Weekly Round-Up, 28 December 2022 – 3 January 2023: Dear Brother Out of Print, Otome Localization Survey, and Year’s Best Yuri

By: Anime Feminist January 3, 20230 Comments
Kira smiling with a dying inside Bocchi for a selfie

AniFem Round-Up

Nonconforming in the ‘90s: How Pokemon’s gender variance caught the hearts of a generation

With Ash’s time in the anime coming to an end, it’s worth looking back at how the series challenged gender norms. Who doesn’t love Team Rocket?

Anime’s Glass Ceiling: what keeps women out of the director’s chair?

Many of manga’s biggest hits are written by women, but there are a fraction as many well-known names in anime direction. What factors play into that disparity?

What Winter 2023 anime are you most excited for?

Yup, it’s that time again already.

December Staff Recommendations

Head over to the Patreon to get extra anime and manga recommendations from the team!

Beyond AniFem

2022 Otome Localization Survey is Live (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

The survey is a multiple choice from over a dozen titles.

Let your voice be heard! Vote on your favorite otome localization of 2022 and more! I’ve expanded the 2022 survey to include more categories. New this year are: Most Romantic Otome, Favorite Heroine, Favorite Love Interests (by game), Best Indie Otome, Most Anticipated 2023 Otome, and more! You can even explain some of your choices and share your thoughts on your favorite otome game localization pick.

Publishers like Aksys Games especially has shared in the past that they pay very close attention to community suggestions. So, I also want to know what games the community would like to see localized in the future. After all the votes are in, I will share the results here on Blerdy Otome. I will also share them with a few localization companies so they can see what the community wants to see more of in the future!

Voting will run from January 1-10, 2023. You can submit your responses to the Google Form Survey: 2022 Otome Localization Survey! I can’t wait to see which games you all pick! As always shares are appreciated! I’d like to get a nice sample of the overall community! This is gonna be so much fun, I can’t wait to see your picks!

Okazu Top Yuri of 2022 (Okazu, Erica Friedman)

Best-of list focusing on manga (including ongoing long-runners).

Now, it’s time to crack down and get serious about the things I thought really made the year special. These series all took up a lot of space in my head, in various media and languages. They are all notable, enjoyable and some are, IMHO, important.

I’m focusing on the English language editions where they exist, but many of these I also followed and reviewed in Japanese. The fact that we have English language releases for most of these is itself a notable thing. It wasn’t long ago that half this list was me crossing my fingers, hoping we’d hear about a license…eventually. In fact, there’s only one title on this list not licensed or released in English yet.

I’d love to hear what your favorite series were this year – drop them in the comments!

Orientalism & Occidentalism in Anime (Anime News Network, Eric Stimson)

Overview of exoticizing of nebulously “Western” culture in anime over the years.

In its most extreme forms, this fascination with Western ways led to a backlash against Japan’s Asian context. China and Korea were scorned as revolting, dirty, primitive backwaters mired in weakness, ignorance, and conservatism. Any Western attributes that could be acquired were assumed to make you smarter, more capable, and more “modern.” The Japanese astutely noted which Western countries were most advanced in which areas and imported accordingly, helping to shield their countrymen from some of the less appealing aspects of the Occident. A few even dreamed of mass intermarriage with white people in the hopes of creating some kind of fusion race. (White people themselves were less enthusiastic.)

The Meiji-era enthusiasm for all things Western has died down and the West isn’t exoticized quite as much anymore, but a romanticized and idealistic image of the West lingers around in Japanese pop culture. This is probably most obvious on TV, which features lots of travel shows in picturesque parts of Europe, where the locals are friendly and dubbed over, the architecture is quaint, and the weather is gorgeous. Although it showcases Japanese settings just as often, Studio Ghibli presents a lovingly detailed, heavily idealized version of Wales, Sweden, and Italy in Laputa, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Porco Rosso, respectively, and its animators made their mark with adaptations of Western kids’ literature like Heidi, Girl of the Alps and Anne of Green Gables. Heidi, in particular, is full of gorgeous Alpine landscapes, yodeling, and delicious-looking fondue.

Foreign students have uneven access to Japanese classes (The Asahi Shimbun, Yoshika Uematsu)

Classes across Japan struggle for resources, while programs like the one in Yokohama are able to serve a large number of students’ needs.

