Weekly Round-Up, 1-7 March 2023: Shoujo AniTube, Funding for Anime, and Stars Align Update

By: Anime Feminist March 7, 20230 Comments
Misuzu glowering at a boy

AniFem Round-Up

Airborne Onnagata: Viewing Macross Frontier’s protagonist through a genderqueer lens

Corrine Courtland focuses in on the much-maligned Alto and how his arc is greatly enriched by focusing on the trans subtext in it.

Ai Yori Aoshi at 20: The harem anime that almost broke the mold

Anthony Gramuglia looks back on how the ‘00s series compares to contemporaries like Love Hina and whether there’s anything to salvage for a modern viewer.

Chatty AF 180: 2023 Winter Mid-Season Check-In

Cy, Caitlin, and Peter check-in on a season with way too many messy shows to wade into.

What’s the best ensemble comedy series?

Anime has had more than a few over the years, after all.

February 2023 Patron Newsletter and Staff Recommendations

Exciting staffing news and some exceptional manga.

Beyond AniFem

Old G4 Review Is Forcing Gaming To Reckon With Its Racist JRPG Past (Kotaku, Sisi Jiang)

The clip resurfaced following an interview where FFXVI producer Yoshida Naoki discussed “JRPG”’s perception as a derogatory term among Japanese developers.

At some point, G4 reviewed Baten Kaitos Origins, an RPG that features deckbuilding combat and some of the most original worldbuilding in its genre. Unfortunately, the gaming network wasn’t able to talk about it separately from its Japanese origins.

“And we all know who will replace us. India: Billions strong, pro-vegetarian, tech support call taking behemoth of a nation. Or the Chinese. But certainly not Japan. Because they may be technologically advanced and financially powerful, they’re already in decline,” Morgan Webb said with grotesque glee. “You want proof? Here’s Baten Kaitos Origins.”

Hopefully, I shouldn’t have to explain the fuckery of stereotyping an incredibly diverse nation as tech support. Or openly advocating for the “great replacement” theory, which has been tied to racially motivated hate crimes. The reviewer spends half of the time mocking the protagonist’s name. Which sucks because it isn’t made up. “Sagi” is the Japanese word for “heron” and “fraud,” both of which have thematic significance in Origins. I’d be willing to give some benefit of the doubt if the reviewer hadn’t intersped his pronunciation of the name with an image of Kim Jong-il. There’s also some criticism about the breast physics on one of the shopkeepers. Which is valid! I just would have preferred to hear a feminist critique without being forced to endure the racism. Kotaku reached out to Webb for a comment, but did not receive one by the time of publication.

Final Fantasy XVI has a medieval approach to diversity (The Verge, Ash Parrish)

Yoshida’s quote about diversity is counter not only to history but the franchise’s goal to draw in more fans.

Essentially, Yoshida said that because they’re basing the world of Valisthea on their idea of what the European continent was like in the past, the cast for their totally made-up world has to be all white. The quote was a rare miss from a generally well-liked developer, and it naturally upset fans of color.

It’s easy to see where Yoshida’s sentiments in his IGN interview fall apart. I could trot out the standard response that gets used whenever a work of fantasy fails to include people of color in the name of “historical accuracy,” aka “blah blah blah, it doesn’t make sense that chocobos, Eikons, and magic are permitted but people of color is a step too far.”

I could also crack open the history books to point out that medieval Europe was never all white all the time (the Moorish kingdom of Spain sends its regards). But beyond the general fallacy of “no people of color in medieval Europe,” Yoshida’s quote doesn’t even make sense within the context of one of Final Fantasy XVI’s other stated goals — to have broad appeal.

Minister admits docs hinting at political pressure on Japan’s broadcasters are authentic (The Mainichi, Motomi Kusakabe)

The documents revealed that broadcasters were pressured out of airing content critical of the LDP.

The Japanese communications minister admitted in a news conference on the morning of March 7 that documents suggesting that the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put pressure on the communications ministry over the interpretation of the Broadcasting Act were real.

The documents record exchanges within the government over “political impartiality” under the Broadcasting Act. Takeaki Matsumoto, minister of internal affairs and communications, commented, “We have confirmed all of them were administrative documents of the communications ministry.” He said that he was preparing to release them on the same afternoon. At the same time, he pointed out that the accuracy of the descriptions in some of the documents had not been confirmed.

The documents were made public by Hiroyuki Konishi of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan on March 2. The Japanese government had conventionally interpreted political impartiality under the Broadcasting Act as “being judged based on a broadcaster’s programs as a whole.” The documents describe the process of discussions between the prime minister’s office and the communications ministry until a supplemental interpretation that political impartiality should be determined by “looking at each program to judge the whole” was added.

Stars Align Anime’s Director Considers Releasing Sequel Scenario Online (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)

The terminally underrated series has yet to find a home for the committee-axed second half of the story.

Stars Align anime director Kazuki Akane said in a Twitter post on February 9 that he still does not foresee a new anime production for Stars Align, but that he is currently writing a new revision of the plot for what would have been the anime’s succeeding episodes, especially episode 13. He is considering releasing the scenario in its raw state online in Japanese, adding that he tried to machine translate the scenario, but the resulting translation lost the nuance and could not be used as a script.

He added that his health has not been in the best state in the past two years, and so he has not been able to work on the story that much.

Akane highlighted that there has been much interest from overseas fans in a continuation for the anime.

Japan actress files sexual harassment suit against lawyer supporting victims (The Mainichi, Koji Endo)

Her goal is to see the man barred from serving as a lawyer.

The 25-year-old actress filed the suit against lawyer Izutaro Managi of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association on March 2, demanding 11 million yen (about $81,000) in damages, and announced the filing the following day. According to the complaint, Managi represented the actress when she accused a stage director of sexual harassment in 2017, when she was a high school student.

In 2018, the woman established and still heads an association to eliminate sexual and power harassment in the theater, film and entertainment industry, and Managi served as an advisor.

She claims Managi sexually harassed her between September 2019 and January 2022, such as by touching her body and sending her sexually suggestive messages on the Line messaging app, and coercing her into sex in January 2022.

VIDEO: Milestone retrospective from a shoujo anituber on his history and faves.

VIDEO: Breakdown of where funding comes from in modern anime productions, and the problems with the current system.

TWEET: Photo of plus-size idol duo Big Angel.

THREAD: Info of an upcoming counterdemonstration by sex worker advocates on 3/8.

THREAD: A family’s lawsuit against an idol agency for driving their teenage daughter to suicide has been rejected, and the agency is now counter-suing.

AniFem Community

Nice to see Nozaki-kun getting love!

I really love Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun because it is such a delight and never really feel mean-spirited and It is genuinely funny. The other anime that I could think of is Heaven's Design Team, it's really wholesome, make laugh a lot and very educational. Noise Bandit already said this before, Tanaka-kun is Always Listless is also a very great example of good ensemble comedy, the series maybe won't make you laugh out loud but it definitely will give you smiles while watching it, it's a very cozy series and genuinely a good series.
Given my avatar, a shoutout for Working!!!/Wagnaria is mandatory

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