Priya Sridhar lays out the untenable working conditions imposed on manga artists and how readers can do a small part to help change the situation.
The team checks in on the current season now that we’re a quarter of the way through.
Dee, Vrai, and special guests Lizzie and Isaac return to look at the cheeriest, most monster-of-the-week section of the series.
Continuing the conversation, here’s where you can shout out any artist fundraisers or pages you’ve been following.
30 Years Later, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” Is Still Inspiring Young Feminists (Bitch Media, Christine Jean-Baptiste)
On the coming-of-age story’s continuing resonance and place in the history of witch stories.
Writer and illustrator Nina Morales says that it wasn’t until the 1950s that the representation of witches showed some progression, and eventually an acceptance that birthed teen-witch icons like Kiki, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and even Hermione Granger, as rather than being shamed for their powers, these strong female protagonists get to keep their powers and use them for the greater good. Kiki’s Delivery Service enduring impact makes sense considering that witchcraft is a self-defining practice that has slowly and continually woven itself into the fabric of pop culture. In Waking the Witch, Grossman writes, “The fact that the resurgence of feminism and the popularity of the witch are ascending at the same time is no coincidence: the two are reflections of each other.”
Lisa Marie Basile, a writer and practitioner of witchcraft, agrees, telling me, “I really think we’re reaching a tipping point in society (with) women, trans women, and nonbinary people in general, because I think of the witch as an other. We’ve come to a place where we want to be more than what we’re supposed to be or taught to be. We want to be smart, we want to be slutty, we want to make money, we want to go off the grid. We want to be all the facets of ourselves that we are told we can’t be because it’s wrong or unethical or dirty or a man’s job.”
Did Pokémon GO Just Confirm This Character As Non-Binary? (Pride, Rachel Kiley)
Official texts use either no or “they” pronouns for Team Mystic leader Blanche.
Most of the in-game interaction with Blanche and the other Team Leaders revolves around daily training battles the player can engage in. While there is a script assigned to those, pronouns never come up.
However, fans noticed that over the summer, the Pokémon GO Twitter used gendered pronouns for the Team Valor and Team Instinct leaders, but consistently only referred to Blanche by name, even in formats where other leaders were referred to by a pronoun.
QUEER JAPAN: Altered Innocence Picks up North American Rights (Screen Anarchy, Andrew Mack)
A press release announcing the documentary’s 2020 US theatrical run.
Altered Innocence has picked up North American rights to Graham Kolbeins’ debut feature documentary “Queer Japan” which was an official selection at Outfest Los Angeles, Rainbow Reel Tokyo, and Newfest. Covering a plethora of LGBTQ artists, activists, and business owners living out and proud, ‘Queer Japan‘ has never been been more visible than it is here. A theatrical release is planned for 2020.
The deal was negotiated between Frank Jaffe from Altered Innocence and the filmmakers.
The Sexual Exploitation of Young Girls in Japan Is ‘On the Increase,’ an Expert Says (Time, Charlie Campbell)
An interview with the heads of the Lighthouse NGO and Colabo NGO, who work to help exploited teenagers.
Fast forward eight years and Aroma looks back at the episode with crushing regret. But she is determined to weaponize the ensuing trauma to help stop others from becoming, like her, one of the hundreds of young Japanese women coerced into pornography by tricksters masquerading as legitimate modeling agents.
After being pressured into signing a convoluted contract, and flown to a remote location far from home, she was bullied into sex acts before rolling cameras, with threats of legal repercussions if she didn’t acquiesce. “I really didn’t feel I was able to say no,” she says.
It’s a common story. The coercion of young women into pornography and prostitution has become an epidemic in Japan, where the fetishization of adolescence is disturbingly common and legal protections for children shockingly lax.
Shihoko Fujiwara, founder of the Lighthouse NGO that helps victims of sex trafficking in Japan, says she took on 103 new cases last year—similar to Aroma’s—on top of the hundreds already on her books. Ten years ago most of those she helped came from abroad, but today the bulk of cases that come before her charity comprise teenage runaways and abuse victims from Japan.
“It’s definitely on the increase,” she says. “We have also seen lots more children victimized in the commercial sex industry come to us for help.”
VIDEO: Interview with a young animator on her working conditions.
VIDEO: Interview with animator Carl Jones about pitching your stories.
TWEET: Moto Hagio is the first female mangaka to be recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit.
THREAD: On the misuse of body positivity talking points as a screen to prop up objectifying imagery.
THREAD: Analyzing gender performance in Utena.
THREAD: A Kickstarter for an anime book with an all-Black cast, plus more about the characters
TWEET: Important hamsters perform the Evangelion theme
It’s a quiet response week, but we ALWAYS welcome input on supporting and signal-boosting artists.