2017 is over, so it’s time for a little reflection.
First of all, I decided to move from self-hosted to wordpress.com, mostly because I’m letting go of some projects, which means I won’t really need all the benefits of wordpress.org. I’m mentioning this to let you guys know that I’m still in the process of moving, and it’s going to take a couple of days before all the links are normal again.
Now, outside of Otaku, she wrote, this year I wrote for Anime Feminist and Yattatachi. I’m very glad that I did, because both sites have very warm communities that I’m now happy to be a part of. The Anime Feminist team it’s formed by writers whose work I really admire, and working with some of them as my editors were formative experiences. I also got paid (yay!) which is definitely a big accomplishment. Yattatachi it’s a friendly platform that’s often promoting my work, I’m very grateful!
Here are some highlights:
Brainiacs need useless girls – Analysis of the popular romantic trope (blog): This post it’s far from perfect, but it was born out of years of frustrations that I really needed to share. It’s the most popular (and most shared!) post on the blog, so apparently, my feelings resonated a lot.
My Fave is Problematic: Ranma 1/2 (Anime Feminist): It took a lot of time and work before it was ready for publishing, but I’m really proud of the final result. All the positive response I got on twitter were very, very nice to read (thanks!) and I even had some oh senpai noticed me moments.
What My Hero Academia ignores with the absence of female mentors (blog): Another one born out of accumulated frustrations; this one received a lot of unexpected attention. I’m aware of MHA popularity, but I didn’t expect this little corner to receive that much response –and it sparkled some debates as well. It’s very rewarding when my words can get conversations started.
5 Fearsome Women In Japanese Horror Stories (Yattatachi): I find Japanese folklore to be extremely interesting, so I had a lot of fun writing this. It’s also some of my fastest writing; the research took some time but the actual writing was done in just a couple of hours. I would certainly like to write something like this again in the future.
I started a channel and uploaded a video essay. I actually like video editing, so the challenge here was recording and editing my voice. Do any of you know how to get over the crippling embarrassment you feel when you hear your own voice narrating? Asking for a friend.
For Anime Feminist, I wrote a very, very personal essay about how Yuri!!! On Ice helped me when I really needed it. I probably wouldn’t have written this if it wasn’t for how comfortable I feel in the community AniFem created.
I opened a Ko-fi account, which is basically a tip jar, and added the link at the foot of all my post. This one was a challenge because well, the impostor syndrome it’s awfully strong. It took all the hard work I put on making the Eboshi video before I finally convinced myself that there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little support (and I did receive a tip for that video, thanks Kathy!). I still have a hard time promoting this, so let’s make that my next challenge.
Now, let’s talk about some anime.
Shows that touched me this year
I’m not very fond of rakings, mostly because it involves making some actual choices with shows that I like and I’m terrible at it. So instead of my top anime of the year, I decided to compile a list in no particular order of shows both old(ish) and new that I watched in 2017. My choices are base on what, for whatever reason, not only I enjoyed, but it also had some kind of special meaning or offered a particularly rich experience for me.
Honorable mentions: The Eccentric Family s2, Recovery of an MMO junkie, My Hero Academia s2.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Uff, I cried so much watching this one that I’m surprised my eyes didn’t fall off my face. It’s impossible to describe a show of this magnitude in just a couple of words. On the surface, it’s an intergenerational tale of incredibly flawed but compelling characters united by rakugo –and ultimately, love. Tragic, beautiful, multilayered and complex, Rakugo it’s a near-perfect masterpiece that I can’t recommend enough.
Land of the Lustrous: This is another series that I can’t seem to find the words to describe. Land of the Lustrous offers a world that thrives on mysteries, without any hurry to provide answers. Its world-building heavy on Buddhist imagery and body horror (which I discovered I’m actually interested in) it’s as breathtaking as it is compelling, featuring a cast of genderless gems with diverse personalities and struggles that somehow feels very human. Following Phos’ journey this past couple of months has been both hell and a delight (please let them rest). Add to that the touching soundtrack, it’s wonderful use of color, insanely good storyboards and dynamic direction, and we have ourselves not just a show but an experience.
March Comes in Like a Lion: I connect with this show so much because the way Rei struggles with depression and isolation reminds me a lot of myself, especially when I was his age (this makes me sound old, which I’m definitely not). A show this heavy it’s understandably not for everyone –and I do wish we could have more female protagonist struggling with mental illness handled with this much nuance and pathos. Still, I care for Rei very much and I often find myself wishing for his wellbeing, as if we were close friends. Besides, the second season it’s finally giving some very needed focus on the Kawamoto sisters. Hina’s excellent arc dealing with bullying it’s definitely one of the highlights of the series.
The Woman Called Fukijo Mine: Sayo Yamamoto’s take on the iconic character explores sexuality and nudity, all while subverting tired narratives surrounding women and empowering its lead. All this nerd can say it’s that it needs a Yamamoto shrine.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun: Ah, good ol’ shojo. Nothing like a consistently hilarious series to explore the influence of media on our behavior –including gender roles–, and how that, in turn, influence the fiction we produce. With a cast of diverse, eccentric characters, Nozaki-kun feels both like a callback to the classic era of the genre and a satire to the more conservative stand the industry can often take nowadays. Second season WHEN.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: We all have heard the legends surrounding this series. From its seemingly impenetrable symbolism, its challenge to gender roles, its queer romance and many, many other themes, Utena has inspired countless of analysis and essays, and will likely continue to do so. What many don’t say, though, it’s that it also has some bizarre levels of comedy (which happens to be my jam). It’s fitting, since the episodes that are heavy on jokes are usually Nanami-centric, and this girl sure can thrive on drama and the off-the scale nonsense. Some of that craziness –like Nanami becoming a cow– actually have a deeper meaning. Others…. well. RIP Chu-chu.
And finally, let’s talk about some 2018 goals.
My next writing goals
In 2018, I want write more:
- About manga: old and new, characters analysis, art style, etc.
- Creators Spotlight: especially female creators or creators that somehow feature women and/or queer content in their work.
- Shojo, yuri and BL: I’m actually working on a project related to this right now. It’s going to be a series focused on art, please look forward to it!
- About older anime: I’m currently rewatching Cardcaptor Sakura and I have plans to visit (and re-visit) other oldies, especially female-centric ones (I have my eyes on Sailor Moon and Carried by the wind right now).
(I say that I was going to take the challenge of promoting myself more, so… let’s start now)
Some of this goals will take a lot of time and research. I have a lot of interest in this subjects, but a little tip will goes a long way in helping me stay focused. If you like what I’ve been doing this year, please consider supporting me!
Happy New Year!