Archive for the Secret Santa Category

Kaiba – Adrift in Memories

Posted in Crappy Reviews, Kaiba, Random Shit, Secret Santa with tags on 12/24/2011 by Shinmaru

(This is my review for Reverse Thieves’ third-annual Secret Santa event. I have another Secret Santa review coming up at The Nihon Reiew. Both are spoiler-free reviews.)

I knew a little bit about Kaiba going in: Mainly that the main character wakes up in the beginning of the series having lost his memory, and that the crux of the series is a journey to regain that memory. And I also knew that the man at the helm of the series is Masaki Yuasa, a man with no shortage of admirers, at least in the circles of anime fandom in which I find myself. I count myself among those admirers: The man has a unique, distinctive vision for his stories, and the way they play out onscreen is fascinating. I could see why people may be turned off by the aesthetics of his works, but I find that his unique brand of “ugliness” usually fits in perfectly with the stories he tells.

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I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Brilliance Surrounded By BS

Posted in Crappy Reviews, Random Shit, Secret Santa, Strawberry Eggs with tags on 12/24/2010 by Shinmaru

(This is my review for Reverse Thieves‘ Secret Santa event.)

Hibiki Amawa dreams of becoming a teacher; to pay the rent, he applies for a job at a local junior high school, Seito Sannomiya Private School. However, his application is rebuffed because the school’s principal refuses to hire any men, believing them to all be base, lecherous creatures. To help Hibiki pay the rent, his landlord, Lulu Sanjo, concocts a way for Hibiki to dress and sound just like a woman so that he will be accepted. Hibiki begins teaching and combats the streak of misandry running through the school.

There is an identity crisis that defines Strawberry Eggs, and it isn’t between Hibiki’s identity as a man and a woman.

Strawberry Eggs is a frustrating series because streaks of brilliance often race through each episode. There are many great moments of gender identity satire: Take, for instance, when the school’s few boys are forced by the principal to clean the school pool. Hibiki helps out because he sympathizes with the boys; when some of the girls pass by, Hibiki asks them to help, but they respond, “What?! Why should we do a man’s work?!” The men are the ones being forced into a specific role (even if physical labor is “traditionally” the domain of men), while the women are free to do whatever the hell they want. Just a small taste, but the boys get a feel for how unfair socially-enforced roles are.

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