Weekly Round-Up, 25-31 May 2022: #OurFlagMeansUnion, PIXIV Lawsuit, and Precure’s Tokusatsu Connection

By: Anime Feminist May 31, 20220 Comments
Yor peeking through a doorway,smiling and covered in blood

AniFem Round-Up

Framing the Model Minority Myth with Neo Cat

Chiaki shines a light on this hidden josei gem, and how its surreal story about self-aware humanoid cats touches on issues about accessibility and the trap of being the “good” minority.

Queer media, escapism and self-discovery in Sasaki and Miyano

SasaMiya’s protagonists grow closer through their love of BL, but they different ways they relate to the genre says a lot about the role of queer media for teens.

Chatty AF 163: Dear Brother Watchalong – Episodes 24-31

Vrai, Mercedez, Chiaki, and special guest Diana finally find out what exactly Fukiko’s Deal is and talk about how the leftist protests of the 1960s may have influenced the series.

What’s your favorite standalone episode of an anime?

Y’know, the ones that you can watch and enjoy sans any context of the rest of the series.

Beyond AniFem

Japanese society begins to grapple with microaggressions (The Mainichi)
Recent discussions and seminars have been raised recently about comments particularly made against Zainichi Koreans and Japanese individuals with mixed or foreign roots.

Fujiwara attributes the increasing awareness about unconscious bias to the impact of overseas struggles for equal treatment such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the “growing presence of people with foreign roots or mixed roots” in Japanese society.

“As the times change, the chances of meeting people from diverse backgrounds increase,” she said.

She also cites headline-grabbing remarks disparaging women made in recent times by prominent male Japanese figures, such as former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who resigned as the head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee in 2021 after saying “board meetings with a lot of women take too much time.”

The publication in Japanese, meanwhile, of Derald Wing Sue’s “Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation,” considered by many overseas as the authoritative guide on the subject, in 2020 has “had a big influence” in boosting understanding of the issue in Japan, Fujiwara says, noting that the issue is now being studied in Japanese universities.Although the “promotion of diversity” has long been a catchphrase in Japan, it is important to think about inclusion, too, says Fujiwara, who has also begun corporate training on such issues, addressing the ill-effects of such exclusionary behaviors.

Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds Launched With Crypto, NFT Plans (Siliconera, Josh Tolentino)

The current release of the game is alleged to be heavily slanted in favor of players who purchase the company’s crypto.

Text on the game’s official website states that Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds “employs a gameplay-based blockchain system,” enabling players “to play to earn tokens through gameplay.” The team promises to “do [its] best to preserve the token values.”

The Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds crypto tokens take the form of “Territe” and “Asterite.” Territe is earned through regular activity, while Asterite is earned through PVP activity in the game’s arena mode. These currencies also function as resources used for character progression. They can be traded for the crypto tokens (NKT and NKA) that reside on Marblex, the blockchain operated by NetMarble across its games. Players can then trade and sell them to each other or to third parties. They can also trade for MBX, a NetMarble-exclusive cryptocurrency.

According to a content roadmap, NetMarble plans to add NFT functionality to Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds by “Q4 2022.”

Japan’s same-sex couples hope to foster children, but prejudice remains barrier (The Mainichi, Miyuki Fujisawa)

Screening systems seem to prefer married couples, which presents a problem given that marriage equality is not yet legalized in Japan.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan, but Mari and Ayako decided they wanted to spend their lives together as partners, and a few years ago had a wedding ceremony with close family. They learned about the foster parent system in late 2020, when they happened to come across some information in a local government magazine.

They realized that they might be able to have a child after all. They immediately contacted the local government’s child consultation center. They went in to hear about the system, and told the staff there that they were a couple. They did not feel being a same-sex couple was any hinderance at the foster parenting course they took at a local children’s home.

However, at a meeting with a child consultation center official, they were told, “Realistically, it is quite difficult to entrust a child to foster parents who are both working.” As it’s currently unrealistic for either of them to become a stay-at-home parent, the couple has halted the foster parenting process.

Mari said, “I hope I can do something for the next generation, even if I don’t give birth myself. There are many different types of foster parents, and I hope that I can be a reliable adult for a child.”

Precure’s Henshin Hero Heritage (Anime News Network, Raffael Coronelli)

A look at the long-running magical girl franchise’s connections to the tokusatsu genre.

Futari wa Precure, helmed by Dragon Ball director Daisuke Nishio, exploded onto Japanese televisions in the time slot just after Kamen Rider Blade. It sold itself on a very simple premise: what if two magical girls physically kicked the crap out of monsters and bad guys?

Magical girls in anime up to that point typically fought via casting spells and firing off sparkly projectiles. Nagisa and Honoka, Cure Black and Cure White, opted for a more direct approach—punch and kick the enemy and blow them to smithereens. Even their punishing Dual Aurora Wave finisher evoked a cross between Ultraman’s Specium Beam and Goku’s Kamehameha. Their non-magical personas—a swaggering tomboy jock with more insecurities than she lets on (drawn as the extended fist in the henshin sequence’s “Ultraman rise”) and a scientifically-minded genius who struggles with getting her feelings across, backed up the series’ non-traditional theme with engaging slice-of-life characterization.

