And so passes the month of April: the seasons are changing, semester is coming to an end, I’m getting a cold right before I have to do a guest lecture (naturally), and I’m keeping up with Game of Thrones entirely through memes. What else was happening on the internet this month?
On the blog:
Fun with “Canon AUs” in The Good Place – a look at how the timeline-rebooting, universe-hopping, relationship-focussed series draws on fanfic techniques.
Bloom: A Graphic Novel That Made Me Cry About Bread – a review of a very sweet graphic novel about romance, growing up, and baking.
Having recently watched the 1986 Transformers movie myself, I feel like I’m obligated to share Hbomb’s take on it (yes, I know I opened with one of his videos last time as well, it’s just The Good Content). Given that the movie itself sort of washed over me in a neon haze, it was enlightening to hear someone dig into what it was actually saying amidst all that colour and noise–and it turns out it’s saying something pretty hopeful and powerful.
Listen Up, Bitches, it’s Time to Learn Incorrect Things About Someone You’ve Never Heard Of – a dissection of the genre of angry, flippant posts (or Tweet threads) that purport to aggressively “educate” the foolish masses about how historical figures were Problematic, Actually; a grating combo of fake history, callout/canceled culture, and the idea that putting a lot of swearing in your argument makes you correct factually and morally. I’ve seen a fair few posts like this, but never seen them discussed and typified before, so this was as interesting as it was cathartic.
Queerness and the Power of “Subtext” in Sound! Euphonium vs Liz and the Blue Bird – a comparison of the portrayal of two relationships in the same series, and how one is switched out for a heterosexual plotline partway through while the other lets a full romantic arc play out, ending up ultimately more satisfying for viewers.
Land of the Lustrous – Episode One – Nick Creamer embarks on episodic reviews of the acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy hybrid about living gems and delves deep into its core theme of “no matter how broken you are, you can be put back together”, how the show gets that across, and what makes it meaningful, in a very articulate and moving way.
It’s Not About Easy Mode: FromSoftware and the Question of Video Game Difficulty – with the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice came a whirlwind of discussion about the question of accessibility and difficulty in games, which I think this article sums up nicely.
Carole and Tuesday and How We Talk About Music – a dive into the themes of a sci-fi series set in a future where music is no longer created by humans, but instead by algorithms, what comments this makes about the real world, and how the characters’ simple desire to express themselves takes the usual story of “rebellion against an evil sci-fi dystopia” in a different and more personal direction.
Bloom Into You and Exploring Asexuality – a personal look at Bloom Into You from an ace perspective, and how Yuu’s messy relationship with romance not only suggests an ace reading of her character but accurately reflects the ace experience of growing up.
Spoiler Paranoia is Ruining Pop Culture – a look at the current “spoiler” obsessed marketing and fandom discussion around big events like Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones and how it’s a product of a very specific moment in history and culture (and marketing… because capitalism has to get its little hands on everything, huh?).
And of course it was premiere review time! Check out the pickings from this season of anime. (I’m not seeing much that calls to me… though admittedly it’s been very fun and fascinating to be involved in fandom while an Ikuhara show is currently airing. What will Sarazanmai throw at us next? Who can say?)
Let’s wrap up with a song, and one of the most indisputably powerful combination-lecture-musical-performance I’ve ever witnessed:
Take care, all!