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Natsuyuki Rendezvous: Letting Death Get in the Way

Grieving is never easy. The loss of someone close is life-altering. Though Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a romantic comedy, the subject matter is life after loss. It uses the guise of a ghost to demonstrate how the loss of a loved one shapes our lives, our decisions, and even our future relationships.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is an anime running this summer in the noitaminA slot. In it, a shy man named Hazuki Ryuusuke falls in love with a quiet flower shop owner, Shimao Rokka. Ryuusuke soon comes to work at the flower shop, and eventually finds the courage to pursue a relationship outside of work with Rokka. Unfortunately, this is when he meets Rokka’s husband, Atsushi; the twist being that Atsushi is dead, and only Ryuusuke can see his ghost.

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Queen’s Blade Post Mortem

I recently watched all of Queen’s Blade: Rebellion with a group of brave souls. I’m happy to say that we made it through the watch relatively unscathed, though it should be noted that PTSD sometimes takes a while to manifest. After each viewing we attempted to decipher the greater meaning of Queen’s Blade in a colloquium work that was posted on Draggle’s blog. Once we’d finished, both John Sato and Draggle had their final say on the matter. This will be mine.


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Fetish Fanservice

I never fully understood fanservice until I watched Mysterious Girlfriend X episode nine.

Mysterious Girlfriend X has a persistent theme of fetish. The show starts with a fetish for saliva, as everyone knows by now. It doesn’t stop there, though. The show explores exhibitionism, secret love, clothes fetishes, some light BDSM themes, sweat, and tan lines. Episode 9 is about hair. That’s what finally got me.

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Hypocrisy in Sankarea

A guest post by @redball of shinda akachan, reprinted on O-New with his permission.

Sankarea has two recurring themes. The first, on the surface, is the theme of zombie obsession, and thus an obsession with death. The second is easily overlooked, but the theme of hypocrisy is pervasive.

Now I have to give credit to twitter. I think it was Captain L.B.C. who first pointed out the hypocrisy in Sankarea, noting that the main villain in the series is guilty of the same crime as the series itself. Both Rea’s father and the viewer ogle and objectify Rea via his risque photographs of her. He goes to the utmost extremes, with a shrine to his daughter’s nude form and later bath scenes with the photos strewn about. Yet, the viewer is presented with many of these same images. What, if not fanservice is the purpose of this?

At first I did not notice this hypocrisy. I figured the series was trying, without much tact, to show the depths of the father’s depravity. I won’t claim to be above fanservice, but I didn’t take that as a presentation thereof. However, once this alternative view was presented I watched with a more critical eye and realized that it is correct. The series is quite hypocritical in this regard and it does objectify and sexualize Rea much the same as her father.

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