[Links] 24-30 July 2019: Entertainer Unionization, Agoraphobia in Persona 5, and the Mignogna Deposition

By: Anime Feminist July 30, 20190 Comments
A flustered girl thrusting her spread palm toward the camera. subtitle: fifty full pages!

AniFem Round-Up

[History] Not with a Bang, but a Letter: How Violet Evergarden rewrites traditional World War I narratives

Katie Randazzo contextualizes the series within early 1900s literature and the way it plays with those narratives.

[Feature] Nichijou and the everyday epics of high school girls

Dee celebrates the goofy comedy and its skill at highlighting the absurdity of teenage life.

[AniFemTalk] Which anime and manga successfully capture the lives of teenage girls?

Since we’re talking about Nichijou, why not follow it up with other good series?

Introducing the AniFem podcast: Chatty AF (WITH TRANSCRIPT)

A transcript has been added to episode one of the podcast.

Beyond AniFem

The Mignogna Deposition (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

A hub page to articles detailing new revelations in voice actor Vic Mignogna’s ongoing lawsuit as new documentation is released.

One June 26, voice actor Vic Mignogna gave his deposition as part of his ongoing lawsuits against voice actresses Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial, Rial’s fiance Ronald Toye, and FUNimation Entertainment. All of the defendants have since filed motions to dismiss the suit. Cumulatively, over 1,000 pages of legal documents have been filed including statements from both sides on the veracity of the accusations of sexual harassment and assault alleged against Mignogna. Anime News Network has combed through the documents to produce of series of articles describing what was said by both parties, anime industry members, and convention runners.

Otterly Internalized Oppression (Coherent Cats, Karleen)

An analysis of the internalized homophobia and colorism in Reo and Mabu’s story arc.

There are other negative associations with darkness in Japanese culture, such as black symbolizing evil while white symbolizes good. In Sarazanmai, for example, the benevolent royal kappas are literal white and the malevolent otters literal black in appearance. These moral associations can carry over into people’s perceptions of dark and light skin, such as believing dark-skinned people to be wicked or ugly and light-skinned people honorable or beautiful.

Reo and Mabu are also symbolically linked to dark and light respectively, in their black and white cups as well as their skin colors. They’re one of the latest in the long line of the black-white dynamic in bishounen couples observed by Yukari Fujimoto. Reo’s more revealing clothes and higher rate of violence, traits negatively associated with dark-skinned people, make him seemingly even more evil than Mabu. In the Reo and Mabu manga by Misaki Saito, he’s aware other people find his face “scary.” In a tweet from November 24th, Reo says he was pulled in for questioning while off-duty outside his precinct. The comment is so offhand it’s hard to say what happened, but his “scary” appearance (that may include his dark skin) could be the cause. However, audience members who read Reo and Mabu and/or followed @keeponly1luv before watching the anime know Reo’s goofy and caring sides as he cracks bad jokes and parents an abandoned baby. From the beginning of the anime, the dichotomy of dark evil otters and good light kappas is muddled by Reo and Mabu’s presence on the former side.

Top lawyers’ body backs gay marriage in 1st written opinion (The Asahi Shimbun)

The report concludes that the not supporting marriage equality constitutes a human rights abuse.

With regard to Article 24 of the Constitution that states “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes,” the written opinion noted, “This provision is aimed at preventing intervention by a third party and not intended to ban same-sex marriage.”

However, many people still cling to the belief that marriage is a contract between a man and a woman who wish to raise children.

In response, the federation said, “Deciding whether to have children and raise them is guaranteed under Article 13 of the Constitution, which notes the right of self-determination, or reproductive health and rights.”

Thus, it concluded that there is no justification for not allowing same-sex marriages.

Japan-Korea trade spat to intensify with new export limits (The Mainichi)

Relations between the countries have been tense over recent disputes involving compensation for forced laborers and “comfort women” in World War II, and has now escalated to trade allowances.

With the loss of South Korea’s so-called “white country” status, that requirement will apply to dozens more products on a list of items that potentially could be converted to weapons, according to a Japanese trade ministry document. That’s in addition to more than 200 other items requiring individual inspection for exports to all countries.

Japan’s trade ministry says Seoul has undermined a “relationship of trust,” including export controls, with lax controls on re-exports to other countries. South Korea denies that, as meanwhile tensions have risen with some South Koreans calling for boycotts of Japanese products.

As a “public comment” period ended Wednesday, Japan’s trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Japan plans to go ahead and strip South Korea of its preferred status for export licensing. He said Seoul had failed to provide a convincing explanation to address Japan’s doubts that South Korean export controls are strict enough to prevent sensitive materials from potentially being misused.

Officials are studying opinions submitted to the government, but that’s largely a formality.

Hokkaidō 150 Podcast Episode 7 – Dr. Scott Harrison (APF) (Hokkaidō 150: Settler Colonialism and Indigeneity in Modern Japan and Beyond)

A short, sixteen-minute podcast lecture.

