Weekly Round-Up, 14-20 September 2022: Anti-Union Action at Crunchyroll, The Ainu Times’ Anniversary, and Devs of Color Expo 2022

By: Anime Feminist September 20, 20220 Comments
Ichigo and Bu-Ling holding protest signs and bullhorns. "working day in and day out is crushing us!"

AniFem Round-Up

Shoujo Manga’s Lost Generation

Megan D. spotlights the influential, under-appreciated women whose work in the 1950s and 60s was crucial to the development of shoujo manga.

Demolishing the Demographic Double Standard: Why more manga “for boys” need to treat their girls better

Marion Bea tackles the handling of female characters in shounen manga and the comparatively complex men that can be found in shoujo.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners – Episodes 1-2

It’s very cyber, but is it punk? ….Not really.

Chatty AF 170: Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) Watchalong – Episodes 14-19

Caitlin, Dee, and Meru return to talk about the ubiquitous Beach Episode, mental health care in Japan, and the big ball of mess that is Arima.

What Fall 2022 anime are you most excited for?

Oh no, is it time already?

Beyond AniFem

Games You Should Know About From The Game Devs of Color Expo 2022 (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

A roundup of promising visual novels and a few other genres.

Jellyfish Parade is one of my favorite game devs… period. This team has such imaginative stories and they have been consistently creating romance games with an almost entirely BIPOC cast! Belle Automata is a sci-fi indie otome game that follows a self-aware android as she attempts to find meaning in her life. The game brings up some interesting questions about what it means to really be alive.

Ainu Times paper marks 25th anniv., aims to pass on indigenous language of Japan’s north (The Mainichi, Kohei Shinkai)

The paper will publish its 77th issue this year.

On the front page of the first issue, the then 39-year-old Kayano contributed the following messages: “a=utari opitta utura=an wa arikiki=an ro!” or “let’s work hard together, all our fellows.” This phrase expresses the passion that went into the production of the newspaper.

At the time, the Ainu culture promotion law was about to come into effect in July 1997, and Kayano recalled, “We were proud of our Ainu traditions and culture and felt it was of great significance to disseminate them. In that sense, the newspaper was very pioneering.”

Indigenous Ainu people were forced to speak Japanese under assimilation policies launched during the Meiji era (1868-1912), causing the rapid decline of the Ainu language. Kayano grew up in the Nibutani area of Biratori, as the second son of Shigeru Kayano (1926-2006), a researcher of Ainu culture and the first Ainu member of Japan’s National Diet. But when he was young he “knew only about 100 (Ainu) words related to daily life.”

Mob Psycho 100’s English Voice Actor Probably Isn’t Coming Back Because Of Crunchyroll (Kotaku, Isaiah Colbert)

Crunchyroll refused to negotiate for a union contract and intends to recast the series’ non-Texas-based actors.

McCarley told Kotaku that he’d be happy to reprise his role as Mob in season three of the anime if it were on a union contract. In his YouTube video, McCarley clarified that, as a SAG-AFTRA union member and a member of SAG-AFTRA’s dubbing steering committee, it is important to him that all the work he does is covered by a union contract. A contract that ensures McCarley won’t stress his vocal cords from screaming for too long, something shonen protagonists are wont to do, while recording his lines.

He also mentioned that the issue wasn’t about money, saying Crunchyroll was prepared to pay him the amount he would be getting under a union contract. And while he didn’t ask for a huge raise, he did ask for a union scale, which he could put towards health care coverage and retirement savings.

Because of the major role McCarley has as the anime’s lead character, McCarley said he approached Crunchyroll with an offer to work on season three under a non-union contract with the condition that the company agreed to sit down and meet with him and other SAG-AFTRA representatives to negotiate a potential contract for future anime shows.

60% of people with foreign roots questioned by Japanese police: survey (The Mainichi)

The survey received roughly 2100 “valid responses” via online submission.

The survey found most people who had been questioned had undergone the treatment on multiple occasions, according to the report released by the association on Sept. 9, adding 80 percent of those with African and Latin American roots had to deal with investigators.

“Guidelines need to be established to end discrimination based on how one looks,” the Tokyo organization said in the report on racial profiling.

A number of respondents said they had been offended by questions from police or their attitude, noting in additional comments that they were intimidating or rude, among other descriptions.

The study also found that the frequency of questioning was not reduced regardless of their Japanese ability or how long they had lived in Japan.

“In light of common sense, the percentage is high,” said Yoichi Arizono, a lawyer from the bar association. “To question someone who shouldn’t be subjected to it based on their looks is also not effective as a criminal policy.”

Akai Ito & Aoi Shiro HD Remaster announced for Switch, PC (Gematsu, Sal Romano)

The classic yuri visual novel will be out in 2023.

On both Switch and PC, each game will be available individually digitally—as Akai Ito HD Remaster and Aoi Shiro HD Remaster, respectively. On Switch, the bundle will also be available in the Akai Ito & Aoi Shiro HD Remaster physical edition two-in-one package.

Akai Ito first launched for PlayStation 2 on October 21, 2004 in Japan, and was followed by Aoi Shiro on April 5, 2008.

Meme-ing For A Reason #19: Adults Aren’t Marginalized In Fandom, Sorry (Stitch’s Media Mix, Stitch)

This is not to claim that there is no ageism in fandom, but that it alone doesn’t reach the devastating levels of other vectors of oppression in fan spaces.

