Play “Big Yellow Taxi” as Caitlin, Alex, and Peter look back on the 2022 Spring season!
Date Recorded: July 9th, 2022
Hosts: Cailtlin, Alex, Peter
0:03:04 The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody
0:04:34 Ya Boy Kongming!
0:10:45 SPY x FAMILY
0:17:00 Love After World Domination
0:19:37 Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
0:22:18 Fanfare of Adolescence
0:23:22 Executioner and Her Way of Life
0:29:10 BIRDIE WING -Girls’ Golf Story-
0:37:25 Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie
0:43:12 Heroines Run the Show
0:46:59 Deiamon: Recipe for Happiness
0:48:38 Dance Dance Danseur
0:57:16 Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic-
0:59:11 Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3
CAITLIN: Hi and welcome to Chatty AF: The Anime Feminist Podcast. I’m Caitlin, one of the managing editors at AniFem and a reviewer at Anime News Network. Today I’m joined by my fellow staffers—AniFem staffers, that is [chuckles]—Peter and Alex. Go ahead and introduce yourselves.
ALEX: Hey, I’m Alex. I’m a contributions editor here at AniFem. In my other life I am completing and very soon submitting a thesis in queer fiction. That is very soon. End of the month, and then I’ll be able to stop talking about it on this podcast.
PETER: And you’re free.
ALEX: I will be free. [Chuckles]
PETER: And I’m Peter Fobian. I’m manager of YouTube content and strategy at Crunchyroll and a contributor here at Anime Feminist. I’m @PeterFobian on Twitter.
CAITLIN: In case this sounds very familiar, do not adjust your podcast. I did read, word for word, my intro from the midseason, because we are all deep into premieres. We are all exhausted because the premieres this year at this time are terrible, and watching bad anime is exhausting.
ALEX: Emotionally taxing. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Yes! Oh my God. They won’t frickin’ stop. And there’s no hope now because nothing else coming out looks like it’s going to be good, because we’re at the tail end here.
ALEX: But we’re looking back instead of forward today.
CAITLIN: Yes. Now we look back, not at the premieres we just watched over the last week and a half, but at the anime season that wrapped up a week and a half ago, which I failed to watch, and now I’m really wishing I had, because, you know, I did not appreciate what I had when I had it, which was good anime.
ALEX: Ah, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone, to quote that… um… mm… whoever wrote that song.
CAITLIN: There are two options here.
CAITLIN: [Chuckles] There are two… You got two options: either Joni Mitchell or… the Counting Crows covered it.
ALEX: Ah. Well.
CAITLIN: I think it was Joni Mitchell.
ALEX: [Chuckles] Well, let’s get into it then. Let’s look back down the path to the beautiful paradise of the summer—bleh—the spring season before we delve back into the summer season.
CAITLIN: [Chuckles] They paved paradise and put up a slavery isekai!
ALEX: Oh no! [Laughs]
CAITLIN: [Laughs] All right. So, Peter.
PETER: [amused] Yeah.
CAITLIN: Anything notable in the Pit of Shame and Red Flags?
PETER: Pit of Shame and Red Flags. Uh… No, nothing has changed.
CAITLIN: All right. Yellow Flags.
PETER: Yellow Flags… I do… I will just say that in The Greatest Demon Lord Is Reborn as a Typical Nobody, the dude had, like, an elven waifu from his previous incarnation—
PETER: —that he thought of fondly a lot. I think her dying or something was one of the reasons he decided to reincarnate himself. And he keeps watching plays about his previous self, very Thor-style, like watching Matt Damon reenact her life. And all the portrayals of his devoted elven wife girl, he said, like, “That’s not accurate at all.” Then they end up time-traveling and you meet her and she’s this very statuesque, kind of rowdy elf girl who loves getting into fistfights with people.
CAITLIN: Oh, that sounds really good!
PETER: Yeah, I thought it was really good. Very bisexual, except that that expresses itself as she’s kind of a predatory lesbian, which sucks.
ALEX: [disappointed] Eh.
PETER: Yup. So, it almost did a good thing. And then it didn’t. And that’s all I have to say.
CAITLIN: Well… Oh well. Them’s the breaks.
ALEX: Thank you for those field notes.
PETER: [Chuckles] You’re welcome.
CAITLIN: All right. So, I did not finish most of the anime that I was in the middle of last time we spoke.
ALEX: That’s all right. We’ll make it work.
CAITLIN: Yeah. We will figure it out! But I did finish Ya Boy Kongming. What an incredible show.
ALEX: Yeah. Party people! [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Just basically perfect.
ALEX: Oh yeah?
ALEX: [crosstalk] What did you think?
CAITLIN: Oh, God, you were expecting me to speak coherently on the subject, Alex?
ALEX: [Laughs] That’s true. I mean—
CAITLIN: My brain… My brain is mush from watching so much bad anime! Anyway—
ALEX: Again, cast your eye back. Think of paradise. Go back to the Three Kingdoms era.
CAITLIN: Oh, it feels like the end of the show was five years ago instead of, what, weeks?
CAITLIN: Anyway, yeah, I really enjoyed how Ya Boy Kongming wrapped up. Last time we talked, we discussed about how Eiko was kind of like a secondary character in her own journey because Kongming was basically constantly going, “Now do this. Now do this. Now do this.”
And I feel like, while it was still all according to keikaku by the end, Eiko did start to have more of an active character growth arc alongside Nanami from Azalea.
ALEX: Yeah, it feels like it really did respond to our critiques and concerns that Eiko was a passenger in her own story, as you say, and she was a bit isolated as kind of the only good female character. But yeah, they brought in Azalea, and that gave us more of a nice spectrum; it gave her a friend, this kind of complicated friendship with this other young woman, and it was great. It gave the show a real fun, emotional core to carry it through to the finale.
CAITLIN: Yeah, and I thought it was really interesting because the whole thing with Azalea is that their producer, in order to make them popular, forces them to dress in these just really horrible, skimpy, just lascivious outfits. And they’re not wearing them by choice. They’re not feeling empowered by them.
And when Eiko is watching, Nanami’s like, “Don’t look at me.” And in a weird way, it made me think of those PowerPoint presentations about Kill la Kill that were everywhere on the internet ten years ago.
ALEX: [Chuckles] Now that’s looking back down the stream. That’s looking backward into the past.
