Weekly Round-Up, 22-28 September 2021: Gay Weddings in Rune Factory, Kageki Shojo Interview, and Death Stranding Update

By: Anime Feminist September 28, 20210 Comments
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AniFem Round-Up

The View from the Sidecar: How Kamen Rider fails its women

A throwback piece for all you tokusatsu fans! Haru details the disappointing treatment of female characters in Kamen Rider overall and a few of the notable exceptions.

“I Am Not a Doll”: Rei Ayanami, escapism, and objectified images of desire

Today’s classic feature is Nicole Veneto’s analysis of Rei as a literal construction of men’s desires and what it says about both the characters and the fanbase that venerated her.

What was your favorite Summer 2021 anime?

We can’t believe the season’s already over either.

Beyond AniFem

Rune Factory 5 Localization Blog #2 (XSeed Games)

XSeed, a company previously noted to remove the game credits for translators who no longer work for them, recently announced that they had pushed for marriage equality in the latest Rune Factory.

he English translation of Rune Factory 5 began in March 2020, right as XSEED transitioned to a work from home model. One of the last things we did as a team in the office was to gather around and discuss the character names and other localization questions, a subject we covered in our first localization blog. We had asked for same-sex marriage to be included in the game as early as 2018 and felt optimistic after it appeared in STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town. However, as we started reviewing design materials and text files, we grew worried that Rune Factory 5 didn’t have it.

We asked our main liaison with the development team—Marvelous’ localization department in Japan—to check their plans for same-sex marriage. They confirmed that it was not planned for Rune Factory 5, but that they would ask about the possibility of adding it. Thankfully, the game’s producer at Marvelous and others within the company agreed that including this feature was important and began to push for it. At the same time, Marvelous’ localization team laid some ground rules for its implementation to make sure that players would have the same experience regardless of which character they pursued.

Kageki Shojo!! Manga Creator Kumiko Saiki and Anime Director Kazuhiro Yoneda (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

Short interviews with the story’s creator and director on their influences and narrative choices.

Sarasa’s dream is to play Lady Oscar of The Rose of Versailles one day, herself. What does Lady Oscar or The Rose of Versailles symbolically mean to Sasara? The same way, what does it mean to yourself? Do you have any professional or personal stories you can share about it?

Kumiko Saiki: Oscar from The Rose of Versailles is Sarasa’s ultimate goal at the Kouka Acting Troupe. That is because it was the first performance by the troupe that Sarasa ever encountered; I think for her young self, it was a fateful and momentous experience, like a bolt from the blue. Oscar was born as a woman but raised as a man in the French revolution. Having been closed off from the male-only world of Kabuki, I suppose that seeing a female-only troupe portray Oscar had a strong meaning for the young Sarasa, even if she wasn’t aware of it yet.

The Rose of Versailles is also special to me—it was the first comic that was ever bought for me. I think I might have been around the age Sarasa was when I encountered it. The first record that was ever bought for me that wasn’t a children’s fable or an anime was the Takarazuka Revue’s stage performance of The Rose of Versailles. I’ve always liked drawing, but because of my exposure to The Rose of Versailles, I started drawing it over and over again. Looking back, I get the feeling that was when it all started; it was how I became fated to become a manga artist later.

The Rose of Versailles never gets any less interesting no matter how many times you read it, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand each of the characters better, and I’ve been able to appreciate it on a deeper level. It’s an absolute masterpiece, so I want everyone who hasn’t read it yet to try it out for themselves.

‘Upskirt’ problem intensifies with easier access to spy cameras (The Asahi Shimbun, Chifumi Shinya)

Activity rises in spring and summer, and cameras are hidden not just in phones but shoes and umbrellas.

According to the National Police Agency, the number of cases of sneak photography in which offenders were arrested or referred to prosecutors in 2019 was 3,953, more than double the 1,741 reported in 2010.

Of the latest number, 2,871 cases involved smartphones and 610 used hidden, compact cameras.

In Osaka Prefecture, the number more than tripled to 257 in 2020 from 78 in 2010.

In the first six months of this year, the figure increased by about 30 percent from the same period the previous year to 144, showing that incidents are occurring at an accelerating rate.

Protesters urge Japan immigration to fully disclose video of detained Sri Lankan who died (The Mainichi, Kazuki Sakuma)

Wishma Sandamali died on March 6th while detained at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

People including members of a students and citizens’ association seeking for the truth about the death of Wishma, formed by multiple foreigner support groups and other organizations, attended the rallies. They held up signs, such as ones reading, “An immigration bureau that disregards the lives of foreign nationals doesn’t have the authority to detain and repatriate them,” and called on passersby to sign a request for full disclosure of the video.

The footage of Wishma that was disclosed to the bereaved family by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan in August was a roughly two-hour edited version of video taken from Feb. 22 to March 6. Lawyers were not permitted to attend while the bereaved family watched the footage.

Poornima, who participated in the rally, recalled, “I was distressed seeing my sister suffering, and couldn’t watch until the end. The documents I received from the immigration bureau were blacked out, and the truth remains unknown.”

Episode 57: ‘Trese’ the Supernatural Anime We Needed (But Why Tho?, LaNeysha Campbell)

Podcast discussion of the recent Netflix anime.

