tea.
DEE: Yeah, it’s too lukewarm. I think that if that’s the style you’re going to go for, if you’re going to go for something that’s a little bit more on the iyashikei side—which is “chill, soothing, healing,” for folks at home who don’t know that word—it really has to be a top-to-bottom production effort. And it’s why it’s really hard for shows to do it. Laid-Back Camp succeeded. I think Snow White with the Red Hair succeeded. And I just think that Arte was not the kind of… Yeah, I just don’t think it could pull that off exactly.
So, on paper there’s a lot to like about it. I would not warn anybody away from it. There’s nothing really about it where I’m like, “Ooh, that was really bad.” But it’s not one that I’m necessarily going to expend a lot of words on to recommend it, as well. It’s like: “Yeah, if you want to check it out, go for it.”
That’s kind of where I am with Arte, which is, again, unfortunate given that it was doing a lot of the kind of stuff that we here at Anime Feminist would like to see shows do. So yeah, but sometimes a work just doesn’t ping for you, even if it looks good on paper. So, it is what it is, I guess.
Okay, we have a little bit of time, so I do want to talk about sequels a little bit here. Let’s skip Fruits Basket because it’s ongoing and the summer season is going to be small, as far as number of shows, so we’ll have time to talk about it then. Let’s talk about Kaguya-sama. Vrai, welcome back to the conversation.
VRAI: Season 2 is an improvement on season 1 in basically every conceivable way! [Chuckles] It’s so good, and I’m so mad that it’s languishing on Funimation, where nobody watched it! I wrote up the rec for season 1 of Kaguya because I did like it, but it had these drawbacks for me where it kind of—
CAITLIN: You hate Ishigami. You hated Ishigami.
VRAI: I hated him so much! I hated him so much!
DEE: [crosstalk] No, I hated him, too. Yeah.
VRAI: But I also think—
DEE: Hated Ishigami—
DEE: No, go ahead. I was gonna say, and then the middle “sickness arc” really soured the last half of the show for me in a way that was hard to recover from.
VRAI: Yeah, there were moments in the show where it felt like it just slipped into doing the thing that it was supposedly making fun of: its sort of unknowledgeable teenage characters for falling into these gendered assumptions. And then occasionally, it would just do the thing where these characters are like “Oh, no! Why didn’t…” The sickness arc was bad. And just sort of this gendered heteronormativity stuff.
And season 2 very, very occasionally still touches on that ground, but it’s almost completely done away with, and it feels a lot more grounded in its characters, who just blossom out beautifully.
I still think Shirogane and Kaguya are very sweet, and I want these nice kids to have a relationship together. But I think the show’s real strength is as a found-family comedy, which really gives it so much more in the way of legs than I had expected to do, including a really good arc for Ishigami that I’m still kind of impressed with, because on paper it sounds like some Nice Guy bullshit.
DEE: Yeah, it does.
VRAI: And it worked really hard to tap-dance around the worst implications of that type of plot and do a lot of stuff with helping his character grow and develop and acknowledge his past toxic behavior. I was really impressed with this season. I had a great time with it.
CAITLIN: Yeah. What I really like about the Ishigami arc is that he makes a conscious effort to try to change, too.
DEE: Yeah. The show acknowledges it and he acknowledges it, like, “I used to be a super misanthrope.” And this is all stuff that was already baked into his character before this kind of traumatic event happens that you find out about later in the show. This was part of him. He was still this loner who kept to himself and was kind of snubbing his nose at some of the other kids.
And I do like that the show has him go, “That was wrong of me. I’m going to try to do things differently.” And yeah, it’s good, because so often, you have these dirtbag characters in these comedies, and maybe it’s a little harsh to call Ishigami a dirtbag, but you know what I mean, right? Like there’s always that one character—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Mm… He’s not Mineta, but he’s of that school.
DEE: Yeah. Well, it’s that idea that this character sucks and everybody kind of knows it and they keep calling him out on it, which is what happened a lot in season 1. He was generally punished for being a dick.
But if nothing ever changes, then you’re not really actually coming down on that behavior. You’re still allowing it to exist. These people are still hanging out with this person, which is the biggest issue with Mineta: he never gets better, but nobody does anything real about it other than, like, comedically hitting him sometimes. Anyway, this is not about My Hero Academia.
So I like that Ishigami actually does start to acknowledge his behavior as harmful and makes changes to it. And his relationship with the student council has an impact on him in terms of just changing the way he thinks based on his interactions with them. It’s really well done.
