A lot of 2017 look-backs and some discussion of heavy subjects (including sexual assault, suicide, predatory relationships, and abuse of immigrant workers). Happy 2018, everyone!
AniFem raises money.
ThatNerdyBolivianx discusses the racial tensions of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo and how that translates to the anime, as well as its antagonist’s drive to erase his heritage in the name of achieving social status.
A discussion of three different depictions of women who come forward with sexual harassment claims, from the respectful to the grotesque.
The team lists their favorites of the Fall season.
AniFem has Patreon issues.
Peter, Dee, and Vrai talk about the back half of the Fall season.
Tell us your favorites of the season!
The team nominates their favorites from the past year and one special series gets named “Best in Show.”
Two girls vow to make a voyage to Antarctica for their own, different reasons. Grounded, charming, and very promising.
Using ‘tradition’ as an excuse against things one disagrees with (The Mainichi, Yuko Tanaka)
A rebuttal to the recent barring of same-sex couples from a banquet hosted by the Emperor and Empress.
Another point is that most countries and states or provinces in North America and Europe allow married couples the choice to take the same surname or keep their own. In addition, the only country among Group of Seven states that does not offer legal rights to same-sex couples is Japan.
The situation is even direr than it may seem. When criticized for his remark, Takeshita apparently said, “I shouldn’t have said that,” not “I was out of my depth.” This politician does not understand the meaning of human rights and diversity, which concern the very foundations of a democratic state.
Hosei University, where I am president, champions and promotes diversity. And we cannot promote diversity without furthering our awareness of human rights. As LGBT individuals become increasingly established as members of the general population, the university’s role is to provide an environment in which anybody can learn without fear of discrimination.
Top Ten Yuri Manga of 2017 (Okazu, Erica Friedman)
The top manga of the year, almost all of which are legally available in English (remember to support manga legally, kids, especially stuff catered to underserved markets).
After Hours (アフターアワーズ)
Adults doing adult things. Check. Adults struggling to find meaning in life. Check. Actual relationship dynamics that make sense, by making no sense. Check. The complexity of the character’s emotions, the conversations they have – even the way their spend their time signals that this is not a child’s story.
Nishio Yuhta does a good job of building two unique and interesting characters without pandering, even if the art is the only not-adult thing about the series.
It’s so refreshing. I can’t wait to find out what will happen in Volume 3!
18-Year-Old Idol Asuka Kiraboshi Announces Pregnancy with Manager’s Child (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)
The young idol has been in a relationship with her adult manager since age 16.
Her fans’ messages were not so optimistic. One wrote that her manager is a horrible person, another wrote that they want to celebrate the pregnancy but is instead are left feeling lonely and hopeless, while another said Kiraboshi’s relationship with her manager is an insult to fans and they will no longer support her as a fan.
The negative response garnered a response from Kiraboshi’s manager himself. He followed up in a Tweet on Wednesday apologizing for his actions and betraying fans. Kiraboshi also issued an apology for causing trouble for everyone, including fans and staff. Kiraboshi’s official blog updated with a statement from her manager apologizing again but also revealing the deep joy he felt when he learned he would become a father. He promised to devote himself to both his job as a manager and as a father.
FLOWER LANGUAGE IN LAND OF THE LUSTROUS (Atelier Emily)
An analysis of how the flowers in LotL underline the themes of the series.
Diamond (Dia) is one of the more tragic characters in Land of the Lustrous. It’s their advice to Phos that helps inspire Phos’ transformation, yet they are unable to transform themselves due to the gems’ rigid hardness scale and fixed careers. Phos is an exception. Dia is the rule, despite their innermost desires, born of inferiority to their fighting partner, Bort.
Dia knows this, and continues to provide advice to those around them, keeping a cheery disposition through their sadness. When post-transformation Phos teams up with Bort, Dia tells Phos to take care of Bort. Phos awkwardly calls Bort weird, provoking a lecture from Dia on Bort’s best qualities. Dia loves Bort, but also feels inadequate when compared with them. This is only exacerbated by Bort’s overprotectiveness.
Phos and Bort set out on patrol together the next day. Dia watches them leave while picking small purple bellflowers resembling Japanese bellflowers (kikyou). These flowers represent eternal love, honesty, and feelings reciprocated.
Female TV Anime Directors Winter 2018 (Onna no Kantoku)
Six series this season are directed by women.
A Place Further Than the Universe (or Yorimoi) tells the story of a group of high school girls making the trek to Antarctica. The anime is Astuko Ishizuka’s sixth series as director.
Ishizuka’s directoral work has been varied. It includes an adaption of a western TV series (Supernatural), a teen melodrama (Sakurasou), and mildly skeevy isekai (No Game, No Life), a Manga Time Kirara Forward adaption (Hanayamata), and an otome game adaption (Prince of Stride). She even now has a movie under her belt. However, Yorimoi is a new entry into her diverse her portfolio: it’s her first original series.
