The Royal Tutor: Episodes 2-3

Please take your seats, class. The weekly posts will now begin.

From a bouquet of impressive sequels and promising new series, I have plucked a silly, warmhearted comedy about teachers, students, and the gap between appearances and reality to cover weekly for Anime Evo this season. Hey, it can’t all be intense, analysis-heavy rakugo performersmagical girls, and gangsters, y’know! Sometimes a gal’s gotta giggle about her precious trash boys, too.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

Panning the Stream: Spring 2017 Premieres Digest

Don’t mind me, just drooling over a fresh batch of titles.

Even though some series are heading into their third episodes, believe it or not this post is not belated! The spring premiere season decided to stretch itself out over the course of two solid weeks, and once I struck (ah-hem) all those Amazon shows from my schedule, it wasn’t long enough to justify two posts. Rolling ’em into one made sense.

Y’all know the drill: New series get divided into three categories (Yes, Maybe, and Nope), then I make a note of any shows I didn’t mention and any sequels I’m catching. The list isn’t terribly long, but there’s a fair amount of charm and some solid potential, especially if you like fantasy (and I do). Hopefully I can help you find a new show to add to your watchlist, too!

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Panning the Stream: AniFem Premiere Review Digest

Venturing out to explore the new anime season.

We tossed some coins and drew some lots and, in addition to The Royal Tutor, I covered a trio of other premieres for AniFem this season:

And in case you missed it, I also published my usual Premiere Digest where I talk a little about All The Shows (that aren’t on Strike) as well. Check it out if you’re curious!

Panning the Stream: The Royal Tutor – Episode 1

They’re good boys, Brent.

There’s a subgenre of anime that I’ve recently become quite fond of, which I like to call “cute girls behaving badly.” The idea is simple but subtly subversive: Take your standard cute-girl character designs and then imbue them with traits that aren’t considered cute at all. No wide-eyed innocence or endless compassion here; nope, these gals are selfish, short-sighted, egotistical, and/or just plain lazy. They’re rarely malicious and they often have redeeming or (sym)pathetic qualities, which makes them relatable or at least funny, but they’re hardly what you’d called heroic ideals. They are, as we’ve talked about before, trash characters.

The Royal Tutor is that, but with pretty boys.

Click here for the full review on Anime Feminist!

Glancing Upstream: Winter 2017 Retrospective and Review

March comes in like a dragon and out like a maid (that’s totally how that saying goes, right?).

Just a couple short weeks ago I was ready to come into this post a little tired and bummed about the season, but some strong final arcs have lifted my opinion (or maybe I’m just riding high from yesterday’s heartwarming Dragon Maid finale). We’ve had deeper and stronger seasons, but this one had its share of charm and individuality–and hey, as I said last winter, no season with a standout masterpiece like Rakugo Shinju can ever be truly disappointing.

Sure, we’re almost a week into the spring season, but it’d be bad form to say “hi” to the new gang without first bidding a “see ya later” to the old. Hit the jump for some final thoughts on an up-and-down winter.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 12

Time for our final curtain call.

Since last week saw the end of our central story, this week is by nature a more subdued epilogue, a comedown from the peak we hit before. While it didn’t have quite the emotional punch of recent episodes, it’s still essential to the story Rakugo Shinju wants to tell, which is largely about Bon, yes, but also about history, traditions, and the interconnected nature of individual narratives. Bon is gone but the world is not, and it would be a disservice to that world and the other narratives within it not to see how they’d all grown.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

Love in the Time of ClassicaLoid

Get your ‘ship on.

Welp, they’ve done it again. The creative team who assured us that being a girl was a state of mind rather than a state of body brought that same chipper progressivism to their silly romance episode, and they did not disappoint. ClassicaLoid may be first-and-foremost a wacky comedy about the importance of community and the transformative power of music, but it’s also proven itself adept at quietly challenging cultural norms about gender and sexuality. Guess it’s true you should never judge a book by its cover—or a series by its goofy premise.

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!