Weekly Round-Up, 22-28 March 2023: Age of Consent Raised, Josei Recommendations, and Japanese Novel Translations

By: Anime Feminist March 28, 20230 Comments
a girl blows into a pink conch shell

AniFem Round-Up

The Infantilization and Sexualization of Inoue Orihime in Bleach

A case study in how an increasing amount of fanservice affected the quality of Orihime’s character arc.

Ugly Things Cannot Be Loved: Penguindrum and the Dilemma of Yuri

On a messy show’s most prominent unresolved thread, and how it can stand in for discussions of trauma and unresolved tensions in the quest for transformative justice.

What LGBTQ+ anime or manga gives you joy?

It seems like something we could all use a bit of.

Beyond AniFem

Japan launches G-7 focus group for LGBTQ rights ahead of summit (Nikkei Asia, Alice French)

Pride7 will start as an unofficial group and hopes to help advance rights worldwide.

Japan currently has no laws prohibiting anti-LGBTQ hate speech, although Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is looking to pass an act promoting “an increase in understanding” of sexual diversity during the current Diet session, which is set to finish in June.

“That [LGBTQ rights] are not protected by Japanese law sends a message to the population that we are not worth protecting,” Yoda told Nikkei Asia. 

The government’s proposed “understanding” bill does not explicitly prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination, but states that businesses and administrative organizations must not “unfairly discriminate” on the basis of sexuality or gender identity. Kishida told the Diet’s lower house last month he does not consider Japan’s lack of legal recognition for same-sex marriage to be “unfair discrimination.”

The bill has garnered backlash from LGBTQ rights activists and opposition politicians who argue it would not offer sexual minorities any protection from discrimination, such as in the workplace or when seeking medical care. 

Japan OKs bill to reform sexual offense charge and raise age of consent (The Japan Times)

The law will take effect 20 days after its public declaration this year.

Some actions that would not be charged under the current system due to the vague definition of what is punishable may become illegal under the new amendments.

The amendments will also criminalize sex with children under the age of 16 by raising the legal age of consent from 13.

Japan’s current age of consent has remained unchanged since its enactment in 1907 and is one of the lowest among developed nations.

While the changes will make sexual intercourse with a person under 16 illegal regardless of consent, an exception is provided for cases in which an individual between the ages of 13 to 15 years has intercourse with a person less than five years older.

Important Site’s Production & Funding Updates (Article output, Patreon realities, & a little heart-to-heart) (Yatta-Tachi, Katy Castillo)

A technical update on the site, by its Editor-in-Chief and AniFem’s website designer.

On top of that, I will be bringing back our Things We Saw Around the Web articles. I’m going to aim to get them out every two weeks. If you are part of our discord and you see something you want me to include in the roundup, we have a channel you can drop it into and get listed in the thank-you section at the end of the article.

Also, in the coming weeks, we will be opening up the opportunity for folks outside of staff to be able to write for us & are possibly looking for another editor. I really want us to diversify our content more so and to make bigger motions to lift up marginalized voices. This has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but we didn’t have the capacity monetarily to be able to do so.

Which leads me to our next topic unfortunately…

This month we had a large drop in Patreon pledges.

Chainsaw Man Creator Asks Fans To Read Gay Porn, Fans Go Hell Yeah (Kotaku, Sisi Jiang)

While some Twitter users have predictably gone too far, it is nice to see Fujimoto use his platform to promote his assistants’ work.

“This is a one-shot by the assistant who is helping with the background of Chainsaw Man,” he wrote in Japanese, in a tweet which we’ve machine translated. “It’s R18, but it’s interesting, so please read it. Thank you.”

What an icon. Not only is Fujimoto an ally to the gays, he’s willing to use his platform to promote his subordinates’ work. The magazine is a compilation of “boys love” comics which depict gay relationships between young men, and R-18 is a Japanese rating that indicates explicit content. You can preview a small sample of pages from the anthology by clicking the orange button on this site. I can’t read Japanese, but the art is quite good. It also warms my heart that one of my favorite manga series is being illustrated by someone who enjoys gay yearning as much as I do.

Japan NPO urges sex workers in trouble to seek help to prevent tragedies (The Mainichi, Kosuke Yamamoto)

The nonprofit’s recent announcement coincides with the case of a sex worker charged with abandoning the body of her child, who was dead at birth.

During questioning of the accused, she revealed that she had not consulted with anyone about her pregnancy and had not seen an obstetrician due to financial reasons. She said in a voice barely audible, “I feel so sorry for my baby. I will make offerings every day and do my best to lead a decent life.”

Shingo Sakatsume, 41, representative director of Niigata-based nonprofit organization “Futerasu,” expressed his concern, saying, “Such a case is just the tip of the iceberg. Many people are isolated because they are unable to seek advice.”

The organization has been listening to the concerns of women working in the sex industry and connecting them to relevant bodies such as administrative agencies and lawyers. It has been offering free consultation meetings since 2015, and also accepts consultations via Twitter and the Line free messaging app. The counseling covers a wide range of issues, including debt, problems with clients, sexual violence and pregnancy.

According to Futerasu, there were 874 consultations in 2019, but in 2020, the number reached a record high of 2,929 due to a string of people losing their jobs as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. In 2022, a preliminary figure of 2,267 consultations were received.

Some people are apparently hesitant to seek help because they fear that their parents or others will find out that they have been working in the sex trade. Sakatsume said, “We will keep your secret. Please feel free to consult with us instead of keeping your concerns to yourself.”

2023 Upcoming Japanese Fiction Releases (Alison Fincher Reads Japanese Lit)

List of Japanese novels with upcoming English translations.

Things change quickly in the publishing industry. I’ve made my best attempt to be comprehensive. Please contact me if I have missed any titles.

Thank you to the Goodreads Japanese Literature Group for pooling information.

See a list of all new releases available to order or preorder at RJL’s Bookshop.

See a list of titles released in 2022.

Ex-SDF member, victim of sexual abuse, fights on as judo teacher (The Asahi Shimbun, Midori Iki)

Gonoi’s attackers were indicted on charges of indecent assault.

A woman from Chiba Prefecture, 49, who works at a law firm took part in the event after learning about it on Twitter.

She said her heart ached after meeting Gonoi.

“A young woman had to go through such battles,” the woman said.

She said that she was sexually harassed when she worked at a manufacturer. She was asked to entertain attendees at a drinking party and was once left alone with a business partner at an after-party.

“I had to endure it with a smile,” she said. “Since our generation did so, young people are still suffering today.”

However, when she saw Gonoi happily teaching judo, she was glad that “she was moving to the next step.”

“The trial and other battles may continue, but that’s not what life is all about,” the woman said. “I hope she can detach herself from it and enjoy the rest of her life.”

THREAD: How manga artist Yuzaki Sakaomi has consistently supported the LGBTQ+ community.

THREAD: Suggestions for those looking to read more josei manga.

TWEET: Journalist Hirokawa Ryuichi has sued the outlet that broke the story of Hirokawa’s employees alleging he committed sexual abuse.

AniFem Community

Thank you for the dose of joy, AniFam.

Listen LISTEN you want to experience true joy? Round up some of your friends and mainline all of Gakuen Handsome in one sitting. Enjoy the humor in this little BL parody short. And this is the most important step: have everyone attempt to copy the dance moves in the ED for every episode. You will laugh yourselves silly, guaranteed!  If that's not your speed, my more traditional suggestions are Yuri!!! on Ice for anime and My Love Mix-Up! for manga. Nothing will ever beat YOI at being a balm in a troubling time (Fall 2016). And MLMU is such a delight every volume it has me running out to my comic shop on release day every time when usually I wait for several held items to accumulate before going in.

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