Weekly Round-Up, 25-31 March 2020: Free Retro Anime, Mystic Messenger, and Yuri Doujinshi

By: Anime Feminist March 31, 20200 Comments
One chibi angrily ranting at another against a colorful background

AniFem Round-Up

My Fave is Problematic: Mad Bull 34

Noel Rodney Jr. proclaims his love for the goofy 80s buddy cop OVA while also digging into the genre’s deeper problem with romanticizing police brutality.

My Hero Academia Shows Us How To Write Damsels (And Dudes) In Distress

Marina Garrow discusses the ways in which MHA complicates a tired trope by diving into survivor psychology and not just relegating the damsel role to female characters.

Chatty AF 112: Winter 2020 Wrap-up

Dee, Vrai, and Peter look back on the goods that the winter season had on offer.

What was your favorite Winter 2020 anime?

Last chance to shout out your faves!

Beyond AniFem

Interview with Color_LES (Kuru,) Creator of Mage and Demon Queen (Okazu, Erica Friedman)

The popular author’s work is available to read on Webtoons.

CL: It was a high school classmate who introduced me to Yuri. We were casually talking about anime, and when I asked her if she knows what Yaoi is, she said, “Yuri is better!”

I had no idea what Yuri was, so she told me that I should look it up online.

…And so, I did. What turned up in the search results stunned me! Girls liking girls? That hits close to home. I was so perturbed by my discovery that I had dreamt of Yuri that night. When I woke up, I knew I was already hooked. LOL

My first Yuri was Kannazuki no Miko. I relied on what’s available in Youtube for my Yuri fix. Strawberry Panic was also there, but I preferred KnM for its action and fantasy elements. I grew up watching Shounen anime with my brothers, so it’s what had appealed to me.

At that time, I had never imagined that I’d end up drawing Yuri for a living. I’ve always aspired to be a manga artist, but I didn’t give much thought as to what genre I’d focus on. I just wanted to create something “cool” that’d be a huge hit, like Naruto and other Shonen Jump titles. When my fascination for Yuri grew however, I did want to draw Yuri— but I was held back by my fear of being outed as a lesbian.

Voice Actress Saori Hayami Releases Five Music Videos All Directed by Female Filmmakers (Crunchyroll, Mikikazu Komatsu)

The videos are viewable in the article.

Voice actress Saori Hayami released her second mini-album “Sister Cities” from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment today on March 25. At the same time, her official YouTube channel posted five music videos inspired by the songs in the album, all of which were directed by female filmmakers.

Mystic Messenger shows how important digital bonds are during social distancing (VG24/7, Caitlin Moore)

The game’s real-time texting format resonates with how relationships have changed in the current crisis.

Social distancing – the buzzword of the day. It’s converted classrooms into distance learning, table service restaurants into takeout counters, and face-to-face relationships into virtual ones carried out through texting and chat programs. All over the world, people are restricted to their living spaces, with the internet as their only source of social contact. We offer support to each other virtually, limited as we are by fear of infection.

It doesn’t feel so different from texting with Jaehee, listening attentively to her work woes and offering her words of comfort and encouragement. After all, the people in fields deemed essential service – grocery stores, pharmacies, and of course the incredibly courageous medical workers – are working harder than ever. Strikes are popping up all over the US as the public realizes just how important their labor is. Jaehee’s own small rebellion of pursuing a project she feels passionate about rather than the vanity project Jumin demands of her echoes the struggle of workers whose labor have always been taken for granted, even if it lacks the potentially earth-shaking consequences.

RetroCrush: Free Anime Streaming Service to Showcase Classic Series and Movies (IGN, Laura Prudom)

The service includes several classic magical girl shows not previously available.

RetroCrush will be available for free (with ads) from March 30, with apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Smart TVs as well as at www.retrocrush.tv. What RetroCrush is hoping might differentiate the service from its rivals is a focus on classic anime from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s with a more curated approach, spearheaded by Will Chao and Mary Gibson, with Selin Kilic and John Stack providing acquisitions support.
“What makes this channel exciting is its focus on shows that have exhibited an influence on the creation of the current crop of hit anime series,” said Chao.

Ep. 1 Ponyo is Here: 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki (NHK On Demand)

Part one of a 4-part documentary, currently available for free.

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the genius of Japan’s foremost living film director, Hayao Miyazaki — creator of some of the world’s most iconic and enduring anime feature films. Miyazaki allowed a single documentary filmmaker to shadow him at work, as he dreamed up characters and plot lines for what would become his 2008 blockbuster, “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea.” Miyazaki explores the limits of his physical ability and imagination to conjure up memorable protagonists. This program is the first of a 4-part documentary, “10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki.”

Female Manga Artists Launch Women’s Lifestyle Manga Anthology (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

New issues will be available weekly.

