Japanese blogger Honeshabri breaks down laws regarding the stipulations trans people face in changing their gender markers in Japan.
In just one episode, the sleeper fave of 2022 showcases a textbook list of union-busting tactics and why they’re insidious.
Dee, Alex, and Cy discuss asexual and aromantic coded characters and several new manga with explicit ace and/or aro leads.
In honor of Birdie Wing coming back.
Mothers by Kusahara Umi (Kickstarter)
A campaign to translate and physically release Kusahara’s short stories, collected over 15 years.
MOTHERS contains 12 short stories that encapsulate different facets of the human experience.
A man grapples with his complicated relationship with his mother, who he abandoned after leaving home for college, and whose heart (and body) were too big for the world to be kind to; a young girl finds a small bird, and after nursing it back to health the bird continues to grow alongside the girl, accompanying her through each stage of life in a kaleidoscopic waltz until it carries her “home” for one last journey; the familiar “Red Riding Hood” context is juxtaposed with a young woman who comes into the woods to visit her “wolf” grandmother, the literal fantasy-tinged presentation dissolving into the subtle issue of independence and the difficulty of caring for those in need; a young mother visits her new husband’s estranged-and-now-comatose son at the hospital, looking for answers after he and his girlfriend are recovered from a car crash; these and many other works which Kusahara Umi has carefully crafted over the years will be available in English for the very first time. Umi’s stories here are heartfelt, beautifully drawn, and deal with complicated human relationships in a sensitive and honest way.
Japan LGBTQ rights group calls out misinformation over public bath use and trans women (The Mainichi, Miyuki Fujisawa)
The rhetoric mirrors the bathroom fearmongering enacted in the US and UK.
Regarding trans women, false rumors and slander have reportedly been spreading for some years that give the impression that they commit sexual violence by falsifying their gender. Since it became likely that the development of an “LGBT understanding promotion bill” would advance following discriminatory remarks against the LGBTQ community by a former secretary of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last month, social media posts claiming that public bath rules will change are spreading to fuel anxiety.
Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation secretary-general Yuichi Kamiya told the news conference, “We cannot overlook that the misinformation is becoming extremely widespread.” He added, “While some 60 local governments have introduced anti-discrimination ordinances over one’s sexual orientation and sexual identity, there have been no reports about changing public bath rules.”
Veteran Games, Anime Composer Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Teenage Girl (Kotaku, Isaiah Colbert)
Tanaka is best known for composing scores for Pokémon Journeys and The Idolm@ster.
During a trial with the Tokyo District Court, the 35-year-old composer admitted to propositioning a minor for sex in exchange for money in Tokyo’s Meguro ward last August, an incident in which he allegedly also forcibly grabbed her hand, according to Anime News Network. Tanaka was later arrested by Tokyo Police in October of that year on charges of forcible indecency, which in Japanese criminal law refers to acts of assault or intimidation which have a sexual element.
Tanaka pled guilty to all charges during his preliminary trial, according to Siliconera. He also confessed to taking upskirt photos of girls’ underwear at a train station, as well as exposing his genitals while riding the train dozens of times over the past decade, according to Japanese outlet TBS.
“I wanted to feel the thrill of being found or not,” Tanaka stated in court. “I did it to relieve my daily frustration and work stress.”
REVIEW: ‘Aggretsuko’ Season 5 Is The Haida Show And Nothing More (But Why Tho?, Kate Sánchez)
A lackluster end to a series that started brilliantly.
For six episodes, Aggretsuko Season 5 focuses on Haida, his unemployment, his bad decisions, and his utter lack of awareness for others outside of himself. Then, when the season finally starts to give Restuko something to do, it weighs her pathway to political activism down with a Haida-sized cinderblock so that we only ever see our lead reacting to Haida’s political family. Aggressive Retsuko, the namesake of Aggretsuko, is more like passive-aggressive Retsuko looking to save face and be with Haida while some commentary on Japanese politics is thrown in.
While the series has deftly explored many issues impacting older millennials in Japan and elsewhere, this season’s attempt at exploring employment and the age gap between the citizens of the country and the age of the politicians feels surface-level at best. Instead of digging into the conversation, it’s couched in the romantic drama between Retsuko and Haida, whiffing the potential of using Retsuko’s rage for good.
Off Panel #392: Blurred Lines with Deb Aoki (Off Panel)
Podcast discussion with journalist Aoki on her history in the industry.
Manga journalist Deb Aoki joins the podcast this week to chat about the explosion in manga sales the past few years and what has led to it. Aoki discusses her Emerald City Comic Con experience, making connections for manga stories, how she became a manga journalist, the world of writing about manga, Japan’s manga sales, speaking to different audiences, the impact of adaptations, price and accessibility, why there are always manga “booms,” the amount of product, simplicity in manga stories, supply chain issues, the gifts of manga storytellers, and more.
Ugandan woman granted refugee status in Japan offers hope for sexual minorities (The Mainichi, Kosuke Yamamoto and Yukina Furukawa)
News breaks alongside ongoing proposed reforms to Japan’s immigration policy.
According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, there were at least three precedents in Japan where foreigners were granted refugee status due to persecution against homosexuals in their home countries. In one of those cases, a relative fired a gun at the person as they found homosexuality a disgrace. Yet the nationality and gender of those refugees have not been disclosed.
Japan is known to have taken a closed-door policy to refugees, with its refugee status recognition rate standing at an extraordinarily low level among fellow advanced countries. In 2021, there were 74 people who were granted refugee status in Japan, accounting for less than 1% of all applicants.
Lawyer Maya Kawasaki, who represents the Ugandan woman, pointed to the extra hardships among sexual minorities seeking refugee status, saying, “There are also fears for being persecuted again if they come out in their destinations abroad.”
VIDEO: Princess Arete is now legally available on YouTube for free until 4/17.
VIDEO: Q&A with indie devs Red Spring Studio.
TWEET: Preview of fashion brand BlackMilk’s Sailor Moon line.
TWEET: Announcement of a free tool meant to help protect artists’ work from being plagiarized by AI.
Nice to see some classics represented.