Pretty Strong: Ultimo, Shōnen Heroes, and Gender Roles in the Early 2010s

Recently I finished Ultimo, a manga which history will remember only as a footnote in Hiroyuki Takei’s career that weirdly has Stan Lee’s name on it. While I didn’t finish it back in the day (when, after many delays, it petered out into a ‘meh’ conclusion), I was always captivated by its high ambition, its sleek art style, and its sheer charm. Take Ultimo himself: his design strikes me as effortlessly cute, cool, and beautiful at the same time.

Cuteness and coolness. Beauty and strength. Today I notice that for Ultimo’s character, these are not contradictions. If anything, his beauty is implied to be the reason he embodies ultimate power and goodness.

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Agender: Another ?Trans? Narrative

I had no thought of writing this until my friend Thedude3445 wrote a great coming-out post and made the point that personal stories all along the gender spectrum need to be shared. But I’m not writing this post hoping to twitch the needle in any big way. I just hope it can be one interesting action, perhaps valuable in its small way, in a sea of actions, in a general movement.

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Spaceballs and My Life with Parody Film

My first exposure to Spaceballs was as a kid of around six years old sitting on the family room floor. It was on that floor that I also watched my father watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the Star Trek episode about tribbles, about how troublesome they were. On a similar floor in later years, I would come to watch my father watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Kung Pow, and a “Weird Al” Yankovic anthology. Spoofy things. Sci-fi things. In-joke things.

I say “I watched my father watch” deliberately, because I had no interest in these things.

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Growing Up with Harry Potter (Without Reading It)

Pt. 0 of The Harry Potter Readstravaganza

Book 1  ·  2  ·  3  ·  4  ·  5  ·  6  ·  7 (pt. 1 + 2)
Book Covers:
Special Editions  ·  International (pt. 1 + 2)

Harry Potter is just another series on my neverending list of stuff to read. I’ve never read it before, which is surprising because I grew up with the books, and fans of the books, and movies based on the books, and birthday parties inspired by the books, all around me. I claimed to like reading, too.

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