Two interesting articles on anime related things.
An article on The strange but familiar world of a Japanese TV cartoon over at reason online. It's from May and is about Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (One of my personal favorites of the last year or so). The author has some interesting notes on the subject.
"Depictions of shapely, scantily clad women are standard in Japanese comics and animations, and this series gladly provides them. But the message is subtly subversive: These bodies are literal commodities, shells their inhabitants can exchange if they feel like it. Kusanagi is female only in the sense that she wears female bodies, apparently to complement her favorite watch. No longer the key to identity, gender becomes a convention."
An article from Forbes.com about John Ledford, the creator of ADV Films. It tells of how the company got started and is a pretty amazing read. I especially like how Ledford got started by importing Japanese video game systems that weren't available here yet and selling them with an obscene markup.