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Blood the last vampire movie poster with saya dressed as a school girl

During the recent controversy surrounding the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, I’ve seen nary a mention of the last anime adaptaion produced for the English language market, Blood: The Last Vampire. This adaptation did not whitewash its main characters by casting Korean actress Gianna as the vampire slayer, Saya, and Japanese actress, Koyuki, as the demonic archvillian, Onigen.

So, what can we learn about the issues of whitewashing from this decidedly not whitewashed film? Let’s take a closer look!

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Happy 4th Birthday Shojo Power!

The inner senshi sailor moon crystal stlyle with jupiter, mars, moon winking, mercury and venus

This month Shojo Power! celebrated it’s fourth birthday. It’s hard to believe! So as usual, onto the stats!

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Trauma & Resilience in Skip Beat!

Guest Author: ThatLatinxChick

How do I write about a character who was so personal and meaningful to me when I was a dissociative teenager? Growing up as a Latinx of color, issues like representation were not completely at the forefront of my mind, but I did know that I was not connecting to characters that were presented to me no matter what medium I consumed.  I remember the day when I went to Kinokuniya in New York City after school to pick up my monthly Shojo Beat magazine and there it was–chapter one of Skip Beat.  At that age, it was so rare for me to find a character that I identified with on a personal and emotional level so it didn’t take me long to decide to purchase volume 1.  

[Warning: Minor Spoilers!]

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Did Wonder Woman Influence Sailor Moon?

Wonder Woman holds her sword over her head, looking serious. The star in her tiara gleams.

75 years after the first appearance of Wonder Woman in comic book pages, she finally appeared on the big screen on June 1st 2017. The long-awaited movie brought in over $103 million dollars in its first weekend, making it the biggest opening for a female director.

I saw it opening weekend and as I stared at the massive Wonder Woman poster in the theater hallway–a close up of her face, with her arms crossed in front of her–I took note of her v-shaped tiara. It looked eerily similar to Sailor Moon’s signature tiara. It got me thinking–did Wonder Woman influence Sailor Moon? And has Sailor Moon influenced Wonder Woman?

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Michiko & Hatchin title with Michiko and Hatchin on a green motorbike, flying through the air

This article is republished with permission. Guest Author: ThatLatinxChick

There is a reason why we love Michiko to Hatchin at animecomplexium. Michiko Malandro is a rare main lead character who is a brown woman that is not only strong, but is fully capable of showing her vulnerability to those she loves. Before I get into the series review, I think it is important to talk about the creative team that brought this series to womxn of color–whom need to see themselves in more stories that portrays them as complex human beings rather than problematic archetypes. Before achieving world-wide success with Yuri on Ice, director Sayo Yamamoto found work in the anime industry through the legendary anime director Satoshi Kon. Eventually she worked on popular shows such as Samurai Champloo with the famous anime director Shinichiro Watanabe.

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The Ghost in the Shell live action poster with Scarlett Johansson

It’s been a month or so since the live action Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johnson was released. I’ve read quite a few reviews and reactions so I already had a few questions before I set foot in the theater. I knew I had to see it myself to see how it all played out.

As an action film, it succeeds beautifully. As a meditation on technology and reality, it goes for soothing anxieties rather than exploiting them.

Let me explain.

[Warning: SPOLIERS!]

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In the foreground is Motoko's profile and in the background is the puppet master's blonde haired, blue eyed face.

Next month, the American adaption of Ghost in the Shell will arrive in theaters. There has been much chatter surrounding the casting of Scarlet Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi (I would have prefered Rinko Kikuchi myself.) I expect there will be more to say after its release.

I first saw the 1995 animated film Ghost in the Shell in 2004 when its sequel Ghost in the Shell: Innocence was released. I absolutely loved the original film; I’m a total sucker for philosophical discussions on the nature of reality. However, it’s been over ten years since I first watched it so I figure I better revisit it so I can tell you how this new film has screwed it up.

It turns out that the original Ghost in the Shell has a lot more to say about nationality, race and identity than I expected.

[Warning: Contains Spoilers for the 1995 film]

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Sailor Moon stands in a crowd holding the cutie moon rod

Anne Lee protests in New York City dressed as Sailor Moon. Photo Credit: Anne Lee

On January 21st 2017, people around the world, on all seven continents, protested the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, President Trump. This protest was called the Women’s March, a march that began organizing just after the election. I had heard about it through Facebook, but I thought it would be a relatively small protest considering it would occur in the middle of winter. However, on the morning of the 21st, as the images started to come in on social media and on the news, it became clear very quickly that this was no ordinary protest. I hastily threw on my Sailor Moon cosplay and off I went to the protest in New York City.

Of course, Sailor Moon is no stranger to activism. And I wasn’t the only one who used Sailor Moon as inspiration!

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See You Space Princess: A Carrie Fisher Tribute

close up of princess leia taking off her hood

I became familiar with Star Wars in the late 1980s. I was born in 1984 and the original trilogy finished in 1983. By the late 1980s, the trilogy would air on tv on lazy Sunday mornings; my Dad would turn it on. At first I thought the movies were boring, but as I got older, I was entranced.

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What is Obscenity? A Feminist Book Review

A book with a bright blue cover with a cute vagina mascot

What is Obscenity? The Story of a Good for Nothing Artist and her Pussy tells the story of vagina artist, Rokudenashiko, who was arrested in 2014 for “distributing obscene materials.” What were the obscene materials? Art made from the artist’s own vagina. The arrest made headlines around the world.

Like many people, I was following this case intently. I thought I knew everything about it. However, upon reading What is Obscenity?, it’s apparent that the media only skimmed the surface. The news left out so many interesting (and depressing) details about what exactly happened.

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