The Journey to Cure Wing: A history of magical boys in PreCure
Ayumi Shinozaki walks through the ups and downs of boys in the PreCure franchise and how Cure Wing is a great step toward breaking down gender stereotypes for boys.
Akiba Maid War and the rare representation of disabled joy
With just one small scene, the series nails a sense of joy that rarely makes it out of manga and into the world of anime.
What project in Development Hell are you still holding out hope for?
Any day now. Any day.
Bonus Podcast (with Transcript) 2023 May: Incomplete Anime Adaptations
Toni, Cy, and Vrai talk about the familiar anguish of a pretty good anime that stops just before the source material gets great.
End OTW Racism: A Call To Action (Tumblr)
A campaign to insist the OTW, among other things, fulfill unsubstantiated promises it made to combat harassment three years ago.
Since their June 2020 statement, OTW has been working on updating their Terms of Service (TOS) to address racist and bigoted harassment, but with little transparency and only the vaguest of updates. It has been three years since their commitment to this update – we want to see the results of their work implemented in the next 6-12 months. Their TOS updates and complementary policies should include:
Harassment policies that can be regularly updated to address both on-site harassment and off-site coordinated harassment of AO3 users, with updated protocols for the Policy & Abuse Team to ensure consistent and informed resolutions of abuse claims
A content policy on abusive (extremely racist and extremely bigoted) content; by abusive, we are talking about fanworks that are intentionally used to spread hate and harassment, not those that accidentally invoke racist or other bigoted stereotypes
These points are not particularly new and are not our own innovation; please refer to Stitch’s article written over two years ago, asking for several of these very things.
NAFCA Association for Improving Awareness of Animator Working Conditions Founded (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)
The Association has also posted a full statement in English.
The Nippon Anime & Film Culture Association (NAFCA) – a general incorporated association that seeks to improve understanding of the anime industry’s management and production sides, and improve working conditions for animators – announced its founding last Friday, May 19. Former A-1 Pictures and Aniplex executive Masuo Ueda is the chairman of the board. Animator and character designer Masaru Kitao, anime director Naomichi Yamato, and voice actors Shunsuke Sakuya and Yuko Kaida also made speeches during the founding ceremony.
In correspondence with ANN, former Viz Media, Crunchyroll, and Netflix executive Rob Pereyda also confirmed that animator and Terumi Nishii is also involved with NAFCA. Nishii has constantly expressed disappointment in the working conditions for animators in the anime industry, and previously discussed the problems of animator unions in Japan with Ueda.
Meet Clara, The New Otaku Women’s Gym (Unseen Japan, Kay Benton)
The gym already has a 100-person waiting list for membership.
Clara is the first of its kind, a gym that truly centers otaku women and encourages them to love their bodies rather than criticize them. Each trainer employed at Clara’s various locations are themselves otaku women. They help their clients create personalized training regimens centered around their jobs, hobbies, and interests.
Plus, Clara gyms establish a fun, comfortable workout environment by playing anime music and decorating with posters, character figures, and other otaku goods. Recently, Clara has even collaborated with several popular male voice actors and idols to create narrated exercise sets and workout videos.
When asked what led her to select the name “Clara” for her gym, Sakuta explained that it comes from a Latin word meaning “shining.” She wanted Clara to truly be a place that “made otaku women shine.” Its name and logo project brightness and strength.
Protestors, sisters of deceased detainee march in Tokyo against immigration law revisions (The Mainichi, Yukinao Kin)
The article also includes video footage of the march.
The proposed Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act amendments, passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month, would make it possible to deport foreigners who have applied for refugee status at least three times, changing the current rules which prevent the deportation of refugee applicants across the board.
The Liberal Democratic Party-led government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida claims the revisions are needed to resolve the issue of long detentions at immigration facilities before deportation. Conveying the message, “We don’t want an Immigration Services Agency that bullies refugees,” the protestors view the measures as a way to force out refugee status applicants.
