Greetings! First step towards change is, I assume, always the hardest. That’s why I wanted to start with easy changes, with a new layout, and now taking the actual step on continuing writing. Current anime season, although there were a lot of cancellations due to the virus outbreak, is coming to an end with a great selection of anime yet again. Among these new releases, Nami yo Kiitekure, Hamefura, Kakushigoto and Great Pretender really captivated me! With that positive energy, I wanted to write a recommendation/list of women-positive shows. I had a previous post on short anime with the same theme but this time I’ll talk about normal-length series and try to keep it spoiler-free!
Nami yo Kiitekure
Adapted from the manga series by Hiroaki Samura, Nami yo Kiitekure has 12 episodes overall and tells the story of Koda Minare, who ends up getting a segment of her own in a local radio station thanks to his talkative (!) nature. When we get to know her, she’s working part-time in a restaurant in Sapporo. Getting dumped by her no-good-boyfriend, she hits a bar, gets drunk and nags at the closest stranger she can find. The person, by chance, is the chief director of the local radio station. From there, she meets interesting people, learns how to handle the radio show and continues to try her luck at finding a path. Minare, to me, is a very interesting character with her own ideals (or lack of them, thereof), she feels like a real life person in terms of her flaws and contradictions. Other female characters in the story; Mizuho (whom Minare later moves in with), Tachibana Makie (who runs away from her brother’s extremely strict clutches) and even Nakahara’s big sister, all of these characters are developed nicely throughout the season. They support each other in any way they can and seeing them dealing with not just men but life altogether is just what I needed. The comedy is gold and overall the story is light hearted. Since I was away from the social media, I’m not sure if the series get the attention it deserved or it’s off the radar, but Nami yo Kiitekure will surely worth your time.
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!
Eizouken was a part of Winter 2020 line up with many other highly-anticipated anime such as Haikyuu!! To the Top, Dorohedoro, Pet, Runway de Waratte and many others. Written and illustrated by Sumito Ōwara, the story is about three young women; Asakusa, Kanemori and Mizusaki. One animator/world builder, one character designer, one planner with immense love for money forms a “movie research” club since there is already one dedicated to anime research but it isn’t geared towards anime production, they sail away into imaginative worlds and try to realize their collective dream. One aspect of this series that I appreciated a lot is that they underline the reality of animation is not just a romantic idea where you just need to love drawing. Lots of physical labor, planning, budget-related problems and creative blocks happen along the way and we get to see how, although on the surface she appears to be only interested in money, important and indispensable Kanamori is to the group. She’s the bridge between creators and technical helpers, stands firm when they are being taken down by the student council, keeps the team spirit up. I loved their character design a lot, different from the usual high school girls we see, overall it’s a series where we have passionate young girls just being themselves, working hard, getting into trouble and get one step closer to what they want.
This one is rather old compared to my other picks but I wanted to add it to the list especially because we got a follow-up movie this year. Shirobako apparently means White Box, literally, referencing to the white cover which VHS tapes were handed over to the producers during production and the series is a joint production between P.A. Works and Warner Ent. Japan. A manga adaptation came after the animation, and the movie I mentioned was premiered in February this year. It’s again a story of ambition and the realization of a youthful dream 4 young women had when they were in high school. Adulthood is not kind on them, much like anyone else. The reality behind that romantic dream is always hard to face; failure, mistakes, having no personal time, work tasks that are barely being made on time and the anticipation, mixed with fear, of the end result of your hard work. I personally find this story very touching, almost felt like I was living Miyamori Aoi’s frustration myself and as fans, I’m sure getting a glimpse of how things work in a studio is always so intriguing since we always see the end product. All the characters were fleshed out in an appealing way and fully, rather than reducing them to one side of their characters. It’s not always extremely serious or boring either, had a nice pace overall. If you haven’t had the chance to come across this series, or weren’t very interested in it by looking at the poster/synopsis, I do hope my introduction gives you the push to give Shirobako a second chance.
These shows, although I have decided I wouldn’t write more extensively on them, will give you a nice time and a good laugh, with good female characters. From left to right they are: Oshi ga Budouken Ittekuretara Shinu, Carole & Tuesday, Hamefura, Arte. I’d love to hear your recommendations/additions to my list in the comments! Until then, take care everyone.