[Links] 1-7 August 2018: Banana Fish and BL, A Letter to Scanlators, and Discrimination in the LDP

By: Anime Feminist August 7, 20180 Comments
A screenshot from the anime Planet With. A teen girl in glasses faces a teen boy, who looks concerned. Above them is a thought bubble of the two of them looking at a bookshelf.

This week: a breakdown of the much-cited interview where Yoshida claims Banana Fish isn’t BL, an open letter from Renta! to scanlators, and the entrenched discrimination of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.

AniFem Round-Up

[Review] Summer 2018 three-episode check-in

Small write-ups of the shows the team’s been keeping up with to let you know if they improved, worsened, or held strong at the three episode mark.

[Feature] “A Woman, Drinking by Myself”: Wakakozake and the diversifying food counter-genre

Jordan Lome discusses the food anime boom and how Wakakozake encourages women to have confidence going places and enjoying food by themselves.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 65: Shoujo manga (Part 2)

The talk progresses from the basics of shoujo to audience, marketing, and influential mangaka.

[AniFemTalk] Which female creators would you like to see at an anime convention?

Summer cons are in full swing—which female creative staff would you like to see as invited guests?


Beyond AniFem

Public Letter to Scanlation Groups (Renta!)

A direct address to scanlation groups fan-translating and pirating manga that is currently being released legally by Renta.

We pay the publisher of each artist a percentage of the sales for each specific manga according to individual contracts for each title. Occasionally we have contracts for “all the titles that come out from this artist under this publisher” but the money flows directly to them all the same.

We do not pay a margin (“MG”) for the rights to produce digital versions of those titles in English. That’s what all the other companies do, so maybe they just assumed this was true of us, too.

Artists get paid when people buy their work from us. End of story.

Speak Out! Japan’s LGBTQ+ Community Responds to Politician Sugita’s Discriminatory Statements (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

Interviews with several manga creators, internet personalities, and activists in response to Sugita’s recent homophobic statements.

Queer Japan documentary filmmaker Graham Kolbeins has worked with bara and gay manga creators like Gengoroh Tagame, Jiraiya, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Seizoh Ebisubashi, and Takeshi Matsu. He found the Liberal Democratic Party’s lack of response to Mio Sugita’s comments a tell-tale sign of its overall dismissal of Japan’s LGBTQ citizens.

“Shinzo Abe’s party has made superficial overtures toward supporting the LGBTQ community in the past, but it’s instances like this (along with the complete lack of substantive legislation) that demonstrates the disingenuousness of the LDP’s position,” Kolbeins said.

“As we filmed interviews for Queer Japan at Tokyo Rainbow Pride in 2016, LDP representative Tomomi Inada made a surprise appearance at the Tokyo pride festival– a first for an LDP official. The nationalist politician, who has since resigned in disgrace, had at that time established a committee within her party to address the rights of LGBTQ people, which on the surface seemed like a positive step. But the results of that committee’s report offered no legislative solutions to the problems facing LGBTQ people in Japan, from workplace and housing discrimination to school bullying. Instead, Inada’s conclusion was to express hope for a society ‘in which no one feels the need to come out.'”

“This kind of backward thinking, that it would be better for LGBTQ people to never speak about their identities, represents the most ‘progressive’ attitudes toward LGBTQ people within Japan’s ruling party, while there are others, like Mio Sugita, who have no reservations about openly marginalizing and dehumanizing LGBTQ individuals. Prime Minister Abe has refused to budge on the issue of same-sex marriage, even making the hypocritical argument that Japan’s constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. This reasoning is more than a little bit ironic coming from a man who has spent his whole career aiming to revise the constitution in an effort to re-militarize Japan,” Kolbeins said.

Best Free (Legal) Websites To Watch And Stream Anime (Yatta-Tachi, Katy Castillo)

Over a dozen sites that stream anime and are either entirely free or have free options.

We know how it is not having the funds necessary to watch anime online, but don’t fret, friend! Here are 14 FREE anime streaming websites that are 100% legal. I have also included what countries they are available, and approximately how many titles they offer. I shall try to keep this list up-to-date and add/subtract sites as needed.

Have a little spending money? Check out our Ultimate List of Legal Anime Streaming Sites and Where They are Located for a full list of sites where you can get a monthly subscription!

How Anime Fueled Mike Daniels to NFL (YouTube)

A mini-documentary about how anime inspired Daniels from a young age.

NFL star, Mike Daniels, has been elected to the Pro Bowl two years in a row and leads the Green Bay Packers as Defensive End. Still, Daniels ranks his identity as an anime fan above his storied accomplishments as a professional athlete. He Was Anime is an incredible story of how the world of anime propelled Daniels from his childhood as a bullied, skinny kid to one of the most formidable players in the NFL.

