It’s the spooky round-up for the month of October , and it’s clear that y’all didn’t get scared enough to hold back on great content for this month! I know that we are pretty much always happy with the level of diversity of topics in the pieces that we pick out for our monthly roundups here at The Backloggers, but hoo boy, do we have some seriously great picks for you this month! Tropes from centuries ago, discussions of symbolism by the truckload, deep dives into production of shows and anime fans from the West, and so much more! We loved the pieces we grabbed for this list (and so many others that we just couldn’t fit in here), and we’re sure you will, too! Kick back, crunch some leaves, and check out what your peers have put out this past month!
Making Of Violet Evergarden | A Production History – Under the Scope (@JackUTS)
I may be starting off with bit of a longer piece than normal, but not without good reason. There’s just a level of detail about every aspect of production and anime creation within this video about a series that got so many people appreciating it that it would be a shame to not include this in this month’s round-up. The entire video goes into detail about production aspects, all the way from its beginning roots as a novel to when it finished its production as an anime. It’s almost documentary tier, and honestly, any fan of Violet Evergarden, Kyoto Animation, or even just anime in general should watch this in order to get an idea of how the entire process can work from beginning to end. Absolutely great work on this one and I wish we had more excellent pieces like this within the anime community.
A Drop In The Ocean – The Symbolism of Water in Anime – Irina (@idrinknwatchani)
This article by Irina is definitely a short article, but I think it has a lot of meaning to it despite its brevity. It’s something I’ve noticed as well when I’m watching specific shows (for some reason, PA Works shows specifically come to mind) to have them heavily focus on the water animation or its usage to promote its themes, whether that be ponds, rivers, rain, ice, ect. Pretty much anything involving water is usually a good sign to me that something symbolic is happening or is relating to a major theme of the work by utilizing that element, and I think Irina definitely uses both personal experiences and examples from anime to showcase and prove how important water is within Japanese anime and its culture as well. Something to think about as you’re watching your next show, for sure.
Aq-ward Feelings: Discussing the experiences of female and queer Love Live! Fans – Anime Feminist (Eryn Dearden – @eryncerise)
AnimeFeminist has published another article about the franchise of Love Live!, a series which many people adore but have criticized for various reasons as well, something that writer and Youtuber Eryn Dearden has experienced as well in her journey with the franchise. As a follower of Eryn’s Love Live! content for a while, this calibre of article backed with love for the series, critiques of its issues, and statistics to debunk some common misconceptions is definitely something I’m in support of, considering how much uninformed backlash the series has received over the past few years. It’s definitely what I would consider as the article to read about the series, especially considering how much information about all the above topics is present within it, and I greatly appreciate her for taking the time to write this. Thank you Eryn!
Fan Service in Anime Normalizes Sexual Assault – Fandom Musings
In this video, Rosie goes over two specific types of fan service that really just need to end: The “accidental perv” and the “lovable perv”. She goes over what fan service can be fun and fine as well as talk about why these two types of fan service are not only outdated and problematic but actively hurt the story and characters they’re associated with. This video is super important and very well done.
Why are Anime Girls Always Dieting Female Body Image and Weight in Japan – Rai’s Anime Blog
Over on Rai’s blog, we’ve got a discussion on something that has been bugging me for decades at this point: Why are all these super skinny character constantly trying to lose weight? Rai goes over some of the cultural issues surrounding this as well as the issues with this idea being in anime, particularly the spread of fat shaming. This is super well-researched and was a blast to read.
The Solemn Beauty of SSSS.Gridman – Nick Creamer for Crunchyroll
Finally, I wanted to share a nice piece on the beauty behind the art design of SSSS.Gridman. The environments and backgrounds were definitely one of the first things that I noticed when I started this show and after reading this this, I have a deeper appreciation for how much they feed into the story and characters as well as flesh out the world themselves. Check it out if you have the time!
General Tofu’s Picks
Revisiting Re:ZERO: Some Observations in Retrospect – Frog-kun (@frog_kun)
Not too long ago, I found myself recommending Re:ZERO to someone who had not yet watched it, talking about some of the major points I had considered that made the show so fascinating for me and just such a joy to watch. Reading Frog-kun’s piece here, though, dragged me right back into the thick of the show, and gave me a lot to consider about why I liked the show. More specifically, some of the notes Frog-kun posits, such as a discussion of whether or not Subaru is truly supposed to be “a loathsome character”, were fascinating, and it really gave me pause to consider how I really felt about the show. If nothing else, it’s definitely made me want to dive back in and re-watch it to see if my old ideas about the show still hold up. It’s a great read if you’ve watched the show (it does have spoilers in it!), so give it a go!
American Anime Fans – An Initial Research Guide – Mikhail Koulikov (@AnimeStudies)
As an interesting twist in the usual sphere of academic info that Anime and Manga Studies puts out, Mikhail’s piece here chooses to focus on a very specific topic of research that is near and dear to our hearts – “the “present” state of anime in the U.S., and in particular, on the audience for anime in the U.S.”. Mikhail provides a number of resources and pieces detailing some research done on the demographics of anime fans in the United States, but comes to the conclusion that, given his study here, there is very little current literature regarding the state of U.S. anime fandom. It’s a really interesting read, then, considering how little there actually is on anime fandom, despite the fact that fandom studies in general has risen to the much higher status that it has in recent years. I highly recommend giving this one some time to read.
Warrior Women in the Workplace: Mythic Motifs in Dragon Pilot – The Afictionado (@theafictionado)
I kind of don’t even know where to start with this one, because it just has so much great stuff going on in it. It’s not often that you get a blog post in the anisphere that talks about a rad show, but also gives a historical lesson about centuries-old history and literature-based tropes. Specifically here, the ways in which The Afictionado discusses the warrior women tropes that crop up in Hisone to Masotan are fascinating, and the whole time I was reading it, I was consistently left thinking “could you please, please, please teach a university course on this?” It’s such an informative, engaging deep dive into history, written literature, and anime, and you would be greatly missing out if you didn’t give it a read.
That’s it for this round up! I hope you all were able to enjoy yourselves through some spooky holidays and aren’t too sick after all the candy. We’ve still got plenty of good stuff to come so make room for some more food and warm up by the fire as we head into the cold months filled with fun anime and great discussion from this community. Enjoy the season and stay safe!