Anime Review: Classroom Crisis

Anime Review: Classroom Crisis

Alright, time to do another review! My partner and I selected this cute original sci-fi from Random Curiosity’s Summer 2015 Preview. We got really hooked after the first few episodes, and were looking forward to the series as a whole! Unfortunately, this ended up being one of our biggest disappointments of the season. But that includes some spoilers, so I’ll get to that in the end. For now, let’s take a look at the setting!

Human Settlement on Mars
The habitable, greenery filled geodome where our story takes place. Per usual protocol, the inside looks just like Japan, saving on animation

This geodome seems to be largely controlled by the Kirishima corporation, and by extension the residents are its employees. Our main cast consists of a “class of weirdos”– students who are employed by the Kirishima corporation, learning to build better, faster, stronger rockets for the future of the company. It gets confirmed that this is, indeed, a high school, and the students are referred to as “minors” on several occasions.

They are a talented crew of young people, each specializing in different areas in order to make a functioning team. In addition to engineers, software developers, and a test pilot, A-TEC’s student body includes a financial adviser and PR manager. They operate almost like a small company themselves, and have great group cohesion. The most notable of this group include…

Sera-sensei Has Strong Opinions
Guts! Loyalty! The meaning of life is to brainwash minors into performing recklessly dangerous and wasteful experiments, because SCIENCE IS COOL!

Our class’s teacher, Sera-sensei. An avid idealist who has latched onto the Kirishima Group creation myth hook, line, and sinker, and will push his excessive company loyalty onto anyone and everyone at any opportunity! He has a good heart, but tends to be short-sighted and gullible due to his pampered position. He is a genius engineer who is extremely prized, but has nearly run A-TEC into the ground financially due to lack of common sense.

Mizuki Fixing Up a Rocket
Surprisingly practical clothing

Mizuki is Sera-sensei’s younger sister, and being trained by a genius she has the second highest grades in class. She is extremely friendly, perceptive, and has natural leadership abilities– it’s no surprise that she made class president. Mizuki is shown to be a compassionate individual, reaching out even to those who are actively hostile to her and the rest of the class. She is no pushover, though, and stands up for herself and her friends. When she is upset, she single-mindedly throws herself into her work, believing in letting go of things that you can’t control and instead acting on what you can.

Iris Wearing Her Motorbike Helmet
Reckless endangerment is my middle name, let’s do this

Then we have Iris– an adorable kuudere who has only two interests in life, which also double as personality traits: Mizuki and racing. All other traits are really peripheries of those two, but I’m not complaining. She’s a straightforwards person and it’s executed well enough (at least in the beginning) that I ended up growing really attached to her.

She follows Mizuki around like a baby duck, only less expressive and clumsy. She came to Kirishima Academy because Mizuki was going. She doesn’t seem to have any aspirations in her life other than “to always be with Mizuki”, and is an adrenaline junkie. In the first few minutes of the show, we see her launch onto a bridge railing in order to avoid traffic, and of course to beat her personal record. Her mad skills are talked up, as the classes “Ace”, and tends to get used as a plot device.

Which brings us to our last main character– the new transfer student. Can’t have a school setting without a mysterious transfer student. At first they know nothing of him, other than his pronouns, and information gleaned from hacking his secret file only makes the class more confused. Sera-sensei is called in to an emergency meeting with their director, however, and finds that the new transfer student was kidnapped and held hostage! Without listening to the rest of the story, he springs into action and tells his students of his plan to valiantly fly a prototype rocket through a no fly zone in order to save their waylaid soon-to-be-friend.

Concerned classmate explains why Sera-sensei shouldn't have a job

This idea is, of course, thoughtless and inane, so it is quickly thrown out. But, due to the recklessness of certain cast members, a rescue expedition is launched and we get to meet the last Main Character(tm).

Nagisa Disapproves
Get used to that face, ’cause he makes it the whole series

Kiryuu Nagisa is a corporate powerhouse with underdog circumstances. He’s had to fight his way to the top using whatever underhanded means he could get his hands on and then some. He keeps a carefully cultivated animosity between himself and others, partly, I suspect, to keep himself from feeling sympathy towards those he needs to throw under the bus. Having been transferred into a high school, I had assumed that he was a similar age to the other A-TEC students– however, later some information is revealed showing he must at least be 18. (This came as a relief to me, as there is an older woman who makes sexual advances on him and the normalization of adults sexually preying on minors is extremely upsetting, and unfortunately common in anime.)

