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Vrai explains how the yuri rom-com revitalizes the trope of dramatic miscommunications with its autistic-coded co-lead and exploration of gendered and heteronormative social expectations.
A fun AU for familiar viewers but potentially alienating for newbies.
Yup, it’s that time again already.
Patrons can now listen to our monthly bonus cast, this time chatting about out favorite summer anime popcorn flicks.
INTERVIEW: Boys Run the Riot Author Keito Gaku on Streetwear and Trans Identity (Crunchyroll, Cayla Coats)
Interview with trans mangaka Gaku on his first series and his process.
Watching Ryo build a group of friends he can trust and be open with is incredibly touching. Did you find it important to depict Ryo’s support circle, not just his pain?
I thought it was extremely important. There are scenes in the manga where Ryo feels painfully alone, but a lot of the time, he’s surrounded by friends and not thinking about gender at all. In a sense, you never really “solve” your gender problems, but having people that you can open up to is, I think, the way to to overcome your struggles.
Jin is such a fascinating character! What was the inspiration behind such a rebellious yet supportive character?
Ryo is introverted and has trouble expressing who he is, so I wanted his partner to be his opposite. That’s how I came up with the outgoing, free-spirited Jin, who’s always true to himself.
I think it’s great having X-gender2characters like Kashiwabara appear in the story. What made you decide to have both binary transgender and X-gender characters in your manga?
I wanted to make it a story not just about transgender characters, but a variety of different identities. That’s why I wanted a character who struggles with a non-binary gender identity. Ryo puts a heavy importance on the fact that he’s male, so having Tsubasa’s character is important for showing the story’s stance.
Rally against transgender hate held in Tokyo to highlight legal challenges (The Mainichi, Miyuki Fujisawa)
The article includes video of speeches from the rally.
Tomoya Asanuma, co-president of Transgender Japan, commented, “The requirements to change one’s gender in the family register (in Japan) are very high hurdles. It’s time to ease or eliminate these obstacles.”
Tanomi, a representative for ArienaiDemo, added, “I hope people will speak out against the unbelievable system that discriminates against trans people.”
In Japan, changing one’s sex in the family register requires more stringent measures by law than in other countries, such as having to undergo surgery to lose one’s reproductive functions.
The Queer Games Bundle Is Direct Action for Pride Month (Fanbyte, Ruth Cassidy)
The bundle, priced at $60 with an accompanying pay-what-you-can model, gives money directly to LGBTQ+ artists.
The hope is that the Queer Games Bundle is something that can return annually, and exist at a scale to meaningfully support queer artists’ survival, but even while it isn’t there yet, its impact has already been significant. While it’s easy to think of the costs of game development in terms of salaried staff and studio overheads, people working on small-scale games are typically paying with their own time, or having to purchase assets or software licenses themselves. Contributors to last year’s bundle spoke to me about how the funds helped them pay rent, reduced the strain of the post-college job search or frequently, helped pay for continuing development costs.
For indie developer Jaime Kaiju Marriage, including two of their projects in the Queer Games Bundle — a demo of their detective game Kaiju Noir along with another short game They Live Here Now — paid for the artists needed to finish Kaiju Noir. “Since my games are all personally funded, with a little community support, it was essential,” Marriage said. This year, they’ve put the full version of Kaiju Noir in the bundle as thanks to those who helped fund it.
Many spoke about the sense of community the bundle helps build, particularly among those who live in regions with social and political tensions around being out as LGBTQ+.
“When I first saw the queer game dev bundle go live last year, my eyes lit up, as if I was finally seeing light in the dark,” says Nami, lead developer on a lesbian visual novel called Zeitz Machz. “There are people out there that care about us and are willing to support us. No single word could describe how grateful I feel toward all the people working on the bundle. I immediately wanted to take part in it and this led me here today.”
Racial harassment at universities in focus as Kyoto poll exposes lack of tailored rules (The Mainichi, Kanae Soejima)
Of 18 universities whose survey results were made public, only one had rules specifically against racial harassment as opposed to sexual (18) or power (17) harassment.
When universities were asked if they are aware of the nature of racial harassment at their facilities, all of them responded that they were either “not aware” of it or “unable to disclose” information.
The report cited cases of racial harassment that Itagaki saw and heard which include: a faculty member repeatedly making insulting remarks about South Korea during class; a Zainichi Korean faculty member being directly told by a student that they “hate South Koreans”; and a Korean student being told outside of the university to “die.”
The number of victims of racial harassment is believed to be growing amid worsening sentiment toward China and South Korea. Although legislation has lagged behind for many years, some progress has been made with the revised law on the promotion of labor measures and enrichment of workers’ lives that went into effect in 2020. The law obliges employers to take measures to prevent power harassment. A notice by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has indicated that the workers’ nationality will also be considered when determining whether cases are power harassment.
At the same time, there is currently no clear legal basis for universities to take measures against racial harassment in Japan. Itagaki said, “Each university should define racial harassment in its regulations. In doing so, they will be able to grasp the actual situation and take countermeasures.”
Transgender Manga Artist Launches Manga Inspired By His Youth (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)
The manga debuted this week in the web magazine Kurage Bunch.
The publisher describes the story as follows:
A hidden youth depicted by an LGBT creator. Some 10 years or so ago, a high school student from a regional town named Rino Tachi went to an all-girls school, studied here and there, and enjoyed talking with his female friends. He was an “ordinary” girl, except for his pervasive feeling of unease within his body. A story of “love” set in a time that demanded even more conformity than now, about living one’s fullest life while hiding the discontent. A story about searching for oneself.
In a Q&A included in the publisher’s press release, Kanzaki commented that he wrote the manga as a way of conveying to others with similar experiences that they are not alone. He also hoped that people from all walks of society can identify with the feelings portrayed in the story, which go beyond LGBT-specific issues.
Free sanitary pad dispensers on trial at women’s restrooms in Tokyo, Osaka (The Mainichi, Mei Nammo)
There are currently 70 machines installed across the country.
Under the service dubbed “Toreluna,” two dispensers were installed at Kirarina Keio Kichijoji shopping mall in the Tokyo suburban city of Musashino on May 19. Users who have downloaded a dedicated app on their smartphones can receive sanitary napkins from dispensers installed in women’s restrooms when they scan a QR code posted on the wall of individual stalls. Each user can receive one sanitary pad every two hours, and up to seven pads per month.
When this reporter used the service, the napkin was available in less than a minute, as the service requires no entry of personal data or other information. While some public bathrooms have pad vending machines near the sinks, the new service is available within individual stalls.
Yuri Fukunaga, head of the company’s Toreluna business department, said, “It is often the case that women notice their period has unexpectedly come when they’re inside the individual restroom stall. We’ve made it possible for women to use sanitary items right away without emerging from the stall and being spotted by others or having to run to a convenience store to get one.”
TWEET: Announcement that Seven Seas has decided to voluntarily recognize its union.
THREAD: Discussion of how white women as a group place high importance on being liked, and how threats to that can result in those same women weaponizing their social position against critics (particularly BIPOC).
THREAD: Translation of an account from a maiko about sexual harassment and abuse she has experienced and observed in her profession, with the top note that the original poster has also been vocally transphobic.
TWEET: Link to new open-source website “Behind the Camera: Gender, Power, and Politics in the History of Japanese Photography.”
TWEET: Link to an open-access website of Japanese artwork in the public domain.
A Science Saru anime and a reboot of a beloved magical girl series, you say?