The Key to Your Heart: Restructuring the Maeda Ideal Through Clannad and Air’s Theatrical Adaptations


Do I have any agency yet, uguu~.
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When Doves Cry: Dissolution in Onii-sama e…


A prestigious institution in the midst of celebrating its ninetieth anniversary, Onii-sama e…’s Seiran Academy would be considered one of the medium’s more ruthless takes on well-to-do finishing schools. A nod to traditionalist boarding school romps propelled along by literary figures such as Enid Blyton and Frances Hodgson Burnett, when contextualized they are essentially caste systems intended to nurture privileged young ladies, instructing them in all matter of femininity. Perhaps indicative of the period’s ignorance however, such idealistic settings generally avoided drawing attention to the societal mores which facilitated such a restrictive hegemony. Serving as a striking refutation to this model, Onii-sama’s 28th and 29th episodes resolve to aggressively tear down those structures built upon the misery of others – and all it takes is the flutter of a single dove’s wings.

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Summer’s lease hath all too short a date: The Sonnet of Ichinomiya Fukiko


Within Onii-sama e…’s fraught exploration of adolescent anxieties and the societal structures which bind, the elegant matriarch of Seiran Academy’s exclusive Sorority would be considered something an enigma where the student body is concerned. It isn’t too difficult to see why a figure such as Ichinomiya Fukiko would be considered the subject of every student’s adoration, however, all long skirts swishing with a gracefulness beyond her years, daintily arranging floral arrangements, golden curls whipping in the breeze. Despite the awe which follows, she nevertheless harbours a grave secret sealed deep within the confines of her heart… The source of which can only be found in a room which the maids have taken to calling ‘the sealed chamber’ in hushed tones out of milady’s earshot. Bedrooms often prove to be fascinating realms, revealing more about their occupants than words possibly could through personal whimsies. They essentially serve as a mirror upon which one’s psyche is reflected, yet unsettling implications lurk in the shadowy corners of Fukiko’s once the viewer is at last granted entry into this room and by proxy, her heart.

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A Garland for Girls: Blossoming Shoujo Imagery in Ace wo Nerae


If one were to daintily waltz through the lily garden, of light foot and lighter heart, they would perhaps stumble upon Ace wo Nerae!. A shoujo coming-of-age tale courtesy of Yamamoto Sumika, it facilitated the blooming of flowers within closed gardens for decades to come through focusing on its plucky protagonist Hiromi swept up in the trials and tribulations of her school’s tennis club. It would be considered an early yuri contribution in part due to Hiromi’s attraction towards the club’s shining star, Reika, in turn establishing genre hallmarks long before they were officially adopted by the mainstream.

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