Weekly Round-Up, 29 July – 4 August 2020: Hamtaro at Thai Protests, Persona 5’s Teacher Romances, and New BL Licenses

By: Anime Feminist August 4, 20200 Comments
a redheaded young woman squishing a googly eyed, puggish monster pet to her face in a hug

AniFem Round-Up

 Youth in Revolt: How the late-80s/early-90s celebrated the young rebelling against their elders

Anthony Gramuglia explores the manga of the “Lost Decade” and how Japan’s economic crisis in the 90s gave birth to a generation of punk protagonists.

2020 Summer Three-Episode Check-In

The team checks in on the latest season at the one-quarter mark.

Chatty AF 121: Glass Mask Watchalong – Episodes 6-11

Part two of the journey through the ‘80s classic.

What series did you get into late?

We all have those shows we got around to long after everyone else.

Beyond AniFem

How Persona 5 Royals’ Mature Love Interests Reinforce Toxic Masculinity (Uppercut, Jess Cogswell)

Examining the double standard in how the game treats its predatory male teacher versus its adult female romance options.

Even as a child under the care of Takemi and Kawakami, you are made to feel as if you hold power over them. Without your “guts” and words of encouragement, how could Takemi have saved her practice, tested her medicines, and overcome her reputation as “the plague?” Without your financial support and discretion, how could Kawakami continue to pay her debts and keep her teaching position? And of course, without your power as leader of the Phantom Thieves, who would have put a stop to the people holding them down? Despite these women having power over us in countless ways, it is presented as if we are their saviors. We are not allowed the luxury of youthful innocence and reliance. We are a man. We are relied upon. 

We are led to believe we drove them to our arms– we achieved the unachievable and made them long for us. We don’t stop to consider we are not guiding them to this choice, but rather, as adult women, they are electing to sleep with a minor. Like Kamoshida, these women are presented as extremely attractive, but unlike Kamoshida, their perceived lack of agency allows us to distance ourselves from viewing them as predators and merely take in their attractiveness- they are not predators, they are prizes. Furthermore, the game prevents us from seeing their behavior as repulsive because, once again, we are a man. Men are expected to want, especially from attractive women. If they don’t—if they are to wait, question, or resist—society tends to perceive this as a failing of the man. Men are actors– so act.

Funds run low among 20,000 foreign trainees stuck in Japan (The Asahi Shimbun, Horigome Toshiki)

Many workers are stranded and without income due to pandemic restrictions.

Twenty-four Chinese technical intern trainees at Futaba Industrial Co., an auto parts maker affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp., were scheduled to return to China in early May.

After their flight was canceled due to the pandemic, they turned to a local labor union for help. Negotiations were held with their supervising organization and Futaba Industrial, which is based in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.

Futaba Industrial, a large company listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, agreed on a temporary arrangement to pay the former interns 10,000 yen ($94) each as living expenses for two months.

The company’s reasoning was that a person would need 150,000 yen to survive for two months. From the figure, it subtracted the 100,000 yen in the government’s coronavirus-relief handouts and 40,000 yen for allowing them to remain in a company dorm.

Liu Zhen, who had worked at a Futaba Industrial factory for about three years, said he was frustrated by the company’s indifference to the difficulties facing the former interns.

“I could not believe it when the company said during negotiations that it is under no obligation to help because you have already quit,” Liu said.

Video Game Representation (New Mobility, Teal Sherer Alsaleh)

Summary of a presentation about disability rep (specifically wheelchair users) in games.

Steven Spohn is the chief operations officer of AbleGamers, a nonprofit that provides custom setups to people with disabilities, and has been playing video games since he was a child growing up with spinal muscular atrophy. Because he couldn’t play ball or swim, gaming was a way for him to connect with other kids. “Almost always the good guys are big, beautiful, bold, muscular, and the bad guys are disabled, disfigured and have something wrong with them,” says the 39-year-old. “They are always angry at the world, always mad about life, and therefore they are going to do this horrible thing, like blow up the world because they are disabled.”

