Thanks For the Animes, Even If They Weren’t So Great: October ’21 Roundup

Good morning to you all on this Halloween day, at the end of a month that’s been as exciting and harrowing as a haunted house. It’s a busy time of year and I’m wearing a lot of different professional hats, switching rapidly between them. A valuable lesson I’ll impart onto anyone who’s listening is that sometimes you just need to take an afternoon nap. Seriously, it will work wonders. Cats have the right idea!

On AniFem

Waccha PriMagi! – Episode 1 – a candy-coloured magical girl adventure based on a rhythm game

Mieruko-chan – Episode 1 – a disquieting horror-comedy sprinkled with fan service that only adds to the uncanniness

Banished From the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside – Episode 1 – a clunky fantasy based around, well, exactly what the title tells you!

PuraOre! ~Pride of Orange~ Episode 1 – a show earnestly trying to be a sports anime, idol anime, and a slice-of-life hobby anime all at once, and not really succeeding

The Faraway Paladin – Episode 1 – a slow and character-focused fantasy premiere about a boy and his monster family

Anime Feminist Recommendations of Summer 2021 – there wasn’t much to spotlight (especially since Aquatope isn’t yet finished) but there were a few gems worth your time. Read my rec for the extremely charming Love Live! Superstar!! and the rest of the team’s thoughts!

Bonus book chats: read me trying to pick apart the gay space-magic puzzle box that is Harrow the Ninth in real time!

Web entertainment

Dear Evan Hansen wants to tell a meaningful story about mental health (supposedly) but does so in such a clumsy way that it becomes ethically reprehensible as well as generally badly-written. A deep dive into where this falls as a movie and as an adaptation of a musical! Hooray!

Long before our current era of live-action adaptations of animated works, there was Scooby Doo—a movie that worked surprisingly well, hinging on a few key factors that this essayist lays out.

A heartfelt but baffled retrospective on Love Never Dies, stage show sequel to Phantom of the Opera (I went to see that Melbourne 2011 show, did you know? Stuff’s good).

All Murder, No Sex: Why “Upper YA” Does Not Equal “Sexy YA” – the “age appropriateness” of a book is often determined by its level of sexual content, meaning that a book with one queer makeout session may rate higher than a book with several gory murder scenes. Finn Longman explores the oxymorons of this from both an ace perspective and a writer’s perspective.

Midnight Mass: Spoiler, the Church is the Real Monster – an eloquent review of the new Netflix horror series, with particular focus on how its storytelling condemns the predatory nature of Catholic institutions while also strongly understanding faith.

Mieruko-chan Episodes 1 – 3 – I always enjoy Steve’s episodic breakdowns, and this review captures the eerie appeal of the series and its genre riffs.

Thread: a group of famous YA authors started (and promptly dropped) a project combining NFTs and crowd-sourced writing. It sounds as ridiculous as you’d expect and this sums it up well:

This month’s head-stuck song is Montaigne’s anthem for beleaguered fantasy heroes everywhere.

And that’s all they wrote. See you in a few days when regular posting resumes!

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