[Links] 29 March – 4 April 2017

By: Anime Feminist April 4, 20172 Comments

The Spring 2017 season has started, Hollywood takes a financial beating, and trans critics speak out against trans erasure and representation problems.

AniFem Round-Up

[History] From Eroica with Love is the 1970s gay thief caper you never knew you needed

40 years of unresolved sexual tension, heist shenanigans, and beautiful shojo curls. Eroica’s the best thing that no one has read and will never be able to see.

[Review] Granblue Fantasy the Animation – episodes 1-2

Looks promising thus far, with a female knight in the lead role and some very shippable queer content (though who knows if it’ll go anywhere).

[AniFemTalk] Trans Day of Visibility

An opportunity to highlight your favorite trans creators and critics.


Beyond AniFem

Speaking of trans visibility…

Twitter isn’t always the best place for meaningful discussion, but sometimes it produces really great threads like this one – a dismantling of the idea that there “aren’t any trans people” in modern-day Japan.


AniFem will be doing its own take on the GITS movie, but here’s a good discussion to dive into in the meanwhile.

CJ, Jimmy, and Suri dive headlong into the mess that is the 2017 Ghost in the Shell film starring Scarlett Johannson and directed by Rupert Sanders. They discuss the whitewashing and culture conflicts that raise in the film, along with a poor characterization and misunderstandings of the original source material.

Columnist Criticizes Japanese Environmental Ministry’s Moe Girls as Sexist (Anime News Network)

Another of those “what it says on the tin” articles. The columnist in question is Karima Morooka, a half-Japanese, half-Arabic lecturer who published her article in the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper.

[Morooka] said she was astonished when she read that the campaign using “beautiful girl characters to appeal to young people with little interest in environmental issues” was defining the young people it is targeting as “18 to 29-year-olds.” She said, “Aren’t they adults?” The idea of appealing to adults with moe characters may make some people uncomfortable, and Morooka said, “I do not want to the government to promote moe concepts that can be seen as sexist.”

Female TV Anime Directors Spring 2017 (Onna no Kantoku)

A handy list for those looking to support anime with women heading the production staff. It’s not a LONG list, but it’s still good to know.

Women Directors of Anime (Gae Blog)

Want even more examples of anime by female directors? There was a panel on the subject at this year’s Anime Boston, and the complete slideshow (60 slides, chock full of examples that accompanied the presentation) is now online for you to peruse.

Zelda, Mass Effect and Horizon all struggle with introducing their trans characters (Polygon)

Laura Dale does excellent work, but this is a particularly exceptional piece on the ways in which recent examples of trans representation in gaming both succeed and fail, each one uniquely.

This past month has been incredibly odd as a trans woman playing through mainstream games. I don’t think I can name another month in the history of the medium where three AAA games had examples of trans representation within them, but you don’t get a free pass for trying. Writers or designers can stumble badly when they treat these subjects carelessly, or without learning more before they write characters or scenes in the game.

Battling Ingrained Sexism in The Japanese Workplace (Savvy Tokyo)

While the more overt sexism of the older generation is beginning to die out, there are still plenty of battles to be fought for equality on the job.

Standing up to micro-aggressions and assumptions is essential. As the only non-Japanese woman in that company at the time, I had a superpower that could be used for good. While many of my colleagues hated being the focus of sexist comments, talked down to and underpaid, they feared speaking up and being labeled uncooperative troublemakers even more. But I could be much more vocal — my very foreignness acting as a shield, I became a rallying point for the rest of the justly exasperated ladies.

Swan Maidens, Dragon Maids, and Screwing with Gendered Expectations (The Afictionado)

A look at how Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid fits into the archetypal tradition of the “supernatural marriage,” while tweaking just enough aspects of the genre to be fresh.

So, with no context, this would land Tohru in the swan maiden camp—out of a sense of obligation to a human, she discards (at least temporarily) her true animal form and takes up a domestic role in the human world. The obligation is self-imposed, though, because Tohru wants to repay Kobayashi for saving her life, and also admits loud and proud to being in love with her. Is this an animal groom tale, then, with Kobayashi, a normal mortal woman, entangled in a supernatural contract (at least symbolic of marriage—Tohru lives with her now, after all) with a creature that’s part human and part monster?

Is a Disappointing Ghost in the Shell the Nail in the Coffin of Hollywood Whitewashing? (Vanity Fair)

To come back around and end on a brighter note, the GITS remake is thus far a total flop. If basic decency won’t stem the tide of whitewashing, perhaps this still stands a chance of getting through.

According to Box Office Mojo, in its first weekend, Ghost in the Shell pulled in approximately $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget—below even the conservative prediction that site made earlier in the week. That number looks even more anemic when compared with Lucy, Johansson’s R-rated 2014 film, which pulled in $43.8 million on its opening weekend.

Ghost in the Shell: 4 Japanese actresses dissect the movie and its whitewashing twist (The Hollywood Reporter)

While Hollywood struggles to find a single Japanese actor with fluent English to play any leading role in any anime adaptation, The Hollywood Reporter somehow manages to find four to share their insights and experiences in this thoughtful discussion.

Yoshihara: The actress who played the mom played a madam in Memoirs of a Geisha, and when I saw that movie I knew she was directed by white directors because she was totally playing an American bitch. In Japan, we don’t act like that. The demeanor and body language was mimicking an American person. Any time a white director directs a Japanese movie, they’re always trying to get us to act American.
Kato-Kiriyama: Meanwhile, Asian Americans are asked to be super Oriental.


Unfortunately, it seems that no English-language outlets have picked up a full translation of this news. Still, I wanted to bring attention to it, as this represents a disheartening step backwards for Japan’s LGBTQ community.


AniFem Community

[AniFemTalk] Trans Day of Visibility – signal-boost your favorite trans writers, cosplayers, artists etc. in fandom! https://t.co/quW5OdGQTC pic.twitter.com/RHw4CdmMQy

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility on March 31st, this week our community discussion is on trans people and issues in fandom. This time we’ve had less engagement on Twitter, more on Facebook and some great comments on the post itself, recommending trans people in fandom to follow and support. We would love even more comments, so get involved and signal-boost your favorite trans creators, talk about depiction issues, or highlight trans critics speaking to issues in the industry!


Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

Thanks to our generous patrons we are now able to pay all writers! Next we need to be able to pay members of the team for their work behind the scenes, especially their time spent editing the work of paid contributors. If you appreciate our work, believe in paying people fairly and can spare just $1 a month please become a patron today

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: