Weekly Round-Up, 2-8 December 2020: Harassment Lawsuit, Naomi Osaka Manga, and Gift Guide

By: Anime Feminist December 8, 20200 Comments
a girl angrily chopping a carrot in two with a steaming knife

AniFem Round-Up

Aq-ward Feelings: Discussing the experiences of female and queer Love Live! fans

Eryn Dearden shares her history as a queer fan of Love Live, and her experiences run counter to the expectation that idol series are only for cishet men.

Art as Discovery, Art as Hope: Kamatani Yuhki, x-gender and asexual mangaka

Half of Kamatani’s works are now available in English via Seven Seas Entertainment; here’s Karleen on why it’s so powerful to read manga by and for the LGBTQ+ community.

Chatty AF 130: Return of Shonen Jump

Peter, Chiaki, and Faye dive back in and look at the Jump titles that have been added to the app since April.

Are there any anime you revisit every year?

Sometimes it’s comfort food, sometimes a rewatch yields fresh perspective.

Beyond AniFem

‘I want to feel in my heart Japan is home’: S. Korean activist on a history of prejudice (The Mainichi, Mei Nanmo and Yoshiya Goto)

Shin Minja works to preserve the history of the massacre of Zainichi Koreans in Japan, who were scapegoated in the wake of the 1923 Kanto earthquake.

SM: It’s hard for Zainichi Koreans to lead their lives. That hasn’t changed. Discrimination toward Korean people has continued on a level that makes me wonder how it could be so. When my son was looking for part-time work, he gave his real name at an interview and didn’t get the job, but when he used his Japanese name he got hired. North Korean schools are not eligible for subsidies that waive high school and day care fees. These are acts of hatred fuelled by nationalism. Amid all this, people hide their place of birth, and there are even children with Korean heritage who make sure to speak in Japanese when they’re on the train.

MS: You’ve spent many years working on Hosenka’s activism to tell people about the massacre. What’s been the thinking behind it, and what do you do?

SM: My efforts have been to increase the number of people who won’t kill me. What has been especially significant is the Memorial Monument for Korean Victims, which serves as a symbol to say the killings will not be repeated. I was very happy when it was erected in Yokoamicho Park in 1973.

In places including Sumida Ward’s Yahiro neighborhood, one of the places where the massacres took place, our staff compiled accounts of the time that local people contributed, and built the memorial monument. It’s the only initiative of its kind in the capital. We explain the history of the massacres to people who come to visit, and hold cooking classes and Pungmul practice (a traditional Korean art). It’s become a place for people to meet one another.

This Time, a Cartoon Depiction of Naomi Osaka Is More True to Life (The New York Times, Tiffany May)

The special issue will portray Osaka fighting aliens with space tennis, which is objectively awesome.

In an advertisement for an instant noodle brand, Ms. Osaka, the daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian-American father, was shown with light skin in an anime-style depiction. Her fans called it whitewashing.

“I’m tan,” Ms. Osaka said at the time. “It’s pretty obvious.”

So this year, as a manga magazine in Japan worked on an issue that will portray Ms. Osaka as an alien-vanquishing intergalactic tennis champion, it insisted on getting major details right.

This time, Ms. Osaka will, indeed, be tan.

The magazine, Nakayoshi, “was very careful on that subject,” said Ms. Osaka’s sister, Mari Osaka, 24, a professional tennis player and illustrator who was a consultant on the project.

“They were the ones who came up to me, and they were like: ‘We have to get the skin color right. What percentage darkness should it be?’” she said in a phone interview this week.

Another Holiday Shopping Guide for The Magical Girl Loving Fans in Your Life (Black Nerd Problems, Carrie McClain)

A second round of gift suggestions from online indie retailers.

I didn’t expect the reaction to the first shopping guide for magical girl loving fans that I put together! So, I knew that I just had to make one more as we slide into December! The holidays are coming up and you may find yourself at a loss on what to get your favorite hottie who is secretly a magical warrior who only wants to bring peace and love to earth? What about your cousin who wants to protect the Rose Bride? Your fave neighbor who seamlessly uses technology in their quest to fight the evil forces that prey upon the innocent?

Your fave person in the in the group chat who also just may be a duck that transforms into a talented prima ballerina? Or maybe you just want to send a “cheer up bish, things will get better (hopefully?)” gift to your favorite magical non-binary person? Hell, maybe you are tired AF from this year and just want to buy yourself something by means of self-care? Here’s your sign, treat yourself! ✨✨TREAT YOURSELF 💖 💖 Here’s another handy little holiday shopping guide that may offer up some recommendations!

Mamoru Oshii Wants to Do “Girl-Meets-Girl” in Serious Way in His New Anime VLADLOVE (Crunchyroll, Mikikazu Konatsu)

The first episode will be free on YouTube on December 18th, though it’s unclear if it will have subtitles.

