Weekly Round-Up, 1-7 December 2021: Trans VTuber Love, Cupid Parasite, and Lack of Women at Nintendo

By: Anime Feminist December 7, 20210 Comments
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AniFem Round-Up

The AniFem Store Grand Opening!

We’ve finally opened our store, with a variety of merch we hope y’all enjoy.

A Double Edged Sword: Reconsidering Moe Through a Neurodiverse Lens

Marina Garrow examines both criticisms of the moe genre and also how moe characters can potentially serve as a relatable touchstone for neurodiverse female viewers.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean – Episodes 1-2

Jolyne is the franchise’s first female protagonist and an utter delight, and the series already has plenty to say about prisons and state violence.

Chatty AF 152: Soul Eater Rewatchalong – Episodes 27-39

Part three of Caitlin, Vrai, and Dee’s newbie-friendly rewatch covering the “wheel-spinning” arc, an Ikuhara guest appearance, and some new villains!

United States Abortion Resources

With reproductive rights increasingly endangered, this post seeks to provide several options for finding health care providers and clinics/advocacy groups in need of donations.

Beyond AniFem

Less Than 5 Percent Of Managers At Nintendo HQ Are Women (Kotaku, Ethan Gach)

This info came from an internal document written by Nintendo of America CEO Doug Bowser.

As part of this pledge, Nintendo also revealed that only 23.7% of managers at the company are women globally, and only 4.2% when you look specifically at Nintendo Co., Ltd in Japan. That’s especially notable since most of the company’s creative development and decision making takes place at its Kyoto headquarters. Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how it would boost those numbers.

The new push around gender diversity in particular comes as Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard continues reckoning with the fallout of a California lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination and ongoing reports of misconduct and workplace mistreatment.

How trans women are finding safe spaces on Twitch and YouTube (Input, Jessica Lucas)

The use of avatars allows for safe exploration of an idealized feminine presentation.

The VTubing space offers more than acceptance: It’s a world where trans women can transition instantaneously.

IRL, the process can be costly and time-consuming. According to queer banking group Daylight, trans people are more likely to experience anxiety and depression, and treating these conditions costs trans women both time and money. On top of this, Daylight estimates that the cost of gender reassignment surgery for trans women runs $30,000 or more. Then there are additional costs for hormone therapy, new clothes, and legal name changes.

Being a VTuber provides a quick — although somewhat superficial — route around these expenses. “The magical thing about being a VTuber is you can simply design yourself and be alive online much faster than you can in real life,” Artsy says.

Peep found that VTubing helped her to navigate feelings of dysphoria. When she started streaming as a VTuber, she was feeling unhappy about her shoulders and Adam’s apple area IRL. Using an avatar meant she was freed from those concerns.

The Evolution of Anti-Critical Consumption/Thinking “Anti-Anti” Fandom (Stitch’s Media Mix, Stitch)

The evolution of “anti” fandom and the backlash to it, and how the latter has mutated to include any critical discussion of a text.

Here’s the thing: I firmly believe that anti fandoms and fans as they’ve evolved in modern fandom are a problem. After all, people shouldn’t hurt or harass people over what they create in fandom. It’s a belief I’ve actually publicly shared for a very long time and I spoke out against evolving cultures of harassment in multiple fandoms especially when I was in the Voltron and DC fandoms. A lot of people miss it on purpose, but I have witnessed and documented moments of anti fandoms across the past decade or more, snarking about the way that people have actively misrepresented content in order to hurt other people in their fandoms.

However, as more and more strangers came to “know” me as an anti (or a fandom police/”fanpol”/fandom cop – a concerning thing to insist on calling a Black person talking about racism in a space, I feel), I realized that the evolution of anti-fandom now is more complicated than ever before and  that the racist anti fandoms that develop around people and characters of color rarely get clocked.

As I pointed out in Antiblackness & Anti Shipping (4/12/2021) + Additional Thoughts, pieces like Foz Meadows’ approach to anti-fandom rarely view or even mention long term racist harassment of Black/brown people (performers or fans) or aggressive mistreatment and misrepresentation of Black and brown characters in fanworks as anti-fandom in action.

Becoming Korean: Japanese wives in the boundary formation of a leftist zainichi community (Critical Asian Stories, Sayaka Chitani)

Academic article from a history professor at the University of Singapore.

Korean–Japanese marriages were common during and after Japan’s imperial rule of Korea. Following the Japanese Empire’s demise, however, Japanese wives in Korean families faced new political dynamics and their ethnic belonging became an issue. This article introduces the experiences of some Japanese women who married leftist zainichi Korean men in the 1950s and 1960s, obtained through interviews and published memoirs. Their self-identification exclusively as members of the zainichi Korean community – or their experiences of “becoming Korean,” despite facing oppression in both the Korean community and Japanese society reflect the specific historical moment of Korean decolonization in post-imperial Japan. Their stories attest that Koreans’ efforts toward decolonization led to the establishment of an autonomous ethnic sphere and a new center of moral authority among zainichi Koreans. These women stood at the boundary between Korean and Japanese social spheres, which developed based on the malleability in women’s senses of ethnic and national belonging. Recovering their experiences can help us integrate post-imperial tensions and decolonization into the history of postwar Japanese society.

U.S. Embassy warns of suspected racial profiling by Japan police (The Japan Times, Isabel Reynolds)

The warning came on the heels of recent closures related to the omicron variant and tension aimed at foreign nationals.

