Panning the Stream: Spring 2018 Premiere Digest

The good, the bad, and the kitties.

A teen boy in a school uniform holds an umbrella, looking unphased. Behind him, a teen girl holding a cat looks at him in admiration, sparkling light bursting around her.

It’s that time of quarter-year again! I got together with fellow AniFem staffers Caitlin and Vrai to review all the premieres for Anime Feminist and help readers find some diamonds in the rough. This was the first season in… gosh, three years?… where I didn’t watch every single premiere, as I trusted my fellow reviewers to help me avoid the real stinkers.

I’ve listed my own reviews below in order of “fave” to “least fave” (somehow I didn’t get assigned any of the really heinous ones this time around) for your perusal. And can also click here for the full digest on AniFem, which includes links to every review!

  • HINAMATSURI: A silly and surprisingly sweet take on the “supernatural girl adopted by unlikely father-figure” subgenre, this one came out of nowhere to be my favorite premiere of the season.
  • Yotsuiro Biyori: a.k.a. Laid-Back Cafe, this is the season’s cozy blanket series. I loved it.
  • Tada Never Falls in Love: Yamazaki Mitsue’s directorial debut is a bit of a mixed bag tonally, but there are good gags, good cats, and the potential for a solid school story, so I’m still hyped.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!: If you’ve been following me these past few years, you know how much I enjoy this goofball magical boy parody show. Happy Kiss is more of the same, and I’m A-OK with that.
  • Libra of Nil Admirari: An otome VN adaptation with a rad premise and a protagonist who wants to focus on taking more control of her life, but it’s bit, er, lacking in the charm department.
  • GeGeGe no Kitaro: A family-friendly remake of an old classic that’s pretty darn clever with its social commentary. There wasn’t quite enough here to get me to come back, but I still enjoyed it well enough.
  • MAJOR 2nd: This baseball series writes its female characters so well I wound up disappointed that they weren’t the stars of the series.
  • Gurazeni: Money Pitch: The Other Baseball Show, this one focusing on a professional player’s financial concerns and future goals. Refreshing in its uniqueness, but nothing I’m dying to watch again.

If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

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Podcast: Winter 2018 wrap-up

Helping our listeners flock to the good stuff.

A teen girl with long black hair wearing goggles on her head and winter clothing sits in the middle of a flock of penguins. She's smiling wildly.

Amelia, Peter, and I look back on the big ball o’ cuteness that was Winter 2018 season. Ice girls reign supreme, magus brides stumble at the finish line, and laid-back campers induct at least two of us into their secret order.

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


If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

Glancing Upstream: Winter 2018 Retrospective Digest

Oh the weather outside was frightful, but the anime was so delightful…

Two teen girls in scarves and coats look very excited. The one wearing glasses is throwing confetti; the other long-haired girl is pulling a party popper, streamers flying from it.

Another season has come to a close, and this one might have been the coziest yet. Chock full of nice kids and cute pets, Winter 2018 was a sequence of comfy campfires guaranteed to keep you warm and toasty. So let’s talk about it… er, a little. Hit the jump for a sum-up and an explanation.

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Podcast: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Retrospective

An uneven character in a long-time franchise gets a much-needed turn in the spotlight.

A young girl with long dark hair, seated in front of a large purple flower, smiles at the camera and says "Because this is my tale."

Vrai, Caitlin, and I teamed up again to look back at Sayo Yamamoto and Mari Okada’s Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine! Vrai and Caitlin adore this one and have a lot to say about its messy relationships and cast full of sympathetic assholes. I had the weird experience of being the only person not that enthusiastic about the series, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an ambitious, aggressively feminist production well worth your time… er, if you can handle the content warnings, anyway.

And speaking of Content Warnings: This series contains depictions of child abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), sexual assault, violence, torture, homophobia, nudity, and explicit sexual content. The podcast will also discuss these topics when they arise.

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


If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

After the Rain, Ristorante Paradiso, and the delicate art of the age-gap romance

Power, perspective, and how little decisions can make a big difference.Two side-by-side shots of a young woman with short hair (Nicoletta) and a teen girl with long dark hair (Akira). Reflected in both of their eyes is a different middle-aged man.

At first glance, Ristorante Paradiso and After the Rain bear remarkable similarities. Both are anime adaptations of manga series written by women that center around a May-September romance. Both star a young woman and a middle-aged divorcee. Both even feature characters who work at a restaurant together! So why does Ristorante Paradiso leave me with the warm fuzzies, while After the Rain just leaves me feeling vaguely skeevy?

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!

Podcast: Winter 2018 Midseason Check-In

The winter adventure continues.

The pleasant winter season is holding strong with ice ‘n’ camp girls, trash princes, tiny mummies, and Sanrio boiz. I sat down with Amelia and Peter to chat about it.

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


If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!

Podcast: Miss Hokusai Retrospective

The portrait of the artist as young woman.

A young woman in traditional Japanese dress and hair style sits at a table, pen in hand, looking at a blank piece of paper. Her desk is lit only by two small candles.

Caitlin, Amelia, and I chatted about Miss Hokusai, the 2015 feature film from Production I.G. Set in the early 1800s, this historical fiction follows real-life artist O-Ei as she navigates her relationships with her famous father, her young sister, and her own developing art in a society and profession dominated by men.

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


If you like the dishes AniFem is serving up, please consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month!