Hey everyone, I'm MarchHareMoe, or Moe for short! My interests always change, but I'm always checking out new music, indie games and anime. My prime past time is plowing through the Phoenix Wright series! I have a passion for strange and mysterious mediums like the movie, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", and the anime "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" (When the Cicadas Cry). Though I'm agnostic, I've been lucky enough to have a loving Wicca as my god-mother, and have learned different New Age and Neo Paganism philosophies on my own. I'm not a writer by trade, but I'm ready to stretch my writing arm out and help the cause!
There was a time when I enjoyed watching television. The internet has almost anything you’d like to watch, but that wasn’t why I stopped watching cable. The biggest reason was that the channels I followed stopped showing cartoons. For a long time I have been interested in animation, and since anime wasn’t shown outside of the late hours on Adult Swim, I would watch cartoons. Even Cartoon Network switched to showing more live action shows around 2010. Within the past few years channelshave aired new animated shows like Steven UniverseandGravity Fallsthat I’ve been following online instead.
I almost completely missed one of my favorite series, Over the Garden Wall, because it was only aired for one week in November 2014 on Cartoon Network. Luckily I follow the right people on Tumblr, or I would have never known it existed. It’s a great example of original storytelling that doesn’t rely on tropes or stereotypes. What really shocked me was how the female protagonist was portrayed. Despite not being human, she had character, and the other protagonists respected her opinions. Best of all, she isn’t made into a romantic interest! In this show, even the grim characters aren’t always painted as villains, and I can’t help but love a show that can develop interesting characters despite their appearances.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Adventure Time, but the last episodes of this past season were showing things I’d never think I’d see on Cartoon Network outside of Adult Swim. It’s exciting to see the network getting back to more serious animated shows (like the short series, Over The Garden Wall), but there are ratings for shows for a reason. I can’t tell if the writers are genuinely trying to make a more developed world with complex characters, or if they’re just twisting the story into whatever they desire. By the end of this season, I questioned whether this show meant to use depression as a joke, and how much of an element of horror they were willing (or were allowed) to use.
A few years ago I came across the comic Sky Doll. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish it because it was overtly sexual, and that’s not really my cup of tea, but the story and the characters were interesting so I read it all anyway. One of the most fascinating topics the comic addressed was the religious war between the two female popes (papesses), Agape and Lodovica. They were both meant to represent aspects of religion, yet they didn’t unite people together. Their church tried separating the spiritual side of religion from the carnal side, and it caused pandemonium and chaos for everyone on their planet. Sky Doll shows what happens when people misinterpret the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law (and vice versa).
Spoilers ahead! Also trigger warning for blood and nudity.
Despite being interested in the horror genre, I’ve never been a fan of zombies, especially now that they’ve been used to death in movies, games, and even clothing. When my boyfriend suggested watching iZombie, I originally said no. But he told me that the pilot episode was supposed to be really good, and I was sick of marathoning Game of Thrones, so we watched it together. Since the pilot, we’ve been keeping up with the show online. It’s become one of my favorite shows currently airing. iZombie is surprisingly progressive, in a strong but subtle way. The cast is diverse in a respectful manner, and the plot touches on racial issues in the media. The main protagonist is an independent woman, without having to prove herself. iZombie may not be the most intense show, but it’s clever, civil, and it covers modern problems in an entertaining way.
The horror genre is a tricky one. It’s very hard to get the impact you’d like from your audience, or to get people invested enough to see your story through to the end. I’ll admit that I’m personally very picky when it comes to horror stories that I enjoy. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared was something I never would have considered watching if it didn’t continuously pop up in my related videos on YouTube—it must be interesting since millions of people loved it, right? The video starts out with a bunch of puppets learning to be “creative” and express their emotions, but by the end of the video they’re cutting into a raw meat cake. It wasn’t what I expected, but I loved the video anyway.It wasn’t because of the shock value, or just how outlandish it was; I liked it for the deeper meaning.
The puppets act like they’re hosts of a children’s television show (like Sesame Street), and make fun of the way children are being told exactly how to act and think. It’s the kind of satire that’s not done very often, especially in the horror genre, and I’d love to see more of it! For a while I thought it was meant to be a one shot bit, possibly a student project and nothing more. Luckilythe creators produced a second video, and a Kickstarter for more videos of the same nature was funded in 2014. Two more videos have come out within the past year, and they’re still as dedicated, satiricaland creepy as their predecessor.
Recently I’ve been spending lots of time on YouTube, and I subscribed to Funimation so I could keep up to date with current anime. Not too long ago I saw the title Yurikuma Arashi. I didn’t know anything about it, but the art in the screencap looked cute, so I watched a random episode. I’ll admit that I’m not the most eloquent person, but I was at a complete loss after watching the opening credits.
Trigger Warning: Mild Nudity and Sexual Themes
I sat there dumbfounded out of sheer confusion. A few minutes later I smacked myself in the head. I knew at least what half of the title meant, but I just didn’t pay attention to it. Yuri, in Japanese, refers to a genre about lesbian relationships. Kuma translates to bear. Then I looked up arashi, which means storm. I was intrigued—if nothing else I wanted to know what “lesbian bear storm” was about—so I decided to finish the series in order. When I saw the opening I was doubtful; worried it was going to be some strange harem anime or something. After watching it, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s bizarre to be sure, but the message was genuine. Almost all of the characters struggle with being lesbians because the world they live in tries to conform them into something else, or in some circumstances, kill them. It’s not the deepest love story, but it shows how society can shun people for being different, or try to change them from being who they truly are. Yurikuma Arashi shows how queer relationships can be complex and difficult, and touches on different forms of love, even familial.
If you’d like to see the show, it’s on funimation’s channel on YouTube, though the entire series is not loaded yet. The full series is offered free on Hulu at present. Bear in mind that it is rated for a mature audience. Spoilers after the jump!
When I was a teenager, a friend of mine suggested watching Princess Tutu. I briefly looked up images, and they gave me a typical shoujo vibe. I was very skeptical that I’d enjoy it, especially since it had to do with ballet and I had no interest in dance, but I finished it anyway since it was highly recommended. The anime started slow, but by the end I couldn’t wait to see the grand finale. Even with my lack of interest in ballet, it showed a surprising level of depth that I wasn’t expecting. The heroine focuses on how to deal with emotional distress, in the healthiest and most optimistic way possible. I found myself getting invested in each and every character and their well-being. Princess Tutu is a strong character who saves people without resorting to violence. As someone who focuses on character development, I was ecstatic to see that Princess Tutu and the main cast are given different roles than you’d expect, and the lessons they reflect real emotional challenges in life that people struggle with. It’s become a classic to me, and I can’t wait to share it with you and other people too!