Month: April 2017

Fandom Report for April 27, 2017

Marvel wants people to dress as fascists? Yeah, Chris Evans already had a thing to say about fascists.


“My Hero Academia” slows down for horseplay

“Strategy Strategy Strategy.” My Hero Academia Episode 17 (Season 2 Episode 4)

After the excellence set by the previous episode, what came after, by comparison, would be less interesting in My Hero Academia. This is a reality, not a flaw: you can’t have that kind of an explosive climax with Izuku’s victory in the Obstacle Course and follow it with another over-the-top moment, lest you exhaust the audience. Moving to the more stable ground of the Cavalry Competition allows “Strategy Strategy Strategy” to focus on the abilities of the other characters, while forcing the show to draw upon its other strength: comedy.


And hey, we learn Izuku had a Quirk all along: drowning his enemies with his tears!


Proposing a Conference Session

In the last five years, I have had the pleasure to organize or chair more than 12 sessions on literature, language, and culture, most at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) but also including three sessions at the Modern Language Association and a talk at New York University’s Edgar Allan Poe Showcase. I have worked in all capacities of conference organizing–behind the scenes, behind the podium, in the audience. Outside my capacity as Administrative and Marketing Coordinator of NeMLA, I want to share some advice for organizing a conference session, from inception to completion to follow-up, not only to help you with developing your own conferences, but also to help those who are submitting session proposals to NeMLA’s Pittsburgh convention before its April 29, 2017, deadline.

Some content below borrows from my earlier instructions for writing an abstract and for presenting at a conference. And I start below with the bureaucratic parameters, paperwork, and easier tasks before focusing on how to actually brainstorm a topic for a session. I appreciate any feedback or additional advice: based on your experiences at academic conferences, which qualities have made for successful abstracts?  Which presentations came out the best?  Which conferences were most satisfying?  Email, tweet, or comment below what you do to develop successful session proposals!

Updated April 23, 2017, with additional advice from my colleagues. 


Fandom Report for April 20, 2017: “Where in the world…?”

Anime, Manga, and Japanese Art

Anime Expo’s academic panels are accepting abstracts until May 19.

Another Yu-Gi-Oh series premieres May 10.

Anime and manga retailer Animate creates an international store.

TV Japan will carry the newest Kamen Rider series in the United States.

The live-action Ghost in the Shell is still a thing–so here’s Adam Savage talking about Weta’s design work.

My Hero Academia is now a puzzle game.

Shameless plug: I reviewed the newest My Hero Academia episode, and it is the best one yet. Check out the review for comparisons of manga panels to anime screencaps, as well as a GIF tossed in.



Fandom Report for Thursday, April 13, 2017: “WTF, Marvel Comics?!”

Because I’ve been catching up on reviews of DC on TV, Loki, and My Hero Academia, and giving presentations on Japanese Spider-Man, Edgar Allan Poe in Bungo Stray Dogs, and representations of disabilities in superhero texts, there’s a lot of ICYMI news this week.

Oh, and Marvel? Diversity is not why you have a problem. Don’t you dare blame that for declining sales when your CEO works for a bigot.


“My Hero Academia” Season 2 slows down to introduce Todoroki’s struggle

“Roaring Sports Festival.” My Hero Academia Episode 15 (Season 2 Episode 2).

Available to stream at,, and

After an opener that was light on action but excelled at re-introducing its characters, Season 2’s second opening brings together what serve as the characters’ motivations that determine the action we’ll see in this narrative arc–as well as a cliffhanger for more action to come.


And hey, someone kicks Mineta’s ass–that’s a five-star episode already!


The new MST3K is excellent. Watch it.

I can’t give this a fair review. Mystery Science Theater was my childhood, something I’d watch on Comedy Central, especially during Thanksgiving or Christmas marathons. It was my college years before it went off of the Sci-Fi Network. It’s something I’ve watched and shared with friends all the time during and since graduate school. When the show was announced to return, with Dr. Horrible’s Felicia Day as the main villain, of course I gave money to the Kickstarter.

I’m so biased for MST3K that of course I’m recommending the first episode when it posts to Netflix this Friday. The reason I got to watch it early is because I chipped into the initial Kickstarter and got the advanced preview on Sunday.

So, rather than offer a review to persuade you to watch, I’m going to analyze what works, what doesn’t work, and what references are tossed into this episode just so I can brag about my knowledge in useless MST3K trivia. Yay!



“My Hero Academia” returns–and it is awesome!

“Hero Notebook.” Episode 13.5

“That’s the Idea, Ochaco.” Episode 14 (Season 2, Episode 1)

God, I missed the series.

It’s not just because it is hopeful, it’s not just because it focuses on abilities and disabilities in a superhero context, and it’s not just because in terms of music, writing, acting (in both Japanese and English), and animation (give or take an episode), it is just fun. Despite being 10 months since the most recent episode, and with some OVAs not yet released in the United States, it has not felt like a long time since My Hero Academia had new episodes.

And still, I have so much to say.