Nonconforming in the ‘90s: How Pokemon’s gender variance caught the hearts of generation

Smashing gender norms at the speed of light.

Jessie and James in Rose of Versailles cosplay. James is Marie Antoinette and Jessie is Oscar.

Twenty years ago, I watched my very first episode of Pokemon and began my lifelong journey into the world of anime, manga, and JRPGs. I couldn’t tell you the exact date, but I can tell you the episode was “The Flame Pokemon-athon!” and that I was both confused and delighted by this weird show with electric mice and flaming horses. I can also tell you I swiftly fell in love with it, bringing my best friends along for the ride.

And now, two decades later, after diving back into the anime after years away from it, I think I can finally tell you why: why this strange, silly, sincere show mattered, not just to me but to the turn-of-the-century Western kids’ media landscape as a whole. How it filled the space between “boy stuff” and “girl stuff,” treated both as having value, and—through its world, characters, and story—challenged why there was a division in the first place.

Click here for the full article on Anime Feminist!


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Podcast: Neon Genesis Evangelion Watchalong – Episodes 7-13

You guys. You guys. It’s an elEVAtor.

The Evangelion cast crowds into a elevator, smashed up against each other

Our multi-part watchalong of Neon Genesis Evangelion continues! Vrai, Dee, and special guests Isaac and Lizzie discuss gender roles, sex and sexuality, and overall have a pretty good time with this “monster-of-the-week” stretch of episodes. But why does Vrai keep chortling in the background…?

Click here to view the show notes and download the SoundCloud file, or find it on iTunes and Stitcher by searching for “Chatty AF.”


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Rule of Three Review: Fall 2019 Anime Digest

2019 has been a high-on-quality, low-on-quantity sort of year, but don’t worry: Fall’s extensive array of titles shows is well on its way to making up for lost time.

Juuzo and Mary stand in a doorway. Juuzo is smoking; Mary looks annoyed.

The AniFem gang got together to take a second look at the parade of new fall shows! I joined in the discussion to lay out my affection for the pulpy NO GUNS LIFE, my lukewarm feelings on Special 7, and my wholehearted enthusiasm for Outburst Dreamer Boys.

Click here for the full post on AniFem!


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Glancing Upstream: Fall 2019 Retrospective Digest

It’s a given what I chose to gush about this season.

Hana hugs Tohru while Uotani watches Tohru proudly

I got together with the rest of the AniFem staff to highlight our favorites of the season. Like the Spring before it, Summer was a bit light on shows that wowed us, but the ones that shone were pretty darn bright.

Click here for the AniFem recommendations for Fall 2019! 


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Panning the Stream: Fall 2019 Premiere Digest

Maybe it’s called “Fall” ’cause you watch anime until you collapse.

A teen boy holds a magnifying glass up to his eye and says "Your power level's pretty amazing!"

The Fall 2019 season is jam-packed with new series, which means I watched a small mountain of premieres. Some soared, some wobbled, and some fell flat on their faces. And I’m here to tell you all about it… in a paragraph or less.

But hey, don’t worry! If you’d like to hear more in-depth thoughts from my teammates and me, I’ve also linked to the full premiere reviews over at AniFem. Hit the jump for hot takes and hotlinks alike.

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Podcast: Jupiter Ascending Retrospective

Air-rollerblading into your ears.

Jupiter and Channing Tatum stand epically in front of a large image of Jupiter and the Earth

I’m real proud of this one, y’all. To celebrate Chatty AF’s 100th episode, the whole team got together to talk about the criminally underappreciated shoujo space opera epic, Jupiter Ascending. Join us as we discuss female power fantasies, isekai story beats, Academy Award-Winner Eddie Redmayne, and whether the film is Good Actually, Bad Actually, or somewhere in between.

Click here to view the show notes and download the SoundCloud file, or find it on iTunes and Stitcher by searching for “Chatty AF.”


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Podcast: Neon Genesis Evangelion Watchalong – Episodes 1-6

Get in the robot discourse.

Misato holds binoculars and leans over Shinji to peer out of a car window

Vrai and I got together with special guests Lizzie and Isaac to tackle the legendary mecha anime. This is definitely a great idea that won’t get me any angry emails at all.

Click here to view the show notes and download the SoundCloud file, or find it on iTunes and Stitcher by searching for “Chatty AF.”


Wanna help make AniFem happen on the page and in your ear? Consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!