Comment from Mamoru Oshii:

I wanted to do “Girl-Meets-Girl” in a serious way. It’s about human connection. That’s why it’s “blood.” There are some words, such as “blood ties” and “friends by blood,” but I wanted to do a story about blood seriously. So it’s “vampire.” Sucking blood might be a symbolic act, but in many ways, I wanted to make it a “blood” story symbolically. And dealing with vampires is a story about a different culture at the same time. It’s a different culture, the so-called “Jingai” (Inhuman Existence). They are human, but not human. They are the sacrifice for someone else as a kind of fate, and they also are the existence that can only be lived at the expense of someone else. It’s a story of an encounter with such a different kind of being and how they are connected. When it comes to the story of blood, it tends to be dark and gloomy, but I wanted to do it in a rather lighthearted way.

Fangirl Trash Can Podcast Episode 2 (Blerdy Otome)

New podcast for lovers of trashy media talk.

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe! I announced back in August that I’d branched out a bit from just writing reviews and jumped into a podcast with  ani-bloggers/YouToubers Lita Kino and Shay Taree called the Fangirl Trash Can Podcast!! We dropped our first episode Umbrellas, Gods + Otome #1 on YouTube a few months ago, but I’m excited to announce that we’re on Anchor now! Yay! AND, we just dropped our second episode.

Kimagure Old Town Road (Anime News Network, Nicholas Dupree & Jean-Karlo Lemus)

Revisiting one of the hallmark 80s rom-com now that it’s available on streaming.

Jean-Karlo: Don’t worry, Kimagure Orange Road. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t give Kyosuke nipples. That said, I think Madoka being more mature than her years or the standards of the genre would normally find is why I have such a bizarre reaction to this series. I’m more used to either everyone in a romance being fairly dense, or everyone being fairly smart (albeit emotional). Here, our hapless protagonist is finding himself having to deal with a paramour who laps him in maturity.

Nick: I can dig it. Unlike something like Rent-A-Girlfriend there’s at least a sense that Kyosuke’s making strides to better himself. Like hey, he learns to shut the fuck up sometimes. I know from experience more teenage boys could stand to figure that particular life lesson out.

Jean-Karlo: Many fans of harem romances make the argument that the protagonist “gets better”. And I know a lot of people who really wave the banner on Rent-A-Girlfriend–they like the protag being as pathetic as he is because they appreciate the growth he makes. (I’ve had more than a few pleasant conversations with those people, more power to ’em.) Gripes aside, Kimagure Orange Road ultimately gets my nod because Kyosuke isn’t a horribly irredeemable lout (although our first glimpse is that Madoka can do way better). Kyosuke’s progress may be “two steps forward, one step back”, but clearly there’s something about him that Madoka likes and appreciates enough to give him the time of day.

Ex-JET teacher sues Nagasaki over incidents of sex misconduct (The Asahi Shimbun, Mizuki Enomoto)

The woman experienced two separate incidents of harassment and assault from the vice principal of her school but was brushed off upon reporting. The plaintiff has a GoFundMe for legal fees.

The woman, who currently lives in the U.S. Midwest, filed the damages lawsuit at the Nagasaki District Court on Aug. 31, demanding 2 million yen ($19,275) in compensation from the prefectural government.

At the first hearing on Oct. 21, the prefectural government asked for a dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice, saying it had no merit.

The woman told The Asahi Shimbun that the recent #MeToo movement gave her a supportive push to take legal action after more than two years had passed.

“People have stood up and more people are listening. Sexual assault is taken more seriously. It is nice to see that,” she said.

While she was still in Japan, a Japanese-American acquaintance told her, “It might be taken as insulting to speak up because you are a foreigner and a woman.”

But witnessing many women speaking out and sharing their traumatic experiences in pursuit of justice and change has given her courage, she said.

The woman is an American of Asian descent.

Assemblywoman who said mayor groped her loses seat in recall vote (The Asahi Shimbun, Hiroyuki Yaginuma)

Some worry this ousting will have a chilling effect on reporting for officials who face sexual harassment.

The famed onsen hot spring resort town with a population of around 6,200 turned into a battlefield between one woman and a male-dominated political system after Arai accused Kusatsu Mayor Nobutada Kuroiwa of sexually assaulting her in an e-book released in November 2019.

After the outcome of the vote emerged, Arai said the recall was “unjust and unreasonable,” implying she was victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by powerful town politicians.

“There is no reason for dismissing me,” she said. “A recall spearheaded by influential figures in the town, such as the mayor and assembly members, runs counter to the philosophy of the recall system.”

She said she plans to continue with her political activities.

Kuroiwa, 73, who has denied the sexual assault allegations, hailed the results of the poll as a “decisive victory.”

TWEET: Podcast postmortem of Rent-A-Girlfriend.

THREAD: Photo thread of disabled cosplayers.

AniFem Community

Thanks for sharing your ones to grow on with us, AniFam!

I haven't really reached the point of scheduling my re-watches, and I'm still prioritizing getting through my backlog queue, but I have definitely rewatched the following series more than once: Sweetness and Lightning, Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun, Hyouka, Ouran High School Host Club, the original Fruits Basket. Generally, the ones I've rewatched multiple times have been relaxing low-stakes stories, or my favorite comedies, or shows that I use to introduce other people to anime.  I'm more likely to rewatch movies on an annual basis - less of a time demand - so I've often rewatched Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Paprika. I might rewatch Tokyo Godfathers for the first time during the holidays.
Maybe not every year, but I definitely try to watch a little Toradora every year around February, late-winter.

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