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  • Pregnancy as the pinnacle of womanhood in TSF porn

    Though inherently absurd once verbalized, “Abenime” are stories that speak to a nation’s plight. They are designed to manufacture consent by defining baby making as the norm. Women can make babies; ipso facto, their role in saving Japanese society lies in buffering the ever-shrinking population with young, healthy babies who will carry on the nation in the future.
    And while this attitude reaches public discourse by way of popular entertainment, it also likewise prevails within narratives not often discussed out in the open.

  • Queer Subtext and Representation in Kamen Rider

    Much of the franchise’s homoeroticism is a result of the franchise’s severe gender disparity, which it has only recently taken steps to address; the series took 31 years to get its first female Kamen Rider. There have also been canonically gay, transgender and nonbinary characters, but the quality of representation is questionable. Regardless, many LGBTQ+ viewers have seen their own experiences reflected in the many characters of Kamen Rider, whether implicitly or explicitly.

  • My Fave is Problematic: Samurai Flamenco

    No one has ever asked whether Samurai Flamenco is good, because the question is a loud and simultaneous “no” and “yes.” But the question of whether it “counts” as queer romance has waged on for eight exhausting years now. Incidentally: yes, it does.

  • Genderless Gemstones: The pros and cons of Land of the Lustrous as non-binary representation

    In the discussion surrounding queer representation in fiction, things are not always so simple as stamping a work with “good rep” or “bad rep”. While the series is not perfect—or perhaps because the series is not perfect—Land of the Lustrous makes a useful case study for reading and critiquing through a queer lens.

  • She’s Fighting for Him: Black Clover and battle shounen’s male-centrism

    Women in shounen battle anime and manga have traditionally been sidelined, even as it became more and more common to include women as fellow fighters. When the guys go in to fight the final boss, the girls stay behind to help with some B-plot battle no matter how competent they may seem. In a new era of shounen, we’ve seen some of these tired tropes be turned on their heads. However, even when series like Black Clover make some strides, they still end up repeating tired cliches.

  • My Fave is Problematic: Yu Yu Hakusho

    The lovable characters have kept me hooked on Yu Yu Hakusho for the past 18 years, in addition to the “fight your enemies head on and defeat them through raw power and sheer force of will” storyline that will always be a guilty pleasure of mine. Although these elements make it worth the rewatch even now, my love for this anime hasn’t completely blinded me to its flaws. Yu Yu Hakusho, unfortunately, overtly and subtly fails its female characters time and again.

  • Non-Binary Orochimaru and the homophobic legacy of queer-coded villainy

    From their first appearance disguised as a young woman to their dangly earrings and lilting English dub performance, Orochimaru carries many of the unfortunate hallmarks of a queer-coded antagonist, one whose most terrifying power includes the ability to inhabit the bodies of others in a bid for eternal life. Their portrayal, already mired in queerphobia, is complicated by the franchise’s later decision to portray Orochimaru as a character with a non-binary gender identity, the first canonically LGBTQ+ character in the franchise.

  • Yuri!!! On ICE and the revolutionary portrayal of queer Slavic representation

    Of all the amazing things about the show, one of the most striking to me was the revolutionary way it portrayed the intersection of queer and Slavic identity.

  • We need more licensed doujinshi

    I often want to share a cool story after reading it, but, as an avid reader of doujinshi, I find few outlets where I can share that passion. For all the interesting work indie publications can harbor, they are largely inaccessible to non-Japanese markets, making it difficult to share my passion with English fans.

  • Reading Code:Realize as Queer Allegory

    You wouldn’t expect an otome game like Code:Realize to have themes that resonate so strongly with common queer experiences. In many ways, the game follows genre conventions, with a heterosexual romance story following a singular heroine and a cast of attractive men. Yet it spoke to me, an enby transgender man, by exploring themes of inner discovery, found family, and self-love.

  • How BL and Yuri Helped Me Face My Sexuality

    It took years of consuming BL and Yuri to finally face my truth: that I am queer.

  • Chatty AF 134: Yuri Manga Variety Hour (WITH TRANSCRIPT)

    Vrai, Alex, and Mercedez go over the wealth of yuri being published on the English market and share some of their faves!

  • Blue Flag vs. Our Dreams at Dusk: A look at LGBTQ+ representation and its audience

    Our Dreams at Dusk and Blue Flag are two series about queer characters, but it’s clear that each is aimed at a different target audience.

  • My Fave is Problematic: Kakegurui

    It soon becomes clear that within Hyakkaou Academy, it’s the women who get shit done. That was where I found what had first caught my interest in the first place: the women of Kakegurui.

  • The queer blood ties of Vampire Princess Miyu

    Miyu is born a vampire, and her bite does not seem to turn her victims into other vampires. In Vampire Princess Miyu, blood bonds become not something that transfers a vampiric condition, but something that creates connection. While in some vampire stories it can also forge mythical bonds, the conventional vampire bite crucially also transfers a condition (vampirism). But here, the connections are not accompanied by transformation. Rather than giving you new traits, its only effect is to create a link between yourself and another person.

  • The Surprisingly Queer-Friendly Narrative of Cybersix

    Japanese animation has found numerous sources of inspiration, from comics and novels to video games and toys, located from both within and outside of its national borders. But when it came to the 90s, few have the unique history, and overwhelming queer vibes , that the anime adaptation of Cybersix does.

  • My Fave is Problematic: Free!

    One of the biggest gripes I have now with Free! is the amount of fanservice the show throws at you. While the perfectly sculpted muscles of the main male cast is what led to the show’s boom in popularity, it has also caused harm for the show.
    Despite its flaws, Free! remains close to my heart as a show full of relatable and raw emotions. There’s been times where I’ve shed tears along with the characters on screen, and also deeply sympathized with their hardships.

  • Boys Run the Riot, Visual Kei, and Gender Euphoria Through Fashion

    Gender identity, self expression, and ethnicity are so intertwined that it would be hard to discuss one without discussing the others. As a Japanese trans man, all of these things have come into play in relation to my self-expression and identity. One of the things I found solace and euphoria in, as a teenager, was clothing.

  • Love Me for Who I Am is inclusive, but falls short for some non-binary people

    The Love Me for Who I Am manga is educational on how not to treat nonbinary people, but it’s not enough and needs to do better.

  • Against the World: Madoka Rebellion, saviorism, and abolitionist schooling

    As somebody who has witnessed repeatedly the failure of would-be individual saviors to undo entire oppressive systems, I want to try to come to a deeper understanding than what is afforded on the surface by Rebellion’s final twist. What happens when hope is institutionalized? How do oppressive ideologies shape the worlds we can imagine? And the question that has haunted me most: if in the moment we destroyed an oppressive world we were given the full power to create a new one before we had any time to heal, would we like what we make?