As soon as the rescue operation concludes, we discover that Nagisa was sent by the leaders of the Kirishima Group to dismantle A-TEC in response to their absolute financial ineptitude. Their budget sucks up more than 50 billion yen per year and they have very little to show for it. As the story progresses, we find out that all is not quite that simple– there is a political history extending back to the very foundation of their corporation and A-TEC has found itself caught in the crossfire. In addition, the company is undergoing expansion and change, potentially leaving behind Sera-sensei’s progressive dreams for something much less palatable.

Nagisa Challenges Sera-sensei
Come at me, bro

Classroom Crisis does a great job at showing us corporate warfare, politicking and backroom deals, the sacrifices that have to be made to keep a company running and the difference in perspective between the laborers and decision makers. Their integration of technology is interesting, although some realism is sacrificed for the sake of drama. (Asteroid belts are really not dense enough to pose a problem to such a small ship.)

*Spoilers Start Here*

Okay, now that I’ve covered the basics, I want to get into what was so disappointing about this anime. Starting from the beginning, I loved the setting, thought the characters were interesting, and as time went on they developed interesting relationships with one another. I love interesting character interactions, it’s what I live for! Unfortunately, in what my partner has coined “Character Integrity Failure” it did not last.

Iris and Mizuki Dancing
Bait And Switch Lesbians, you are the bane of my existence

The entire first half of the series spends time developing the relationship between Mizuki and Iris– their relationship is so important that, as previously stated, it is basically half of who Iris is. They walk to school together, they sit together in class, they turn in their papers together, they eat together, they even feed each other by hand. We have so many scenes that show how much Iris, specifically, cares about Mizuki, and they get very close

Iris Having a Flashback

Starting at the end of episode 7, Iris starts to have PTSD flashbacks due to a violent event she experienced before meeting Mizuki. These flashbacks are triggered whenever she gets into the pilot seat of a rocket, effectively freezing up half of her personality, half of what makes her who she is. This, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing– challenges like provide opportunities for development. Opportunities for those relationships that built up over the last 7 episodes to shine, or for Iris to have a personal crisis and for that to create barriers in her relationship with Mizuki that must be overcome.

Iris and Mizuki Photobooth Picture
With the Power of Love, we can overcome everything except terrible creative decisions!

The problem is that… this doesn’t happen. Iris struggles with PTSD alone, and without any internal dialogue she just stands on the screen with a traumatized look on her face. No one tries to help her, therapy isn’t mentioned, it’s basically just ignored. And while this is simply shitty behavior coming from the rest of the team, it is character breaking for Mizuki. There is just no logical reason why she would be treating her best friend like this. Literally, everyone continues the plot without Iris, and Iris gets shoved into a warehouse to have flashbacks alone in the dark, while she desperately uses the simulator again and again to try to force the usefulness back into herself.

Iris Alone In A Dark Warehouse
Brooding alone is the only viable treatment for mental illness, really

With both Mizuki and racing taken away, Iris’s character has been put in a really bad place and it never recovers. Now, I’m sure there are excuses for this behavior– “maybe they didn’t *know* Iris has PTSD, she never talks about it!” Except that in the very next episode, Iris has a flashback while they’re preparing for a test flight, and everyone notices that something is wrong.

“But, Dai, that’s just unfair– everything happened so fast with A-TEC in danger of being dismantled, and Mizuki needed to concentrate fully on fixing up the rocket!” Except that we constantly see the two of them working together and talking together while Mizuki is doing mechanical work. There is literally no reason why she wouldn’t check in with her, or at least have Sera-sensei get her a doctor checkup. In addition, after Iris is hospitalized due to an ill-timed flashback, Mizuki sees her in the hospital… then makes the whole visit about herself, instead of listening to Iris when she wants to talk and be comforted.

