More than Friends, More than Lovers: Exploring Ash and Eiji’s Love

When I have to describe the nature of Ash and Eiji’s relationship in just a couple of words, what usually comes to mind is “platonic romance.” It might sound like a silly contradiction, but stay with me.

In some ways, Ash and Eiji are unlike anything I’ve seen. In others, they remind of romantic tropes I’ve seen in my years watching and reading (hetero) romances.

Banana Fish is a notable queer shojo classic, however, in some ways–not unlike other queer works–its male leads can be both be a product and fall victims of the time in which they were conceived. For this reason, things like the main character’s sexualities can be a delicate and complicated discussion. Still, Ash and Eiji’s relationship remains remarkably touching… and notably romantic. Continue reading “More than Friends, More than Lovers: Exploring Ash and Eiji’s Love”

Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia

With the re-watch I did not too long ago, the original Cardcaptor Sakura (and my love for it) are still pretty fresh in my mind. Its amazing characters and magical, welcoming world stole my heart to the point that I would watch anything just to get more of it. Well, its long-awaited sequel Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card just finished airing, and it feels like that’s exactly what this series was counting on: nostalgia, undying love for the original to keep watching it… while rarely offering you more.

Acknowledging love for the original it’s not a bad thing by itself, after all, Cardcaptor Sakura is an important childhood favorite for many, and it’s still remembered very fondly. Heck, I would argue that it’s still a very important show nowadays, and it has plenty of reasons to be especially meaningful for girls and queer folks. Continue reading “Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia”

Exploring Banana Fish’s Violent, Bizarre World

When there’s color, Banana Fish is filled with black and yellow. It dominates all covers of the series and most of its variations, it’s on guidebooks and merchandises, and now, it’s everywhere on the promo materials of the upcoming anime TV adaptation.

Like a warning sign, the meaning behind those colors alone tells us plenty about Banana Fish’s world: poisonous, dangerous and obsessive.

Continue reading “Exploring Banana Fish’s Violent, Bizarre World”

Sun, Moon & Stars: Cardcaptor Sakura Retrospective

I remember Cardcaptor Sakura from the days when Cartoon Network (my then favorite channel) aired most of the big shonen and shojo hits of the era. Although I liked it (Sakura was the sole reason I owned a couple of roller skates), for some reason, I didn’t remember much of the show itself growing up. I suspect it might have been because it aired while I had school, which would, of course, mean that I never watched it much, but I’m not really sure. However, I’ve always wanted to go back to it, and the winter season bringing us a sequel was the push I needed it to finally do so.

Continue reading “Sun, Moon & Stars: Cardcaptor Sakura Retrospective”