All of this season’s premiere reviews in one place.
Colorful mystery with a great lead and the usual problems associated with the “oppressed fantasy race” genre.
Snazzy-looking idol series whose magical setting helps separate it from the ugliness of the real industry.
Fanservice show about monster girls. You now know everything.
Horny tokusatsu parody that’s surprisingly fun at times.
Tournament series that’s much better at comedy than serious action.
A very odd season with multiple still-delayed titles and a couple great sequels.
An even odder series is upcoming with both new and returning titles.
Episode 40: Let’s Talk About Himbos (But Why Tho?, LaNeysha Campbell)
Podcast discussion about the himbos of anime.
While we love to talk about Shonen protagonists as heroes, one character types needs more love: the himbo. Given the resurgence of himbo discourse on Twitter, Kate and LaNeysha dedicate an entire episode to talking about their favorites himbos in anime. From Son Goku to Jonathon Jostar and Sonosuke Sagara, the women discuss their faves and situate discuss what makes each one a himbo. But wait, this isn’t just the normal thirst podcast you’d expect as the women dive into how the trope redefines hyper-masculinity and how these big beefy boys subvert expectations as characters. We discuss the definition of himbo and how its evolved to mean so much more to fans of characters who aren’t unintelligent, but rather emotionally aware, loyal, and gullible and what those traits mean to storytelling.
Haruka Pt. 1 (with Asher Sofman) (Shojo & Tell)
Podcast discussion of the manga adaptation of the first otome game.
HARUKA was one of the first-ever otome games, and it launched a franchise that spun off into manga and anime adaptations as well. Though the series didn’t gain popularity in the United States, we thought HARUKA was important to cover for its historical context. In this episode, Shojo & Tell host Ashley and her boytoy Asher journey back to the Heian era with Akane (a normal high school girl who’s a priestess in this alternate timeline), Tenma, and Shimon (two of Akane’s classmates that end up being her guardians) to meet even more hot men vying for Akane’s heart. (And fighting a war against a clan of demons.) It’s basically a much worse FUSHIGI YUGI. But Yasuaki and Eisen make it all worth it. Well… almost.
Queer Liberation Is An Abolitionist Affair (Wear Your Voice, Namrata Verghese)
On queer history’s important link to tearing down structural violence.
It’s important to underscore here that both abolition and queerness are radical propositions. Queer liberation does not end with the decriminalization of gay sex, or the passage of gay marriage rights. This is not to say that we shouldn’t actively advocate for these fundamental rights, as they are still systemically denied to people across the globe, but that such unambitious milestones are not enough. Queer theorists and activists are rightfully suspicious of pinkwashed “gay rights”; how can the same state that sanctions the murder of its Black queer and trans subjects turn around and champion a homonormative white gay marriage? “Gay rights” are palatable. Proponents of gay rights strive towards the normalization of homosexuality. The goal of queer politics, however, is never normalization. In Nikki Sullivan’s words, queer politics is “whatever is at odds with the normal, the dominant.” Historically, normalization has been harnessed as a colonial tool of colonialism of white supremacy: certain (white, cisgender, heterosexual, European) subjects have always been deemed normal and natural, distinguishing them from “deviant” Others, to justify forced social stratification. Because norms are predicated on exclusions, normalization is always a site of violence. By attributing normality to a particular queer archetype (that is, the white, cisgender gay man), we willfully exclude people who fall outside this norm, people who are too fat or dark or disabled or trans to be palatable.
VIDEO: Unpacking the below-living-wage translator paychecks at Crunchyroll.
VIDEO: Sharing Noir Caesar’s negative experiences at Anime Expo and how cons can be more welcoming to Black guests and attendees.
THREAD: Translation of article by Kimura Hana’s mother about how Fuji TV contributed to her daughter’s suicide.
THREAD: Announcement of Irodori Sakura’s launch lineup of queer doujinshi.
THREAD: Commentary on a NYT article about unacknowledged racist attitudes in Japan.
TWEET: YouTube channel Get in the Robot is funding a reboot after their crew was laid off.
TWEET: Short trans acceptance video from the official Godzilla twitter.
Yeah, it’s…kind of a thin season, huh?