CAITLIN: [Laughs] And maybe it’s because Nanami’s costume also reminds me a little bit of Junketsu. But in that, the whole discourse was “Kill la Kill is feminist because it tells you to ignore the male gaze. You should be proud of your body and feel strong in it, no matter what you’re wearing, no matter what people are looking at, how people are looking at you.”
And Nanami is feeling… Even though this costume probably contributed to Nanami’s popularity as a singer, she’s feeling very disempowered by being forced to wear it.
ALEX: Mm-hm. And there’s the dehumanizing aspect as well. They’re all wearing these eye masks, so you can’t see their eyes through them. Their individuality has been scraped away in the name of profit, which I thought was pretty scathing.
ALEX: It doesn’t follow it through into the deepest thing in the world, but I thought it was a pretty scathing, oof, critique of the music industry in that, yeah, you know, they had the dream, they had the girl band, they wanted to do their own thing, and this guy basically said, “No, you as you are as individuals, as human beings, you’re never going to make money in this town, kid. So put on these bikinis, basically, and these masks that make you no longer people. And then we’ll see how we do.”
And indeed, that kinda works, but it makes them miserable. And I thought that was a really interesting thing to explore. It resolved in a way that I felt was maybe a bit soft on the critique.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Yeah.
ALEX: But I don’t know, because, I guess, for the… What were your thoughts, before I tumble down into mine? [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: It was like he can’t just be a gross dude, like he has to be a failed artist on his own who’s projecting his own failure onto them, trying to make them popular. Like, come on, guys. Sometimes producers are just gross.
ALEX: It felt like it got most of the way there in terms of being like, “Hey, sometimes the music industry is a bit skeevy and sucks,” but kind of made it “But it’s just this guy’s problem. It’s not a systemic thing. Don’t worry about it.”
CAITLIN: Yeah, exactly.
ALEX: Which, look, in the end, what is this show? It is a time-travel comedy about a guy from the Three Kingdoms era hanging out in the club scene in Tokyo. What business do I have asking this show to try and be realistic, right? [Chuckles] And it’s going for a very… You know, it’s about following your dreams and making it big in the music industry.
So I feel like with that built in, it would be a bit off-tone to suddenly be like, “Oh, but the music industry is full of… It’s terrible!” So, I can definitely see the narrative purpose of going in this direction. I found a tiny bit frustrating, but I know what the show was going for. That’s… Whatever. I warmed up to it.
And Eiko has a friend, and they’re still gonna be making music, so it all kinda… Yeah, happy end. Again, not a realistically happy end, but again, this show’s not trying to be realistic, is it? We’re here to have a good time. Party people, Three Kingdoms.
CAITLIN: Yeah. So, speaking of good times, Spy × Family, which everyone on the team is watching. One of the few shows I finished.
ALEX: Yeah, this one’s coming back to us in October, so I guess we can’t do our full wrap-up thoughts at this point. But we can do a little stop-off into this.
CAITLIN: Yeah! Peter, would you like to talk? Would you like to get a chance to speak?
PETER: Sure. I guess: miraculous, showstopping, 10 out of 10, never be the same.
PETER: Extremely good. I mean, I don’t know what to say. I think during the midseason, we all had a… Well, it was a pretty glowing endorsement. I’ve been talking this thing up since the manga came out. Pretty much everybody with the manga has. It feels really good, hasn’t done anything bad, it’s funny, it’s cute.
Actually, well, I don’t know about every… There’s one… One hang-up I’ve got is I’m pretty sure they decided to skip the chapter where Yor gets shot in the butt on a mission—
ALEX: Ah, yes. [Laughs]
PETER: —and then they go on a date. So, unless that is the first episode of the second cour, I will be extremely disappointed since that’s one of my favorite chapters. And I just can’t imagine why you’d want to skip that 10-out-of-10 content in what is a 10-out-of-10 manga. So that is my feeling. I might have to take a full point, like it’s a 9 out of 10 instead of a 10 out of 10.
ALEX: [Laughs] It’s a good chapter, I agree.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Well, what about all of the ones that they expanded?
PETER: That was pretty good. I did find it funny that… Whenever they do filler in shounen anime, it always seems like sometimes they put a lot more effort into the animation than they do for the stuff that’s actually canon, like that sequence with the balloons—or whatever—where he was Yor-man. Or is that what he was called? I don’t know.
ALEX: Loidman, I think.
PETER: Loidman, yeah.
ALEX: It’s the guy, from TV.
PETER: Oh, yeah, it would be Loid, not Yor. Yeah, Loidman was one of the best-animated sequences in the whole show. It’s completely fictitious and not in the manga at all. Very unusual that they decided to put most of their efforts into that. Although I guess they can really concentrate on movement stuff for that sort of segment. I thought that was really nice. I especially liked how all the spies were overjoyed to have the opportunity to get their ass kicked by Twilight. That was cute.
So, I think the original content’s pretty good. It’s just that it’s one of the best chapters, you know what I’m saying?
ALEX: Mm-hm, mm-hm.
ALEX: We’ll have to watch out for it in the second half.
PETER: Yeah. It’s like Jujutsu Kaisen: there’s a date night chapter. If they skip that one, I’m gonna be pissed off.
CAITLIN: Maybe I’ll watch Jujutsu Kaisen this season.
PETER: Oh, you should. The date—
ALEX: That’s true. You’ll have time. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Yeah, right?
PETER: It’s coming up. The date night one, I think, is one of the next chapters after the first season left off, and it is one of my favorite chapters in the manga. It always is in shounen. I don’t know why. Black Clover did a really good job with their date night.
CAITLIN: It’s just fun having characters chilling out together.
PETER: Yeah, yeah. Being goofy, bouncing off one another.
CAITLIN: Yeah, letting their hair down a little bit.
PETER: Yep. Well.
CAITLIN: So I do love Spy × Family. 10 out of 10. But—and this is a feeling I have about the manga as well—I wish Yor got more to do.
CAITLIN: The manga did end up giving her at least a couple arcs. I haven’t read in a while, but it was in the middle of an arc where she did actually have a good amount of stuff to do when I last read. But generally speaking, she does not get nearly as much to do as Loid does. Which, I mean, I guess Loid is the protagonist. Well, he’s the point-of-view character and she’s less dynamic than Anya because that’s a high bar to clear. [Chuckles]
PETER: More of a reaction character, for sure. She gets her job and she follows it, kind of thing.
ALEX and CAITLIN: Yeah.
