The team got together to vote on their collective top titles of the decade.
…But the team also wanted to take a moment to shout out their problematic faves and underrated gems.
No, we can’t believe it’s already new season time either.
THESE DIGITAL PUBLICATIONS ARE THE ONES TO WATCH IN 2020 (Wear Your Voice, Roslyn Talusan)
A list of six active indie publications that center Black, brown, and queer voices.
Not only do we lack job security, but for freelance journalists of color, we’re also underpaid and tokenized. There was a collective shock amongst my colleagues last week when freelance writer Andrew Zaleski revealed that he made $94,000 before taxes this year just from 31 pieces of writing. In contrast, I’ve made about $4,000 from 15 pieces since I started freelancing again in February 2019. My favourite outlets to write for are independent, feminist publications that prioritize queer, Black and brown voices, but they’re few and far between, often struggling to cover their operating costs and pay staff.
THIS YEAR IN VIDEOGAME BLOGGING: 2019 (Critical Distance, Kris Ligman)
A round-up of recommended essays and criticism spanning 2019.
This was another theme for 2019, and generally a positive one! Mark Brown, who has devoted several episodes of his popular Game Maker’s Toolkit video series to small, meaningful changes developers can make to accommodate players with disabilities, recently released a “year in review” video looking at how 50 titles released in the past year have fared (captioned) — and while few games completely stuck the landing, almost all the games Brown looked at had some sort of accessibility features.
On the meatspace side, Michael Heron of Meeple Like Us wrote on the virtues of accessible house rules for board games.
But “accessible,” like “realism,” can mean a number of things. In addition to accommodating players with disabilities, many writers raised the question of approachability in games. At Unwinnable, Malindy Hetfeld responded to the difficulty discourse around Sekiro to comment on the much larger issue of gatekeeping.
How Utena Helped Me Understand My Queerness (Crunchyroll, Carlos Cadorniga)
On Utena’s journey as a doorway into exploring one’s own gender presentation.
Utena helped me realize how I prefer to present more feminine. Whether it’s through my cosplay or the clothes I wear every day or the way I speak, my femininity is vital to who I am as a person. I long for the day when I’m able to appear as girlish as I please and have people question the very nature of gender expression. But even when I feel as far from content with my gender identity as possible, Utena’s story taught me that my queerness doesn’t change. My being trans and being femme is a constant, and even at my lowest points, she reminds me that I’m always as queer as I should be.
When I first watched Utena, I thought I wanted to be her. I viewed her as someone who challenged gender norms and shattered expectations. But as I saw her grow and change, I learned that that wasn’t the whole truth. Defining her whole life between being either a prince or a damsel was her downfall, and it wasn’t until those final moments that she realized that being herself was more important than fulfilling an idyllic yet flawed patriarchal fantasy.
12 Days of Anime: Ash Lynx is Dead, Long Live Ash Lynx (Coherent Cats, Karleen)
Reflecting on MAPPA’s attempt to have its cake and eat it too in regards to the series’ infamous ending.
On this day last year, the awaited final episode to Studio MAPPA’s anime adaptation of Banana Fish aired. Some viewers had dreaded it ever since the the anime was announced, some learned along the way and joined them, and some watched it unfold without spoilers. They dreaded it not because they’d be left with no more episodes to watch, but because of the nature of the ending.
Osaka publicly discloses names of hate speech perpetrators (The Asahi Shimbun, Honda Yuka and Hanafusa Asako)
Osaka’s anti-hate speech law stipulates publicly naming perpetrators, but previous cases have involved internet handles without identifiable names.
But while six previous cases have been recognized as hate speech, the authorities were unable to disclose the names of the perpetrators because the posts to the internet were made under handles that did not allow for identifying the poster.
However, on Dec. 27, two individuals were named after an assessment committee examined the contents of the hate speech. The city government had decided in July that the acts constituted hate speech but waited for the consent of the committee before disclosing the names.
Those publicly humiliated were identified as Kaoru Kurita, who operates an internet website that goes by the name of “Hoshu Sokuho” (Conservative flash news), and Dairyo Kawahigashi, who belongs to a political group whose aim is apparently to drive out all Koreans from Japan.
Vote on Japan politicians’ most sexist remarks in 2019 opens with nods for Abe, Aso (The Mainichi, Nakagawa Satoko)
The vote is conducted each year by a civil group attempting to bring awareness to the unacceptability of such comments.
The vote, which started in 2017 and is now in its third edition, is run by NO to all sexist public speeches (NOASEPS), a civil group whose members include Mari Miura, a professor of politics at Tokyo’s Sophia University.
Last year 2,026 people took part to crown Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso with the dubious honor for a number of public utterances. These included a series of remarks over sexual harassment by a top finance ministry bureaucrat, in which Aso asked whether the perpetrator had no human rights, and another comment in which he said it would be better if all journalists dispatched to the Finance Ministry were men.
The eight candidates for 2019, and the remarks that got them picked, are listed below.
Hideaki Anno Denounces Links Between Him and Arrested Gainax President, Discusses Past With Anime Studio (Crunchyroll, Daryl Harding)
Anno sought to distance himself from Gainax after its current president was recently arrested on assault charges.
Continuing, Anno wrote that “there is no one involved in the production of Evangelion at Gainax today” and that “the person arrested was someone who joined Gainax only a few years ago and has never been involved in Evangelion.” Later in the article, Anno explains that the copyright for Evangelion was moved from Gainax – who took care of the licensing and business side of the franchise, due to the lack of manpower at Khara in the early days of the studio – to Khara after a monetary dispute that resulted in Khara suing its former business partner for unpaid royalties and a loan from Anno to keep Gainax afloat. Khara won that settlement and ever since then, Khara was in charge of everything related to Evangelion.
THREAD: Further discussion/translation of Anno’s article, focusing on Gainax’s failure to pay artists.
TWEET: Link to a spreadsheet of shoujo manga currently in print in the United States
THREAD: Information regarding Stars Align being cut down at the last minute from two-cour to one
We’re still a little overwhelmed, but there are quite a few exciting titles for winter!