It’s been a crunchy month of cold weather, hot tea, and spicy, spicy thesis revisions. But darn it, I did ’em! They’ve been handed in and are, all things falling into place, en route to the final stamp of approval they need before it’s DONE-done. Wish me one final bucket of luck!
I got to do a bit of blog writing this month, but (much as I want to jump in and show my work off, ha) I’m going to stick to my plan of taking May off. I know, this place will look so desolate and devoid!! But it will give me some breathing room to find my groove again and stack up a nice queue for June and beyond.
For now, though, let’s dive in and see what I published this past month:
Aro/Ace Representation in Anime and Manga, Part 2 – the concluding round of this great discussion, of which I’m very proud. After setting the scene and talking more broadly about aromantic and/or asexual coding and characters, we zero in and talk about Mine-kun is Asexual and Is Love the Answer?
Anime Feminist’s Recommendations of Winter 2023 – before we head into the new stuff, make sure to check back and read about our favourites from last season!
As for the new premiere reviews, here’s what I covered:
Alice Gear Aegis Expansion – allegedly an epic sci-fi, not that you’d be able to tell from watching the first episodes…
Insomniacs After School – could be a very tender story about isolation and mental health, but could also be a “quirky girl pulls boy out of sadness hole” romantic fantasy.
MASHLE: Magic and Muscle – it’s called the Magic Realm because it is a world that has magic!
Otaku Elf – a goofy premise that’s carried on surprisingly solid, endearing character writing.
Skip and Loafer – an earnest, adorable coming-of-age story about a nervous overachiever moving to the big city.
Yuri is My Job! – gremlin protagonists and genre commentary? Sign me up!
“Oh, it flopped” is common terminology in media criticism, but what does that actually mean—and does it mean that the work in question had no impact and no creative worth? Brendan of Wait in the Wings breaks this down specifically in the context of Broadway musicals and opens up a really insightful discussion. (Have I shared this one before? You’re getting it again. It’s a good ‘un)
Shiki is a delightfully chilling anime that I haven’t seen in years, but was happy to revisit with the help of Bess here. She goes into what exactly makes this show so scary, from the way it uses light and sound to draw us into the characters’ claustrophobic emotional states to the psychology behind the clash between townsfolk and vampires.
With so much anime in the world, how do you pick what to watch? Well, one answer to that is making an algorithm that picks for you. As this fella has explored, this leads to mixed results, but there’s always some interesting history to unearth and something insightful to discuss.
The Promising Return of the Australian Teen Onscreen – despite the coming-of-age story being a pop culture staple, media that depicts a uniquely Australian adolescence has been relatively few and far between; though that might be changing.
What Role are You Playing? Communication, Queerness, and Neurodivergence in Yuri is My Job! – in honour of the anime coming out, let’s revisit Vrai’s great piece on the many-layered miscommunications that underpin this series.
How Zines Paved the Way for Asexual Recognition – in honour of Ace Awareness Day, let’s revisit this article chronicling some of the history of asexual self-expression in self- or indie-published collections, some going back as far as the 1970s.
Looking Back on Newtype USA 15 Years Later – Kennedy reminisces on the rise and sudden fall of one of the most prominent and iconic English-language anime magazines, and how it serves as a time capsule of its era.
‘Daisy Jones’ and Hollywood’s Fictional Band Problem – what exactly goes into making real music for fake bands, and, most importantly, convincing the audience that this music is enough to rocket said band to stardom?
Speaking of music, here’s the song stuck in my head this month: it’s the opening theme to Otaku Elf, but it’s also a great, funky little tune (and music video) in itself!
And that’s all for now! I’ll see you all in a little while. Take care out there, okay?