This week: a century of yuri, Vic Mignogna fired from Funimation, and a bill recognizing the Ainu as an indigenous people.
Caitlin navigates the web of intense emotions around the game’s powerful depictions of teenage anxieties and its extreme mishandling of gender and sexuality-specific subplots.
Channler Twyman sits down with Bird Jackson, Ronnie Wright, and Andrew Aldridge to talk about the appeals and challenges of being a Black anime fan.
With Mignogna’s removal from Funimation following an internal investigation, let’s celebrate the hard work of voice actors who aren’t harassers.
Rosario + Vampire Dub VA Jamie Marchi Alleges Mignogna Grabbed, Pulled Her Hair (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)
Marchi’s statement is transcribed in full from her initial Twitter thread.
I never reported this event to the company. It actually didn’t even occur to me that I should have. Although, if it had occurred to me, I can’t say I would have reported him. This guy was worshiped by his fans. He was worshiped by the studios because of his fans. He was the most popular voice actoron the convention circuit. Everyone treated him with kid gloves because he was the one and only Vic Mignogna. Who was I? A nobody in comparison. I didn’t matter, and I knew it. Risking being blacklisted from my work and conventions simply wouldn’t have been worth it.
As I look back on this moment and discuss it with my family and friends, I can see that his actions qualify as simple assault. Would he have gone to jail had I pressed charges? I’m not sure. Why would people believe me over a man who holds bible studies in hotel lobbies? And even if they did, would they care about the truth if that meant tarnishing the reputation of their favorite voice actor?
Funimation removes voice actor Vic Mignogna from anime, while harassment allegations keep growing (Polygon, Petrana Radulovic)
Mignogna’s removal comes in the way of an internal investigation at Funimation and multiple testimonials from fellow industry professionals in addition to fans.
Now Mignogna’s fellow voice actors and industry professionals are making similar claims on social media, with a handful of notable figures sharing their own stories about Mignogna. Voice actor Monica Rial (Case Closed, Fullmetal Alchemist) tweeted about her uncomfortable experience with him, prompting other voice actors such as Miles Luna(RWBY), Cristina Vee (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir), and Christopher Sabat(Dragon Ball Super) to offer their condolences and support.
YURI, 1919-2019, FROM THEN TO NOW (Anime Herald, Erica Friedman)
An explanation of yuri’s origins and the way the genre has blossomed in recent years.
In Japan, Yuri is seeing a new renaissance, in part from the popularity and success of these digital comics platforms. As a result, it is seeing an explosion of Yuri anthologies, like the Éclair: A Girls’ Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart series, the first volume of which is available in English from Yen Press. Yuri manga magazine Comic Yuri Hime moved to monthly distribution in 2017. In the same year, crowdfunded, creator-owned quarterly magazine, Galette, debuted. Japanese Yuri artists are coming out of the closet about their personal lives now, which gives them greater leeway to tell stories that go beyond “Girl-meets-girl”. More Japanese publishers than ever are including Yuri offerings, as well. Manga stores in Japan have found several ways to address the growing interest. Chains like Animate, Gamers and Shosen Books have started “Yuribu” or Yuri clubs, that provide online recommendations and discounts for repeat customers and offer handy multi-format sections in the physical stores, as a way to increase interest in popular titles.
Loft under fire for its outdated portrayal of women in advertising campaign (The Japan Times, Patrick St Michel)
The ads, featuring women who hate one another under their superficially friendly talk, came under fire quickly—Loft has a history of misogyny in their ad campaigns.
The condemnation online was swift. Many Twitter users wondered why Loft would portray women as being secretly resentful of one another, suggesting that friendships between them are only shallow. Some described the presentation as “grotesque,” while others wondered why ideas like this persisted in 2019. Critiques also took a more practical look at why the advertising campaign failed so badly. Why, for example, would a travel agency launch an ad for a holiday package that made fun of the main consumer demographic for said holiday?
It didn’t take netizens long to connect Loft’s Valentine’s ad with a handful of other recent PR creations that similarly cast women in a bad light. The most obvious comparison came from Loft’s parent company, Seibu and Sogo Co., earlier this year.
