Fan vs Service: WorldEnd vs Hajime no Ippo

When bad frames happen to good people.

When I learned that this season’s new anime, WorldEnd (or SukaSuka), was based on a light novel about an adult man becoming a caretaker for a group of under-18 girls, I was understandably wary given anime’s less-than-glowing track record when handling age gaps and power dynamics. Fortunately, WorldEnd’s leading man, Willem, is (so far) completely uninterested in romancing the local teens. While 15-year-old Chtholly does have an obvious crush on him, Willem sees her and the rest of the girls as students, patients, or younger family members. He uses his power to help and guide, never to take advantage.

These are all good things, and a large part of why the pensive found-family story at the heart of WorldEnd has been so compelling to me. It’s also a large part of why a particular scene in Episode 2, “late autumn night’s dream,” stands out as so uncomfortable and out-of-place. Willem may not be a creeper, but some of the people creating him sure seem to be.

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!

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!

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!

She and Her Cat and Her Story

Adulthood, family, and the purrpose-driven life.

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She and Her Cat -everything flows- is a four-episode short which aired this time last year and quietly earned the honor of being 2016’s Show That Turned Me Into a Puddle of Tears. It’s the story of a young woman (Miyu) struggling to make a place for herself in the working world outside of college, as told through the eyes of the cat who’s been with her since childhood. Graceful, charming, wrenching, and hopeful, She and Her Cat is an understated, emotional gem. 10/10, would let wreck me again.

It’s also a refreshing take on the traditional female coming-of-age tale, which so often focuses on heterosexual romance and the importance of a man to help the woman achieve happiness or fulfillment. Instead, Miyu’s story and struggles are related to her career and—more importantly—to her relationships with two women.

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!

[12 Days of AniFem] ClassicaLoid & the Girls’ Day Out

If you hear any noise, it ain’t the boys.

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While I doubt I’ll have time to do the full 12 Days of Anime on my own here at JND, I am participating in the one being held over at Anime Feminist! Today I talk about one of my favorite episodes of the season: ClassicaLoid‘s silly, saucy, and joyfully inclusive “Girls’ Day Out.”

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!

AniFem Roundtable: For the Love of Trash Characters

They’re bad. And that’s why they’re good.

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I took part in my first AniFem roundtable! This time the team talked trash characters, especially trash female characters–what defines ’em, why we love ’em, and how they can be sneakily subversive to gender norms.

Click here for the full conversation on Anime Feminist!

So That I Could Be Myself: Gender Performance in Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju & Yuri on Ice

Finding a place for yourself, on stage and on ice.

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“It’s not a kind of rakugo I can do. The more I hear, the more uncomfortable I get… Never mind it. I have my own rakugo.”

“Trying to be the playboy isn’t me. I want to be the most beautiful woman in town, who seduces the playboy!”

This year we’ve had the pleasure of seeing a pair of top-notch anime, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju and Yuri!!! on Ice, deal with gendered expectations in two very different spheres: 1940s Japanese rakugo and modern-day world figure skating. Along the way, both series have challenged cultural expectations about how men should or shouldn’t act, and shown why it’s important to cast aside restrictive gender roles and play to our own strengths.

Click here to read the full article on Anime Feminist!