Banana Fish #2: In Another Country

This week’s episode is titled “In Another Country” which happens to be a Word War I short story written by Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s. Just as the title says, the story depicts a wounded soldier undergoing recovery in another country, struggling with isolation and inadequacy. That’s right folks, Banana Fish has Hemingway references, and that alone should tell you just how freakin depressing things can get here. Continue reading “Banana Fish #2: In Another Country”

Review: Go for it, Nakamura!

Nakamura has fallen in love-at-first-sight with one of his classmates, Hirose — but there’s a problem: they haven’t actually met yet…and Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin!


In many ways, Go for it, Nakamura! is what I’ve always wanted. The story introduces Nakamura as a gay, introverted, octopus-loving boy with complete naturality. Those are just established facts, and when the story wants conflict, it chooses to explore the octopus-loving angle. Continue reading “Review: Go for it, Nakamura!”

Banana Fish #1: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

The summer season is finally here! And it is indeed a perfect day for Banana Fish. My life has known no peace ever since I read this godforsaken manga, and now that I’ve seen the first episode of the new show you can bet, dear reader, that I’ve been unable to think about anything else. I’m a huge fan, I mean.

Before starting, it’s important to remember that Banana Fish is intrinsically a product of the 80s; it’s practically impossible to truly remove its roots–even if you modernize it. I’ve written a primer in the past where I mention some of the problematic aspects of the story, including its depictions of race and queerness. It’s unclear whether or not this adaptation will make the changes necessary to address some of its most questionable elements, but some things are just so rooted in the story that I’m not expecting them to be changed. Continue reading “Banana Fish #1: A Perfect Day for Bananafish”

Pastel Idols & Space Magic: Magical Angel Creamy Mami Retrospective

In the early 1980s, the magical girl genre was going through a different phase from what we know nowadays. Unlike some of the most well-known series today, the magical girls from that era weren’t necessarily superheroines, but they were still inspiring (or helping) figures. If there was any stake, it could be in keeping others from finding out about their magical powers–and in some cases, their alter-egos–otherwise there were usually consequences such as losing them.

Those magical girls didn’t necessarily need something to fight for or a particular reason to have their powers. Sometimes they just got them for the very respectable purpose of doing whatever the hell they wanted, with only the show’s morals–and their own powers–as limits. Continue reading “Pastel Idols & Space Magic: Magical Angel Creamy Mami Retrospective”

Review: Claudine

The classic LGBT+ story by the creative master of Rose of Versailles!

Born as “Claudine” in a female-assigned body that doesn’t reflect the man inside, this heart-wrenching story follows Claudine through life, pain, and the love of several women. Master shoujo mangaka Riyoko Ikeda explores gender and sexuality in early twentieth century France in this powerful tale about identity, culture, and self-acceptance.


Lately, Seven Seas has been licensing a bunch of either classics or LGBT+ manga; Claudine happens to be both. Originally published in Margaret in 1978, this is is one of the works of the legendary mangaka Riyoko Ikeda–most well known for her shojo masterpieces The Rose Of Versailles and Dear Brother. Continue reading “Review: Claudine”

Review: Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen [Yatta-Tachi]

Moyoco Anno’s Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen tells a story about people who wish to escape from their lives – or perhaps, from themselves – and the different ways they choose to face or fight their realities. There can a be a sharp contrast between some ugly cruelties and the almost glamorous art style. The story might not be a particularly engaging one, but it sure was hard to put away once I started reading. Continue reading “Review: Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen [Yatta-Tachi]”

Demolishing the Demographic Double Standard: Why more manga “for boys” need to treat their girls better [AniFem]

In my years consuming media, I’ve encountered certain beliefs and behaviours that never fail to frustrate me. One of them is women’s entertainment and their creators being diminished or regarded with contempt just for targeting women. There is a double standard at play: media targeted at or starring women is “for girls,” while media targeted at or starring men is “for everyone” (unless, of course, someone who isn’t a man is critical of it; then it wasn’t “for them”). Continue reading “Demolishing the Demographic Double Standard: Why more manga “for boys” need to treat their girls better [AniFem]”