On episode 57 of Did You Have To? podcast the ladies review the supernatural anime Trese. Coming back from hiatus LaNeysha and Kate return to review and discuss their thoughts on the supernatural anime that combines a crime thriller with horror. Trese is a supernatural crime thriller based on the award-winning Filipino komik written by Budjette Tan and with art by KaJO Baldisimo. Tan and Baldismo are the series showrunners with Filipino American Jay Oliva serving as the series’ Executive Director and is written by Tanya Yuson, Zig Marasigan, Mihk Vergara. 

The Netflix Original Anime series combines Filipino folklore with a thrilling crime horror story. The series takes place in Manila, Trese’s world is one where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live and hide in plain sight amongst humans. In this world, detective Alexandra Trese finds goes head to head with a criminal underworld composed of supernatural beings. Where Ghosts commit crimes and creatures hold roundtable meetings.

2 women, political opposites, vying in race for Japan PM (The Mainichi)

While both in the LDP and neither likely to win the nomination, the two women represent opposing right-wing versus liberal positions.

While it’s unlikely either Takaichi or Noda will become prime minister, having two women try for the top job is considered progress for the ruling party. Some experts, however, have criticized Takaichi’s gender policies.

“She will most likely not promote women’s advancements if she wins,” said Sophia University political science professor Mari Miura. “She will emphasize her achievement in breaking the glass ceiling and declare that Japan is already a gender equal country, even that it is ahead of the United States.”

Japan ranked worst among the Group of Seven advanced nations — 120th in a 156-nation gender gap ranking survey of the World Economic Forum in 2021.

Women comprise only about 10% of Japan’s parliament, and analysts say many tend to try to advance by showing party loyalty rather than pursuing gender equality.

Takaichi has supported women’s health and fertility issues, in line with the LDP policy of having women serve in their traditional roles of being good mothers and wives, but she is unlikely to promote women’s rights or sexual diversity, Miura said.

Takaichi, 60, was first elected to parliament in 1993 and her role model is Margaret Thatcher. She has served in key party and government posts, including ministers of internal affairs and gender equality.

A drummer in a heavy-metal band and a motorbike rider as a student, she supports the imperial family’s male-only succession, and opposes same-sex marriage and a revision to the 19th-century civil law that could allow women to keep their maiden name.

Tokyo court orders firm to partially delete online discriminated place names list (The Mainichi, Koji Endo and Kazuhiro Toyama)

The list of Buraku communities was acknowledged to violate residents’ privacy and had the potential to lead to future discrimination in housing or employment.

According to the ruling, Jigensha, based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, announced in February 2016 that it would publish a book listing Dowa area place names, otherwise known as Buraku communities. In addition, the company released on its website at around the same time a list of Buraku Liberation League executives’ names and home addresses.

Though the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau demanded the publisher take down the lists in March 2016, the company’s representative instead posted a new list of place-names online, and did not delete the league executives’ list for about two weeks.

The latest ruling states: “In the light of historical circumstances, people could be at risk of discrimination and slander if it becomes known that they reside or are legally domiciled in the Dowa area.” It also pointed out that it becomes easier to find out if people are from the Dowa area if the list of place-names is released.

It was also ruled that printing and online publication of the list must be prohibited, because “it will be impossible or extremely difficult to recover after people face discrimination in marriage and employment.” The defendant insisted the “suspension of printing and publication is an infringement of academic freedom,” but the claim was dismissed as “having no purpose for the public interest.”

VIDEO: Interview with former Aniplex president about the need for animator unions

THREAD: A SE Asian woman has filed a complaint alleging prejudice on the part of the Tokyo PD

TWEET: An update to that one ace-phobic codex for Death Stranding’s rerelease.

AniFem Community

Here’s to the stars of a somewhat thin season.

Although I did not really watch that many anime this season, my absolute favorite among the ones I did watch was undoubtedly “Aquatope on White Sand”. Despite not going quite on the yuri direction I had hoped it would go, something that I was already expecting given how it was marketed and the considerably high production value (which non-comedy yuri series rarely receive) associated with the work; it did manage to avoid most of the annoying heteronormative tropes and narrative developments which I was afraid would inevitably be a thing with Kai being a relevant character. The anime is still halfway through, so a definitive assessment has to wait until its second cour concludes, but so far I am really satisfied with how much of an emotionally mature masterpiece Aquatope has turned out to be.
I kept up with 3 shows this season and all of them have been great. Kageki Shoujo takes my best show prize and it needs a second season!! In the meantime I'm buying merch (there's a Sarasa Nendoroid on pre-order now) to try to show everyone in charge that there is interest in a season 2.  Aquatope has been very good as well. Really incredible scenery all around and it's definitely been emotionally affecting--it had me crying a few different times over!  Finally, Love Live Superstar. It hasn't been underwhelming, but its scheduling sure has. It took hiatuses for the Olympics and Paralympics and then it recently had another hiatus for ??? reasons ??? and as a result, they're literally just now getting the band together while Kageki and Aquatope are taking the final bows of their seasons. It's been great though, just with some longer waits. Since it's Love Live, it's pretty much guaranteed a second season, and Aquatope already has one coming up too, so fingers crossed we'll go 3 for 3 on "shows I watched this summer getting 2 seasons"!

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