Male Gaze, Female Eye: Comic Girls, Slow Start, Sakura Trick and lewdness

One of the most prolific genres when it comes to late-night anime is the realm of cute girls doing cute things. I’ve talked about this style of show in the past, but there’s something about it that I think is interesting, namely, lewdness. Eroticism, fanservice, ecchi content, call it what you will, the undercurrent of sexuality is very present in many shows that are conceptually and practically innocent. This juxtaposition of lewdness with a “pure”, safe environment makes some audience members uncomfortable while others enjoy it. This can often vary on the degree and type of what’s presented, but I think it’s worth scoping out. This blogpost is unlikely to have a cohesive flow, but let’s begin.

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Violet Evergarden: History and Feminism

Violet Evergarden is a very cheesy, emotional anime that is currently airing on Japanese TV. It’s been simulcast worldwide and is also receiving positive attention from dedicated fansubbers. VEG’s charm point are its visuals and direction, but there’s something else to Kyoto Animation’s fantasy that’s worth talking about- the depiction of its female main character. Violet is an interesting girl; her problems and surprising gifts make her the focal point of drama big and small. She and the world she lives in are both shaped not just by the tone and style of the stories but by the history of female protagonists, real-world historical concepts related to women, and the nature of psychological trauma and unique mental behaviour. I think Violet Evergarden is a very compelling show and I’d like to take it apart and look at its contents and what they make me think about.

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The Heart of the Cards: Yu-Gi-Oh, mysticism and the power of games

I love trading cards and card games. I like the rules, the deckbuilding, the funky little artstyles and lore, the collecting, the feel of it all. But when it comes to card-game anime things are a little more complex. The logic in the shows, while also applicable to a lot of shonen tropey stuff, has a unique context all its own. I think people complain a lot about Yugioh and its ilk because of the absurdity of its setting and internal order, but I wonder if there’s more to it than that? So I’m going to ramble a bit about Yugioh, these types of shows, and also about card games, their history, and also….mysticism and the occult! Woooo. This one’s going to be pretty informal, you’ve been warned.

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A Place Further Than The Universe: Modern Life meets Ancient Ice

Anime about cute girls sure are popular. I mean, everyone loves cute girls, and everyone loves anime, so it fits, right? But every so often someone takes the old “four girls do a thing” premise and does something so crazily meaningful with it you can’t help but be in awe of their talent. That’s very much what A Place Further Than The Universe is shaping up to be: Four girls with strong characters banding together to find their place in the world…by aiming for the most remote and inhospitable part of it. Antarctica is without a doubt the strangest and fiercest land on Earth, and while it remains to be seen how the show will handle it, the first six episodes have painted a very vivid picture indeed. Let’s examine some of its beats and how APFTTU (gesundheit) uses the final frontier effectively.

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Game Thoughts Part 1: Gravity Rush and being the outsider

This is Game Thoughts, where I post thoughts and observations and comments about videogames! Naturally there’ll be spoilers in this segment, but I’m going to try to do them sparingly so that should someone play a game after reading one, there’ll still be surprises for them. Hope it works. These shouldn’t be too long. First up, Gravity Rush 1 and 2, a platform adventure series by Sony for the Playstation.

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Anime Lesbians: The muddled affairs of Yuri

So, here’s a hot-button topic: Lesbians in anime! To anyone who participates in discussion online about anime and manga and keeps abreast of modern series, the subject of homosexual girls is a pretty common recurring issue. The depiction of the gay girls and their gayness gets argued about a fair bit, as well as celebrated by some and decried by others. With this blog I wanna talk a bit about different couples, different shows, different ways of handling the subject and the nature of the beast itself. Big disclaimer- these are JUST my opinions and there is NO way I could possibly have a comprehensive knowledge of everything ever related to this topic! My eyes are limited by the horizon, I cannot see beyond the curvature of the gay Earth. Anyhoo-

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The Transformed Earth and Our Children: Land of the Lustrous, Nier and the future

Science fiction and fantasy are powerful genres, capable of crafting a world from pure imagination. The most popular iterations of both tend to focus on settings that represent a pure, disconnected reality from our own (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) Another angle, more common in SF but still possible in fantasy, is linking our own world and mundane reality to a more magical or bizarre one, using the great powers and fears of humanity to twist and reshape our Earth into a new form, something that speaks to the audience with its unique attributes yet dangles the familiar before our eyes. The most interesting part of that also is the way the inhabitants adapt to this new world, and the way it adapts to them! It makes me wonder about our future and our descendants, or rather, the ones who come after us, whoever they may be. Warning, this one’s pretty rambly.

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Creepy or Kind: Recovery of an MMO Junkie and exploring boundaries in relationships

“There’s no such thing as a love story that isn’t problematic in some form.” I don’t agree with that, but sometimes it’s a feeling I get when reading romance that they tend to be looser with personal boundaries than other fiction. Because romance is a part of sexual intimacy, it’s important to pay extra attention to any lessons on behaviour it might impart, so a lot of people are quite sensitive about it. This is good though, because it’s true that bad fiction can leave people with warped ideas about courtship and expressing romantic feelings. However, there’s no such thing as universal standards, only an idea of a consensus about how you should behave, and because of that it can be hard to gauge if something is dodgy or not. So when a romantic comedy anime I liked was criticized, I immediately went back to see if I could puzzle out and identify any problematic or troubling elements. I think this is a worthy quest and should be taken seriously, and it’ll teach us more about story construction regardless. So, let’s take a look at the currently airing MMO Junkie and see what we can discover.

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