Two weeks’ worth of links to make up for missing last week!
[Roundtable] Trash characters
A feminist look at “trash characters” inspired by Chitose from Girlish Number, between seven members of the AniFem team.
[AniFemTalk] 21-28 November 2016
Check out the comments for discussion on Kiss Him, Not Me!, Yuri!!! on ICE, Sound! Euphonium and Flip Flappers (thank you, Flip Flappers, for having no exclamation marks).
[Feature] Your Name: Body-swaps beyond ecchi punchlines
New contributor Hannah Collins breaks down the progressive and problematic ways Makoto Shinkai uses the time-honoured body-swap trope. (Spoilers for Your Name)
[Update] AniFem will pay all writers in 2017
A breakdown of how much we will pay writers, how much we need to run sustainably and how important our $1 patrons are to us.
[Discourse] Force Him, Not Me! Rape culture in shojo romance
The result of commentary on our AniFemTalk post, this takes a critical look at how the actions of two of the love interests in Kiss Him, Not Me are presented and perceived. (Spoilers up to episode 9 of the anime and chapter 36 of the manga)
[AniFem History] Noa’s Imposter Syndrome in Patlabor
Lauren Orsini kicks off this new type of post, where we look at a character or situation from an older anime through a feminist lens.
Announcing the Women in Sakuga Programme!
All about our first collaboration, working with the team at Sakuga Blog to actively recruit, support and pay women (and anyone else who doesn’t identify as a cisgender man) to write about sakuga.
[Update] Two months of AniFem
How has it only been two months? We’ve accomplished a great deal, but we still have so much further to go…
Cute ‘Kawaii’ culture may be holding back Japan’s women (Bloomberg)
Akie Abe, wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has spoken out about her views on women’s place in Japanese society. “”Men’s thinking has not changed,” 54-year-old Akie Abe said last week when asked how society’s attitude to women has evolved since she joined the workforce in her twenties. “Japanese men tend to prefer cute women over capable and hardworking women. So women try to appear to be the type that men like. Even very talented women put on cutesy ways.””
Transgender-themed “ECHOES” wins Takarajimasha’s “This Manga is Amazing!” Grand Prix (Crunchyroll)
28-year-old mangaka Ayumi wrote ECHOES, about the members of a women’s basketball team, in part from her own experiences questioning her gender identity from the age of three. “The first prize went to 28-year-old artist Ayumi’s transgender-themed manga ECHOES. It was chosen by the judges unanimously and its tankobon is scheduled to be published on December 10. Takarajimasha has published the “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” ranking guidebook every year since 2005 and the Grand Prix Award was established in 2010 to contribute to the discovery and development of potential young manga artists who are able to join the ranking in future.”
Anime’s fan service can be a minefield (Kotaku)
AniFem’s editor-in-chief is quoted in this article, which covers a range of perspectives from western fans and lots of familiar ground for AniFem readers. “‘Progressive’-identified anime fans—myself included—judge fan service on a case-by-case basis, and often, can’t adhere to simple rules. The rules are broken over and over again as each new season of anime seems to include more fan service. Many fans with whom I spoke draw similar hard lines for not-okay anime—generally when an anime girl is sexually victimized to turn male viewers on, and when underaged girls are treated as sexual objects or points of attraction.”
Top 10 Japanese gay films you need to see (Film Doo)
Following on from her list of Japanese lesbian films, Sharon Calingasan returns with a list of films about gay men. “Japan has a reputation for being a conservative society, but with the passing of time and increased westernization, the country has started to open up, even in terms of sexuality. In the post-World War II era, gay films have started to be produced and made available to a wider audience. Let’s take a look at some of the more well-known gay genre movies that have caught the attention of local and global audiences.”
