Weekly Round-Up, 26 February – 3 March 2020: Glass Mask Retrospective, Accessibility at Cons, and JK Rowling Misunderstanding Japanese

By: Anime Feminist March 3, 20200 Comments
grinning chibi Kanamori

AniFem Round-Up

Power, Oppression, and Victimhood in The Twelve Kingdoms versus The Rising of the Shield Hero

Caitlin compares two isekai about a protagonist betrayed by everyone and saved by the support of a member of an oppressed class. One of them became a series about empathy and fighting oppressive social structures; the other is Shield Hero.

How Stars Align offers a fresh narrative model for LGBTQ+ characters

S.M. Balding outlines what makes nonbinary team manager Yuu’s arc so special, and why the show really needs a second cour.

Chatty AF 110: Toradora! Watchalong – Episodes 1-6

Vrai, Dee, and Caitlin dive into the beloved 2000s rom-com.

Do you go to anime screenings at theaters?

While their popularity is increasing, screenings still have limited availability.

Beyond AniFem

BLog: Our Dining Table (MJ Lyons Writes, MJ Lyons)

A review of the new BL one-shot from Seven Seas.

On its surface Our Dining Table is a fairly simple one-shot manga; a slow burn, there’s nothing earth-shattering or cataclysmic in the lives of these characters. Mita Ori uses the act of cooking and eating together, food, as a frame for exploring the lives and experiences of these two young men. Kid brother Tane latches on to Yutaka and demands he return to make curry with them. Yutaka, who’s never been able to enjoy meals with people since his childhood, finds himself breathless in anticipation of their time together at the dinner table.

But beneath this adorable surface there’s something deeper, the manga is an examination of loneliness and grief. Yutaka has trouble relating to people, and we find out early on that he was adopted and had a fraught relationship with his siblings. Minoru became a surrogate parent for Tane early on, and isn’t sure he’s been doing right by his little brother. Again, there’s tragedy and sadness in their backgrounds, but there’s nothing overwrought or melodramatic. People deal with abusive or negligent family members, parents die too young, but life moves on and we move with it, even if we hold onto sadness deep down.

Japanese mothers struggle to cope after virus shuts schools (The Associated Press via The Asahi Shimbun)

School closures in response to fears of the coronavirus continue to stress working parents, despite Abe’s assurance that there will allegedly be subsidies available for parents who miss work.

Kozue, the mother of a second-grade girl who asked to be identified by only her given name, said she is more afraid of losing her job than of the virus. A contract worker at a major company, she can get time off but without pay. Her employer agreed to allow her to work from home until the end of next week, but after she may have to send her daughter to stay with her elderly parents in Nagano in central Japan, she said.

Office worker Megumi Aoki said she has been working from home two days a week but has to find someone to take care of her two elementary school children for the rest of the week, or take those days off without pay. She said that’s an option because her husband has enough income to support the family, but it would be a setback for her career.

“I think the measure was set up because of the assumption that someone, most likely mothers, is at home to take care of the children, and we became easy targets,” she said.

For Fire Emblem Fates Forrest: what is lost when we fail to look critically? (Gayming Magazine, Autumn Wright)

A brief analysis of trans character Forrest and where the game’s writing falls short.

In a video essay on We Happy Few, laborkyle describes how the compulsion to enjoy (products, experiences, media) is a form of neoliberal social control. Criticism and enjoyment are purposefully delinked in conversations about media because of the potential consequences to the hegemonic social order that are reinforced in pop culture — lest we enjoy something that critically engages norms.

Critical enjoyment isn’t necessarily joyful, though. Scrupulous analyses or an acute awareness of axes of power oftentimes both enhance a text while also ruining its pleasure. And I still do it, because what is lost when we, when I, have failed to look critically is so much greater than a game.

Disabled account for 25% of Japan’s 2011 quake-linked deaths: survey (The Mainichi)

Of the 1500 dead, 370 were disabled, most with physical disabilities.

“Some couldn’t go to crowded evacuation centers and lived in physically challenging conditions, inside large vehicles or on the second floors of inundated houses, for example,” said Kazuhiko Abe, a Tohoku Fukushi University professor.

“The stress was big in temporary housing too,” Abe said, noting many of them were not designed for people with physical disabilities.

The survey showed the lasting impact of the ordeal on the disabled.

“We need to set up a framework so that disabled people won’t be left without assistance,” the professor said.

VIDEO: Interview with a Black American lawyer who’s been practicing and lecturing on law in Japan for the past 25 years

VIDEO: Retrospective on classic shoujo melodrama Glass Mask.

THREAD: A Japanese language lesson based on JK Rowling’s latest poorly done international addition to the Harry Potter canon

THREAD: Tips on how to be mindful of accessibility issues at conventions

THREAD: News that Archive of Our Own has been banned in China

TWEET: A request for help from the founder of the #KuToo movement, who currently faces harassment

AniFem Community

Seems like we have a fair split between folks supporting their local showings and folks who wish they had local showings TO support.

I sure try to!! But most screenings are either an hour away (not taking into account how they're always right in the middle of the worst traffic in the state), and playing in the middle of the week when I have to work. But anything playing more locally, I do try to make time for, if only to encourage more local screenings when something I really want to see comes out.

And if I had to pick, I guess I prefer new movies, since any of the classics I really love I already have on DVD. Not that that stopped me from going to see Perfect Blue and Millenium Actress anyway when they played in my local theater.
I live in a good-sized metro region so anime films are usually playing somewhere near me (sometimes closer than others....) and I do like going to a lot of the new film screenings. A lot of that is because, well, movies don't seem to stream online as frequently as say tv shows and I don't want to pay for a DVD of a movie that I haven't seen yet, so even as expensive as movie tickets can get (think I paid $16 for Ride Your Wave) it's usually the best option I have!

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: