The Association of Writers and Publishers Conference

Where have I been the past week? Attending the AWP conference! It was a blast! If you want to see more about the cool people I met and the new information about the publishing industry I learned, check out these posts on my writing blog!

Back from AWP!

Notes from AWP

I hope that all the work I did has gotten be a little closer to getting my young adult novel, In the Way of All Flesh, published! We’ll just have to wait and see!

My Favorite Epicstream Articles and Reviews

I was a regular on the entertainment website Epicstream for about two years, churning out article after article weekly. I wrote well over 200 articles for them (Maybe over 300 or 400…), covering reviews, list articles, news pieces and so on. I also created quizzes for them. I eventually got extremely burnt out and had to stop being a regular and turn my attention to other career paths. I still do the occasional article for them these days, but it’s rare.

Working there was hard. I learned a lot about the field and what my limits were. The commenters were predominantly very typical fanboys who didn’t like my progressive views and would often completely flip out at me for very silly reasons, so I came to stop reading the comments and it made me sad I couldn’t engage with my readers more. The job was more time consuming than it was profitable, and some of the stuff I did there was when I was completely exhausted and not my best work. I realized that this was not the right job for me- if I do ever turn my fandom blogging into a regular job/ source of income, it will have to be on my own terms, my own schedule, with my own audience that I cultivated.

Nevertheless, I think I did some good work there and there are some articles I did that say some really important things that I am really proud of. There’s some I put an incredible amount of research and time into. There’s some that are just plain fun and full of trivia I find interesting. I look back on them fondly, thinking of all the things I learned.

So here’s an overview of my favorite Epicstream articles out of the hundreds I did- the ones I think were the most informative and solid, the most important ones and the ones I was most passionate about. I hope people who read this post enjoy this look at my past work and get something out of these articles that I put my heart and soul into.


Out of All the articles I ever did for Epicstream, these are the ones I’m most proud of.

Feature Detail

The Influence of Magical Girls on Western Animation

This was my first feature article for Epicstream and it dealt with a subject near and dear to my hear: magical girls. It delved into the influence the magical girl genre has had on the West, talking about shows like Steven Universe, Star vs the Forces of Evil and Miraculous Ladybug and it talked about the positive things this means for Western media. I love seeing a lot of girl-positive things about Magical Girl works carrying over to Western media and the way the tropes are played with through cross-cultural exchange and I think my article does a pretty good job capturing all that. The companion piece, 6 Essential Stories for Understanding the Magical Girl Genre talks about some important series in magical girl anime.Feature Detail

4 Examples of Social Allegories in Fantastical Fiction: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

This was a shortened and more accessible version of my thesis that I did for grad school. It examines the way sci-fi and fantasy uses magical races and aliens/tales of the future as metaphors for racism, sexism, anti-semitism and homophobia- the works of J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler and the abysmal Save the Pearls book are my examples. I talk about the pros and cons of fantasical allegories and how they can go horribly right or horribly wrong. I also talk about the “reverse-opression stories” (stories that show a world where the oppressors and the oppressed are flipped) and the unfortunate implications of them, as well as the rare well-done example.  I’m proud of this one, as I think it covers a lot of ground and gives a fair overview of the subject and this presentation even made my professor say I should go into teaching!

Feature Detail

The History and Importance of Girls’ Manga

This was a piece I’d been intending to do for a long time. I’d often heard shoujo manga being dismissed, stereotyped and denigrated because it was media by women aimed at women and it really ground my gears, especially after looking into the history of shoujo and seeing how revolutionary and groundbreaking the women who defined the multigenre were. This article rebuts ridiculous claims like “action and sci-fi shoujo aren’t a thing” and gives a quick, simplistic overview of seminal shoujo artists and how they impacted anime and manga as a whole- many of your favorite shonen anime wouldn’t exist without them. It may not be perfect, but I think it says some important things and that the call to respect the women behind shoujo manga is one that needs to be answered. The companion piece 13 Action-Packed Girls’ Manga with Awesome Leading Ladies shines a spotlight on shoujo that contains lots of action alongside dynamic, strong-willed female leads.

Feature Detail

5 Incredible Sagas of Fandom Scams and Deception

This is an article I’m really proud of because I have seen the overview I gave of the scammer Andy Blake’s history being praised as a resource and being used to warn potential victims about him- for example, in this tumblr post– and I am really glad to some I wrote doing some good and helping people protect themselves from a dangerous person. I put a ton of work and research into this article and that section especially because I wanted to be fair and accurate, so I’m glad to see it was worth it.

It’s also pretty notable because it’s the only piece someone threatened legal action on- that’s why there are only four pages despite the “5” in the title. There was a section of the article about an artist who was allegedly impersonating someone else and well…that artist got mad, and sent a copyright notice accusing me of plagiarism of her words and unfair image use. The image use is a gray area (and a rookie mistake on my part), but the plagiarism claim was definitely not true, as all I did was paraphrase what she wrote (I did not copy anything) and linked back to her words as a source. However, Epicstream naturally has a “better safe than sorry” policy so the whole section was deleted. I’m fairly sure I would not have been threatened with legal action had the article been complementary to the person in question.


I believe representation and examination of social biases in media is important, so naturally I did a few articles in that vein. As you can imagine, the internet was not happy, but I think most of them were pretty solid.

Continue reading “My Favorite Epicstream Articles and Reviews”

ANCIENT HISTORY: How Winry’s Heroism Helped Inspire Ed to Choose Humanity Over Alchemy

This is one of my favorite meta posts I ever did, so I’m preserving it here. Strap in for some analysis about the characters Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist!

When you actually look at Ed’s character development throughout the series, the stuff in Rush Valley with Winry was a huge important turning point for him. Moreover, his respect for the simple heroism of human beings as opposed to the power of alchemy is really very inspired by how he views Winry as a hero who does work more valuable than what he does as an alchemist. He looks up to her and realizes she has skills that alchemy can’t compare to and that’s why she’s a big factor in his final decision.

First off, we have to look at the aftermath of the Nina thing. This was the first time Ed had to accept that he can’t solve everything with alchemy.


Here he blames being an “insignificant human” as the reason he couldn’t save Nina. He still believes he should be able to solve everything with alchemy and sees his humanity as his weakness here. He feels like a failure because he believes as an alchemist, his skills should apply to any situation.

He has a similar crisis when he’s unable to use alchemy to get to the doctor when the woman in Rush Valley is giving birth. He tries to build a bridge, but it collapses under its own weight.



Ed has a similar line at a different point in the Brotherhood episode that adapts it, and I remember that it someone at Mark Spoils commented it came off as kinda manpain-y, like he’s suddenly making this situation about his issues. I’m always one to criticize that sort of thing and I understand with the condensed-ness of the Brotherhood episode it can come off that way, but reading the full chapter the line was there for a very specific reason- despite having all the fantastic superpowers at his disposal, Ed is helpless in this situation. He has no power to save anyone.

Which makes it a powerful statement when Winry isn’t. Winry takes the reigns and saves the day not with superpowers, but with courage and basic medical knowledge. Ed may know alchemy and fighting, but when the situation is an everyday crisis of normal human proportions like giving birth, it’s Winry who can get things done and save lives. Winry doesn’t rely on alchemy, so she has important skills that Ed doesn’t and she can save the day where alchemy can’t.

Continue reading “ANCIENT HISTORY: How Winry’s Heroism Helped Inspire Ed to Choose Humanity Over Alchemy”

About the Blog & Categories

This blog is a repository for my reviews, analysis and thoughts on media. Right now, I’m mostly crossposting things on tumblr- I intend to post the things I posted on tumblr I think fall under that purview and are worth posting on here for easier access.

As you can see, I have labeled these posts two ways:

Ancient History- A blast from the past!Posts from Tumblr I wrote more than a year ago, but which I think are worth preserving on this blog for easy access.

Recent History:  Posts from a while ago that are nevertheless from this year which I thought were worth preserving on this blog for easy access.

Of course, I’ll soon start crossposting stuff from Tumblr as soon as I write it and won’t bother with those labels.

I also intend to post directly to this blog once in a while, of course. For instance, I think I’ll do a linkpost talking about my favorite articles I did for Epicstream soon.

I hope people will find this blog useful!

RECENT HISTORY: My Top Five (Six) Anime

So they asked on anime feminist what people’s favorite anime were. I KIND OF got carried away, why am i like this, might as well repost on here:

My top current top five are Sailor Moon, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Princess Tutu and Natsume’s Book of Friends. Twelve Kingdoms used to occupy the fifth spot and it’s still a favorite I just…love Natsume a lot.

Short pitches (w/ slight feminist perspective)


Sailor Moon: A crybaby girl turns into a superhero and finds friends and allies as she fights monsters. Classic magical girl anime, lots of fun, lots of strong friendships between women who are varied and complex characters, canon and well developed butch and femme lesbian couple, just massively important to anime in general and explicitly created to give regular girls heroes to empower them. Helped me realize I was queer! It’s an early 90s anime though, so you’ll run into some serious fatphobia, occasional homophobia, sexist comments, etc.


Fullemetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Two brothers lose their bodies when they try to bring their mother back with alchemy and go on a journey to regain what they’ve lost. One of the most tightly plotted, emotional and well-told narratives I’ve seen period, alternately wildly funny and heartwrenching and grapples with heavy themes like loss, war, prejudice, grief, sin and redemption in an intelligent way. It’s a very male-centered story in many ways, but there are several wonderful well-written female characters with robust character arcs and they’re written in a respectful way that stands out among other shonen anime. Minimal fanservice as well.


Revolutionary Girl Utena: A girl who aims to be a prince one day gets involved in a strange game where students are dueling for possession of a girl called “the Rose Bride” in order to access a mysterious power. What can I say? It’s a surreal feminist deconstruction of fairy tale/romance tropes centered a relationship between complex, well-developed queer women. It’s amazing, affected me on a deep level, and helped me come to terms with my own queerness. There’s a content warning for pretty much anything you can thing of, but for the most part it grapples with the subject matter well and tastefully (imo). Deals with stuff like victim blaming and abusive cycles in an interesting, effective way. Nothing’s what it seems and there are endless layers to peel back. Also there are elephants on surfboards.


Princess Tutu: A duck turns into a magical girl in order to save a prince she’s fallen in love with and help him restore his heart. Pretty much the best take on Swan Lake ever. Examines and overturns both fairy tale tropes and the nature of storytelling while developing wonderful characters and a slightly absurd, engaging world. Lots of arcs about women regaining agency. Fairly dark, but not in a needlessly edgy way. Lots of beautiful dancing, and seriously, the slow-burn character development is the best. You’ll start out hating character and then by the end be surprised how much you love them. Stick with it,


Natsume’s Book of Friends: A teenage boy with the power to see supernatural beings (yokai) inherits a strange book from his grandmother that gives him the power to enslave and command the yokai whose names are written in it. Instead, he decides to free them. To quote my rec post (http://ladyloveandjustice.t… ) Natsume is a beautiful anime about healing from trauma, growing as a person and connecting with those around you. I’ve heard it described as “like a warm hug” and I can’t think of anything more accurate. I often feel like it helps me heal from my own wounds. The main character is a total sweetheart, most of the characters are lovely and the beauty of the world the show takes place in is astounding. There’s tension and conflict a plenty, as well as complexity, but the show is really mostly about growth and love. There’s absolutely no gross fanservice or tropey, shady bullshit to be found here. This anime is heartfelt, gentle and emotional in the best way.

Also, the heavy thread throughout is a male character having a woman’s legacy being an important part of his journey and identity as he finds out more about her and tries to understand her, which is just rare to see in fiction period. Lots of awesome ladies too.And cats!


