This week: another set of homophobic remarks by an LDP lawmaker, romanticized abuse in Boys Over Flowers, and the series premiering this season with female directors.
The team shares their respective top five series of the past year.
Dee, Caitlin, and Peter hash it out over the fall season, Netflix series, and carryovers from summer.
A sci-fi series with potential, but it’s hard to tell for sure since this is basically an extended prologue.
Takes a different but intriguing approach to the 2000 anime adaptation, focusing on telling the same story from different perspectives.
Literally painful to look at and a stealth follow-up to an infamous dud of a series.
Fuck this show, honestly. We’ve listed some anti-human trafficking and anti-sexual violence charities you can donate to instead.
A functional but intensely boring mobile game adaptation.
A promising and atmospheric historical fantasy with the same worries that come with any modern adaptation of a classic manga.
What shows have caught your eye?
2018 LGBT News in Japan Roundup (Nijiiro News)
A round-up of important news stories from 2018 relating to Japan’s LGBTQ community.
WHAT IS LOVE? (ON ROMANTICIZING ABUSE IN “HANA YORI DANGO” [ANIME]) (Shoujo Thoughts)
A breakdown of the abusive relationship dynamics in famous shoujo work Boys Over Flowers.
To romanticize something isn’t to make it romantic in nature, at least not in the manner of, say, a moonlit walk on the beach. Rather, to romanticize is to make something seem better or more appealing than it actually is in real life. A romantic is an idealist—a sentimentalist—and so to romanticize abuse in Hana Yori Dango is to take the abusive or problematic behaviors and ascribe positive, more sentimental characteristics to said actions. It can also mean emphasizing them in such ways that gloss over the troublesome notions entirely in favor of more fantasist notions.
CDP to seek Civil Code revisions to recognize same-sex marriage (The Mainichi, Hiroshi Odanaka)
The Constitutional Democratic Party will both introduce revisions next year and back marginalized candidates for election.
The CDP has two options for recognizing same-sex marriage in the “marriage” section of the Civil Code, or creating a new “partnership system” that extends the same rights as married couples to same-sex common law marriages. The party intends to finalize its revision plan within the next ordinary session of the Diet.
If legalization is realized, the legal status of same-sex couples in areas such as medical insurance, bereaved family pension and inheritance will rise dramatically. CDP project team leader and lower house lawmaker Chinami Nishimura said, “It’s important to create diverse choices.”
Female TV Anime Directors Winter 2019 (Onna no Kantoku, Justin)
Only four series of the winter season have female directors.
Kaori made her debut as a series director an adaption of Mikami Komata’s Yuyushiki comedy manga in 2013. Since then, she also directed the cute series How to Keep a Mummy and served as assistant director for the high energy Scorching Ping-Pong Girls. She was also involved as a director for the Bottom Biting Bug shorts.
With Endro~! Kaori gets her first completely original series. She also gets a stellar supporting cast with series composition from comedy expert Takashi Aoshima, (Yuru Yuri, Himouto! Umaru-chan), original character designs by Namori, the creator of Yuru Yuri, and adapted character designs by Haruko Iizuka (Umi Monogatari, Tamayura). The original fantasy story follows girls studying at an academy to defeat the demon king.
Japan women’s university blasts sex listing on weekly (The Mainichi)
Shukan Spa! Magazine published an article ranking five universities based on how available their female students are.
The university in Yokohama, near Tokyo, was among five universities in a list published in the men’s magazine ranking their female students on how easy it is to persuade them to have sex at drinking parties.
Jissen Women’s University, which is also among the five, said the Tokyo-based institution has sent a protest letter to the publisher, Fusosha Publishing Inc.
“We strongly protest that the magazine printed an article that led to women being insulted and damaged the honor and dignity of our university as well as its students,” the letter said.
Tokyo-based Otsuma Women’s University, another university on the list, said it plans to send a protest letter to Fusosha shortly.
Live-Action Death Note Used Real Train Accident Footage Without Permission (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
The film included footage of a 2010 accident that killed 19 and injured 310.
The National Railway Company of Belgium claimed that Netflix had never asked for permission to use the footage. “This shows little respect for the victims and surviving relatives, or for the staff of the railway and the emergency services. We are deciding whether to take steps to deal with this matter,” spokesman Dimitri Temmerman told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.
None of the families of the deceased or any of the survivors were notified beforehand, either. Survivor Anita Mahy said that the inclusion of the footage made her furious. “You’ll just sit and watch a movie in the evening unsuspectingly, only to face the accident again.”
“We don’t need an age of women” Japanese commercial says, then hits actress in face with cream (SoraNews24, Casey Baseel)
The ad has confused many, seeming to critique how society treats women but then decrying an ‘age of women.’
It’s an unusual ad, even by Japanese standards, and also a confusing one. While it starts with the 32-year-old Ando proclaiming an “Age of Women” to be unnecessary, it then seems to lament societal attitudes and discourse that prevent such an age from starting, before shifting gears yet again to focus on a purely personal vision of fulfillment, absent of any demographic connections. And then, of course, there’s the plates of cream being tossed at a woman whose narration starts off by downplaying the importance of a common rallying cry for greater opportunities for women.
4th-grade girl to make debut as youngest pro go player in April (The Asahi Shimbun, Koji Ode)
A bio of 10-year-old Sumire Nakamura, whose parents were both involved in the world of professional go-playing.
When Cho U, one of the leading players, faced off against Sumire last month to gauge her skills, the child prodigy stunned association officials by holding the 38-year-old pro to a draw.
“I have heard of her reputation before, but she proved to be a lot stronger than I had imagined,” said Cho after the game. “I played with Iyama when he was in elementary school, but I am under the impression that she is better than he was back then.”
Cho added that he has great expectations for her to successfully compete on the global stage.
Katsuei Hirasawa is yet another member of the LDP to make public homophobic comments.
Hirasawa told a crowd in Yamanashi Prefecture on Thursday: “Criticizing LGBT would create problems, but if everyone became like them then a nation would collapse.”
He also said he didn’t understand moves in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward and other municipalities to recognize same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Japan nationally.
16 prefectures may skip gender on high school admission forms (The Asahi Shimbun, Motofumi Watanabe)
Two prefectures will enact the change in 2019, and the rest by 2020.
The 16 have studied the issue out of consideration for students who may feel discomfort with their gender identities, according to the prefectural governments.
A growing number of local governments, including municipal governments, are abolishing gender boxes from application forms submitted by the public due to consideration for sexual minorities.
At such a time, the prefectural governments of Osaka and Fukuoka decided to abolish gender boxes from high school application forms, starting with entrance examinations to be held in spring 2019.
Following the announcements, The Asahi Shimbun surveyed all 47 prefectures in Japan with a questionnaire from November to December.
It’s a more quiet season than most, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to get excited about!
Hulaing Babies! I really like Studio Gaina's other works so I'm excited to see their first real(?) anime! pic.twitter.com/y2qA6bOsJ2
— Jolyne Deserved Better (@glimglamgal) January 8, 2019