Mizuki is shown having down time after this, but she spends it doing other things. Iris is released from the hospital, alone, goes out searching for answers, and here is Mizuki, macking on Nagisa.

Mizuki and Nagisa Share a Kiss

Their relationship had development up until this point, so I have no complaints about them getting together. It was evident much earlier, and helped to highlight the closeness of Iris and Mizuki. Iris notices Mizuki’s feelings even before she does, and while it’s obvious that Iris is a bit hurt, she decides to move forward and support her friend.

After It's Revealed Mizuki Is In Love With Nagisa
Iris, having confronted Mizuki about her feelings for Nagisa

Mizuki, who was shown early on to be extremely socially perceptive, can’t be missing all of this that is going on, so it just comes off like she is ignoring it. Just ignoring a friend in dire need, and not just any friend but her best friend who constantly watches out for and supports her. It’s like their friendship might as well have not happened. And worse still, after just ignoring Iris for several episodes, it turns out that Nagisa needs rescuing again. (I guess technically he didn’t actually need rescuing the first time, though.)

Iris is still wrecked from her flashbacks, but is gearing herself up to go save Nagisa anyway. Enter Mizuki, who talks to Iris and starts acting like a friend again… until the other members of A-TEC interrupt an important emotional moment and it’s revealed that Mizuki didn’t actually come out of any concern for her vulnerable friend who is about to endanger her life again— no, she came to order Iris to go save him. Although this seems to be a relief to Iris, since she’s been struggling on her own and uses other people’s direction in order to avoid dealing with her own shit, that is a super douchebag move. It just makes the whole interaction come off as disingenuous and like… Wow. But the worse is yet to come, folks!

Love Triangle Group Hug
Polya that could have been…

They do rescue Nagisa, because duh. Iris manages to power through her PTSD using a combination of willpower and emotional support from Mizuki. She skillfully dodges the asteroid they are all about to splat into. That out of the way, she goes to retrieve their injured classmate while Mizuki makes sure the ship isn’t going to explode. There is an emotional scene where Iris uses Nagisa’s real name for the first time, and he wakes up. Mizuki comes down, hugs the two, and corporate plot gets wrapped up back in the board room.

Two lovers reunited, and having had some time to collect themselves, Mizuki embraces Nagisa as Iris watches– sad that Mizuki has chosen him, but happy that she has found love. Just kidding! She fucking throws an oil canister at Mizuki’s head and tells her in fewer words to “back up off my man.” Yeah, you read that right. Somehow, the creators thought it would be a great idea to just throw the rest of Iris’s character into the trash because fuck you we’re starting a Nagisa harem.

Back Off He's Mine
Back off, he’s mine! Our friendship means nothing in the face of making sure this love triangle is heterosexual!

And it’s so frustrating because it was so promising, and I liked the characters, but it all got flushed down the drain.

Konata from Lucky Star Crying

Well, that’s the main summary of how this anime broke my heart. But there were a few other things I wanted to address in closing.

Overall, Classroom Crisis was refreshingly free from random fanservice. The women typically dress like people instead of sexual fantasies, which is pretty cool– the only real fanservice came up in the token hot spring episode.

Speaking of, one of the classmates featured in that episode is possibly queer and gender non-conforming, which was pretty cool. The character in question is named Subaru, and she is shown hanging out with her two close, male, friends. They attempt to sneak up onto a hill to spy on the girl’s bath, and the two guys ask “are you sure you want to see this” to which she replies “of course!” In addition, she is shown wearing a male-style suit during the last episode in the series.

Attempting To Peep On The Girl's Bath
Peeping is not consent…

It’s kind of sad, though, that a gender non-conforming character is gaining peer acceptance through violating the boundaries of her female classmates. A sad lesson in toxic masculinity. However, it may cheer you up to hear that Nagisa, really the most central male main character, shows an actual understanding of consent. Though first blackmailed into helping the three, as soon as he finds out that the operation they needed help with was being fucking creepers, he takes the fuck off.

Later on, when he is confronted by Sera-sensei about his relationship with Mizuki, he makes a point to confirm that their relationship is consensual, and is disturbed by Sera-sensei’s possessiveness over her. Sera-sensei’s response is really, really gross, though.