5 Anime That Take Women’s Sports Seriously! (Crunchyroll, Noelle Ogawa)

A list of anime about female athletes that respects their drive to be the best.

Debuting three years after Attack no. 1Aim for the Ace! (also known as Ace wo Nerae!) is another historically significant women’s sports anime, this time focusing on tennis. This is also a shojo title – and that’s reflected in the signature style of famed director Osamu Dezaki. What makes Aim for the Ace! unique is that it focuses on a protagonist who doesn’t have immense talent in the sport. She has potential, enough to get her scouted, but that ends up counting against her as her fellow teammates don’t see her as deserving of the position. This is also a series that tackles pressures of wanting to succeed, as Hiromi’s drive in the sport and frustration over her situation feeds into her already strong anxiety. Overcoming both social and mental hurdles are key to success, and Aim for the Ace! highlights the determination necessary to do both (and inspired later anime, like studio Gainax’s Gunbuster, in the process)!

Tokyo Medical University discriminated against female applicants by lowering entrance exam scores: sources (The Japan Times)

The university deducted a bulk score from each female applicant’s test so that fewer would make it to the next round of testing.

The university deducted 10 to 20 percent of the points scored by female applicants, the sources said.

A university spokesperson said Thursday that the school will conduct an investigation into the matter.

The revelation comes in the wake of a bribery scandal involving the university’s top executives and a senior education ministry official.

In July, Masahiko Usui, 77, and Mamoru Suzuki, 69, resigned as the chairman and president of the university, respectively, following allegations that they bribed a bureaucrat, Futoshi Sano, 59, by guaranteeing his son’s enrollment in exchange for a government subsidy. They have since been indicted.

Decolonizing My Fandom (The Nerds of Color, Shawn Taylor)

On the struggle to be part of fandom, and particularly to analyze fandom, in a way that isn’t centered on whiteness.

I identify as an “aca-fan,” and academic who is also a fan. I did my undergraduate work on “super” heroism in the Abrahamic religious traditions and my graduate work in Afrofuturism — I’m also a fiend for this stuff: mostly comics and science fiction. Lately, I’ve been moving more into the exploration of horror and how it plays out in the pop-folk-scape. But when I did my graduate work over a decade ago, it took me a very long time to find an advisor who would even take my interest in Afrofuturism seriously. “Afro-what?” “How does Marinetti and/or Russolo come into play?” “Can you really talk about futurism without including Mayakovsky?” The more I insisted that I wanted to use primarily POC scholars, I was all but laughed at. I’m glad I stuck to my theoretical guns (not that there was too much scholarship to draw from, at the time) and was able to win over my advisors. When I matriculated from grad student to independent scholar, I was stuck. There was very little POC-centered/focused popular culture to dive into. Wanting to scratch that particular itch, I turned my mind to the familiar white and male-centered speculative worlds I grew up with.

I felt cheated.

Ugly, Ignorant, Pathological Anti-LGBT Prejudice Reigns in Japan’s Ruling Party (The Daily Beast, Jake Adelstein & Mari Yamamoto)

A broader look at the discriminatory attitudes baked into the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Mio Sugita, who was not available for comment, is, like many female politicians welcomed into the LDP, an extreme right-winger and fiercely loyal to Abe. This is important to understand because she is a microcosm of the few women that manage to gain power within the LDP, which has more or less been ruling Japan since the party was founded in 1955. Even when LDP lawmakers are female in gender they are rarely feminists and often echo the sexist and extremist views of Nippon Kaigi, the right-wing Shinto cult, or are members of it. This group helped Abe stage a political comeback after his bumbling exit from power in 2007; most of his handpicked cabinet members belong to the group.

Sugita has denied Japan’s military used sex slaves in World War II, saying it’s a left-wing myth that is also promulgated by Koreans as “they spread their lies around the world.”

She also aroused the ire of many in and out of Japan after appearing in the BBC documentary Japan’s Secret Shame which centered around rape victim and journalist Shiori Ito. The film is a painful yet empowering look at the realities Ito faced after standing up to not only her alleged rapist, who was a close personal friend of the prime minister, but the system itself –– which discourages women from even filing charges.


Thread: Anime News Network’s Jake Chapman breaks down the Banana Fish interview with mangaka Yoshida and the history surrounding it.


Thread: SNK artist Hiroko Yokoyama discusses discrimination in the Japanese game industry.


AniFem Community

There are so many great female creators in anime and manga, and we love hearing your faves.

I'd love to see Michiko Yokote talking about the writing process for both originals and adaptations.


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