Part 2 of the 4-part watchalong of Ouran High School Host Club with Amelia, Dee, and special guests Alexis Pratt and Isaac Akers! Join them through the peaks and valleys of bad beaches, literal feminazis, an A-Plus Dad, painful subs, charming sibs, and…Wonderland? Yeah, you might wanna buckle in for this roller coaster.
Content Warning: The podcast will discuss the series’ hit-or-miss depiction of gender identity and sexuality as they arise. The Ouran anime English translation uses transphobic slurs in both the sub and the dub.
Hosts: Amelia, Dee
Guests: Alexis Pratt, Isaac Akers
Date Recorded: Sunday 6th May 2018
0:02:00 Beach episode(s)
0:06:42 Honey and Mori
0:08:26 Gender essentialism
0:12:58 Haruhi’s father
0:19:40 People and their boxes
0:24:59 Tamaki’s paternalistic romance
0:29:18 Lobelia, witches, and feminazis
0:36:10 Mori’s confessions
0:39:01 The Nekozawas
0:43:16 Haruhi in Wonderland
0:50:47 Haruhi’s mother
0:53:25 Next 7 episodes
0:57:25 Dee surprises
AMELIA: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. My name’s Amelia. I’m the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist, and I’m joined today by Dee, Alexis, and Isaac to talk about Ouran High School Host Club. If you guys would like to introduce yourselves?
DEE: Hi, I’m Dee Hogan. I’m the managing editor at AniFem. I also run the anime blog, The Josei Next Door. And you can find me on Twitter, @joseinextdoor.
ALEXIS: Hey, I’m Alexis. I’m an amateur writer and you can find me on Twitter, @alexilulu.
ISAAC: And I’m Isaac. I’m an Associate Features Editor for Crunchyroll. I run the anime blog Mage in a Barrel, and you can find me on Twitter, @iblessall.
AMELIA: I just want to pull Alexis up on calling herself an amateur writer.
AMELIA: That is not a thing. You’re a writer! End of story.
AMELIA: Okay, we’re here for the second part in the Ouran High School Host Club watchalong. A watchalong, for the unaware, is where we watch six episodes at a time and then, as a group, which has at least one person who has seen the series and loves it, and at least two people who haven’t seen the series and don’t know what they’re walking into, discussing what’s happened in the previous six episodes and what they think might be coming next.
So, it’s our way of looking back at slightly older series that maybe have a bit of a mixed bag for feminist viewers, which today’s batch of episodes certainly was.
ALEXIS: [Laughs] Yeah.
ISAAC: [Inhales] Oh, yeah.
AMELIA: [Laughs] This group of six—sorry, it was seven episodes we did today, ’cause Ouran has 26 episodes total—and this batch of seven episodes apparently contains the two episodes that Dee usually warns people about in advance. And she knows that I prefer to go into watchalongs completely unaware. I like to go in completely cold. So, I was blindsided by what we saw in this group of episodes! It was…wow. Where to start the discussion? [Faux-excitedly] Do we start looking at the gender essentialism, or the transphobia, or what do we pick?
ALEXIS: I want to start with the gender essentialism, I think, ’cause that kind of feeds into the transphobia later on. So, it might be useful to start there.
AMELIA: Take it away.
ALEXIS: Just… Man, the entire beach episode is so much. From the thousand bikinis to Tamaki trying to have his cake and eat it too by copping out with the pullover and shorts, and then later on, he’s just so deeply horny. My boy is so excited. And then, “Oh, you’re a woman. How can you expect to fight and protect someone? You should rely on us, obviously.” Even though that’s so… man.
AMELIA: And they were nowhere near—
ALEXIS: Yeah! No one was around. Also… [Sighs] It feels like it was written specifically to create that tone, and it sucks.
Because Haruhi has been shown repeatedly to be… They showed it even later on in this section of episodes, in the Alice in Wonderland episode. Sorry to jump ahead, but Haruhi is extremely independent. They just jump into stuff. That’s what they do. That’s how their life has been. So, it makes total sense. And then they’re shitting on her for it. And it really sucks.
AMELIA: Yeah. Completely agree. She’s such a capable lead character, and really competent, really calm. And they’re looking for ways to tear that down. They’re looking for her weak point. And that’s kind of gross. That’s not a pleasant way to approach somebody. At all.
ALEXIS: Yeah. And then the fight about it later on is so goofy and hackneyed, it feels like.
ISAAC: It’s not even a fight!
ALEXIS: Honestly. It’s just a baby slapfight that’s not even close… It’s like two babies swinging arms at each other and they’re not even contacting. But they’re next to each other, so it’s… This is a stupid reference, but Gravity Falls had a baby-fight two-second gag, and it made me instantly think of that. Because it’s just them sitting next to each other, aggro. And then it’s over.
AMELIA: I have to say, I quite enjoyed Haruhi’s response there, where she’s just like, “I’m not talking to you and I’m eating all the food. Suck it.” That was… I enjoyed that.
ALEXIS: Yeah. That was very good.
AMELIA: But the fact that she then comes around to it and says, “You know what? You’re right. I shouldn’t have worried everyone like that. I’m so sorry.”
ALEXIS: And then also Kyoya in that room, and then Tamaki right after. It’s so… [Groans]
AMELIA: Yeah. Kyoya kind of getting on top of Haruhi and then Haruhi saying, “Oh, it’s only ’cause you’re so kind. I’ve seen now that you’re even nicer than I’d thought!”
ALEXIS: Yeah, it’s so naive for someone who’s been shown to be seeing through everything about them. It almost makes sense, but at the same time, do you really know him that well?
AMELIA: I did quite like the reasoning of, “I know you won’t go through with this because there’s nothing in it for you and you’ve shown yourself to be completely mercenary.” It is the insightful assessment of character that we have come to expect from Haruhi.
It happens twice in these seven episodes, that Haruhi ends up with one of them kind of lying over her, and it leading to misunderstandings, and… Come on, guys, go to a different world.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I feel like… I’m hoping that doesn’t become a running thing later on. I know it probably will, but… eh.
AMELIA: If they could keep the running jokes to the banana peel, which is already irritating, that would be great.
ALEXIS: That was such a 2006 gag and I kind of appreciate it for being so of its time, but also, come on.
AMELIA: It felt like… This is one of those examples of “feminists read too much into things.” But that… the one before the beach episode, where they’re in this pool and it’s called “The Jungle Pool” or something, and I was just like, “Oh no. Oh no.”