PETER: I mean, the manga did have that huge cruise ship arc where Yor…
CAITLIN: That’s what I was talking about. Yeah.
PETER: Yeah, so I don’t know if that’ll be in the second split. It might be the third cour if they have a third cour—
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Oh, I’m sure they will.
PETER: —or maybe the second half of the second cour, at the earliest. But yeah, I actually need to still finish that in the manga. But yeah, I remember they did surprisingly put her in the center for that period.
ALEX: Well, that’s good, because I’m not up to that bit yet, so that’s exciting to hear that that’s down the track. Yeah, and I agree with that, Caitlin.
I feel like my one critique— Well, my other critique is Yor’s brother…
CAITLIN: [weary] Oh, Yuri.
ALEX: … just because he’s weird in a way that I personally don’t find funny and I don’t really enjoy that trope, though there are some good slapstick moments in the dinner party episode there.
But yeah, Yor is fantastic—the people obviously love her—so, more Yor is never a bad idea, and I hope that we get to see, yeah, more of her interior world and stuff like that going forward, for sure.
CAITLIN: Once again, Spy × Family is bisexual culture.
PETER: I do like how they expand all the… Like, I think that you get like a panel in the manga of Yor showing Anya how to do some sort of physical activity, and in the anime, they always turn it into a sequence.
ALEX: That’s true. Yeah, we got that whole sports anime transformation for the dodgeball episode. That was good. That was fun.
PETER: Always Anya suffering and Yor doing something superhuman. So, one of those, yeah.
ALEX: Ah, good for her. But yes, excited to see that little family again in—October, is it? Is it coming back for Fall season?
PETER: Yeah, October.
ALEX: So fantastic. So, yeah, I don’t think we have anything too much else to say. Spy × Family is still good and we hope that it still continues to be good and are excited to see it again. So you will hear from us again about the Forger family, for sure.
CAITLIN: But only at the season retrospective for that season, because we don’t talk about sequels.
Let’s see. Love After World Domination.
ALEX: Aw, I did not catch up on this one. I heard you give it a glowing review last time, Peter. I checked it out but I didn’t ultimately… It didn’t grab me quite enough to give it my limited time. But do you have any other thoughts?
PETER: Yeah, I mean, that makes sense. It’s just kind of sweet and funny and dopey. I wouldn’t really say… It’s not thought-provoking in any way.
PETER: So if you are looking for something that’s really gonna be cathartic or psychologically fulfilling, it’s probably not going to be that, but I feel like it really maintained the course. It was really cute, very wholesome.
I think it really only got a little bit weird when the school nurse does this thing where if you’re sick she treats you like a baby. She dresses up Destiny like a little toddler when she gets sick, which was a little uncomfortable. That was just like a five-minute gag in like episode 11, and that’s the only part that really stood out to me as like, “Oh, maybe they could have just not done this instead. That would have been great.”
It’s also really nice seeing a series where the characters get together in the first episode and it’s about them being in a nice relationship. I like the Romeo-and-Juliet aspect where they’re on opposite sides of this war between good and evil and then slowly their squadmates start to find out that they’re in a relationship and decide to support them for various reasons.
ALEX: Aw, that’s nice.
PETER: That’s pretty cute, too.
CAITLIN: Nice that they’re supportive.
PETER: Yeah, not the villains though, because I feel like that wouldn’t turn out too good. But yeah, it just kinda left off with “Our story will be continued.” I think it’s based on a manga, so I don’t know if there was any sort of conclusion in mind, but yeah, yeah, cute series, really liked it.
ALEX: That’s nice. There are a few… couple of rom-coms this season that I think we’ll end up talking about.
PETER: Yeah, yeah. I gave it credit for doing the thing where they are together in the first episode, but there is another series that did that, as well.
ALEX: Indeed. The niche is being filled. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Is Healer Girl a rom-com?
ALEX: I don’t expect so. None of us…
CAITLIN: Yeah, none of the three of us are watching it. Sorry!
ALEX: No, but Dee gave it a pretty glowing review, I think. Meru has been enjoying it as well, I think. So you will probably hear from other members of the team about Healer Girl sometime soon.
CAITLIN: Next up is a romantic comedy, which is Aharen-san wa Hakarenai, which I fell behind on. So, Peter, go! Monologue at us again.
PETER: All right. Yeah, I thought it was gonna be platonic, but they ended up, in the last three or so episodes, turning it into getting the romance subplot thing where they ask each other out and they say yes and then they’re a couple by the end of the series, which was nice. It was fine. I think they executed it pretty well. I wasn’t super invested in it being platonic, but I appreciated that it was platonic when I thought that’s what it was going to be.
ALEX: Oh, I was just gonna say… I mean, I’ve not watched this one. Again, a disclaimer as always: I gave this one a pretty scathing review in the first episode, so no one is happier than me to learn that it’s really just come good and is quite lovely and enjoyable. And yeah, that’s really interesting, to see that you have a strong friendship as the basis for the romantic relationship. You don’t always get that, you know. That’s kind of nice.
CAITLIN: Ah, that’s really nice. I’ll finish it eventually.
PETER: Yeah, I put it up pretty high on my slice-of-life comedy series. Nothing’s probably ever gonna hit the Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless level, but this one’s maybe top five.
I really like… The thing this series does is… Normally with these series, the main character is always like… where it’s like, “The person who sits next to me is insane,” like Tonari no Seki-kun. It’s always like the main character is a normal person, a normal human being, and the person is always doing wild stuff and they’re always reacting to how crazy it is, so it’s like your prospective character or whatever.
But the more the series continues, you realize that the main dude is just as stupid and insane as Aharen is. And he’s calmly explaining all of his rationalizations for what he’s doing and you’re slowly realizing and it’s like, oh no, he is also an idiot. [Chuckles] None of his rationalizations about what she’s doing ever makes sense and he’s also crazy and further driving her down the path of madness.
ALEX: Ah, so they’re made for each other. [Chuckles]
PETER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s pretty funny. Yeah.
ALEX: Ah, that’s… Again, no one is happier than me to learn that it came good.
ALEX: To learn that it’s come good. That sounds great.
PETER: [crosstalk] Yeah, it’s good actually.
ALEX: I will perhaps go back and check it out, now that it has such a glowing review.
PETER: Yeah, it’s very sweet, very funny.
CAITLIN: Glad to hear it. Well, looking forward to finishing it.
PETER: One of my top ten fidget spinner animes as well.