Sera-sensei Being Gross
Get the fuck out

This line makes me so upset that I can’t even, so I won’t.

In the end, Classroom Crisis was an anime with a lot of potential. The first half was really good, but after episode 10 things just fell apart. In a lot of ways, this was a much worse experience than just finding a shitty anime, because it made me care about the characters and their relationships, but then destroyed all the character development that had been built up until that point. Just out the window.

Iris and Mizuki Almost Kiss
We can make our own ending, a better one with polya and lesbians!

Another thing that was initially exciting was the prospect of having queer main characters in a show that was not specifically yaoi/yuri– this definitely didn’t achieve that, but I hope that we will start seeing stories like that soon. Despite the way the creators flushed character relationships, I really liked the setting and the main storyline of this show. There were aspects of it that were truly exceptional, and if you are the kind of person who isn’t terribly bothered by badly done Bait and Switch Lesbians maybe give it a shot. If not, I’d probably recommend you pass this one by.

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Anime Review: Aoharu x Kikanjuu (Blue Spring x Machinegun)

Anime Review: Aoharu x Kikanjuu (Blue Spring x Machinegun)

TW: Brief mention of rape and abuse

Recently my partner and I were checking out the Summer 2015 anime lineup over at Random Curiosity and found this. I was super excited, as I am a huge fan of gender variant characters in anime (as long as they are done respectfully.)

Death Glare
I’m looking at you, Mayo Chikki

So, let’s first meet our protagonist, Hotaru.

I, Tachibana, Do Not Condone Any Evil Deeds!
Hero of JUSTICE!

Tachibana Hotaru has a very strong sense of justice. They also seem to be a natural genius at combat, because duh, this is a shounen anime! Using their abilities they beat down [pick fights with] various ne’er-do-wellers, from schoolyard bullies to manipulative older men preying on high school girls. When Hotaru’s sense of justice has been triggered, they get a bit… different.

Bloodlust
Will literally cut you

Early on in the story, we are shown that Hotaru was designated female at birth– via their very girly and cissexist friend, Kanae.

Cissexism, here to save you from Viewer Gender Confusion!

I really, really hated her for the majority of this anime. She basically exists to constantly remind everyone, even Hotaru, that “Hotaru is a girl” and “she shouldn’t be doing this dangerous boy stuff!” Yuck. She does get some better development later on, but basically everything that comes out of her mouth before that point disgusts me. On the bright side, I was happy to see her being portrayed with a thicker waist and more curvy figure, which is pretty rare to see in anime generally speaking. (Any character who is even a tiny bit larger than the others will immediately be designated as a horrible fat-antagonistic stereotype.)

Through a series of events, Hotaru becomes involved with survival games– basically airsoft competitions. In an opening scenario that is hilariously similar to Ouran High School Host Club, Hotaru breaks a bunch of expensive furniture and luxury goods in the host club that Masamune works at and has to repay this money by playing survival games with him on his team Toy Gun Gun. (Yes, it is a tacky name, and everyone but Masamune calls it out.)

Unlike Ouran, however, this debt is cleared out fairly early, mostly just serving as a catalyst to bring the main cast together. Speaking of main cast, I should introduce the two other members of Toy Gun Gun.

First we have Masamune, a smooth ladies man who makes his career as a host. He uses the keen human perception built up at his job to read the body language of his opponents and literally dodge bullets. No, I’m not joking. He’s also one of the main sources of homoerotic subtext in this anime, both with Hotaru and the last member of Toy Gun Gun.

I Take My Games Seriously Because I'm An Adult
Cute, But Chauvinistic

Speaking of the last member of Toy Gun Gun, here he is!

Sometimes I Go Into The Ladies Room And Fantasize For My Job
This Fucker Right Here

Yukimura is the foil of Masamune both in terms of appearance and personality. While Masamune is blonde, stylish, and charming, Yukimura is dark haired, slovenly, and rather creepy. Although apparently he has a preference for pure hearted shoujo manga, he writes and draws a very explicit hentai manga about a yandere (violent, possessive, and disjointed) little sister who rapes and beats her older brother. Yukimura continually tries to shove his manga and other hentai related merchandise onto Hotaru, and other men.

