Divine Inspiration: June ’21 Roundup

Happy Pride Month, everyone! Are we all looking forward to Wrath Month in July?

June has been very busy, but in an exciting, productive way. It’s the dead of winter here, and I’m spending a lot of time bundled up in a too-big hoodie revising and fleshing out my thesis. It’s a work in progress, but progress is happening, which is both very rewarding and deeply surreal. As you can see from the list of links below, this did not deter me from diving into the fun of recommendation posts. Check them out if you haven’t yet!

On Anime Herald

Heaven’s Design Team: A Celestial Celebration of the Creative Process – my official “please watch HDT, it’s very charming” article

On the blog

Pride Month YA Spotlight: Sci- fi and fantasy – from teen witches to ghost boyfriends to space wizards, here are some genre fiction adventures with queer teen protagonists

Pride Month Book Recs: Non-fiction, Memoirs, and Resources – essay collections, calls to action, and introductions to the sometimes prickly world of queer theory

Pride Month YA Spotlight: Contemporary Coming-of-Age Stories – back to YA now and back to the real world, with tales of first loves and explorations of agency

Pride Month Book Recs: Queer Manga – to wrap us up, some of my faves from the growing list of localised manga with LGBTQIA+ content

One Last Stop and the Magic of Queer History – and to actually wrap us up, a final post delving into the way this time-fracture romance explores the importance of queer memory and the past, present, and future of queer communities

And yet more books! Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating is a delight, One Last Stop is a good motivation for getting work done, and Horrid is some good old-fashioned Gothic spooky times.


SIX is a lot of fun, but takes some liberties with its depictions of historical figures. But what exactly does the concert leave out, and what picture does it leave the audience with? (This is a pretty balanced and really interesting examination, rather than a dunk, I promise)

Initially derided as vapid and silly by a lot of 2000s anime fandom, K-On! is now regarded as a classic that defined a genre and has deep nostalgic value. Here’s a little look into how the series elevated its source material from fun four-panel comics into sweet and character-driven story, and why it works so well.

Eloquently and hilariously, Nick reviews the fairy tale retelling Sydney White, which turns into a whistle-stop tour of the uncomfortable tropes that 2000s-era comedy loved to lean on.

Spring is Sprung and I Have Not – “What does adulthood look like when you do not follow amatonormative and sex-normative pathways? What does winter look like when you are not looking forward to Spring?”

Kyubey’s Multi-Level Marketing Scheme: The Capitalist Metaphor of Madoka Magica – Audrey DuBois unpacks the magical girl series through an economic lens and unveils a working allegory for the cruelty of systems who endanger and exploit their workers (I edited this one, and it was v fun)

Queer Readings of The Lord of the Rings are Not Accidents – author Molly Knox Ostertag pens a heartfelt history of the layers of romance embedded in Sam and Frodo’s relationship, and the context surrounding them

Race, Power Dynamics, and the Missed Opportunities of Great Pretender – Beata explores how the flashy heist series tries to tell a story about outlaws who stick up for the oppressed, but doesn’t always succeed and ends up enforcing stereotypes along the way. (I did not edit this one, but it’s fantastic)

Just a good thread from author and analyst Xiran Jay Zhao about non-binary identity, and how there’s no one way to “look” it.

The Pride Book Fest was on during June, a book event of panels and interviews centred entirely around queer fiction! It’s all up for free on YouTube, and I covered a few panels here: Magical Worlds, Queer Adventures, The College Years, Queercoded Monsters Villains and Machines, and Coming of Age in Queer YA!

And this month’s song is Emily Brown’s melodic, dancey little ‘Unseen Girl’. She’s written in the stars, she’s the end of the world…

Next month is premiere review season (again!!) so stay tuned for those! Take care and I’ll see you on the flipside.

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