And it was… I was just on tenterhooks that entire episode waiting for really awkward racial dynamics to appear, and they kind of stopped at gorillas and bananas, so good for them.
ALEXIS: Could have done a lot worse.
AMELIA: That’s awful that that’s the standard. “Our bar is so low. We know the depths it could go to, so congratulations on avoiding that.”
ALEXIS: I do wanna say, though, one of the things I really enjoyed about this set of episodes is they just packed a bunch of Honey and Mori episodes in here after I complained about them having nothing prior, and I kind of appreciate it.
AMELIA: Right? I feel like a lot of the stuff we talked about last week as “I hope we see this next time,” we got a lot of it, actually. There was some real gold mixed in with the less appealing stuff. I wanted them to to go Haruhi’s house, and they do actually do that. They devote a whole episode to it. I appreciated that.
ALEXIS: For better or for worse.
AMELIA: What did you think about how Honey was developed in these episodes?
ALEXIS: I… I really like characters that can do two things, so Honey being—
AMELIA: [Laughs] Two whole things!
ALEXIS: Two whole things! I know. It’s a big step forward for the show.
AMELIA: Speaking of low bars…
ALEXIS: Because Honey had only been one thing before, and now he has a whole new thing. And that’s very exciting.
AMELIA: He’s the dangerous shotacon boy.
ALEXIS: I like the idea of characters who don’t show their one trait upfront, so him being both “Oh I love sweets and also I am a terrifying murder machine” is kind of fun. I enjoy it. It is what it is.
AMELIA: They even commented on it in a meta way in the episode, right? Where I think it’s Renge is like, “Yes! This is the moe we’ve been missing!”
ALEXIS: Yeah. Exactly.
AMELIA: When he’s getting grumpy about his toothache.
DEE: There’s a nice sort of… We talked about this last week too, how this keeps coming up in the show about judging people by appearances, but there’s this nice little reversal with Honey and Mori this week where Honey is the terrifying murder machine and Mori is the moe one on the team, it turns out.
ALEXIS: Yeah. It’s good.
AMELIA: What did you think about it, Isaac?
ISAAC: Yeah, I have so many thoughts about all of this. I guess maybe to rewind just a little bit and talk about the beach episode a little bit more… If you guys remember, last week I said something along the lines of: in this show there’s a really strong juxtaposition of things that are good and thoughtful and things that are bad. And I felt like that episode was so much that dynamic because I think…
Everything else aside, I think there is some kind of vaguely relevant and worthwhile point in: Haruhi is extremely self-independent, but she could maybe stand to rely on other people some more and let other people into her life and trust other people and that sort of thing. But it’s all filtered through this whole, “You’re a girl. You can’t fight these boys. You have to sit in this little box that we have of our idea of what you are.”
There was one line that really stuck out to me in an episode where I think it’s Tamaki says something like, “You’re not being cute.” And I can’t remember what the context was because I didn’t write it down, but it’s just that same thing again, where they’ve got this… Haruhi Girl. Here is a platonic idea of a girl that you’re supposed to be. And she really doesn’t fit into it, and they’re just always trying to box her in. You can’t see it. I’m making a box with my fingers. They’re trying to draw those boundaries around her.
And they say she’s not cut out to be a heroine, and it’s the same… There’s these archetypes that people are supposed to be in and they’re supposed to align with, and when they don’t, that causes problems within the context of this backwards world a little bit.
And so that episode was… I was thinking… I would really like to just be able to get lost in the wish-fulfillment of these cute moments of her flying out to hug Tamaki while the lightning is going on, but there’s such an imbalance in power in these relationships, especially when it’s leaning into “Haruhi is a girl. She’s a girl. She’s got to be cute and girly.” And all those things like people falling on top of her. The bed scene.
Whenever she’s getting boxed in, I just get really uncomfortable with all of it, because I feel like these boys that are around her don’t feel like her friends or her companions in the club. There’s just… They’re not standing on equal terms, and to loop that back around to Honey… I didn’t like Honey the first time that I watched this. But I appreciate him a lot more now because there’s none of that in his relationship with Haruhi. It’s just all fun and they get along well and he’s cute and she’s cute and they eat strawberries together. [Claps] This is good. This is good.
AMELIA: That is good. Honey’s really direct with her, I think. In a way that the others aren’t, always. Just that little moment where he said, “Oh I want to eat your homemade cooking.” And there was no underlying motive to it. He just wants to try Haruhi’s homemade food. And that’s… Yeah. That kind of… Oh, I don’t want to say “pure” but that kind of un-corrupt dynamic… I have no idea how to express it.
But whereas with Tamaki, you don’t necessarily know what intentions he’s got, because half the time it seems like he has this huge crush on Haruhi and wants to date her, and then half the time it looks like he’s being a possessive dad. And he presents himself in both these ways and it’s really complicated.
ALEXIS: Every time.
AMELIA: There’s none of that with Honey. There’s none of that with Mori. So, I can see why Haruhi enjoys spending time with them.
ALEXIS: Every time he says “daddy,” I feel a part of my soul die.
AMELIA: Yeah. Especially in front of her actual dad.
ALEXIS: In front of her literal parent. Ugh.
AMELIA: Although that episode ends with her literal parent thinking, “Well, someday she might want to have someone else by her side,” looking at Haruhi and Tamaki and he’s just told you that he wants to be like her dad?
ALEXIS: Yeah. Man. There’s so much going on with them. Her. I’m gonna go with “her” pronouns, for the record, for Haruhi’s parent, just because I feel so grossed out by the way that they treat her from minute one.
AMELIA: Talk about it.
ALEXIS: So, the thing that struck me the most was in the first episode everyone is so dumb and can’t read anything that they don’t figure out that Haruhi’s female-bodied until the end of the episode.
Ranka gets clocked from second one, and I feel like that’s so weird because Tamaki was easily the least perceptive on that front. And just… It feels so gross and weird that they’re just like, “Oh, yeah, that’s a…” I’m not going to use the slurs here because I really don’t feel comfortable even saying it, but yeah.
DEE: That’s fair. I would say that I think part of that is because as soon as Ranka walks through the door, Haruhi says, “Oh, hi, Dad.” So I think that’s why everyone goes, “Oh, this is Haruhi’s father.”
AMELIA: But Kaoru and Hikaru, they kind of walk in and say, “Oh, yeah, as expected, it’s Haruhi’s papa.”
ALEXIS: Yeah, they saw him out there before. So it was like, “Oh, that’s… ugh.”
AMELIA: I know what you’re saying, Dee, but I think the implication there is this is not someone who’s passing. I understand why that was kind of uncomfortable.
ISAAC: Well… Not to belabor the point, but they already know that her mom is dead and that she lives with her dad.
AMELIA: Yeah, but it’s not like she has no possibility of other female relatives.
ISAAC: That’s true.
AMELIA: Or family friends or neighbors. I mean, they just met her landlady.
ALEXIS: Yeah, and it’s especially weird because Ranka is… She is easily the biggest style icon I’ve seen in this show, to be honest. She is working looks. She’s out here. And it’s just like, “Man.” It just goes straight for her.
AMELIA: And Ranka is openly bi, which… I was like, “That’s great!” They’re not just setting her up as, “Oh, I’m just acting. I’m just playing a part.” No. This is somebody who is in the LGBTQ+ community to some extent.
ALEXIS: Yeah. In possibly many ways.
AMELIA: It comes across as a little less—
DEE: Yeah, Ranka is very openly bisexual and a… I hesitate to say trans, because Ranka does refer to her/him/themself as “dad.” Specifically calls themselves “Papa” or “Otoo-san,” so I’m not sure where Ranka falls, personally.
But, I mean, certainly a crossdresser. Certainly someone who presents in a traditionally feminine fashion, which Haruhi is very chill with. And, really, other than the shitty translation of okama—
ALEXIS: [Crosstalk] Yeah, that was really my—
DEE: It’s a really bad translation. Other than that, everyone’s pretty chill about it. The show is kinda like, “Oh, yeah. That’s Haruhi’s Otoo-san.”
ALEXIS: I was actually going to ask: is anyone watching the dub or are we just on subs for everybody here? Just out of curiosity.
DEE: I have seen the dub before. And I did rewatch that episode dubbed just to see if it was—
ALEXIS: Better or worse?
DEE: —what they did with it. Well, I didn’t… I’ve actually watched it dubbed more recently than subbed, so I didn’t remember that translation the first time I watched it, and I was like, “Maybe it’s not in the English version as much.” They do say it once, and then they switch to “transvestite” and they just use that any other time it would come up as the slur in the subtitles.
So, it is slightly less uncomfortable in the dub, but it is still there.
And there’s… I can’t even be like, “Well, it was a different time.” It was ten years ago. It wasn’t that long ago. And it was not a great term then either, so…
ALEXIS: Yeah, exactly.
DEE: Yeah. It’s a terrible translation.
AMELIA: Anime translations have a real problem with “okama” in general. I recently noticed it. I think I talked about it last time. And, since then, I’m seeing it everywhere. And hearing it everywhere. And seeing the translations people choose, and they’re never the ones that I, personally, would choose, and… It’s clearly just kind of a widespread, industry-wide problem, and it might be something we have to address at some point, ’cause it’s starting to get really… The more I notice it, the more I cringe, and I just think, “Oh, this is how trans people have been feeling this whole 20-year period.”
AMELIA: [Laughs] Yeah. So, it’s not handled well. And it’s consistent as well, which I don’t appreciate, because I think you could have made a case for: these privileged, sheltered young boys don’t have any kind of sensitivity to them, so they get the word wrong. But then Ranka describes herself as working in a bar. And using a slur.
And it’s… They could have made a case for using a slur if it had been used by the right people in that scene, and instead she kind of owns it, and I’m not sure that’s true to… I’m not sure that that feels authentic. It feels like a translator made a choice.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I can’t… Even just assuming it’s a cross-play thing, that’s still some seriously loaded language to just drop, “Oh, yeah, I work at that kind of bar.”
At the very least, I do absolutely love her, from the bottom of my heart.
DEE: I love Ranka! Yes. I do. I also adore Ranka, so I’m glad that you enjoy her as well.
ALEXIS: Yeah. Even with whatever terrible stuff is going on with the translation, the character, themself, is just perfect. So I’m okay. It could be worse. I’m worried about what they’re gonna do with them in future episodes, but yeah.
AMELIA: Yeah. Tamaki meeting another Tamaki was pretty funny.
ALEXIS: That was very good. And just….
AMELIA: And everyone going, “Oh, that’s why Haruhi can handle him so easily.” She’s totally used to it.
ALEXIS: Not just that, but the ease with which they handle him. Just instantly walks in, sees this, destroys him against a wall, and starts talking shit until he makes tea for her… It’s perfect.
AMELIA: I thoroughly enjoyed that whole episode, I have to say.
DEE: That’s one of my favorites in the series. Shitty translation aside. My two least-favorite episodes are followed by two of my favorite episodes, so it helps balance the stretch out a little bit.
ALEXIS: From the start, Haruhi’s been pretty chill about everything, and I appreciate that they’ve given an understandable reasoning for that, almost. They were raised by someone who, at the very least, presents gender nonconforming. So, they wouldn’t put any emphasis on that. They’re just like, “Whatever. I’m Haruhi.”
AMELIA: Absolutely. And I thought it was quite interesting that on her day off, she’s wearing a dress with jeans. I thought that was quite a nice way of kind of staying on the fence.
ALEXIS: Yeah. It also felt nice because it wasn’t one of the host boys putting her in that. It felt absolutely normal and just chill, and it was actually…I felt really weird about the times they have put Haruhi in female clothing for a lot of reasons, but that felt normal. Really nice, in a way that it hadn’t before.
AMELIA: And yet we have two whole episodes where the boys discuss which swimsuit they’re going to put her into and why.
ALEXIS: And they keep bringing it back. Because they brought… In one of the other episodes, it was the blondes—the two characters, I can’t think of their names right now…
DEE: The Nekozawa siblings!
ALEXIS: Yeah, the Nekozawas. They brought back the bikini stand.
AMELIA: Oh, yeah, the mannequin.
ALEXIS: [Cracking up] It was like, “All right. Come on.”
AMELIA: “Come on! We’ve done this!”
DEE: I think… The thing that, to me, makes a lot of the nonsense that goes on with the boys and the gender stuff sort of… Most of the time why it doesn’t bother me too much is that it—I would say 90% of the time in this show, they’re very good about framing it as “Haruhi is in the right and the boys are idiots and they’re being stupid.” And then they frequently… Tamaki, pretty much anytime he says something exceptionally bad, bigoted, he’s either—immediately Haruhi is like, “Wow, you’re the worst,” and he gets punished that way. Or cosmically something happens.
