[Links] 28 February – 6 March 2018: Kaceytron, #MeToo Backlash in Japan, and Workplace Sexism

This week: Kaceytron, backlash against #MeToo in Japan, and workplace sexism.

AniFem Round-Up

[Discourse] Catherine, Trans Identities, and Representation in Japan

Kazuma Hashimoto discusses life for trans people in Japan and cultural ideas of transphobia that feed into ATLUS’s games.

[Feature] Hyouka’s poetic depictions of normalizing otherness

Elvie Mae Parian revisits Hyouka as a quiet slice-of-life that excelled at treating its characters’ struggles with isolation, depression, and connection not as melodrama but as matter-of-fact.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 44: Kill la Kill Watchalong – Episodes 7-12

The end of the first cour, its high points (the Student Council), and its low points (how does this series about clothes have no idea how the fashion industry functions? Oh, and Nui).

[AniFemTalk] How can we encourage new anime and manga fans?

What are your strategies for helping new fans in a feminist way?


Beyond AniFem

Why saying ‘me too’ is risky in Japan (The New Zealand Herald)

Women are more likely to be criticized than supported after coming forward, and the conviction of sexual offenders is rare and minimally punitive.

In a patriarchal society where women have long taken the blame, many victims try to forget attacks and harassment instead of seeking support and justice, said Mari Miura, a political science professor at Sophia University in Tokyo.

“Japan lacks such a sisterhood,” she said. “It’s an exhausting and intimidating process. … It’s quite natural that victims feel reluctant to speak up.”

One woman, journalist Shiori Ito, went public last year. She held a news conference after prosecutors decided not to press charges against a prominent TV newsman whom she had accused of raping her after he invited her to discuss job opportunities over dinner and drinks in 2015.

Many online comments criticized her for speaking out, looking too seductive and ruining the life of a prominent figure. Some women called her an embarrassment, she told The Associated Press.

The Story Behind the All-Woman Team Who Invented the Otome Genre (Waypoint, Anne Lee)

A brief history of Ruby Party, the team that created the first otome game, and the cross-media strategies used to market games to the previously untapped market of young women.

Ruby Party was founded in 1990 at the suggestion of Keiko Erikawa, who helped found Koei alongside her husband, Yōichi Erikawa (pen name Kō Shibusawa), in 1978, and served as executive director of the company until 2002. After the release of Nobunaga’s Ambition in 1983, Koei only had one woman on its development team. Keiko Erikawa decided that there needed to be more opportunities for women in game development, and more games aimed at women.

Thus, in order to create a different game from a woman’s perspective, Koei began recruiting women to helm a new team. However, in a Famitsu interview for the 20th anniversary of Angelique, Keiko Erikawa describes that due to the fact that few women at the time studied programming, they ended up hiring many women from humanities backgrounds. “It took a long time to get our female staff used to making games,” she said “None of the women we hired had any experience making games.” As a result, it took over 10 years after Koei started its push to hire more women before Angelique was released.

How Not to Respond to a License Notice: Roxism HQ and Nozomanu Fushi no Boukensha (J-Novel Club)

A fansub group responded to a take-down notice from J-Novel club (who had licensed the LN and planned to release it legitimately) by relabeling their fan translation as “fanfic.”

We announced that we’d licensed Nozomanu Fushi no Boukensha (The Unwanted Undead Adventurer) yesterday.
Roxism HQ has been translating the web novel, and has like ~30 chapters on their website, but they also have an additional 20+ chapters locked behind Patreon tiers… If you want to read the latest chapter from them, you actually have to be a $100 supporter!
Completely ridiculous. Plus their translation quality is… MTL + no-native editing level basically.
So, I email them demanding they remove the chapters from their Patreon and website since we’ve already finished 50% of volume 1 of the LN anyway, and they are profiting in blatant copyright violation without supporting the author at all.

Utena/Penguindrum’s Kunihiko Ikuhara Reveals Next Anime’s Studios, Title, 2019 TV Debut (Anime News Network)

Little is known beyond the title and air date, despite the existence of two brief trailers, but if his past work is any indication it’s sure to be packed with feminist-relevant discussion points.

The official website and Twitter account for the next anime from director Kunihiko Ikuhara launched on Tuesday. According to the teaser video on the site, the original television anime Sarazanmai will air in 2019, and the studios MAPPA (Yuri!!! on IceIn This Corner of the WorldRage of Bahamut Genesis) and Lapin Track(Yurikuma Arashi) are producing it. The video’s description credits “Ikunirappa” for the original story; the original story of Ikuhara’s earlier Yurikuma Arashi anime was similarly credited to “Ikunigomamonaka.”

