Man, it’s been a while since I’ve had to do this but forewarning, the content in question is Not Safe For Work. Before that scares you off, though, this graphic novel is sold in the normal kind of stores and has a beautiful point for it’s use of sexual imagery. Also, while this topic may not exactly be anime related, the author of this work in question is a super nerd and takes obvious influences from Japanese media. Plus, it’s my own damn article and I just wanna write about this, okay?
Sorry, that got a little confrontational… Lemme just start.
Sex is often a very taboo topic, particularly when it comes to where I live here in America. We’ve become more accustomed to talking about violence and aggression than all that other stuff that gives you cooties. Basically, you can watch people die horrifically and it’ll get a PG-13 rating but if two girls kiss “OH NO! Grab the pitchforks ‘cause it’s time fer a burnin’!”
With a bit of a flipped morality like that, it can be hard to find well-written stories that approach the topic of sex with the right respect and openness that it deserves. Honestly, it seems to me that it’s sometimes easier to find a story that uses rape as a means of moving the plot forward than one that uses consensual intercourse. And while there are efforts to educate and make things better. Education is only one side of the coin. We also need it represented tastefully in our media to expose and normalize the topic along with all the other aspects and types of affection and love.
Enter my exhibit A for the court hearing on tasteful representation of sex: the graphic novel Sunstone.
Author’s Note: Apologies for the lateness of this post. I’m sure most people have already moved onto to episode five by now of this fantastic show but I was held up with personal issues that couldn’t be helped. To make up for it, I tried to put a lot of effort into this so I hope you all enjoy. Also, spoilers and such as some stuff goes down in episode four.
Episodes three and four of Just Because! ended up continuing to validate my immediate love for this show. While the drama and plot aren’t crazy or off the wall, the natural dialogue and slower pace allow me to appreciate all that’s happening for our crew of seniors trudging towards their graduation and murky futures. Every scene and interaction is chock full of a surprising amount of engagement for a show that relies heavily on realistic drama and humor. Plus, these characters are just so dang lovable, even when their hearts are breaking from all the pain they give each other.
You know it’s a sad scene when even the dog is frowning.
Just Because! is, in many ways, a pretty large departure from the shows that we as the Backloggers have covered in the last three seasons. While we try to decide on the show we’ll be covering episodically for any given season, we work to whittle down our choices to what seems interesting, what we feel would be neat for our readers to check out for the season, and honestly just what seems like would be an enjoyable watch. It’s kind of funny to me that over the last few seasons, we’ve ultimately gravitated towards shows that are essentially fantasy light novel-esque shows with a penchant for action and the dramatic. While there’s definitely nothing wrong with that, and we’ve genuinely enjoyed Youjo Senki, SukaSuka, and Princess Principal, as we were mulling over writing about, say, Kino no Tabi or Juuni Taisen, we kind of came to a collective realization of “oh god, we can’t do a show like this for a fourth consecutive season”. With this idea being part of the inspiration for our choice this season, we’ve happily decided to shake up our usual formula a bit. Why?
Yes, I’m sorry, I know that joke has been beat so far into the ground that it should be right around the earth’s core right about now, but in a lot of ways, the choice really did come as conscious choice to just do it because we could (and because we haven’t covered a show quite outside of our unintentional genre bubble yet), especially after the first two very strong episodes that this show presented us with out of the gate.
Something I’ve always respected about Princess Principal is how unabashedly it likes to just do its thing time and again. From its first episode, it tossed us into its high-flying world of steampunk technology, deception, and espionage and essentially told us nothing except to buckle up. It asked us to trust it with its narrative, its characters, and its fascinating world, and to just let it take us where it was going, wherever that may be. If the final three episodes are any indication, this show did indeed go places, and it escorted us through them in a masterclass style.
Following on the heels of the last two episodes, Princess Principal 12 picks up right where 11 left off, and it’s only fitting for the rollercoaster ride that this finale has been shaping up to be. The show decides to ask us again to simply sit back and take in the sights one last time, and it truly is worth it to do so. The major happenings of episode 12 aren’t necessarily surprising, per se, but they are cathartic, and they work to bring an all-around satisfying conclusion to Princess Principal.
This week, we talk about P. A. Works’ arguably weirdest show, Glasslip. We discuss the show’s odd pacing, unnatural character dialogue, gorgeous stills that make up half of the show, and whether or not the show is secretly a masterpiece.
Audio Links: iTunes | SoundCloud
This podcast was recorded on September 8th, 2017.
As we head into the final lap of Princess Principal, it’s not surprising to see some larger twists that would indicate where the show is intentionally going for its finale. In episode 10, we learned about a change in command that shook things up for our cast of girls as they have been given the command to execute Project: Changling in order to assassinate the current princess, and as expected, our cast of characters has some diverse reactions to this news.