CAITLIN: It does. He does change partially just by virtue of spending time with the other student council members. And they are better and they help make him better. But also, the fact that he consciously decided to go and join the pep squad, when he’s just like, “This is some normie bullshit. Why am I here?” But also, he tries it and he ends up really enjoying it.
And there’s a real sense that he has consciously decided that he cannot continue how he was, and therefore he should join this thing to try to change—to try to shake off that negative part of himself. And I don’t think enough stories show change as something that you have to consciously strive for. So, I really appreciate that, and also I’m very proud of him. I never hated Ishigami like you guys did. But it makes me really happy to see him start trying to move towards a better place.
DEE: Yeah, I agree. And I think you see that with some of the other characters. I think Kaguya also is a character who has kind of a similar background in terms of: [she] was very isolated, just from sort of a different angle. And her efforts to connect with the other council members… And some of the weirdness between her and Shirogane has dropped off a lot from season 1, so it’s less about these manipulative behaviors as it is more like, “I’m just shy, and I would like him to do it instead because I’m shy.”
Vrai, I think you and I were both kind of worried about what a season 2 of this show would look like because so often with comedies like this, there’s not really any change or forward momentum. And so, I’m really impressed with the way Kaguya-sama has made efforts to show gradual but significant character growth for multiple individuals and add new characters and do some good stuff with them, too. So, I’m impressed.
I really like season 2, and I hope we get a third season because Hatakeyama is a great director and this material clearly has legs. I would be okay watching these kids through the next year or whatever school.
VRAI: Even though the setup sort of implies that the show ends when one of them confesses, I do kind of hope they find a way to get around that, because I really think—
CAITLIN: Oh, they do.
VRAI: Oh, great. Good to know, because I really want to see them explore—
DEE: Spoilers! [Chuckles]
VRAI: —these two doing early dating stuff and being doofuses about it.
DEE: Oh my God, yeah.
VRAI: So, yay for that. Third season, please.
DEE: Yeah, I hope we get more. I know it’s popular, so, hopefully that does well for it. I would like to see Hatakeyama try his hand at some other stuff as well, but he’s clearly very good at Kaguya, so if he likes it, keep at it.
And okay, that will bring us to our last show. And, ooh, let’s try to talk quick here. Ascendance of a Bookworm. The second half dropped this past season. Caitlin, you did not watch that one, but Vrai and I both did.
Vrai, this is another one where I kind of want to keep my mouth shut because not only have I read the light novels, but I’m also more-or-less up to date on them, so I’m always worried I’m gonna accidentally say something spoilery when I talk about Bookwork, which I didn’t have to worry about Villainess, necessarily. But what are your thoughts on the second part of Bookworm?
VRAI: So, I liked the first season. I kind of ended with a warm feeling about it. I fucking loved the second half.
DEE: [Chuckles] Excellent! No, I’m glad to hear that because I think the books continue to get better, and so I’m glad that the anime has conveyed that for you as well.
VRAI: Yeah, I know, we’ve talked about the books having a little bit more space to expand out on some of these secondary characters and get into some darker implications, which I’m kind of interested to read about. But as somebody who’s just watching—
DEE: I recommend them.
VRAI: Yeah. But even as just somebody who’s only watching the anime, I think the anime walks a very interesting line of implying the darker element. It doesn’t feel like it’s coasting over these dark elements that it doesn’t overtly discuss. It feels like it’s sort of implying them in a way that lets you fill in the gaps without feeling exploitative.
Although, the one thing I did actively miss was the bit of internal monologue where Main realizes that she’s just setting up child labor exploitation at the orphanage!
DEE: Yeah, she has that moment in the books and is like, “I don’t feel good about this, but I honestly don’t know what else I can do.”
VRAI: That is the one moment of the anime.
DEE: And I definitely don’t want to make it sound like… I recommend the books. I think they’re well-written. I think there’s a lot of thought and care put into the world that you don’t necessarily see in fantasy stories, and I really appreciate that and the way it gradually builds as Main learns more and starts interacting with different communities.
The books are good. The first couple are a little bit of a slog, because there’s a lot of time spent talking about how to make books and things like that. But I think once it gets more into the sociopolitical aspects, it gets really interesting.
But I don’t want to make it sound like the books are grimdark and go into great detail about some of the darker elements of the show. They don’t. The books are still a relatively gentle read, despite… I’ve talked about this— You know, we should just do a Bookworm podcast—
VRAI: We should.
DEE: —because I think there’s a lot we could talk about in terms of the sociopolitical situation, the hierarchy. I think there’s some interesting stuff going on with disability and Main’s illness. I think there’s a lot of things we could tease out with Bookworm.
