Weekly Round-Up, 24 February – 2 March 2021: Trans Erasure in Marketing, Wonder Egg Production, and Boxing Yuri

By: Anime Feminist March 2, 20210 Comments
chibi Rin from laid-back camp typing on her laptop

AniFem Round-Up

Feathers and Glass: How Swan’s heroines find themselves through dance

Zahra Ymer celebrates the shoujo ballet classic and how its heroines break through the gendered expectations placed on them thanks to their friendship and rivalry with one another.

Chainsaw Man’s beautiful depiction of platonic relationships

Lucas DeRuyter explores Denji and Power’s relationship and how rare it is for a shounen title to develop a male/female friendship without the two eventually becoming a couple.

Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House – Episode 1

A gentle food show that wants to chill out with its cast and celebrate Kyoto.

High-Rise Invasion – Episode 1

A murder game splatterfest where the stakes seem to have been replaced with panty shots.

Tropical Rouge! Precure – Episode 1

This latest magical girl outing sparkles with energy and charm, though its premise of saving the world with makeup comes with some baggage given the age of the target audience.

Chatty AF 135: 2021 Winter Mid-Season Check-in

Vrai, Peter, and Caitlin check in on the 2021 Winter season, from beefy skate boys to overworked cells.

Which anime adaptations improve on their source material?

The stuff out there that knows just what to add or cut.

Beyond AniFem

Sister Krone: The Good, The Bad, The Racist (Getting Animated, Destiny Senpai)

Podcast discussion of this year’s Crunchyroll Awards and the Promised Neverland character.

This week on Getting Animated I discuss the results of this years Crunchyroll Anime Awards as well as my thoughts on Sister Krone.

Hoshikawa Lily Can’t Be an Anime Trans Icon Until She’s Allowed to Be (Otaquest, Alicia Haddick)

Unpacking the erasure of Lily’s trans identity in Zombie Land Saga’s marketing materials.

Her trans status has never been something the staff has outright come out publicly to confirm in interviews, but this is undeniably a positive thing, right? Right?

The fact that Lily doesn’t outright say she is transgender, even if her portrayal within the show easily suggests as much, has turned a vocal minority of anime fans into contrarians regarding her trans status. And yet the production committee’s efforts to validate her identity fall woefully short, giving these claims unfortunate weight.

In celebration of the announcement of season 2, Animage ran a cover feature about the anime, featuring an introduction to the series, long interviews, and coverage of the live concert where the news was broken. Such an in-depth feature is typically created with a level of production approval given the content featured in the magazine. In this magazine, Lily is referred to as male.

Blackness in Anime and How It Affects Blerds Online (The Mary Sue, Princess Weekes)

Discussing the broad subtypes of Black characters in anime, from stereotypes to Black-coded to explicit representation.

Of course we were allowed to claim Tōsen because he was boring and that wasn’t a loss to anyone, but with Yoruichi, there were all these “well she could be this” conversations—despite the fact that Tite Kubo already included diversity by having a half-Mexican character, so it wasn’t a reach.

Talking about race in anime always turns into bunch of “well actually they have [insert] hair and [insert] eyes” so they could be any race. Well, then they can be Black, can’t they OktakuBroBestBoi789?

A lot of this comes from anytime a slightly darker skinned character would appear in an anime or manga, they were usually presented in an “other’d” way. Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon comes to mind, with many people thinking her slightly darker complexion in the comics was an indicator of an alternative ethnicity than Japanese. In actuality, she was just colored that way because creator Naoko Takeuchi thought it made her look more mysterious.

That race-neutral thinking that Western anime fans have adopted made it hard for Black fans to even adopt non-stereotypical browner skinned characters into their personal headcanon. Thankfully, we not only have Black characters in anime, but we have gotten better designs.

Wonder Egg Priority – Production Notes 04-07 (Sakuga Blog, kViN)

Commentary and behind-the-scenes speculation about the last four episodes.

