Weekly Round-Up, 12-18 August 2020: Kotaku Work Culture, Witch Hat Atelier, and Ainu Lawsuit

By: Anime Feminist August 18, 20200 Comments
a blond man crouching in the woods holding a gun; a redhead hangs upside down bewildered in the background, caught by a snare. subtitle: Nice! Got one!

AniFem Round-Up

How Berserk’s Casca challenges the myth of the “Strong Black Woman”

Jackson P. Brown explores how Berserk’s female lead averts stereotypes of one-dimensional, superhumanly tough Black women by exploring Casca’s softness as well as her strength.

“Who the Hell Do You Think We Are?” Gurren Lagann’s blunted message of liberation

Stephen Hero examines Gurren Lagann‘s powerful story of underclass rebellion and its biggest shortcoming: namely, the way it treats characters who aren’t straight men.

Chatty AF 122: 2020 Summer Mid-Season Check-In

Dee, Chiaki, and Vrai check in on the 2020 Summer season, from Spidermanders to cyborgs.

Are there any anime remakes you like as much or more than the original?

There are certainly plenty to choose from.

Beyond AniFem

Some Thoughts About A Website With A Fake Japanese Name (Medium, Natalie Degraffinried)

A testimony on toxic working conditions at Kotaku from a former staff member.

While trying to fix deeply entrenched problems of racism and sexism at Kotaku, both via speaking up and by trying to create policies and training protocol so that the goalposts would stop moving for women and people of color, I was frequently met with antipathy. When I and others demanded accountability for egregious mistakes made at the site — illustrated child pornography in a published story, a racist clip in an episode of Highlight Reel — white male coworkers were asked to apologize and essentially assumed their former duties uninterrupted. It’s possible the issue was elevated and they got a slap on the wrist — I don’t know. I doubt it. Despite it being clear to me that these things counted as the kind of editorial misconduct that should at LEAST come under review, these people quietly continued their jobs. Meanwhile, women and POC grew more and more uncomfortable about their safety at a site where they could be viciously insulted for not getting a story up fast enough but these things could go virtually unpunished.

When I was met with verbal “support,” it became clear to me that it would look like having to push through most of the work without tangible help from my eic, for reasons ranging from a stark lack of managerial skills on the part of my fellow editors to clear disdain for what I was trying to accomplish. There were editors who would constantly complain about the state of the site while doing nothing material to actually change that, aside from nasty remarks in public Slacks or our editor Slack. Getting everyone on board to do something about it was like pulling teeth.

 INTERVIEW: Witch Hat Atelier’s Creator on The Legend of Zelda, The Lord of the Rings’ Influence (Crunchyroll, René Kayser)

Translation of a German interview.

What qualifies an idea to be incorporated into your story? Does it need to excite you or make you think? How do you select the ideas that end up being Witch Hat Atilier?

It’s important to me not to support stereotypes. Coco may be a young girl, but I make sure not to dismiss something just because she is a girl or a child. It still happens far too often subconsciously, and I hope to learn from it every day so that I notice these things sooner.

All of your characters grow through their own effort but also because they discuss and share their challenges with others around them. Is this mode of development something you take from your own experience?

I studied at a design college where we had to do many group tasks. These experiences left an impact on me: To tackle difficult tasks with a group of people that all have different strengths. If you combine ideas, you can find solutions you never would have figured out on your own. From my own experience, I would say that you achieve better results when you work with others and share ideas than if you fight each other and the only thing that matters is who gets first to the top.  

Taiwan’s 1st ‘comfort women’ museum looks set to relocate (The Mainichi)

Due to financial hardships, the museum is closing and looking for a new home.

The foundation will launch a new fund raising campaign next week for its daily operations, the cost of which is estimated at between NT$10 million and NT$17 million annually.

Emphasizing the museum operations must continue, Chi Hui-jung, a long-time women’s rights activist and member of the National Human Rights Commission under the government watchdog, the Control Yuan, said the government is duty-bound to assist the foundation to sustain its mission of raising public awareness of violence against women.

“I feel responsible for helping the museum continue its cause of educating our children,” Chi said.

Chi said the museum’s biggest financial burden is monthly rent, and if that could be taken care of by the city, half of its problems would be solved.

Episode 42: Japan Sinks 2020 (But Why Tho?, LaNeysha Campbell)

Podcast discussion of the recent Yuasa series.

In this episode, the women of Did You Have To? tackle the tragedy of the series, and how each character uses that trauma to propel themselves forward. This opens up a conversation about giving up, failing, and how both women were taught to keep fighting. Additionally, they discuss the tropes the series leans into as well as the ones that it subverts. And they do this while investigating the larger themes of gender and xenophobia. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

Ainu minority files lawsuit against Japan gov’t on salmon fishing rights (The Mainichi)

If successful, it may pave the way for future suits in favor of Ainu land rights.

The focal points of the suit are expected to center on issues such as the legality of the land dispossession by the Meiji government, and whether the recovery of fishing rights is applicable to the group filing the suit.

The Ainu had struggled to maintain their language and culture due to the assimilation policy, and were pressed to farm instead of hunting and fishing that are integral to their culture.

In 1997, a law was enacted in Japan to preserve Ainu culture. While it was the first such legislation acknowledging the existence of an ethnic minority in the country, it stopped short of saying the Ainu are indigenous.

Japan was among those who supported a U.N. declaration in 2007 that recognized the rights of indigenous people as a collective.

THREAD: Translation of magazine poll asking BL fans whether they also read yuri.

THREAD: Dispelling rumors that a new Japan-only streaming channel is a “take that” at American streaming practices.

THREAD: Localizer discussing redoing an otome translation done by male translators disdainful of the material.

TWEET: Upcoming Japanese book of critical theory about BL.

THREAD: Writings and lectures by academic Grace Ting.


TWEET: Sailor Moon cosplay incorporating traditional Mexican fashion (a Folklorico dress).

AniFem Community

Well done, AniFam. You came up with such a wide range of picks!

I never saw the original Fruits Basket, but I don't think I want to. I read a bit of the manga then watched the remake, and it's so good! I love how it follows the manga while making me laugh, cry and warming my heart, complete with a gorgeous soundtrack and stunning animation.
RE: Cutie Honey. Multiple creators going ham and a super hero and a detective becoming lesbian super crime fighting partners. Hot DAMN! Also I don't know if it counts, but Gatchaman: Crowds. Every single primary character is lgtbq+ including gender nonconformity and some neurodiversity while also making really cool social commentary that is the spiritual opposite to Death Note. Also Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but like, who doesn't feel that way? Also Devilman: Crybaby for being a sad gay story that hurt me so so bad. Also Hellsing: Ultimate because All The Things.

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