This week: multiple allegations of harassment against Vic Mignogna, an interview with the director of A Place Further Than the Universe, and a fourth city adds partnership rights for same-sex couples.
Louise Ashley Yeo Payne shares her personal connection with Ladykiller in a Bind as a butch trans woman still living in the closet.
Caroline Cao compares The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Only Yesterday, two films about women whose lives are shaped by the weight of societal expectations and overbearing father figures.
Because we could all use something cute and cuddly.
INTERVIEW: The Director Who Stole Our Hearts Away to Antarctica: In Conversation With Atsuko Ishizuka (Crunchyroll, Miles Thomas)
An interview focusing on the 2018 hit A Place Further Than the Universe.
Hinata was something of a fan favorite, and my favorite character too. What went into developing her personality, and why do you think she resonated with fans?
She’s my favorite character too! Normally in anime, when you take a high school girl character, the cuteness is something you have to push to the front — but I wanted someone who was more true to real life. So someone dropping out of high school and wanting to join the expedition…
Why is she your favorite character?
As a character that’s more representative of a real life as a high school girl, she has a darker background — that’s something that the audience can sympathize with. It’s something that’s not normally done, but with that kind of painful background, reaching a resolution is made more rewarding.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor responds to sexual harassment, homophobia claims (Polygon, Petrana Radulovic)
Allegations against Vic Mignogna, better known for voicing Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, go back at least as far as the mid-2000s. He denies all allegations, and has martialed his fan club and mother to defend him.
Many conventiongoers’ stories continue to come out on social media, detailing times when the actor acted flirtatiously towards them (fondling, kissing, groping, etc.) without their consent, most while they were still underage. While these allegations are only just picking up steam, many of them go as far back as 2010.
In addition to the sexual harassment claims, Mignogna’s alleged homophobic behaviorremains a concern with anime fans. While he said that he refused to sign fan art in general, conventiongoers argue that he would only deny signing pictures depicting characters in gay relationships, even if the art wasn’t sexually explicit, while he was happy signing other fan art. Organizers at conventions, meanwhile, shared stories of unprofessional behavior, such as overstaying his panel time and yelling at staffers.
My Vic Story (Facebook, Jessie Pridemore)
Professional cosplayer Jessie Pridemore shares her own memories of harassment and assault while working at conventions.
So the part about Vic. The guy who raped me told everyone at an anime company I regularly worked with that we had fucked and that I was a con slut. He also told Vic. I played nice with Vic a lot because of my position in the community. At this point though, I had seen him be really shitty to people and staffers and knew he wasn’t a good person. I ran into him at a con and said hi. We started chatting for a little bit and a couple fans ran up. I went to walk away, but he grabbed my arm and wouldn’t let me leave. At one point, one of the fans starts talking about a series that he’s in. I said that I actually really liked his role in it, I didn’t even realize it was him (making a comment on how all his roles usually sound the same). He turns to me and says, “Oh I know why you like that series.” He then slides his hand up through my hair (which was long at the time) on the back of my hair and tugs hard while saying “Because of _______.” I was stunned. My heart sank.
LILY HOSHIKAWA: ZOMBIE LAND SAGA’S UNDEAD IDOL TURNED TRANS ICON (Anime Herald, Samantha Ferreira)
An article on just what makes Lily so special.
While over the top in its delivery, Lily’s coming-out was never presented from a place of malice. The staff was able to capture the heartbreak, the frustration, and the sadness that many transgender individuals endure as they grow up.
They were able to convey the fear, and the genuine distress that accompanies many milestones that we’re told that we should celebrate and embrace. Her growing leg hair is a blight, a wretched milestone in a path that would slowly pull her away from her true identity as the girl she knows herself to be.
Her death, while exaggerated, surely had folks within the audience cringing along. The appearance of facial hair, the dropping of the voice, the growth into a form that’s unmistakably “male” in appearance… it’s enough to make any transwoman die a little on the inside.
Regardless of whether you were assigned male or female at birth, this is a pain that never truly goes away. Dysphoria becomes a constant undercurrent of our lives, as we quietly try to ignore the creeping ache that slowly consumes us.
