Grave of the Fireflies

Darkly dreaming: the legacy of Isao Takahata

Studio Ghibli has been a powerful part of both of our lives as otaku, inspiring nightmares, empowerment and the hope that we can each be heroes in our own way. It’s safe to say that its legacy wouldn’t have held quite the same place in our hearts without co-founder Isao Takahata, whom we have sadly lost. Where Hayao Miyazaki brought the whimsy, enchantment and flights … Continue reading Darkly dreaming: the legacy of Isao Takahata

Taking a bite of anime’s after-school snacks

No matter how bad the school day has been, whether rejected by a crush, your club on the brink of closure or keeping your supernatural double life hidden against all odds, a feel-good snack can come to the rescue in record time. Anime is a veritable menu of choice nibbles for characters as a coming home reward, or as a coming together for good friends … Continue reading Taking a bite of anime’s after-school snacks

Kiznaiver - Maki and Ruru

Only a phase: doomed queerness in anime

Queerness in anime is pure, poetic, an indiscretion amidst the self-questioning and humiliation of high school. That is also where it must end, so it would seem in many manga and anime. The tragedy of having loved someone who perhaps shares your feelings, perhaps not, passes into the locked treasure box of memory as another teen leaves childhood behind, with one last look over their … Continue reading Only a phase: doomed queerness in anime

crepe service in Is the Order a Rabbit?

The story of anime’s crêpe craze

In anime land it often seems like every day is pancake day, with any old shopping excursion or school trip winding up at a crêpe stand. But each craving you’ve endured in seeing a mountain of whipped cream and strawberries bursting from its light, fluffy, comfortably handheld confines is all thanks to Japan’s love of a fancy French snack. The country as a whole adores … Continue reading The story of anime’s crêpe craze

citrus-blush

Revisiting citrus: an anime for queer women

Our recent quickfire editorial on citrus and straight male viewers of yuri received some excellent feedback, which made us rethink some of the sweeping points made. No matter how yuri manga or anime is marketed or flirts with sex, there’s no margin for presuming that only straight guys will enjoy the eroticism. The concerns about perverse scenes expressed in the aforementioned piece, ‘Sweetness and citrus: … Continue reading Revisiting citrus: an anime for queer women

Sweetness and citrus: the mystery of yuri’s male audience

This girl’s had her fair share of queer crushes in the past, and I can assure you, they weren’t nearly as torrid or tragically twisted as citrus. But it’s strange to think that stories like mine could be published perverse, and sold as get-off material for guys who like girl-on-girl. So, how did it come to this? How did the pure lily flower of early … Continue reading Sweetness and citrus: the mystery of yuri’s male audience

Cowboy Bebop and my anime awakening

Cowboy Bebop and my anime awakening

How do you make an otaku feel old? Remind them Cowboy Bebop is turning 20 this year. To celebrate its 20th birthday, we’ll be running a series of posts, articles and poems. To kick things off, I cast my mind back and explore how I first discovered the show. Time and places have a way of resonating with us despite having never lived in or … Continue reading Cowboy Bebop and my anime awakening

Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin and anime’s quest into western fantasy

Western fantasy and sci-fi literature has long proven influential for anime, and an early example, shortly after the glamour of Howl’s Moving Castle, was the less well-known Studio Ghibli effort Tales from Earthsea. The late, great Ursula K. Le Guin, who sadly passed away in January, had broken through to literary greatness with her novel A Wizard of Earthsea, two years in the wake of her first … Continue reading Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin and anime’s quest into western fantasy

Kitsch, canoodles and KFC: a Japanese Christmas in anime

Christmas as a concept is young one in Japan, having only existed for the last few decades. It shows its shiny youthfulness in being a time spent spreading and sharing happiness with one another, bearing no current connection to religion with so few Christians in Japan – well under 3% of the entire populace, in fact. Instead, the opportunity to celebrate the giving season is … Continue reading Kitsch, canoodles and KFC: a Japanese Christmas in anime

Our anime of the year: The Ancient Magus’ Bride

There have been many great shows jostling for our top spot this year, but one stood out above all the rest. It rounded up our year in the most beautifully fitting way, so we wanted to pay our respects to…The Ancient Magus’ Bride. A year of personal loss and new life for us both at the blog, also brought with it The Ancient Magus’ Bride. … Continue reading Our anime of the year: The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Made in Abyss and being a role model

Both of us are overjoyed to make a very special announcement. Ready? We’re having a baby! Since I was inspired to write a piece about Made in Abyss, and the daunting prospect of being a role model, it seemed perfect to share the good news by putting this piece here for all our otaku pals and readers. In all I hope to be for my baby, what … Continue reading Made in Abyss and being a role model

In memory: Black Butler’s Tanaka and his portrayal of dementia

That quiet, funny little man sipping his tea throughout Black Butler is nothing more than a comedic beat at first, like canned laughter. But with each passing episode he meant something more, as an indispensable part of what makes the show so special. Every so often, he’d turn up as someone you’d almost mistake for a different person; a tall, striking, yet warm and grandfatherly … Continue reading In memory: Black Butler’s Tanaka and his portrayal of dementia