Weekly Round-Up, 10-16 April 2024: Supporting Animators, Simulcasting Woes, and Controller Layout Presets

By: Anime Feminist April 16, 20240 Comments
chibi Yori next to a buffering symbol

AniFem Round-Up

Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again – Episode 1

Sometimes, it’s good to remember that humor is cultural….but boy, was this still a dull slog.

Mysterious Disappearances – Episode 1

Sumireko is fantastic, but the show is being strangled by obtrusive fanservice.

Unnamed Memory – Episode 1

A romance that might not have the writing chops to pay off its dodgy premise.

As a Reincarnated Aristocrat, I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill to Rise in the World – Episode 1

Strap in, everyone, because we have a lot to unpack here.

Viral Hit – Episode 1

A premise built on frustration with crushing medical debt.

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio – Episode 1

It’s okay, but so far the leads’ chemistry isn’t terribly convincing.

Chillin’ in Another World with My Level 2 Super Powers – Episode 1

An isekai protagonist who’s actively anti-slavery! We’ve cleared the lowest bar!

Oblivion Battery – Episode 1

What is going on with their faces.

YATAGARASU: The Raven Does Not Choose Its Master – Episode 1

Its focus on the women themselves grants them a little narrative autonomy even if the system itself reduces them to political pawns.

KAIJU No.8 – Episode 1

It’s worth following a few more episodes just to see what the hype is about.

THE NEW GATE – Episode 1

Gotta love a series that presents an interesting premise and then does absolutely nothing with it.

Whisper Me a Love Song – Episode 1

The premise is a bit contrived, but the execution is extremely charming.

What was your favorite Winter 2024 anime?

There were quite a few lovely surprises.

Beyond AniFem

Plaintiffs make impassioned pleas in Tokyo court as police racial profiling case opens (The Mainichi, Robert Sakai-Irvine and Jun Ida)

The case is ongoing as of April 15th.

Plaintiffs Zain Syed, a Pakistan-born Japanese citizen, Maurice Shelton, a Black American, and Matthew, a South Pacific Islander of Indian descent, allege they have been stopped and questioned and sometimes searched by police multiple times for no specific cause.

Syed states that he has been questioned by police 15 times since moving to Nagoya as a teenager in 2016. Maurice claims he has been questioned by police in public 16 or 17 times in the about 10 years he has lived in Japan, and Matthew at least 70 times since he arrived in Japan in 2002.

In addition to 3.3 million yen (about $22,000) each in compensation, the plaintiffs are demanding confirmation from the Tokyo and Aichi Prefectural governments that it is illegal for police officers to stop and question a person because of their race or nationality, and confirmation that the National Police Agency (NPA) is responsible for directing and making sure forces across Japan don’t engage in racial profiling.

What Do You Do When Your Fav Anime Isn’t Simulcast? (Anime News Network, Christopher Farris and Steve Jones)

Increasingly relevant, unfortunately, as the post-monopoly enshittification continues.

Chris: You can potentially see some patterns forming already. Touken Ranbu Kai, another gacha game tie-in like Blue Archive, didn’t stream until three episodes in. But it’s arguably more of an oddity, given that past Touken Ranbu anime have simulcasted on time. Perhaps that foreshadows the new normal: the franchise didn’t prove itself? Considered too niche? You’re getting benched like Symphogear AXZ until morale improves.

Steve: It’s not just anime, either. The whole streaming ecosystem is cooked. Having sufficiently disrupted the industry, all these services are now adding ads, jacking up prices, removing series, and providing a demonstrably worse experience for everyone except the shareholders and their bottomless avarice for infinite profits. This might be the precipice of the simulcast landscape—and thus a vast chunk of the anime industry—dramatically recalibrating itself. Or it’s a weird fluke. Need I remind everybody that I’m just some guy on a website like many of you?

Chris: As guys on a website, though, I think these decisions have a distinctive effect on us. There was a time when even ANN’s Preview Guide was written watching fansubs, simulcasting being a developing luxury. But nowadays, there’s an expectation that series covered in columns like this, or seasonal and annual best-of lists, will only be legally, officially released anime. This can be frustrating if I do watch something like Girls Band Cry “somehow” and think it merits being part of the discussion.

Muslims in Japan serve up curry for quake-hit Noto residents (The Mainichi)

Many areas are still struggling to recover from the January disasters.

Since the Toyama Muslim Center was established about a decade ago, its members have traveled everywhere in Japan where major natural disasters have hit, including Kumamoto Prefecture in 2016 after an earthquake struck and western Japan in the wake of a severe rainstorm in 2018.

Everywhere they have gone, they have offered meals and other necessities to both Japanese and foreigners alike, he said.

He said there can be difficulties specific to Muslim people when evacuations occur in Japan. For example, they often find it difficult to eat food provided at evacuation centers as it may contain pork or other ingredients that are forbidden in Islam.

Due to the importance of washing one’s hands and other parts of the body before daily prayers in Islam, water is also a basic requirement. Furthermore, often there are not many interpreters on hand to explain what is happening during a crisis.

“This quake has served as a lesson for everybody,” Salim said, adding that there is room for improvement concerning how the country communicates important information to its foreign population and how it takes care of people from different cultural backgrounds in times of emergency.

“If Japan is going to become more globalized, it has to understand that there are different religions and cultures in the world and make preparations accordingly,” so as to take better care of its foreign population in such situations, he said.

Diet passes bill allowing joint custody in Japan for the first time (The Asahi Shimbun, Kazumichi Kubota)

The law will theoretically go into effect, if enacted, in two years.

If an agreement cannot be reached, or if the divorce is finalized after a trial, a family court will decide whether to grant joint custody or whether one of the parents has sole custody.

Some have voiced concerns that by allowing joint custody after divorce, the damage caused by domestic violence and abuse by one of the parents may continue after the couple’s separation. 

For this reason, the proposed revision specifies that a family court will grant sole custody in cases where there is a threat of danger. 

At the Lower House’s legal affairs committee, four parties–the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, junior coalition partner, Komeito, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party)–discussed the topic, and additional clauses were added to the proposed revision.

To prevent parents from being forced to unilaterally agree to joint custody under pressure, the proposed revision includes a measure to confirm whether the agreement is based on “true intentions” when joint custody is agreed upon in a divorce by mutual consent.

‘Understanding systemic discrimination’ new students’ 1st homework: U. of Tokyo president (The Mainichi, Kanami Ikawa)

The speech was given during the university’s most recent entrance ceremony.

Of the 3,126 students newly entering the university, 2,480 are male and 646, or around 20%, are female. Fujii highlighted the overwhelming lack of women in decision-making positions in economics and politics, saying, “In education as well, the existence of barriers that prevent women from advancing their studies and taking entrance exams focusing on science has been noted.”

He continued, “We have a responsibility to break the reproduction and expansion of systemic discrimination and realize a society in which all members have equal rights. Society is richer when people of all backgrounds are able to play active roles.”

Fujii then told the students, “Knowing where all of you now stand in terms of systemic discrimination may be the first homework assignment for each of you.”

‘Zero harassment’ org in Kobe fights hazing, verbal abuse in Japan sports world (The Mainichi, Hideo Suzuki)

The organization plans to start educational programs starting in July.

Sports Harassment Zero Association chairperson Mayumi Taniguchi created the organization with former athletes and others after serving as a director for the Japan Rugby Football Union in 2019-2021. The Union’s anti-harassment hotline was constantly busy and could usually only respond to teams composed of college students or workers. Taniguchi wondered who children could turn to if bullied or verbally abused by coaches in school and local clubs.

“I want human rights to be a central value in sport,” Taniguchi said.

Taniguchi’s father coached the Kintetsu Railway Co.’s rugby team, and she grew up in the team’s accommodation connected with the famous Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka Prefecture. In school sports clubs, there is this image that enduring hazing builds character. “Things like that are celebrated as ‘Showa (era) values,’ and I’m sure I’ve been surrounded by that kind of worldview,” Taniguchi recalled. Japan’s Showa era was from 1926 to 1989.

Norms have changed since then, following turns of events such as a 2012 incident in which an Osaka prefectural Sakuranomiya High School basketball team member took his own life due to physical punishment meted out by coaching staff. But better awareness among educators is needed.

VIDEO: Next step plans of the Animator Supporters Project.

VIDEO: The hopeful trending increase of shoujo/josei anime adaptations.

VIDEO: Escaping abuse and horror eroge Extravaganza.

VIDEO: The Case For and Against PlayStation Access Controller Layout Presets.

AniFem Community

It was an unusually robust and curious winter.

The Witch and the Beast was my biggest surprise favorite. It has a rough start that makes it seem like it could be an edgelord fest, but the story and characters steadily improve with each episode. While it does retain a macabre sense of humor throughout, its heart is generally in the right place as it portrays most subsequent witches with sympathy or even heroism.  The series doesn't have a huge amount of depth, but it does tends to show that patriarchal power structures are among the biggest villains in the story. There are some great instances where women who have been wronged by those structures are able to reclaim their power, and maybe even indulge in a little justified retribution. Meanwhile, Ashaf and Guideau are both extremely cool and stylish in their own unique ways and have a fun rapport that only gets better the more you get to know them.
Favorite new series and biggest surprise: Delusional Monthly Magazine, the Fortean comedy with a heart of gold. It took a couple episodes to hit its stride, but once it did it never looked back. Not only was it a fun, sometimes laugh-out-loud ride, it had the kind of ending that left me rooting for even the antagonists to get out there and live their best lives now.  Favorite sequel/continuation: I can't exactly put my finger on where Undead Unluck got to "the good part", but it's definitely there now. The extended recaps were a bit of a drag but even those cleared up by the end.  Honorable mention to The Fire Hunter-- yes, the visuals continued to be terrible, but I am willing to put up with a lot for a good story. If the source novel ever gets translated, I'm going to recommend that to all my sf-reading friends.
Really a great season for romance: Dangers in my Heart, Sign of Affection, and 7th Time Loop.
Apothecary Diaries for sure! though of stuff that started that season, much harder to say but I want to give a shout-out to Cherry Magic, a lovely and under-appreciated gem of a BL series

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