You may recall a conversation in the fourth episode that spurred a bit of controversy. Acca and Ura-Acca—still the foulest names in a show with Ohto “odd-eye” Ai as the protagonist—argued that the eggs only contained girls because suicide cases are fundamentally different between genders, with men following logical reasons while women do so because of more ambiguous emotional reasons. Characters like Neiru reacted poorly to that ridiculous statement, and even [director] Wakabayashi himself stepped in on Twitter to explain that it was on him for trimming that scene, as it originally was meant to have a more explicit refusal of that statement. Personally speaking, I think the scene we got underlined that feeling well enough, but you can imagine my face when I had to read [writer] Nojima essentially echoing those words in an interview, contrasting men’s logical suicides with women’s fleeting, nebulous reasons to end their own lives as one of the reason’s why he’s writing this show in the first place.

It goes without saying that such a train of thought is completely incompatible with… well, everything WEP is doing. These episodes have exposed at great length, and with as much dignity as possible, that there are in fact very specific systemic issues pushing women to end their lives; the expectation to be capable but not too much, to maintain a specific kind of beauty with an inescapable expiration date, and not to fight against a system so clearly rigged against them. To then go and parrot your own villains means that despite bringing up those issues, you never interiorized why there’s a difference between the reasons men and women end their lives. And coming from the author of a work that focuses on this, it hurts.

The feeling that not everyone is on the same thematic page was noticeable in that same scene. After their ridiculous words, Acca and Ura-Acca ended up concluding that gender didn’t matter at all; something that’s more coherent with WEP’s message, but also completely divorced from the conversation they were having. It could just be that Nojima has messy ideas about this, but knowing for a fact that Wakabayashi altered that scene, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the one who modified the script a bit to include that; it’s kinda suspicious how he made no reference to the complete turn, even though it was the one truly incoherent part of a scene he went out of his way to comment on about.

Fandom Racism 101: Basic Body Politics (Stitch’s Media Mix, Zeenah)

Analyzing the power dynamics of how nonwhite characters are portrayed (or ignored) in fanworks.

Fandom should be a place where we just… do whatever. Where we’re sexy and can get off scot-free.

But as Han and Choi point out by referencing Green in their study: “sexual fields are not isolated arenas, but are embedded within a larger society whose values are reflected in what is considered desirable within a given sexual field.”

Aside from caring about queerness and sometimes women… fandom generally reflects what society finds desirable.

That’s why Lulu’s overall Top 100 ships for 2020 list is predominantly populated by white characters with some East Asian characters/celebrities in the ranking because everyone got into different anime series, The Untamed, and BTS in 2020… but then Finn from Star Wars is the only Black character on the list. Because society doesn’t find value or interest in Black characters… and neither does fandom at large.

Which explains the focus on white male characters, yes?

VIDEO: Analysis of Attack on Titan’s reflection of real-world social inequalities.

VIDEO: Interview with voice actor Anairis Quiñones.

TWEET: Announcement of a yuri series about boxers now for sale.

TWEET: Link to a legal manga site offering Takemiya Keiko’s Toward the Terra.

TWEET: Slideshow video of cosplayers from the #28DaysofBlackCosplay hashtag.

AniFem Community

Wow, this one blew up! Y’all have opinions on good anime.

The Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun anime stands out as a really strong adaptation. The manga itself is great, but the anime truly enhanced the comedy with its timing, music, vocal performances and so on. The way they adapted (and in some cases padded) the manga's material also made the story feel more rounded out and complete.  I feel similarly about Natsume's Book of Friends. The anime took every great about the manga and polished it, while also adding in the features a manga can't deliver like a pleasing color palette, relaxing soundtrack, and so on.  Descending Stories is a case where it feels like it was meant to be shown on a screen all along. The manga is well-done, but being able to actually see and hear the performances makes a huge difference. To this day, I'm wowed at all the resources and talents that went into making that anime so great, especially considering what a financial risk it had to be due to the subject matter/lack of broad audience appeal.

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: