Weekly Round-Up, 22-28 July 2020: Ghost of Tsushima, Euthanasia Investigation, and Kurly in Kansai

By: Anime Feminist July 28, 20200 Comments
close-up of an unimpressed girl with penguins in the background to imply how cold her mood is

AniFem Round-Up

Magical Girls as Metaphor: Why coded queer narratives still have value

Sara Khan on why pushing for more explicit representation doesn’t mean that queer-coded narratives aren’t still powerful and worth celebrating.

Anime Feminist Recommendations of Spring 2020

The team celebrates their faves of last season’s finished shows.

Who’s your favorite magical girl?

Modern or classic, there are plenty to choose from.

Beyond AniFem

Ghost of Tsushima, Kurosawa, and the political myth of the samurai (Polygon, Kazuma Hashimoto)

Unpacking the PS4 game’s Kurosawa homages and the ways in which the concept of the samurai has been claimed by nationalist narratives.

In an interview with The Verge, Fox said that “our game is inspired by history, but we’re not strictly historically accurate.” That’s keenly felt throughout the story and in its portrayal of the samurai. The imagery and iconography of the samurai carry a burden that Sucker Punch perhaps did not reckon with during the creation of Ghost of Tsushima. While the game doesn’t have to remain true to the events that transpired in Tsushima, the symbol of the samurai propagates a nationalist message by presenting a glossed-over retelling of that same history. Were, at any point, Ghost of Tsushima to wrestle with the internal conflict between the various class systems that existed in Japan at the time, it might have been truer to the films that it draws deep inspiration from. However, Ghost of Tsushima is what it set out to be: a “cool” period piece that doesn’t dwell on the reasonings or intricacies of the existing period pieces it references.

INTERVIEW: Anime in America With Yedoye Travis (But Why Tho?, LeNeysha Campbell)

Podcast interview about Travis’ new miniseries on anime’s growing popularity in the US.

In this interview, LaNeysha and Kate talk with Yedoye about his anime origin story, Anime in America, and of course whether or not he thinks Neysha will finish all 1000 episodes of One Piece by December 31, 2020. We also get into a discussion about gatekeepers, and why anime is for all of us.

Over eight episodes, Anime in America will cover a variety of topics with the first two episodes titled “Ep 1: IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS FANSUBS” and “Ep 2: ROBOTS, REAL ESTATE, AND SILVIO BERLUSCONI.” In the first episode, Yedoye explains how before you could go online to watch literally any and every anime…you had to send a letter, a check, and wait a few months for a VHS of maybe 4 episodes. Plus how doing that was also, doing that was a crime. with guest Justin Sevakis. For the second episode, Yeodye takes listeners down the messy world of localization, and how that doesn’t stop Harmony Gold from mashing up a few shows to create the first big anime, Robotech.

Black Lives Matter Outside the US (Kurly in Kansai)

Podcast discussion of why BLM is also important in Japan.

Our friend Rei from the UK helps us discuss why BLM is important outside of the US and in Japan.

Black Lives Matter Kansai link

ALS patients fear ‘mercy killing’ case will promote death over life (The Asahi Shimbun, Tanaka Yoko, Hatayama Atsuko, Morimoto Miki, and Tsuji Tokiko)

The cases discussed in the article do not include patient consent but rather decisions made by doctors and family members for disabled and chronically ill patients.

Taku Watanabe is a member of the Kyoto-based Japan Center for Independent Living, which provides support to those with uncurable diseases or disabilities.

He mentioned the case of Satoshi Uematsu, who was sentenced to death for murdering 19 disabled people at the Tsukui Yamayurien care home in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Uematsu had argued that people with serious disabilities should be euthanized.

“If euthanasia is thought of in a more positive way, that could lead to eugenics,” Watanabe said. “I believe it is the responsibility of society to provide support to allow for continued living regardless of what situation an individual is placed in as well as to change the environment that may force some to feel that they would rather die.”

Doctors in the past have been found guilty of murder for carrying out what they thought constituted euthanasia through, for example, lethal injections. However, the halting of life-prolonging treatment has not been treated in the same way.

