Why I Support Democracy

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Power is not meant to be used to torment the defeated! [...] the very concept of inequality will be forgotten! -Meruem

Ever since episode 122 of Hunter x Hunter (2011) I felt the need to grab the chance to talk about totalitarian regimes because this is very much a threat to the country where I live. Greece has seen great rise in support for neonazism during the current period of ecomical crisis (2008-2014) and having Golden Dawn governing in the near future is one frightful scenario, no matter how hard life has become these past years.

Meruem is a character that I came to like a lot despite his first -very- violent steps. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t object to him playing the role of a possible messiah. At this point of the story, he had been influenced by Komugi and valued others who didn’t belong to his species. He was touched by the disturbing difference in living conditions between different groups and had a dream of fair ruling and executing divine punishment upon those living at the expense of others. How many times have people imagined torturing those who have harmed them? If a person was given the chance to be an emperor for a single day, most probably this day would be soaked in blood. But such an act implies that, depending on the value we prescribe to certain lives, we can take them away. And operating under such logic is, needless to say, dangerous. But, do things have to be that way? Are there solid arguments against the rule of one man over the rest of us? Continue reading

A paradise of aphrodisiacs -a Filthy Figment review

ff Filthy Figments is a project that Gina Biggs initiated and many female artists helped realize: a site dedicated to erotic content (comics and pinups) by ladies, primarily for ladies.

Peeking into its world one can feel comfortable and cozy to enjoy oneself naughtily and to explore erotic fantasies. There’s much passion and joy into this project that is evident in the art, in the neat way everything is organized, in the forums open to discussions and suggestions and in the pin-up section where you can see that, in certain occasions, the artists drew each other’s characters. I, at least, got the impression of talented women getting together and being friendly with each other and towards the reader.

It is an effort worth supporting, so please go and take a look at their web page. Unfortunately, due to wordpress restrictions, I can’t put a link in this article, but with a simple googling you’ll find it easily! Before that, though, I want to highlight some of its content, so you can have a “look from the inside.”

[possible NSFW images; procede at your own risk]
Continue reading

The Sky Is On The Banks Of The Red River – a Red River Review

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The cover is from the German edition; I was upset that the English edition didn’t feature this illustration, because it really gives off the series’ adventure spirit and displays the equal standing of the protagonists.

Once upon a time there was a young girl experiencing her first love in the 21st century in Japan. Back in the 14th BC century in the Hettite empire, a powerful queen schemes to place her son on the throne. In order to achieve this a sacrifice is required. The young girl is literally sucked back in time and swept away by the political conspiracies. She’s called to survive to an unknown to her era and lead her way through traps. The third prince will give her a helping hand and will come to depend on her.

This is a title that sold 16 million copies in Japan and was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2000.

Red River, for everyone who knows me well, holds a special place in my heart as a shoujo manga. I am very proud of owning all the 28 volumes and when the collection was completed, I hurrayed. The first time I read it, I saw through it in 3 days, devouring almost 9 volumes each day -it was that thrilling to me. A few years later I finished reading it for the second time; although I might frown at certain parts of the story now that I’m a more experienced reader and more aware of feminist narratives, I still feel inspired, so writing about it was in due course for awhile now. Continue reading

Transgender Manga Masterpost

by drewkun 2010

This is an expanding list of manga with transgender protagonists. Here, the term transgender is defined narrowly as the individuals who were assigned male/female at birth but don’t identify as such. There are plenty of gender bender manga out there but very few that explore the issue at hand seriously, with respect towards gender identity. This list is ambitious of shedding more light to non-comedy, ‘slice-of-life’ trans titles that can be read in English and help trans folk find good representations in this medium. If you encounter a title fitting here, please leave a comment to let me know and I’ll add it.

Many thanks to Niki Smith who pointed out more titles!

I’ll procede with just the titles for those not liking spoilers and after the jump you can read comments for every title and some general remarks.

  • Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) by Takako Shimura (15 vols)
  • Bokura no Hentai by Fumi Fumiko (5 vol -ongoing)
  • Double House by Nanae Haruno (1 vol)
  • Claudine  by Riyoko Ikeda (1 vol)
  • IS by Rokuhana Chiyo (17 vols)
  • Cotton Candy Love by Tendou Kirin (oneshot)
  • Ayumi and Aika from Mermaid Line by Kindaichi Renjuurou (2 chapters)
  • Love Horizon from Densen Complex by Kizuki Akira (oneshot)
  • So I Can Be Myself -A Long Dream- from Mascara Blue by Sakisaki Io (oneshot)
  • Flower from Boku wa, Onnanoko by Takako Shimura (oneshot)
  • Dreams Bloom At Night from Yes, It’s Me! by Yamashita Tomoko (oneshot)
  • Apron and Sunglasses from Please God by Minami Q-ta (oneshot)

Other dubious recommendations:

  • Udagawachou de Mattete yo. by Hideyoshico (1 vol)
  • J no Subete by Nakamura Asumiko (2 vols)
  • Half and Half by Nanami Mao (2 vols)
  • Houkago Hokenshitsu (After School Nightmare) by Mizushiro Setona (10 vols)

Continue reading

On Consent & the media

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Recently, two major incidents took place in Greece: first of all. the blackmailing of a left politician on the basis of a video which was recorded by some students who gave it to a reporter, who in his turn used it to expose the politician’s sexual preferences; the second is concerns the Greek Pride parades and is splitted into another two issues: i) a photographer took an unsolicited picture of a trans woman. At first denied doing so, but under pressure from those nearby deleted it. Afterwards an article was written to discuss the topic and a lawyer was asked about it. ii) A few days later, Golden Dawn (the extreme right wing party of the Greek parliament) uploaded the photos from Thessaloniki Pride, which where hosted on an online magazine, to their own site with harmful intentions.

What these cases have in common is that there was no consent given to record the video or to take photos, and this material was used to attack the victims. I hope we can agree that there is something very wrong with blaming the victim. There is something totally disturbing when the actor (this time, the reporters) isn’t accused of violating the law. Continue reading

What’s the fuss about Pride parades?

by dirchansky Introduction

Sexuality and gender are two of the most important aspects of a person’s identity. They are so important, in fact, that they shape how others perceive us and whether they approve and accept who we are. There are many stories, fictional or based on real circumstances, that describe the rising conflicts when expressions of identity outside of the norm become visible. Rarely though are we concerned with the opposite situation. Imagine what happens when something that you see as a fundemental aspect of yourself is invisible.  Continue reading

Devilman: The Demon Bird

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Introduction

Devilman: The Demon Bird (デビルマン 妖鳥シレーヌ編) is the sequel to The Birth (デビルマン 誕生編) and it is the second of the three Devilman OVAs I wish to review. [1] Bolder than its ancestor when it comes to violence, action oriented and with improved animation, it is a worthy telling of Fudo Akira’s adventures.

The article is full of spoilers, so be warned. Continue reading