Stand-Alone Essays

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Individual posts about series and topics that caught my interest. Organized in more-or-less chronological order.

The Essays Next Door

Articles written and hosted right here on JND.

Anime

  • Tanaka-kun is Always Listlessly…

    A sequence of mini-essays about Tanaka-kun is Always Listless, a Nice Comedy doing lots of Nice Things.

  • Magic-Kyun Renaissance and the Spark(le) of Creativity
    In addition to being a pleasantly silly otome adaptation, Magic-kyun also uses its world of “magical arts” to deftly address the struggles of young artists.

Manga, Western TV, &etc.

  • The Korra Retrospective:
    A Legend of Korra series “review” that swiftly spiraled into an essay about power, privilege, and Korra’s journey towards empathy.

Here, There, Everywhere

Articles written for and hosted on other sites.

From Anime Feminist

  • A Dream of One’s Own: Finding a home outside femininity in Chihayafuru
    Sometimes wrenching but ultimately inspiring, Chihayafuru’s first volume quietly challenges traditional gender norms and offers the hope of a supportive community to anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t quite fit society’s gendered expectations of who they’re “supposed” to be.
  • [Review] In This Corner of the World
    Not so much a review as it is a series of commentaries written by myself, Vrai, and Amelia. I really liked this film, so naturally I spent lots of words discussing its focus on feminine perspectives, “ordinary” strength, and why this story matters now.
  • [My Fave is Problematic] Fushigi Yugi
    Untangling fifteen years’ worth of feelings about the messy, emotional, flawed, sincere shoujo fantasy that’s been a part of my life since middle school.
  • Nichijou and the Everyday Epics of High School Girls
    Through its absurd comedy, Nichijou not only showcases many common (and not-so-common) trials and triumphs of modern female adolescence and friendship, but also expands the narrow idea of what it means to be a “normal” teen girl in fiction.

From Crunchyroll

  • Failed Tanuki and Half-Baked Tengu: Identity & Community in The Eccentric Family
    Part 1 | Part 2
    Through its colorful world and unique individuals, The Eccentric Family asks us what makes us who we say we are—and wonders how we’d find that answer in the first place.
  • Life After Failure in Sakura Quest
    This low-key inspiring series picks up where most high school anime leave off, exploring what happens after you don’t achieve your childhood “dream” and showing how people can still find happiness and fulfillment on the other side of professional failure.

Elsewhere

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