This could've been a simple, shallow reverse harem, and I'm so glad it's not!
Set in a fictionalized version of Japan's Edo period, where a deadly disease affecting only men has led to women taking traditionally-male roles, Ōoku is steeped in social commentary on gender and sexuality. The concept is well-established in its 70+ minute first episode, allowing the story to set a foundation for a fascinating progression in this world. By centering the powerful warlord figure, the Shogun, it illuminates the shadows women occupy to support a country with little to no recognition. With a political throughline and an inherently feminist lens, Ooku: The Inner Chambers offers a beautifully-animated series with few gimmicks and lots of depth.
What did you think? Who should watch it?