This week: Noir Caesar announces a tour, preparing for maternity leave as a freelancer, and Japan’s colonization of Taiwan.
It’s the one-quarter mark of the series, so we checked in on how the shows we’re watching have developed.
Roy Lemmons found a space to explore his sexuality in otome games, and later in games with queer love interests like Fire Emblem Fates.
Everyone on the team has their personal favorite. What’s yours?
THE BROKEN COGS OF THE ANIME INDUSTRY – PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS (Sakuga Blog, kViN)
The industry is broken: Production Assistants make more than animators but may work hundreds of hours in unpaid overtime and are expected to be constantly available even when not scheduled.
However, for every small bit of hope there’s a truly nightmarish experience. The most chilling testimony we received goes as follows: “I’ve quit working at a studio not with just unpaid overtime pay, but with about 100,000 yen of my regular wages unpaid. There were also several cases of pushing a ton of work on newcomers until they completely burn out, and then suddenly firing them with no say in the matter… At the first studio I worked at, I hear there was a case of suicide before I joined. That studio used time cards that went up to 500 hours. We were told to choose between getting punched or kicked, and there were actually people who sustained injuries from being hit or strangled. I can only hope that things can improve as soon as possible.”
Leaving aside the literal wage theft and obscene overwork, this shows the nastiest face of a workplace abuse phenomenon that Japan refers to as power harassment; though that kind of harassment via abuse of authority isn’t uniquely Japanese, their society is so prone to it that they coined a specific term to describe it. Whether it’s physical abuse like that or emotional damage caused by superiors – sometimes those in the creative side like episode directors – this is a real problem that affects way too many people. Though cases as extreme as the one that we detailed in the previous paragraph are rare, over 75% of the production assistants in this survey confessed that they suffered psychological/physical abuse every now and then or even all the time.
TOUR NOiR (YouTube, Noir Caesar)
An announcement video of Noir Caesar’s upcoming tour plans.
The quickest growing indie manga company is going on tour in a city near you!
Dear Congoers of America: It’s Time to Talk About Measles (Nerd & Tie, Trae Dorn)
Anit-Vax rhetoric has lead to many recent outbreaks of measles, and many born before 1989 may still be vulnerable. Protect yourselves when preparing for conventions.
But here’s the problem, there are people out there who rely on herd immunity for a number of reasons who are not protected anymore. Not everyone can be vaccinated, and there are people with autoimmune diseases. Additionally, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, so some vaccinated people may be vulnerable and not know it.
You may also think you’re immune when you’re still vulnerable. A lot of people born before 1989 only got one dose of the MMR vaccine, when you need two for it to be truly effective. Besides them, older people whose immunity comes from having previously contracted measles in their youth may not be immune to the current strains.
It’s a mess, and if you fall into those last two categories, please talk to a doctor about whether or not you should be re-vaccinated.
Help with legal fees (GoFundMe, Kaylyn Saucedo)
Saucedo’s work uplifting survivor’s stories against alleged abusers like Channel Awesome and Vic Mignogna has earned her several aggressive stalkers; she is raising funds to retain legal services.
I will keep this as straightforward as possible to prevent any form of misunderstanding. This campaign is specifically for the base amount that is necessary for me to retain the legal services necessary for me to begin the process of a defamation suit. The defamation is against me by several individuals who have targeted me specifically to be the recipient of harassment in multiple forms. For over three months I have become the target of these individuals for standing with those who have accused a certain figure in the voice acting industry for sexual misconduct. As a result, several individuals have used their platforms to launch a concentrated campaign of character assassination against myself, including the telling of many untruths, and monetarily profiting off of my image without my express permission.
Currently we are looking into harassment which may lead to other claims later.
How I’m preparing to take maternity leave as a freelancer (Otaku Journalist, Lauren Orsini)
Because freelance work has little to no safety net for medical leave, personal preparation tips are sadly necessary.
John’s healthcare covers my doctor’s appointments (of which there are many), but it does not offer life insurance, which is recommended for pregnant people. I looked into a few policies, but since pregnancy is a “preexisting condition,” it is pricey! So I decided to just go without. John and I joke that he can just order a bargain-rate funeral if something happens to me.