Manga Artist Sumito Ōwara Responds to Following CG Erotic Art of Child Characters on Pixiv (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

The author of the Eizouken manga was following several artists who drew photorealistic pornographic art of prepubescent children in addition to 2D-style erotica.

On Sunday, Ōwara wrote: “I followed 3D artists whose work I thought was good for referential material without knowing about the illicit content, that is, until people overseas certified that it is pedophilia. That’s all I have to say. It’s ridiculous. I guess photorealistic content isn’t treated the same way was 2D…I don’t really get it. I don’t usually talk about this sort of thing but this is a serious topic. I know others in this situation usually say things like, ‘How do I explain?’ but all I can say is ‘I don’t get it.’ Anyway, I don’t care. Honestly, people assume things like, ‘If you follow this kind of erotic artist online, that’s the type of person you are too!’ [crab emoji]. That’s all I have to say about this topic.”

Ōwara has since quit following the erotic artists on pixiv.

Redefining the kimono in modern times (The Japan Times, Andrew McKirdy)

Several Japanese designers speak on the changing role of the kimono in modern Japan.

Many of the stores in Asakusa are geared exclusively toward tourists, but Otomo says his establishment attracts mostly Japanese customers.

“Japanese people don’t often get the chance to wear a kimono,” says Otomo, who says around 80 percent of his customers are women, most of them in their teens or 20s. “It’s like a magical feeling that you don’t get in your everyday life. It’s like when you go to Disneyland and get dressed up in Disney goods and spend the day in the land of dreams. You change out of your everyday clothes and into a kimono, then spend the day walking around a traditional Japanese area eating traditional Japanese sweets. People want to have a different experience from their everyday lives, and that’s why they rent kimonos.”

TWEET: Link to Japanese article and trending tag in Japan regarding sexual assault.

TWEET: Spotlight of an upcoming Japanese book for middle-graders deconstructing why certain common phrases can be hurtful.

TWEET: Video talking through basic social justice topics in Japanese (in this case, homophobia).

THREAD: Interview with a cosplayer, pictured her as Anthy Himemiya.  

AniFem Community

It’s great to see all the magical girl love, AniFam! What a great genre.

I will always stan Sailor Neptune, the OG smug cunning lesbian magical girl for a world that may or may not be worth saving.  I'm usually drawn to more complex characters and relationships, and I think you more often get that in series focused on a single protagonist. At least when she has a good variety of supporting characters to bounce off of - family, friends, rivals, lovers, characters who tick several of those boxes. Ensemble series can do that, too, but even with a larger episode count it's a tough balancing act.  For "dark" magical girls I'd have to go with Homura Akemi. For entirely unrelated reasons, I swear.
Ojamajo doremi... I remember I was devastated to learn the DVD editions wouldn't go past the early seasons I'd seen 2000times on TV (france), unlike cardcaptor sakura that got all its seasons on disc. I'm afraid this will eventually become another case of lost media.
I haven't actually watched that many magical girl shows but I'd say my favorite girls are Princess Tutu, and Cure Amour from Hugtto.  Single MGs are also more likely to catch my eye for some reason? It's just when I look at a poster or a clip from a show and there's this superpowered girl doing her own thing, it's somehow more striking than when you have a team of palette swaps... especially if it's a LARGE team. But it's not necessarily a dealbreaker, it's just team shows tend to look more cookie-cutter to me and thus less likely to catch my eye.  So relatedly, I don't really look much for 'archetypes' and I'm not sure which ones would be my favorites. I just tend to favor the girls who are a good mix of "very good, doofy gal" and "tragic backstory," ahaha.  I don't really watch enough of "dark" magical girl shows to have much of an opinion on their archetypes, though on a side note I feel it might be more accurate to distinguish them into all-ages MG shows vs. adult MG shows? "Dark" feels a bit more vague of a term since I see it used to indicate anything from "It's a show made for and appropriate for little girls but the plot has serious stakes at hand and I don't associate those with kid's shows," to "this show includes depictions of realistic violence and gore and explicitly tackles triggering issues."  (Is this pet peeve brought about by people going "Oh, Princess Tutu is SUPER DARK, it's like Madoka but BETTER" and totally misrepresenting the show and what ACTUALLY makes the show good? Yes. Yes it is.)

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