[Links] 31 July – 6 August 2019: Anti-Imperialism in Metal Gear Solid, the Rise of Gundam Wing, and Shield Hero Postmortem

By: Anime Feminist August 6, 20190 Comments
Mafuyu from given with wide eyes and sparkles around his head

AniFem Round-Up

[Review] Summer 2019 three-episode check-in

The team checks in to see how the current crop of shows are shaping up.

[Editorial] AniFem Fundraiser Update: July 2019

An update on how fundraiser perks, the site redesign, and transcripts are progressing.

[Review] Try Knights – Episode 1

Far behind the rest of the pack this season, this sports series is mostly profoundly mediocre.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 95: Princess Tutu Watchalong – Episodes 21-26 [FINAL]

Chiaki, Vrai, and guest Miranda Sanchez bid farewell to the shoujo classic with joy and a few tears.

[AniFemTalk] What genre mashups would you like to see?

GRANBELM’s magical girl mecha premise opens the doors to all kinds of possibilities.

Beyond AniFem

How Metal Gear Eschewed Realism to Convey the Horror of Imperial Violence (Fanbyte, Moira Hicks)

On MGS’s use of magical realism as anti-imperialist commentary.

All of Metal Gear is like this — the impossible serving to gesture to the truth. It’s silly that in Metal Gear Solid 2, the replacement for a Kurt Russell-body double-super soldier is a fey twenty-something whose girlfriend has to remind him of their anniversary. It’s silly, but at a point, don’t our soldiers stop being super-soldiers and start being our fuckup friends who grew up playing shooters that are partially funded by the military? Aren’t their state of the art prosthetics totally sick?

The character Revolver Ocelot is one of the best examples of this balance. Born via cesarean section on a battlefield during D-Day to Soviet/American parentage, Ocelot goes on to become the architect of every modern military conflict of the late twentieth century. This is impossible nonsense, but of course he was born during the war that developed both the United States of America and the Soviet Union as global imperial powers.

Ocelot is capable of startling self-delusion. He hypnotizes himself to believe people are other people. He hypnotizes himself to believe he is someone else. He plays every side of a conflict against each other, against himself. Revolver Ocelot lies so convincingly, so masterfully, he believes it himself. There isn’t a better stand in for the American experience. We lie to ourselves — that we are somehow victims and underdogs — as we drone strike weddings and waterboard people who have never been convicted of a crime. And all of it has crept into our lives so efficiently as to become mundane.

Episode 82- BGA x Getting Animated Live Show (Getting Animated)

Audio from a con panel about getting into anime and forming a community as Black anime fans.

This week on Getting Animated, it will be the BGA x Getting Animated Q&A Live Show from Quirkcon! This live show is the first of MANY More to come!

Aichi governor accuses Nagoya mayor of act akin to ‘censorship’ (The Asahi Shimbun)

An art exhibit featuring Korean protest art was shut down by the governor of Aichi prefecture ostensibly for public safety in light of several protests.

Kawamura requested that Omura order the statue’s removal after a flood of public protests over the content of the display at the exhibition, titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’”

The show began Aug. 1 as part of the Aichi Triennale 2019: Taming Y/Our Passion. Omura is the chair of the organizing committee of the Aichi Triennale, which will run through Oct. 14.

The exhibition featured more than 20 pieces, including the statue representing comfort women and a video showing a portrait of Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989), posthumously known as Emperor Showa, being burned.

The comfort women statue was crafted by South Korean sculptors.

The event, staged at the Aichi Arts Center in Nagoya, was aimed at encouraging visitors to contemplate the notion of freedom of expression through the display of pieces that had been shunned at museums and public venues in Japan.

But the mayor requested that Omura remove the sculpture, the “Statue of a Girl of Peace,” saying it “tramples on the feelings of Japanese” in a protest letter on Aug. 2. Kawamura saw the show the same day.

Tourists’ Treatment of Kyoto’s Apprentice Geisha Is Only Getting Worse (Unseen Japan, Jay Andrew Allen)

Tourists often photograph and touch these young women without their permission while they are going about their daily lives.