The march was organized by parties including the Anti-Poverty Network. Two younger sisters of Wishma Sandamali, who died of illness at age 33 while held at the immigration agency’s Nagoya detention facility in 2021, spoke at a gathering before the protesters set out. Poornima, 28, implored, “National Diet, please discuss ways to stop this from recurring.”
Japanese novelist Kyoko Nakajima, whose works include depictions of issues between the immigration agency and foreign residents in Japan, said, “The revisions are being driven by the prejudicial idea that ‘foreigners tell lies’.”
a new life. (The Almighty Backlog)
Review of a queer indie COVID-era visual novel.
a new life is a visual novel though, and that means you get to make choices along the way. It’s got a fun and intriguing way of telling its story: much of it is done in the form of dialogue between August and May, so we get a cute, unfiltered view into their relationship. I quite enjoy the little sections that are told solely through text messages in particular, partly because it has a lot of choices all at once to pick from, but also because the truncated, emoji-laden messages between the pair are adorable and often very goofy. The choices you make lead to one of seven endings, and the game is pretty clear at telling you where you could make different choices on a replay, so it doesn’t take too long to see all the possible conclusions to the story. That’s if you can stomach replaying it though because by the time I’d cried my way through to finding what I considered to be the “good” ending, I shut the game down and called it a day there and then.
A Digital Safe Haven in My Love Story with Yamada-kun (Anime News Network, Christopher Farris and Monique Thomas)
Midseason discussion of the series’ exploration of digital relationships.
Nicky: It’s also notable that Akane doesn’t have any of the qualities of a so-described “gamer”. She got into Forest of Savior because her boyfriend at the time introduced her to it as something they could play together. However, she continues playing it even after getting dumped. She’s got zero savvy about video games, but she’s having fun anyways and the other characters become charitable towards her by being patient as she learns.
This is particular to me as it matches some of my own life. I didn’t always have access to a lot of games and only started playing them because of other people I knew. I got into Final Fantasy XIV because of an ex, and I was always nervous about facing stigma or criticisms for being new and not very good. As a young woman, gaming spaces used to feel hostile and unwelcoming. Even having a female avatar used to mean being open to receiving harassment. I adore how cute and cartoony Akane’s cat gremlin is btw!
Vietnamese worker sees ‘distortion’ in Japan’s decades-old technical trainee system (The Mainichi, Akira Iida)
Recollections of a veteran of the program with the news of its possible repeal.
His life as a trainee was full of struggles. He took out a 1.3-million-yen (approx. $9,500) loan against his family’s rice paddies and fields to cover expenses to come to Japan, including fees paid to an agent in Vietnam that sends technical trainees to Japan. He was initially assigned to a construction firm in the town of Fuchu, Hiroshima Prefecture.
He worked hard six days a week, from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. As he was unable to communicate in Japanese, he learned how to do his job by observing his colleagues and following how they do it. He earned just around 70,000 to 80,000 yen (approx. $510 to 580) a month after deducting utility and dormitory fees. He kept 20,000 yen for himself to live on, and sent the remaining to his parents. He managed to learn Japanese by attending a local language class taught by volunteers on his days off.
The working environment was also dismal. He often witnessed Japanese workers shouting abuse at or using violence against each other, and thought to himself, “I will be a target sooner or later.” He also grew frustrated over his wages that never went up. In November 2019, he sought help from Fukuyama Union Tampopo, a Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture-based labor union focusing on protection of technical trainees.
After negotiations between the union and his employer, it emerged that his overtime had been unpaid. As an exceptional measure, he was allowed to switch jobs due to inappropriate practices on the part of the employer, and started working at another construction business.
VIDEO: Accessibility feature review of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
THREAD: Report on coordinated Shinto opposition to marriage equality in Japan.
TWEET: Upcoming survey of LGBTQ+ individuals in Japan.
Don’t stop yelling about Stars Align, AniFam. Just as a personal favor.
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