Weekly Round-Up, 12-18 May 2021: MAPPA Animator Conditions, Intersectionality, and Nagata Kabi Interview

By: Anime Feminist May 18, 20210 Comments
redheaded demon puppet from Thunderbolt Fantasy lifting a goblet of wine

AniFem Round-Up

The Feminist Potential of the Lolita Fashion Subculture

Sarah Alexander explores the history of lolita fashion as a rebellious outlet and highlights marginalized voices in the modern community.

She’s Fighting for Him: Black Clover and battle shounen’s male-centrism

Alise Miller on Black Clover’s ladies, and how it undercuts their badass fight scenes when almost all of them are motivated by or framed in relation to their feelings for a guy.

#FreePalestine Resources

We’ve gathered both multiple charitable organizations sending medical aid to Palestine and introductory readings about the history of this crisis.

Beyond AniFem

Animator Quits Job at MAPPA, Exposes Toxic Environment and Overworked Employees (Epic Stream, Bri Constantino)

Artist Mushiyo worked on the most recent season of Attack on Titan before cutting ties.

Mushiyo pretty much confirmed online speculations accusing MAPPA of overworking its animators. In a series of tweets, the popular Japanese animator says he regrets working hard to join MAPPA and revealed that employees are obligated to work excessively. He wrote: “I don’t know why I worked hard to join the company, I don’t know why some of the employees were sprinkled outside or stray. Work week, after work week, after work week, after work week. Would you like to fix it until morning??? One of the reasons I decided to quit.” 

IGN’s Parent Company Overstepping Damages All Journalism (Fanbyte, Imran Kahn)

IGN’s American site posted an article of donation links focused on civilian-assisting medical services in Palestine. The article was forcibly removed by the site’s corporate heads, and IGN America’s staff have collectively penned a letter to the site’s owners protesting of the censorship.

While IGN initially took the blame for backtracking on this, multiple sources have told Fanbyte that the fault lies with the corporate parent company that overrode an editorial decision. The outlet’s owners, an American technology company called J2 Global, acquired IGN from Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp in 2013 and have mostly chosen not to interfere with the site’s editorial content until recently. A phone call to IGN leadership on Sunday morning informed them that the article was being removed and the tweet deleted without any input or rebuttals from the staff that posted it in the first place.

On Sunday night, a tweet went up from the IGN account purporting to explain the article’s removal. The tweet contained an image of text saying IGN regretted only posting Palestinian charities and did not wish to be seen taking sides. It was posted at 11:21 PM PT and, we’re told, did not come from IGN editorial or with the approval or consent of the editorial staff. It also represents one of the biggest breaches of trust between corporate ownership and journalistic outlets in the last decade, if not longer.

eBay Is Banning Hentai and Other Adult Content (Vice, Gabriel Geiger)

The new restrictions will ban “sexually suggestive” artwork and sex toys (barring a list of “approved sellers”) and explicitly name-checks hentai and yaoi.

As AVN pointed out, eBay interestingly also makes an explicit exception for the Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair, and Penthouse magazines, which are popular among collectors. 

The move is sure to be a blow to many sellers on eBay. The site is a popular place for the buying and selling of vintage porngraphy, for example, as well as erotic fiction. 

eBay did not respond to a Motherboard’s inquiry regarding the motivation behind the change. At the bottom of the new policy, the company writes: “[w]e want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from easily accessing them.” 

It seems that there could’ve been a number of other ways of preventing people from seeing sexually-explicit content that don’t involve a blanket ban. 

The change comes at a time where platforms like Facebook and Instagram continue to tighten rules regarding sexual content and nudity. Last year, new guidelines implemented by Instagram meant that sex workers would no longer be allowed to advertise on the site.

It’s striking that eBay feels the need to police sexual content when a number of questionable products—such as Nazi SS uniforms and anti-vax t-shirts—remain on the site.

Bestselling biography of revered Japanese translator of Anne of Green Gables now available in English (Nimbus Publishing)

Press release announcing an upcoming translated biography about Muraoka Hanako.

