Weekly Round-Up, 12-18 June 2024: Visual Kei Chat, Education on Trans Issues, and Columbus Music Video

By: Anime Feminist June 18, 20240 Comments
one girl happily spaced out and the other looking stressed

AniFem Round-Up

Powerful feelings, intimacy and sex in Joseimuke anime

Rejecting a sole focus on climax and embracing the spectrum of erotica, we can learn a lot from joseimuke’s focus on interiority and big feelings.

Not Just Roses and Sparkles: Unpacking assumptions about shoujo through Hagio Moto’s work

The incredibly influential Hagio worked in genres ranging from horror to sci-fi to gothic melodrama. The manga you love? Almost certainly owes a debt to her and to shoujo.

What anime moment makes you cry every time?

Just a real good ugly cry.

Beyond AniFem

FREE MANGA: Gay Doujinshi Q&A with Kaz! (Mangasplaining Extra)

A comic Q&A with an artist featured in one of the small number of English-translated gei comi collections.

Our friend Kazuhide Ichikawa is an out gay manga creator living in Tokyo, Japan. He’s been making gay-themed manga, most of it quite spicy, for more than 15 years. Having had work published in numerous Japanese gay magazines, including Badi, and the G-Men group of magazines, as well as nearly 100 unique doujishi (self-published comics), KAZ made his English-language debut in Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It in 2014. That book has just been reprinted in a third edition by Fantagraphics, and is available now!

New book tackles misconceptions and biases against trans people in Japan (The Mainichi, Sakae Kato)

The book is designed as an introductory educational tool.

The book, titled “Transgender Q&A,” begins by highlighting the importance Japanese society attaches to gender differences and the binary gender division. It points out that in daily life, gender information varies depending on factors including family registries, appearance, and self-identification. The book introduces the lives and challenges of transgender people and provides explanations on how to address biases and misunderstandings.

For instance, in response to the question, “Does the presence of transgender people make public bathrooms unsafe?” the book explains that people generally use the restroom that matches the gender they are seen as. It states that transgender people “also follow this practice and use gender-neutral restrooms when others don’t recognize their identified gender.” The book then argues that “targeting and excluding individuals based on their particular personal history is unreasonable and discrimination.”

Co-authors Takai and writer Akira Shuji, who are non-binary and transgender, respectively, decided to publish the book after the June 2023 passage of a law to promote understanding of LGBTQ people. Misinformation and misunderstandings spread in the Diet and on social media, such as claims that men could enter women’s baths by simply saying they feel like women or that women’s restrooms would disappear.

The Search For Beauty: HIZAKI and Kaya Talk to Anime Herald (Anime Herald, Seth Burn)

Interview with two established visual kei artists known for the gender play of their performances.

Anime Herald: Before there was visual kei, there was David Bowie. Bowie was a huge fan of androgyny, of not being defined by masculinity or femininity. Does that concept appeal to you at all? Do you think there are any visual kei bands carrying the androgynous legend as it were?

Kaya: I think that it has increased as time has passed. I think now we’re much more comfortable with gender being borderless. There are no strict definitions for what it means. There’s an Italian band Måneskin. That’s just one example of many. I think that’s a good thing. In visual kei it’s increasingly becoming genderless and borderless and free.

HIZAKI: Unfortunately things like homophobia and racism, things that separate us from one another, are everywhere. I’d like to think that we’re moving towards a future where those things don’t matter and that they don’t separate us. I think that would be a more peaceful world.

Kaya: Having said that, there are bands that are super macho or super feminine, and that’s great too. Like HIZAKI said, there’s more choices now. I think that’s what great. We get to choose for ourselves.

Anime-Zing Radio: I think it’s amazing with visual kei that people can focus on the music and the artist and not on gender or race. They can focus on what you create, and not just who you are.

Kaya: We’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel. We’ve experienced the ways that places can be very different. Obviously, there are still terrible things happening, wars. But it really is my hope that we can reach that peaceful safe place for everyone.

How to Criticize a Translation Effectively (and How to Identify Bad-Faith Criticism) (Leaked Experience)

Approaches to translation critique not centered in ad hominem attack.

Note that this is a different issue from speculating on the process that led to a translation being bad, which is often helpful in analyzing what went wrong. For instance, if you see a translation that consistently cannibalizes its own themes, it makes sense to call into question whether the translator understood the themes of the work in the first place (because not understanding something would naturally lead to a contradiction), or if you see something that stems from a likely misreading of a word, it makes sense to connect the dots that way. But in that case, you should still be careful to not make it into a value judgment, so instead of something like:

“The translator was negligent and careless about the story’s themes” (if they were only allowed one pass or weren’t given access to the full text, it’s only natural they wouldn’t be able to analyze deeply no matter how much due diligence they gave it)

“The translator couldn’t even get this simple word right” (it’s unreasonable to expect even the sharpest of human beings to never make accidental mistakes)

…you probably should try for something more like:

“The translation doesn’t suggest very good understanding of the story’s themes, meaning everything keeps contradicting itself and the point of the story is reduced to something meaningless”

“It seems that the kanji 奴 was probably misread as 双, leading to the nonsensical translation ‘twins’ instead of just a simple ‘they’”

…and so, the problem with the translation and the circumstances that most likely led up to it are clear without needing to make it into an unnecessary value judgment or witch hunt. Yes, there are a lot of problems in the localization industry that need to be addressed, but those are problems that need to be addressed as the actual problems they are instead of accusing translators of conspiring to inject their secret malice into everything.