Lack of support for these students is partly due to lack of awareness of their needs on the part of local authorities, Tanaka said.

However, she points out that a shortage of organizations and people to support these students has recently become a more serious problem.

“Partly due to Japanese language teachers getting old, people who can support students who need Japanese language education are in short supply,” Tanaka said.

“Traveling used to be a hurdle for giving lessons to students in non-urban areas. But I believe that online lessons are useful to some extent to support students who are scattered over large areas.”

YSC has provided online Japanese language lessons to such students since 2016, in addition to face-to-face classes.

Twitch Streamer Pokimane Wants Tougher Laws On Revenge Porn (Kotaku, Sisi Jiang)

Pokimane has not clarified which organization she was alluding to partner with to further this cause.

There are several reasons why she is taking this stance now. Pokimane talked about how her viewers would message her about how their former partners would leak their nudes. She felt that those individuals were rarely punished for “ruining” girls’ lives. “So many things online go without repercussions and they really shouldn’t,” she said.

The U.S. currently has laws against revenge porn in nearly every state. But as Hasan Piker pointed out in a recent stream about Pokimane’s comments, enforcement against revenge porn is complicated and murky. Cops are hardly the most empathetic or competent investigators of gendered violence. Besides that, surveilling every electronic device for revenge porn would be a massive privacy violation. “The only way you can tackle revenge porn is at the point of distribution,” he said.

New Beginnings – Yuricon 2023 Online (Okazu, Erica Friedman)

Call for panel applicants to the December 31st, 2023 convention.

I’ve chosen this format for three reasons – #1 accessibility. I want as many people as possible to be able to participate. #2 Tripledemic and inflation have made travel untenable again. #3 Convenience. It won’t matter if folks can’t make it one day or another, the entire event will be available to everyone for free anytime online.

For my part, I’m planning a series of interviews with folks who have been leaders in Yuri fandom, research and scholarship and the industry. As the year progresses, I hope you will offer your own panels and presentations as part of the schedule.

Have an idea for a panel or presentation for Yuricon 2023? Here’s how to apply!

Brazilian woman seeks human rights relief in Japan after welfare application snubbed (The Mainichi, Kenichiro Fuji)

Foreign nationals with active visas have been approved to apply for welfare since 2018.

According to the 41-year-old woman’s petition, she came to Japan about 10 years ago and has a resident visa. She visited Anjo City Hall on Nov. 1 to apply for welfare assistance as her family, with a 1-year-old and elementary school age children, struggled financially after her husband lost his job due to the COVID-19 crisis and other reasons.

The city employee who handled her case at the counter apparently told her, “Public assistance is not offered to foreigners,” and also said, “You should go back to your country.” Following this, her supporters and other people went to the city hall with the woman, but the municipal government repeatedly refused to accept her welfare application.

After the application was accepted at the end of November, the city employee demanded that the woman use the welfare payment to pay for the delinquent rent for the prefectural government-run housing. Furthermore, the woman claims that a child care support employee told her, “If you had a child consultation center take your children, you would have fewer mouths to feed.”

VIDEO: Overview of SquareEnix’s recent predatory business practices.

TWEET: Upcoming Japanese-language book that’s an intro-level book on being transgender.

TWEET: Dear Brother is officially out of print, meaning that when existing stock is gone it will be permanently unavailable.

AniFem Community

It’s no Fall season, but there are some promising picks.

I hear there's going to be a new anime about being near a tomato?
Most anticipated: I'm curious about Tomo-chan is a Girl. Premise sounds funny with a clueless male lead right out of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun and a possibly more forthcoming Chiyo-chan in the titular character. But the most interesting part is one character will have a bilingual VA voicing them in Japanese and English. So I'm definitely checking out both the sub and dub for this show.  Sequel: It's right in my Disqus picture. But in case it cannot be seen, it's the return of Bofuri! Hopefully there's no sophomore slump for Maple Tree.  Surprises: My interest in isekai is not that strong, but I'll check out Handyman Saitou in Another World. It might be the Do It Yourself!! vibe it gives off but in a fantasy realm. High Card caught my eye as well since I used to love 52-card games. The character designs look pretty sharp too.

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