[Links] 9-15 October 2019: Gamers Silenced Over Hong Kong, SHIROBAKO Tribute, and Fall Premieres Part II

By: Anime Feminist October 15, 20190 Comments
Main screaming toward the sea in chibi form. subtitle: Down with poverty!

AniFem Round-Up

[Review] Kandagawa Jet Girls – Episode 1

Nominally a sports series but mostly just really, really horny.

[Review] Z/X Code reunion – Episode 1

Has a fun premise and yuri shipteasing, but is ultimately too bland to be memorable.

[Review] Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Episode 1

Nominally newbie-friendly Fate series with a truckload of fanservice.

[Review] NO GUNS LIFE – Episode 1

A noir cyberpunk action series about found family.

[Review] Africa Salaryman – Episode 1

If Aggretsuko were neither smart nor charming nor stylish.

[Review] Assassins Pride – Episode 1

A grown man pledging himself to a young teen is potentially skeevy, but the heroine has promise.

[Review] Blade of the Immortal – Episode 1

Adaptation of a beloved 90s manga with somewhat fetishistic violence toward female characters.

[Review] Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle – Episode 1

Adapts the story of the game and is painfully dull.

[Review] Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth – Episode 1

Otome gacha adaptation with no real personality of its own.

[Review] Stars Align – Episode 1

A slice-of-life sports series that doesn’t shy away from social issues.

[Review] Case File nº221: Kabukicho – Episode 1

Beautifully directed but poisoned by quuerphobia and ugly stereotypes.

[Review] Chidori RSC – Episode 1

A gag manga adaptation and total snoozefest.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 100: Jupiter Ascending Retrospective

Caitlin, Chiaki, Dee, Peter, and Vrai celebrate 100 episodes with a shoujo sci-fi epic.

Which Fall anime is your favorite so far?

All the premieres have aired, so it’s time to get invested.

Beyond AniFem

The Gaming Library That Helped a Neglected Neighborhood Find a New Identity (Vice, Kimberly Koenig)

The public library in Marvila, an area of Lisbon, became a social hub partly because of the community built around its videogame and social programs.

Though the program suggests supporting education with “a range of interactive and portable devices,” inviting gamers into a library is different. Even with this kind of broad latitude, Silva said games are still seen as “just for weird guys and nerds,” nothing with educational merit. Other librarians and local politicians viewed his actions with skepticism. However, there’s some precedent for what he’s doing. Oliveira said Marvila library’s gaming programs remind him of Junta de Freguesia de São João de Brito (now Junta de Freguesia de Alvalade), a parish council building and community center where local kids could once study, learn instruments, build toy models, and play computer games. It was a welcoming place where he, his siblings, and friends could go after school while their mom was busy working. Those programs are long gone, but they remain one of Oliveira’s fondest childhood memories.

Despite outsiders’ doubts, Marvila library’s pro-gaming policy has changed community dynamics. Oliveira said parents no longer worry about kids’ whereabouts and safety. With the library close to the school, kids go immediately after classes to hang out with friends, get help with homework, and play games. When the library opens later on weekends, he says they line up for an hour just to get in and play. And although racial tensions persist outside the library walls, Silva and one of the library’s collaborators, Bapa Dreams studio co-founder Ana Mota, say you’ll see kids playing side by side here. It’s the kind of structured environment they lacked in the past; one where they can play unlimited games, provided they do it respectfully.

Interview: Ameko Kaeruda, Author of Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

An interview with the author, who normally writes yuri web novels, on her success.

You wrote in the afterword that this novel was inspired by the gender discrimination issue at Tokyo Medical University. Could you explain the incident for the international readers? What did you feel when you heard the news?

In August 2018, it was reported that in previous years, Tokyo Medical University docked a set amount of points from women who took the written entrance exam. Until then it was regarded as an open secret, so to speak. Everyone in the entrance exam business knew that it was hard for women to get into the medical school, but the issue was never investigated. It takes guts and fortitude to take the exam and become a doctor, whether you’re a man or a woman. When I heard the news, I was shocked that not only were women unfairly barred from their life’s adventure, but that there are so many people who will just write off the discrimination as a fact of life that can’t be changed. So I decided to criticize and poke fun at the ridiculousness of it all through a Narō web novel.

How has the domestic reception been for Sexiled so far? Were you worried that the story would give off the impression of being a bit heavy or difficult because of its theme of gender discrimination?

I didn’t think twice about it when my story was given the chance to be published in print form as a light novel. I felt really honored and blessed. The fact that I managed to get a second volume published as well means that this new type of Narō novel has been accepted to some degree.

Many women, particularly those who are sensitive about gender issues, have the impression that Narō novels give off a misogynistic vibe, but the very fact that a story like Sexiled can emerge from Narō means that there is fun to be had for those people as well. Of course, I did have my worries too about whether the story themes were too heavy or difficult. I tried to include as many comedic elements as I could and make the prose light and breezy so that the themes are accessible to anyone. I’m relieved and thankful that it’s gotten such a warm reception from the readers.

A Silent Voice (with Kimlinh Tran) [Shonen Exception #1] (Shojo & Tell)

A podcast discussion based on the complete manga.

It’s a Shojo & Tell first: We’re acknowledging the worthiness of a shonen series. A SILENT VOICE became one of the most beloved manga of our time thanks to its raw and emotional exploration of bullying and its portrayal of living with a disability. On this episode, voice actress Kimlinh Tran and Shojo & Tell host Ashley discuss whether Shoya is a redeemable character, the effectiveness of punishment, and who wins first place for being the worst character (there are so many top contenders!). Of course, there are also comparisons between the manga and the movie adaptation (spoiler alert: the manga is better, and pushes what the medium can do in its valiant efforts to convey what living is like with deafness) and a weird shipping corner that’s mostly just about Naoka and Miyoko. Lots of ranting about how terrible these kids were to Shoko (and how relatable that is) ensues.

