[Links] 20-26 December 2017

By: Anime Feminist December 26, 20170 Comments
Cinnabar, their long red hair being blown by the breeze under the moonlight. They're hugging themself and blushing. caption: those were your words, weren't they?

Women in politics, ATLUS’s bad track record, and your anime faves.

AniFem Round-Up

[Yearbook] Seven months a-dreaming…

AniFem starts delegating.

[Creator Spotlight] Akiko Higashimura and the art of shoujo manga writing

Seiko writes about Higashimura’s impressive body of work, which western fans might only know through Princess Jellyfish or Tokyo Tarareba Girls.

[Yearbook] Eight people’s thinking…

AniFem does the summer con circuit.

[Feature] Escapism and healing in Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Alex Henderson discusses the series’ positive take on MMOs as a place for emotional healing (despite the translation of the title) and its fondness for its 30 year old protagonist.

[Yearbook] Nine features published…

AniFem has some great guests.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 36: Fushigi Yugi Watchalong – Episodes 47-52

The watchalong reaches the end… of the main series. There’s still those OVAs. But first, a few words of respect.

[AniFemTalk] What’s your favorite anime?

Tell us what you love!


Beyond AniFem

The creators of McDonald’s Ad animation were girls in their 20s! The interview of Studio Colorido’s girls members. (JapanAnimeMedia)

An interview with the young animators on the intensive process of creating the viral McDonald’s mini-anime.

Namiko: McDonal’s Ad was my first animation as the character design. I’ve supported the animation direction of Ishida for “Typhoon Noruda.” It was only a week or two weeks after I started working at Colorido.

JAM: That kind of experiences is one of the benefits of working at Studio Colorido.

Namiko: That’s right. It never happens at the other studios. We need multiple skills such as “digital drawing” and “key animation” to work at Colorido. I was assigned to be the animation director while I only had six months experience of key animation, so I was in a little panic.

JAM: Mr. Arai (Yojiro Arai) was the in-between animator at Studio Ghibli, and he became a director at Colorido. This career path is quite unique in Japanese animation production, and it is one of the best carrer paths for young creators.

Namiko: Yes. Arai told me, “I didn’t have any experience either.” Ishida’s only production experience before Colorido was photography at Tezuka Production. So I thought I should keep it up.

By the way, Nagae (Akihiro Nagae) was the animation director of “Puzzle and Dragons.” He was assigned because he came forward and said: “I want to be the animation director for this project.” When we want to challenge something, Colorido lets us do it.

Japan Is Literally Working Itself To Death: How Can It Stop? (Forbes, Jake Adelstein)

A discussion of karoshi, corporate culture, and how it leads to a high number of deaths.

The business friendly government of Shinzo Abe proposed a cap of 100 hours of overtime a month. That’s 20 hours over what the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare calls “the karoshi line“. More than 80 hours of overtime a month has adverse effects on health. The Abe adminstration also plans to pass a bill which will remove overtime pay for certain jobs. It will be limited to white-collar jobs they claim, but the guidelines can easily be altered to include other jobs as well. It is almost certain to result in more deaths from overwork; there will just be less proof. The Liberal Democratic Party, part of the ruling coalition, has a terrible track record. Their handpicked Upper House lawmaker Miki Watanabe (LDP) founded a Japanese pub chain which also admitted to driving a female employee to suicide from overwork.

Karoshi is an extreme symptom of a society where ruthless corporations known as ブラック企業 (burakku kigyo) aka “Evil Corporations” or “black companies” now do business with impunity. Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his coalition took power post-Christmas in 2012, those businesses have proliferated. The word made the list of “Buzz Words Of The Year” in 2013.  These companies are infamous for long hours, bullying, brutality and unpaid overtime.

Haruki Konno, author of Dark Corporation, the classic book on corporate malfeasance in Japan, explains. “In Japanese society, there are really only two markets, one for college graduates and another for people changing jobs. Newbies must work at least three years in their first company to qualify as having enough of a ‘career’ to switch jobs. If you quit earlier than that you are considered trouble.”

100 AZNs (Mraw Mraw)

A compiled list of the top 100 most influential Asian-Americans of 2017, complete with relevant links.

100 AZNS is here to document and showcase the immense talents, creativity, and leadership among Asian-Americans in 2017. Heavily influenced by The Root 100100 AZNS was born out of initial skepticism that enough Asian-Americans could even fill a list. The result was the compilation of a wildly long list of many hundreds. The following represents only a selection of many who are putting in the work, livin their best lives, and inspiring positive change. Congratulations to this year’s 100!!

Leading Ladies of the Asian Gaming Industry (April Magazine, Danielle A. Suleik)

A tribute to the Asian women around the world involved in gaming as developers and players.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer was created by Aya Kyogoku and Risa Tabata. The amazing thing about these women’s experience is that they did not feel the gender gap as much as others have. Some think it’s because they are seniors in the field and have already made their mark in the gaming industry. Not many can see them in the light of Hideo Kojima or Satoshi Tajiri, but they are exceptional nonetheless.

