Red Garden: Gantz Dresses Down


Powerful women, or women in power, have long been a taboo fetish in mildly repressive societies—particularly societies where women are traditionally viewed as meek or timid. Considering the Yamato Nadesico (the ideal Japanese woman) fits this description to a T, it shouldn’t be a surprise that anime starring or revolving around girls who, implicitly or explicitly, challenge gender norms are so popular.

Such anime, however, generally falls into one of two categories: the service-driven, and the story-driven. Although both challenge gendered constructions of power, the service-driven show gives the impression that the main reason for female preeminence is to provide plenty of opportunity for fanservice. The story-driven shows tend not to challenge the gender power structure as much, but also create more believable circumstances for an inversion of gender norms (without turning their female cast into purely sexual objects). Continue reading “Red Garden: Gantz Dresses Down”

Basilisk: To My Beloved: Please Die


This anime is so hot it can’t be shown on standard cable. Based on the 1958 novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yumada, Basilisk is the latest from Studio Gonzo and it shines like little else before it.

The action in Basilisk is reminiscent of Ninja Scroll, but the story is unlike anything else out there. Gennosuke is next in line for leadership of the Kouga ninja clan. Oboro is next in line for the Iga ninja. The two clans are the bitterest of enemies—with a feud going back over 400 years—yet Gennosuke and Oboro are all but betrothed. Peace is about to come to the long-feuding clans. Continue reading “Basilisk: To My Beloved: Please Die”