When he runs up to the Lobelia girls, and is spouting off some bullshit about “Adam and Eve,” he immediately trips and gets burned by tea. The universe goes, “No. Tamaki, you’re an idiot. Stop it.”
So, I think that’s one of the reasons why—I think it’s totally valid if those elements make folks uncomfortable, like the twincest shit we talked about last week. I think it’s valid to talk about that being uncomfortable, but I think that you would be hard-pressed to argue that the show is promoting that as an acceptable way of living in the real world. Does that make sense? There’s a layer of the show going, “No, you’re supposed to laugh at this because it’s wrong.”
Which is why the beach episode is, I think, the worst episode in the show because it doesn’t do that. It spins itself back around to being… These gendered ideas that the vast majority of the time the show is saying, “Well, no, this is silly. People don’t fit into these neat boxes.” It falls into that pattern in that episode in a really painful way.
ALEXIS: Yeah, it’s immediately, “Oh, Tamaki’s right.”
DEE: Yeah. The weightlessness, or the sense of “We’re mocking these idiots” goes away. And it’s really frustrating to me, ’cause kind of what Isaac was talking about earlier, I think there are two stories that this episode could have told. And it could have told them fairly well.
One of them is a story that has nothing to do with gender, and it’s just about Haruhi being somebody who’s independent to the point of being isolated, and the importance of understanding that you can’t do everything yourself and it’s okay to ask other people for help or build that community. I think that’s a nice, simple story you can tell, which kind of ties back into the later stuff, especially with the Wonderland episode, where you do get a better sense of the fact that Haruhi is building this community with these guys who… you know, she gets something out of that relationship.
I think there’s another story the beach episode could have told, which is a very complicated and difficult story about how [the way] Haruhi feels about gender clashes up against societal norms about gender. Which is definitely something I have run into as I’ve gotten older is that, since growing up, where I was like, “Don’t think of me as ‘a girl,’ just think of me as ‘Dee.'” And then you run into the real world where people do make assumptions based on the way you look, and a lot of those assumptions are couched in gendered terms.
That would be a very difficult story that I do not think Ouran is any way equipped to handle. But it is a story that could be told. But instead of trying to tell one of those two, it ends up smashing them together, and it turns into this really shitty story about how [mockingly] all girls are weak and need protection and all boys are all potential rapists, so watch out, ladies!
And it’s terrible, you guys. I just skip this episode. I pretend it doesn’t exist.
ALEXIS: That is honestly fair, because, man. There’s not a lot to be gained from that episode.
ISAAC: It looks pretty.
DEE: [Laughs] It is.
ALEXIS: It looks pretty. There’s some cute moments in the first half, and then, oops!
DEE: I even kind of liked the thunder scene with her and Tamaki just because—
AMELIA: I was just about to say that.
DEE: Oh, were you? Go ahead.
AMELIA: No, no, no. I was just about to say. That moment where she’s like, “Nope. It’s okay. I know what I’m doing. I just have to climb into the closet and then I’ll be fine.” And Tamaki’s like, “That’s silly. I’m right here. You can rely on me as your friend to support you when you’re in this situation. When you’re scared. When you’re feeling vulnerable.” That was quite nice, and they did play it straight, until they got to the bit where he’s just blindfolding her and she’s going, “Oh, yeah, this is great. You’re absolutely right.”
I feel like Haruhi would have discovered that herself long ago, but nevermind.
But that scene…It was played kind of shippy, which I’m not sure how I feel about that since we have that whole episode where Tamaki’s like, “I see myself as your father,” which… I know I keep coming back to this, but I just can’t get my head around that kind of dynamic, where you feel… I don’t know. I guess it’s inherent. I mean, we see this kind of toxic heterosexuality, I guess, toxic masculinity, where men put themselves in this position of being both sexual partner and protective, awful father.
ALEXIS: Yeah, and there’s kind of an element of…
AMELIA: I’m not explaining this very well, but it is a dynamic that is in society, and Tamaki’s representing it really in a cartoonish way, but it’s based in something real. And I’m struggling with it because it is so front-and-center.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I think for him… To me it comes off as it’s like an affectation where he can’t navigate his own feelings towards Haruhi, and so that, for whatever reason, is what he goes with. Which is not to say that it’s great because every time he does that, I type into my notes, “Tamaki, you son of a bitch.”
ALEXIS: Every time he says that. But, yeah. Yeah. I don’t think he really sees himself as her father. It’s just a really unfortunate way that he’s chosen to navigate “wow, I have a lot of feelings towards this person.”
AMELIA: Yeah, I can go with that. It’s still really weird to listen to.
ALEXIS: No, it is.
DEE: It is, and, again, I think the fact that he is so frequently punished by the other characters or by the universe shows that the show is kind of trying to push him away from that, but I agree. I think Tamaki has no idea how to navigate his feelings for Haruhi, so he frequently will couch them in what he considers… what are more acceptable social norms. “No, it’s just like a family. I’m just looking after her.”
Or when he gets all hot and bothered about the swimsuit, he can’t admit to himself, “I think Haruhi looks really cute in a swimsuit.” So, he goes, “No, young ladies just aren’t supposed to show their skin to anybody.” And then he gets glared at into the floor, as he should.
I think that’s one of the reasons why Tamaki is a character who I can enjoy despite a lot of the bullshit he says because it’s very much framed as… Tamaki does not come across to me as an actual bigot. When Haruhi comes to the club and they think she’s a boy, he immediately starts flirting with her like she’s another customer and it’s not a big deal. You know, he’s pretty chill with Ranka. But he freaks out at the Lobelia girls because they might take Haruhi away. That’s where it comes from.
So, I think the show navigates that fairly well. Not always. And we’ve definitely talked about places where it fails at that. But I think that’s why he’s ultimately still kind of an enjoyable clown, even though he does say some stuff that’s pretty heinous.
AMELIA: He is still my problematic fave. I’m enjoying every second of him onscreen. And it’s completely consistent with his character. This is a guy who came to high school and immediately set up a host club. That’s an unusual decision for a 15, 16-year-old boy to take. He’s so used to playing at relationships and playing at performative romance that the real thing… He hasn’t got a clue. He hasn’t got a framework. So he goes to the next best thing. I think that’s a really smart way to look at it. That will make it a bit more palatable for me in future episodes.
So, can we talk a little bit about the Lobelia episode?
DEE: Oh, sure.
AMELIA: Because that was my least favorite.
