[Links] 14-20 November 2018: Fanservice in SSSS.Gridman, Overworked Animators, and “Anime Made Me Trans”

By: Anime Feminist November 20, 20180 Comments
A group of people wearing bookstore uniforms and various headgear (like a pumpkin, a hockey mask, and so on), stand together celebrating

This week: how fanservice undermines the female characters’ story beats in SSSS.Gridman, overworked animators sending an alleged cry for help in the credits, and taking down the harmful claim by quack doctor Blanchard that anime “makes” people trans.

AniFem Round-Up

[Versus] Dissonant at its Soul: Sexual objectification in Soul Eater

L.M. Brents compares the first few chapters of the manga with their anime adaptation, how the latter largely strips the former’s ecchi roots, and raises the question of whether such an easily removed element was necessary in the first place.

[History] Flowers for Zoisite: How Sailor Moon’s iconic queer villains raised the bar

Vrai outlines a brief history of villainized queerness in anime and manga and how Kunzite and Zoisite’s relationship served not to demonize but humanize them, putting them ahead of the curve not just for 1992 but most of the 90s.

[Editorial] The future of Anime Feminist

CEO Amelia announced a fundraising campaign starting December 1st, what those funds will be used for, and plans to expand the site’s income to include an ethical storefront and potential business partners.

[AniFemTalk] What do you look for in an inclusive merchandise store?

With a store on the horizon, we want to learn from the stores you like best—what makes a storefront welcoming and inclusive?


Beyond AniFem

“The Most Brilliant Storytelling I’ve Ever Seen:” Courtney Milan and Yuri!!! on Ice (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, SB Sarah)

Romance novelist Milan talks about the appeal of YOI and what makes it special (with an eye toward romance readers in particular). Transcript included.

Courtney: So it is like this beautiful story that is being – it’s a beautiful story without the stuff that you don’t know is there, and then you go back and there’s, like, this whole other story that is being told, and you don’t know what you’re being told, it, it’s been told to you, until everything’s revealed. And they do that over and over and over again. They tell you something, it’s a lie, they reveal the truth, and you’re like, fuck, that’s amazing. So it’s this, it, it’s enti-, it’s this little narrative structure that’s not, it’s not conflict in the sense of, like, you know, people say conflict is something that a character wants but cannot have, you know, or something along those lines. It’s not that. It’s, it’s, it’s an entire narrative structure that I don’t see a lot, and so I kind of went off the deep end because I was trying to figure out what the narrative structure was and how you did it and how it would work and all of this stuff, so that’s kind of my, mm, yeah. That –

Sarah: [Laughs]

Courtney: That, that was it. That was, that was it for me.

The Way Pokémon Let’s Go Pushes Motion Controls Means Some Disabled Gamers Can’t Play (Kotaku, Laura Kate Dale)

The use of forced motion controls locks many players with motor control or muscular issues out of the latest franchise entry.

Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee are now on sale to the general public, and a number of Kotaku UK readers have ultimately had to backtrack their decisions to purchase copies due to accessibility concerns not present in older Pokémon games. We spoke to a few gamers over email, who each explained why they were not going to be able to play the latest series entry.

“I have very poor coordination whenever I perform certain tasks. While I can deal with some motion controls, whenever I repetitively throw anything (or mime throwing something) my fingers can involuntarily twitch, causing me to drop what I’m holding onto the ground. This concern was heightened when I saw that a core mechanic is to chain multiple catches in order to grab Pokémon with the best IV’s/shinys. As gyro/motion controls are mandatory in Pokémon Lets Go I don’t think I’ll be able to play for long without dropping my switch on the ground and/or throwing a joycon through my TV. It’s a shame because everything else I’ve read suggests I would love the game but the risk of damaging my stuff is too great for me to ignore.” — [name withheld at request]

Why You Should Watch Bloom Into You (Anime News Network, Nicholas Dupree and Steve Jones)

Spotlighting the quiet, nuanced writing that makes the teens of BIY feel real and relatable.

Nick: It’s pretty intense, and it’s the scene that originally cemented BiY as a favorite for me. In other romance series, this could be the climax, where Yuu realizes she’s in love and Touko realizes she doesn’t have to lie about who she is, but instead it’s a lot more complicated.

Yuu realizes that nice words aren’t really enough to change someone, but more pressing to her is that if she ruins her “relationship” with Touko, she’s afraid she’ll never find anyone else willing to love her.

Steve: Yuu’s holding back because she doesn’t want to lose Touko, and Touko’s holding back because she doesn’t want to lose Yuu. Neither of them are in a healthy relationship, but it’s comfortable enough that neither of them want to risk anything that would damage it, even though it cannot grow without those risks.

