This week, Jared and I decided to talk about the original Danganropa anime. This anime has been long maligned, and we wanted to set the record straight on what is good, what is bad, and why the dub is the only way to watch this show.
I’ve been harassing Jared for who knows how long to play one of my favorite games in the Final Fantasy series– Final Fantasy VIII.
Since he FINALLY played it, we decided to discuss the game, its reputation, why Squall is so misunderstood, and why we consider it one of the best. (Don’t forget that bomb soundtrack!)
I recently made Jared play Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, A Link to the Past, and the Oracle series. In this episode we discuss the games and their influence on the series as a whole.
In addition, we talk about why we are not covering Caligula Effect, as well as a discussion about the preservation of experimental games and the huge impact of the 16-bit era of gaming.
This week, we decided to do a grab bag episode! I give you some intense comprehensive info on the otome game called Period Cube: Shackles of Amadeus, Jared talks about Puyo Puyo Tetris, and we tell you the best and only way to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
I’ve already written a somewhat thorough review about Persona 5, and I also have discussed it at length in a podcast. Now I’m back to talk more about Persona 5! Why, you might ask? Haven’t you covered everything you need to say about Persona 5? No, I absolutely have not. I want to talk more about the arc and treatment of Ann Takamaki within the game and in the merchandising surrounding it.
Hint: It’s not good. Spoilers below.
Let me just start by saying that I didn’t expect any progressive ideas at all from an anime based on a manga from the 1980s with a protagonist who looks like this:
While Battle Tendency, the second arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, definitely has intense problems with the normal sexist anime tropes1, some racial stereotypes2, and some not-so-normal praising of Nazi Germany3, there is also a surprising amount to commend Battle Tendency for.
Given that it presents itself as an extremely hypermasculine bout of good versus evil, with unnaturally and somewhat appallingly muscular men fighting each other with super natural abilities in the very definition of a male power fantasy, the second arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure does not shy away from allowing the main protagonist, Joseph Joestar, to express intense emotion, cry onscreen, and eventually have a friendship that is not entirely about competition. He is demonstrated to have complex thought processes and feelings, which is somewhat rare for an anime of this type.
Throughout the Battle Tendency arc, the friendship between Caesar and JoJo evolves from just a standard anime rivalry into one where the two young men genuinely respect each other and begin to understand the thought process of the other, which even led to a teamwork save of JoJo’s life. They do have the trope of rivals to friends at first, which involves a bubble Hamaon fight at a water fountain in Italy, but eventually its shown that Caesar and JoJo begin to respect each other after a life threatening oil climb up a tower using only their Hamaon. It’s shown throughout Battle Tendency that Caesar extensively cares for his friends, and he is willing to risk his life to protect those he cares about.
It made the two characters feel more like real people, and it made the death of Caesar hit even harder. While I’m somewhat used to media using women’s deaths to create man pain, it’s a lot more rare to fuel a man’s revenge based on the death of another man, especially one that is not related to him in any way. Man pain drives a lot of the last part of Battle Tendency, and surprisingly, two things occur after the death of JoJo’s really good friend that is refreshing.
- Joseph is allowed to cry. He ugly cries as he mourns, and it’s wonderful. He is allowed to express his emotions, which is wonderful considering there is still a damaging stigma against men and boys crying or showing strong emotional responses. It’s refreshing to see a character as strong and steeped in masculinity as JoJo embrace his emotions.
- Lisa Lisa, who has continuously been extremely stoic, unemotional, and the extreme trope of “strong female character,”4, is also allowed to break down at the death of Caesar. She too falls to the ground and cries, and it doesn’t make her appear any weaker in the eyes of the viewer. When emotions such as grief and the action of crying is criticized as a bad thing, this entire scene blows that myth out of the water. 5
These things are great to me! For one, Battle Tendency has moments of fighting toxic masculinity, which I was not at all expecting from a show like this. Given that the first arc with Jonathan and Dio utilized Erina’s sexual assault as a source of man pain and rage, I was certainly not expecting such a turn around in the second arc of the series. While Joseph certainly has problems, he was a protagonist I didn’t really have many moral issues supporting.6
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is not by any means a perfect anime. It has a lot of flaws, and it does fall into some gross tropes. That said, I am quite impressed that a show of this type did break down some gender stereotypes, and it allowed an otherwise walking male power fantasy to express himself and show “weakness.”
So, I watched Parts 1 and 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’m still confused, so we decided to podcast about it. There’s ridiculousness, man pain, and you should definitely give it a listen.
If you know me at all, you know how much I love the Persona series. I consider Persona 3 one of my favorite video games of all time. I have been so excited for Persona 5 since it was announced, and the style and tone of the game thrilled me. After several delays, the game finally released earlier this month. I barely slept, and I put 100 hours into the game as of completion. While I really did like the game, I had some problems with it as well. With the amount of controversy I’ve seen pop up surrounding the game, I figured that it was time for me to chime in with my personal opinions beyond just what you can hear in the podcast. Keep in mind as you read this review–you can enjoy media and still critique it for things that are done poorly. Spoilers below!
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Rape, Homophobia, and Child Abuse.
Jared and I decided to talk about the highest grossing anime movie of all time, Your Name. We talk about what we would do if bodies were switched, how many tears I cried, and if the movie was good or lived up to the hype!