Goggles, not Labels – Feminism and Good Writing in [Anime]

The following questions were taken from my Ask.fm page, and in both of them the question is posed in a way that seeks to apply a certain label to anime, and I answer that it’s hard, and not all that fruitful. The reasons in each case are different, but I think both answers work well together as an exhortation to look at how we look at things, and to identify that as more important than the result itself.

Which anime works would you consider feminist?

I’ve seen some good tweets on the matter last week, let’s start with those:

MammonMachine on "Is this feminism?"

The long and short of it is that, often, answering such questions (and also, “What’s a libertarian work?” or “What’s a socialist work?” when dealing beyond outright manifestos) means something sort of weird, because all these things are ideological goggles to view other things throughout, rather than labels that apply to things per se. Even “Libertianism” which I said Mahouka espouses the ideals of. It’s mostly that these works contain some of the things these things aim for, or the ideas they use as basis.

Ergo Proxy anime episode 1 - Re-L Meyer looks down on others

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Summer 2014 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Summer 2014 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical.

Great:

Barakamon:

Barakamon Summer 2014 anime midseason overview

Barakamon is a light show. It makes me chuckle. It has good actors, and good chemistry between the actors and characters. There’s nothing “special” about it, except for Naru’s character, perhaps. A child, a bundle of energy, who is actually voiced by a young girl and brings to the series an infectious amount of energy.

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Spring 2014 Anime Season Overview

The Spring 2014 anime season had come and gone, and it’s time to look at the wreckage, see what was worthwhile, and what wasn’t, as well as give some thoughts on each of the shows. Some of these might yet get editorials, depending on energy levels and interest on my part, but if not, I’ll always be able to point at this!

Shows organized by how much I liked them or thought they were good, order doesn’t correlate 100% to the scores given. So, let’s go from worst to best!

15) M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane / M3 The Dark Metal:

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Anime overview

Look at this gif, it’s so terrible it’s hypnotic, I call it “boobie-balls”. It’s the best worst part of this show. This Mari Okada show is a take on NGE, as the other is a take on Madoka. This isn’t to say they’re actively trying to mimic those other luminary shows, but the point is it feels tired, it feels trying too hard.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Expectations

Summer 2014 is nearly here, and the season actually begins on Wednesday, July 2nd. So time to see what I’m more interested in. I wasn’t very good with my Spring season predictions (M3 2.5/3), but it’s more about my interest levels, than how good I think it’d be. Shows that “didn’t make it” are usually shows I’m slightly less interested in, or find it interesting to remark on.

As always, organized by days of the week, because I might pick a show on an empty day or cut shows I enjoy on days already overfilled with other shows. Order is by expectation within that day. I plan to do write-ups for no more than 3-4 shows this season. Furthermore, I’ve realized I don’t enjoy action popcorn shows (shounens) as much when watching them weekly, so more are likely to only be watched when the season ends.

Descriptions will be short, more on why I find them interesting. “Didn’t make it in” could also be seen as shows I might pick up after dropping others based on buzz or free time. Most of the information about the shows can be had from RandomCuriosity’s page, the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information.

I’m liking the shape of next season, even if not a lot truly stands out to me.

Sunday:

Akame ga Kill! animeAkame ga Kill! – A battle shounen in a medieval setting, corruption and mystery, reveling in over the top action and “grimdark”. I actually like this sort of thing. That’s what B-Movies are made of. So long the material knows what it is and embraces it, why not? Yes, the quest for “Maturity!!!” is usually pretty immature, but so long you know it. It looks pretty, and that’s the most important thing.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. I’m not expecting anything great, just some fun. Might go on hold after a few episodes since popcorn shows do better in a burst.
Airing Date:
July 6th.
Write-ups/Notes: Nope. Almost tempted to watch it after it airs. Trailer.

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Spring 2014 Week 10 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Mushishi was here this week! But due to tests and such I had a bit less energy for this season, as it’s winding down, rather than winding up for exciting finales. Two episodes’ worth of Chaika, since I’ve missed it last week.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 9

Ping Pong the Animation anime Episode 9 overview

 

This episode is about the return of the past. Sakuma and Beach guy? Sure. But how about two friends who are going to fight for the top spot (assuming Peco beats Kazama), where one of them has knee-problems, and the other doesn’t want to harm his friend’s dream? Reminds you of Coach Koizumi and Kazama’s grandfather, eh? Smile had also been told that he’ll harm his opponent if he gives him the win, and Obaba had said Smile has no mercy, and is a monster.

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Spring 2014 Week 9 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Another week without Mushishi leaves us orphaned. Drama had been fairly good this week, while popcorn was being its normal popcorny-stuff.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 8

Ping Pong the Animation Episode 8 overview

This show isn’t messing around. It doesn’t throw surprise punches at you, but sets up the characters logically, and then lets them act out their natures.

Kazama doesn’t believe in heroes, which means that not only does he not look up to others, but he also doesn’t see himself as a hero. He doesn’t seek to lead his team as a “leader”, but as a symbol of unflagging prowess. He cares not for the psychology of it, and it seems he doesn’t care for them either. No heroes, but there is money, and there are symbols, symbols such as the school. His is a cold world, one of powers, and not people.

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Spring 2014 Week 8 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. This was a pretty good week! While most popcorn shows had somewhat bored me or failed to do as well as they did in the past, everything else did really well!

1) Mushishi Second Season episode 7

Mushishi Second Season anime episode 8 overview

After a week without it, Mushishi is back, and boy does it come out swinging. I think it’s my favourite episode of the season, after the marvelous second episode. There’s not a lot that happened in this episode, there’s not much symbolism, or characters taking action, or anything you can point at and say “This! This is why this episode, and why Mushishi are so great!” – it was a story of human loss, of a human being swept away by the grand forces of Mushishi, emotions, and loss.

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