The alert posted by the Twitter account of the American Citizen Services section of the embassy warned that U.S. citizens should carry proof of their immigration status and notify their consulate if detained. The alert added that several foreigners “were detained, questioned, and searched.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno dismissed the concerns and said at a news briefing that police questioning in the country is not based on nationality or race.

The number of foreign citizens living in Japan fell by 2% to 2.8 million in June, compared with a year earlier, according to the Justice Ministry. American citizens made up less than 2% of the total, at nearly 54,000. Entry by foreign tourists, businesspeople and students is currently banned under coronavirus restrictions, although foreigners with resident status are currently permitted to re-enter.

After 13 yrs on death row, Zainichi Korean ex-political prisoner savors democracy (Pt. 2) (The Mainichi, Tomonari Takao)

Part two of a profile about Lee Cheol, who was falsely accused of spying and imprisoned in South Korea.

The number of former Zainichi Korean political prisoners is said to be around 70. Most were arrested for espionage while studying at schools in South Korea or visiting the country on business. All were released by 1998, but not before spending up to 19 years in prison. Thirty-six of them proved their innocence in retrials. Some victims have hidden their past from even their closest family, and others have since passed away. A full picture is difficult to grasp.

President Moon has organized a second Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The committee is shedding light on past political mistakes as the country treads its path toward democracy.

The aforementioned association Zainichi Kankoku Ryoshinshu Doyukai is now searching for former prisoners or their bereaved families that have not yet applied for retrials, to support them until they win acquittal.

“I would like to see a special law passed that confirms all former Zainichi political prisoners are innocent. This will truly liberate us of our suffering and vindicate our honor and dignity,” Lee says.

Voices claiming that democracy is decaying throughout the world can often be heard. But Lee emphasized the significance of democracy. Japan was in the midst of a House of Representatives election when I met Lee for this interview. “The freedom and democracy we are enjoying cannot be sustained unless we fight for it. Many peers have recognized our sacrifice, as political prisoners, cultivated South Korea’s democratization process. I can feel the dynamism of democracy developing in South Korea. Japan is now holding a general election. I sincerely hope that Japan’s democracy will grow and mature even more,” he said.

Game Review: Cupid Parasite (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

A fun otome game let down by a poor localization.

The heavy emphasis on Greek and Roman mythology adds another level of cohesion to what could have otherwise been a series of wacky events. The story begins with a rather loose interpretation of the well-known myths, but each route adds notable details to the setting in ways that directly tie into the themes of the game. Notably, Raul and Allan’s routes are the heaviest in terms of mythological lore; you only get the option to play their routes after completing one of the other routes and starting a new game. After completing all five routes, a sixth one gets unlocked, which brings together all the separate strands of lore into a satisfying conclusion. If you’re a myth geek, there’s a good chance you’ll be impressed with this creative reimagining of old myths, because every liberty this game takes is ultimately meaningful and purposeful.

A game with this many strengths is easy to recommend even to players outside the otome game niche, which is why it’s unfortunate that the initial launch of this game was ridden with typos, text that doesn’t fit into the dialogue boxes, and the telltale signs of a hastily edited machine translation. Some lines misinterpret the subject of the sentence entirely, making it difficult to even follow the story at times. Idea Factory International told reviewers that it would implement a patch to fix the egregious errors in the Raul and Ryuki routes, which is where the bulk of the problems lie, but neglected to mention this on the game’s website for the average consumers. Moreover, despite promising that this patch would come out a few weeks after the initial launch on November 2, it’s December now and the game still exists in a very flawed state.

Ministry tells JR Kyushu not to refuse helping wheelchair users (The Asahi Shimbun, Yuichiro Yoneda)

A chair user started a petition after the railway wouldn’t provide station employees to help her board and exit the train.

Sugata, an accessory artist, asked JR Kyushu for assistance in disembarking from a train at Nagayo Station, the nearest station to her home in Nagayo, a town adjacent to Nagasaki, before riding a train in September last year.

But the railway operator rejected her request, saying the station had no staff present during her scheduled arrival time.

In July, Sugata made a reservation for assistance in boarding a train.

But she missed the train because a staff member who could assist her was too busy dealing with disruptions to train services caused by a fallen tree to attend to her in a timely manner.

Sugata said she became unable to take JR Kyushu trains out of the fear that she may miss the train again. She chose to take a taxi instead, but she said taxi fares were expensive, deterring her from frequently visiting Nagasaki even for business purposes.

The trans and non-binary fighting games players making a difference (Gayming Magazine, Jonathan Forney)

These players have often been at the forefront of making tournament spaces more inclusive for fellow marginalized players.

More recently, especially as online competitions continue, there have been new spaces for women and non-binary players, specifically, to showcase their skills and compete. One such event is Royal Rivals. The event has been hosting women and non-binary only tournaments and exhibitions for Street Fighter V and Guilty Gear Strive over the past year. Every aspect from the entrants to the commentary team is led by women or non-binary members of the FGC.

“These sorts of tournaments are a place where like minded people can play in safety,” Mira said. “None of the patronizing stuff. Just here to have fun and enjoy their hobbies.”

As the various game scenes grow more accepting, the thing that makes the FGC unique is the “C” part of the acronym. It’s a community and as such, players and spectators alike come together to improve at their favorite games and compete. The trans and non-binary members of the FGC have already made names for themselves and it doesn’t seem like their momentum is slowing down anytime soon.

VIDEO: Yuricon 20th anniversary retrospective panel.

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