[Links] 16-22 October 2019: The Death of Yahoo Groups, How Fantasy Racism Plots Fail, and The Red Cross Poster Controversy

By: Anime Feminist October 22, 20190 Comments
The three leads of Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun frozen in a happy, idyllic position playfully bickering

AniFem Round-Up

Fall 2019 Premiere Digest

All the premiere reviews in one place, with second episode updates where available.

Anime Feminist recommendations of Summer 2019

The team’s summer faves, from band boys to magical girls.

[AniFemTalk] Which classic anime or manga would you like to see (re)licensed?

We all have that lost title we’re pining for.

Beyond AniFem

The Japanese Red Cross Poster Controversy (Unseen Japan, Jay Allen)

After pointing out an ad using an ecchi character in a sexualized pose for the Red Cross, those involved received the sadly expected ugly backlash. The poster, however, was replaced with a Cells at Work collab.

Allen: I first learned the Japanese word TPO [an acronym standing for Time, Place, Occasion] due to this debate. This is definitely an issue of TPO. This wasn’t the time, place, nor the occasion for this form of expression.

If I had seen this ad in a corner of Akihabara [Tokyo’s anime mecca], I wouldn’t have felt uneasy about it. If I saw the original manga in a bookstore, I’d have thought, “Well, it takes all kinds.”

Bunshun: What sort of criticism have you gotten in English?

Allen: I’ve been told, “you’re an American criticizing this from a Western perspective.” But before I posted this, I sent it to various female Japanese friends and asked their take. They were angrier than I was….

Bunshun: But it’s also true that there’s a pattern of things being taken down only after they’re pointed out by Western media.

Allen: I spoke recently with a Japanese reporter, who told me there’s a lot of self-censorship at Japanese newspapers. Japanese media can use foreign coverage as an excuse to take up a certain issue. Journalists call it “outside pressure” (外圧; gaiatsu).

Yahoo is shuttering Yahoo Groups. Fandom will never be the same (The Daily Dot, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw)

The purging of Groups content will erase untold amounts of early internet fandom content.

The history of internet culture is a history of lost and destroyed information, as privately owned platforms delete their content or shut down completely. Fan communities are often at the forefront of these shutdowns, either because they’re early adopters or because fanmade content suffers under censorship. Back in 2011 when Yahoo sold the bookmarking site Delicious, the new owners alienated its fandom userbase overnight by making drastic changes that eventually tanked the whole site. People left LiveJournal in droves after its new owners cracked down on queer and adult-rated content (among other issues.) The same thing happened this year with adult content on Tumblr. Fifteen or 20 years ago, smaller fanfic sites frequently shut down due to copyright claims or the logistical difficulty of fans running a website in their spare time. But Yahoo Groups stayed strong throughout.

Minorities In Game Development Still Don’t Have The Support They Need (Kotaku, Gita Jackson)

Representation in games is still far too scant, and larger studios are not quick to support marginalized developers.

Similarly, Mitu Khandakar, a professor at the NYU Games Center, told the Times: “If you’re a young person of color playing games, you don’t really see yourself represented. That kind of instills in you this sense that maybe I don’t really belong.”

The feeling of not belonging certainly applies to Dietrich Squinkifer, or Squinky, who said that they burned out at their job at Walking Dead developer Telltale Games after being vocal about issues of race, sex and gender got them labeled as a “troublemaker” at their job. That kind of pushback was not just a facet of their place of employment Squinky told the Times that the threat of harassment from the larger community of gamers is ever looming.

Burnish Are Free (AniGay, Rupa Jogani)

On the Burnish as oppressed Other in PROMARE.

It didn’t escape my notice throughout the movie that many of the Burnish we see, from the pizza worker to the refugees in prison and the encampment, are by and large brown folk. The terrifying, chilling raid of the encampment that rounds up Burnish people like they’re cattle for slaughter, the government using their bodies for their own selfish survival. Privileged folk who nonchalantly ask, “why don’t the Burnish just hide their powers and live in a society like other normal people?” identically mirror the people who ask any marginalized person why they don’t simply try harder to be normative. How can someone live “normally” when even the pizza worker, who never unleashed his Burnish powers in rage because he lived true to himself, was apprehended for simply being a Burnish?

It’s barely concealed metaphor.

The Bad Faith Attacks on Archive of Our Own Have to End (The Mary Sue, Kaila Hale-Stern)

The Organization for Transformative Works has been instrumental in the preservation of fandom content and history.

The folks up in arms about AO3’s fundraising have surely never experienced how fanmade content can be rendered inaccessible or legally challenged in the blink of an eye. They’ve enjoyed, and benefited immeasurably, from the hard-won golden age of AO3. And it appears that they haven’t considered the costs of maintaining not just the massive infrastructure that makes AO3 tick but the attendant budgeting for its parent organization, The Organization for Transformative Works, which actively fights for the legality of fan-created works. In addition, the OTW helps rescue at-risk smaller archives and maintains the wiki Fanlore.org, which documents fandom history and culture, amongst other worthy projects.

Suicide rise among Japan kids blamed on stifling schools amid calls for societal change (The Mainichi; Chiwaki Kohei, Narita Yuka, and Suzuki Atsuko)

While national suicide rates overall have seen a steady decline, rates among children have risen.

On ways to improve the situation, he said, “There are multiple factors behind suicide. When it comes to thinking about how to prevent people taking their own lives, we shouldn’t be focusing on specific instances such as self-harm, or people verbalizing that they want to die. Instead we as a whole society should consider how to reduce children’s negative experiences at home and school.”

Amendments to the Basic Act on Suicide Prevention, which came into force in 2016, included sections that require schools to make efforts to provide some form of education on suicide prevention, leaving schools to go through trial and error attempts at providing effective schemes.

Life ‘still far from returning to normalcy’ at Kyoto Animation (The Asahi Shimbun, Onuki Satoko)

KyoAni’s survivors continue to grieve and consider how they will move forward.

To make up for the loss of talent, the company plans to hire new employees from fiscal 2020, but Hatta said, “There are no shortcuts in the cultivation of human resources.”

The remnants of the torched studio will be razed and removed, but the company has not yet decided if it will rebuild the studio.

“Understanding and accepting the feelings of bereaved families is the best way to rebuild (the company). The most important thing is for our creators to get back their hearts and minds, not merely for form’s sake,” Hatta said.

Ring Fit Adventure Takes Steps Many Exercise Games Don’t to Include Players With Disabilities (LauraKBuzz.com, Laura Dale)

Nintendo’s new exercise game includes assistive features for the leg, back, knee, and shoulder.

If you dig into the menus for Ring Fit Adventure, one of the settings you can toggle for your adventure mode profile is Assist Mode, in which certain muscle groups or body parts can be toggled on or off if you have trouble with them. The assist modes on show include Shoulder Assist, Back Assist, AB Assist, and knee Assist. The primary one I am going to dig into today is Knee Assist, as it impacts the largest number of areas of the game, but much the same changes apply to the other assist modes.

So, turning on Assist Mode, and sitting down to play adventure mode, a few key changes were apparent right from the start. A big part of adventure mode is jogging or running on the spot through environments, and with Knee Assist turned on this aspect of the adventure is automated. Your player character will jog automatically through environments, sprinting when it is vital to level completion. This means that traversal of adventure mode is possible for players who for example may only have reliable or pain free use of their arms. Players can still use the resistance band to fire blasts at obstacles, suck in collectables, and propel themselves off the ground. All of the arm based world traversal exercises work as intended.

VIDEO: On representation past and future

THREAD: The shortcomings of addressing racism through fantasy plots, specifically concerning One Piece

AniFem Community

So many good suggestions. For manga fans, a reminder that Seven Seas solicits reader suggestions every month for titles.

So many series are running through my head right now, but Kaze to Ki no Uta is at the top of the list! It's a classic BL that helped pioneer the genre, and the art is absolutely beautiful.

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