REVIEW: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena | 少女革命ウテナ (ANIME VERSION)
Release: 1997

The 39-episode animated masterpiece about the girl-prince and her Rose Bride is not only ground-breaking as a yuri anime, as a 90’s shoujo it is virtually unrivaled. Ostensibly a magical girl anime (that isn’t), or a romantic fairy tale (not quite), it burrows into a dark juxtaposition between fantasy and reality, tearing apart the motives and ambitions of its cast while the unknown actuality of the setting looms ominously over them, swaying between purgatorial and theatrical.

To review Utena with any modicum of authenticity is a heavy project for which I am unworthy. When engaging any media, I adore picking out parallels, meaningful transitions, reoccurring symbols and themes, and emphasizing the significance of the details. But Utena is so overwhelming on all accounts that a analysis of that sort would better be a thesis in format. Its wicked surrealism makes the whole experience metaphysical to the point that you’ll have no idea if the plot is what it is, or something else entirely, and its intricacies would be impossible to describe exhaustively.

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So first, let’s take a step back and focus on what’s really important: is it gay?

Continue reading REVIEW: Revolutionary Girl Utena

NEWS: Fall 2018 Anime to Look For

Summer is coming to an end. We are in the last throes of what could have been the perfect relationship: at first, it was sweet. Coy. Full of ambition and teasing dreams of what we could accomplish. The weeks flew by in a lazy haze, until we sat up in July with the dreadful sense of momento mori. In late August, it slips away from our grasp, losing interest in us day by day, and we are left older. Deader. Alone.

But you’re not alone in the fall. Not really. You’ll never be alone as long as there is gay anime to look forward to.

Cheer up! Here’s two upcoming anime to watch out for, on the house.


DakaretaiThe #1 Huggable Man Is Threatening Me (Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu |抱かれたい男1位に脅されています):

An anime adaptation of Hashigo Sakurabi’s popular BL series. Protagonist Saijou Takato is an idol the reigning champion of the competitive “Most Huggable Man” title. But everything changes when new actor Azumaya steals the crown. How will Saijou reclaim his throne?

This sounds so shamelessly dumb, which could make it awesome in the best ways. Let’s watch it together in October 2018.


bloom into you

BLOOM INTO YOU (Yagate Kimi ni Naru | やがて君になる):

Based on Nio Nakatani’s GL manga series. Shoujo lover Yuu Koito wants to experience love like in the comics, but feels nothing when a male classmate offers her his love confession. She consults student council president Touko Nanami for romance advice, and bonding with her over their mutual lack of interest in boys leads Yuu to realize she may be falling for Nanami instead.

What is it with yuri stories and student council presidents? Join me in researching this very important question October 2018.


In other words, your run-of-the-mill saccharine yuri and delightfully depraved yaoi. Or not. I have no idea, I haven’t read either manga, but these two seem to be the vanguard of this fall’s gay battalions. And if they suck, at least we’ll still have more Banana Fish to look forward to!

REVIEW: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii | ヲタクに恋は難しい

This charming slice-of-life about the bumbling romances of nerdy office workers isn’t the gay you need, or the gay you deserve. But don’t write Wotaki: Love is Hard for Otaku off completely. The series is nothing if not meta and blissfully self-aware. It may not be a BL, but it is about BL fangirls and their boyfriends who are, if not fudanshi, rather good sports about the whole thing.

26-year-old Narumi Momose has a secret: she is a rotten, rotten girl (that is, a fujoshi) who spends her free time devouring anime and writing erotic yaoi doujinshi to sell at anime conventions. When this dirty secret is exposed, she quits her job, moves across Japan, and applies at a new company – this time determined not to expose her inner otaku. She is immediately exposed, however, when she bumps into Hirotaka Nifuji, a socially clueless childhood friend and hardcore gamer who is now her new colleague. This drama comes to a neat conclusion by the end of episode one when it is revealed that this office is decidedly more otaku-friendly. 27-year-old Hanako Koyanagi is a fellow yaoi-lover and famous cross-playing cosplayer, and her boyfriend and the office sempai Tarou Kabakura secretly reads moe comics. Exposed and among “her people”, Narumi, whose boyfriends have always dumped her when they have found out she’s a nerd, starts a relationship with Hirotaka, where date nights are pretty much just playing video games together.

With that little problem out of the way, the rest of the series is as free as its cast to shamelessly nerd out. From regular shopping trips to Animate, to navigating the crowds of Comiket, and playing Pokemon Go long after it stopped being cool, Wotakoi is a delightful insight into Japanese nerd culture.

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Continue reading REVIEW: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku