Lex discusses the importance of intersectional representation, how this college romance manga succeeds, and how it could go further.
Dumas’ novel and its adaptation were mixed bags of queer representation — ahead of their peers in some ways and harmful in others. sunnysegons breaks it down.
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Amplifying Black Voice Actors in Anime (Anime News Network, Jairus Taylor)
Highlighting ten major names in acting and voice direction, plus other talents to check out.
The art of localization is one that often goes underappreciated, and a lot of the talent behind it tends to go unnoticed. Anime dubbing is unfortunately, no real exception. While dubs themselves have a much better reputation these days than they did during the 90’s, and many voice actors have become big names in the industry, for every actor who becomes a household name, there are a lot who end up flying under the radar. This can be especially true for a lot of the Black talent in the industry, of which there isn’t nearly enough. That’s something in need of some serious change, but while there’s a lot that need to be fixed, there’s also a lot of Black talent within the industry that could use more attention, and there are many names you may have heard of, or (as is often the case with anime dubs) not “heard of”, but definitely heard, who have worked both in the booth and behind it to help deliver some of the performances we enjoy.
The Boxes We Keep: A Study of Love Me For Who I Am’s (FukaBoku) Approach to Gender (Anime Herald, Kat Callahan)
Examining the various gender presentations of the manga’s AMAB, dress-wearing cast.
Which leads us to Mogumo, a character who outright rejects “otokonoko,” even if others might apply it to them. As the central character, the difference between Mogumo and the others is pretty obvious. While all characters represent gender variance, from Ten to Suzu, they’re all binary. Even Suzu, who is moving towards a clear binary identity, even if she started without a conceptualization of gendered self, was not non-binary in the way Mogumo is non-binary. Mogumo is strongly identified as neither a boy nor a girl, and they reject “otokonoko” because the root indicates an existence or reality starting from or within “boy.” I have argued here that neither Mei nor Suzu were ever boys, but their own circumstances mean they simply do not find “otokonoko” invalidating the way that Mogumo does.
Mogumo’s presentation fits in the box we as a cisheteronormative society typically label “feminine” or “girly” or, until very recently, just labeled “girl.” Mogumo’s use of “boku (kana)” itself likely references the shift of “boku” from a male pronoun to a more gender-neutral pronoun, with the increase of female narrators and young women using it. In comparison, Mei’s use of “boku (kanji)” might reference the recognition by Mei of her struggle to separate herself from the “reality” of being assigned “male” at birth.
Japan’s First Black-Owned Anime Studio Should Be on Every Fan’s Radar (CBR, Anthony Gramuglia)
D’ART Shtajio was founded in 2016 and has created a pilot for a new series in addition to doing contract work.
D’ART Shtajio has worked on multiple high profile projects since its inception. While it has worked on Western projects such as Castlevania Season 3, D’ART has, due to its incredible work ethic and high quality product, worked on many huge anime. It’s contributed key animation services to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Seven Deadly Sins, Gintama, Tokyo Ghoul:re, Record of Grancrest War, Overlord and One Piece. It’s even directed multiple episodes of Merc Storia: The Apathetic Boy and the Girl in a Bottle.
On top of working on high profile anime projects, D’ART Shtajio has released several in-house productions, which highlight their unique infusion of Western and Eastern culture. These projects include Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound and Fury, a Netflix original anime anthology set to Sturgill Simpson’s SOUND & FURY album, as well as anime shorts like “Indigo Ignited.”
VIDEO: Explanation of the definition and tenets of fascism and what they look like in the modern day. For the willfully ignorant.
VIDEO: Spotlight on Black-owned Lolita fashion brands. Video donates revenue to BLM.
VIDEO: Japanese phrases pertaining to assault and other survival scenarios.
THREAD: Reminded of Watsuki Nobuhiro’s sex offense crimes in light of Oda’s recent interview spotlighting him.
TWEET: Link to a hashtag cataloguing stories of exploitation by in-between animators.
TWEET: Link to a foundational journal article discussing racism in fandom.
TWEET: Info on a talk about queer feminism by a Japanese studies scholar happening 6/19.
TWEET: Short video of Sora and Sephiroth cosplayers
Thanks for the feedback, all. Please keep it coming. In the meantime, more resources and donation sites are listed below. While the news might have moved on, the protests and the injustices they are fighting are still very much ongoing.
BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective): Resources for educators and those seeking help.
Donate to Trans Futures: Landing page that allows donors to split a donation between funds working to provide ongoing support for Black trans communities.
Justice for Breonna: Grassroots petition/letter site demanding the arrest of Breonna Taylor’s killers and the elimination of No Knock Warrants.
8 to Abolition: Reading on the Abolition movement and the insufficiency of police reform.