Girls who develop games still face stigma, especially with issues such as Gamergate popping up here and there. The good thing to know is that women are not just fighting back with growing media and social profiles. They’re doing it by continuing to develop games they—and, hopefully, others regardless of gender—want to play.

South Korean research institute building database for ‘comfort women’ documents (The Japan Times)

The database will be live by 2019 and will catalogue government paperwork, news stories, and other documents related to the women in question.

The term comfort women is Japan’s euphemism for the girls and women who were forced to work in Japan’s military brothels before and during World War II.

Work on the project has entered the final stage and the database is slated to go online in 2019. Once completed, it will mark the first time that records related to the women have been integrated into a database and disclosed to the public.

According to Yonhap, the research team has collected and surveyed some 80,000 items and extensively indexed them.

The database is expected to be used extensively in education and civic group activities, and will be keyword-searchable to make it easier to use, the report said.

Utena Stage Musical Reveals Cast, Main Visual (Anime News Network)

While this isn’t the first staging of an Utena musical, this one will actually be running in 2018 for anyone currently in Japan.

The musical will run from March 8 to 18 in Tokyo at the CBGK Shibugeki theater. The anime’s director Kunihiko Ikuhara is supervising the production, and Kōtarō Yoshitani (Dansui!, Hetalia ~in the new world~musical) is writing and directing. The stage musical will cover the titular girl Utena’s battle with Tōga Kiryū, Kyōichi Saionji, and other student council members for the Rose Bride.

Kumamoto assembly debate helps highlight challenges of mothers in politics (The Japan Times)

The debate is still raging over how to accommodate mothers, be it through childcare or allowing them to carry infants with them.

Miura said some rules assemblies in Japan could adopt include allowing nursing capes, having mothers leave the session upon the chairperson’s request if a child cries, or accepting proxy votes when mothers are unable to attend sessions because their children are sick.

But former Shiseido Co. Executive Vice President Kimie Iwata, 70, said she does not agree with the action taken by Ogata as politicians have been entrusted by society to carry out public responsibilities.

“In the first place, is it really acceptable to bring a child that may cry or move around to the assembly?” Iwata asked. “The assembly’s plenary session or its committees are the place where assembly members need to concentrate on debate.”

Iwata said if Ogata is unable to find day care, “(The assembly) should provide subsidies for hiring a baby sitter.”

Catherine: Full Body Trailer Teases New Romance Rin (Kotaku, Laura Kate Dale)

The remake of the 2011 ATLUS game will feature what appears to be a romanceable trans woman.

We also get hints at Rin likely being a transgender character, as implied by the repeated use of a transgender symbol on the Full Body Teaser Website, as well as Vincent’s horror when face to face with her crotch. This is a trailer and not the final game, but considering the original Catherine’s poor track record with trans representation, using a pre-transition name for a character in their credits and manual and giving male-only nightmares to a trans woman character, I’m not holding my breath that this new romance will be handled tastefully. I’d love to be proven wrong, but their track record doesn’t fill me with hope.

Men still making houses as women try to leave home (The Japan Times, Michael Hoffman)

On the 20th century tensions between the legal definitions of family versus individual rights and Japan’s future working world.

Article 24 of the Constitution is largely [Beate Sirota Gordon’s] work. It reads: “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.”

This was beyond radical. It was shocking. “Mutual consent of both sexes.” “Individual dignity.” “Essential equality of the sexes.” The unit that mattered in traditional Japan had been not the individual but the family. A woman’s subordination was unquestioned: unmarried, she was ruled by her father; married, by her husband. No longer. In theory at least, if less so in practice, she became a full-fledged adult human being.

It’s hard — not impossible, however — to see in this anything other than a step forward, from bondage to freedom, from injustice to justice. In fact, there smolders here and there in the body politic an undying resentment of the “individualism,” which the Occupation, flush with victory and deaf and blind to the “beautiful customs” of the native culture, foisted on Japan. Symbolizing democracy and liberty to most, but defeat, humiliation and national impotence to some, the Constitution no sooner became law than factions arose demanding its amendment, its Japanization.

Abe is heir to that tradition. The Constitution has never been amended. Abe makes no secret of his wish to go down in history as the one who amends it.

#MeToo, say victims of sexual harassment in Japan (The Asahi Shimbun)

Japanese women are beginning to speak out about their experiences with workplace harassment.

Chino, encouraged by the #MeToo movement, decided to reveal her experiences as she wanted to help “prevent others from suffering.”

Still, she said it was painful for her to read his apology because it evoked memories that may have been old, but were also agonizing.

Chino is hoping the movement will educate young Japanese women to realize that the harasser is at fault and not the victim.

“We have not been told that a harasser is wrong 100 percent in sexual harassment,” she said. “The notion should spread for young people.”

Rika Shiiki, a sophomore at the elite Keio University who established a business to produce events when she was in junior high school, reacted to Ha-chu’s Twitter posting the same day.

She did so because she wanted to give a boost to the #MeToo movement. Shiiki, 20, was afraid that the movement may not take off in Japan as she felt “enduring sexual harassment has been made a tacit understanding” in society.


BONUS: Japanese LGBTQ+ voices



AniFem Community

It’s a holiday recommendation list, courtesy of our readers!



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