Heroine Problem at the Conventions, 2017 Edition

I planned for last year to be my final Otakon. It would be bidding a fond farewell to Baltimore and the summers of college, taking a final chance to go to the aquarium, and just a final coda to my relationship with east coast conventions.

Then I had so much fun seeing my friends and hanging out with interesting people that I said, “Fuck that” and booked a hotel room for next year.

And then. And then! Anime Fest announced that Sayo Yamamoto and Mitsuro Kubo would be guests, and I had sworn to myself years ago that I would hop on a plane to any convention that had Yamamoto as a guest. And it was the weekend after Otakon. So my extended weekend turned into a week and a half.

Continue reading “Heroine Problem at the Conventions, 2017 Edition”

A Sincere Apology + Upcoming

Where has the time gone? Where have I been the last few weeks?

Well, not really much of anywhere.

I decided I was going to power through Persona 5 and it ended up swallowing my life for way longer than expected… especially since I decided to replay Persona 3 right after. I’ll be writing a post about them eventually, so it’s justified, right? Right?

…Wrong.

Once that happened, I also entered into my avoidance phase and didn’t even touch my computer for the better part of three weeks. I’ve neglected pretty much all my blogging duties, both for this and for AniFem. Posts have gone unedited, outlines unsubmitted, and generally I’m just a mess.

I have no excuse, and I’m sorry.

But! BUT! There is good news!

Two of my panels have been APPROVED for Anime Fest in August: Romance and Abuse in Shoujo Manga and Is This Feminist Or Not? I’m super excited to be presenting them to a new audience, and I hope to see some of you there in six weeks!

Six weeks?

OH GOD SIX WEEKS.

Links, Glorious Links!

Things have been a bit quiet around here the last few weeks, and for that, I apologize. Despite my best attempts at maintaining a regular update schedule, sometimes real life just takes over for a bit – by life, I mean job and conventions. I’ve completed my Child Development Associate’s, thus securing my continued employment at the center where I work, and Sakura Con is coming up soon, which I’ll have more info about next week!

I did manage to sneak in some work for Anime Feminist during the interim, which I’m excited to share with you. Turns out, participating in a podcast that you don’t have to edit is way less work than churning out an article.

Without further ado, the links. Continue reading “Links, Glorious Links!”

My Tsundere Life

Growing up, I wasn’t an angry adolescent so much as a frustrated one. I always had a temper, compounded by the social immaturity and drop in grades that came with undiagnosed ADHD. I felt betrayed by the way my body was changing. Nothing in my life felt quite right. The media I consumed growing up – Clarissa Explains It All, Animorphs, horse novels, a huge variety of Disney movies, and so on – showed me how to be a kind girl, a smart girl, an empathetic girl, even a tough girl – but there seemed to be nothing out there for a weird, awkward, temperamental girl. I felt like I was wandering through life without a guidebook, until one day I discovered Ranma ½.

I stumbled on an ad for it in the back of a Pokemon manga when I was twelve years old. An acquaintance at school lent me a VHS of the second movie and I was hooked. I had no allowance, so each $30 VHS or $15 manga volume was hard-earned, but I devoured as much information as I could about it via pre-Wikipedia fanpages on the internet. Here was a series where girls were strong and tough and fought, even if they were never on a level with the guys. The female cast was huge, a far cry from the token female friends that dominated American animation. Though she wasn’t my favorite (that honor goes to okonomiyaki chef Ukyo Kuonji), I developed a particular affection for Akane Tendo, whose hot temper and disgust with men closely matched my own.

Continue reading “My Tsundere Life”

Spirited Away by Princess Mononoke

One of the interesting things about getting older is remembering a time before something. Not just before it entered your personal radar, or before even “I liked it before it was popular” – before it existed. There’s a lot of “befores” in anime that I don’t remember: before Akira, before My Neighbor Totoro, before Dragonball. One that I do recall is before Spirited Away.

spirited-away-haku-anime-chihiro-fresh-new_412517

I was fifteen years old when Spirited Away came out in the US, already an anime and Ghibli fan for years by then. I wish I could say it deeply affected me, that every moment remained burned upon my brain, but it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but my most vivid memory of it at the time is cheering for it as I watched the Oscars in my little brother’s hospital room. I do remember the anticipation, though. At the time, Miyazaki was a name known mostly to animation and film buffs stateside. Spirited Away initially came out in a limited release on only 151 screens, but Oscar buzz and international acclaim brought it out to the mainstream, and winning the second-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival cemented its place in film history. Many of the people who grew up watching it are adults now – myself included. Some of them are working in animation, leading to visual references in shows like Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, The Simpsons, and many others. It regularly ranks highly on lists of anime, of animated films, even of films in general. It’s a huge, influential movie, and much of its imagery has come to be instantly recognizable.

Continue reading “Spirited Away by Princess Mononoke”