Beast Mode: September ’21 Roundup

"I don't believe it" Kyubey falling through space

Wow, I’m everywhere this month! Look at all these headings!

On the blog

The Half of It: Love Letters, Plato, and the Myth of “Your Other Half” – in which I (finally, this poor post kept getting pushed back for more timely topics!) spill my feelings about this queer coming-of-age story.

Affection That Devours: Beastars and Relationships – in which I attempt to wrangle the themes in Beastars season two and come up with something about (un)healthy intimacy.

Queer YA Spotlight: The Mirror Season – in which I encourage you (content warnings taken into account) to pick up this beautiful story about magic and trauma.

On The Conversation

Iggy & Ace: A Zany Aussie Comedy About Two Gay Best Friends – and Alcohol Abuse – in which The Convo invites me (!) to review a new indie tragicomedy about a pair of queer friends and their addiction issues.

On AniFem

Pulla Magi Madoka Magica Rewatchalong Part Three – to round off our retrospective trilogy, we return to the scene of the crime… Rebellion Story.

On Otaku Tribune

Genre and Gender in Wonder Egg Priority – no, I have not run out of words about this show. These ones are about the series’ weird genre shift from fantasy to sci-fi, and how that coincides and interlinks directly with its weird shift in narrative focus away from the girls and towards the adult men.

Bonus book chats: Ciara Smyth makes me laugh AND wrecks my shop (again) with Not My Problem, a self-styled (and authentically irritating) “romance expert” gets up to shenanigans in Meet Cute Diary, we attack and dethrone some gods in Alexandra Bracken’s Lore, and get in the robot in the surprisingly fantastic Gearbreakers.

Web reading

An analysis of The Sad Walrus Show, and what it gets so right about melancholy and mental health (and where it might come off more nuanced than its American “adult anthro animals” counterparts like, say, BoJack Horseman)

I’m always here for deep dives into what the hell is going on with Riverdale, and this is one with a more positive take: Riverdale is written like wrestling, and by that metric Riverdale is a fantastic phantasmagoria.

We all had fun poking and peering at the Met Gala costumes, but what’s it like behind the scenes? Eugene Lee Yang, who attended for the first time this year—invited just a week in advance!—gives us a look behind the curtain as well as a celebration of what’s truly important about the event in terms of art, history, and visibility for marginalised creators.

Chimeric Visions: Television’s Renewed Obsession with Human-Animal Hybrids – Lauren Collee looks to new shows like Sweet Tooth and Sexy Beasts and sees a pretty domesticated version of ancient fears and fascinations about what makes us “human” rather than “animalistic”.

The Troubled Golden Age of Trans Literature – more books by trans authors are hitting shelves and milestones, but publishing still has its traditional hang-ups, and many writers are calling for more nuanced conversation surrounding their books and the current market.

Fallout 4 Has Aged Like a Ghoul – during lockdown, my partner booted the ol’ post-apocalyptic Bethesda game back up and found a very lacklustre experience waiting for them. Steven Strom’s article (reposted at just the right time) hits the nail on the head as to why the RPG feels so shallow and has so little longevity, especially compared to others in its franchise.

Gearing Up or Dressing Up? On Female Fighter Equipment – Raven Wu looks at the character design trends of chainmail bikinis and battle high heels, and why critiquing these elements is more than just “nitpicking”.

Wonder Egg Priority is Impossible – a fantastic musing on my favourite and most fascinating disasterpiece of the year, poetically put by Adam Wescott.

Drunk Book Club: Wings – Vrai and Dorothy get tipsy and tackle a YA faerie tale straight outta the Twilight era.

The song stuck in my head this month is… Lil Nas X. Of course it is.

It’s premiere reviews again in October, so look forward to those! Take care, everyone.


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