‘Titty Streamer’ Kaceytron Is Nourished By Bitter Gamer Tears (Kotaku, Cecilia D’Anastasio)

A profile of Kacey Caviness, a Twitch streamer whose brand is based on turning the stereotype of “fake gamer girls” into performance art.

But if you were a woman doing the same thing, it was another story: you were a “fake girl gamer.” Old-school female streamers I’ve interviewed say that, in Twitch’s early days, there was a hard divide between “real gamers” and so-called “camwhores” on Twitch.

And the “real” gamers believed that the “camwhores” were stealing views from their hard-working male counterparts, who were not blessed with enough cleavage to entice new subscribers.

Accordingly, viewers rained hate down on Kaceytron right from the get-go. The accused her not only of being bad at games, but of leveraging her goods for clicks. It didn’t upset her, she says. The backlash, to her, was hilarious – how could people care so much about this?

Kaceytron decided to lean in – figuratively and literally. The necklines dropped and the trolling increased.

“Instead of banning them, it was more empowering for me to fuck with them,” Caviness said with a laugh. “It was more empowering to say, ‘You know what? It doesn’t bother me. I’m gonna shove it in your face and piss you off more.'”

Panel Discussion: Shōjo Studies, Japanese Studies, and the World (University of Queensland)

An audio version of a panel about shoujo across mediums.

Hear from Associate Professor Anne McKnight (Shirayuri University, Tokyo), Dr Emerald King (LaTrobe University, Melbourne), and Dr Masafumi Monden (University of Technology, Sydney) as they discuss Japanese girls’ stories in the world: literature, manga, anime, cosplay, and more.

This event was organised by the School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Queensland, supported by a Mini Grant from The Japan Foundation, Sydney.

Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Numbers: Week 18 (Heroine Problem, Caitlin Moore)

Introducing end-of-series tally counts and overall meta-discussion of how a completed series fared at avoiding or handling abuse in narratives.

I can’t believe that I once shrugged Black Bird’s abuse off as “just fantasy”. The layer of unreality brought about by the tengu and spirits distanced me from the nature of Kyo’s abuse and lulled me into thinking there wasn’t anything really worth concerning myself about. However, Kyo’s level of possessiveness has plenty of real-world applications; he doesn’t like Misao interacting with other men, and shames her when it gets her into trouble. The data point that shocked me most was how high physical abuse ranked – while the sexual abuse was most egregious in the first volumes, it pretty much tapered off once they started having sex. However, there were so many little moments of him hurting her in minor ways that I didn’t even notice how commonplace it was.

To be honest, the abuse isn’t what bothers me most about Black Bird. I mean, it bothers me a lot. But the worse thing to me is how it romanticizes codependency. While Kyo has his clan and his role of clan leader, Misao doesn’t really have anything but him. Not only does the series address it, but it presents it as a good thing, like having no other real hobbies and friends is a sign of the depth of her love. When women are already largely defined by their relationships to men, it’s terrible to explicitly say that making him the center of your entire existence is an ideal level of devotion.

‘Only Women Know How To Vacuum’ And Other Stories Of Workplace Sexism In Japan (Savvy Tokyo, Jes Kalled)

Two accounts of women facing workplace discrimination while working in Japan.

[My boss] looked at me and said, “You speak your opinion quite directly. I don’t think you’ll be able to get married.” I said, “No, I think I will be able to.” I knew he felt he could say that because I was the youngest woman in the office. It was a reflection of the deeply rooted workplace hierarchy scene in Japan, and I was at the bottom by default.

One of the things I hated most about that job was the uniforms. Only women were required to wear them. It somehow identified us only as “girls” or “women” washing out any chance of our personalities or creativity shining through. We all looked the same. After awhile, I quit. And so did a bunch of other women after me.

148 Couples Using Same-Sex Partnership Systems Across Japan (Nijiiro News, Ray)

Statistics on couples across Japan who’ve gotten married or otherwise used legal support systems.

On March 1st, Nijiiro Diversity released the latest statistics regarding the usage of same-sex partnership systems that have been implemented in six municipalities across Japan.

Fukuoka City plans to implement its own same-sex partnership system from April.


A long-form musing on the question of how fans might create an inclusive environment for new fans.

We must respect that younger and older fans might be drawn to different kinds of works, and never shame them for this. A person who almost exclusively watches 80s anime as a calling card of their generation is not, contrary to popular belief, ‘missing out’ on the wonders of modern animation, nor are they vain nostalgia freaks by consequence. Likewise a person who only consumes stories aimed at a young demographic is not made any lesser for it. These works are all equally a part of the medium and subsequently the fandom too. That needs to be respected, because it is a very real possibility that newcomers will be driven to these works when they first dip their toes into the wider community. They shouldn’t need to face the scorn of their supposed peers as a result of that choice.

Lastly I want to bring up a seemingly obvious point, but an important one none the less. Support inclusive works and inclusive spaces. If the question is “How do we encourage newcomers to the scene?” then what better answer can you find than representation.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all enjoy seeing our experiences, interests and even our identity represented in both the medium and the communities built around it. If we want to continue seeing these things produced, then make the effort to support them!

BONUSFandom Grandma, AKA Spockslash, recently passed away. (Tumblr)

She was dedicated to remembering fandom history and supporting young fans.

I know that some of my adopted family here are not in happy family situations in their off-screen lives. It troubles me that I will not have further opportunity to tell you how special you are, how unique, how precious.  That you are worthy of love and happiness.  Please know that wherever I am, my caring about you and believing in you will still go on.

Dear beautiful hearts — and that means every one of you — please be kind to yourselves. And to each other. Please, please keep fandom a place where we are welcoming to newcomers.  Where we value each other, even if we don’t agree on specific ideas.

And please go on enjoying fandom, as long as it is meaningful and positive for you. I hope many of you will be fandom grandparents to the generations that will follow! Please keep writing and creating art. Keep our traditions alive. I’m passing the torch of this historic fandom on to you now.


AniFem Community

Keep brainstorming those ideas—we all want to help create a space where new anime fans can explore an inclusive environment.

And hey, don’t forget to check the AniFem Twitter to see our updated call for contributors!

For go-to movies, I usually recommend almost all of Hayao Miyazaki's films. Especially Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Kiki's Delivery Service. For anime, I would usually recommend Fullmetal Alchemist (both 2003 and Brotherhood). And I would also recommend Revolutionary Girl Utena, and remind them that the creator of Steven Universe was also inspired by this anime to create the cartoon. I first discovered anime when I was Kindergarten when my after school care was showing the first few episodes of Pokemon and I fell in love with it. Me and my friends would risk missing our piano lessons to watch it. But after a year I took a break from anime, until I was 3rd grade (so around 8-9) and my dad started renting anime for me from Netflix. The anime that got me back into a full on anime fan was Slayers and Tenchi Universe. And to this day, my dad regrets renting anime for me, but I thank him (except for the times where he didn't check what kind of animes he was renting me, so I'm trying to unlearn years worth of internalized sexism and misogyny from the ecchi and harem animes I watched). I've always felt gatekeeping from the anime community. Especially with my anime friends in real life. There was a lot of it whether it be subs vs. dubs or needing to watch/read a certain anime/manga or else you're seen as less intelligent as an anime fan. Even though that was how we acted in middle and high school, I still see that today with some of those friends who are adults now. It gets weird talking to them. I also saw this mentality of needing to watch certain shows in order to be a true anime fan online. I really hate that mentality because it is elitist and the anime fandom shouldn't operate as a hierarchy to be the best anime fan that's watched all the right anime ever. It should be inclusive of everyone who likes to watch anime and be welcoming to those who have critiques and problems within anime. Unlike today, where I see more of the gatekeeping happening due to people criticizing anime in the "wrong way" by pointing out the sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and etc.

I think it depends on the person I'm trying to recommend something to... Hayao Miyazaki movies are definitely some of my go-tos... but I've also successfully recommended films by Satoshi Kon and Mamoru Hosoda as well. (I usually start with movies because they're easier to find for people who don't want to commit to a subscription and take less initial investment than a show.) I grew up watching Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Digimon, etc. (I know it's not strictly anime... but does anyone remember Cybersix??) I stumbled on Studio Ghibli through Kiki and Castle in the Sky at an independent rental place near my house when I was about 10 but didn't really have a good sense that what I was watching was "anime" until high school. At that time my dad was bringing home random movies from coworkers that I would sift through when I had nothing else to do. One of the movies was Escaflowne and I had never seen anything like it. I watched it and rewatched it, but didn't know where to even start looking for anything similar. Then someone gave my brother Spirited Away as a gift and when I watched it I knew I would never go back. When I met my husband he lent me the Escaflowne series and when we went to university it was a lot easier to meet other anime-watchers and get recommendations/ borrow box sets. I personally don't recall any gatekeeping, but most of my discussions were casual and with other female students I was already close with. I felt more pressure from the rest of the school community who very openly looked down on watching anime. And of course... I did feel frustrated and often unwelcome given the content of a lot of popular shows... that's why I was so relieved to stumble on Josei Next Door and then eventually here! :D


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