DEE: My second least favorite.
ALEXIS: [Groans] Yeah.
AMELIA: I knew we were in trouble the moment you have a girl dressed up as a witch saying “We object to the oppressive views of men,” or something. And then, later on, we have literal feminazis.
DEE: [crosstalk; pained whisper] Yeahhh.
AMELIA: We have these women saying “Heil Zuka Club” in front of a flag with the kanji for “woman” on it. It was painful. And then they completely fulfill the predatory lesbian trope, and the whole thing is covered in lilies, which are the flower of yuri—of lesbianism. And the implications are so deeply unpleasant. I really struggled with this one.
ISAAC: It’s also just, from a narrative perspective, it’s such a nothing episode. Nothing interesting happens in it. The only movement is we find out Haruhi likes the Host Club and she wouldn’t transfer from Ouran to another place. Things you could have easily… We knew ahead already.
ALEXIS: Yeah. There is a hint of something that comes up later, there, where she’s like, “I’m here for a reason besides just the Host Club.” And I did appreciate that, but that’s a two second thing that could have gone anywhere, so…
AMELIA: I’m not sure… Yeah, I agree with that, Alexis. I’m not sure that it serves no purpose, because I think this is about the time in the series when I appreciated the fact that we see that Haruhi is actually expressing agency and choosing to stay. Haruhi is there for a debt, but they acknowledge in that episode that, actually, she could repay the debt by going somewhere else and just earning money traditionally and giving it to them. So, the fact that she then says, “No, actually I want to be here,” it feels… I appreciated that. I enjoyed that.
AMELIA: I also like the fact that they kind of suggested that there was another place that she would fit in just as well if not better, where she actually wouldn’t have to hide her identity. That she could still be comfortable. That she could still get the benefits that she currently gets from being part of the Host Club. That’s something it was good to see acknowledged.
She’s been kind of—it would be kind of easy to say, “Well, if you leave Ouran, you can’t possibly recreate the positive sides of the experience you get here.” But they made it clear that she could. But that was the only positive thing for me.
ALEXIS: Yeah, it’s like… You could go somewhere else and you could do basically what you’re doing here, [facetiously] but you’d also be a lesbian. Ugh.
AMELIA: [Laughter] Yeah. Nothing worse, right?
ISAAC: A lesbian with really fabulous arm geometry. The way they… Okay, I was really just struck by—I like the character designs in this show in general, but the way that the Lobelia girls stand—the way they pose their arms and stuff: super good. I was all about that.
DEE: I… yeah. I don’t like the Lobelia episode, and I completely understand why a lot of people think it’s worse than the Beach episode. I think they’re pretty even in… I think they’re bad in different ways.
The thing that saves the Lobelia episode for me is that we are supposed to look to Haruhi for our moral core in this goofball comedy world that we live in, and at the end of the episode, she’s pretty cool with the Lobelia girls at the end. She says, “I think the way you guys live is fine. It’s unique, and your Zuka club thing seems cool. You’re fine. I have nothing against you. This just isn’t for me. I have something else I want to do.” And so I think that is the one thing that at least makes this not a complete shitshow, but it’s still very bad.
I also… There is something… I don’t want to give the show credit for this, but I think it’s—I really don’t, ’cause I don’t think this is intentional—I think it stumbles into a critique of the Class S genre that’s valid. Because they sort of present the Lobelia School as the yuri version of the Host Club, I guess? But it’s very much sort of a traditional Class S School, and Class S is kind of like the tropes in the Host Club: ultimately fake because you’re expected to graduate from high school and get over this quote-unquote “phase” and go marry a man.
So, again, I think completely unintentionally by sort of paralleling the Zuka club with the Host club, the series kind of criticizes that plasticky quality of Class S series, and I don’t hate that. I just don’t think it did it on purpose.
ALEXIS: Yeah. It feels totally incidental to their major point, which is, “Hey, here’s the weird counterpoint to the Host Club. Aren’t they funny?”
AMELIA: Yeah. And then when the ultimate punchline is the Host Club dressing up as women, badly. That was the moment where I was like, “This episode is dead to me.” It was not a good resolution for that story. How did they win her back by making a joke of dressing up as women, which is what her dad does for a living?
ALEXIS: Yeah, and it came before that episode with Ranka, too, so that piled onto it. I did appreciate that Haruhi’s reaction didn’t actually have anything to do with her response to that or the Zuka girls. She’s just like, “No, you guys are being so stupid. I don’t care.”
ISAAC: “And stop selling my pencil.”
ALEXIS: “Please stop selling my pencil. I need that.”
AMELIA: That really annoyed me. I really felt… Haruhi’s working off this debt and can make 30,000 yen from selling a pencil, and they just went ahead and did that anyway, and then she lost a pencil as well as not actually paying 30,000 yen toward her debt. Ugh. I would have been annoyed.
ALEXIS: See, I would have assumed that that was going towards her debt. Kyoya is just kind of doing it because, “Hey, they’ll pay money for it. Why not?” But you know. It’s a little…
DEE: They still should have asked her first.
ALEXIS: Yeah, obviously, yeah.
DEE: And that’s really Haruhi’s point is: “You guys need to talk to me before you do these things.”
AMELIA: And then it seems like it was a big group effort, because Tamaki’s like, “Oh yeah, we really should have thought of that.” [Laughs] And Haruhi’s not heard any of this.
ALEXIS: And then the twins were the ones who actually took it in the first place, so it was like… Two-thirds of the club was involved in this. Presumably Honey and Mori were off eating cake and being dubiously homosexual.
AMELIA: Oh, yes. Are we talking about Mori’s confessions now?
ALEXIS: I think, yeah, that’s probably a good chance to go over the toothache episode and whatever the hell was going on with the confessions in that episode.
AMELIA: Well, what I quite liked about the confessions was that Mori doesn’t say a thing. Mori just stands there. And this girl projects a narrative onto him. And she just takes it full circle. And I was like, “That is exactly how non-canon BL works.” You look at a text and you read between the lines and you come to your own conclusions. It felt smarter than perhaps is really what they deserve credit for, but I quite appreciated that fact of it.
ALEXIS: Also, that episode was just good in general, because everyone being just like, “I can’t help you Honey. I’m so sorry,” was kind of sweet because they presented a united front, and Honey is just so sad. And I don’t know. It was weird. I enjoyed it. Even though it was just a bunch of gags in a row.
ISAAC: The dead teddy bear gag. Both times it happened.
