Feminist tv series from Japan, and European rom-com lit you can't put down: The Culture Wrap

Feminist series from Japan, and European rom-com lit you can’t put down


Welcome to The Culture Wrap! Our Friday feature edited by Jessie Tu, that shares her pick of things to read, hear and watch. Just in time for the weekend.

Amazon Prime
Tokyo Girl 

I stumbled upon this show about a month ago when I felt ashamed by how America-centric my cultural consumption had become (actually, sort of, has always been…). The pilot is intriguing and moves fast, which I appreciated. I’m impatient and when I watch television or films, I want things to move rather rapidly. The series only ran for one season, 11 episodes at less than half an hour each; and each episode moves across years in our heroine Aya’s life. When we meet her, she’s about to graduate from high school, and her only ambition is to be “a woman other women will envy.”

She moves from her rural town to the bustling craze of Tokyo, a city of more than 8 million. (Erm, think about that figure. EIGHT MILLION PEOPLE).

Throughout the next 10 episodes, we follow Aya as she climbs the corporate ladder, falls in and out of love, gets married, gets divorced, and tries to navigate the struggles of being accepted in a society that continues to ostracise women who don’t have children. The last few episodes had me weeping. Really, weeping. I’m relieved to know there are feminist shows like these in Asia. I just think we need more of them. 

Claire Christian’s “It’s been a pleasure, Noni Blake” 

It’s really rare to find me reading a book and laughing out loud, because being funny on the page is tricky. There’s a lot of skill involved with trying to be funny in print. But this is exactly what Claire Christian  does in her debut novel which follows the story of a white, queer women in her mid-thirties who travels to Europe to ‘find pleasure’ after separating with her girlfriend of 9 years.

Within the first 10 pages, I had laughed out loud several times. This isn’t high-brow literature, but that’s not its intent. This is a book that gives me the same feeling as watching a really comforting rom-com, circa 2002. Something starring Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Garner. There’s a lot of sex in this book, so, heads up if that makes you — I don’t know. Who doesn’t like reading good sex scenes? The dialogue is preppy, fun and sharp. The heroine’s friends are all unbelievably kind and voracious. I wanted to jump inside the world Christian has created and live next to all the characters. This is an all-round feel-good read, and utterly charming. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. 

The Bad Broadcast

Madi Murphy is a comedian, podcast host, content creator, and writer based out of Salt Lake City.  In this pod, she talks about pop culture, obscure food opinions, and well, she does a lot of general ranting. But it’s LOL hilarious. 

Previous pod topics range from Bad Breakups, Dating Horror Stories, Worst Celebrity Couples and Roommates From Hell. In her latest episode, she talks about Dating App Disasters. And it’s really, really clever material. On this episode, she gives some really helpful tips when dating, reminding us women to put our own comfort ahead of others’. Because we all know, as women, we tend to prioritise other people’s comfort over our own. Oh, and there are some pretty horrifying stories too.

I’m listening to…
Azure Ryder

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