In 1941, after Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hanako abruptly resigns from her role of reading children’s news over the radio—for which she is known and loved throughout Japan as “Radio Auntie.” Branded as “enemies,” the peace-loving missionaries who nurtured Hanako in her youth and with whom she later worked have been forced to leave the country. But Hanako finds solace in a gift received from a Canadian friend: a copy of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

Although it is a book from an “enemy nation,” the story of Anne Shirley brings back vivid memories of precious friends in distant lands, giving Hanako courage and hope for the future. Amidst the wail of air-raid sirens, she begins translating her copy into Japanese in 1943, fully aware that she risks imprisonment and even death if caught. Although she completes the majority of the work by the end of the war, it is only much later that a publisher decides to take a chance on a Canadian author previously unknown in Japan, unwittingly launching a cross-cultural literary legacy that continues to this day.

If We Want To Talk About Diversity In Gaming, We Need To Be Intersectional (The Gamer, Stacey Henley)

On the importance of moving the conversation on representation to a place that acknowledges intersectional identity.

White, cisgender, able bodied men are well represented in gaming – even the most ardent opponent of diversity couldn’t argue against that – and they’re closely followed by white, cisgender, able bodied women. There’s still not equality between those two groups, but compared to everyone else, they have it made. It’s tempting to view white, cisgender, able bodied women as part of gaming’s diversity, and white, cisgender, able bodied men as the default, but it’s more complicated than that. Painting it in that fashion makes it seem as if the proportion of white, cisgender, able bodied men is a fixed constant, and that the rest of us need to duke it out for the space remaining.

Studios that have white (etc) male leads will continue to produce games with leads that look exactly the same as those who have been at the forefront of gaming for decades, while studios already ‘risking’ things with white (etc) female leads should be pushed to have more Black leads, more disabled leads, more trans leads. It establishes the idea that there are ‘too many’ white (etc) women in gaming – while that may be true, it is demonstrably more true that there are ‘too many’ white (etc) men, and perhaps the solution isn’t to kick anybody off the table, but to build a bigger one. But at the same time, white (etc) women need to understand that they have a position of relative privilege compared to many other groups, and should be leveraging that for progress for all, instead of being satisfied at their own representation.

This Week in Anime: Randy Randy Fairy Ranmaru (Anime News Network, Monique Thomas & Jean-Karlo Lemus)

Parsing out the downright hypnotic weirdness that makes the beefy magical boy series work.

Jean-Karlo: It’s basically Pretty Cure with an edge to it—instead of other monsters exacerbating the anxieties in children or neighbors, the fairies have to help people being hurt by outright societal ills—all of which are inflicted by people who just want to hurt people. Heck, one case has two people hurting each other.

It’s framed in a way that is as suspect as the rest of fairy society; the fairies have to “kiss” a girl and “take” their hearts in order to transform and fight whatever their issue is, which you could interpret as them taking advantage of women on the edge of desperation. But even with their need to reaping Attachment, all the fairies legitimately care about the people they help.

Nicky: There’s also that extra theological edge. Attachment, in religion, is the main opposition to living a fulfilling and virtuous life. It’s something that involves complete abandonment of all worldly desires to reach a state of higher being, or Detachment. So by collecting their feelings and solving their problems, these fairies are essentially trying to help these people reach a more heavenly place. Also, they literally yell “GO TO HEAVEN” while stabbing their enemies. The show is anything but subtle.

Guilty Gear Actress Stepped Down to Support Black Voice Actresses (IGN, Liam Wiseman)

The role of Black fighter Ramlethal has been recast for Guilty Gear Strive.

In a tweet, Fitzgerald states that she “happily stepped away so [the developers] could cast more appropriately”. She expanded upon this in responses to commenters on her initial post, stating succinctly, “The character is black I am not black. I support more work for black actresses behind the mic”. It’s clear that Fitzgerald stepped down in order to improve opportunities and representation for Black voice actors and actresses.

The gesture seems to have been a success, as voice actress Laura Stahl has now been cast in the role. Stahl responded to Fitzgerald in another tweet, thanking her for stepping aside, “Before I accepted the role of Ramlethal, l asked for clarification on the situation, and not only do I deeply respect Erin as an actor, but as an amazing person as well. Thank you for your grace. You are phenomenal”. The character of Ramlethal has been played by Fitzgerald since her introduction in 2014’s Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-.

VIDEO: Interview with manga artist Nagata Kabi.

TWEET: Images from the volunteer handbook for the Tokyo Olympic games.

TWEET: A trio of Japanese indie games about a young trans woman are now available as a package.

AniFem Community

In addition to Monday’s post, this thread includes suggestions of additional ways to support Palestine from outside.

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