AniFem spoke with Watanabe’s co-director about the series’ production and how they approached writing its marginalized characters.
Zeldaru highlights the way the film reworks its source material to highlight Josee’s search for community and make her a multi-faceted heroine.
This month’s post is geared toward providing tools to check for safety and credentials when seeking mental health care online.
The team is a little loopy from the heat and decides to take their recs for the “dog days of summer” in a rather literal direction.
A retrospective on how the series and its creative team came together.
In the end, there’s nothing quite like Princess Tutu out there. A very casual and personal pitch was stuck in pre-production limbo for many years, with all the issues we’ve detailed and then some; for one, there’s also the fact that some producers intended them to shift what they’d always envisioned as a show for girls to enjoy into something more aimed at guys. While all those struggles aren’t something to celebrate, this team led by Ikuko Itoh and Junichi Sato turned them into fuel for their bold disruption of storytelling and anime production practices. Situations like this happened quite literally all the way through Princess Tutu‘s existence. As older viewers might remember, that includes the second arc of the show being delivered in a bizarre fashion on TV; the greed of its committee leader Starchild led to its original TV slot reconverting into a half-length once meant to fit twice as many shows, with the slight problem that the pivot happened while they were broadcasting full-length titles they had to chop in half. And that’s how Princess Tutu, a 26 episodes show, aired for 38 weeks—culminating a decade of unusual happenings that feel as if a higher power was obsessed with making this story about telling stories as transgressive as possible. Given the team’s goals, that does sound like a smashing success!
PHOTOS: The Sailor Moon 30th Anniversary Museum is a Nostalgia-Filled Treat (Crunchyroll, Alicia Haddick)
A photo recap/walkthrough of the exhibit.
The Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi and the original anime series both recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, with the reach and influence of this defining magical girl series still felt by fans old and new from around the world. Whether you’re someone who fell in love with the original manga or anime, or came in later through the various releases like Sailor Moon Crystal, appreciation for the series remains high. Celebrating this milestone, a new exhibit has opened at the Sony Music Roppongi Museum, marking the franchise’s anniversary in style.
The aim of the exhibit is less about simply remembering the works themselves and more about recapturing the experience of being a fan of this franchise over the last 30 years. What this means is that for all this exhibit does a great job of chronicling the anime and manga over the years and featuring the original work, its one that considers the influence of the franchise and the way it has touched people, including the inevitable waves of merchandise that followed its phenomenal success.
Flaws in Japan’s legal system make hate crime hard to punish: experts (The Asahi Shimbun, Kotaro Chigira)
Discussion was reignited by a recent arson case wherein the perpetrator vocally admitted to being motivated by hatred for Koreans.
A senior investigator told the Mainichi Shimbun, “It is not necessary to recognize discriminatory intent when processing arson as a criminal case.” Even if the incident stemmed from discriminatory motives, there is no relevant law in Japan that provides a basis to consider such motives when determining a criminal sentence.
In 2009, anti-Korean group Zaitokukai (an abbreviated name for the “Association of citizens against special privileges for Korean residents in Japan”) carried out hate speech near Kyoto Chosen Daiichi elementary school, a pro-Pyongyang school in the city. Members of the group made calls like “Koreans, get out of Japan,” and the group was accused of forcible obstruction of business. However, the ruling did not go as far as recognizing the motive of racial discrimination, and all four accused individuals, including executives, were given suspended sentences.
Why is it difficult for discriminatory motives to be reflected clearly in criminal sentences? Yasuko Morooka, a lawyer familiar with hate speech issues, pointed out, “The Japanese government has not provided a clear definition of hate crime in the first place, nor has it indicated standards.”
Amid a standstill, the Japan Network towards Human Rights Legislation for Non-Japanese Nationals & Ethnic Minorities, a group consisting of researchers and lawyers, submitted a recommendation on hate crime countermeasures to the Minister of Justice in April. The group has demanded that the government issue a declaration to eradicate hate crime, create guidelines for applying existing laws to such cases, and establish a comprehensive law to eliminate racial discrimination.
Stop justifying conversion therapy (Change.org, Japanese Christians Against the Nashville Statement)
Firmly rejecting the push for conversion therapy and affirming LGBTQ+ inclusivity in their approach to faith.
A new Christian group can now be added to the list of influential religious organizations in Japan who perpetuate harmful discourse against LGBTQ+ people. Joining the likes of the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership and the Unification Church, this new Christian group founded last month openly justifies practices related to conversion therapy. We as followers of Christ feel compelled to raise our voice in protest as we begin this petition.
Nashville Statement” translated into Japanese
The Network for Biblical Understanding of Sexuality (NBUS) has translated into Japanese the “Nashville Statement” which was released in August 2017 by Evangelical leaders mainly in the U.S. and has since been used to deny the rights of sexual minorities to authentically live out their true selves.
Coming of Age and Dystopia in ‘Shinsekai Yori’ (Baka Banter Podcast)
Podcast discussion of From the New World.
‘Shinsekai Yori’ tells a complex coming of age story set in a dystopian society with unique fantasy elements. Ionatan and Ravi dive deep into the series, breaking down how mystery, time skips, and unreliable narration are utilized in its worldbuilding and analyzing its core themes of systemic oppression and control. They discuss the entirety of the plot as well as the cast of morally gray characters and interpret the warnings of the show’s conclusion.
Moment of truth as Japan eyes review of foreign ‘trainee’ workers (The Asahi Shimbun)
While Japan is moving to accept more immigrants, most jobs currently available to them are underpaid and exploitative.
Experts on immigration policy and foreign labor say Japan should do more. They point out that the technical intern trainee program has long been used as an easy fix to improve the labor supply-demand balance, allowing companies to secure cheap labor easily without having to restructure their operations or raise productivity.
“It won’t be sustainable if we take the view that foreign workers can fill jobs that are not appealing to Japanese,” said Eriko Suzuki, a professor at Kokushikan University in Tokyo, adding that the trainee program should be abolished.
In fact, the appeal of working in Japan has been declining over the years for those from Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia and China, with the gap between minimum wages in their home country and Japan narrowing, according to data compiled by Takuya Hoshino, a senior economist at the Daiichi-Life Research Institute.
Vietnamese people earned roughly 40 times more working in Japan than in their home country a decade ago, but it was around 20 times last year. Competition is becoming fiercer for Japan with other Asian nations such as South Korea, where minimum wages are rising sharply, Hoshino said.
THREAD: Brief history of queer icon Miwa Akihiro.
TWEET: Reissue of a Japanese-language book on the Unification Church and its involvement in the politics of gender and sexuality in Japan.
THREAD: Tokyopop’s fundraising anthology manga for Ukraine includes cover references and a story involving far-right paramilitary group the Azov Battalion.
TWEET: Info on an upcoming Shoto Museum exhibit on the history of crossdressing in Japan.
As is traditional on resource post weeks, we’re sending you out with some adorable cats.