Officer! This Man Is A Molester!
Hotaru Knows What’s Up

While I like this show in general, I am not a huge fan of the way these two interact with gender and stereotypes. Masamune basically treats all women as if they are patrons at his club, fawning over them, calling them princess, hitting on them, etc. He instituted a “No Girls Allowed” rule for Toy Gun Gun after a falling out with their first female player. (Despite the fact that they later ended up having arguably worse circumstances with a male player later on.) Yukimura seems to be obsessed with the idea of male fellowship through perversion, declaring that all men like the non-consensual themes of his manga.

I'm Only Nice To Girls

That said, both are interesting, developed, and flawed characters. Hotaru does not excuse their less socially acceptable behavior– though it seems that Hotaru has similar beliefs to Masamune, simply taking up the “knight” position for themselves as they coddle and protect women. (There are some conflicting examples in Hotaru’s behavior, so it’s difficult to say for sure.

You're Really Cute
Hotaru Schmoozing Their Lady Friend

It’s safe to say that Aoharu x Kikanjuu is a sports anime, full of both action and drama. The main story centers on the relationship between Haru and their teammates, but later on goes into some very dark aspects of the team’s history. Specifically regarding a secret, invite-only survival tournament, where physical combat (and even *knife attacks*) are allowed. I don’t want to get too spoilery on this front, but I will say that both Masamune and Yukimura are revealed to have been victims of some pretty extreme abuse.

Which brings me to another major criticism– I felt like the show goes back and forth on how it portrays abuse. On the one hand, it is shown to be very devastating to the victims, and at times the abuser is shown to be a horrible, two-faced monster. On the other hand, I felt like the abuser was also routinely humanized and their behavior, if not excused, at the very least made light of. At one point, the abuser even takes the position of the “kind support character” to Hotaru, and as a survivor of abuse that is somewhat upsetting. (Not that the abuser is a human being with multiple facets, but that the story seems to be separating the abuser from the abuse and not taking it seriously, not showing repercussions for that abuse either legally or socially.)

Abuse should not be downplayed or rationalized

Overall, I felt that Hotaru’s gender was addressed respectfully. None of that horrible fanservice, or hugely disrespectful… belittling of the difficulty being read properly, which upset me so much in Mayo Chikki. Generally, actually, I felt that Hotaru as a character could have been made a cis man at the beginning of the story and not that much would have changed. Hotaru seemed more comfortable wearing masculine clothing before being given a reason to go “Sweet Polly Oliver” on us. (Toy Gun Gun not allowing girls, needing to pay back their debt.) At times, even Hotaru seems to forget that they were designated female at birth– other times, they are constantly commenting on it when others misgender them as male.

I couldn’t really say how Hotaru identifies from watching the show, there were a lot of mixed signals. Hotaru is constantly thinking to themselves “but I’m a girl”– however, this comes off as more of an acknowledgement of their social designation rather than a strong identity. At one point in the anime, they seemed to get depressed over having a flat chest, but it is never brought up again. Hotaru could very well be non-binary– or they could just be a girl who is more comfortable presenting in a masculine manner.

For Now, I Must Live My Life Pretending To Be A Man

Suspecting that the manga would give more answers, I went looking for it and found only 3 chapters translated into English. For anyone else who is looking, the manga is usually listed with a different reading of the title– Seishun x Kikanjuu. From what I did get to see, the manga immediately gives us more information on Masamune and Yukimura’s background together. Other than that, the anime seems to have followed the manga scenes almost exactly.

Designing Hentai In The Middle Of A Firefight
Seriously, though, what did you think their backstory would look like?

Anyhow, I was kind of all over the place in this review, but I hope that it was helpful! Feel free to let me know what you thought about the show, or helpful things I should include in future reviews. Thanks for reading!

Webcomic Review: Namesake by Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon

Webcomic Review: Namesake by Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon

I’ve been following Namesake for quite a while, and therefore it’s in the pile of things to write about! The setting is a bit complicated, but a large part of it takes place in the world of Oz, from the Wizard of Oz. But a much darker iteration than most people likely think of– this draws from a series of books following the world after Dorothy goes back home.

