Here at the Backloggers in light of the recent tragedy with Kyoto Animation, we wanted to express our love towards the studio, the staff, and their works by sharing some of our favorite experiences with Kyoto Animation productions. All of us here truly value their work in our own ways, and I hope that our thoughts below can give you some insight as to how we truly feel about this incident as a whole by showing you how much we value Kyoto Animation as a studio and the staff that created some of these memorable works that we love so dearly.
I’ve always been a sucker of sorts for shinobi or ninja-based series. Rurouni Kenshin was my first love in that regard, as I quickly fell in love with the weird, diverse cast of characters, Kenshin’s code of honor and ever-present desire to help and protect those in need, as well as the flashy swordplay and sword arts, moves, and styles. For a young Tofu, it was absolute heaven. Other series caught my eye similarly – Naruto was an early favorite, for instance. Between the hype that came from watching it as it aired and the ever-present escalation and new uses of interesting and powerful jutsu, the show had me hooked. As I grew older and branched out beyond the shonen genre, I found myself deep in the throes of shows such as Samurai Champloo, which took the idea of warriors embodying the idea of the samurai I had come to love and re-positioning it in a way I had up until then not seen.
Back when Ryan Lewis and Macklemore were writing the songs for their album The Heist, Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) was having a hard time coming up with the lyrics for “Same Love.” He finally decided on an idea of telling the story from a gay individual’s perspective. However, when he showed this to Ryan Lewis, Ryan shot it down immediately. He stated to Ben that there was no authenticity behind these words, and that if he really wanted to make an impact, he should tell it from his perspective. Ben rewrote the song with this in mind, taking his own perspective and feelings of support for the gay community and translating them musically. The song went on to be an anthem for the gay community and a banner for allies to rally under as they pushed harder to finally enact legal gay marriage in the United States.
As someone who likes to write in his free time, I always suffer trying to find how to write characters that aren’t the same background as me, whether it’s a different ethnicity or a different sexuality. To be honest, it genuinely is an impossible thing to try and do this by myself. I can’t understand the struggle or the abuse people have gone through for being gay because I’m just not. That is why I always talk to those around me from these backgrounds in order to help me understand on some scale, and then constantly keep the conversation going as I write. Any writer who is gay would far better be able to detail how that feels than me, and we should encourage them to write those feelings. However, for those of us that are allies, I feel that if we want to express these types of characters in the stories we tell, we have to make damn sure we do it right.
That is why I love My Brother’s Husband as a series. This short but endearingly sweet manga very much acts as an instructional guide for the ways allies can help and make the best of being the support class in the Equality Squad. Gengoroh Tagame in this manga shows people, such as myself, how to be that ally that the gay community needs, how to accept them and work with them to make a better place.
It’s been a bit but I wanted to make a piece. Partially because of the extreme guilt of not being vocal and sharing with you guys who have supported us but also because I’m trying to turn that guilt into something really beautiful, if I can. So, I’ll do what I do best:
Here’s a gush piece.
DC recently decided to wall off a lot of their content on their own streaming platform called DC Universe, possibly because they saw Disney do the same with Marvel. Now, granted, I’m sure that there are some benefits for doing this. For instance, with a branch specifically for assisting shows to get created, there are some things that may not have had the money or chance otherwise. That said, it really sucks for a lot of people because there’s no reason to pay for another service that you’ll probably check out once every blue moon.
Well let me tell you about how freaking blue that moon is for me right now.
There’s no better way to start off Spring season than with a show that seems to truly capture the perfect essence of the meaning of “spring time”. You have the trees and flowers blooming, the lack of any sort of “hey, it’s cold and miserable” mood that always seems to come with many anime based in the winter months, and most importantly (for anime at least), the general school romance that seems to always flourish during this time of year.
When I was in college, my roommate at the time introduced me to a challenge that was being spread around Reddit. It was called the No Cry 19 Challenge. It was a playlist of videos that was guaranteed to make people cry. They weren’t all sad, though many were, but were just extreme from an emotional sense. Extremely sad, extremely happy, and just a whole range of emotions. The comments were fun to look at as you saw a wide range of individuals detailing out how far they made it, with many falling off within the first ten videos.
The challenge was fun but it also made me realize two ideas. The first, is that it’s a universal thing to need to cry, and through empathy we’re able to share in those emotions other have. This sounds super philosophical, like some hoity-toity shit, but the fact of the matter is…
This essay contains spoilers from Kase-san and Cherry Blossoms.
As a longtime shoujo manga fan (well over a decade at this point) and a relatively new but passionate Yuri fan (Revolutionary Girl Utena was my first foray into the genre back in 2016), the Kase-san series seemed made for me. I was first exposed to the series through the animation clip produced in May 2017, a gorgeous, atmospheric extended AMV of sorts, and then was lucky enough to catch the Kase-san and Morning Glories OVA at AnimeNYC this year (and I got to see it with Yuri expert Erica Friedman, which made the viewing all the more delightful). The OVA left me speechless, and at the Q&A afterward, the director summed the premise of the shoujo series perfectly: he wasn’t focused on conveying a story about women in love, but one about people in love, regardless of…