[Links] 27 September – 3 October 2017

By: Anime Feminist October 3, 20170 Comments
A headshot of a frowning woman with long blonde hair, lipstick, and tusk earrings

Life after failure, female role models (and the lack thereof), and stereotypes on Fuji TV.

AniFem Round-Up

[Perspectives] The quiet revolutions of contemporary Japanese queer novels

Kastel discusses the experience of reading queer novels written by and for queer East Asian readers.

[Feature] Fire Balls & Ice Rinks: How My Hero Academia reflects inequality in competitive sports

Ashley McDonnell outlines the connection between MHA’s tournament arc and sexism in the world of sports.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 25: Summer 2017 wrap-up

Dee, Peter, and Vrai discuss their personal highs and lows now that the summer season is over.

[AniFemTalk] What AniFem means to you

We’re a year old, and we want to hear how we’ve been doing!


Beyond AniFem

Yoshihiro Togashi Needs More Gay (Rantasmo)

A brief dig into queerness and gender in Togashi’s biggest works (thanks to RhyCyCY).

Fuji TV Program Draws Ire of LGBT Community, President Issues Apology (Nijiiro News)

An anniversary program trotted out a walking stereotype of a sketch character that originated more than 20 years ago.

The problem lies not only in the character, who is a stereotypical caricature of a gay man whose name consists of Japanese wordplay basically meaning “I’m gay”, but also with the use of the word “homo” on national television, which to some can hold the same weight that the terms fag or faggot do to English speakers.

It should also be noted that Japanese terms that can be considered homophobic slurs such as okama and homo have been reclaimed by some individuals, similar to how queer has gained a positive meaning and widespread usage in recent years.

What My Hero Academia ignores with the absence of female mentors (Otaku, She Wrote)

How MHA does its well-characterized female students a disservice by failing to give them adult women to learn from and aspire to.

My Hero Academia often emphasizes how the characters are constantly working hard to become the best heroes they can be. However, the lack of female role models for the girls to look up to and take inspiration from, makes me think of our own struggle with female representation in our media. In my life, I had heroines like Wonder Woman and The Powerpuff Girls to inspire me while growing up, yet they were exceptions. Most of the cartoons and comics I consumed were so male-dominated, that at some point, I reached the conclusion that girls were less because I was rarely shown a girl who was good enough to achieve what their male peers did. I even remember acting “like a boy” because I thought that was the only way I could pursue the things I liked. It took me years to unlearn that. And the kind of stories that convinced my younger self that girls aren’t good enough, also influence many people who are still convinced of that. While lack of representation is not the sole culprit, it does help perpetuating those stigmas, and they can manifest as obstacles for women.

Abuse in Shoujo by the Numbers: Week 7 (Heroine Problem)

Ending a few series and starting a new one (with a staggeringly high number of points).

Demon Love Spell vol. 1

Miko is a shrine maiden who has never had much success at seeing or banishing spirits. Then she meets Kagura, a sexy demon who feeds off women’s feelings of passion and love. Kagura’s insatiable appetite has left many girls at school brokenhearted, so Miko casts a spell to seal his powers. Surprisingly the spell works—sort of—but now Kagura is after her! (summary by Viz)

20 points

Twenty points twenty points TWENTY POINTS.

Wow guys. Just… fucking… wow. I knew we were in for a treat when I started a new Mayu Shinjo manga, because she thinks rape is both hilarious and sexy, and that for a man to be attractive and masculine, he must be possessive and aggressive.

Strong Women, Soft Power Symposium #1: Towards a Community of Practice in Japanese Literary Translation (Peatix)

For any readers currently living in Japan, the talk is open to the public (albeit not for free).

10.30 am: Welcome address and Session 1:

Stronger Together: Building a community for literary translators [in English]

The international collective Strong Women, Soft Power was formed as a means of offering support, pooling resources, and strengthening the position of literary translators. Allison Markin Powell, Lucy North, and Ginny Tapley Takemori share what led to the collective, some of the issues that affect translators, and possible strategies for building a wider community.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About LGBTQs in Japan (QueerESL)

A video debunking myths and assumptions about life for LGBTQ individuals in Japan.

FOR ART’S SAKE (Wave Motion Cannon)

A podcast discussion of Miss Hokusai, which recently became available to stream on Netflix.

00:00:00 – 00:03:54 // Intro
00:03:55 – 00:29:02 // History of The Edo Period & the characters
00:29:02 – 01:48:05 // Discussion of Themes/Characterization including: the film’s ontology, the nature of perception and its relationship to reality, inspiration, the creative process, family life, and more!

“March comes in like a lion” Speaks Out Against Bullying (Crunchyroll)

The show will be used on anti-bullying promotional materials around Japan.

The campaign includes posters with a 24 hour hotline and the phrase: “Whereever you are, I will be your ally.” Approximately 18,000 posters will be distributed in schools and other education centers throughout Japan. A special website featuring words of encouragement from the March comes in like a lion voice actors and professional shogi players will also be published on October 16, 2017.

Strict gun laws mean Japan sees fewer shooting deaths (The Japan Times)

Japan saw fewer than ten shooting deaths in 2014 compared to over 33,000 in the United States.

The nation’s postwar gun regulations can be traced back to the Allied Occupation in the 1940s, when the Japanese government was ordered to collect and hand over all guns and swords that were owned or kept by members of the general public, according to the Justice Ministry’s white paper.

Given the order by the Allied Occupation forces, the government issued an ordinance in 1946 prohibiting citizens in principle from possessing guns or swords. The ordinance was renewed in 1950, and later was replaced with the Firearm and Sword Control Law in 1958.

Life After Failure in “Sakura Quest” (Crunchyroll)

This lady-led series explores how life goes on even if one doesn’t end up in their dream job.

Sakura Quest is brutally honest about the fact that not all dreams come true the way we want, but it also reassures its audience that failure isn’t the end of the world. Maki, Yoshino, and many of the longtime residents of Manoyama may not be “livin’ the dream,” but they aren’t miserable or pathetic just because their lives didn’t go the romanticized way they’d imagined as kids. Whether it’s through a new career, a hobby, a family member, or a friendship, they’ve all found a measure of happiness and pride in what they do and who they are.

There’s a tendency in fiction to focus on stories of people beating the odds and finding success in difficult dream jobs, like becoming a famous actor or professional athlete. We need inspiring stories like that, of course, to help us find the courage and persistence to take chances and push through adversity. But when practically every story is about success—and not just success, but professional success—then if you don’t beat those odds, it can start to feel like you’ve failed not just at a career, but at your life altogether.


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