And a quick bonus description of the Twelve Kingdoms: a submissive, insecure girl must learn what she’s really made of when she’s suddenly transported to another world and left to fend off demons by herself. Fantastic worldbuilding, some of the best character development I’ve ever seen (we see three girls who are major characters go through massive growth and change), has some criticism of sexism, deals with social issues as it explores the politics of the world- this is isekai done right. No fanservice or shady shit and just completely focused on women finding their power and agency.

RECENT HISTORY: Natsume Yuujinchou Rec Post

Okay guys I just…I love Natsume Yuujinchou/Natsume’s Book of Friendsso much. SO MUCH. It has touched my heart SO DEEPLY and is now one of my top five anime, so i am making one of those overly long overenthusiastic rec posts with tons of gifs in an attempt to impart on you all why it is a thing you should watch.


Basic premise: A teenage boy, Natsume Takashi,  has the rare ability to see otherworldly beings (youkai), who range from violent and dangerous to relatively friendly, but are often very startling when they show up regardless. Natsume was orphaned at a young age and passed around among his relatives, who all considered him a liar and troublemaker because he claimed to see all these things they couldn’t. He often faced abuse and neglect from his guardians and bullying and alienation from his peers.

Natsume has at long last found a kind foster family to live with, but he’s having a very hard time adjusting to the idea that people care about him now and he struggles a lot with the trauma and scars his past has left him with.


What’s more, he’s in inherited a strange book from his deceased grandmother, Natsume Reiko, who he discovers could also see youkai. She would often get in fights with youkai and win due to her strong spiritual power and cunning nature. After she won, she’d make the youkai sign their names in what she called her “book of friends” and bind them to her in servitude. Now Natsume has the power to control these youkai, which makes a lot of youkai want to kill him and steal the book from him.

Continue reading “RECENT HISTORY: Natsume Yuujinchou Rec Post”

RECENT HISTORY: Fall 2017 Anime Overview (Ranked from Worst to Best)

My reviews of anime from last season.

Kino’s Journey: ~The Beautiful World~ The Animated Series


I loved the 2003 Kino’s Journey series, so it makes me sad to say this 2017 reboot was the worst show I watched this season. But here it is. What else can you say when the final episode is the protagonist going on an extended over-the-top violence bender in order to annihilate the terrible threat of killer sheep and it doesn’t even have the decency to be funny?


Still, I don’t regret watching it, because it prompted me to rewatch the 2003 series for comparison, and it’s a pretty interesting study in how different storytelling and directorial choices can make or break an adaptation, which I’ll talk about a bit.

First, for those who don’t know, Kino’s Journey is the story of a young traveler named Kino and their talking motorcycle. Kino goes from country to country on a journey, never staying in a place for more than three days and has lots of interesting encounters along the way, experiencing the highs and lows of humanity. The motto of the series is “the world is not beautiful, therefore it is”. There was an anime in 2003 before this one came out.

Both anime series are based on a light novel series. I’ve never read the light novel series, so I can’t say for sure whether it’s bad choices and writing on the anime team’s part or closer adherence to the source material that made 2017 series so different from the 2003 one. However, word around the internet is the 2017 series is closer to the light novels. If that’s true, the 2003 series as an example of an adaptation really improving on the source material.

I think this series first mistake was allowing fans to vote on which light novel stories it should adapt. That made it inevitable there was no cohesive theme or narrative throughout this whole thing. The 2003 series was episodic but also had a narrative arc- we see where Kino came from at the beginning, watch them grow as a person throughout the narrative as they encounter different situations, then the series ends on a melancholy but meaningful callback to their origins and how far they’ve come. The 2017 series is just…randomly cobbled together. There’s no thematic resonance or narrative arc or character growth whatsoever.

Continue reading “RECENT HISTORY: Fall 2017 Anime Overview (Ranked from Worst to Best)”