In this episode, Dr. Scott Harrison (APF) reviews international relations between Canada, Japan, and Northeast Asia from the perspective of Indigenous issues. We discuss Ainu-related ties between Canada and Japan, the Ainu perspective of diplomatic disputes between Japan and Russia, Ainu relations with minority groups in China, and issues arising from the recent bill recognizing Ainu as Indigenous.

On Panic and Persona 5 (Videodame, Jeremy Signor)

An analysis of Futaba the treatment of agoraphobia through Futaba.

Persona 5 doesn’t totally fumble showing the struggles of agoraphobic people. Futaba is a believable character that displays some credible traits of panic and agoraphobia, and you’re meant to empathize with her in a way that felt demeaning from other media. But the lack of explanation of the physical toll that panic attacks can have, coupled with the infantilizing of the tone of her writing, still means it falls short of being an acceptable representation of someone with that disability. But given what we’ve had to work with in the past, any small step forward seems like an improvement. But I’m tired of asking for scraps in the fight against mental health stigma. Devs need to make to make greater strides towards empathy by portraying these conditions exactly as they are, no hysterics, just the very real trauma and pain that surround them.

Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Kyoto Animation fans should protect themselves from trauma (The Mainichi, Rika Kayama)

Brief advice from a psychiatrist on self-care when reading about tragedy.

Several experts have said online that some people need courage to let go of information, and I completely agree with them. Fans, out of their love for the anime produced by the company, may feel obliged to keep up with the latest news and collect information on the case. But to protect yourself from the shock, even if only slightly, you must remember to stop looking at your smartphone and turn off your TV in order to distance yourself from the tragedy to rest your mind and body.

By doing so, you are not running away from the incident or disrespecting the victims in any way. Those who wish to continue to cherish the quality works produced by Kyoto Animation need to first give themselves a break and heal their emotional pain.

Let’s Talk About Sex in O Maidens in Your Savage Season (Anime News Network, Michelle Liu and Steve Jones)

A breakdown of the first four episodes of Okada’s new series.

Exactly! Just as Niina rejects the fantasy version of herself that society projects onto her, Okada refuses to portray her (or any of the characters) as the shallow archetypes they initially seem to be. Even the Mean Girls have depths that Sonezaki fails to catch. They have unique personalities, and just because they happen to fuck and wear makeup doesn’t make them superficial. Sonezaki, however, refuses to see them as anything more complex, and that makes Niina’s words ring all the more true—not only do men tend to judge women by appearances, but patriarchy encourages that behavior in everyone, even those who think they’re above it.

1 yen for 1 show? Entertainers now rail against talent agencies (The Asahi Shimbun, Natsuki Edogawa and Hiroshi Nakano)

Live entertainers receive low wages and are threatened with termination for coming forward; many are now agitating for unionization.

The comedian in his 20s who accepted the 300 yen an hour job said he occasionally receives work offers via e-mail from Yoshimoto Kogyo. Sometimes it is an appearance as an extra. Other times, it is behind-the-scenes work, such as setting up a stage.

He said he has also been asked to work in rehearsals that involved explosions.

“There is a risk of getting injured, too,” he said.

Three years ago, he graduated from NSC, a training school for entertainers that Yoshimoto Kogyo operates nationwide.

At NSC, the comedian said he learned how to dance and act and took classes taught by broadcast writers and veteran entertainers.

Upon graduation, he received the following words of advice from Yoshimoto Kogyo: “If you want to stay in this industry, register your e-mail address.”

“With hindsight being 20/20, that could be a contract,” he said.

He currently works part-time as a security guard and at an “izakaya” Japanese-style bar to make ends meet.

VIDEO: Discussion of Noir Caesar’s recent show and announcement of the next tour dates.

AniFem Community

Some old classics and new favorites—here’s hoping the list keeps getting longer.

Azumanga daioh characters kind of matched my life pretty well. It was the funniest. For some reason I don’t remember the teacher everyone else remembers. But I truly love that anime. Japanese school system is very similar to where I went to high school so most of them match my mood pretty well. The ones that particularly affected me are chihayafuru. I recommend it to all teenagers. The other one that made me cry was hanasaku iroha. I think little witch academia is also a good representation of my teenage years. Galko chan might be a realistic representation now ? but not realistic of the period I was raised.
A lot of the ones I initially picked did well with the teen girl characters, but also did well with ALL of their characters - so I narrowed it down to ones with a focus on teenage girls. 
Comedic/Light: Aiura*, Flying Witch, Hitoribocchi, Please Tell Me! Galko-chan*, Encouragement of Climb* season 1 (haven't seen the others), Kiss Him Not Me (for the girls deep in fandom madness, at least), Senryuu Shoujo*
Dramatic/Serious: Princess Principal, March Comes In Like A Lion season 2 (for a specific plotline), Bloom Into You
My top choice: A Place Further Than The Universe, which straddles both genres deftly
Oh, and movies! Here's my movie list: Kimi no Na wa, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service

*means it's a short. I'm a little surprised that so many of them are shorts. I'm wondering what that says about studio decision-making.

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