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Otakon Vegas 2014

Otakon Vegas 2014

Otakon Vegas was an interesting beast of a con: a small, intimate convention focused mainly on fan-run events, run by the same corporation as one of the largest anime conventions in America. I was fortunate enough to have an excuse to be in Las Vegas around New Year’s, allowing me to attend the nascent convention.

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Paradise Kiss: A Coming of Agency Tale

Paradise Kiss: A Coming of Agency Tale

Paradise Kiss could easily have been a standard “Girl meets boy, girl’s life is changed forever” narrative. Luckily, in the capable hands of Ai Yazawa, it instead becomes a beautifully drawn, thoughtful meditation on adulthood, ambition, and the ways we hurt the ones we care about. With the issues of agency, identity, and non-conformism front and center, Paradise Kiss has the potential to be a powerfully feminist narrative, and while not an unqualified success, it certainly succeeds on some levels.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 4 Juri Arisugawa

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 4 Juri Arisugawa

Juri is the only woman in a position of true institutional power in Revolutionary Girl Utena. By all appearances, she has everything: she’s beautiful, treasurer of the powerful Student Council, captain of the fencing team, and she has the respect and adoration of not only the student body, but the faculty and administration as well. And yet, rage seethes and simmers just under her placid surface.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 5 Touga

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 5 Touga

Despite their positions of power, the members of the Student Council are largely self-destructive. Saionji has no control of his emotions, to the extent that it leads to his eventual downfall at the end of the Student Council arc. Miki is so idealistic and naïve that it poisons his relationships with those who don’t adhere to his views. Juri’s cynicism blinds her to the potential in others. Utena is able to defeat them not necessarily because of her own talent, but because of their fatal flaws.

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The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 3 Miki

The Four Horsemen of the Patriarchy: Part 3 Miki

Miki, the secretary of the Student Council, is in seventh grade and the youngest member by far. He is also the most “normal” (as far as that goes in this series) and likable of the student council, and throughout the show usually treats Utena and Anthy with dignity and respect. He is highly intelligent and sometimes serves as the innocent, virginal foil to his compatriots. But innocence can lead to black and white thinking and one being easily manipulated, as is the case with Miki and his virgin/whore complex.

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