This whole mess is perfectly encapsulated when we finally get a glimpse into Touko’s thoughts as she begs Yuu not to fall in love with her. Love could literally tear them apart, but if Yuu never loves her back, then there’s no risk.

Press Release: The beloved masterpiece returns! The full Fruits Basket story is soon to be animated! (Funimation)

More information on the upcoming reboot, including comments from Natsuki Takaya.

And now, at long last, there will be new Fruits Basket anime that tells the whole story. Author Natsuki Takaya will be the executive supervisor, and she has even given us her official comments on the new adaptation, in which she tells of her warm feelings about the new anime. “First of all, I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to the staff for bringing us to this announcement day. I may be the manga author, but at the same time, I’m only the manga author. So I think this announcement is a long-awaited recognition of the efforts of all of those directly involved in the anime’s production, and that’s a relief to me.”

This series is a new series with an all-new cast and staff, and broadcast will begin in 2019 on TV TOKYO and other stations. Some of the casting is not yet public, but the main cast is a lineup of talented voice actors: Manaka Iwami as Tohru Honda, Nobunaga Shimazaki as Yuki Sohma, Yuma Uchida as Kyo Sohma, and Yuichi Nakamura as Shigure Sohma. The new staff includes Yoshihide Ibata as director, Taku Kishimoto as series writer, Masaru Shindo as character designer, and TMS Entertainment as the animation studio. That’s right: this all-new series will be produced by a team of the best talent in the anime industry.

Helen McCarthy Talks About What It Means To Be An Anime Writer (The Comic Vault)

McCarthy was the first to publish professional writing about anime in English and became a pioneer in the industry.

A lot of people created their own fanzines, many of which were terrific – we had a regular fanzine review in Anime UK magazine and some of the artists and writers who came out of that scene are professionals today. But it was really hard to create your own professional magazine back then. You had to be determined, find a backer able to lose a lot of money, find distribution, and work harder than is entirely rational. Nowadays of course, with the possibility of online publishing and all the tools you can get for free, it’s a bit easier to have a strong online presence and build a profile for yourself.

One of the most interesting things to come out of that build-your-own-fanzine buzz around Anime UK is that two archive resources were set up by AUK readers in that era, the earliest independent archive resources on the British anime industry and fandom. Jonathan Weeks began to publish Animejin as an online infosheet with paper versions for those who didn’t have computer access. (Yes, that’s how long ago it was!) He covered both fan activity and anime releases, and kept it running until 2004. The archives are still online at http://www.animejin.org.uk/.

Black Clover is Actually About Noelle (Crunchyroll, Peter Fobian)

An argument that Noelle follows the hero’s journey more than protagonist Asta.

The usual incremental growth we expect of a shonen hero has been a regular feature for Noelle in each of Black Clover’s major arcs. Where her initial motivation was simply to save face in front of the others, she learned her first defensive spell to protect helpless villagers caught up in a battle. Noelle later learned to control her magic to get the Black Bulls to the water temple after discovering a genuine desire to help the squad who had become an unflagging source of confidence and support. Finally, when she was the only one left standing against Vetto and her friends’ lives were on the line, Noelle was able to overcome her fear of hurting others and deliver her first attack to protect her friends, which was… very effective.

It’s taken a year in real time to reach this point, and following Noelle’s growth has been one of the most rewarding parts of watching Black Clover. In particular, her narrative of finding a new home in her squad has been the most fraught and gratifying. In a series with such a laser focus on the importance of friendship, Noelle escaping from the toxic environment in her household and discovering her drive to become more by living among individuals who would accept her just as was may be the most resonant with the spirit of the story.

Does Too Much Fanservice Distract From SSSS.Gridman’s Story? (Anime News Network, Andy Pfeiffer and Michelle Liu)

A discussion of Gridman’s strengths, and how some of them are undercut by the way the camera frames its female characters.

Micchy: You’re not wrong! Anyway, it’d be one thing if the camera were horny for everyone, but in the beach episode (because of course there’s a beach episode), the closest it gets to manservice is when the girls poke at Utsumi’s pudge, which is rude as hell yanno?

Essentially, it’s hard to take the female characters seriously when the camera won’t stop checking them out long enough to focus on what they’re doing, which makes me wonder what the hell they’re trying to do with Akane’s character right now. If it’s criticism, then hell if I’m paying attention to the darkness of her character when anime girl thighs are on screen. If it’s empathy, then how am I supposed to sympathize with a character who’s presented like a hunk of meat?

