Anime should be political. No, anime already is political, as is any other media you lay your eyes and ears upon. Every single thing which has arisen not from nature but from humanity bears upon it the mark of the society in which it was created, a society shaped by the political actions and actors which exist everywhere, and even nature itself shows clear signs of ideological influence. No media can escape the subtle personal biases of its creators, nor can any piece of art avoid being affected by the world it exists within. To claim otherwise would be to ignore art’s universal feature: its ability to communicate. If we accept that all art, in some way, speaks to how human beings do or should act, then it must, as a result, speak to politics. This is not the politics of elections and leaders, it is the politics of society’s organization, of the ways in which many individuals shape the world around them.
I vividly remember the comments that Free first received back in 2013. “Who wants this fujoshit?”, “wow this is gay”, “it’s just fanservice for girls.” Now, I was on /a/ at that point, so my understanding of the vibe surrounding the show in those early days is understandably biased by the community I was a part of. That said, it would be simply obtuse to claim this attitude isn’t present in other forums of discussion. A significant number of male otaku are unwilling to give a real chance to Free and other shows like it merely because they come across as being “pandering to fujoshi”. The issue with labelling all female otaku as fujoshi aside, there’s a number of serious issues with this outlook. I’m not going to bury the lede here: yes, Free panders to a specific audience, as does any other piece of media. That it’s so consistently belittled for doing so is merely a sign of the latent misogyny that lingers like a phantom in the hallowed halls of anime discussion.
I am… not a fan of the original FLCL, unlike my girlfriend whose video comparing these two you can check out after this for a different perspective. No, it’s never done anything for me. Back when I first watched it at 15, it was simply a mess, so confused in its direction that it failed to reach me on any level. It wouldn’t be hard to chalk my inability to understand its appeal up to a simple lack of maturity — though the sheer amount of other young people it connected to immediately puts that belief in doubt — if not for the fact that I had watched and loved Evangelion’s finale months earlier. No, I got it just fine. As I said, it simply didn’t do anything for me and at that stage, where I truly couldn’t understand and appreciate the intricacies of animation, there was nothing of substance in it from my point-of-view.
Are you someone interested in hearing some random anituber spout off about her favorite yuri ships for a good 10 minutes? Do you enjoy listening to people make twisted justifications for why a specific couple is deserving the love with which they’re showered? If so, then you came to the right place because that’s exactly what I’m about to lay before you. If that’s not what you’re interested in, then why the hell did you click this video? You can see the title. This list is purely based on my taste, the criteria are arbitrary, there’ll be some spoilers, yada yada yada, let’s begin.