DEE: Poor Kuma-chan. I have a Kuma-chan.
AMELIA: That was great.
DEE: Poor bear.
AMELIA: That was really great. I love that. And the fact that Honey, when you take his sweets away… I like the picture they built of Honey in these episodes where he is actually a little bit more aware and calculating than he presents himself to be. And he is trying to be cute. He is trying to be likable. But when you take his sweets away, that filter falls and he is just a spoiled brat.
ISAAC: Extremely relatable.
ALEXIS: God, yeah.
AMELIA: I really like that. It does make him a fully-fledged character. It adds something to the series, to give him these extra dimensions. And with Mori as well.
Although, my favorite Mori moment was actually probably when he says Haruhi’s name, and she’s like, “I’m slightly happy that you used my name.” It was such a sweet Haruhi moment. We’re not gonna get many moments like that of Haruhi blushing. And there was no loaded meaning in it, I think, it was just the fact that he doesn’t normally do it. And from somebody that she doesn’t expect any kind of intimacy from, for him to call her by her first name is meaningful to her, and that was sweet.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I think they call that “gap moe.”
DEE: They do.
AMELIA: A lot of moe mentions this episode.
ISAAC: He gets—this is going back, but when he gets the head-pat from Honey, ugh, that was so good.
DEE: That was very cute.
ALEXIS: And also Honey just decking the crap out of him with the Judo throw was pretty good.
AMELIA: Yeah. Honey in general these episodes… I really enjoyed him. I keep thinking of him as Momiji from Fruits Basket. I keep forgetting that he’s a character in his own right, and these episodes went somewhere towards helping that, I think.
I think we probably need to talk about the “Haruhi in Wonderland” episode, because that was a complete departure from anything—
ALEXIS: [Crosstalk; emphatically] Yes!
AMELIA: —we’ve seen—
DEE: [Crosstalk] So good.
AMELIA: —and it ended on such a serious and meaningful note.
DEE: Such a good episode. Before we do, real quick, ’cause I think that’s probably where we’ll… I imagine that’s where we wrap up since it was the last episode. I just want to say that the Nekozawa family is so good and pure.
AMELIA: Oh, I totally forgot about them. That episode. I struggled.
DEE: Did you really?
AMELIA: I did not enjoy that one.
DEE: Aw, I love that episode. I love the… I just call him “Nekozawa.” I love him and Kirimi and her genre-savvy… The whole, [mimicking Kirimi] “Yay, there’s debauchery here!” is an ongoing meme, and something my friends and I will say to each other if we’re watching anime, we’ll be like, “It’s a reverse harem! Yaaay!” [laughs]
ALEXIS: Oh my God.
AMELIA: I hated that moment. I cannot stand precocious children. It was too much for me.
ISAAC: It’s not her fault she’s been indoctrinated with shoujo manga.
DEE: I didn’t find her—
ISAAC: [unintelligible beneath crosstalk and laughter] —fault!
DEE: —precocious. I just thought it was… It was like they’ve been reading this to her and so she’s aware of these genre elements.
ALEXIS: I gotta say, Haruhi’s dead, utterly-lifeless reading of shoujo manga tropes in that five-second scene was beautiful.
DEE: I really like when the show goes into… I think it does family dynamics well, and I like the idea of these two siblings who are struggling to connect and then they find this goofy, ridiculous way, but then at the end, she acknowledges him as her brother, and it’s just so sweet. I like the Nekozawas.
ISAAC: Right, well, it’s the whole, “You have to accept people for who they are and not the archetype they’re supposed to be in your head.” It’s a really clear example of that message because the whole issue that’s between them is: she has this idealized version of “Oh, my brother is this golden-haired prince. This is who my brother is supposed to be.” And the resolution of the episode is—well, she doesn’t accept him as that, even after Renge comes in with all of her otaku know-how and tries to reform him by an archetype into an archetype.
But, no, what really—at the end of the episode, she’s like, “It’s fine that he is not this trope that I wanted him to be, that I was told he should be by all the shoujo manga the maid read to me. I like him because he’s my brother and he risked coming out into the sunlight that he can’t stand.” And that’s what builds the bond between them. So, it’s a really clear articulation of that theme that’s been going on, but in a really self-contained episode.
DEE: Exactly. Very well-put.
ISAAC: Thank you.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I did appreciate just having a chance to step back to the Episode Two dynamic, where it was like, “Oh, these are two people who’ve just kind of shown up in the host room and now we’re going to fix their problems.”
DEE: Yeah. I like it when the host club helps the other students. I think that’s also where you see Tamaki’s best side, is how much he genuinely wants to help other people be happy.
ISAAC: Right, yeah. I think I said this last week, but he says, “Oh, you gotta make the little girl happy. Our job is to make the girls happy.” But in so doing, they really make everybody happy regardless if they’re girls or guys or whatever. Which is good.
DEE: Okay, that’s all. I just wanted to touch on that episode ’cause it’s one of my favorites. I watch that one when I’m having a bad day ’cause it makes me smile.
AMELIA: That’s adorable.
DEE: It’s a cute one.
ISAAC: I can see that.
DEE: It’s that one, the one where they visit Haruhi’s house, and then… Those are my two go-two “I’m having a bad day and I want to smile” episodes. And then there’s a couple in the second half that I think are just really good, but we’ll get to those eventually. But yeah. That’s back-to-back two of my favorite episodes.
AMELIA: Yeah, it never ceases to amaze me how our takes sometimes are the same and sometimes aren’t the same. I love the Haruhi house episode. I was so bored during the Nekozawa siblings episode. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Dee loved it, that’s great.
ISAAC: But we all liked “Haruhi in Wonderland,” right?
ALEXIS: Yes. Probably?
AMELIA: [Noncommittal] Ehhh…
DEE: I think Amelia struggled with it a little bit, which we can go into. This is—the Wonderland one is one that… I’ve seen the show multiple times. I don’t think I ever really appreciated… I never disliked it, but I don’t think I ever really appreciated it until this watchthrough, whereupon I got choked up at the end, and did not expect that. It’s… yeah, it’s really, really good and I don’t know if I ever really got how good it was until this time through. So… Amelia, would you like to kick this off?
AMELIA: I… I can’t stand Alice in Wonderland, and anime just keeps going to this well and loves telling stories Alice in Wonderland-style. So that’s always an instant “oh no” for me. And I struggle with kind of more surreal stories. Ouran usually… the kind of surreal that they do, usually, is fine. It’s within my tolerance level, and this one went over it.
