The Invisible Underdogs: The relationship between Black folks and anime
Channler Twyman shares stories from Black fans about their relationships with anime and how fandom can become a more inclusive place.
BanG Dream! and the reality of being a young caregiver
Aimee Hart shares her connection with Yamabuki Saya, who cares for her anemic mother in addition to chasing her idol dreams, and how rare depictions of young caregivers are.
What’s your go-to anime for tough times?
Because it’s still 2020.
Imagining Decentralized Videogame Culture: Unprofessional Game Criticism (Leeroy Lewin)
Discussing the limitations of expanding inclusion by pursuing capitalist models of journalism.
Organizing around Getting Paid means giving underserved people a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, there are no promises in this kind of work: an advantage is not a guarantee; we know there can only be so many successes, we know there is only so much visibility to go around. Getting paid brings everyone together, but without coherent values that make this accumulation more meaningful than survival, there is no “everyone” for people who are unable to make it or survive. What then should be done with invisibility?
Organizing around Getting Paid will also organize around the competitive logic of capitalist realism. Most of the time, problems exacerbated by capitalism aren’t going to be solved by more capitalism. Related, a lot of categories of games that end up ignored are non-competitive. There’s a lot of indie failures—there’s a lot of games that simply were shut out. There are student games and other kinds of games that are trying to break in. There are lots of dubiously legal games. None of these categories are well-served by professional writers or video entertainers whose job is to analyze and interpret popular culture, not mentor, network, or curate.
Where do we who do not have access stand? I have friends in and out of the industry, of course, but I don’t really have a good way in. This is not pitiable. This is entirely intentional. I haven’t worked for it and I’m not asking to have access by virtue of existing on the margins. I’m not playing by the rules of professionalism, and so, I do not have a professional career in the game industry.
This is also good. Why should I need any markers of being a working professional, if we are actually trading in artistic and cultural values, and not just the potential of landing a job? We are organizing around artistic, cultural, and political values, right? We are organizing around openly socialist, openly equal, openly anti-capitalist values, right?
Okay, I’ll lay off the guilt tactics, but, I’m noticing a lack of focus when it comes to organizing in gamedev and game criticism. Remember, there are verifiably mountains of valuable work that gets passed over by the game industry, “game journalism,” and most importantly, in my opinion, our extant game history. Historicizing is a pressing area of organization that cannot be conventionally be paid for in games. When it comes to issues of game preservation and historicization, a kind of work for which there is no paid alternative, should we just let the market sort it out? Excuse me, but I have to mark down a fuck no.
Review:’Mermaid Saga’ Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1 is A Supernatural Thrill (Black Nerd Problems, Carrie McClain)
Takahashi Rumiko’s horror series has been reissued with a new translation.
For a manga from the 80’s, the book does seem to have aged well, thankfully. Newer manga fans might find her artwork a bit on the plain side but for folks like me who have a history with her work will probably feel right at home in familiar territory. Reading from page to page draws me back to that artwork that is so familiar–these black and white panels with that element of darkness deliciously flavoring this story. Mana, once confined to a secluded village and kept away from the outside world goes from barely being able to even walk to exploring Japan with Yuuta, confronting wicked men, and even standing up to protect those whose lives have been wrecked by circumstances related to the elusive mermaids. It’s that old tied and true Rumic Theatre ‘plucky heroine ‘that I love in her work that I refuse to apologize for.
There are tales of young love never realized, sisterly obligation turned obsessive, and more than one plight of someone wishing to obtain in death what in life they desired most. In short, this series is a saga in itself and worth rereading. This newer Collector’s edition features a beautiful cover and –ten pages of fully colored illustrations that are almost too gorgeous to look at. A definite treat to enhance this new reprint of a loved classic from a master. Having longtime translator Rachel Thorn onboard for the English translation is only a plus in my book!
Yakuza: Like A Dragon Review – Humanizing Me As An Immigrant (Uppercut!, Monti Velez)
A full review of the latest game with particular focus on how its themes regarding homelessness evoke injustices faced by immigrants.
The crazy plot caused me to gasp over and over, and will leave you at the edge of your seat. It highlights the fake figure economy and how it hurts businesses. Plus there are even more hot characters to submit your life to. And, gosh, the list goes on, I have four pages worth of notes of just the cool treasures this game offers. Though, there was this one shining treasure that this game gave to me: and that’s seeing me as a person. When living as an immigrant, you have days where it can feel impossible to see yourself as human.