ALEX: Fidget spinner animes!
CAITLIN: Alex, it looks like you finished… you did not finish Fanfare of Adolescence.
ALEX: No, like I sort of talked about last time, I wanted to have the faith it was going to do something interesting, but I just… I fell off. That’s okay because the folks at the This Week in Anime column on ANN had a great little wrap-up of the series and what it did that was weird and disappointing, so you can just go read that.
ALEX: Yeah. Um, yeah, I got nothing else to say about the horse boys. They tried but they didn’t… they did not hit the… I’m looking for some sort of horse racing pun to talk about… They’re not quite making it… but, eh, horse…
CAITLIN: It was not a photo finish.
ALEX: It was not a photo finish.
PETER: [crosstalk] [Chuckles] That’s all I could think of, was like…
ALEX: Thank you, perfect!
PETER: I watched two seasons of Umamusume; I couldn’t think of a single horse racing joke.
ALEX: See, that’s a show I’m gonna have to go back and rewatch, I think, because that I think is a superior horse racing show, from what I have heard.
CAITLIN: This one never really left the gate.
PETER: Oh, there you go, yeah. Okay.
CAITLIN: Okay, so, Executioner and Her Way of Life. This one I did finish. What a fucking series there!
ALEX: Oh yeah. Honestly, I feel like this has kind of been my runaway surprise favorite of the season.
CAITLIN: Oh, I’m not surprised by it being one of my favorites.
ALEX: [Chuckles] Actually, that’s true. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. I maintain my review from last time that it’s something that I would have gone absolutely feral for when I was 15, 16. Yeah, it’s just fun. It’s dark and grimy, and a lot of the magic operates on Rule of Cool kind of stuff.
CAITLIN: Rule of Gross kinda, though!
ALEX: Yeah, Rule— Especially that final arc, the body horror and the creepy children and just… Yeah, just a whale of a time all around honestly, if you like that kind of thing. And yeah, we have this cast of… Yeah, like we said last time, all the main characters are women and girls. So we have a great variety of personalities and motivations in the levels of unhinged-ness.
ALEX: And I think that’s beautiful. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: So, okay, this is gonna sound maybe like a weird thing to say, but bear with me here. If you genderswapped the cast, it wouldn’t feel strange. Does that make sense? I’m not saying it’s perfectly gender neutral, but it doesn’t have a lot of the contrivances and conventions they put into anime with all-female casts to kind of soften it.
ALEX: Yeah, they don’t necessarily feel like they’re written to be The Girl in a cast. They kind of just feel like they’re written to be people doing their thing. Yeah, no, I think that makes sense. I can see what you mean by that, for sure.
CAITLIN: Momo grabbing at Menou’s thighs probably wouldn’t happen because that’s a very specific thing to yuri anime for some reason. I mean, we know why. Although, you know, if someone wants to write men appreciating men’s thighs, I would be down for that.
ALEX: It’s about the equity.
CAITLIN: Yeah, exactly! Not because I like men’s thighs.
ALEX: [Chuckles] You know, a benefit of having a cast full of women—and because it’s a yuri, a cast full of women who have all various weird, interlocking relationships of sexual tension with each other—you have that nice spectrum established. It’s like, okay, yeah, Momo is a bit creepy at times with her overbearing crush on her mentor, but there are also other characters we can read as lesbian.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Girls with creepy, overbearing crushes! [Chuckles]
ALEX: Yeah, and just… I don’t know. Like, you look at… No spoilers if people are interested, but the setup of Menou and Akari’s relationship and that central conceit of that is really interesting, and I feel like it’s not trying to model at any point a nice, cute, healthy relationship for you to aspire to or to enjoy.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] No. No! [Chuckles]
ALEX: So I don’t know. Definitely, those tropes are still worth picking apart, 100%. But the fact that all of them were all their own different kinds of weird and messed-up…
CAITLIN: Right. I was gonna say!
CAITLIN: None of them have nice, healthy relationships because they’re all super fucked up.
ALEX: Yeah, they’re all unhinged in their own unique, beautiful way. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: But they’re also… I mean, we don’t know about Princess Ashuna necessarily, but they’re all unhinged and fucked up by the systems of this world. And Menou and Momo are fucked up because they’re assassins. Akari is fucked up because she has a Pure Concept. Although it seems like she did not have a happy life previously on Earth.
ALEX: Yeah, I’m hoping this one gets a continuation, honestly. It leaves off… It wraps up nicely, I think, in terms of you get resolution for the villains and the arcs it’s playing with, but it very much ends on “To be continued,” and I would love to see how this unfolds, because there are so many things going on here that I would love to see resolved.
CAITLIN: I would so watch a second season. I would so watch a second season. And I mean, I guess I could always buy the light novels or whatever, but (A) I’m usually not very impressed by novel writing, just the quality of the prose, although I’ve skimmed through my friend’s copy. It looks more readable to me than most, but still. Also, the anime’s visuals are just so awesome that I want to see it put to screen and visualized.
ALEX: Yeah, it says something very rewarding, like we said, about just a fantasy series, a genre series full of unhinged women. You know, I could recommend it for that alone, honestly. Though, yeah, obviously go in being aware of those body horror aspects and the… Yeah, I want more of it. I would eat it up.
CAITLIN: Yes. With a spoon.
ALEX: With a spoon.
CAITLIN: Not even with a spoon. I wouldn’t wait for the spoon. I’d just step directly in it.
ALEX: [crosstalk] Start shoveling it like… [Chuckles]
But yes, please, please, please tell me what’s going on in Birdie Wing.
CAITLIN: [Laughs] So much! Oh man, am I the only one here watching it? Oh my God.
ALEX: Yes, you have the floor. Take us into the world of the golf mafia.
CAITLIN: I mean, they wrapped up the mafia arc. Eve transfers to Aoi’s school.
CAITLIN: So it becomes still unhinged but less so than the mafia arc. But it gets even gayer.
ALEX: Okay, okay. That’s a fair tradeoff, I want to say.
ALEX: But I don’t know. Talk me through it. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: So, instead of it just being random women polishing their clubs threateningly and magical hypnotic crotch stank…
ALEX: Ah, yes. Classic.
CAITLIN: Okay. You know what? I just remembered. For full disclosure: I haven’t watched the final episode yet. That is actually something I’m going to do probably almost immediately after we finish recording this because my friends who I’ve been watching it with are coming over. But they’re all… You know, it’s all-girls school, or if there are boys there they don’t matter. Boys exist in this world; they just don’t matter.