For the sake of transparency, I have actually not either seen the Oz movie or read the books. However, a friend of mine was very into the Oz books, especially the darker “Grimm’s Fairytale”-esque nature of the stories. In case anyone else is unfamiliar, like me, here’s one example. In the books, the tin man, who was missing a heart when Dorothy came around, has a dark past. He was a wood chopper, and after being cursed, every time he swung his axe another body part of his was chopped off. He went to the local tin worker to get prostheses and eventually his whole body was made of tin.

Suffice to say that this comic can be dark, and somewhat gory, so fair warning to folks who are not good with that kind of thing.

I Need Your Eyes
Well, I’m not sleeping tonight

Before we meet our main cast, we are introduced to some of the characters who make up the building blocks of the universe. More specifically, we meet Alice and Lewis Caroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. Alice, as it turns out, is a dimensional traveler, and Lewis is a part of some secret organization dedicated to guiding these travelers along their journeys. We see more of these two as the story progresses, as their lives are deeply entrenched in the politics of this setting.

Travelers

The story starts with Emma, our protagonist, picking up her younger sister from the library where she has been using the free internet access to do her homework. And by homework, of course, I mean look at videos of cats on YouTube. Things get out of hand, and this ends with the library in flames and Emma being transported into another world– Oz.

Yellow Brick Road
Emma is NOT amused

Upon her arrival, she is continually misnamed by the residents of this world, who are absolutely convinced that she is “Dorothy” returned to save their world. I don’t want to spoil more than that, but needless to say I am a huge fan of this comic!

One of the things that made me fall in love with Emma right away was her distinctness. She has strong convictions, and sticks by them, but she is not foolhardy. She is clever and a good judge of character, following her instincts when she is getting all the wrong messages. She is in a strange place, surrounded by strange people and new laws– she sees someone quite literally turned into a purse within minutes of her arrival. But instead of going with the flow, and trusting in the words of others, she watches, she evaluates, and then she acts.

Some People Are Just Born Wicked
Fuck you, too, lady

Through Your Actions

I love the dichotomy of the above images. In one, a character expresses that “some people are just born wicked” and this causes Emma to immediately distrust her, despite everyone else around stating that she is one of the good guys. In the second image, she is told “you don’t gain a title [wicked] in Oz through your powers. You gain it with your actions.” Everyone is terrified of this man, but she makes her own decision after hearing his answer.

One reason this in particular struck me is because I see parallels between the logic here and common rhetoric between folks advocating bigotry versus those fighting for social justice. This marks Emma, to me, as one of the latter, and her reactions mark her as someone who has experienced quite a bit of the former.

Overall, the comic has really wonderful interpersonal reactions. They are nuanced and very human. In particular, the relationships between women are amazing– between Emma and her younger sister, between Ozma and the Dorothies, as well as several canon lesbian couples. (And ex-couples.)

I Was Brainwashing HIm. There's a Difference!

Namesake is really a step above the rest, if a bit confusing at times. Due to some things said by other characters, I was under the impression that Ben, Emma’s best friend, was her boyfriend since the start of the story. I kept this impression through *four books*. Not to mention some of what happens inside Emma’s mind, and “between spaces”– though this makes much more sense later in the comic.

Another great thing to note is the diversity of the cast. Both Emma and her sister are mixed race, and there are several characters of color in the supporting cast as well. (Though, as noted on Yes Homo, for some reason all of the Ozites are white… or green/purple.) I relate a lot of Emma’s struggle to dealing with mental illness, and there is even a disabled character early on. (Though, unfortunately, there isn’t much good to say about the circumstances.)

Disability Representation
Brief disability representation, but…

If you love fantasy/fairy tales, and you want lots of great personal interaction, well developed female characters, and queer representation, pick this up! You can read the whole thing for free online at http://namesakecomic.com/ (They also have a store where you can buy the first to volumes in print, in case you are a collector like me!)