EXPLORING THE PROMISED NEVERLAND’S DYSTOPIA (Atelier Emily)
A discussion of the more-Huxley-than-Orwell dystopia of TPN and how it puts its characters in competition.
The dystopian setting automatically pits Krone and Isabella against each other. Those in the know, working within the established system even if it’s only to survive, are not encouraged to help each other. Instead, they’re nudged towards undermining the other’s plans and fighting for as much power as they are permitted to have. These two were presumably once in the same situation as Emma, Norman, and Ray, only they chose to (or were chosen by others, perhaps due to their intelligence) live past their mandatory ship date of turning 12 years-old.
Through their interactions, we receive a preview of what is likely to come from Norman, Ray, and Emma. Ray has already been revealed as Isabella’s spy amongst the children. After telling Emma, she realizes, and informs us, that Ray has been hurting other members of the Grace Field House orphanage in pursuit of his own personal goal. Like Mom and Krone, Ray is trying the best he can within the system. Ray’s goal of escaping with only Norman and Emma (or possibly the three of them plus Don and Gilda) directly contradicts Emma’s insistence on saving everyone. It’s already been a point of contention between the two, and will likely be a flash point later in the series.
NOIR PRESENTS “DEEP CUTZ”: AX 2018 Johnny O’Bryant (YouTube, Noir Caesar)
A brief clip from Noir Caesar’s 2018 Anime Expo panel.
Founder of Noir Caesar discusses his inspiration for creating Noir Caesar as well as his role in creating XOGENASYS.
Episode 93 – Dr. Rebecca Copeland (Washington Univ.) (The Meiji at 150 Podcast)
A conversation with the department chair of Japanese Language and Literature at Washington University.
In this episode, Dr. Copeland documents several cases of “unruly women” who disrupt Japanese social norms, from mythical goddess Izanami to popular activists and female writers in the Meiji and Taishō Periods like Kishida Toshiko and Miyake Kaho, and finally to contemporary writer Kirino Natsuo. We discuss formalist versus historicist literary analysis, questions of agency and individuality in Meiji women’s cultural production, and the importance of translation in the field of literary studies.
Bill finally recognizes Ainu as indigenous people of Japan (The Asahi Shimbun, Naoki Matsuyama and Fumiko Yoshigaki)
The proposed bill will ban discrimination against the Ainu, push for allowance of traditional fishing practices and increased encouragement of tourism to Hokkaido.
But for the Ainu people, the bill comes after more than century of discrimination, poverty and fears that their cultural traditions were being erased.
Their native Hokkaido was effectively taken over after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Not only has the government never recognized the Ainu as indigenous, but a law passed in 1899 rejected Ainu culture and called for steps to assimilate the Ainu into the mainstream population.
It was not until 1997 that the law was abolished and replaced with the current law to promote Ainu culture.
But various surveys show that descendants of Ainu still have it tougher than most.
In 2017, the Hokkaido government conducted a study of 63 municipalities where Ainu were confirmed to be living. One finding was that only 33.3 percent of Ainu went on to university, compared to the overall rate of 45.8 percent for those 63 municipalities. Of the 671 people interviewed for the study, 23.2 percent said they had been discriminated against for being Ainu.
Thread: an explanation of the legal and social reasons victims often don’t come forward
Thread: A discussion of issues of systemic racism in academic fan studies
I've just been staring at this series of tweets by @Setsuna_C in response to @RukminiPande's VERY REAL concerns about her field and like… is this a joke? Is this parody? Because this is literally white supremacist academia in action. THIS IS WHO WILL KEYNOTE #FSN2019?! pic.twitter.com/USc9UMjBoE
— Samira Nadkarni (@SamiraNadkarni) February 8, 2019
There’s a great mix of dubs old and new in the discussion!
For recent ones, the Bloom into You dub was excellent. For classics I’ve always loved El Hazard which was one of the earliest examples of a dub that stands on its own with a lot of effort put into the script and voice acting.
— J-Spot (@JeffTMBG) February 12, 2019
Monster. Really strong ensemble cast with a mix of great natural and dramatic performances (sure is a shame that dub's unavailable in the US right now)
— Jetzero Infinity@Dub Talk (@Divinenega) February 12, 2019