ALEX: Mm-hm. Classic, classic.
CAITLIN: There is one male character, who is Reiya Amuro, voiced by Toru Furuya. Which, I don’t know if either of you are big enough Gundam geeks to get that.
ALEX: Ah. Okay, I see.
CAITLIN: Yeah, no, somewhere out there Lauren Orsini is yelling, “Are you kidding me?”
CAITLIN: Toru Furuya of course being the voice of Amuro Ray, the original Gundam protagonist.
ALEX: Ah. Right, so, the name of… Yeah, so is this character just a whole-cloth reference to this Gundam character?
CAITLIN: He doesn’t look like Amuro. Nothing about him other than his name and his voice are Amuro as far as I know. I have not actually watched original Gundam, even though I have a shirt that says, “You can do it, Amuro!” because I thought it was funny.
CAITLIN: Fake Gundam girl! Uh-oh! All of our critics are gonna come for us! I’m so—
ALEX: And a real horse girl, so that’s… [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: I’m so loopy right now because I’ve been watching so much bad anime!
ALEX: It’s all good. But Birdie Wing. Would you classify Birdie Wing as a good anime? …I guess is the follow-up question from that. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: It is completely unhinged. Like I said in the midseason and I think probably early on in any season write-ups, it is completely unhinged in a way that girls’ sports anime almost never is.
For this, I would not say you could just genderswap the cast and nothing would be changed. But it also is not a moe girls’ series. Even once they get to the school arc, it doesn’t turn into “Oh, all these polite society girls putting golf balls.” No, they all have these crazy-ass shounen techniques that they golf with.
Eve is now completely out of her depth among all these well-heeled young women who have been playing golf since they were like six months old or whatever, buying the best equipment. She’s got a new caddy because Lily is back home working at her friend’s store, which is now… They are no longer illegal immigrants, so they can openly do business. And I don’t remember her name, but the girl who owns it is wearing a frickin’ suit behind the bar. It’s great. They’re doing great!
But most importantly, Eve gets to see Aoi, all the time, whenever she wants. I really hope the twist does not turn out that they’re sisters, like I’ve been thinking.
ALEX: Oh! Is that on the cards?
CAITLIN: Oh, you know, Eve mysteriously knows Japanese for no… And she has no idea why!
ALEX: [Laughs, startled] What? Is she just having this intrinsic…? What?
CAITLIN: Literally, all—
ALEX: [crosstalk] Wow, I wish that was a real thing you could do in life.
CAITLIN: They’re like, “Oh! You speak Japanese?” And she’s like, “Huh, I guess I do!”
PETER: What? That’s like frickin’ Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: [Cracks up] I mean, it’s not an invalid comparison! All of the girls at this school are just completely gay for Eve because she’s this hot blonde. Eve looks weirdly like Aoi’s mom, because I just remembered I’m supposed to be talking about why we think they might be sisters. But also, they kissed. Not in a full-on sloppy makeouts kind of kiss. Like a gentle peck on the cheek kind of kiss, but still… I really hope it’s not like, “Oh, a sisterly kiss.”
ALEX: That’s… fascinating. [Chuckles] And this is getting a second half, you said?
ALEX: Okay! Well!
CAITLIN: The [audio cuts out] of the summer!
ALEX: [measured] We will have to see how that unfolds.
CAITLIN: I really wonder if it’s doing better in Japan than it is here because, Peter, I believe you mentioned that it is not doing great here.
PETER: It’s not popular, no.
CAITLIN: Which is a shame. Everyone needs to go out and watch Birdie Wing because it’s so fucking good!
PETER: I don’t know. I’m not sure what… This could be some sort of multimedia marketing thing. I don’t know if they’re selling golf products or something alongside of it or if there’s a gacha game.
CAITLIN: It has a lot of Gundam tie-ins. I haven’t heard anything about it having a gacha game, although I wouldn’t be shocked if it did because it has a large female cast.
ALEX: Mm. I mean, maybe they’re all going to end up in mechs at the end, like that’s gonna be the final arc. They’re gonna be doing mecha golf for, you know, the Sunrise tie-in.
CAITLIN: [Laughs] I think there’s a video game about that, but I don’t think it’s a tie-in to Birdie Wing.
PETER: Was it made by Sunrise? I mean, what is it, Bandai Studios? Or Bandai Namco Pictures.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Bandai Namco Entertainment.
PETER: Yeah, yeah. Oh, it is! It is.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Which is a way worse name than Sunrise. It’s a terrible name.
PETER: It’s literally by, yeah, “Bandai Namco Pictures,” quote-unquote.
ALEX: Yes, that’s what I meant. Sorry. Yeah, could happen. We’ll have to keep an eye out, I suppose. [Chuckles] Oh my gosh. But… Oh my God. Okay, so Birdie Wing is unfinished and has many mysteries. [Chuckles] Should we perhaps—
CAITLIN: There are characters in the opening that haven’t shown up yet.
ALEX: Okay! Interesting. Do we know when it’s coming back?
CAITLIN: Winter, I want to say.
PETER: I’m looking at the Wikipedia. It says January 2023.
ALEX: Oh my gosh. All right. Well, I guess we will look forward to having our psyche cracked open with a golf club again, come January.
ALEX: For now, though, should we keep scooting up the list?
CAITLIN: Yeah, I was gonna say, time to keep moving so that Vrai doesn’t yell at us again! [Chuckles]
ALEX: So Shikimori is next.
CAITLIN: Yes! Okay, so, I have not finished any of these shows, so Alex, I’m actually going to turn over to you to host.
ALEX: So, the final episode of Shikimori came out just today, after some delays due to… I think the studio got COVID, I believe you said? Yeah.
CAITLIN: The entire fucking studio got COVID.
ALEX: Which, honestly, I don’t feel like that affected the production. They had a couple of delayed weeks where they didn’t have episodes, but they had a little voice actor commentary instead, which I thought was really fun.
But yeah, this one was fun. I ended up checking it out because you kind of talked it up so much last time, Peter, and I really enjoyed it. I think this is also a surprise favorite for me this season. It’s not reinventing the wheel in terms of… I don’t know. I feel like there’s possibly an itch to say it’s so cool and subversive because the kind of gender tropes you might expect for the boy and the girl in a romance are swapped around or played with a lot. But I don’t know.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s that necessarily, but it’s fun; it gives us some refreshing stuff to work with. Like we said before, I enjoy that they are already dating, and so we get to see that dynamic rather than the kind of drawn-out will-they-won’t-they that is more common; and they’re just nice kids, you know?