Ichiban’s quest for the truth and saving the city of Ijincho, goes through a 15 chapter long adventure that could not be done without the help of Ijincho’s working class, and the game will remind us in each interaction how much we owe to them. Society likes to paint the working class as leeches who are only worthy, if and when, they follow bootstrap theory and come out of poverty. Seeing Yakuza: Like A Dragon highlighting how difficult life can be when life itself puts us in positions we didn’t ask for, and having to make do with what we have, reminded me a lot of the people I knew growing up. I saw folks that mirrored feelings in the rush of finding jobs in the Hello Work temp job agency, and in the side missions you come across. It was folks who knew what it was like to be at the bottom of the barrel, that helped me and mom beat homelessness, gave my mom and I a chance for a new beginnings with decent under the table pay to keep us afloat when “respected” companies exploited non-English speakers (like my mother at time) to the best of their abilities to reap as much work and effort we had to offer, and spit us out. It was only those who understood what it was like, that would help us, like how characters helped Ichiban and his quest for the truth.
Survey: 47% of teenage sexual minorities bullied at school (The Asahi Shimbun, Asako Hanafusa)
The study was commissioned by a professor at Takarazuka University’s School of Nursing.
Hidaka received responses from 10,769 respondents aged between 13 and 79, including 586 teenagers. The study surveyed sexual minorities, including homosexuals, bisexuals and those who feel uncomfortable with their gender assigned at birth.
The survey found that 59.6 percent of respondents have suffered from bullying in elementary, junior or senior high school. The figure was 80.2 percent of the 121 people who were assigned as male at birth but now identify themselves as female, and 59.6 percent among 183 people who were assigned as female but identify themselves as male.
Among the 586 teenagers, 47.4 percent said they have suffered from bullying. Of them, nearly 80 percent said their peers and others around them know about or have seen incidents of bullying. Only about 40 percent of the bullying victims said people have helped or stood up for them.
7 Shojo Manga to Read Right Now (But Why Tho?, Kate Sánchez)
Bite-sized manga recs with purchase links.
Shojo is a demographic of manga and anime aimed towards younger female audiences, usually identified from the ages of 12 to 18. While there are certain tropes found throughout them, including the frustrating “why won’t they kiss when the covers are so steamy” trope, shojo manga contains, for lack of a better word, multitudes. From slice-of-life romances happening in high schools and European fantasy stories to supernatural stories about awakening powers and more, shojo manga are vibrant even if they don’t get as much recognition in the West as shonen.
To highlight the diversity of genre and storytelling, I wanted to put together this shojo manga list that encapsulates some of my favorite manga. While you could say that all the shojo on this list feature romances of sorts, they also feature different dynamics such as age, class, coming-of-age, PTSD, and, in one case, the weight of carrying the future of a kingdom on your back.
Nearly half of stations now unmanned; bane for the disabled (The Asahi Shimbun, Shun Niekawa)
Unattended train stations leave many disabled passengers without necessary assistance except during certain restricted hours.
A primary reason is that local railway operators are struggling financially due to the nation’s declining birthrate as well as the outflow of local residents to urban areas. More stations in urban areas are also operating without staff during certain hours of the day.
The increase in unmanned stations is posing all sorts of issues, such as how to respond when passengers fall from platforms. Railway operators have installed intercoms at unstaffed stations to enable staff at other stations to remotely communicate with passengers when assistance is required or if an emergency situation arises.
Some people with disabilities view the lack of station staff as a form of discrimination since they need to inform the operators beforehand that they need assistance when using unmanned train stations.
In Oita Prefecture, wheelchair users filed a lawsuit in September against Kyushu Railway Co., seeking compensation for restrictions on the freedom of movement, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, due to the lack of staff at some stations.
VIDEO: Discussion of outside cultural influences on Japan’s growth.
THREAD: Discussion of predatory behavior by voice actor Quinton Flynn.
TWEET: Announcement of upcoming Dorohedoro charity livestream for Books Beyond Bars UK.
TWEET: Video of queer, fat-positive Japanese artist Princess Ameria.
Let’s soak in those recovery vibes, AniFam.
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