Weekly Round-Up, 13-19 January 2021: Wonder Egg Primer, Otome Heroines, and Otherside Picnic Interview

By: Anime Feminist January 19, 20210 Comments
A blue dino making a nervous face with a wavy-lined mouth

AniFem Round-Up

 Redo of Healer – Episode 1

What might be a decent premise about an abuse survivor buried under twenty layers of sleazy rape fetish porn.


Beautiful, surreal drama about loss, grief, and abuse.

Anime Feminist’s Top Picks for 2020

Each member of the team picks their top five from the year that was.

2021 Winter Premiere Digest

All our premiere reviews with content warnings, plus a few updates on new episodes.

What’s your favorite Winter 2020 premiere?

We’re officially in the thick of it now.

Beyond AniFem

‘Please help’: Homeless man’s sign highlights struggle for Japan’s young, poor in pandemic (The Mainichi, Shinji Kurokawa)

While hotels are being set up for those without housing, many are unsure of how to apply in addition to the stigma around seeking aid.

But even if this aid framework is established, it won’t lead to any support if information about it is not conveyed to people who need it. Despite the expectation that individuals who sleep in internet cafes and other places will account for a large proportion of hotel room program users, the metropolitan government has not asked internet cafes to inform its customers about the help available, and a representative of the metropolitan government’s community welfare section said they do not plan to do so in future.

Support workers in the field have reported hearing from many people claiming they weren’t aware of their eligibility to stay at hotels. A metropolitan government source revealed just 235 people had used the program as of Jan. 4.

Additionally, the aversion to welfare shown by some individuals in need also appears to be an obstacle. Onishi told the Mainichi Shimbun that even if people in need are able to reach support services, there are cases of them expressing strong resistance to receiving livelihood assistance and other support.

A (relatively) short Ikuhara primer, Naoko Yamada, and the “egg” in Wonder Egg Priority (Atelier Emily)

How the new premiere relates to existing visual language in similar metaphor-dense shows.

As an aside, there’s another similarity to Ikuhara in the way that the method of accomplishing whatever thing the protagonists want to accomplish is caught up in capitalism. If only you buy enough eggs (acquire enough golden plates, find the penguindrum), you too can make your dreams come true! The enemy is always the system and in Wonder Egg Priority that system — dare I say, the true shell that needs to be cracked less the chicks die before they’re born — appears to be the one that leads to merciless school bullying.

In “hatching” Kurumi Saijo, Ai is brought to Kurumi’s world where monsters called seenoevils attack Kurumi and only Kurumi. In the end, Ai attacks the monsters and defeats them so Kurumi can be free, only to later find out that only Ai herself can be “saved.” Kurumi is a statue in someone else’s world just like Koito is a statue in Ai’s world. Presumably, like Ai was told that Koito could be saved with enough eggs, someone else was told similarly for Kurumi. At the end of the series, standing in line at the gachapon machine before Ai, is another girl, stockpiling eggs in service to her own personal cause.

What I Look for in an Otome Heroine (Blerdy Otome)

A personal wishlist with examples.

I know most folks favor otome heroines that are “strong”, but there is something to be said for a well rounded character that isn’t perfect. Someone that has moments of weakness, but doesn’t let that define who they are. Moreso than the other characters in an otome game, it’s that vulnerability that makes otome heroines so relatable.

Heroines like Cardia from Code Realize, who starts off with very little knowledge about the outside world and gradually works to better herself. She learns combat skills from Van Helsing, alchemy from Victor, the art of subterfuge from Lupin, and more over the course of the story. She acknowledges her shortcomings, but she doesn’t let them hold her back and that more than anything is the quality I love most in my otome heroines.

Young activist pushes for youth input on gender equality policies (The Asahi Shimbun, Azusa Mishima)

25-year-old Sakurai is focused on pursuing a gender-equal future for Japan.

In July, she started the “#What is a gender-equal society?” project to engage people younger than 30. The group submitted a proposal based on opinions from more than 1,000 individuals to Seiko Hashimoto, the state minister for gender equality, in September.

Sakurai said she was spurred into action after becoming alarmed that “Japan is still a developing country” in terms of gender equality.

She has heard girls in developing nations speaking about their dreams, such as “becoming president and eliminating discrimination against women.” However, her contemporaries in Japan would say it is impossible to embrace such dreams because they are female.

Sakurai believes that women are not allowed to make their own choices on many issues in Japan.

Law sought for sexual predators who target disabled people (The Asahi Shimbun, Mayuri Ito)

Currently the only laws regarding sexual assault involve violent forced assault, with no provisions for the disabled or factors such as coercion or grooming.

A Justice Ministry report released in March said prosecutors dropped 548 cases of suspected sexual offenses in fiscal 2018 because of insufficient evidence.

In at least 61, or 11.1 percent, of those cases, the victims had intellectual, physical or other disabilities.

The most common reason for dropping the cases, cited for 17 of the victims, was inconsistency of the victim’s testimony with objective and other evidence. That was followed by the possibility of false testimony or a change in memory, cited for 11 victims, and changes in testimony that cannot be overlooked, cited for 10 victims.

Hitomi Sugiura, a lawyer well-versed in sexual abuse cases, said sexual crimes tend to be committed behind closed doors, meaning the evidence is often scanty and there are few if any available witnesses. In these cases, the testimonies of the victims are crucial in the investigation.

But intellectually disabled victims often give inconsistent explanations, Sugiura said. Sometimes, they are unable to provide precise dates and times, which are necessary pieces of information for investigators, she added.

TWEET: Link to an interview with the writer of Otherside Picnic.

THREAD: Short thread by voice actor Zeno Robinson on being nominated for a Crunchyroll Award.

THREAD: Unpacking the racist bias of archival systems, including Archive of Our Own.

TWEET: New podcast hosted by Japanese feminist commentator Sachiko Ishikawa.

TWEET: Recent mural to honor convicted pedophile Watsuki Nobuhiro was contributed to by over a dozen currently working Shonen Jump authors.

AniFem Community

We all live in egg time now.

I can't get Wonder Egg out of my mind. The story, the colors the sounds...pump it all into my veins! And it really is surprising since I was initially writing it off as a KyoAni rip kind of show.
Favorite: Horimiya. Very nice, mellow slice-of-life romance with complex characters and a good male lead. Surprise: Heaven's Design Team is super funny and I love learning new things about animals. Also, 2.43 is really good so far! It's an emotional sports drama similar to Free! and Tsurune, both of which I love. Disappointing: Nothing so far!

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