A Bride’s Story, Vol 1: Living Takes Time


& thus I unexpectedly embarked upon a multi-post journey through the volumes of Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story.  If you are unfamiliar with the overall gist, here it is: 19th century clan in central Asia sends girl (Amir) to wed boy (Karluk) from another clan in another town.  Amir is eight years Karluk’s senior, which they both discover the day of their wedding.  Life ensues.

I am so happy that I picked this up.  I looked at the cover (“Hey, cool! Wonder if I could make that dress…”), read the description (“Oooo, struggles with identity!”), & then proceeded to lose myself in the awesomeness (YURTS!)


On the nature of mystery itself in Hyouka

Well, turns out Hyouka has not one but two posts on the old Super Fani already. I guess I shouldn’t write one of my own then? I mean, that’d be overkill. Except, of course, that Pontifus was wrong. So let’s fix that, shall we?

How was he wrong? Well, in “A Hastily Erected Shrine to Historiography in Hyouka” he claims the show isn’t a mystery, but a slice of life show. Whoops.


I am the Very Model of a Modern Major Slenderman: Why I Laugh When Playing Slender: The Eight Pages



On Halloween, a small band of us got together with our flashlights & binkies & played Slender: The Eight Pages.  I’d wanted to try it out for a few weeks, & for some reason, it seemed like a fun group game to me.

If you’re not familiar with the game, you begin the game with the admonition, “Collect all 8 pages.”  You’re armed with a flashlight that you need to conserve, & you can walk or run through the map in the dark, which consists mostly of forest & several landmarks & clearings where the pages can be.  You can’t fight or speak.  Once you pick up a page (or enough time has passed), Slenderman will begin to chase you, & with each successive page you collect, his chase will grow more intense.  If he catches you or you look at him too long, you’ll go insane, & it’s game over.  Sounds like the perfect Halloween game for getting scared, right?


Growing Up in Worlds of Fictional Men


Yeah, I’ll leave it at that.

Many moons ago, I posted about Cardcaptor Sakura & gender.  Now, I’m back to explore video games & gender.  Why not anime this time, you may ask?  Because, uh…battleaxe.

I’ve been playing video games for most of my life.  While they provided a beautiful escape, they also shaped much of my ideas about what was male & what was female through my adolescence.  Part of the reason for that is I didn’t have many games that even had women in them, much less had a female protagonist.  & not that many games that were made when I was a kid had female protagonists.  I grew up with fictional, pixelated men.


Getting into trouble with “trap”

This isn't a post about Prunus Girl...unfortunately.

The Great Strike Witches Re-posting reminded me that, given some contexts, I have a fondness for the term “trap.”

Well and good? I don’t know. Every once in a great while I come across an expression of outrage at that term. “Trap,” say these commenters, is insensitive toward transgendered people, or at least dedicated transvestites.

Barring irreconcilable ridiculousness, I’m inclined to concede to offended parties. Whatever anyone’s intention, they were offended. Someone felt bad, and that’s bad, I guess. And I get the criticism. The term might imply that a man dressed as a woman (or a boy dressed as a girl, as is most often the case when we’re talking about moonstuff) is somehow out to catch heteronormative males in his web. Which…yeah. You can see the problem.

I’m going to ask for your help on this one, blogotrons. I know how I define “trap” — it is, in my mind, a trope present in anime and manga (et al.) that’s so far removed from reality that it has no real-world analogue, and thus doesn’t comment directly upon anyone’s experience. I wouldn’t call Shuichi Nitori from Houro Musuko a “trap;” he’s too plausible. He has problems. But Know Your Meme disagrees with my usage. Oh, and I’m a straight white male. Enfranchisement helps my material situation, but it means I’m not the best person to ask about these things.

Give me some definitions of “trap.” Whether you’re outraged at the term or you regularly encounter crossdressing shotas in your porn (or both?), tell me how traps make you feel.

(Cowboy Bebop 12-19) I wish that I could turn back time

...Space western? Yeah, you didn't invent that.

This shit is pretty unambiguously pretentious and I don’t like it. But I don’t really hold it against the show. It isn’t just the creators jerking off. Opinionated metafiction is one convention in a set of conventions that Bebop calls upon, then shows us through the eyes of a cast that doesn’t hail from the same set of conventions — this technique is a large part of why I like the way Bebop does references so much.

The aforementioned set of conventions is, despite the year in which Bebop came into being, modernism, and it’s easy to understand why the show feels so modernist. Many of Bebop’s references and remembrances hail from the early 20th century, modernism’s heyday. I don’t intend to do a lecture on modernism here — probably we’ve done that already, and you’re sure to find it in the archives. I mean to talk about one general trend within modernism that, though it’s been present in Bebop since the beginning, began to stand out to me at about the midway point.



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