The Verdict: This is a tragedy, one of the three greatest to come out of modern animation, one not defined by incestuous sheets or bodies on the stage but rather by true heartbreak. This is the story of your little sister who radiates warmth but strength, that you just want to hug because she can do no wrong, and yet thanks to the fates, and villain of nightmarish inevitability, we cry as all that make her great causes everything to fall apart--almost that is. Tragedy is not defined by an ending of horror and sadness This is is a story to restore faith, but what that faith is in, and what it ultimately means depends upon the actions we take.
Watch it, watch it with friends. Talk about it. Cry. Watch a shounen, or better yet this movie (series), to feel better, and then go outside and act to make it so...
Bechtel-Sarkeesian Test: Most of the cast is female, so pass.
It must also be said, without spoiling too much, this story really does have, albeit allegorically, the subject of why anyone would create, perpetuate, and justify (patriarchy, the Other that must be sacrificed for the greater good, and most of all) rape culture at its core. What a the possibility and implementation of resistance to the above can look like is an allegorical theme.
Die Hard Test: Also Passed (cry for SPOILER WARNING)
Low Angle Syndrome: There is none here.
Better Than Star Wars: it is purposefully unclear where the story takes place and what ethnicity everyone is supposed to be, which works well for what they are trying to do here.
Suck It Disney: Here love is celebrated in all its forms--romantic and platonic, straight and gay (SPOILER WARNING). The Kaname family also does not conform to norms and no one makes a big deal out of that at all.