And the books, just by virtue of being on the page and being constantly privy to Main’s thoughts, and the fact that there’s these really nice bonus chapters from other characters’ perspectives, there’s just more of that to sink your teeth in and parse, which is why I really like the books.
But no, I think the anime… I was pleased with the anime. I thought they rushed this part a little bit, but overall, I was… And I’m really glad to know that anime-only viewers are enjoying it, because that was always my concern: did they spend enough time on this for people to understand where the characters are coming from or what Main’s internal thought process is here? And for the most part, it seems like yes. It seems like the show has been satisfying for anime-only viewers as well.
VRAI: Yeah, as somebody who’s a big fan of courtly intrigue stories, I really dug how a lot of this season was digging into the fact that when Main is just Stereotypical Rebel who flaunts the rules… She’s gotten to a point where she has some privilege, and she can’t just do that anymore, because it has harmful effects for people who are more vulnerable than her. And I really liked the show getting into the nuances on that.
DEE: Yeah, and I really hope we get a season 3 because that just keeps happening. The delicate, complicated interplay between the privileges Main has versus where she comes from versus the people around her—her having to navigate that and figuring out how to use the power she has to make change, but also being aware that in the grand scheme of things, she still really doesn’t have that much power—is really fascinating to watch play out.
And it plays out with these characters that I genuinely care about. I think they’re very charming and well-realized individuals. And yeah, Main’s a great protag. So, Bookworm season 3! Let’s do it!
VRAI: Let’s do it!
DEE: Yeah. Okay, anything else you wanted to say about Bookworm before we wrap this sucker up?
VRAI: Not really. I mean, I request more gays in everything I watch, but that’s just a general media thing. I really like Bookworm. I think all of its characters are lovely and the plot is well told, and more, please.
DEE: Hooray. There were some Netflix shows that I thought, if we had time, we could touch on a little bit. Dorohedoro, Hi-Score Girl, BNA are all things that come to mind. Caitlin, you watched Drifting Dragons, as well. Let’s go ahead and save those because we are at the hour. And like I said, I think summer is a lighter load, so maybe we can spend some time on Netflix shows in the coming podcast episodes. Might be a nice way to do that.
VRAI: You’ll have to get Chiaki on for that. I know she’s got a lot of feelings about BNA.
DEE: BNA… I’m only a couple episodes in, but I suspect it might make a good Retrospective, because we’ve done that with a few other Netflix shows as well, like, “Well, let’s just sit down and talk about it.” So we’ll see how that goes. Maybe that’ll be a future podcast as well. If nothing else, we’ll try to touch on it for the summer season. I think that’s a good idea, because at this point, we really just haven’t had a chance to get into it since it just dropped two days ago.
CAITLIN: It just came out.
DEE: Yeah. Okay, so, if everyone’s cool with me wrapping us up, I will do so. Any final thoughts?
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] All right.
DEE: Outro time. Here we go.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Chatty AF. If you like what you heard, tell your friends about us. And if you really liked what you heard, we’d love it if you’d head over to www.patreon.com/animefeminist and become a patron for as little as $1 a month.
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We have channels for… I think sometimes people think that the AniFem Discord would be like a bunch of academics sitting in a room, having academic anime conversations. That is not our Discord. We have a whole channel just for getting together for Animal Crossing events and…
CAITLIN: I named the general anime channel anime-butt-chat.
DEE: Just ‘cuz!
CAITLIN: I just one day got into a mood and started yelling about butts, so… [Chuckles]
DEE: So there we are. Yeah, it’s a nice place where you don’t necessarily have to worry about Feminism 101 conversations. But we do have a resources section for folks who do want to learn more. You can hop in there. It’s great. But it’s nice to just be around progressive-leaning, like-minded folks who also love to geek out about anime and manga and video games and whatnot.
So yeah, I would say if— Again, times is hard, so I totally understand folks who can’t. But if you’ve got five extra bucks to spare a month, I would recommend it because then you do get access to that Discord channel.
CAITLIN: It’s a great community.
DEE: You can chat with us, yeah.
CAITLIN: Also, I met several friends who I hang out in real life now, through it.
DEE: That’s really cool. I didn’t know that. That’s awesome.
CAITLIN: Yeah. We got a whole Seattle crew.
DEE: Sorry, that went on way too long. But I’ve been meaning to plug our Discord, and I typically don’t mention it. And so, yeah, that’s a thing you can get access to. But regardless of how much you can or choose to donate to our Patreon, the support goes a long way towards making anything happen both here on the podcast and on the website. So we really appreciate everyone who can do that for us.
And that’s the podcast! Let us know your thoughts on the season in the comments, AniFam, and we will talk to you next time.