Monsters have always had a place in society, serving as omens of the darkest parts of human nature. They were a warning; an ominous presence reminding us of our own humanity. … [Read more...] about [Feature] Monster Girls and the Fine Line Between Body Positivity and Objectification
Directed by Hiroki Hiyashi (Tenchi Muyo!) and written by Chiaki J. Konaka (Serial Experiments Lain), Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 aired from 1999-2000, and I have recently discovered that I love it as much today as when I was a preteen girl with a deep hunger for ladies kicking ass. While rewatching Tokyo 2040—along with the original 1980s series it’s based on—I realized that … [Read more...] about Decade Apart, Miles Ahead: Lady action heroes in Bubblegum Crisis and Tokyo 2040
CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses some games and tropes that include mentions of abuse, along with physical and sexual assault, which are not described in detail. In the world of video games, anything is possible. You can be a hero, a villain, the mayor of a town of animals. You could, in fact, be a cavegirl dating pigeons in a post-apocalyptic romantic dramedy, … [Read more...] about From Princes to Pigeons: A Beginner’s Guide to Otome Games
CONTENT WARNING for discussion of sexism and sexual harassment; NSFW screenshots. SPOILERS for the first three chapters and episodes of the Soul Eater manga and anime. Soul Eater was a breakout success for manga artist Ohkubo Atsushi. Beginning initially as a series of one-shot chapters set in the same universe, the manga (which ran in Monthly Shonen Gangan) … [Read more...] about Dissonant at its Soul: Sexual objectification in Soul Eater
I discovered Kill la Kill when I recently learned about feminism in my early 20s. A PowerPoint showed up on my Tumblr dash called “Kill La Kill: A Visual Guide to Understanding Female Empowerment and the Male Gaze.” The PowerPoint implied Kill la Kill was a feminist anime and people should give it a chance. Since I was a feminist, I figured I could give my verdict on … [Read more...] about My Fave is Problematic: Kill la Kill
I thought I knew what I was getting into when I saw the cover art for Free!, given that it features an assortment of scantily clad young men standing very close to one another, abs on display like muffins in a bakery. I soon discovered that was only the start of the fanservice, as I found myself on a wild emotional ride that convinced me that when it comes to creating … [Read more...] about [Feature] Abs for Empowerment: Fanservice and the female viewer
Here at AniFem we talk a lot about fanservice—no surprise, given how predominant and normalized the sexualization of (mostly female) characters is in the industry. But it’s far from a cut-and-dried issue: a boobs ‘n’ butts show about adults isn’t the same as panty shots of a 13-year-old which, in turn, isn’t the same as fetishizing helplessness. And all of that can make it … [Read more...] about Fanservice, bawdy comedy, and sexuality in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid vs… Itself?
Another day, another display of questionable judgement from an anime or manga company's marketing department. Today's dubious decision comes from Funimation, which we've talked about before. … [Read more...] about [AniFemTalk] Is ‘waifu’ trash?
CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of a massage scene that heavily implies assault. When I learned that this season’s new anime, WorldEnd (or SukaSuka), was based on a light novel about an adult man becoming a caretaker for a group of under-18 girls, I was understandably wary given anime’s less-than-glowing track record when handling age gaps and power dynamics. Fortunately, … [Read more...] about WorldEnd vs. Hajime no Ippo: When bad frames happen to good people
I first ran into Cross Ange when my husband tried to hide that he was watching it. Knowing I’m a feminist, he assumed I would be scandalized by the cheapness and frequency of the show’s fanservice. He wasn’t exactly wrong. The fanservice in Cross Ange begins before the opening credits on the first episode, and doesn’t stop until the main character spends most of the final … [Read more...] about My Fave Is Problematic: Cross Ange
Tamotsu is looking for a rare figurine in Akihabara when a girl holding a baseball bat falls out of the sky. She begins fighting maids and monsters, which Tamotsu assumes is street theatre until the same girl shows up in the figurine store he is in and attacks a girl he is talking to. Could it have something to do with the Akihabara urban legend of the Bugged Ones, shadow … [Read more...] about [Review] Akiba’s Trip – episode 1
There’s a misconception that feminists believe any and all fan service is always bad. But in this feminist’s opinion, fan service goes wrong when it interrupts the mood of the show. Take Keijo!!!!!!!!, my guilty pleasure of this anime season, in which girls don skimpy swimsuits, study “asstronomy,” and use their ample buttocks to knock each other out. I love comedies and … [Read more...] about [Feature] How fan service can attract or repel an audience, and how to tell the difference
(I need to work on catchier titles.) Many of you are here because of an interview I had with Cecilia D'Anastasio, published on Kotaku earlier this week. Cecilia did an amazing job. I had expected a gentle, softball interview from a fellow feminist anime writer, really more of a cosy chat... but - while being perfectly lovely throughout - she showed up with challenging … [Read more...] about AniFem Kotaku interview follow-up
Characterization, sexuality, and objectification are extremely dense subjects and the source of a great deal of debate in modern media. This is especially true in regards to female characters designed and directed to appeal to the heterosexual male audience. There is a lot to unpack in these discussions, including whether a character is being sexualized or owning their … [Read more...] about Focus and Framing in Black Lagoon vs. Gurren Lagann