Ojamajo Doremi is a fantastic anime series from the early to mid-2000s, but one that can be hard to get into for English-speaking fans. On top of being quite old at this point, it’s also extremely lengthy,, with four yearlong seasons + extra material. poor English dub from the infamous 4Kids presented Doremi in a less stellar light. The fact that it’s an unabashed kids’ show, with a less direct appeal to the teens and college-age viewers that make up much of anime’s fanbase, also hampers its popularity. However, I think that there is actually a show more readily accessible to fans, which still captures a lot of the appeal of Doremi, and that’s the Little Witch Academia TV series.
The public face of the idol industry is far different from what lies within. Girls and guys meant to provide images of purity on the surface are often the products of years of intense training, potential exploitation, and an engine of capitalism that tries to extract untold amounts of money from fans in the name of loyalty. It’s hardly unusual that idol anime tend to shy away from that seedy underbelly, which is why it surprises me that the Love Live! anime hints—albeit very subtly—at the harsh difference between fantasy and reality.
There are many reasons My Hero Academia is successful, among them a diverse cast of characters, a world of action and discovery, and an overall sense of positivity that can be downright infectious. One aspect of the series that I think cannot be underestimated is the charm and appeal of the main character, Izuku Midoriya, aka Deku. While the notion of a boy who fulfills his latent potential through hard work and a sense of goodness is not uncommon in shounen manga, Deku’s appeal also comes from how his character stands at a crossroads of both shounen protagonist and superhero archetypes.
In my very first article written one and half years ago, I wrote about the anime music super group JAM Project and how their One Punch Man opening theme “The Hero!! was capable of bringing them out of obscurity among American anime fans. At this year’s Otakon, this theory was put to the test. Billed alongside veteran Japanese music sensation TM Revolution as part of the Anisong World Matsuri it was time to see if their presence had grown since their US debut in 2008.
Episode 25 of Kira Kira Precure a la Mode is a game changer in the world of children’s anime. Introducing for the first time a virtually unambiguous lesbian couple into the popular magical girl franchise, Precure, it marks the crossing into a new realm that was previously explored only in the fandom. Precure has always had a loyal yuri fan base, but with the burgeoning love story of Akira Kenjou (Cure Chocolat) and Yukari Kotozume (Cure Macaron) spotlighted, it calls to mind famous yuri romances such as Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon, or Utena and Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
In spite of the long shadow cast by its predecessors, Dragon Ball Super manages to differentiate itself from past Dragon Ball anime. Not only does it play with the traditional idea of power levels and use it as a vehicle for character growths, but it also mixes and matches different narrative tropes common to Dragon Ball in a refreshing and enjoyable manner. This can be seen in the latest storyline, the “Tournament of Power,” which takes the “tournament” narrative and the “fight to save the world” narrative—two things which normally do not overlap, and combines them together.
In the world of My Hero Academia, All Might is the hero among heroes, beloved by nearly everyone. One of the recurring themes of My Hero Academia is the unique burden that comes with being All Might: the premier symbol of hope and peace. Being in such a visible position means that people from all walks of life see the spotlight on All Might. As a result, characters like Bakugo, Todoroki, and Midoriya view All Might and the values he represents in different lights, which transforms the ways in which they imitate or emulate the #1 hero.