You just get some fun stuff. You get to see… Again, I don’t know how this resolves in the final episode, so hopefully it doesn’t do anything drastic that proves me wrong. [Chuckles] But yeah, I don’t know, the little flashback showing how Shikimori is navigating femininity and she was kind of a tomboy kid who wants to clean up her act a bit for high school but then does something super cool and badass to help Izumi, the main character, and she’s like, “Damn, I blew it! No one’s gonna think I’m a cute girl!” And he’s just staring at her like “You are the coolest person I’ve ever seen, and I love you for the parts of you you think are socially unacceptable.” That, I enjoy.
Again, it’s not setting the world on fire as a revolution, I don’t think; it is still a shounen rom-com. But it’s fun! It’s nice. I really enjoyed it. And I enjoy that it has those few refreshing elements in terms of the gender stuff (TM).
PETER: Yeah, I think it utilizes it well while not investing the entirety of it into playing with those tropes, so it’s got other stuff to offer. Like, I do think Izumi is kind of interesting as… I don’t know, I don’t want to say if it’s analyzing a trope, but kind of like the clumsy, unfortunate character and how that affects him psychologically where he has a defeatist attitude that he’s always battling with and how his supportive friend group helps out with that. I also think that the larger cast is very good and it’s made good use of some of their characters’ subplots, like Kamiya, as well. That was a really good episode.
ALEX: Yeah, the friends are fun, as well. I really like them.
PETER: Mm-hm. Yeah, I was a bit concerned with the Shikimori backstory thing because I did find it weird that she would… I liked the idea that she was good at a lot of stuff but wasn’t really invested in many things and was having trouble finding a purpose, and then read a shoujo manga and decided she wanted to be a cute girl that got swept off her feet by a dude.
ALEX: After one afternoon engaging with media, she’s like, “Ah! This is what I must do now!”
PETER: Yeah, I didn’t read—
CAITLIN: This is why we [audio cuts out] not have gender roles in series.
PETER: Yeah, I was like, what? Yeah, but then she helps Izumi get his thing out of the tree and he’s obviously smitten with her because she’s cool, and I think that was kind of a second awakening for her. She’s like, “Oh, no, maybe I just wanted somebody who appreciates me for me.” And that turned it around. I was getting a little nervous there.
ALEX: Yeah, me too. I was like, “Man, don’t… don’t… don’t do this! I’m holding out on you!” [Chuckles]
PETER: “But really, I just wanted to be a cute girl the whole time.” Yeah, yeah. So, that was good. I think it ended pretty well. Again, another series where they were in a relationship for the whole series and it’s about a couple navigating different aspects of being in a relationship, having to be emotionally vulnerable with somebody, just all that stuff rather than just an agonizing buildup to maybe a confession or a kiss or something like that. So I appreciate it on that level, too.
ALEX: [crosstalk] [Chuckles] Which can be fun.
ALEX: Which can be fun, but it’s nice to have, yeah, a different flavor from time to time.
PETER: Yeah. The manga… The first volume of the manga was free on Kodansha recently, so I checked it out, too. I guess it’s one of those manga where it’s like four to eight pages, very short stories, and it kind of always ends with Shikimori doing something cool and then Izumi going like, “Wow, I’m in love!” [Chuckles] So, I guess I’m saying that because I’m sort of impressed with the way they turned it into a longer-form storytelling.
I don’t know whether the later manga gets… I was assuming all of this is in the volumes, as well. So it has these more developed narratives. But very impressive that all of this came out of a series where it was kind of like a couple steps above a 4-koma, basically.
ALEX: [Chuckles] Hm. Well, yeah, very nice. Shikimori: good. There’s some deeper stuff we can get into there with Shikimori navigating the expectations of femininity, but I don’t know. That’s an article for another day. Maybe I’m just like “It’s not that deep. It’s just fun. It’s just good kids.” [Chuckles]
Heroines Run the Show is what is next. You mentioned… Oh! You have dropped this one, Caitlin. No? Oh yes, you have not dropped this one. Did you get to the end of this adventure, Caitlin?
CAITLIN: No! I haven’t finished any of these.
ALEX: Ah, darn!
CAITLIN: Luckily I will have lots of time for watching backlog this season!
ALEX: [Laughs] I unfortunately didn’t finish this one either. I got about two-thirds of the way through, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. The main problem I was having is that I love Hiyori, as we have discussed, as I gushed about in my three-episode review. I liked her great. I thought she had great potential as a character.
Trouble was I really didn’t like any of the supporting cast around her, which meant that I didn’t really enjoy watching her interact with them. And I wasn’t really invested in seeing these idol boys become less prickly to her. I presumed that was what was going to happen, but they took too long to try and be better people. [Chuckles] I couldn’t quite stick it out. What are you thinking?
PETER: [deadpan] Thank God you were nice enough to them for long enough that they decided to stop being assholes to you. Character development, great. [Returns to normal voice] Yeah, I kind of felt like Hiyori was the best part of the series but the series was pretty disinterested in Hiyori.
PETER: I remember a lot of scenes where it’s talking about… She’s doing wind sprints and her teammate is saying, “Oh, you’re slower today,” and that’s it, so it’s like, wait, is her track not doing as well? How’s that developing? That’s literally the whole reason she became the manager in the first place. The series does not care about her being in track even though that’s the whole reason she moved out, became a manager. It’s the impetus behind everything that happened in the series. It’s her personal passion. Series doesn’t give a fuck about it. So, I think that sucks.
The plot seems to resolve around her friend—or maybe not actually her friend—taking photos of her and posting them all around because she’s spending so much time with the boys, because her friend is a fan of them, so she thinks she’s being too intimate with them or something like that. I don’t know. It kind of resolved in a flowery way where it’s like, “oh, she’s gonna keep being their manager, and she makes up with her friend.”
But I feel like all of the issues in the end of the series were just pointing out really deranged aspects of the idol industry, like the idea that they can’t have girlfriends and that their fans need to be slavishly devoted to them. Like, they literally introduce… You find out that her friend is a fan of them because you see her working in one of those maid cafes and she’s doing the “moe moe kyun” thing and putting a heart on an omelet and all that.
And then, after her shift is done, she’s just in the changing room looking at a mirror, there’s dark circles under her eyes. I think she says, “I’m depleted physically and spiritually, but I need to keep making money so I can support LIPxLIP” or whatever.
ALEX: Oh my God!
PETER: That’s not healthy. So you need to suffer through a really shitty job so you can make enough money to send presents to your favorite idol group or something and buy their CDs? Nothing about that seems great, and I’m supposed to feel good about the ending. So, I guess I felt pretty down about the series by the end, is where I’m coming around to on this one.
ALEX: Yeah, man, that’s a shame because…
PETER: [crosstalk] Yeah. I’m glad they’re still friends.
ALEX: Yeah. Nah, that’s… Man. Well, that is a shame. I don’t think there’s anything much else to wrap up with that one, unfortunately. It had great potential. That’s why it’s up here at the top in the Potential section, but eh… It’s a bit disappointing that it kind of whiffed that.
What do we reckon, though, about [Deaimon:] Recipe for Happiness? This one was also fine, but I also felt a bit disappointed by it—though, then again, I do want to clarify that’s possibly more to do with what the show… what I wanted it to do and what I expected from it, and not necessarily anything it objectively did wrong.
I kind of have the same critique that we talked about in the midseason where it just felt a bit shallow, in terms of… it brought up these great, bittersweet, deep… touching all these different social issues and these emotional issues that would affect the characters a lot, and then resolves them super quickly. And, as we also said last time, asks a lot of investment in this father–daughter duo that I was like, “Eh.” I think they’re just more like, I don’t know, coworkers, siblings. I don’t know.
I thought this was going to be the series that we’d be like, “Oh my gosh! Why am I crying about traditional Japanese sweets every week?” But it didn’t quite hit that for me. Again, it’s still nice, it’s still fun, but it doesn’t go into that deeper, more brain-thinky kind of stuff in terms of the emotional issues that it brings up in terms of child abandonment and, uh, fun things like that.
So, eh, it was all right. It was pretty. I like to look around Kyoto, but I’m probably not going to recommend this one in the end. Yeah. Alas.
But Dance Dance Danseur is our final one on the list today. How’d you guys go with that one?
PETER: I actually feel real bad… I messed up with my notes. I thought I’d watched the last episode, but I don’t think I actually did, which is very important for this series since so much was riding on the climax, I feel, because it got super complicated in the penultimate episode. I’m gonna have to cop out, I guess, and talk about it in more general terms.
ALEX: [Chuckles] Unfortunately, yeah.
CAITLIN: That’s fine. You won’t spoil me!
ALEX: That’s true. We’re usually no-spoiler mode. [Chuckles]
PETER: I can’t spoil? Wait, how far are you?
CAITLIN: No, you can.
PETER: Oh, okay.
CAITLIN: But you won’t.
PETER: What? Oh, because I’m incapable.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Because you haven’t watched the last episode.
PETER: Yeah, have you watched the second-to-last episode, Caitlin?
CAITLIN: No, I haven’t watched any of the ones since Birdie Wing.
PETER: Oh, okay.
ALEX: It’s all golf all the time.
CAITLIN: Yeah, I just don’t need anything else!
CAITLIN: Yeah, I did go visit my parents and my dad did watch golf, and I’m just like, “This is the worst episode of Birdie Wing I have ever seen!”
ALEX: [Laughs] Ah, yes. Nothing’s gonna compare. Okay, so—
CAITLIN: [Obscured by crosstalk] is just not up to the standards of the first one.
PETER: Literally the worst sport ever invented, but…
ALEX: Oh my gosh. But Peter, you have the floor in terms of Dance Dance Danseur.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Sorry. [Chuckles]
PETER: How do I even summarize the penultimate episode? I don’t know, I feel like it’s been doing a lot with toxic masculinity in the series, where Junpei [is] kind of warring with it, wanting to be perceived as masculine versus wanting to dance.
And then it got to this really intense child abuse plot with Luou. And in the penultimate episode, it got into this really complicated relationship where Luou, in an effort to appease his abusive grandmother, is trying to continue to do ballet, fulfill her vision of ballet rather than what might make him personally happy. And… oh my God, what’s the girl’s name? Uh… It’s kind of revealed that she helped him during this abusive period and sort of became like his emotional crutch. Miyako.
In the penultimate episode she kind of offers herself up again as this kind of… And the reason I think that they might be kind of self-aware about it is because they frame the whole thing through the eyes of (What was the dance they did? What was it?) Swan Lake, where Luou is—I don’t actually know Swan Lake, but I’m just… God, who is the character that he played, the evil prince? —She was kind of offering herself up in a similar way, as kind of a sacrificial individual so that he could continue to be self-destructive but have her emotional support to continue through it while Junpei was… The part that wasn’t great was Junpei kind of encouraged her towards doing that, saying like, “We can’t be together because you have to make sure that Luou is okay. And he obviously needs you to continue being emotionally stable.”
So, they kind of play out the moment in a way that is similar to the scene in Swan Lake that they played out earlier. So, I’m hoping that means there’s some sort of awareness by the writer as to, like, “yeah, this isn’t good,” [chuckles] because it doesn’t turn out well in Swan Lake either. And taking a step back and dramatizing the moment in that manner kind of means they’re aware of the narrative structure they’re going for. I don’t know.
Either way, it’s kind of perilous, and even with that kind of self-awareness, I don’t like how Junpei encouraged her toward that movement because even in that situation, it would kind of be his role to be trying to free her from Luou rather than encouraging her to go back into the dark place—the sunken place, right? So, as I have not watched the final episode, I can’t see how that rolled out, but it is obvious there’s a lot of awareness in the story about how that’s playing out and how Miyako is actively sacrificing her own happiness for the sake of Luou and doing emotional labor for him.
Lynzee also wrote something interesting about the series, comparing it to… What was the ball…? Something “Ballroom.”
ALEX and CAITLIN: Welcome to the Ballroom?
PETER: Yeah, where the lady’s… I think the main girl is basically nothing. She’s compared to a Ferrari. It’s just like, “A guy needs the fanciest car to drive on the dance floor since the guy’s doing all the real dancing,” or something like that. In this one, I feel like she is given a lot more agency, but also…
Oh, the thing Lynzee wrote about was how her reason for doing ballet was getting affirmation from other people. She found it hard to do ballet because it didn’t seem like anybody was really invested in her success or believed that she could do much with it. And in that way, I kind of see why she is so willing to make sacrifices for Luou, because he was the first one to really encourage her to do ballet.
