Thirty-ninth week of 2018 edition!
This is a Crow’s eye view of the posts that caught my attention this week. Typically, they’ll be posts that celebrate some aspect of anime, like strong characters, intricate plots, or amazing worlds.
There are only two rules:
- I have to find the site to read it. I publish a list of the sites I review every week, so please do look for your site! If you don’t see it, I’d love for you to mention your site in the comments.
- Your post had to have been published during the last seven days (or so)
Remember, you can find a list of the sites I check every week here.
There’re a lot of good posts in the anime space. I hope this article helps you find some of them!
100 Word Anime
Friday’s Feature: The Importance of the Final Impression
I’ve read a lot of posts discussing plot setup, pacing, or complexity. It’s a handy way for the writer to talk about how the story unfolded — or didn’t unfold, as the case may be! I’ve even read posts that talk about whether the climax wrapped up all of the loose ends or fulfilled the promises made earlier in the series. But 100 Word Anime presents a subtly different question: What’s the importance of the final impression a series leaves us with? It’s an interesting discussion made all the more fascinating by the great examples — like comparing the final impressions left by How Not to Summon a Demon Lord and The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar.
Beneath the Tangles
Attack on Titan Episode 47: All a Slave to Somethin’
I really hope you’re watching Attack on Titan Season 3. The show’s always kept me on the edge of my seat. The first season because of the expertly executed conflict against the titans; the second season because of the revelations about those titans; and now because of the colliding characters and political movements in the third season. One of those characters is Kenny “The Ripper” Ackerman. His backstory is fascinating, and so is what happens to him in the most recent episode. This article from Beneath the Tangles takes a look at his fate and what it means.
Waxing Philosophical: On the Fate of Those Who Can See Youkai
Want to know how to attract my attention? Write an article about Youkai. Want to keep my attention? Write something new an interesting about said Youkai! Want to see your post end up in Other Post to Crow about? Pull xxxHolic into the mix! That’s exactly what this post from Bloom Reviews does this week. The post also gets bonus points for weaving The Ancient Magus Bride into the narrative! The post talks about some well-known aspects of human/youkai interaction, like how the human is almost always in mortal danger. But my favorite parts of this article are less well known, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise by spelling it out! One hint: It’s kinda heart-warming!
Can I enjoy competent anime with ugly themes? The case of slavery in How Not To Summon A Demon Lord
I’m on record saying that I enjoyed How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, in part because it exceeded my expectations after watching the first episode and in part because it had a strong plot. I felt a little uneasy about the whole slave collar subplot, even when Diablo used it to save Shera from her evil brother, but I didn’t give it a lot of thought because it seemed innocuous. After reading this post from Marshmellow Pastel, I can say that I still enjoyed the series, but now I understand my unease a little better. I wonder if that was one of the points of the narrative? Regardless, I love articles like this that help me reexamine my assumptions and come to a more nuanced understanding of a series!
Star Crossed Anime Blog
Planet With – 12[Behold, The Universe is Filled With Blessings]
It’s no secret that I loved Planet With. I feel really lucky to have reviewed it for the Summer 2018 season. There was a lot to love about this series, and I thought this post from Star Crossed Anime Blog did a great job of talking about them. Some of the points are pretty well known, like the show’s astounding plot density. Other points are less obvious, and they make this article all the more interesting.
4 thoughts on “Other Posts to Crow About – 2018 Week 39 Edition”
Thanks for the notice!
Not to sound too cynical, but I doubt that the unease produced by the slavery theme “was one of the points of the narrative.” How Not to Summon a Demon Lord may beat a lot of the isekai-setting nonsense that bloats around out there, but the industry sets a low bar… Demon Lord is first and foremost a power fantasy sexed up with lots of ecchi to boost sales. Any themes only exist to make Diablo relatable for the otaku target audience (bullying, social anxiety, video game addiction) or to put as many girls in his lap as possible (bland appeals to friendship, the forgiveness of Alicia and Edelgard).
As I hope I demonstrated in my post, the show mostly remains silent on the slavery issue. The show tries to have its cake and eat it too. It likely includes the slave collars as a unique aesthetic to boost the isekai power fantasy and for simple ecchi sex appeal. However, likely risk-averse writers/publishers avoid any serious engagement with the topic, resulting in its stupid, vapid “happy slave” myth.
No power fantasy wants to make its target audience uncomfortable; that would defeat the entire point of the show. My unease with Demon Lord likely results from me being slightly outside of its target audience. As an American more attuned to the historical problem of slavery than a typical Japanese anime otaku, I simply care more. Anything that Demon Lord said about slavery was accidental, and any deeper themes that a viewer might have picked up will say more about the viewer than the show itself.
‘Not to sound too cynical, but I doubt that the unease produced by the slavery theme “was one of the points of the narrative.”’
I really don’t have any evidence either way, but I have a hunch you’re right. On the other hand, if I were going to introduce an anti-slavery theme in an anime, this is exactly how I might go about it — subtly and almost unnoticed.
But then, I’ve been accused of being overly optimistic more than once…
‘However, likely risk-averse writers/publishers avoid any serious engagement with the topic, resulting in its stupid, vapid “happy slave” myth.’
No argument here. Even if we grant that Diablo used the collar to good effect on Shera’s behalf, there’s no guarantee that he’s going to remain the lovable shut-in. Eventually, he’s going to come to terms with his power, and you know how well humans and power mix…
I’m glad you wrote about this topic. I think provoking a relentless awareness is one good way to combat some attitudes about slavery — attitudes I’m sad to say are way more resilient than I’d hoped. You took a public stand, and we need more of that.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
I loved that Bloom Reviews Post! Great choices all around
Thank you! That post put me in mind of your “Of Tiny Gods and Boundless Grace” post.
I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again, I’m amazed by the creativity and craft in this community!