While the tourist problem in Japan is often chalked up to people not being aware of “local customs and manners,” I think it’s more of a sense of entitlement among tourists. It’s never okay, anywhere in the world, to grab young women and force them to pose with you. Years of promoting geisha and maiko as “exotic elements” of the “mysterious Japan” has led tourists to view them as props and dolls, and not as real people with careers who are just going about their daily business.

Tourist privilege isn’t the province of a single nationality, and everyone who visits the country can do their part to make things better. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, consider steering clear of over-touristed areas like Kyoto, and make your way to cities like Nagoya or Iga, or to a smaller oceanside town that could really use your tourist dollars. (If you need ideas on where to go, Donny Kimball’s site dedicated to travel across Japan is chock full of recommendations.)

Child abuse cases total 159,850 in fiscal 2018, 28th straight record (The Asahi Shimbun)

Care centers currently fail to check on 8% of cases of reported abuse within 48 hours. Abuse statistics have consistently risen since their initial compiling in 1990.

Child consultations centers are, in principle, required to confirm whether children are safe within 48 hours of receiving reports about abuse.

The ministry looked into about 154,000 child abuse cases handled from July 20, 2018, to June 7 this year. It found that the centers had not confirmed the conditions of the children in 8 percent of those cases within 48 hours.

Of all 159,850 cases, 88,389, or 55.3 percent, involved “psychological abuse,” such as parents committing domestic violence in front of their children.

It was followed by 40,256 cases of “physical abuse,” or 25.2 percent of the total; 29,474 cases of “neglect,” or 18.4 percent; and 1,731 cases of “sexual abuse,” or 1.1 percent.

Sensual artwork at Niigata temple draws visitors and ire from city (The Asahi Shimbun, Yamato Iizuka, Doni Tani and Yukihito Takahama)

A mural depicting historical figures as bathing bishounen drew many new visitors to Kokujoji Temple but moral outrage from critics, though it was couched in concerns about damage to historic property.

Under the city’s ordinance, changing the conditions of a designated cultural property requires submission of an application form first.

Kokujoji temple had not applied for the changes.

The board on June 14 asked the temple to follow the ordinance and submit the proper documents. It also told the temple to remove the paintings from the main hall.

After that order, the board on June 26 notified elementary and junior high schools in the city to refrain from visiting the temple for school activities, saying, “It is inappropriate for children’s development.”

At the end of June, the temple submitted the required application, accompanied by a letter expressing its willingness to lose the cultural property designation if the city rejects the changes.

After experts discussed the matter, the board of education on July 30 concluded that the existence of the paintings could damage pillars of the main hall and other areas.

How Gundam Wing Became a Global Phenomenon (Crunchyroll, Kim Morrissy)

How GW’s character-driven story and the 90s anime boom made it a juggernaut.

Wing’s popularity with female audiences continued when the show was exported overseas. Once again, outside circumstances were kind to the show, especially in the US. Although a handful of OVAs and movies were dubbed into English and released direct-to-video, Wing became the first Gundam show to be broadcast on North American TV. This allowed the show to stand on its own terms without being measured against the legacy of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. 

Even more significantly, Wing aired during the height of the Toonami years in the early 2000s, meaning that it rode off the anime wave caused by Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. During this period of time, mainstream interest in anime surged rapidly but simmered just as fast. When G Gundam and Gundam SEED aired on the same block a few years later, they failed to attract anywhere near the same ratings as Wing did. In retrospect, Wing could not have picked a better time for its US debut.

(This is all especially amazing when you consider that Toonami began as an experiment and that in its early years it operated on a shoestring budget. You can read a fascinating oral history of the programming block here.)

Video: Activist Masaki C. Matsumoto recommends several resources about LGBTQ Japan issues in English (including, full disclosure, us)

Thread: Discussion of myths about “Crime-free Japan,” including discussion of sexual assault


Tweet: A podcast post-mortem of The Rising of the Shield Hero

AniFem Community

Some good ideas mixed with good nostalgia this week.

i would like to see a school slice of life series about kaiju. the protagonists would be your typical anime schoolgirls, but they would look like goofy showa era monsters and the school activities would be the sort of things kaiju do in movies

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