On top of that, many of the fans fighting against and talking about racism in fandom are under 25. They are the very people that folks who think they’re oppressed because a 18 year old called them a hag… think are oppressing them. Oh, and previous attempts by Black and brown fans to simply address racism in fandom – much less a boycott – have been met with such racist language and harassment that I cannot imagine it even happening? No solidarity is possible at this point and it’s not because of the fans of color who push back against racism. In queer and feminist fandom, it’s acceptable to pretend that the teenager who doesn’t vibe with their specific freaky sexy fan fiction/pairing is a Nazi because of that. It’s not acceptable to be a fan of color talking talking about how they’re mistreated by/in fandom.

When fandoms complain about ageism – and these same fans are incredibly unkind to older and younger fans whose vibes aren’t immaculate or who criticize fandom at all – they frame it as oppression on the same level as misogyny or racism or homopobia but… they’re never able to understand that there’s a differnence between being harmed and frustrated by something that’s not a norm and is not systemic… and actual oppression that does happen in fandom.

There’s also understanding that fandom – yes, even queer/feminst fandom – is a space that isn’t kind to fans of color regardless of our ages. Think about how many Black Fandom Elders you know. Not just older Black fans, but fans in their forties and above who have been public and active in fandoms for a long time.

‘No time to go to the toilet’: Amazon drivers share harsh working reality via Tokyo hotline (The Mainichi, Satoshi Tokairin)

The hotline is still accepting calls and online submissions.

he session was held by the Japan Community Union Federation (JCUF), a labor union for delivery drivers, together with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, lawyers familiar with labor issues, and other parties. According to the JCUF and others, many drivers work as sole proprietors who enter into contracts with Amazon’s subcontractors that outsource delivery work. As they are not employment contracts, labor law rules regarding minimum wage, regulations on working hours, and other matters are not applicable.

During the Sept. 11 session, there were 20 inquiries from nationwide areas, especially in the Kanto region around Tokyo. An individual said that following a change in delivery methods, they began to be paid a fixed amount per day, instead of based on the number of packages. They said, “Even though my pay hasn’t been raised, the number of daily goods I deliver has doubled from around 100 to over 200.”

There were also workers who reported grave consequences of increased workloads, such as “I can’t take breaks, and don’t even have time to go to the toilet,” “Due to labor shortages, I was forced to do delivery work even with a high fever,” and, “I’m worried that I might cause an accident if things remain as they are.” Another party pointed out that the app that guides their deliveries shows irrational routes.

Women’s colleges in Japan gradually move to admit transgender students (The Mainichi, Katsuteru Nakamura)

Ochanomizu University, Nara Women’s University, and  Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University already accept applications from trans students.

Behind Japan Women’s University’s decision to welcome transgender students is an inquiry in 2015 by a guardian of a trans girl who wanted to know whether the child is eligible to take the entrance exam for a junior high school affiliated with the college. Satoko Oyama, professor of the university’s Faculty of Integrated Arts and Social Sciences who is in charge of this issue, commented, “In the past, we may have refused immediately, but this became an opportunity to engage in the matter as a challenge faced by the institution as a whole, while considering the social climate that recognizes diversity and reflecting on how to address it.”

However, the trans-inclusive admissions policy was not an easy decision. Discussion began in 2018 to form a consensus within the university, and there were arrangements aiming for its implementation from the academic year of 2020. Despite these moves, the view that the introduction of the trans-inclusive policy was premature predominated mainly among instructors and staff, and the university shifted its policy to devoting time to resolving concerns and establishing the necessary environment. In June 2020, it revealed that it will begin accepting trans students from academic 2024 following a preparation period of four years. In June this year, it issued a “diversity declaration” with the objective of “aiming to become a women’s college where a diverse range of women can study together.” In it, the university also declared the plan to allow trans women to take the exam for the 2024 school year.

The college is currently creating guidelines on how to respond to situations involving transgender students, including training for professors and other staff members. Oyama said, “Sexual diversity is a sensitive issue. I think that a preparation period of at least four years is necessary for training faculty members and raising awareness within the university.” 2024 is apparently the year that the child who inquired about admission to the affiliated middle school in 2015 will reach the age for college applications.

VIDEO: Discussion of the historical revisionism pushed by Abe’s administration.

THREAD: Discussion of the range of body dysmorphia issues in modern Japan.

AniFem Community

There are almost too many good options to name this time around.

I don't think I can even pick a single top show for fall, there are just too many good ones.  So many squeals to be excited for but Spy X Family, Yowamushi and Iruma-kun top my list there  The villainess is taming the last boss has caught my attention and looks like it could be fun  Urusei Yatsura has me nervous. I enjoyed the manga when I was younger, but I am not sure how well it translates to a modern audience
Brand New Shows: if I had to choose only one... Probably Do It Yourself as I'm very confident in it being a low-key hobby show. Runners-up include Raven of the Inner Palace, Bibliophile Princess, Play it Cool Guys, and The Villainess is Taming the Final Boss.  Sequels: my screaming hindbrain says it has to be Idolish7 Third Beat! Part 2, tied with Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun!. Neck and neck as runners-up are Spy x Family, To Your Eternity, Mob Psycho 100, Golden Kamuy, Pui Pui Molcar, and Encouragement of Climb. This season is stacked!

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