Weekly Round-Up, 28 April – 4 May 2021: Yoko Taro Interview, Class S Yuri, and Yasuke

By: Anime Feminist May 4, 20210 Comments
Zombieland Saga's Junko dramatically pointing a severed guitar neck toward the camera

 AniFem Round-Up

Yasuke – Episode 1

A compact, engaging historical title (with fantasy elements) about the first Black samurai.

Anime Feminist Recommendations of Winter 2021

The team shares their favorites from the season past.

2021 Spring Three-Episode Check-In

Checking back on how this season’s shows have changed at the quarter way mark.

Which series ended just about perfectly?

Perfect, print it, no sequels needed.

Beyond AniFem

Yoko Taro Didn’t Mean To Make Nier Sad On Purpose (GameSpot, Michael Higham)

An interview with Yoko in light of Nier’s recent remake, with some marked spoilers.

While Kainé’s story is extremely heartbreaking, she’s also one of the strongest characters. Between her distinct attitude, her expressive vulgarity, and being an intersex character, tell me about your perspective on Kainé.

I wanted to bring up recognizing her sex. Of course with Kainé–you can tell by her discussions with Weiss whenever they have their banter, he would make fun of her, but he recognizes she identifies herself as a woman. He never makes fun of her like, “Oh, you’re a man in women’s underwear,” and he will always respect that she identifies as a woman.

There was one thing that I was not able to do throughout the game, which is a romantic tension between Kainé and the protagonist. That was not depicted in the story, because, well, I feel that I don’t have the sensibilities to depict a drama that relates to a romantic relationship. At the same time, I don’t feel that there’s any connection like that even when I see it from a sort of third-party perspective.

Considering that, the whole cast–Kainé, Emil, Grimoire Weiss, and the player or protagonist–is traveling together, forming bonds with each other, and wanting to be together. You’re fighting in a party, and you traverse the different areas together fairly frequently. So when thinking about it, I did want to depict their bond with each other, but how do I go about doing that? Why are they connected to each other? Well, I imagined that maybe it’s something very similar to that of a family. Maybe not exactly like a blood relative, so to speak, but some kind of friendship, family, or kinship to each other that doesn’t involve any sort of benefits, like monetary gain or a sexual desire, things like that. And it felt very good to depict that sort of platonic camaraderie amongst the members.

Finding Myself in My Hero Academia’s Mirko (But Why Tho?, Kate Sánchez)

On Mirko’s Lucha-inspired fighting and resilience.

These small cultural touchstones mean a lot to me as an anime fan. I don’t come into anime expecting to see Latinx folks on screen, but, with many Latinx coded characters in shows like Megalo Box, Cowboy Bebop, and Tiger & Bunny, I find myself excited when even a chance of a character who is like me comes on screen. It’s why I’ve gravitated towards so many of the ambiguously brown characters across franchises. While Mirko isn’t canonically Latina, like the characters in Michiko & Hatchin or Chad, her English voice actress is. She embodies Lucha in a way that hits home, and it’s one piece of her characterization that makes her sing for me.

But beyond the cultural elements I see myself in, it’s her unyielding fight that truly makes her resonate. Yes, we share the same skin, but she is who I aim to be. In My Hero Academia volume 27, specifically the Jaku General Hospital raid, Mirko is tasked with taking on the High-End Nomu and hopefully stopping Shigaraki‘s doctor from escaping. In the process, readers get the chance to see Mirko confront loss and danger and come out the other end.

Yasuke Review (Anime News Network, Mercedez Clewis)

Review of the full six-episode miniseries.

Yasuke feels like LeSean Thomas‘s love letter to not only the jidaigeki genre and Yasuke himself, but also Blackness and found family and every remixed history movie where the lead gets to be fantastical. And really, the entire show makes me proud to be a Black anime journalist, a Black anime critic, and a Black anime fan. Hopefully, anime Blerds who catch Yasuke on Netflix will feel the same sense of pride I felt. In fact, I hope anime fans of all walks of life will celebrate and uplift Yasuke, if not for the show itself, then for what it represents in the landscape of anime production.

At a breezy six episodes, Yasuke can be completed within three hours, making it perfect for an empty Friday night or the weekend. Grab some popcorn, settle in, and let yourself binge it. I promise you won’t regret it.

VIDEO: The importance of making accessibility info for games and systems available at launch.

VIDEO: Interview with LeSean Thomas.

TWEET: Educational videos on discrimination for this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride.

TWEET: PSA on etiquette/cultural difference when interacting with Japanese fan artists.

THREAD: Rebuttal to a harmful academic article mischaracterizing the burakumin people.

THREAD: Genre history on why so much yuri is focused on high-schoolers.

TWEET: Info on a 1968 manga and its visual representation of Deaf speech.

AniFem Community

Here’s the place to boast about your faves.

My favorite endings don't just wrap up the storyline, but also have something to say about the idea of the series overall. A Place Further Than the Universe did that, as did the first season of Sound! Euphonium. And so did most of the season finales for Natsume Yuujinchou.  The jury is still out on whether Wonder Egg Priority can nail its ending or has had too much added onto it. Less than two months to go for that now.

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