Chiaki meditates on post-apocalyptic fiction and how stories of living with devastation might now offer some comfort.
Linda Kuo provides an intro to disability studies through the lens of Genos and his character arc, from the medical model of disability to cyborgification.
Caitlin, Dee, and Vrai face a lot of big, sweeping emotions and one teeth-grinding cliffhanger.
The season of iyashikei is now.
The Doctor, The Disease, And The Division (Kotaku, Siddhartha Bajracharya)
A personal essay that intertwines playing videogames with working on the front lines of the pandemic.
With the global spread of the coronavirus and the faltering response of the American government, The Division 2 has unavoidably become a mirror to current events and public policy, a game with inherent political messaging despite a few prior, feeble objections from its creators. Of course, video games have always been political. From the already-dated frontier thesis mythology of Oregon Trail, to the delightfully unsubtle Martian analogue of the Iraq insurgency in Red Faction Guerrilla, this is not a challenging concept to comprehend.
Of course, medicine has always been political, too.
Every time I practice medicine I practice politics. Every time I’ve called a pharmacy pleading for my patient’s insulin not to cost as much as their monthly rent. Every time I’ve told someone their kidneys are slowly failing and their life is about to change forever and we have ways to keep them alive and kicking, but I can’t offer them the best and ultimately cheapest treatment—a kidney transplant—due to their immigration status.
Now it’s every time I ask my nursing colleagues to put their health, safety, and families at risk by dialyzing a virus patient who might not survive anyway, wondering if I’m denying someone else a chance at life instead. Now it’s when my resident physician colleagues, working for New York’s largest and wealthiest hospital systems, ask for fair hazard pay for the backbreaking, heartbreaking work we trainees all risk our lives to do now for barely above minimum wage, only to see their pleas coldly dismissed by senior leadership.
Did it matter that I fully upgraded the Theater Settlement if Odessa is still turning refugees away?
Sign language users troubled by mask usage amid virus outbreak (The Asahi Shimbun, Saito Hiroko and Iki Midori)
Opaque masks prevent the reading of facial expressions and lip movement.
Hidekazu Muramatsu, 67, president of software maker NetMelon Inc. in Hamamatsu, thought a transparent mask would help sign language interpreters by making their mouths visible, and developed the see-through gear around 10 years ago.
As production of the unique wear has been suspended, Muramatsu is “looking for companies that will manufacture it.”
Muramatsu decided to “create a transparent mask” when hearing a complaint from an acquaintance who had been hospitalized that, “I could not instantly recognize a nurse who took care of me when I was spoken to on a street because the nurse always wore a mask at the hospital.”
Using a material for the liquid crystal of TVs, Muramatsu finished a film whose inside does not fog up. The 0.1-millimeter-thick curved film can cover from the nose to mouth and be reused if washed and sterilized.
In the World of Otome Games, All Routes Lead To Romance (Anime News Network, Molly Lee)
An introduction to the charms of the genre.
After I discovered Starry Sky, I was hooked… but pickings were slim. The only company releasing ANY official localizations of otome games back then was visual novel publisher JAST USA with Yo-Jin-Bo, and I had money to burn. So when Aksys Games announced an official English localization of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (An otome game! In the mainstream Western market!) to be released on Valentine’s Day 2012, I went out and bought a PSP just to play it. Then I picked up Fate/Extra and Persona 3 Portable, too. Female protagonist options abound! For once in my life, I could romance 2D guys! (And not just as a punchline, like in Kira☆Kira!)
These days, however, dating anime men is a lot more mainstream. Following the success of Hakuōki (and later, Code:Realize), Aksys Games in particular has continued to localize otome games for the console market. Additionally, JAST USA recently returned to the otome scene with TAISHO x ALICE episode 1, and a third visual novel publisher, MangaGamer, has since entered the fray with OZMAFIA!! in 2016. So what makes otome games so good, anyway?
The comment came from the Osaka mayor after a spike of new diagnosed cases in Japan.
The mayor’s comments prompted popular Japanese journalist Shoko Egawa to tweet that “people who know nothing about daily life shouldn’t make comments.”
Egawa’s tweet gleaned over 3,000 retweets, with one social media user tweeting that Matsui had probably never done the shopping himself.
Japan remains a largely male-dominated society. The country is ranked 110 out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest global gender gap index. The country also ranks bottom among the G7 countries for gender equality, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to empower working women through a policy called “womenomics.”
Let ‘Em Sew: Flight Attendants and Sexism in Japan’s COVID-19 Crisis (Unseen Japan, Harumi Sasaki)
A round-up of stories of sexism women in Japan in various professions have faced during the pandemic.
ANA holdings explained in an April 16 article that the sewing task would be offered to both male and female employees who are willing, regardless of occupation. No one knows whether the medical gowns, to be potentially sewn by the airline company personnel, will be up to medical grade standards.
Many people empathize with the anonymous nurse’s distrust toward the government that had to halt sending face masks to pregnant women, since more than 7800 masks sent turned out to be dirty. Some masks distributed to households contained hair, bugs, or mold, raising concerns about their safety. While some of the masks have been recalled, the damage to public trust has already been done.
For nonregular workers, request to ‘stay home’ does not apply (The Asahi Shimbun, Naito Hisashi, Takahashi Mana and Shintaku Ayumi)
Many vulnerable individuals are left without options for a safe working environment.
“I have no other choice but to go to work at the office,” a nonregular worker said. “Otherwise, the company won’t pay me.”
As of April 16, nearly 4,000 people had consulted labor offices about paid vacation, which is not available to many temporary and nonregular workers and subcontractors.
To avoid the trains, the pregnant woman used up all her paid vacation days. From early April, she felt compelled to miss work to protect the health of herself and her unborn baby.
The temp staff agency denied her request to receive part of her pay as compensation, saying her work absence was decided “on her own.”
VIDEO: A retrospective on Yuasa Masaaki’s early series KAIBA.
TWEET: Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride is holding an online celebration this week. The relevant threads are available on their account.
THREAD: Translation/discussion of a letter alleging LDP officials acted inappropriately while visiting Tsubomi Café, a shelter for teenage girls.
THREAD: Introduction to Japanese feminist writers.
Thanks to everyone for coming out with their best comforting recommendations.