What’s the Deal with Kemono Friends?– I wasn’t even paying enough attention to the announcements or the upcoming anime charts to know that what would become the Japanese anime fandom’s biggest anime of Winter 2017—a moe animal girls show based off of a defunct mobile game rendered in exceedingly poor CG—even existed. But here we are
The Anti-Library of Kemono Friends: Fans, Theories, and Everything in Between – With a plot like that, it’s easy to think of the show as a Dora the Explorer thing — except it aired as a late night anime. The more you watch the show too, the more you realize the Japanese fanbase might be onto something. There seems to be a cynical, dark past to Japari Park amidst all this cute girls doing cute things crap.
Being an itemised list of disagreements – The main reason RH/BS was able to bully people with impunity for such a long time was because it looked, from the outside, as though the SFF community condoned her behaviour. You’d see a Known Cool Person chatting with her on Twitter as though it was OK for RH to chase people around on the Internet having a go at them,
Forgotten Realms: The Isekai Boom of the 90’s – The main difference between isekai then and isekai now is the intended audience – 25 years ago, it was a staple of the shoujo demographic, rather than today’s escapist playgrounds for young men. Ordinary young women were pulled into alternate worlds where attractive young men told them they had a special destiny to fulfill. They went on grand adventures and usually – though not always – fell in love along the way.
The 2017 Hugo Awards: Why Hugo? – So no, nominating for the Hugos this year is not an act of resistance. But I think that it can be an act of affirmation. A reminder that just because the world is going crazy around us, doesn’t mean we’re not going to hold on to what’s ours. That just because we seem to be surrounded (and governed) by people who care about nothing and no one, doesn’t mean we’re not going to keep caring about things ourselves–even when they are completely trivial–and keep working to preserve them.
Peter Chung on Japanese animation theory – It’s very easy for even a casual viewer to notice that Japanese animation has a different “feel” than American animation. Usually the difference is attributed to a divergent cultural viewpoint. What most viewers don’t realize is how much it actually comes down to the physical differences in the technical processes.
Breaking Gender Norms, Healing Trauma and Finding Acceptance in PriPara – It’s never stated that Love is trans, but it’s very easy to make the connection between her self-image to that of many trans women. I personally couldn’t help but view her as trans as I watched the episode the first time and the same goes for later episodes and rewatches. Intentional or not, PriPara made what might be the most positive and accepting portrayal of trans women in anime with Love’s character. Nobody ever bashes Love for her build, not during her reveal or later episodes. She’s always looked up to by the people around her as a beautiful woman whose height and etc. only enhances her lovely appearance.
A Mari Okada Anime Timeline – 女のカントク – Ten years ago on March 11, 2006, Mari Okada made her anime movie debut on a film for the TV anime Kaiketsu Zorori (The full name of the movie is Majime ni Fumajime Kaiketsu Zorori: Nazo no Otakara Daisakusen). In honor of that, here’s part 1 of a two part project on Mari Okada.
Kiznaiver and Mayoiga: Okada Mari in Spring 2016 | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL – When I declared two weeks ago that I’d be looking at Okada Mari for this next post in my ‘Anime Writing’ project, I hadn’t actually read more than one of her interviews (the noitaminA one that’s summarised with one mistake here).1 Just one week later, I found myself regretting that rash decision, for I’d come across around ten relevant interviews, and had no idea if I’d even be able to put together something coherent. In the end, I decided that the best thing to do was to focus on the offerings this season that she’s had a hand in: Kiznaiver and Mayoiga.
80sanime — 1979-1990 Anime Primer – I wrote this primer to serve as an introduction to those new to 80s anime. It features 50 titles, all of which are either films or OVAs for ease of viewing. I attempted to strike a balance between iconic productions and lesser-known gems; nevertheless, this list reflects my personal opinions only and is not meant to be definitive. Also, please note that Studio Ghibli films from this era were purposefully not included since they’re already so well-known (I consider Nausicaä to be pre-Ghibli).
Bibliography | Chromatic Aberration Everywhere – As I tend to read a lot of more “academic” texts when it comes to studying anime, fandom, and interpretation, I thought it might be a good idea to throw up a list of all the things I’ve either read/seen so that anyone else interested in these types of ideas has a place to start.
Japan’s Cute Army – The New Yorker – This stressful, ongoing debate fuels the seeming paradox of an “endearing” military force. In Japan, where indirect communication is highly valued, cute illustrations have long played the role of tension-breakers and mediators in situations of conflict. Thus kawaii mascots, whether miniskirted girls or bunny-rabbit decoy launchers, are both a reflection of pop-cultural trends and a way to defuse the very touchy issues surrounding the military’s undeniable presence.
The Tyranny of Stuctureless – This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful, and as deceptive, as to aim at an "objective" news story, "value-free" social science, or a "free" economy. A "laissez faire" group is about as realistic as a "laissez faire" society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can be so easily established because the idea of "structurelessness" does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones. Similarly "laissez faire" philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from establishing control over wages, prices, and distribution of goods; it only prevented the government from doing so. Thus structurelessness becomes a way of masking power
Otaku Philosophy | Public Seminar – Its origins are in cultural forms imported from the United States after the war. “The history of otaku culture is one of adaptation – of how to ‘domesticate’ American culture… Otaku may very well be heirs to Edo culture, but the two are by no means connected by a continuous line. Between the otaku and Japan lies the United States.”
What Japanese Girls Do With Manga, and Why – What follows, then, is not an objective analysis formulated by a scholar who stands apart from and above the "phenomenon," but is rather an analysis by a person who is himself an avid reader of the genre, yet who nonetheless tries to examine the genre and its readers critically and from multiple angles, not only for the purpose of telling you what "they" do, but to contribute a transnational perspective to an ongoing discussion of what we do as participants in popular culture.
“Science-Fiction Fandom in United Berlin” by Sonja Fritzsche | World Literature Today – On November 9, 1989, the night the wall fell, several Andymon members crossed over the border into West Berlin to celebrate. Lost on a side of Berlin they had never seen, they decided to contact one of the West Berlin fans from their earlier visit. Luckily, they found her, and this second meeting, now on the other side of the border, helped to cement a future collaboration between both Berlin fan clubs.
Rachel Dolezal and the Trouble with White Womanhood – racismreview.com – “The commodification of Otherness has been so successful because it is offered as a new delight, more intense, more satisfying than normal ways of doing and feeling. Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.”
Pacific Rim and Lessons in Positive Masculinity – Paging Dr. NerdLove – But when you look even a little deeper, it’s almost gleefully subversive of action movie tropes. It’s the woman of color who gets the full Campbellian journey rather than Johnny Action Hero and the hot-shot maverick pilot who doesn’t play by the rules… doesn’t exist, actually. In fact, Pacific Rim is one of the best examples of what non-toxic masculinity looks like.