Japan to undergo 1st UN disabilities committee review in Aug. (The Mainichi)

This will be the first review Japan has undergone and will suggest non-legally binding improvements.

In advance questions to the government, the committee is likely to have highlighted issues including treatment of people with disabilities in natural disasters, patients’ long-term stays in psychiatric hospitals and past forced sterilizations under the now-defunct eugenics protection law.

Between 1948 and 1996, the eugenics protection law was used to authorize sterilization of about 25,000 people with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses or hereditary disorders. Around 16,500 were operated on without their consent, government data shows.

In April 2019, Japan’s parliament enacted legislation to pay 3.2 million yen ($25,200) in state compensation to each person who endured forced sterilization under the law. But legal fights over damages continue, with only 990 people having compensation approved as of the end of March.

After ratifying the convention in 2014, Japan submitted in 2016 a report on its implementation of the convention to the United Nations.

Japanese prefecture abolishes gender markers on 233 official docs to promote diversity (The Mainichi, Hideyuki Yamada)

Shizuoka Prefecture’s gender equality section will also be seeking further review of the 391 documents that will still require binary gender markers.

Based on a policy regarding the handling of documents’ gender sections, which was created in March 2021, the Shizuoka Prefectural Government asked all local authorities, including the prefectural board of education and prefectural police, to inspect applications, certificates and other documents including gender sections. The inspection uncovered a total of 1,081 official documents with gender markers, which residents were required to submit, or which were issued by the prefectural government, as of March 1, 2022.

Of these documents, the prefecture had discretion to review 732, while the remaining 349 documents were not eligible for review by the prefecture alone, as the forms are specified by law. The 233 documents from which Shizuoka Prefecture decided to remove gender markers account for around 30% of the total number of documents capable for review. They include a form for foreign technical interns to apply for Japanese language training.

For 108 document types, including opinion surveys and registration forms for foreign language volunteers, alterations will be made in gender sections, for example by including the options “other” and “prefer not to answer” besides “male” and “female” markers. Meanwhile, 391 documents, or about half the number eligible for review, will keep their gender markers limited to the two sexes.

We are United Workers of Seven Seas (United Workers of Seven Seas)

The site for the Seven Seas Union, with their list of goals, an about page, and a media packet. The union has also given an interview about their goals and organization.

Seven Seas Entertainment is the number one independent publisher of manga, danmei, and light novels in the US. The company has grown exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with rapid growth comes growing pains, and we, the workers of Seven Seas, have been shouldering much of that pain. We find ourselves overworked, underpaid, and we do not currently receive the benefits otherwise typical of the publishing industry.

We are dedicated to producing a broad range of high-quality content for our readers, but the only way we can do that is if employees are taken care of.
For these reasons, we have formed United Workers of Seven Seas (UW7S). We are invoking our right to organize and administer a vote to form a union. We are working closely with Communications Workers of America (CWA), who have helped organize and represent other workers in the entertainment and publishing industry. As a union, we seek to negotiate better working conditions for both Seven Seas employees and the many freelancers who make this company what it is.

THREAD: Background info on the union-busting firm Seven Seas has elected to hire after stating that they refuse to voluntarily recognize the union.

THREAD: Translation of an article about a trans woman at PIXIV suing her boss for sexual harassment.

THREAD: A one-shot isekai comic with a trans protagonist. Just to end on something sweet.

AniFem Community

And a special bonus point to everyone who picked “The Samurai Champloo Baseball Episode.”

Man, this is a tough one…  I could name a few examples, but one that comes to my mind in the moment is Tanaka-kun ep 3 because holy fuck is it adorable. Miyano just steals the freaking spotlight and I just love watching her.  Go watch Tanaka-kun please.
Favorite Standalone Episodes of Anime I Liked: Does it have to function without any context to be a true standalone? I only started watching Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun because of a clip from episode 4 (Tomoda!). I love it more knowing the characters, though. I really like Ouran High School Host Club episodes 17 and 24 (Kyouya's focus episodes). While Hyouka had mysteries that spanned multiple episodes, episode 18 introduced and wrapped up a mystery that turned out to be rather poignant.  Favorite Standalone Episodes of Anime I Wasn't A Huge Fan Of: Hmm. I have a few movies that I thought summarized a show really well - its pluses and minuses. For example, Trigun: Badlands Rumble is like a long episode with better production values, and the characters we care about are all there. Ditto for Mushi-shi: The Shadow That Devours The Sun. To be clear, I liked both shows, I just don't love them enough to rewatch... but if I was in the mood, I'd rewatch those movies. I generally don't have episodes I like in shows that I loathe... except episode 1 of Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina. If only the whole show had been like that!  Standalones in Serials vs. Episodic Shows: Well, I think episodic shows can be considered a string of standalones, no? So they have more opportunity to be great. That said, some serials have that occasional breather episode that lets the viewer take a break and enjoy character interactions.

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