The first chapter is drawn by Kyōko Aiba (Toshishita Kareshi ni Semararetemasu) and tells her story as a manga artist who is around thirty years of age. The manga relays her struggles with making herself look presentable using cosmetics while juggling deadlines and staying up late to draw manga.

Other participating manga artists include Sachi Narashima (Cosmetic Play Lover), Akira Hino (Teikoku no Kangan), Togame (Secretly, I’ve Been Suffering About Being Sexless), and Rinen Takizawa (Anata de Fukuramu, Watashi no Peshanko). The anthology is a work of collaboration between LINE Manga and the web comic magazine Kurofune.

LGBT Games History: NieR (Gayming Magazine, Natalie Flores)

Recognizing the queer characters in NieR and its sequel.

While Kainé’s queerness is evident in all versions of the game, the LGBT Games Archive has pointed out that evidence of Emil’s queerness is mysteriously much more subtle in the western port. Yoko Taro, the series’ director, has confirmed in an interview that Emil is gay and develops feelings for Nier. In one scene, he wishes the two were married. In a NieR: Automata companion novel titled “Emil’s Recollection” in which Emil is remembering the memories of the “original Emil” during a sidequest, he remembers that Emil, “recreated the small hut his dear friend lived in, and grew flowers that the person he loved once nurtured, remembering all the good times they had together.” The ‘person he loved,’ who once nurtured the flowers known as Lunar Tears. was Nier.

The Unlikely Story Behind Japanese Americans’ Campaign For Reparations (NPR, Isabella Rosario)

An interview with internment camp survivor John Tateishi about his recently released book.

The Japanese Zen philosophy is one that seeks harmony in the world. You don’t air your grievances, because it makes other people uncomfortable. One metaphor is, a trickle of water coming down the hillside will always take the easiest route. We took that route. There was an enormous wall of silence in the Japanese American community.

What broke this wall of silence?

[During the 1960s and 70s], [the Sansei generation] would learn [about the internment camps] in a college class and go home and ask their parents about it. The parents would just say, “Shikataganai” (“It can’t be undone”). But these kids were persistent. They needed to know what the truth was. And so a little at a time, they picked up more information and started going public with it, demanding some acknowledgement that [the internment] had happened.

The voice of young Japanese Americans became codified within the JACL, and the organization adopted the issue of reparations as a priority [in 1978]. But the redress campaign did not begin with very much support among the JACL’s elders. Raising their voices in protest was anathema to their cultural values.

In a World of Greedy Landlords, Tom Nook is Actually Pretty Chill (LauraKBuzz, Laura Dale)

This tanuki slander must stop.

If you’ve been on Twitter at all in the past few days, you’ll see countless posts of emails and texts sent from landlords to renters, making clear that rent payments are not to stop during this time. Landlords angrily asserting that the virus is no excuse for late payments, that renters should have more in savings to weather this kind of unexpected event, and basically just considering renters lazy if this catastrophic shake up to the jobs market has impacted their ability to stay afloat. No compassion on show, just a fury that their source of income might dry up in the short term under highly unusual circumstances. Most renters live paycheck to paycheck, and landlords are not okay about the fact this shake up to the workforce might cause payment delays from otherwise reliable tenants.

And you know what? Tom Nook would never do that, at least in New Horizons. Tom Nook would be the landlord sending you a text instead reminding you that it’s okay if you can’t pay your rent for a while, it’s not going to pile up any months you don’t pay, and you’re not going to face threats of eviction. You’ve already got enough on your plate with all the fear going around right now. He wants to make sure you’re okay, and that you’re not worried that you’re going to get kicked out during a lockdown.

TWEET: Link to a survey for a new company planning to localize BL and yuri doujinshi.


TWEET: Japanese Commentators commenting on Animal Crossing like it’s esports.

AniFem Community

This was an absolutely packed season with a lot to shout about.

BOFURI has been my go-to - the in-game events are exciting, but as
discussed on Chatty AF because it is clearly established as a game, and
the only stakes are missing out on loot, it's very low stress.

I also like that instead of artificial Game Death Is Real Death stakes or
an evil corporation and a The Chosen One Combat Master main character,
it's about someone who just playing the way she thinks is fun and
helping her friends, with glimpses of the hapless dev team who just want
to stop her from accidentally breaking the game.
Fave: *deep inhale* EASY BREEZY
Surprise/disappointment: Honestly, Magia Record started out as a nice surprise (I forgot how much I missed the witches' art direction), and I really love Felicia's story, but then the Invisible Girl arc killed it for me.
What show do you wish more people had watched: I know Eizouken was really popular, but I feel like it should've been bigger. I noticed it was really big among older, hardcore anime fans, but I'm not sure if younger/newer fans were as into it. Given what the story is about though, I kind of expected that but still. Kanamori. Need I say more?

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