Good morning. Life is still weird. But I Produced Plenty of Content this month (hurrah for short term goals, I sing, as my thesis frowns at me from across the room)! Check it out below…
On The Conversation
Queer young adult fiction isn’t all gloomy realism. Here are 5 uplifting books to get you started – want to hear about my thesis topic in 800 words or less, and want some tasty book recommendations? Look no further!
If you’re not familiar, The Convo is a site that aims to make Big Academic Ideas accessible and easily readable (which is very much a sentiment I can agree with). I’ve followed it for a long time so it’s super exciting to get something on there.
I also talked about this on the radio! Skip to 46:35 here and 135:06 here to listen to me saying words with my voice!
On Anime Feminist
I joined the team for premiere reviews this season, and it surely was an adventure!
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! – Episode 1 – in an introvert’s nightmare, a Manic Pixie Nightmare Gremlin of a girl attempts to improve her classmate’s social life. It was Not Great. But the review is entertaining!
Rent-a-Girlfriend – Episode 1 – Fake Dating shenanigans ensue when a mopey college student hires a sweet lady to be his girlfriend for a few hours, only for the act to extend when they’re mistaken for a real couple by an army of gossiping grandmas. Zany, potentially disastrous, and just a little (well, maybe a lot) horny.
Mr Love: Queen’s Choice – Episode 1 – a fast-paced otome adaptation where all the men are the exact same kind of pretty, and one of them spends the whole episode floating in midair. Not the genre for me, but might be your brand of bonkers if you like superpowers-among-us sci-fi.
Content round the web
Ben G. Thomas’ series introduces, and then dives deep into, the art-and-science hybrid field that is “spec zoo”, which involves the design and study of creatures from alternate pasts or possible evolutionary futures. I hadn’t heard of it before this, but it’s truly fascinating.
Crunchyroll’s Tim Lyu takes a (deep, and pretty comprehensive) dive into the evolution of the magical girl genre over time, mapping the development of the tropes we associate so strongly with it today (this chronology does end on something of a downer, though… surely someone’s making a non-parody, non-gritty magical girl show in the 2020s? Can we bring ’em back?)
The world is a strange and stressful place. Slip away from harsh reality for half an hour and watch this model-maker construct beautiful dioramas featuring lovingly carved sea beasties.
Is Demisexuality Just a Word for “People Who Don’t Do Hookups”? – short answer: no! Long answer: this whole article, which provides a pretty nuanced introduction to the orientation.
Art for Trying Times: How a Philosopher Found Solace Playing Red Dead Redemption 2 – an exploration of the game’s bittersweet melancholy, and its thematic undercurrents about the persistence of memory (see, The Conversation’s great. If you frame it academically, they even let you talk about your Cowboy Feels).
Magical Girls as Metaphor: Why Coded Queer Narratives Still Have Value – much of the conversation around queer fiction can centre on direct representation, but there is still power in narratives that may not be explicit, but resonate with a LGBTQIA+ audience in their themes and structures.
And of course, do read the rest of the premiere reviews! The pickings are a little slim this season, but the team has put out some great work.
That wraps us up for now—take care, everyone!
2 responses to “The Comfy-Pants Freelance Dance: July ’20 Roundup”
‘Surely someone’s making a non-parody, non-gritty magical girl show in the 2020s?’
Well, Pretty Cure is (as the video briefly mentions) still trundling along, aimed at the same audience that most past non-parody, non-gritty magical girl anime were aimed at. It sits in the timeslot Ojamajo Doremi had, even. On the one hand it is a shame that there aren’t other anime directly in that space—I suppose muscling into it would take a lot of toy-marketing power, perhaps? On the other, there aren’t many niches in anime which have sustained a continuous fifteen-year-plus behemoth like Pretty Cure, so that’s something.
The last decade saw a spate of what you could file as magical-girl-adjacent shows involving transformations and performances, such as Prichan, Pripara and Aikatsu. Maybe that’s where (the people making business decisions think) children’s interests lie at present?
That’s true! I’m less versed in those ones since they very rarely get official English releases (and as you say aren’t juggernauts like PreCure. Cool to know that they’re out there.