Troubling Japanese politics, Rakugo feels, and mental help health.
It was a big weekend for conventions, with MCM Comic Con in the UK, Anime North in Canada, Fanime in the US, and no doubt many more. Cons should be – and usually are – a positive experience, but we know it can be a mixed bag for marginalised attendees.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is the kind of anime that makes you proud to be an anime fan. It is a thematically satisfying and well-written story, boasting both sweeping historical drama and funny, engaging characters, excelling in visual direction and voice acting alike. In a few years we’ll be talking about it in the same bracket as classics like Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell, part of the rare selection of anime you can comfortably show someone outside fandom without caveats.
We talked about privilege this week, and the links this week have some great #ownvoices.
Another day, another display of questionable judgement from an anime or manga company’s marketing department. Today’s dubious decision comes from Funimation, which we’ve talked about before.
Chatty AF is now available on iTunes and Stitcher, on a weekly schedule! This is thanks to our generous patrons bringing in over $900 in monthly income, enough for us to pay our audio editor $15 an hour. We are, at the time of writing, just $194 away from being able to pay our post editors at the same rate. If you appreciate our drive to pay people fairly for their work, please consider sending us $1 a month to support this goal!
Recently Juné, a yaoi manga publisher, included the word “trap” as part of their marketing (in a tweet that has since been deleted, but we have a screenshot below). On Twitter, Anime Feminist rightfully pointed out how bad that was, referencing GLAAD’s inclusion of “trap” as a slur and linking to an article about problematic translations. Seeing all this, the fit of rage I felt as a trans person was massive. This rage only built upon seeing Juné’s (non)apology. What they said is fundamentally wrong and ignores just how hurtful the “trap” mentality is. CONTENT WARNING: Brief mention of sexual assault, suicide statistics, and murder
Nobody can deny that Bruno is a very smart prince. Out of all the exaggerated personalities showcased in The Royal Tutor, his is certainly the most intellectually inclined. He reads for fun, got a 100% on his tutor Heine’s exam, and of course he wears glasses, the all-purpose sign of an intelligent anime character. But what makes Bruno special is his hyper-awareness of the invisible forces that have allowed him to devote so much time to the pursuit of knowledge.
There is some rough news in the links this week, and some bad behavior to boot. But also a Sayo Yamamoto interview to soothe your nerves.
In honour of the little song contest Europeans put on last weekend, this week we’re looking at idols, boy bands and girl groups in Japanese pop culture! Idols and idol groups in Japan are big business in all demographics, and idol anime and games are no exception (idol manga I’m less clear on – please enlighten me in comments!).
Part 1 of Anime Feminist’s six-month anniversary Q&A. Amelia, Dee, Peter, and Vrai answer questions about the founding, development, and future of Anime Feminist.
There are more foreign-born manga artists active in Japan than you might think. You just may not notice some of them because they take on pennames that obscure their non-Japanese origins. For instance, “Minami Sakai,” whom Anime Feminist interviewed last year, is the penname of an American-born manga artist working in Tokyo, while “Yuu Kamiya” is the penname of the Brazilian-born manga artist and light novel author Thiago Furukawa Lucas.
When I learned that this season’s new anime, WorldEnd (or SukaSuka), was based on a light novel about an adult man becoming a caretaker for a group of under-18 girls, I was understandably wary given anime’s less-than-glowing track record when handling age gaps and power dynamics. Fortunately, WorldEnd’s leading man, Willem, is (so far) completely uninterested in romancing the local teens. While 15-year-old Chtholly does have an obvious crush on him, Willem sees her and the rest of the girls as students, patients, or younger family members. He uses his power to help and guide, never to take advantage.
These are all good things, and a large part of why the pensive found-family story at the heart of WorldEnd has been so compelling to me. It’s also a large part of why a particular scene in Episode 2, “late autumn night’s dream,” stands out as so uncomfortable and out-of-place. Willem may not be a creeper, but some of the people creating him sure seem to be.
We have good news to share about podcasts, and bad news about things happening in the real world.
In the most recent episode of My Hero Academia, a character opened up to protagonist Deku about abuse they experienced at the hands of their parents. This treatment has resonated with some fans, who appreciate the way this character has coped with and responded to the abuse, providing a good opportunity to take a look at the way anime and manga handles abuse.
I’m very pleased to announce that Chatty AF is now available on iTunes and Stitcher! Unfortunately, Google has regional restrictions getting in the way of us getting on Google Play, but we are available through Player.FM, which offers a free app Android users can access. If there is another service you would like us to apply to, let us know in comments! We want all of you to be able to go back and catch up on the shows you’ve missed.
Yuri manga is an entire genre of comics about girls and women falling in love. So why is it so often overlooked by queer and feminist fans? There are several common concerns, each valid in their own right. But for me, it fulfills a desire to see romance bloom between women in a way that few other mediums can provide.
Josei is on the rise, Japan fails its LGBTQ students, and another exhausting week of whitewashing.
Last week we looked at the English language renaissance of josei manga. On Twitter, some commenters reminded us that increased availability in English doesn’t necessarily mean increased availability in other European languages – an excellent point. As a result, this week we thought we’d ask about your josei manga and anime wishlists.