Operation still a must to change gender, but court signals openness (The Asahi Shimbun)
The “operation” in question is not gender confirmation surgery, but mandatory sterilization.
The Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court issued a ruling Jan. 23 that said the law was constitutional “at the present time.” However, the ruling added the condition that “ongoing consideration” be given to the possibility of different judicial rulings in the future depending on changes in society.
The case stems from a plea by Takakito Usui, a 45-year-old transgender man living in Okayama city, who wanted to legally change his gender without undergoing a sterilization procedure.
A family court and high court had previously rejected his plea, but after the Supreme Court ruling, Usui said at a Jan. 24 news conference in Okayama, “I felt the court listened to what I had to say and understood my situation.”
Although all four justices concurred with the decision that the law was constitutional, two submitted supporting opinions that said it was difficult to deny that the possibility of the law being unconstitutional had emerged.
Episode 89 – Janice Nimura (The Meiji at 150 Podcast)
Author Nimura shares the subject of her recent book, about three young women who were sent from Japan on a cultural expedition to the West (transcript unavailable).
In this episode, Janice Nimura recounts the remarkable story of the women of the Iwakura Mission, three young girls sent to America in 1872 for a decade to learn about Western culture. We discuss the background of the women’s presence on the Mission, the women’s experiences in the US as seen in diaries and personal correspondence, and the lives they led and impact they had in Japan upon their return.
Why I Want to Eat Your Pancreas Film’s Disease Awareness Promotion is Important (Anime News Network, Jennifer Sherman)
The film and pre-screening information is designed to raise awareness about pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Aniplex of America describes the film as a “heartwarming, coming-of-age” story that is “based on Yoru Sumino‘s bestselling novel about two teenagers, an aloof bookworm and a bubbly high school girl who suffers from an unspecified terminal pancreatic illness.” Cecila Petricone, chronic pancreatitis patient and volunteer for the National Pancreas Foundation, said the film’s trailer “is a glimpse into the complex and multifaceted lives of those suffering from pancreatic disease.” She said it particularly highlights “the effects disease has on those who care for the sufferer.”
Raising awareness about serious diseases is a complex challenge, especially when young people are involved. Though the anime itself does not specify the female lead’s condition, the story combined with the National Pancreas Foundation’s pre-show can spark discussion about real diseases facing real people.
Chiba starts partnership system for gay, de facto couples (The Asahi Shimbun, Motoyuki Maeda)
Chiba will be the fourth city to have this partnership system; nationwide marriage equality has not yet been achieved.
Six couples submitted written oaths to show they are life partners and received partnership certificates from Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai.
Although the partnerships are not legally recognized marriages, the certificates provide certain rights to the couples, such as living together in city-run apartments.
Ryuta Yanase, 56, who made his oath with his partner, Satoru Ito, 65, said, “I was longing for the system, and I am very happy.”
The gay couple moved to the city from Funabashi in the same prefecture in autumn last year after hearing about the certificate system.
Thread: Interviews with Gengoroh Tagame on the word genre classification “bara” (sources in thread).
Thanks to @KawaiiMess for digging this up, here's the interview where Gengoroh Tagame talks about the negative connotations of the word "bara". It doesn't seem to be on Gaymanga's tumblr anymore and I can't directly link the specific interview, so here are screencaps. pic.twitter.com/4RlJbOy0NB
— NYANG WEN LI @ GO ACE! (@alamort) January 23, 2019
Definitely be sure to check out Twitter this week—there’s a lot of super cute critters over there.
Haru is climbing the list as the anime grows on me
But Makkachin has my vote pic.twitter.com/M6JV1jTqzc
— ❄️Cerise!!!❄️ COMMISSIONS OPEN (@OpaleDeFeuAC) January 29, 2019
Uura! Adorable, smart, and capable of protecting you from lethal blasts of arcane energy. Good armour kitty! pic.twitter.com/M3hEhQalMk
— Matt Kamen (@MattKamen) January 30, 2019