Bracy breaks down the backlash to Blacktober and the language that trolls use to make excuses for racist harassment of Black fans.
Michele Kirichanskaya chatted with the TRESE creator about its inception, how its hero became a heroine, and how the anime brought Filipino folklore to a wider audience.
A solid but not mind-blowing cyberpunk story (when you can see what’s happening under the dark lighting and red filter).
Apparently we’ve struck a chord with this one.
Japan’s outspoken nun and author Jakucho Setouchi dies at 99 (The Asahi Shimbun)
Setouchi’s best-known contribution was an influential modern translation of The Tale of Genji.
Setouchi’s own life resembled a character in one of her stories. At age 25 and married to a scholar, she fell in love with her husband’s student and left him and their 3-year-old daughter, saying she would be a novelist.
Her earlier book, “A flower Aflame,” was criticized for its sexual scenes, unusual for novels written by a female author in a male-dominated world of literature then.
After she entered Buddhism and became a nun in 1973, she established her base in the ancient capital of Kyoto and regularly gave religious talks there and around the country. Her events were always packed with fans of all ages, including many women seeking her advise about life and relationships.
Setouchi was also pacifist and anti-nuclear activist.
Attack on Titan Franchise Halts Sales of Eldian Armbands (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)
Apparently someone managed to convey that it was a bad idea, but only after they had begun accepting preorders on the merchandise.
Within the story of the Attack on Titan anime and manga, the state of Marley has instituted a law, dictating that all members of an ethnic-cultural identity known as the Eldians must wear an armband identifying and discriminating them from the rest of the Marleyan population. Marleyans force Eldians to live in segregated ghettos, and Eldians are generally met with a mixture of disdain and fear, borne from a complex history of violence and oppression. The armband evokes many discriminatory clothing practices in real-life history, but closely evokes the “yellow badge” or “Jewish badge” that Jewish people were made to wear by the Axis powers in the 1930s and 1940s.
These Game Developers Are Choosing To Turn Down NFT Money (Kotaku, Sisi Jiang)
Interviews with several devs on why they’ve rejected NFTs even as the gaming industry turns to the scam industry as a money-making opportunity.
One developer who has refused opportunities to work on NFT games is the CEO of a studio that has provided engineering support for a number of well-known games, and also co-developed a few games of their own. As CEO, he has personally handled a lot of business requests about NFTs. While he says that he’s open to the idea of blockchain gaming being a viable gaming technology, he remains skeptical that they could offer any design benefits that would make up for the environmental cost. He also wants his studio to go carbon-neutral, a desire which runs counter to the CPU-intensive processes of crypto technology.
“A lot of the technology seems like it could probably be solved by other, less destructive means,” he told Kotaku. “I can’t speak for all game developers, but I think the stance of a lot of game devs is: if there’s a really interesting thing that can be done with NFTs and blockchain that makes better, or more interesting, or creative, or new user experiences… then probably a lot more people would be more open to that. But right now, it just doesn’t seem like most of the companies that are putting money into the space are actually solving any problems or creating any new experiences that couldn’t just be done with other means.”
Kurahara Naomi and Okajima Lena are the heads of a startup that creates manmade shooting stars that mimic the behavior of real stars for study.
For both Kurahara and Okajima, being one of the few Japanese female startup CEOs to break into the space industry is something to be proud of. Infostellar’s Kurahara says one big advantage is that she is “easily remembered” by clients.
Okajima, meanwhile, said she has been receiving invitations to speak at conferences and panel discussions “to adjust the gender balance since there are not many women CEOs in the space or tech industries, and because of the interesting work that we do.”
Nonetheless, Okajima suggested that her company is still held back by a male-dominated culture in Japan.
“If I was a man then the valuation of my company could have been higher. Currently, when it comes to fundraising, being a venture capitalist is a boys club, and it is very, high-context communication with these guys,” referring to indirect verbal jargon used in the industry.
Upskirts Cases Skyrocket in Japan (Unseen Japan, Jay Allen)
Discussion of the rising problem of nonconsensual photography.
Sadly, says Saitou, victims of nonconsensual photography find they run into the same attitudes as other victims of sexual assault. Women who seek help are often blamed for wearing short skirts, or told that what they endured wasn’t a “crime” because the perp didn’t touch them. The treatment amounts to a “second victimization” that is all too familiar to female sexual assault victims worldwide.