Webcomic Review: Granted by charmingly antiquated on tumblr

Webcomic Review: Granted by charmingly antiquated on tumblr

Picked up a new webcomic today and figured I would write a bit about it. There isn’t too much to go off of so far, but I like what I see. The basic premise is that a girl (I’m assuming, but maybe not? Will change identifiers if I find out differently) comes home from a hard day playing app games on her smartphone. While doing so, she notices an app she doesn’t remember purchasing– after opening it, a terrifying genie appears in her room and tells her that she has three wishes.

Of course, genies being what they are, she knows she has to be careful.

Granted Wish

Now that that’s taken care of, Lee feels much more secure in making her wishes (even though she is still pretty sure this is a bad trip brought on by tainted meds from her mom.)

It seems that the core of this story follows Lee after she is teleported into a fairytale world, following fairytale rules– with a twist. The characters don’t seem to follow the overused stereotypes, and at least a few seem to understand the rules of the genre they are in. Two characters interest me the most so far.

First, we have, of course, the princess.

Damsel in Distress

Granted Princess Emma

And then the genie:

Don't Tone Police the Genie

The genie’s outburst really reminded me of tone-policing and I had to save it.

Regarding diversity, there are a variety of characters with differing skin tones– I don’t read Lee as white either, but that may be up to interpretation. No indication of any trans characters, but I would bet there is going to be some queer romance considering the themes of charmingly antiquated’s short comics (which you can find here: http://charminglyantiquated.tumblr.com/tagged/story%20comic )

Also haven’t seen much in terms of disability, but there will possibly be themes surrounding mental health, given the context of the start of the story and some conversations with the genie.

For triggering content, I haven’t seen much that I would identify as “common triggers” thus far. There is some cussing, and there is on screen violence and death, but it has not thus far been dwelled upon. (Deaths have had short screen time, and the tone has been kept lighthearted/comedy, though with some black comedy aspects.)

Not much more to say about this one, other than that I will keep reading and possibly update again once more of it is out! Hope that this review is helpful, and please feel free to leave feedback about the kinds of things you would like to see in these reviews.

Starting a Blog… Maybe?

Starting a Blog… Maybe?

Alright, just doing some tests with WordPress and getting things figured out. For a while, folks in my life have been telling me “Dai, you should start a blog.” I post a lot online, and moderate several forums related to social justice, and especially the queer/trans community. I post a lot, and save a lot of articles– but until now haven’t really made any attempts to collect my writing in any particular place.

I’m not totally sure where this blog will go, as I’m just getting started and have never managed a blog before. I don’t know how often I’ll post– I’m disabled, and am often exhausted after taking care of other online responsibilities. But depending on how things develop, maybe this blog can be more of a stress relief and fun activity rather than something that adds to my pile of work! I’d like that.

In any case, now that I’ve laid the groundwork for why I’m making this post, here’s a bit about me.

I am a white, non-binary trans person living in Washington State. In 2013, I was a speaker at the Gender Odyssey in Seattle. In 2014, I became disabled and have been working on my health full time since then. I participate in a lot of trans related forums, and am constantly working to improve my understanding of intersectional social justice. Please feel free to call me out in the comments if I make a mistake, I would love to learn from you. (And can and will do my own research, thank you in advanced to those who take the time to let me know.)

I am an avid fan of anime and manga, especially those dealing with mythological/supernatural elements. Stemming from this life long love, my art style is heavily influenced by Japanese comics, and I have spent years working to keep aspects of the aesthetic while allowing for greater diversity in facial features and body structure. Right now, I am working freelance, drawing character sprites and CGs for visual novels over on the lemmasoft forums.

My other prominent hobby is tabletop role-playing games– I used to be an active online participant in these communities, but unfortunately they are generally not very safe for marginalized folks. I play weekly games with my partner and some close friends, but only engage online TRPG communities when they are specifically queer/trans/social justice oriented, and have strong leadership by marginalized folks. I love drawing characters from our campaigns, and take very elaborate notes– the current running record is almost 90,000 words long.

So, with this in mind, my posts will be dealing with my hobbies, my activism, and possibly other aspects of my life. You can expect to see reviews of various media I consume, from a socially conscious perspective, and maybe small paneled comics? We’ll see!

Thanks for reading thus far, and hopefully you’ll see more from me soon.