However, in the second half of the episode, once you start realizing they’re actually telling something—they’re telling a real story, they’re not just throwing the elements there for the aesthetic or a cute filler. Once you realize it actually serves a purpose, they’re doing something important, and it ends up on this really touching moment with Haruhi and her mother. And I’m assuming her goal is to be a lawyer like her mum. That’s… It was in this episode that I realized, “Hey, she’s mentioned that she came to Ouran to do something specific.” I just started thinking about that in the opening credits of this episode. And then they went and instantly answered my question.
So, I love that they chose a different way to do it. It was a way that didn’t work for me at first, but now I know what it’s leading up to, I can rewatch. I get a lot more out of it.
ALEXIS: Yeah. And I appreciate how much they mess with it. It’s sort of… they’re leaning on it just a little bit, but also, it’s not… It’s clearly not that this is the entirety of the story. They’re using the elements, and I really appreciated… Just the entire ending scene where she runs out and is like, “I’m this person’s lawyer! Let’s go!” was really sweet, because it’s Haruhi being, “I’m an independent person. I’m going to fix this.”
AMELIA: Yeah, and I loved her getting stuck in the vase. [Laughs]
DEE: Of course.
AMELIA: I loved the slapstick comedy that they do. It didn’t disappear. The show didn’t lose its personality even though it was telling an Alice in Wonderland story. So, it was fine. It was fine. And I think a rewatch would continue clarifying for me what would be good about it.
DEE: This episode was—gosh, I… hey, listeners, correct me if I’m wrong on this. It’s not 100% anime-original, but I think a good chunk of it is. I think the original [manga] just kind of did a silly little Wonderland cosplay in one of the episodes.
I think this episode gives you a pretty good idea of why I like Igurashi as much as I do. Is: the combination of really striking storyboards, number one; two, that combination of broad, endearing comedy with these sudden turns into… taking those things that have endeared you to the character and then shifting into more serious emotional beats with them, and not really skipping a beat. Very smoothly shifting between those two. And I thought this episode did that very well.
As you’re going into it, you’re like, “Oh, we’re getting a more inside look into Haruhi’s mentality.” Which… Haruhi’s not someone who super-duper emotes. She kind of reacts to everybody with mild annoyance a lot of the time.
DEE: So, I think there’s been that sense, like, we talked about this a little bit last week, of: “What is Haruhi getting out of this relationship?” We’ve seen how some of the other boys in the Host Club—especially the episode with the twins—are getting something out of their relationship with Haruhi, but what is Haruhi getting from this?
And I think this episode goes a long way in showing that, yeah, Haruhi gets irritated at them sometimes, but she is enjoying herself, and they are giving her something in her school life that she’s maybe never had before, because she’s been so focused on studying and going to school to fulfill a goal. And I really like that aspect of the Host Club as a community; as kind of a family for all of the characters in it.
ISAAC: Yeah, I mean it’s kind of clever, because, in a way, there’s some sort of recap-y elements to this. We hit on some of the emotional beats we’ve had, like where she recognizes that the cat is actually two people. And there’s that moment similar to the twins’ episode where they’re watching her together as she walks off and has identified: “It’s two of you, not just one of you.”
And you’re like, “Oh, I remember that.” And you sort of—it just calls back to that in a really gentle way in the midst of this other kind of ongoing narrative, sort of as a metaphorical summation of her journey through the club and her relationships with these characters so far. I really liked it for that.
Besides the fact that it’s so striking visually. And yeah, Dee, I completely agree that it’s these really pretty things, like all the stuff by the pool. Those reflected shots are just gorgeous.
ISAAC: But then we also have the comedy, like the 3, 2, 1 banana lightshow as she’s running through, which is so… It’s just extremely Igarashi’s style to do something like that. And the arrows and everything. It’s just… Oh… I like it because it just stands out to me.
He, so far, has storyboarded the first episode, the eighth episode, and the thirteenth episode, and it’s just so obvious when he shows up, because his style is so much of a departure from everything else. And I should stop now before I go all sakuga nerd.
AMELIA: Not at all. Not at all. Yeah. Are we going to get any more episodes like that, Dee? No details, but is that kind of a one-off, or…?
DEE: Like the full-on magical dreamscape-type episode?
AMELIA: Yeah. Taking you out of everyday life for the majority of the episode. Is that…?
DEE: This is… I mean, there’s a couple sort of metaphor stuff they do in a couple of the later episodes, which… They’ve done the visual metaphors earlier, too, so that’s not really new. No, this is the only episode that is completely within a character’s head.
It’s the only dreamscape episode, so it makes a nice… I think it also makes a perfect midway point for the show. It’s a very surprising departure and then we go back to the regular, but it’s a nice touchstone for where Haruhi is as a character. It gives you some more background information with her.
I also love that… Sorry, I feel like I’m talking about this one a lot.
AMELIA: No, no, no. Go for it.
DEE: So, please jump in, y’all, if I’m going too much. I really love that it presents—and, again, this was written—at this point in the manga, we were probably at 2004. The anime was 2006, so the timeline there… I remember being surprised when I watched Ouran and—I was almost surprised that I was surprised while watching it—and Haruhi talking about her working lawyer-mom who she idolizes and wants to be like. I don’t think it’s a spoiler—Amelia called it—to say that, yes, she’s going to school to become a lawyer like her mother.
And the show… And I realized while watching, I was like, “Huh. Her mom isn’t a housewife.” Because that’s just… a lot of anime and manga in the early-to-mid aughts and before that, you know, that was the expected path. Most mother characters were either dead—which Haruhi’s mom is also dead, but—they were, you know… That is by no means to put down housewife characters by any stretch, but just, I was sort of struck by, “Oh, we’ve got a shoujo heroine whose mom was a successful professional woman who she is striving to be like.” And that was new and different and very exciting to see.
And I like that this episode engages with that in the sense that, when they’re yelling at the Duchess about, “You left your kid home alone! How dare you as a mom?” And Haruhi’s like, “No. That’s—shut up. You’re wrong.” The career is just as important as the family, and the kids can understand that and you can balance those two things. I think… I think in 2018 it’s maybe not quite as resonant as it was in 2004, 2006, but that was kind of a big deal. So, it was… I really like that Ouran explicitly addresses that in this episode.