In that way, it kind of makes sense where she’d want to make the sacrifice for him because he was kind of… [That] he encouraged her at all I think is great. And maybe it wasn’t great that the only reason she’s dancing, as opposed to the two main characters, is because she just wanted praise from people, but the fact that Luou, without any ulterior motive, encouraged her to dance I do think is… I’m not sure why I like that, actually.
PETER: It does kind of undermine her presence in it. Like, where the guys want to dance because they’re individually passionate about it and she was sort of seeking affirmation earlier, I do think that it is good, outside of, like, “You’ll succeed” or “Of course she’ll be one of the best dancers ever,” Luou was just like, “Oh no, you should definitely dance,” and that is what allowed her to be able to invest yourself in it. That was good.
Yeah. I just talked a lot. It’s really hard…
PETER: Yeah, a lot is kind of riding on how the end… assuming anything was resolved, since I think there was like one more episode and then it was probably just gonna leave off somewhere. So, uh… Yeah, crazy series, amirite?
ALEX: Sounds like it’s going on in that one, for sure.
PETER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
ALEX: But yeah, we’ll have to come back. And hey, yeah, I mean…
PETER: I hope that was sensical and you got something out of that.
ALEX: Yeah, for sure, yeah.
CAITLIN: Well, if it’s not, we’ll just cut it all out.
ALEX: Aw. [Chuckles]
PETER: Well, I’m the one editing this, so if it doesn’t make sense to me now, then I hope it makes sense to the Peter in several hours.
ALEX: It sounds like an interesting but potentially fraught engagement with the things it’s bringing up. Potentially article material down the track. Pitch us! We’re opening it soon.
PETER: [crosstalk] It’s been very fraught, if only because of content warnings because of the immense amount of child abuse and bullying in the series.
ALEX: Yeah, yikes.
PETER: So, regardless of whether you think the series is interesting or not, if you have problems watching kids getting bullied or being abused by their parents, this is probably a no-go.
ALEX: [Inhales sharply] Yoo-ey.
PETER: Yeah, I think that’s probably the thing I should really emphasize, since that was an episode 10 reveal, was this really intense episode of Luou as a kid being abused by his grandmother, which you would not have gotten in the midseason. So I definitely want to make that as a standalone statement about it, in case you hadn’t picked it up yet and that’s a problem for you.
CAITLIN: Okay. All right, Vrai’s gonna yell at us if we go much longer like they did for the midseason. But real quick, I want to check in about our sequels from this season. For example, Kaguya-sama season 3.
ALEX: I did finish that. The ending had me shaking in my boots. It was—
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Ah. They did the damn thing.
CAITLIN: They finally did the damn thing, and it was perfect and amazing and everything I wanted.
ALEX: It was funny because they didn’t do the thing. They did something else that was like twice as intense! Which, no spoilers, I suppose, to the folks at home. Is there anything we need to flag for this? I don’t know. I just…
CAITLIN: Not really, because Ishigami’s whole arc was last season, right?
ALEX: Yeah, he’s grown.
CAITLIN: Because that was the part that always… If it was this season, I would really want to talk about it. But other than that, it is… I don’t want to just say it’s just continuing what it was doing, but there wasn’t anything new or notable to talk about through a feminist lens necessarily. It continues on with the themes and topics from the previous seasons that are really good. And yeah, you know? Adorable! I was screaming!
ALEX: [Chuckles] I’m still thinking about Chika rapping and yelling “Motherfucka!” in English.
CAITLIN: Yes! They let Chika say “fuck”! Chika canonically says “fuck”! Love it.
ALEX: Hey, good for her!
CAITLIN: Good for her!
ALEX: [crosstalk] So that’s the [obscured by crosstalk] season. I’ve said that I’m watching Komi Can’t Communicate. I have not caught up on that one yet because I’m watching that one with my partner when we want to binge, but I feel like there’s not too much to add from previous discussions, based on what’s going on.
CAITLIN: Anything else? Peter, anything?
PETER: Outside of what you mentioned… [Ascendance of a] Bookworm is good. I watched it in fits and starts, but it passed by really quick. I don’t know if it… It seems like it’s gonna get yet another season. But still pretty good.
CAITLIN: Good for them.
PETER: Kind of taken a darker turn this arc, though.
CAITLIN: All right. I think that pretty much covers it, and we did it all around time.
ALEX: Yeah, with some snappy editing, that’ll be around the hour mark just beautifully,
ALEX: So, pretty solid season. Some disappointments, but some really high highs, you know? I think. What do you reckon?
CAITLIN: I think, yeah, it was a really good season, and I’m looking forward to actually finishing it—
ALEX: Yes. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: —in lieu of this season, [in] which I’m not looking forward to pretty much anything! Everything has a giant asterisk in it. Oh my God, this season’s so bad, but we’ll save that discussion for later.
ALEX: Indeed. We will come back. You will hear from us again. The adventure will continue.
CAITLIN: [Chuckles] Anyway. So, we hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Chatty AF. If you like what you’ve heard, tell your friends about us. You can become a patron on our Patreon. We have three tiers, starting with $1 a month, and for $5 a month you can join our Discord and you get podcast bonus episodes.
We also have a store, animefeminist.com/store, with our amazing logo! And now we have our special summer products with flip-flops and scrunchies and tote bags and crop tops. And you can deck out your entire goddamn body in our gorgeous logo.
ALEX: Anything you need for a beer-and-beach episode.
CAITLIN: Yes. And Alex, what would you call the kind of sandals that we have on there?
ALEX: [Chuckles] So, in Australia, we call that type of shoe a thong—or thongs, as they are always in plural, usually.
ALEX: They are not listed as that on the site. I don’t think we have any plans to be selling what Americans call a thong. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Although, you know, we probably could. That might be an option. So let us know in the comments!
PETER: Get your Anime Feminist thongs on our store.
ALEX: Oh my goodness. [Chuckles]
CAITLIN: Or, if you’re interested in our brains and not our bodies—
CAITLIN: —you can visit us at our website animefeminist.com, on our Tumblr @animefeminist, and on Twitter @AnimeFeminist. [Speaking through laughter] Thank you so much for listening. [Returns to normal voice]
Thank you, AniFam, and remember to wear sunscreen in the sun!
ALEX: Mm-hm. Especially if you’re playing mafia golf. It’s hot out there.