Maternity is not only a preexisting condition but in some cases, also a short-term disability. In Maryland as well as in Washington, DC beginning next year, pregnant people can apply for a short-term disability program, and if they are approved, receive a stipend during their leave. Virginia doesn’t have anything like this, and with another income in my household, it’s difficult to tell if I would qualify for it even if I applied. But I made sure to check anyway. (The answer is no.)
Tokyo Babylon (with Asher Sofman) (Shojo & Tell)
A podcast covering CLAMP’s early 90s hit in full.
In an alternate Tokyo, Subaru, Seishiro, and Hokuto have otherworldly adventures in this prequel to CLAMP’s unfinished series, X. In a poll about which CLAMP series we should cover next, Tokyo Babylon came out victorious. We’re here to give the people what they want, so on this episode, Shojo & Tell host Ashley and her journey-through-all-of-CLAMP buddy Asher Sofman answer many listener questions, like: Does Seishiro love Subaru? Why is Hokuto so great? What’s the true nature of evil? What were our favorite cases? This is a heavy episode to go with a heavy manga. Watch out for the turn about 30 minutes in. You’ve been warned.
Statistician Midori Makita Calculates Percentage of Consensual Sex in Erotic Manga (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
The report concludes that the majority of erotica is consensual, but the data’s definition of “consent” fail to account for instances such as the woman saying “no” but enjoying the sex partway through or statutory rape.
Makita’s data also showed that erotic stories with a maid theme were more likely to be consensual on average. Maid stories overall have an 82% rate of consensual sex, compared to the 90s overall average of 60% and today’s average of 79%. However, the data also shows that the man (i.e. the “master”) is significantly more likely to be the initiator of intercourse in a maid story compared to the average. 63% of male protagonists in maid stories are the initiator, compared to 36% overall in the 90s and 46% today. Makita concluded that while violent and possessive acts are less frequently depicted, the maid is overall a submissive figure, and the power differences between the man and woman can be observed.
Sexually abused daughters often feel silence is their only option (The Asahi Shimbun, Kumiko Nakatsuka)
A lack of outside support networks and fears about hurting one’s family often keep young women silent. CW: this article contains graphic descriptions of abuse.
“Focusing on whether a daughter was able to put up resistance while suffering from sexual abuse is beside the point,” said Masato Noda, professor of judicial welfare at Ritsumeikan University, who has detailed knowledge on child abuse issues. “She cannot offer resistance unless she knows how to do so.”
He noted that children who have yet to learn how to seek help or fight back often continue to suffer from violence at home.
“Sexual violence is the same as domestic violence and abuse in that the victims are strongly controlled mentally by the assaulters and are deprived of the choice to resist,” he said.
He added that all people who deal with child abuse cases need to recognize that.
Research in recent years has found that abuse can even distort the shape of the brain of the victim.
Episode 109 – Dr. Paul Barclay (Lafayette) (The Meiji at 150 Podcast)
A podcast discussion of Taiwan through the lens of Japan’s colonization.
In this episode, Dr. Barclay reorients modern Japanese history to the perspective of the periphery, focusing on Japan’s first colony of Taiwan. We discuss Indigenous Taiwanese resistance to Japanese colonialism, the role of capitalism in Japanese imperial expansion, notions of “savagery” and “civilization” in Japanese colonial rule, and how changing perspectives to the periphery reshapes Japanese history.
BECAUSE I LOVE HIM — SARAZANMAI EPISODE 4 (Atelier Emily)
On the tensions of desire vs love between the main trio as their secrets are revealed.
One of Nobuyuki Takeuchi’s strengths in his visual direction is taking something established and recontextualizing it with a completely different look or added scene. The entirety of what is widely considered his best episode, Mawaru Penguindrum‘s “Frozen World” is all about this, and there’s little doubt that his opening scene in Sarazanmai will be fleshed out later in the series. His first stint as an episode director in Sarazanmai — he’s already Chief Director of the entire series — sets about giving further context to the developing relationships between the boys of Sarazanmai‘s main trio: Kazuki Yasaka, Toi Kuji, and Enta Jinai.
There’s an unexpected variety in people’s choices, which is nice to see! Each of Ikuhara’s shows has something unique to offer.