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Vrai Kaiser

Vrai Kaiser is a tired trans media critic who likes vampires, queer shit, and bad movies. Follow their freelance work on Twitter @writervrai or their study of trash media @trashpod.


What the Rocko’s Modern Life Special Does That Invader Zim’s Doesn’t

No two cartoons quite capture the polar opposite ends of the ‘90s like Rocko’s Modern Life and Invader Zim. On the surface, have a bit in common: both are shows that take place in absurd and sometimes grotesque universes with pointed anti-capitalist satire, and both got into hot water with…

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5 Embarrassing Moments in Western Anime Marketing

If you’re an anime fan, you’ve probably sat back and thought to yourself, “wouldn’t it be great if there was an accessible documentary about the history of the medium, or the history of western fandom, that I could point to as an introductory text rather than sending people down a…

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Five Things That Will Come Out Before the FFVII Remake

I don’t know about you, but the games industry has broken my heart before. No, not with the heinously unethical treatment of its workforce or conflation of journalism with studio-sponsored advertisement or the disproportionately vicious response every time a marginalized person asks to perhaps be treated a bit less like…

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Dragon Age II Was Better Than Anyone Gave It Credit For

We are all, in our hearts, preemptively mourning the closure of Bioware like so many Electronic Arts-acquired studios before it. While EA bought the company in 2007, back before the release of the first Mass Effect, it wasn’t until 2012 that the first egregious signs of EA-mandated trend-following began to…

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SARAZANMAI Imagines a Better Future for Queer Love Stories

“Is it love or desire?” This question winds its way through SARAZANMAI, the most recent work of famed anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara (Revolutionary Girl Utena). On its most basic level, the anime is the story of three teens who get turned into kappa and defeat monsters by pulling out their…

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The Importance of “I Love You”: Queerness in Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the undisputed classics of anime, a juggernaut so thoroughly imitated that a modern viewer might retroactively recognize a dozen now-common archetypes and story beats originating with Anno’s magnum opus. It is really, really important to the history of the medium. It is also, if…

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5 Queer Anime That Aren’t Yuri!!! On ICE

Listen, I love Yuri!!! On ICE. Sayo Yamamoto is one of the single most talented directors working in anime right now, and literally anything that gets her more attention is something I can get behind. I watched the episodes week to week over streams when I was first dating my…

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LISTS

The Good Omens Miniseries is Definitely a Fanfic I Read in 2006

Just about every Good Omens fan has a story about a copy (or two) that was lent out and never returned as a point of pride. And the book’s struggle to make it to adaptation are nearly as legendary as the book itself, spawning a Gaiman short story (“The Goldfish…

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Clock Tower is The Best Survival Horror Series You’ve Never Played

While survival horror can always be counted on to endure, the way the player goes about surviving has changed a lot over the years.  One of the biggest questions a developer has to ask themselves is “how much can the protagonist fight back?” Often the answer is “not at all,”…

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sweet pool is the Best Cronenbergian Erotic Horror Game Ever Made

“Creating as a woman, for female readers, [Hagio] found herself wanting to make every action more realistic and plausible. As she put it in her 2005 Comics Journal interview, ‘it came out sort of giggly.’ It was important that the characters be Other in order for Hagio to explore the…

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The Glorious Possibilities of Dragon Age: The Live Service

Dragon Age 4 has finally been announced, but maybe not in the form fans wanted. A recent report on Bioware’s internal trainwreck says that the original game has been canned, and that the new plan for the game intends to weave in “live service” elements in the vein of Anthem.…

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Rule of Rose is a Horror Gem That Deserved Better

Once upon a time, there was a horror game about a little girl. It sent its studio to an early grave. When it went too soon to market, they called it hideous. Others called it wicked, and the few who had seen it became fewer and fewer. Those who did…

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Fire Emblem Looks Very Weird When You Only Know the Mobile Game

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is set to drop on the Switch in less than four months, making it the first non-Warriors Fire Emblem game on Nintendo’s new and shiny console. It’s an exciting prospect for me, both because this is the first time in years that I’ve actually owned a…

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Sailor Moon Drops Is Gone, But Not Forgotten

This week, the stars and scouts go dark on another mobile game: Sailor Moon Drops, the title released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the juggernaut magical girl franchise. Released in Japan in 2015 and a year later in the United States, it gathered a large fan following with its…

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Give Us a Haunting Ground Remake You Cowards

Capcom has been hitting it out of the park recently: the series-revitalizing Resident Evil 7 became their fifth-best selling game ever, the Resident Evil 2 remake has been getting dazzling reviews, and the company dipped into their backlog to offer a beautifully polished remaster of Onimusha. While EA is forcing…

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Twenty Four Hours in Fate/Grand Order

Years ago, as a middle-schooler just getting into online fandom, I would occasionally think, “huh, that Fate/Stay Night thing sure is popular. Probably I should check it out.” I never did, but the release of a free mobile entry in the series, Fate/Grand Order, was tempting as a way to…

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Marketing Representation in Dragalia Lost

Gacha games are out to take our money. Everyone who plays them knows this, and hopefully has a basic understanding of the gambling logic intrinsically tied to the random character drop formula. But the games are free, and they usually have pretty designs and a dopamine-spiking gameplay loop of making…

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