Ivy Rose looks back on Naruto’s influence in expanding the roles of women in Shonen Jump stories, how far the magazine has to go, and what makes Black Clover’s female characters promising.
We’re releasing the last batch of transcripts from our first fundraiser, and now we’re looking forward to how we can pay for the next batch, with the knowledge that times are tough for everyone.
News and fundraisers regarding protests and vulnerable communities.
You Are Worthwhile: “Reviewing Irodori Sakura’s “Mine-kun is Asexual” (Backlit Pixels, Mercedez Clewis)
A discussion of the recently released doujinshi from an ace reviewer (in multiple senses).
One thing I really liked about Tomoe was her willingness to understand differences: actually, that’s a major element in the plot kicking off. Tomoe’s desire to meet someone where they are really makes her a remarkable character, especially since she’s dealing with two identities that are very new to her own romantic life. At no point does she ever make Mine-kun feel bad for being who he is: in fact, she embraces him wholeheartedly and continues to see him as worthwhile and a full person.
What else can I say? I really love Tomoe. But I just really, really wanna talk about Mine.
Mine is equally as complex: he’s a fan of the “Revengers” which is essentially the Avengers. He’s incredibly passionate about them to the point that he doesn’t even notice Tomoe trying to make a move on him. As the title says, Mine’s also aseuxal: for him, this means that he has no interest in sexual intimacy, minimal to no interest in physical affection, and maybe could kiss if necessary. He says as much within the first few pages of the story, and I’m proud to say that Mine-kun doesn’t walk that back: he is who he is.
Podcast discussion of the latest Watase Yu series released in English.
GENBU KAIDEN is Shojo & Tell host Ashley’s second-favorite manga (behind only the illustrious MAID-SAMA), and so, this episode has several special guests. Caitlin (OG FUSHIGI YUGI superfan), Sara Linsley (manga letterer extraordinaire), and Zahra Ymer (manga scholar in training), and Ashley discuss how the series compares to its predecessor, pick apart Watase’s sidebar notes (she thinks she’d be Tomite if she were a boy?!), fawn over Uruki / Limdo and Takiko (okay, that’s mostly Ashley), and discover that all the good guys in this manga are basically serial killers.
I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! Review (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)
An autobiographical manga about the process of pursuing a pregnancy.
Undoubtedly some of Kazama’s initial modesty is due to her upbringing, but the book also highlights a general lack of sex education. I’ve heard in the past that Japan’s sex education is hardly comprehensive (nor is the U.S.’s for that matter) but I was still surprised by the admission in one of the chapter’s post text where Kazama stated she had never even seen a gynecologist until she was 30! Seeing a OBGYN and getting a yearly pap smear is part of general health upkeep after menses starts, regardless of whether a person is sexually active. Meanwhile, her husband has been a purveyor of sexy manga since his early teens but admits he didn’t exactly know how all of pregnancy worked until he was 35! I’d blame this on Abe but the guy isn’t even in office anymore. Hopefully this book gets a few more people into the doctor’s office to take care of their bits.
Kazama’s crash-course in babymaking is part of what makes I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! so approachable. Initially she’s quite settled in her decision to have a baby solely because it’s something her husband is interested in, but she begins to evaluate her own emotions and doubts when the process doesn’t go as easily as they expected. I was incredibly pleased to see these personal reflections here as there’s already plenty of pregnancy literature that focuses on “THE EXCITEMENT!”, “THE BEAUTIFUL TRANSFORMATION!” and other positivity-centric crunchiness that at best isn’t going to jive with a lot of individuals’ experience and at worst is going to guilt them when they find themselves not ecstatic about the circle of life taking place in their uterus.
Lawyer sounds alarm over Japanese gov’t proposals on foreigners facing long-term detention (The Mainichi, Hiromichi Yoshitomi)
Interview with attorney Maruyama Yuki, chairwoman of the immigration issue investigation project team of the association’s Human Rights Protection Committee.
M: One of the motivations behind the Justice Ministry setting up the expert committee was to protect the immigration system from abuse, such as people repeatedly filing refugee status applications to avoid deportation. Is that not so?
YM: Foreigners abusing the system is not the root of the problem. The main issue is that the immigration authorities are running a system bereft of fairness and transparency. Japan is a party to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, meaning it is committed to recognizing people in need as refugees and protecting them.
In 2018, the other Group of Seven wealthy nations — the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada — granted over 30% of applications for refugee status or complimentary protection (protections equivalent to refugee status granted to some people who do not meet the standards set by the refugee convention). Japan granted just 0.5% of such applications. Statistics from 2010 to 2018 show that some 20% of those granted refugee status in Japan, and 40% of those given special residency status for humanitarian reasons, had previously been given written deportation orders.
VIDEO: A Zimbabwean teacher living in Japan compares her experiences living in several countries.
TWEET: Link to petition protesting the requirement that trans people in Japan not have children in order to be recognized as their gender.
TWEET: Link to a book (only in Japanese at present) about processing toxic masculinity.
THREAD: Short thread about clickbait listicles.
TWEET: Pins made by Adorned by Chi.
As a reminder about the resource posts, we encourage readers to point us toward causes that could use a spotlight, including if you out there are having a hard time and trying to raise funds – feel free to get some eyes on it in the resource comments section.