Japanese transgender idol unit “SECRET GUYZ” overcome gender boundaries (Takurei’s Room)
Rei at excellent site Takurei’s Room translated this interview from Japanese. “SECRET GUYZ, Japan’s first ever FtM idol group, is broadening the scope of its activities to spread understanding of sexual minorities as it cements its position as a ‘new generation idol group”. In addition to releasing their 6th single on November 30th, the group will hold a one man show on December 1st in Toyko. The group says, “Rather than raising awareness in a serious way, we want to get the word out through entertainment.””
The self-destruction of Karasuma Chitose (Andrea Ritsu)
Andrea Ritsu takes an in-depth look at the character who inspired our trash characters roundtable. “What grabbed me the most [about Girlish Number] was the lead character, Karasuma Chitose… As the story progresses, we follow her rise to minor success and then face an eventual fall, all at the cost of her own arrogance and stubbornness. I wanted to further analyze the mindset of Chitose, as I found her behaviour unmistakably realistic and understandable, despite it often being rude or wrong.” (Spoilers for Girlish Number)
Naoko Yamada: Filmed with the heart (Sakuga Blog)
To celebrate her birthday, Kevin takes us through fan favourite Naoko Yamada’s entire career from her birth in Kyoto to her impact on animation powerhouse Kyoto Animation. “And so the young woman enamored with film and who’d recently finished a university course that somehow combined oil painting with the manufacture of art gadgets ended up joining a 2D animation studio right away, simply because she saw their leaflet on her campus and it felt right; considering she had already briefly worked at a bakery where she used her artistic skills to decorate cakes, perhaps this chaotic progression was the most fitting end.”
The Allure of Gravure (Schoolgirl Milky Crisis)
Anime: A History author Jonathan Clements writes about the origins of ‘gravure’ photography in Japan. “This is that most innocuous of “girlfriend experiences”, the simple presence of a female making eye contact, although also discreetly whispering that her new album is in shops now. It’s all about the male gaze, although the gaze one can’t help imagining is usually that of Alan Partridge, fumbling ineptly with a Canon 5D.”
Princess Jellyfish named one of “50 Best Books for Teens” by NY Public Library (Kodansha Comics)
If you haven’t yet read Princess Jellyfish, the shojo manga about otaku women mangaka, it’s highly recommended! “Explaining the pick, Chantelle Uzan, an NYPL librarian, called Princess Jellyfish a “great introduction to manga, and wonderful for reluctant readers!” Her colleague Katrina Ortega added, “The characters are so unique and not characters that are commonly found in YA reading; even so, their fears and doubts and passions are all relatable, no matter your age.”” It is available to read on Crunchyroll, or this link contains the first chapter.
Queer discovery in Flip Flappers (Crunchyroll)
A guest post from @illegenes, who talks about the experience of discovering your own queerness at a young age. “At first glance, Flip Flappers is a story about two girls journeying inside self-contained, surreal worlds to obtain gems that will grant a wish. Upon further investigation though, each episode is both a vignette that contains homosexual tropes and an insight into Cocona’s coming-to-terms with her suppressed sexuality. The first episode is reminiscent of many one-shot yuri stories where very briefly, you collide with another girl and end up developing feelings for her.” (Spoilers for Flip Flappers)
We’ve put up a lot of substantial posts and announcements over the past week or two so social media interaction has taken a backseat. One of those substantial posts was a new set of contributor guidelines to make it easier to recruit writers from our own community.
We are now seeking submissions for work to be published from 1st January 2017. If your perspective or favourite topic is under-represented and you’d like to help increase its representation here (and get paid for it), please pitch some ideas!
Amelia is the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist and a freelance writer for websites and magazines on film, television and anime. She has a degree in Japanese Studies and is working towards a master’s degree in film and television.
Thanks to our generous patrons we have committed to paying all writers in 2017! However, we are still a little short of the $800 in pledges we need to be able to do that and are relying on you to help us hit that goal by December 31st. Almost half our patrons have pledged just $1 which adds up to a massive $80 every month, it’s an enormous help and appreciated more than you might realise. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying content creators fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today!