Weekly Round-Up, 19-25 May 2021: Miura Memorials, Toxic Nostalgia, and Queer Demons

By: Anime Feminist May 25, 20210 Comments
three dolls from SHADOWS HOUSE, two leaning in to see what the third in the middle is pointing at

AniFem Round-Up

Idols Gone Viral: How Hololive VTubers both subvert and reinforce expectations of idol femininity

Katie Gill explores the freedom the VTuber space provides for weirdness and vulgarity, but also the ways in which corporate image demands still persist.

Honda Tohru and the Strength of Nurturing

Caitlin celebrates Fruits Basket’s heroine and how the hard work of caretaking often goes unappreciated.

Chatty AF 140: Angelic Layer Watchalong – Episodes 14-19

The team return to talk anime-original content and some massive improvements on the source material regarding Misaki’s mother.

Which streaming-only anime do you most want on Blu-Ray?

Look, we’re prepared to hold this torch as long as it takes.

Beyond AniFem

Help the anime community raise funds to save lives in memory of Zac Bertschy (The Trevor Project)

Fundraising page set up to honor the one-year anniversary of ANN executive editor Zac Bertschy’s passing.

Zac’s greatest passion was to share with people the things he loved, and through his writing and podcasts he shared his love of anime with millions of people over the span of his 20 plus years as an anime journalist, critic, and advocate.

Sadly his voice was silenced on May 21, 2020. His passing was a tremendous loss for his friends, his family, his co-workers at Anime News Network, and the entire anime community. 

Contrary to speculation, Zac Bertschy did not commit suicide, however depression was a huge contributor to the circumstances that lead to his death.

Suicide is the second leading cause of teenage death worldwide. Every year thousands of voices are silenced prematurely, voices that might have been the next Zac Bertschy or Roger Ebert. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. One out of six students in the USA have seriously considered suicide in the past year.

Among LGBTQ youth, the numbers are even more depressing. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are almost three times as likely to consider suicide and five times as likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.  In the past year alone, over 40% of LGBTQ teens have seriously considered suicide. 40% of transgender adults report having made a suicide attempt, the vast majority of whom did so before the age of 25.

The Trevor Project, a charity that Zac himself supported, is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. The organization works to save young lives by providing support through free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs on platforms where young people spend their time: a 24/7 phone lifeline, chat, text, and soon-to-come integrations with social media platforms. The organization also runs TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, and operates innovative education, research, and advocacy programs.

Manga Artists, Industry and Fans Pay Tribute to Kentaro Miura (Crunchyroll, Daryl Harding)

Twitter reactions and memorials from professional artists following Miura’s passing.

This is barely stretching the surface of tributes to Miura-sensei today, with people from every country, every language, and every way of life showing their love to a creator who was truly one in a generation and someone who changed the face of dark fantasy, not only in manga but in literature globally, inspiring thousands.

Miura-sensei, may you rest in peace. Your legacy will live on in those you have inspired.

Remembering Kentaro Miura Through Berserk (But Why Tho?, Kate Sánchez)

Remembrances on Miura’s work, particularly the elements about surviving assault.

Olive St. Sauver, manga and anime critic for Anime Feminist and But Why Tho?  explained the nuance and the way that Miura confronted trauma, especially in his lead character, Guts. I will stand by my opinion that the first time between Guts and Casca is one of the most thoughtfully done sex scenes I’ve read. [Berserk] never forced Guts to “man up” and move past his trauma from being a survivor of sexual assault. The scene gave both characters grace, and that is something incredibly important. It is so important to have a character like Guts, who literally swings around a giant hulk of iron, also go through his journey as a survivor of sexual assault, and to have that taken seriously.”

In fact, it was Miura’s ability to tactfully and respectfully handle Guts’ trauma that has meant the world to some fans confronting their own. Derek Van Dyke,  of SDGC, opened up about the impact the series had on them, “I fully understand if Berserk’s content, especially its occasional bouts into sexual violence, make it too much for people to stomach. I understand if people find it gratuitous. I understand that all too well as a sexual assault survivor myself. All I’ll say is that in an industry and art form that too often treats nonconsent as titillation, Berserk treated that subject matter as horrifying as any gory imagery. Berserk understands what happened to me was not to be fetishized. That’s more than I can say for a lot of anime/manga.”

Resident Evil’s most unsettling theme isn’t zombies — it’s eugenics (Polygon, Kazuma Hashimoto)

Analysis of Umbrella Corp across the franchise and the way its plans resemble eugenics.

Resident Evil 3 revealed that eugenics was the primary motivation for the founding of Umbrella. Then, later titles like Resident Evil 0 provided further insight to the corporation’s motivations before the T-Virus’ spread into what would become a global outbreak. This further lore concerned the foundation of the corporation itself, elaborating on the development of the Progenitor virus that would ultimately be used in the eugenics project titled Project W, or the Wesker Plan. Apparently, Umbrella was founded for the sole purpose of raising funds to pour into this project. The main narrative to that point was concerned with conspiracies and government collusion tied to the project that would later flesh out the background for series antagonist Albert Wesker. Albert Wesker’s design, with pale skin and blond hair that evokes the aesthetic of what is associated with the Nazi ideal of the Übermensch, effectively conveys the theme that remains at the core of the franchise. Wesker serves as the physical embodiment of the eugenics project founded by the corporation’s founder, Oswell E. Spencer.

Moto Hagio Publishes Memoir Addressing Her Feud With Keiko Takemiya (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

Hagio distances herself from both Takemiya and her influence on modern BL.

Takemiya previously shared details about her relationship with Moto Hagio in her memoirs, published in February 2016 and March 2021. In her most recent book, Takemiya wrote that she was jealous of Hagio, and that she suffered from poor mental health and an inferiority complex. Meanwhile, Hagio’s memoir tells of how she felt betrayed when Takemiya spoke of how she wanted to create distance between the two of them, while also addressing accusations that she plagiarized Takemiya. The two cut ties in 1973; Hagio states plainly that she has no intention of seeing Takemiya again.

Furthermore, Hagio downplays her role in the establishment of the shōnen-ai genre, claiming that she did not understand shōnen-ai when she created The Heart of Thomas. She claims that it was really Takemiya who pioneered the genre and expresses her wish not to be grouped together. Shōnen-ai is a term used to describe a genre of shojo manga in the 1970s focusing on romance between boys. It is considered a precursor to the boys-love genre.

VIDEO: How the commodification of nostalgia has ruined the chance to pass down many nostalgic toys and games to the next generation.

VIDEO: Short film about a queer demon (note for mutilation and hate crimes).

TWEET: Letter to the Minister of Justice protesting current border laws allegedly meant to stop the spread of COVID but in practice harmfully anti-immigrant.

THREAD: Discussion of predatory behavior in the English VTuber space; includes graphic discussion of the author’s experiences surviving CSA. (Disclosure: This VTuber is team member Chiaki’s partner).

THREAD: In addition to last week’s resource post, this thread includes comprehensive action items about lending aid to Palestine. Additionally, this podcast includes a contextualizing discussion on the violence in Sheikh Jarrah by writer and activist Mohammad el-Kurd.

AniFem Community

We see and appreciate your torches too, AniFam.

A Place Further than the Universe doesn't just need a physical release, it deserves a movie quality dub and a primetime TV slot. What the heck is Crunchyroll thinking?  Though my extremely personal vote goes to Samurai Flamenco for a collector's edition that comes with a Guillotine Gorilla figure.

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