(hi all, this is a soft possible dry run of a proposed series of essays on yaoi. if you like this, let me know, and i can try to write more going forward. for what it is worth: this essay is nonspecific enough that any spoilers should not dissuade you from reading and shouldn’t give too much away, but there is a heads up for full spoiler discussion here. if you want to give mamiya a chance without any forewarning, maybe save this until after you’ve played a little. …


When I was young, when I was a different kind of child, when I was a scrappier one, I used to fight. Neighbor boys, classmates, siblings. Bareknuckle and wielding tree branches. I bled, and in turn made others bleed, sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose. It was horseplay, but sometimes, in the heat of it, it was real as sin.

When I was, again, young, I was hurt often. Here though not by people but by circumstance. Put into situations I couldn’t really understand. No one really knows how to teach a child about child death. It comes in many…


INTRO

Our retrospective adventure continues as we venture from the bustling Kanto to the humble region steeped in mythos, Johto. We opted to play Crystal this time around, wanting the more “complete” experience, since there is only an addition of scenes, rather than significant plot or structural changes. Plus, we both wanted girlies. Lastly, we’re going to be trying a new format, hopefully one more conversational and fluid!

Background

Jade: I actually had a Crystal cartridge back when I was a kid! Though the battery is long dead and the game no longer saves, I had my first experience with Crystal when…


A Pokémon Retrospective Between Friends by Jade and Charlotte

INTRO

Our names are Jade and Charlotte. We’ve been online friends for more than a decade now, and we’re also long-time series fans of the Pokémon games; we are neither super fans nor lapsed, disgruntled hanger-ons, but rather girls who have played the games more and less at different points, have liked some entries and been less keen on others. Lots of people have previously done “retrospectives” on individual or franchise wide games, but most of the time, these are solitary affairs in terms of play experience, focused often on the context of the games, especially in thinking about their cultural…


I’ve been thinking about corn. I squatted at a farm for a summer, and I was sandwiched between fields of soy and fields of corn. Despite that intimacy, it would be inaccurate to say I can tell them apart when first planted. But the height difference is palpable come harvest, the stalks of corn raised much higher, the waves of fruits overtaking the land. I’ve grown up around cornfields and farmland. For more than half of my life I’ve lived in an area split between agriculture and fishing. The population density is low; across the 277 square miles of land…


(this piece discusses the long term sexual abuse and multiple instances of sexual trauma throughout involving different people. if you are in a bad place right now, please practice caution with yourself, and maybe read some other time ♡)

I used to watch videos of boys dancing on YouTube. I think that’s when my desire to start dancing first developed. I watched the videos as much for the music, which is why I would click on them, as I did the boys, the bodies that so transfixed me, a desire not to emulate but to know. The songs varied, as…


(brief note about content: this piece discusses suicide as depicted in the film and online, so if you need space from that, please take it and either avoid this piece or wait until you’re in a better headspace ♡)

Being ‘very online’ is no longer novel, but largely just a mundane fact of life we are forced to confront to varying degrees. Growing up online is a lot different now than it was even for me, only recently grown, but is also so much more common and prevalent. I say this with a specific example in mind; there’s a TikTok…


When I started my first and currently only Twitter account post transition, in 2018, I threaded briefly about an article that has sort of preoccupied my mind for a long time. On December 31st, 2014, Fader published an article entitled “Feminine Appropriation Was 2014’s Biggest Electronic Music Trend,” the first paragraph of which I will excerpt in full:

“Sophie. Karenn. Georgia Girls. Neana. Millie & Andrea. What do these electronic music artists all have in common? They’re all men. During a set at LA Boiler Room (watch below), the most famous of the aforementioned clumsily underlined his nominal gender play…


A lot of reviews I surveyed contemporary to the English release of Taiwanese film Blue Gate Crossing (2002, dir. Yee Chin-yen) describe the movie in phrases like “little,” “slight,” describing its lack of “impact.” Instead of floating through my viewing experience like this reception would suggest, I have since my initial viewing found myself sinking into it, and into myself. I think so much of that comes down to language.

I typically avoid young adult fiction and coming-of-age narratives, for no reason better than personal bias and a general disconnect to the style (The Spectacular Now and The Perks of…

charlotte

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