Sight-impaired diners criticize self-ordering system as barrier (The Asahi Shimbun, Emika Terashima and Akihito Ogawa)

Some restaurants do not have human servers at all and require the use of a kiosk, making ordering difficult for those with low vision.

The revised law for the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities took effect on April 1.

Under the law, if a disabled person expresses a desire to have a social barrier removed, businesses are required to take necessary and reasonable measures to remove that barrier.

Yamashiro, however, feels that barriers are increasing not only at restaurants but also at other businesses because of their reduced payrolls.

He noted that self-service cash registers are becoming more common at supermarkets, while train stations have cut the number of manned ticket counters. Touch panels have also been introduced to check in at accommodations.

Yamashiro stressed that human interaction is necessary for the lives of disabled people.

Early Shōjo Manga Creator Nanaeko Sasaya Dies at 74 Due to Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)

Ms. Sasaya was 74.

Sasaya was part of the Year 24 Group — a group of innovative female manga creators who were born in or around the Year Shōwa 24 (1949) and who shaped the now diverse field of shōjo manga. She made her manga debut with Kamome—GULL— in Shueisha‘s Ribon Comic magazine in 1970 under the name Nanae Sasaya. Her autobiographical manga Okamehachimoku (pictured right) won the Excellence Prize at the 19th Japan Cartoonists Association Award in 1990. She changed her name to Nanaeko Sasaya in 1996.

In 1996, she adapted Atsuko Shiina’s Oya ni Naruhodo Muzukashii Koto wa Nai book on child abuse into the manga Kōritsuita Me (Frozen Eyes), which became a notable part of a movement to reform Japan’s child abuse laws.

Band apologizes after ‘Columbus’ music video deemed racist (The Asahi Shimbun, Chiho Yashiro, Satoshi Ouchi and Takumi Terui)

The music video involved a member of the band dressed as Colombus and the group encountering an island of monkeys.

Omori said in the statement that the music video was conceived from several keywords, such as “historical figures of different ages,” “apes,” “home party” and “fun music video.”

The singer wrote: “From the beginning, we were concerned that the appearance of apes might be seen as a discriminatory expression, but we had no intention of making apes look like people. We simply imagined lives of different ages holding a home party.”

He said the band members checked with staff to ensure the special makeup, costumes and acting style did not give an unintended message.

“But we deeply apologize to anyone who was offended,” he wrote.

Fuminori Minamikawa, a sociology professor at Doshisha University who specializes in race and ethnicity issues, said the way Columbus and the apes were depicted and represented in the music video was problematic.

“It could be perceived as an expression of affirmation of oppression, subjugation and racism against indigenous people and Black people,” Minamikawa said.

“One might respond that ‘such a visual expression is just fodder for partying’ and ‘it is OK as long as the protagonists and the apes are able to share the fun in the moment.’”

But such a feeling is only a one-sided argument of the part of the settlers on the island, he said.

“Another problem is the lack of checks by the record company and the corporate sponsor, who are supposed to be aware of the latest developments in the United States, such as the Black Lives Matter movement,” he said.

Whistleblower alleges Japan city lowered exam scores of aspiring female employees (The Mainichi, Shun Nagami)

The incident, which allegedly took place ten years ago, is being investigated.

Multiple city employees were apparently involved in the manipulation. A senior city official identified as one of the employees involved told the Mainichi Shimbun, “I cannot comment from my position. It happened 10 years ago, and my memory is fading.”

The report also accuses then Gamagori Mayor Shokichi Inaba of instructing officials to prioritize hiring local men, due to concerns about vacancies arising from female employees taking maternity leave. In response, Inaba told the Mainichi, “The city can’t really afford to hire many workers, and it becomes an issue when there are staff vacancies. During disasters, we need staff who can assemble immediately, and I believe officials had a desire to hire such individuals. However, exams must always be fair.”

The Whistleblower Protection Act stipulates that whistleblowing for public good covers actions within an organization violating specific laws, and the law prohibits adverse treatment of whistleblowers. The equal employment opportunity law, which bans employment discrimination based on gender, also applies. According to national guidelines, municipalities must conduct necessary investigations upon receiving a report, unless there are justified reasons not to.

VIDEO: Recollections of an animator who worked on Jujutsu Kaisen.

Instagram: Older BL recommendations from Yen Press.

AniFem Community

Folks brought a nice blend of triumphant and heartbroken tears.

There are two parts in K-On that have me chopping onions for some reason: When the girls have played their final concert in high school and the finality of that moment hits them, and when they play their special farewell song for Azunyan.  Also, the lake and umbrella scene from Violet Evergarden, episode 7.  Also also, the ending of Wolf Children.
Oh I cry pretty often, but I never cried more than during the whole end of The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, starting at the moment she runs away from the banquet. I cried continuously for the remaining 30mn and cried even more 15 more minutes after the credits ended.  I cried laughing while watching The Disastrous Life of Saiki Kusuo, as well as Nichijou.
The montage at the end of Turn A Gundam #50. I had to be stretchered off after that one. Still gut-churning.

“Will you say my name one last time?” “Good night, Meruem.”

[image or embed]— veesheep :3 🔞 (@veesheep.bsky.social) Jun 18, 2024 at 1:58 PM

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