The other problem, argues Weekly Woman Prime, is the lack of relevant laws. Nationally, Japan has no law on the books that makes nonconsensual photography a crime. The only laws governing such behavior are local nuisance ordinances. And the punishments for those are pretty light, with the max penalty being 30 days in jail and a 10,000 yen (around USD $100) fine.
YouTube video where announcer says comedian could ‘knock up’ female idols faces backlash (The Mainichi, Maki Nakajima and Miyuki Fujisawa)
The crude comment regarding AKB48 members drew immediate backlash.
Criticism erupted on social media after the video was posted, including, “Women are not child-bearing machines,” and, “He’s looking at them (women) as just tools.” Obstetrician-gynecologist Kanako Inaba took to Twitter to say, “A pregnancy is something that can only happen with both a man and a woman, so both have responsibility.” She added, “Terms like ‘knock up’ that present a pregnancy as a one-sided act are unhealthy, and boasting about it like something heroic poses ethical problems.”
Tokumitsu was the moderator of AKB48’s annual “general election” — a popularity contest where fans vote for their favorite group member — from 2010 to 2018, and some people also insisted that the comment “isn’t something that should come from the host.”
What is problematic about the announcer’s remark? Toshiyuki Tanaka, an associate professor at Taisho University specializing in men’s studies, said, “Amid a growing interest in debate on sexual consent, the presupposition that it is OK for a man to engage in a sexual act based on his will without the other party’s consent is a huge problem.” He also pointed out, “By using the group name AKB48 and placing it within this same context, the individuality of the women, who are actually unique persons, is erased, which may lead to the notion of treating and counting them like objects.”
Monster Girl Encyclopedia Wiki Will Be Sacked By Host Due To ‘Fetish’ Content (Kotaku, Isaiah Colbert)
Wikis deemed to cover sex or “fetish” material are set to be removed, even if the wikis themselves are not NSFW.
However, ClawfootQueen thinks the MGE Wiki should fight to stay on Fandom, saying she thinks it is extreme for this wiki to be kicked off of the site.
“All Fandom needs to do is to get rid of any imagery that goes against their ToS and make sure to keep the wiki maintained and professional,” she said. “[Monster Girl Encyclopedia] is a legitimate series of books [that is] sold, making it a real franchise that should have a wiki.”
Indeed, wikis serve as the backbones of many fandoms, an ideal place to delve deeper into details or refresh oneself on the lore of a favorite series. MGE Wiki moderator and contributor Timjer expressed concerns about potential chilling effects on fan communities.
“Wikis are supposed to be repositories of information first and foremost,” he told Kotaku. “If Fandom staff starts cherry-picking which information is acceptable and which isn’t, then quite frankly we’re going down a dangerous path.”
Pokemon Was The Perfect Way To Find My Fashion Sense As A Trans Girl (The Gamer, Jade King)
Touching on the familiar experience of using optional player gender to explore one’s own identity.
Like millions of people I grew up with Pokemon, whether it was through the excellent anime or Game Freak’s beloved RPGs. I talked about the series in the playground with my friends, while at home I shared a save file on Pokemon Crystal with my brother as we journeyed across the lands seeking to be the very best. While the simplistic visuals of this era wouldn’t achieve the same level of customisation as future entries, the single question asked by the professor in the opening moments still lingers in my mind.
“Are you a boy or a girl?” – he asks, which to the majority of players is a simple question with a definitive answer. But for young trans kids, it’s a matter of acceptance, or subconsciously making a decision in the virtual world that perhaps you aren’t ready to accept in reality. All those years ago I walked through tall patches of grass as a young girl, and I’d continue to step into these imaginary shoes with each new game that would follow. As the series grew I did so along with it, coming to terms with who I wanted to be as I questioned my gender and sexuality and began feeling things that hinted that I was perhaps suppressing something I had yet to even comprehend.
VIDEO: Discussion of the practice of adopting adult men in Japan (usually as heirs).
THREAD: Preorders for an upcoming academic text on queerness and masculinity in Tokyo
There are way, way more good examples than we can fit here.