Low-quality laughing stock of current anime season sends hidden cry for help in closing credits (SoraNews24, Casey Baseel)

The small, overworked animation staff of My Sister, My Writer allegedly placed a coded message in the show’s closing credits.

During the credits of the most recent My Sister, My Writer episode, which aired on Wednesday, viewers spotted an unusual name in the credits. As underlined in the above tweet, one of the animators is listed in Japanese as 正直困太, but that’s not really a name.

The first two kanji characters, 正直, are actually a regular Japanese vocabulary word, read shojiki and meaning “honestly” or “truly.” The remaining kanji, 困太, aren’t a name either, nor are they a vocabulary word, but combined as they are they’d be pronounced komata, which is just a slight modification of komatta, which means “to be in a difficult situation.”

In other words, the credits for My Sister, My Writer’s newest episode contain the message “We’re in serious trouble.”

Same sex couples to sue state seeking marriage recognition on constitutional grounds (The Mainichi)

Multiple local governments have granted legal partnerships, but there is still no country-wide marriage equality.

Lawyers supporting the couples planning to file damages suits argue that the spirit of Article 24 of the Constitution is to base marriage only on the mutual consent of the partners, and the article does not prohibit same sex marriage. “Not recognizing same sex marriage is against Article 14 of the Constitution which states all of the people are equal under the law.”

In the upcoming trial, the plaintiffs will point out the central government’s failure to adjust the legal system in response to changes in the times.

A number of lawsuits have been filed over the recognition of same sex couples. A person has filed a damages suit against the family members of a deceased same sex partner as they forced the plaintiff to shutter the business the person was running with the partner. In another trial, a foreign person who lived with a Japanese partner for many years is seeking the nullification of a deportation order.

ANIME DIDN’T MAKE ME TRANS; IT SAVED MY LIFE (Anime Herald, Samantha Ferreira)

Ferreira rebuts the dangerous claim that trans women were “made” trans by wanting to be like anime girls (and therefore implicitly aren’t really trans) and shares her own story.

By pairing gender identity and sexual desire, he helped to create a stereotype that still endures, and is still used as a barrier to entry for many transgender individuals from receiving help that they desperately need.

I’m not even going to begin talking about how his tenure as the head of Toronto’s Clinical Sexology Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which lasted from 1995 through 2010.

The department came under heavy fire for practicing conversion therapy on transgender youths in 2015, ultimately causing the facility’s gender identity services for youth and children to be shut down by the end of the year.

Dr. Blanchard has continued to push these harmful ideas. This took a turn toward the absurd last week.

On November 9, he tweeted an endorsement for a 2017 Medium article by a user who goes by “SocialJusticeWizard”.

If the name wasn’t enough of a tip-off, the author opens with “We don’t have statistic or anything to confirm it (would be a strange thing to research),” and cites 4chan as their reference.

So, yeah. straight-up bunk, written to provide fire for people peddling harmful and outdated ideas.

But anyway, In the piece, the author argues that transwomen are actually “repressed” cisgender men who, after watching anime, feel that they “always wanted to be soft and gentle like [an anime girl], carefree and cheerful like her, enjoy life in its fullest without the heavy chains of masculinity, like her.”


Video: A museum in Japan spends most of its day refusing entry to 2 cats trying to get in

AniFem Community

We want to know what you look for in inclusive merch—keep your responses coming! And if you missed the initial announcement, you can check it out in video form below.

Not sure if this counts, but as someone who has way too many "useless trinkets" I'd love to see practical items like hand towels, water bottles, things I can actually use instead of a million buttons or keyrings.

Clothing with the same messaging/logos/color options in a range of cuts and sizes. Tee shirts are supposed to be a comfort garment, but frequently the actual options differ greatly depending on size and cut, forcing shoppers to choose between a good fit/texture OR the actual print they want.

I recently bought a Yorimoi-Tshirt on pre-oder. Pre-order sales make sure you produce exactly the amount needed, and there's less waste, so I think it's more ecological. Maybe that's an option for some products. And I second the wish for practical items. Oh, but I actually like stickers! Honestly, the biggest hurdle for me is usually art, and when it comes to that, you can never please everyone. But if you have characters on your products, showing different body sizes and types would be great. An AniFem-Tshirt featuring unique characters, maybe. An AniFem-Tshirt featuring unique characters drawn in different art styles... Now that'd be awesome! (*laughs evilly because I bet reading all of these "we want everything but with hundreds of options" is probably torture for you guys* Haha. Sorry!)

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