Geridrawsjapan (Instagram)

An artist who draws, among other things, a series of prints picturing influential women of Japanese history.

Canadian illustrator, living in Nottingham UK and drawing #Japan. 🇯🇵Shop online at GeriDrawsJapan.com! カナダ人イラストレータ&デサイナーです。色々な日本文化の事を描いています。お好み焼きが大好き!

An Ode to SHIROBAKO! (Crunchyroll, Adam Wescott)

A tribute to the 2013 workcom about anime production.

But if Miyamori and her friends are larger than life, there’s a grain of truth to them that those in the workplace will recognize. Like the plight of Shizuka Sakaki, who works a dead-end job while she frantically hustles behind the scenes to find the career she really wants. Or the animators at Studio Titanic, incentivized by an industry that prioritizes speed and quantity over quality to pump out shoddy work. Or Taro Takanashi, a production assistant so bad at his job that he must have been drawn from real life (and he was: according to the director, Taro was modeled on his own past self! At least he can admit it.)

SHIROBAKO still has a devoted fan following since airing, enough so that a movie sequel is on its way. I’ll personally always love the show for its memorable characters, cheeky nods to anime history and the story’s willingness to let its cast face real danger in their struggle to make art. But some have criticized the series for being unrealistic. Not for being exaggerated, or calibrated for marketability (both true) but that it is “too optimistic” a portrait of the industry. Said one writer I followed at the time, “in the real world, Miyamori would have hung herself under the stress.”  It’s a grotesque statement, but not fully removed from reality. In past years there have stories of animators dying of overwork. Stories of directors abusing their connections to sexually harass voice actorsfreelance animators not being paid by their studio contractors, and companies refusing to compensate their employees for unpaid overtime because their work was deemed insufficient. The world of SHIROBAKO has its problems—difficult co-workers, a competitive industry, clueless and self-absorbed producers. But it is undeniably a kinder world than the one we live in.

Tokyo ward evacuation shelter shunned homeless as Typhoon Hagibis tore through Japan (The Mainichi, Shiota Aya and Oba Shinya)

Those without permanent addresses were turned away by the shelter.

According to the Taito Ward Office, it started accepting evacuees at four evacuation shelters from 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 as Typhoon Hagibis, this year’s 19th, approached the Japanese archipelago. When two people arrived at an evacuation center at the ward’s Shinobugaoka Elementary School on Oct. 12, officials turned them away saying they “didn’t have addresses.”

A 64-year-old man originally from Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido was one of those rejected. He says he has been living on the street since coming to Tokyo about a month ago. After being denied entry to the shelter and having nowhere else to go, he spent the night of Oct. 12 in the lee of a building near JR Ueno Station, holding up an umbrella to shield himself from the wind and rain. He has a speech impediment due to a stroke.

VIDEO: A fond, boozy laugh with smutty manga from a manga review channel.

VIDEO: An interview from part two of Noir Caesar’s tour panel.

VIDEO: On the insidious chilling effect China’s financial grip has on the worldwide gaming stage and players’ free speech regarding Hong Kong’s fight for freedom.

THREAD: On the causes of the fetishization of Japan by white cishet men.

AniFem Community

It’s an odd season, with fewer obvious standouts but a lot of generally strong starts. Happy watching, everyone!

So far I've been excited about Outburst Dreamer Boys, and the second episode didn't fail to bring the same humor and energy as the first. Here's hoping it keeps it up for the remaining nine episodes. I've also been really enjoying my time with After School Dice Club. As an avid lover of tabletop games, but one who lacks the money to purchase them, this anime is a comforting and cathartic half hour of my week. I'm also relieved that Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun is doing its source material proud.

I still have to watch Ascendance of a Bookworm as well as Stars Align, but from what I've heard I don't think I'll be disappointed and I'm very excited to watch both shows.

As far as the one that didn't meet my expectations, Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life has proved to be painfully predictable and dull. Despite one pretty good Dragon Ball Z reference, and some tolerable side characters, the pedophilic villain and predictable flat-chest-beserk-button has, among other things, made what I thought would be an enjoyable isekai anime with a likable and savvy female protag into a complete bore that left a bad taste in my mouth after every episode.
Most Excited About: Unusually for me, I have found this a strong season for watching new shows and continuations. I'm still excited for Chihayafuru 3, which I won't be able to watch for at least another week (and for the release of the second half of Carole and Tuesday from Netflix jail, expected around Christmas). I have really enjoyed Welcome To Demon School, Iruma-kun!, Ascendance of a Bookworm, and After School Dice Club as harmless fun shows. I've binged Vinland Saga and Kono Oto Tomare! so that I could keep up with them as continuing shows, and I've found them to be very good and on the more dramatic end of the scale.

Expectations Not Met: I certainly wasn't expecting the first episode of Boku no Hero Academia to be yet another recap, although I probably should have. It literally put me to sleep. I hope the actual content will be more interesting.

Turnaround/Improvement: Among the new shows, I've only seen the second episode of After School Dice Club (thanks for the simulcast, Hulu!). I guess it did change its direction a bit, by adding a hapless boy to the mix of players. I normally dislike characters that are primarily around to crush on someone, but I liked how his crush ruined his ability to play competitively - and I loved how she interpreted his behavior as showing a crush on a different character altogether. I am here for shenanigans involving his crush trying to matchmake him with another girl.

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