English Dub Review: Kageki Shojo!!”The Teddy Bear”


This episode gets to the root of Ai’s hatred for men when a traumatic experience in Ai’s past leads to her cold disposition, her decision to join JPX, and her fall from grace…

Our Take

Normally we don’t get the obligatory flashback in an anime until a much later episode, but I was honestly not expecting this series to get this real. Especially when delving into touchy and realistic subjects such as grooming, sexual assault, child neglect, body shaming, and eating disorders. Rarely do I see trauma so respectfully and carefully written in anime. Before that, it was predicated upon extremes and pushed to bleak absurdist limits with infamously bad Anime shows such as “Elfen Lied” or “Tokyo Ghoul” being examples of this. I appreciate that Ai isn’t just indiscriminately scared of men for the sake of it like a dumb comedy that’s often used in anime, or out of forced dumb “Wokeness” like in more recent American cartoons on Netflix, but is instead taken seriously.

It’s kind of sickening to think this could happen in real life. Another scene that stood out for me involved Yamada being fat-shamed by the teacher which is a reality that isn’t far off either in dancing/acting academies and tends to be quite toxic & abusive in a Black Swan kinda way. We often hear stories about the dark side of show business where an actor/actress is passed around at the peak of their prime so they use their kids as a way to gain a resurgence in popularity or relevancy through predatory producers. Human decency would make you think such things would never occur, but unfortunately, human depravity is a bottomless pit.

Overall, this episode effectively made me uncomfortable, but for all the right reasons. I understand that Ai’s extreme disgust for men is now evident, yet I am not liking her generalizing of men with her radical feminist “all men are trash” personality. This episode had some dark themes but it kept me engaged and on my toes, anxiously anticipating what would happen next. I’m Looking forward to next week with (hopefully) some actual character development from Ai as she has a lot of work to do in terms of personal character growth…