While Nodoka’s illness is magical, her story evokes the challenges of managing a chronic illness for a young audience.
The season’s a little thin on overtly progressive themes, but there’s plenty of fun action and chill vibes.
Alex, Toni, and Peter check-in on a light and breezy Summer season!
It’s rough going, but there are a few.
In Rare Move, Japanese Pop Star Comes Out Publicly as Gay (The New York Times, Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida)
Interviewed activists noted it was the first time a pop star at his level of fame had come out publically.
To his friends, the news was often a surprise. But many, including fellow band members from AAA, showed up on Wednesday to cheer him on. “The word ‘diversity’ started becoming more common, but how to take in that word is still a very difficult issue in Japan,” said Misako Uno, 37, a member of AAA, in a backstage interview. “I want to be a good cushion” for him.
Writing his memoir, Mr. Atae said, was a way to soft-pedal his eventual announcement to fans.
“I figured it was not a good idea to just suddenly say ‘I am gay,’” he said.
Mr. Atae’s decision, he said, was not political. All he wanted, he said, was to “normalize” being gay.
On the day before his announcement, a stylist, a makeup artist, a publicist and several assistants trailed Mr. Atae during a photo shoot where he wore a Céline shirt and John Lawrence Sullivan trousers. He seemed relaxed, despite repeating how nervous he felt.
Coming out, he knew, would likely draw criticism. “Whatever you do, there will be haters,” he said. “I can only focus on the people I might be helping.”
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Author Talks About His Disability, Gender Identity, and PC Culture (Anime News Network, Richard Eisenbeis)
The artist wrote a thread about his learning disability, upbringing, and how it informs his work.
He went to average yet diverse schools filled with kids of many different nationalities. Yet, school life was hard for him.
“There were all kinds of people at school. I put out a lot of negative energy and received a lot of it, too, I think. I was bullied and also had trouble keeping up with some of my studies, which led to me skipping class.”
It was during his early school days that he confronted his gender identity for the first time.
“Although I was a boy, I liked cute things like hamsters and stuffed animals, but in elementary school, for the first time, I was told, “Those are for girls,” by a girl. [Even now,] I feel that my gender identity is unstable and my sense of belonging to my gender is small. I only identify myself as a man because my body is male.”
Much of what he experienced is now mirrored in Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with my upbringing, but ever since I was in middle school and high school, I preferred unusual types of characters and unexpected developments rather than predictable stories and characters with familiar roles.
Now I am writing that way in the stories I draw myself. I mix in the realism that I have felt rather than the conventional standard. The main characters have something going on, and the school is filled with people from various backgrounds.”
Manga Planet to Add Blue Lock, Boys Run the Riot, Cardcaptor Sakura, More Kodansha Manga (Anime News Network, Adriana Hazra)
The service has an affordable subscription price but no app.
The new titles will include, among others:
Melanin Friendly Games – Karamu (Blerdy Otome, Naja)
The hour-long game is free on itch.io.
Intense is an understatement, Karamu is a nail-biter of an experience. While the game is advertised as a story about a clingy yandere ex-boyfriend, that is the least outrageous part of this game. I never thought I’d say this, but I found myself almost wishing for the safe protective bars of cage-kun.
Karamu is a story that plays on our very real fears and anxieties, twisting them into an intriguing (and at times unsettling) experience. With its atmospheric, intimate setting and twisted story, Karamu is a stand out among some of the other game jam games I’ve played. The addition of voice acting and Live2D animation breathe life into this story and its characters.
Each new twist and turn ramps up the tension, drawing us deeper into the web that is Nelli and Raku’s relationship—for better or worse.
Assembly member Kuwazuru is 35 while Sawada is 63.
In June and July, Sawada posted messages slandering Kuwazuru, who belongs to the Democratic Party for the People, such as by calling her “Kuwa-buta.” “Buta” means pig in Japanese.
He has also called an assembly committee to which Kuwazuru belongs as a “group of idiots.”
Kuwazuru told a press conference in Tokyo on Monday that she was emotionally hurt and “struggling.” She also said Sawada exposed in the chat her residence address that was not made public.
The incident has come to light by an anonymous whistleblower who claimed to be an official of Shibuya Ward. Sawada was serving his second term as deputy mayor of the ward and also had experience working at major advertising agency Hakuhodo Inc.
Many A-bomb survivors not recognized by government (The Asahi Shimbun, Mami Okada and Emika Terashima)
There are over 6000 who aren’t legally recognized, and thus don’t receive full medical support from government funds.
Those recognized as hibakusha are, in principle, entitled to free medical expenses and can receive a monthly health care allowance of about 30,000 yen ($209) for specific illnesses.
The government’s stance is that hibaku taikensha “are not directly affected by radiation.”
Unless hibaku taikensha are diagnosed as having a mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the bombing, they cannot receive subsidies for medical expenses.
The subsidies are more limited than those for recognized hibakusha.
“Why is a mental disorder the condition for us?” Iwanaga said. “I can’t accept that. Isn’t that discrimination?
“We want (the government) to recognize us as hibakusha. We’re not saying this just because we want support.”
This Gundam Anime Is Gay, No Matter What Its Owners Say (Kotaku, Michael Lee)
Executive cowardice has clashed repeatedly against the efforts of the creative team.
Speaking out against the anime production committees that dole out the work to animation studios is a dangerous game. In most of her press for Yuri! On Ice, creator and director Sayo Yamamoto played nice, answering softball questions that never directly addressed the very obvious love playing out on screen between Yuki and Victor. But, in the Yuri! On Ice fanbook “Go Yuri Go!” from 2017, Yamamoto claimed that Yuri! On Ice had been censored outside of her control and that she had to fight to keep a kiss between Yuri and Victor in the final cut of the show.
Since then, Yamamoto has not gotten any other projects. To have arguably the biggest hit of 2016, receive critical acclaim from your own industry, and then not be given any work doesn’t add up. MAPPA has tied Yamamoto to the Yuri! On Ice movie project and essentially strung her out for six years, leaving her in a kind of anime purgatory. In an industry where the slightest scandal can lead to blacklisting, the idea that Yamamoto is being punished for wanting to go all-in on a queer narrative is not so far-fetched.
The Witch From Mercury is still queer
One of the major themes that the Gundam franchise returns to time and again is acceptance and understanding. The father of Gundam himself, Yoshiyuki Tomino, has been writing stories for decades pleading with the audience to find that understanding and embrace one another. The Witch From Mercury feels like a huge step towards realizing that dream, specifically as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community.
The Witch From Mercury delivered on what it promised from episode one. In that first episode: Suletta is named as Miorine’s groom after winning a mobile suit duel. When Suletta asks Miorine if the two of them can even be bride and groom, Miorine states “it’s common here, I guess where you’re from is a little more conservative.” Now, with the entire series complete and the PR mess left in its wake, that line holds even more weight, and it seems ever more likely that the team behind The Witch From Mercury fought tooth and well-manicured nail to even give us as much queerness as we got.
VIDEO: Josei manga recommendations.
TWEET: Osaka courts told a woman trying to slander a transgender lawyer online to pay 800,000 yen in damages.
TWEET: A 1953 film made collaborating with Hiroshima bombing survivors, once thought lost, is now available online for free.
Nice shout-outs, AniFam.