ISAAC: Yeah, and it’s so… When you remember that it’s her mom who is the queen, who is the one accusing the duchess, who is a stand-in for Haruhi’s mom in terms of what she’s being accused of. And then Haruhi comes in and defends the duchess against her mom—who is really accusing herself—and [Haruhi] stands up for that and then they have that moment at the end.
It’s kind of twisty and complicated, but that moment of emotional resolution is really powerful because it’s like she’s saying to her departed mother, “Maybe your spirit in my dream has some guilt over choosing your career rather than always being there for me, but that’s something that I’m okay with, and it’s something I look up to you [for] and it’s impacted my life and now I’m trying to follow in your footsteps.”
Yeah, I can understand why you would be choked up at the end of that, because that’s really… That’s some cool and really powerful stuff.
DEE: Yeah, I think it’s beautiful.
AMELIA: So, we should probably start wrapping this up. Let me ask you. Where do you want to see it go from here in the next… We’ll do seven episodes next week. So, in the next seven episodes, what do you want to see out of it? Alexis?
ALEXIS: I really wanna see more of Kyoya and Tamaki’s…We’ve gotten some of Honey and Mori’s backstory, just even if it’s just superficial, but I wanna see more character episodes of those two. Just because we’ve gotten pretty much everyone else at this point, and I really wanna love these boys, but I haven’t had much of a chance to.
So, I really just wanna see… Especially Kyoya. I want to see what the hell is up with this guy. What makes him actually tick besides money? Because it’s obvious they’re going for more than one character trait per person.
ALEXIS: So I wanna see what else this boy can get into.
AMELIA: A whole two character traits.
ALEXIS: Yeah. I mean, hey, we’re dating, so we have two character traits. And we’re gonna hammer them to hell and back.
AMELIA: Yeah. I would like to see that also, I think. Especially ’cause we had that moment where Haruhi’s like, “There’s no merit in you sleeping with me,” essentially, and he’s like, “Huh, that’s a really interesting way to look at it.” [Laughs] Yeah, there’s more going on here. Let’s see some of it.
How about you, Isaac?
ISAAC: Yeah, I think that’s pretty much what I want as well. And not just for those two. I feel like there’s grounding for the show just to dig in deeper into all of these characters and draw out some more of… Even while it holds true to its comedic nature, I feel like there’s still more depth and emotional resonances that it’s capable of pulling out of them, so I’d like to see that. I dunno if it will, but if it goes there, I’d be very on-board with that.
AMELIA: I feel like it’s starting to. I feel like it’s not settling for the surface level only. It is giving us a bit more, so hopefully—
ALEXIS: Sorry. I feel like the Alice in Wonderland episode really did feel like a turning point in terms of emotional resonance, so I’m curious to see how they deal with that going forward.
AMELIA: How they build on it. I don’t want it to be just an episode out of time, where it’s the standalone episode that you look to, but then they don’t do anything with it. I do hope they build on that.
So, I’d quite like to see… We’ve talked about it a bit today, this kind of dynamic of “Haruhi doesn’t rely on people,” and “Tamaki doesn’t know what he’s doing with Haruhi.” I would like to see that move toward some kind of resolution. I would like to see Haruhi find a way to rely on people, or start seeing a path to finding a way to rely on people in a way that feels comfortable for her, on her terms, rather than just ticking gender-essentialist boxes of how women should behave around men.
And I’d like to see Tamaki be a little less divided between the potential boyfriend and potential father-figure. I’d like to see that kind of become a bit more cohesive, I guess, and for him to show some kind of self-awareness.
It sort of seems like the twins have a crush on Haruhi and they’re totally comfortable with that. That hasn’t really been openly acknowledged but that seems to be the way that Tamaki views them, is potentially…
ALEXIS: Potential rivals?
AMELIA: Yeah. Yeah, so, I’d like to see them hash that out a little bit, I think, and just figure out where they all stand. I like things to be quite complete and straightforward. And I don’t know if I’m gonna get that from this series, but I would like to see a little more in that direction, I think.
So, okay. Dee, has anything surprised you about our discussion today, or is it pretty much what you expected from this batch of particularly mixed episodes?
DEE: This is pretty much how I thought it was gonna go. I was… When I looked at the episode list, I was like, “Ah, dang. Both of the bad ones are gonna be in the same podcast.”
AMELIA: Get them out of the way.
DEE: I thought they were staggered more, so I was like, “Well, we’re gonna have a lot to critique in one podcast, for sure.” So, yeah, that went about the way I thought. The two worst episodes were also the two worst episodes for you guys, and you enjoyed Haruhi’s family and the… yeah.
I think, really, again, it’s one of those things where watching it, I was surprised. The Wonderland episode… I had not realized there was as much meat to it as there is, so watching it, I was like, “Oh, we’ll have a lot to talk about.” And we did.
AMELIA: Yeah. I still can’t believe I thought we would have nothing to discuss in an Ouran High School Host Club podcast. When you proposed the watchalong and I was like, “Ah, will there really be enough?” Wow. I was so wrong. I misjudged this series immensely. So, yeah, very excited to see what comes in the next seven episodes—Episodes 14-20.
So, if you’ve enjoyed what you heard today, you can find more of our work at www.animefeminist.com. You can find us on Twitter, @animefeminist. You can find us on Facebook, facebook.com/animefem. We have a Tumblr, animefeminist.tumblr.com.
And, of course, we have a Patreon. I’m very pleased to say that we broke even last week. Which means that we have enough money to pay people for everything that’s currently going out. So, all the work we’ve been doing for the last 18 months, we’re finally at a point where we’re not going into a deficit to pay for it. Which is probably more exciting to me than anyone, but this is what I’ve been working towards since September 2016 and I’m so pleased that we’ve got here.
So, thank you so much to all of our patrons and people who’ve supported us. It means so, so much. And it does enable us to continue our work. And we are going to be still looking for more money, because we would like to create more content. We’re not even putting out a post a day yet.
So, if you would like to support us and see us do more work, create more content for you, go to patreon.com/animefeminist, and send us a dollar a month. It all adds up. Or if you send us five dollars a month, you get access to our private AniFem-only Discord server, where you can kind of be in a chatroom and talk about the kinds of things that we talk about without having to worry about explaining Feminism 101.
So, thank you so much to Alexis, Isaac, and Dee. And we will be back next time with episodes 14 to 20.
DEE: Watch out for banana peels!
DEE: We gotta end on something!
AMELIA: Maybe that’s just our catchphrase.
DEE: Yeah, that’s: “AniFem: Watch out for bananas!”