Bloom Into June – Episode # 97 – Pride Month Special feat. Meta and RetroSofa

Note: This podcast was recorded before the murder of George Floyd and was delayed in the hopes that people would focus in on the incredibly important social movement spawned from his death. We unequivocally stand with the black & brown community as they seek justice for George as well as for the countless other black & brown people that have been senselessly killed by law enforcement across the country. Do what you can to help:

And, bringing it closer to home, this podcast was also recorded before the death of Anime News Network Executive Editor, Zac Bertschy. While none of us knew Zac personally beyond passing interactions online, he was a major influence on our podcast and he will be sorely missed. The modern English-speaking anime community owes Zac a great deal and our hearts go out to his friends and loved ones during this difficult time.

A lovingly rendered graphic for Zac’s memorial Twitch stream. The audio of the stream has been uploaded as the final episode of ANN Cast. Listen here.

And and, COVID-19 continues to ravage the nation and the world. Wear those masks, wash those hands, stay inside, take care of yourselves and be kind to others.

Sorry to be so depressing. Now, on to the episode!

To celebrate Pride Month, Sully and Tori sat down with return guest Meta and webcomic artist Salvatore to discuss LGBTQ+ fans and the role that anime has played in their lives!

Meta (@metaandpotatoes) is a writer, fanzine editor, and gender abolitionist. They recently released Rebirth Dilemma, an Evangelion fanzine, and are currently working on the Onigiri Miya Cookbook, a Haikyuu fanzine.

Listen to our previous interview with Meta here.

Salvatore (@retrosofa) is a Cutie Honey expert, subtitle editor for Discotek Media, and webcomic artist behind No More Mermaids. You can read his work at (18+ warning).

They discuss which anime and characters had the greatest impact on growing up queer, what it means for anime to have good representation of LGBTQ+ identities, and why all roads lead back to Sailor Moon! The gang also reads letters and questions from listeners about being LGBTQ+ anime fans and looking forward to the future in the community.

(00:00:00 – 00:03:34) Introductions.

(00:03:34 – 01:43:34) General discussion questions: What anime got you hooked on the medium? Did those shows help you come to realize your queer identity as a kid? What characters have impacted you as a fan or influenced your identity as a queer person? Broad thoughts on yaoi (BL) and yuri. Contextualizing and re-contextualizing “problematic” portrayals of queer characters in anime and manga over time. How can we make the anime community a more accepting place, both for queer fans and people in general?

(01:43:34 – END) Listener Q&A.

Thanks to ToriNatsuno, quackbar, Adrienne, itsbasiltime, Anon, and BokuSatchii for submitting so many thoughtful questions and reflections.

Anime/Manga/Games mentioned: Sailor Moon, Ghost in the Shell, Final Fantasy X-2, Stop! Hibari-kun, Pet Shop of Horrors, YURI!!! on Ice, Stars Align, Wandering Son, Tokyo Godfathers, Haikyuu, Card Captor Sakura, Dragon Ball Z, Mazinger Z, Bloom Into You, .hack SIGN, Cutie Honey, Our Dreams at Dusk, My Brother’s Husband, Land of the Lustrous, What Did You Eat Yesterday?, and more.

Additional Reading:

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