The Josei’s Top 10 Anime of 2017: Part 1 (Honorable Mentions & #6-10) (Josei Next Door)
Managing Editor Dee’s personal favorites of the year, including some titles there didn’t quite make the team-wide list.
Given that 2017 lasted about thirty normal years (I’m pretty sure I’m eligible for senior citizen discounts now), perhaps it’s no wonder that we were able to cram so many great anime into it. As with 2016, I’ve decided to throw even the veneer of objectivity out the window and just talk to you about some shows I really loved or think are worthy of highlighting.
This also means a metric ton of “Honorable Mentions” so I could give some love to the shows that just barely missed the cut. Top 10, Top 15… listen, time is clearly an illusion, so why can’t yearly rankings be?
A Year in Japanese LGBT News – 2017 (Nijiiro News)
A digest of some of the biggest news stories related to Japan’s LGBTQ community over the past year.
On October 24, the publishers of the Kojien Dictionary, regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of Japanese, announced that it would be issuing the volume’s first revision in 10 years. When the dictionary’s 7th edition hits shelves on January 12, the acronym ‘LGBT’ will be included among 10,000 new entries.
2017 saw the expansion of same-sex partnership systems and local government support for sexual minorities, and many corporations made efforts to reach out to LGBT employees and consumers.
Meanwhile, schools are continuing to take it upon themselves to introduce LGBT-related topics in schools and educate students about respecting diversity, while the Ministry of Education acknowledged LGBT students by ramping up its efforts to protect them from bullying based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
She Broke Japan’s Silence on Rape (The Asahi Shimbun, Motoko Rich)
A profile of Shiori Ito and discussion of Japan’s rape culture.
On paper, Japan boasts relatively low rates of sexual assault. In a survey conducted by the Cabinet Office of the central government in 2014, 1 in 15 women reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives, compared with 1 in 5 women who report having been raped in the United States.
But scholars say Japanese women are far less likely to describe nonconsensual sex as rape than women in the West. Japan’s rape laws make no mention of consent, date rape is essentially a foreign concept and education about sexual violence is minimal.
Instead, rape is often depicted in manga comics and pornography as an extension of sexual gratification, in a culture in which such material is often an important channel of sex education.
The police and courts tend to define rape narrowly, generally pursuing cases only when there are signs of both physical force and self-defense and discouraging complaints when either the assailant or victim has been drinking.
Last month, prosecutors in Yokohama dropped a case against six university students accused of sexually assaulting another student after forcing her to drink alcohol.
YouTuber Logan Paul’s video of a dead body put his own audience at risk (The Verge, Rachel Becker)
Paul filmed a corpse found in the Aokigahara forest and posted it as a video. Article includes resources for suicidal thoughts.
The danger is that such detailed, sensationalized coverage of suicide can prompt copycat behavior — a phenomenon called suicide contagion. “Suicide contagion is real, which is why I’m concerned about it,” Madelyn Gould, a professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry at Columbia University, told The New York Times after actor Robin Williams’ widely publicized death from suicide.
People don’t kill themselves because of just one thing, like a divorce or watching a video. But exposure to suicide can increase the risk of suicidal behavior for vulnerable people, like those with mental illness or substance use disorders. Suicidal behavior, mental illness, and substance use disorders are all treatable, but those who experience them may feel hopeless. So being exposed to suicide, whether directly (a friend or family member’s suicide, for example), or indirectly (like through media coverage) can influence the likelihood of attempts. Young adults are especially susceptible, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. And Paul’s audience is primarily young people, Alexander reports.
Abuses still abound in labor-strapped Japan’s foreign ‘trainee’ worker system (The Japan Times, Magdalena Osumi)
The current system underpays immigrant workers while exposing them to grueling conditions.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has officially declared that his administration will never adopt “an immigration policy” to make up for the continuing acute labor shortage despite Japan’s rapidly shrinking working population (people aged 15 to 64).
But it’s a fact that Abe’s Cabinet has kept introducing numerous unskilled workers from other Asian countries by providing them with the “technical trainee” visa status, experts point out.
“Trainees” are not allowed to change their job or employer even if they find their work situation is not what they were promised. This is considered one of the reasons many trainees like Nan have no choice but to keep working under harsh conditions.
In 2016, the Labor Standards Inspection Office inspected 5,672 workplaces hiring foreign “trainees” across the country. The office then found that 70.6 percent of them, or 4,004, were violating labor laws and related ordinances, including those governing work hour limits, safety measures and wage payments.
We still want to hear about your Fall faves—keep ’em coming!
URAHARA and MMO Junkie for sure–both fun shows starring ladies ☆
— 🎵🐱 Alex 🐱🎵 (@TheAfictionado) January 2, 2018