Weekly Round-Up, 18-24 August 2021: Ladybeard, Trauma in Berserk, and Fundraising for Animators

By: Anime Feminist August 24, 20210 Comments
Vanitas and Noe dancing together

AniFem Round-Up

Suzie Yeung, FF7 Remake actor, discusses recording during the pandemic, her dream anime role, and voicing Koito

Vrai sat down with Suzie at Otakon 2021 to talk about working during the pandemic and her recent roles, including the much-maligned Koito of Wonder Egg Priority.

The Always Smiling Girl: How Tohru critiques toxic positivity

Olivia “Livi” Burke celebrates the Fruits Basket protagonist and how her journey toward self-worth adds depth to the “cheerful helpful heroine” archetype.

What classic anime would you like to see get a remake or reinterpretation?

Sometimes an adaptation goes wrong, and sometimes a franchise just has long legs on it.

Beyond AniFem

2020 New Anime Making System Project (GoGetFunding, Jun Sugawara)

New project from the team that created the affordable housing project Animator Dormitory.

The root cause of animators’ financial struggles is low production budgets. To help these animators, we need to raise these as fast as possible. However, steps to remedy this issue have been very slow in coming from within the industry. (Wages for in-between and key animation have remained nearly stagnant for 10 years.) We don’t see a practical way to better the situation from the inside, so we’re trying to create a new anime production system, completely separate from the framework of the current industry.

As a simple, effective method to increase these budgets, we’ve started producing original anime through the power of worldwide funding.

This music video that we’re creating is the first step in our process. While there may be other efficient ways to increase production budgets, such as establishing an industry union, many of them aren’t realistic in a Japanese context. We believe our approach is the path of least resistance and the most likely to bring substantial change to the industry.

INTERVIEW: Ladybeard Introduces BABYBEARD, The Kawaii Metal Pop Idol Group  (Crunchyroll, Lauren Orsini)

Interview with famed idol Ladybeard (any pronouns) and new bandmates SUZU and KOTOMI (she/her).

You’ve said that for you, being a man in a dress isn’t about being the butt of a joke, but about changing the energy in a room. Why do you think your crossdressing has that effect?

Ladybeard: It started in Australia. Oftentimes, crossdressing has the potential to get the same reaction as what we just spoke about in London and Paris. There’s a bipolar reaction. It’s either anger and abuse, or it’s “Look at this guy!!” Because everyone acknowledges that hairy men generally don’t walk around wearing cute little skirts.  

It’s interesting: people see me and they put whatever is in their head onto me. If they’re super conservative, they may think hateful thoughts. But if they’re not, they may think, “This crazy guy!” 

And if they’re LGBT?

Ladybeard: That’s a question I’m actually not good at answering because every member of that community feels a different way about me. I was very cautious when I started this because I was frightened that the LGBT community would think that what I do is a piss-take of what they take seriously. And it’s not, but I can see how they would think that. But I have been told that there are members of the community who feel that way about me, which is very unfortunate and not at all what I was trying to do. 

And then there are other members who have completely embraced me. When I got to Japan I was surprised by how much I was embraced by the LGBT community here. My image has been taken and used to advertise gay bars here. 

Kamen Rider Zero-One’s Satsuki Nakayama Comes Out As Transgender (Tokusatsu Network, Ryan Firestine)

Nakayama recently came out both as a trans man and aroace.

Nakayama also reflected on his orientation as asexual, and his response is as followed:

“When people hear I’m transgender, they’ll ask ‘Does that mean you like woman?’ but I want to add that I’m asexual. Asexuality is a sexuality in which a person does not feel romantic or sexual desire for others.

That’s why I decided to publish this photo essay. I would be so happy if you could see me, Satsuki Nakayama, as a human being, beyond the boundaries of gender. I don’t want people to sympathize with me or understand me, but I want them to know me.”

Beyond The School Cathedral: How Yuri Grew Up (Anime News Network, Nicki “YuriMother” Bauman)

Brief history of the schoolgirl trend reinvigorated after Maria Watches Over Us and modern strides toward works starring adults.

Occasionally during this period, a work focusing on adults like Akiko Morishima‘s The Conditions of Paradise would appear, offering a brief and exciting foray away from the gilded halls of fantasy school life. Still, publishers inevitably continued to push for more and more school yuri stories. Even today, the most successful yuri works like Bloom Into You, Citrus, and Whisper Me a Love Song continue to rely on schoolgirl yuri tropes. However, slowly but surely, the genre is growing up and moving outside the classroom into the real world.

It’s challenging to pinpoint precisely what changed in the past 10 years that allowed yuri to break free of its sisterly school narratives. No singular event or series forced the genre’s evolution, but a rapid cascade of outward and inward factors allowed it to break free. These ranged from the creators and audience of the genre to the internet and the new opportunities it applied. Internet platforms like pixiv and Twitter provided creators and mangaka new venues to post and experiment with without traditional publishing and editorial processes. While creators have been putting out original works and doujinshi since long before such websites existed, the digital world afforded a degree of success and popularity that was previously much more unlikely to achieve without a publisher’s support and marketing power. For yuri, this phenomenon meant that works less attractive to publishers, which is to say ones that were not school romances, could still find an audience. Two such titles were Kabi Nagata‘s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and Kurukuruhime‘s Yuri Life.

VIDEO: Lecture on the history of Gamergate and its connection to the modern Alt-Right.

THREAD: Multiple individuals have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against anitubers Heavenly Controller and Minikon. While several have had to lock their accounts to protect against harassment, this thread includes detailed accounts from one victim and a friend who was present. Includes graphic discussion of predation and assault.

THREAD: Discussion of Berserk 1997 and its focus on trauma and child sexual assault survivors.

THREAD: A look at the overtaxed state of hospitals in Japan in light of a story about a Covid patient losing her newborn after being forced to give birth at home.

THREAD: Breakdown of how Twitch’s suggested protection protocols are insufficient to protect marginalized streamers from hateraids; including discussion of slurs.

TWEET: Link to a new film “based on a true story,” looking at Japan’s #MeToo movement.

AniFem Community

We’re bowled over by the passion y’all brought to this one. As always, keep the torch alive.

A new iteration of Vampire Princess Miyu would be neat. Goth vampire ghostbuster is a timeless concept, and hopefully nowadays it could do more with its queer coding.  On a similar note, Devilman Lady deserves an ambitious reinterpretation a la Devilman Crybaby. Directed by Sayo Yamamoto?!

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