Treasure is something we value because we give it value. If we didn’t value it, it wouldn’t be something to covet or desire. So when the mysterious Nanana Ryuugajou has an entire collection of treasures for her island friends to find, of course they’re going to take them by any means necessary! But when it comes to treasure, there is only one for the many who want it. And thus, a community of thieves is born! And when it comes to thieves, who can you really trust?
This is it! I am wrapping up a three-month feature of anime reviews under a larger scope of feminism! And in case you missed some of them or never knew about it, read my synopsis on my project here.
I took a look at what women writers and artists of anime today convey in The Girl’s Perspective. I critiqued how feminine traits are portrayed in recent anime in Cuteness. Then I critiqued some examples where girls and women strive to be free in Liberation. As a proverbial capstone of these themed anime reviews, I hope to send us off with something not so much with critical analysis, but with something inspiring, as I find it appropriate for us to do when coming to a close on something positive. And unlike my analytical formats for the past three months, this one will be more like a collage of scenes.
This final review of the series will touch upon a little bit of everything I have talked about, under the theme: Becoming the Subject.
I Love Yona. She’s beautiful, she’s funny, and most of all, she can think for herself. If she weren’t a hand-drawn character, I would totally… be her servant! (What did you think I was going to say?)
Kidding aside, Yona’s tale is one worth remembering among so many of the new anime series. And since I’ve been talking about Liberation for this month, I have to say: this is my favorite of the four that I have featured.
Before I get to this review, allow me to list a few limitations. First, there are plenty of things I would like to say about this series, but I will be focusing mainly on the main theme at hand. So if you want me to comment on the Korean influence or the characters or the funnies, I am saying it now! Second, this is a feminist anime (no argument there), and I will be critiquing it in that perspective. Third, I will be focusing primarily on the latter half of the series, so there will be SPOILERS! But you should already know that.
And fourth, if you came here for some Hak fan service, here you go!
Let’s move on!
So the most common definition of “anime” is animation which is made by a Japanese entertainment studio, for a Japanese audience. However, that doesn’t mean that the medium that is portrayed is solely from the Japanese context. In fact, more often than not, anime has borrowed many elements from cultures beyond Japan’s island borders.
This is nothing new to Japanese animation; and it is prevalent even now, with an animation that was inspired by a Korean online game.
It seems like the sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity for some of these anime originals. Even if the subject references hundreds of things that came before it, the synthesizing of these ideas is what generates a unique story to the library. However, not all original stories are considered “Masterpieces,” or even particularly “Good,” for that matter. How does this series fare in that regard? I have my own opinion, but as always, I’ll let you decide.