Deadlines, the Spookiest Monster: October ’20 Roundup

Here we are once more – October is Octover, bringing to a close a month of anime reviews, lectures, and spooky-themed events that kind of don’t mean anything here in Australia, but have a great aesthetic nonetheless. Look below for all the writing I did around the internet this month, as well as some fun content other people have made that I want to highlight!


Alice Oseman and the Revolutionary Power of the Platonic Love Story – in which AZE journal (formerly The Asexual) lets me gush about this author’s work, including the recent (and ass-kicking) aro-ace coming-of-age story Loveless.

AniFem premiere reviews:

Adachi and Shimamura – in which a couple of teen girl delinquents reluctantly come to care for one another, among pretty art and a healthy dose of whimsy

Assault Lily: Bouquet – in which schoolgirls fight robots between large chunks of exposition and fan service

D4DJ: First Mix – in which there is a school-sanctioned rave and a love of music

Dropout Idol Fruit Tart – in which a bunch of washed-up stars are forced to form an idol group in order to… uh… not become homeless?

Talentless Nana – in which The Twist is the most fun part, but I can’t talk about that in a review and I experience pain

Three Episode Check-in – in which I return to cast my opinion over a sports anime, a bear-themed isekai, and the tale of a girl who just wants to get some sleep.

Webbed content

Dispelling some lingering myths (well, lingering in some parts of the anime community) about literal translation and censorship. Everything is 4Kids’ fault.

The iconography of the pointy black witch hat us ubiquitous, but where exactly did it come from? Costume historian Abby Cox does an academic, yet very accessible, deep dive into the history of this garment and its associations.

In a follow-up to last month’s shredding of Mulan 2020, Xiran returns to the source and celebrates Mulan 1998, and how “authenticity” isn’t the be all and end all of making a good movie. (God, Mulan 1998 is a good movie)

Why Should Trans People Trust Non-trans Authors to Lead the Conversation About Our Identities? – why indeed? A look at the most recent transition-story-by-cis-writer-goes-bestseller case, and the delicate line between authors being empathetic to other experiences versus talking over actual people who have had that experience.

The Rise of Gender-Inclusive Pronouns and Language in Literature – an overview and a series of author interviews about the increasing presence of trans characters (binary and non) in fiction, and how these books are embracing the elastic nature of language to articulate those identities.

Imposter Syndrome Isn’t Real, But I Call Mine ‘Beryl’ – The Thesis Whisperer explores perfectionism and failure avoidance (with many hashtag relatable moments for creatives everywhere) and how we ought not to pathologise Imposter Syndrome, but to think of it as a nagging auntie sitting on our couch.

Imperfect Rhetorics: Neurodiversity in YA Literature and Pop Culture – Jes Battis explores the representation of neurodiversity (primarily focusing on the autism spectrum) in a few key pieces of fiction, some of which rely on tired narratives and some of which let their characters be rounded human beings.

Rise of the Villainess: How the Reborn Bad Girls of Otome Games are Defying Shoujo Stereotypes – a celebration of the rising “villainess isekai” genre, and how this emerging trend is interrogating the shallow and sometimes sexist tropes of the genre.

Take care as always, everyone, and I’ll see you next time round!

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