I must be a real adult now; I got a set of really nice kitchen knives for my birthday and was a whole new kind of excited I’ve never been about homewares before. A quality, sharpened knife makes all the difference, you know! There’s something immensely satisfying about dicing up food with one.
See, this is the kind of thing I say now. My show Today’s Menu for This One Student House Full of Transformers and Anime Figures will be coming to a streaming service near you next season.
Anyway, my goodness! It’s been a big month for blog output. There’s been ace-positive demons, lesbian bear-girls, and all kinds of fantastical goings-on in between. As always, thanks for reading!
On the blog:
Swords and Saucepans: Domesticity, Masculinity, and Emiya Shirou (in which I appreciate the protagonist of Fate/Stay Night–not something I thought I’d be doing, if you asked me a few years ago!–and how he embraces both traditionally “masculine” and traditionally “feminine” traits without mockery from the narrative)
Farah Mendlesohn’s Four Funky Factions of Fantasy (in which I lead a whirlwind tour through one theorist’s set of categories for fantasy fiction. It’s about how the tale is told, not just what happens!)
On Anime Feminist:
Going Beyong Severance: Metaphorical and Literal Queerness in Yurikuma Arashi (in which I dive deep into the many tangled layers of allegory and symbolism about queerness in that show with the bears, and how it’s all the more effective for actually having queer protagonists)
On The Asexual:
Asexual Positivity in a Game About Sexy Demons (in which I get just a teensy bit personal as I reflect on Cute Demon Crashers and its impact on my journey to identifying as ace. It’s my first post for these guys, and it also features in a printed edition of the journal!)
Fresh and funky web content:
Let’s start with a video essay again: this one’s about how sometimes we like things—love them even—that turn out to be cruel and problematic upon reflection when we’re older and wiser. This video looks at H.P. Lovecraft, the tricky question of “can you be a queer fan of a homophobic writer?”, and the complicated heart of what exactly makes these works of cosmic horror so resonant (even if it’s not what the author intended).
It was the start of a new anime season this month (again! The damn things just keep happening. Curse the disorientating nature of the passage of time!) which means it’s premiere review season once more! Be sure to check out AniFem’s collection (Vrai dives into the trash so you don’t have to), Artemis’ anime taste tests, and Rabujoi’s episodic reviews if you want to keep up with the deluge and get a better idea of what you might want to watch.
Darling in the FranXX: A Complete Summary of a Disaster – if, like me, your knowledge of Darling in the FranXX comes from seeing other people’s baffled reactions to it, this post is a good summation of what exactly this divisive series was about and what exactly the problems with it were. Boy, it sure is something.
Revue Starlight and Takarazuka 101 — this neat and informative thread gives some background and context to the hit new “Love Live meets Utena” anime that everyone’s talking about.
Dreaming Machines: Fairy Tales in the Age of Artificial Intelligence — what is a fairy tale made of, and can new ones be written in this day and age?
Reflecting on Attack on Titan: How the Narrative Failed Its Premise — an ex-fan of the (once) massively popular Attack on Titan details how the series went off the rails into increasingly un-subtle fascist allegory, and the directions it could have gone instead to create a story that better emphasises what the readers were actually invested in–the characters. If you want more, there’s a companion post about how exactly the series failed its characters in the first place, and another about how it specifically failed its women and queer characters.
The Dark Knight: The Best and Worst Thing to Happen to Superhero Movies — on the anniversary of the acclaimed Batman movie’s release, The Mary Sue takes a look at its impact on the superhero genre and the ol’ stigma that films must be dark and brutal to be taken seriously.
We Tried to Uncover the Long-Lost “American Sailor Moon” and Found Something Incredible — a wild ride of investigative journalism searching for the mythical pilot episode of an American magical girl show that never came to be.
For a nice bookend effect, here’s another video essay, in which Lindsay Ellis convinces me that I never need nor want to watch the movie-musical RENT. Content warning: a big point here is that it spectacularly fails in being a sympathetic story about the AIDS crisis, so there’s some confronting material about the disease and about that harrowing period of history.
And oh, what is that? Finally another podcast recommendation??
This one’s I Don’t Even Own a Television, a podcast about books! Specifically, books that have received critical acclaim and/or spent time on bestseller lists, but that are ridiculous and terrible in one way or another. It’s not all hate-reading, though, and they always make sure to talk about high points in their personal experience with the book as well as analyse what makes it so (potentially) appealing as well as what makes it silly. Scroll through the list and find a title you recognise–I had some good fun with their discussions of Ready Player One, the Maximum Ride series (from “The James Patterson Fiction Factory”, in their words. Drag him, my dudes. Drag him), and Casino Royale.
And that’s that for this month. Take care, everyone!