For me, the limits in analysing MDZS are a source of hope for the continued possibility of resistance against essentialist attitudes towards gender and sexuality, in and beyond contemporary China. While MDZS is recognised as a work of speculative fiction due to its xianxia setting, I find that its speculative force resides in its subversions of hegemonic masculinity within conventions of danmei. The work and genre’s appeal lies in its portrayal of worlds in which gender dynamics a means of creating affect and producing desire, rather than a source of oppression and control. It is a speculative mode which is not detached from embodied experience, but rather deeply informed by it, as affect becomes the starting point from which we imagine alternate forms of existence.
Ghosts, monsters, murder, death, haunted houses, various kinds of supernatural mayhem, body horror, the frights of the unexplained … Horror comes in a multitude of flavors.
We are gathered here today to listen to the second instalment of a cheeky little BBC audio drama called The Slide. From what I remember, the first episode featured some voice actors I like but I can’t remember who they are now. I also remember sentient and possibly malicious mud?
Was this my mission, to set into motion a new solar system?
We’re looking for the tough cookies, survivors, the older-than-their-years kids.
So, meeting some fun history and SFF concepts, those are our goals, plus some mitfreude, and the vorfreude of knowing that, forever after reading this, you’ll get more richness out of every time somebody mentions anime or manga. And hopefully this essay will also mean that the next time you know young people who are getting into anime, and their parents say, “I don’t understand this thing! Is it good for my kid? Is it dangerous for my kid?”, you’ll be able to give a useful answer.