Spohn, who received the South by Southwest (SXSW) Game Industry Champion of Change Award earlier this year, is optimistic, though, about the future of disability representation in video games. AbleGamers has a certification program that teaches video game developers how to design with accessibility in mind and consults on the way disabled characters are portrayed.

Yuri Doujinshi Roundup – Lilyka and Irodori Sakura (Okazu, Erica Friedman)

Overview of two websites for legal doujinshi acquisition.

Yuri doujinshi has finally made it’s way over to US shores and happily we have two companies at the moment working to bring you Yuri doujinshi for different tastes. It seems like a good time to look at both imprints, their websites, and a few of their titles, to give you an idea of what to expect.

This is not a competition – we’re not pitting these sites against each other  Both Lilyka and Irodori are bringing out a variety of doujinshi, and the more, the better for all of us. Depending on your tastes, and interests, you might find you use one of these sites more than the other, but today’s post is an overview, not a battle. We can and should welcome both companies and any others who enter this field. There are a lot of great Yuri doujinshi artists, including many professional artists who do their own doujinshi as well.

futekiya Licenses 11 Boys’ Love (BL) Titles from Shodensha Publishing (Futekiya Blog)

List of licensed titles for upcoming release on the online service.

futekiya launched as an online subscription service for officially licensed BL manga on July 8, 2019. Determined to connect fans around the world with English-translated BL legally and conveniently, futekiya empowers readers to support creators and the manga industry.

Readers who subscribe to futekiya and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. To subscribe, please go to read.futekiya.com and create an account. More information is in our Guide.

Cute Anime Character Used In Thailand’s Democracy Protests (Kotaku, Brian Ashcraft)

Protestors have adopted tiny hamster Hamtaro as a symbol during the ongoing protests.

The activists are calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation, the dissolution of Parliament, the re-writing of the military-drafted constitution, more freedom of expression, and greater civil rights explains The Indian Express. Covid and its effect on the economy have also helped spark the protests.

Activists have been using the theme song from the Hamtaro anime, but changing the lyrics, turning it into a protest song. As AFP reports, the original lyrics of “The most delicious thing is sunflower seeds” were changed to “The most delicious thing is the people’s taxes.” The theme song’s refrain was changed to “Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament! Dissolve the parliament!”

Lightning in a Bottle: A Case Study of Publishing Literary Translation (Yoko Tawada with Margaret Mitsutani, Susan Bernofsky, Barbara Epler, Jeffrey Yang & Rivka Galchen, moderated by Stephen Snyder)

Recorded roundtable about translation ethos.

What makes a successful book in translation? Have you ever wondered how many people are involved in various stages and how many pieces need to fall into place for an astonishing work of literary translation to make it into the hands and hearts of readers? Featuring Yoko Tawada with Margaret Mitsutani, Susan Bernofsky, Barbara Epler, Jeffrey Yang & Rivka Galchen, moderated by Stephen Snyder. Sponsored by Middlebury Language Schools.

Blerdy Otome Monthly Recap – July 2020 (Blerdy Otome)

Round-up of affordable game recs and visual novel reviews.

There were of course some positives in July: I was invited to participate in a round-table discussion with fellow black creatives over on the Manga Mavericks’s podcast! I had a blast talking with some truly talented individuals and it was great swapping stories and just all around having a great time. (I’ll share the link when the episode goes live). I’m also one of three hosts in an upcoming podcast… but, the details of that are a bit hush hush for the time being, so stay tuned for that!

VIDEO: On the hypocrisy of Ubisoft’s claims to progressive politics alongside the numerous abuse allegations against them.

VIDEO: Interview with famous chef “Sauce Man” Reggie.

AniFem Community

“Everyone gets into something late,” said Vrai, typing furiously so they could get back to Nier: Automata.

Almost all of them lmao  In all seriousness though, I think the most recent ‘older’ anime I got into was Devilman (manga, ovas, and Crybaby). I finally watched Crybaby during quarantine, and even though the gore and nsfw-ness was a little much for me, I stuck it out for Ryo and Akira’s dynamic and wasn’t disappointed (my love for Miki and Miko also played a major role). This then inspired me to jump down the rabbit hole that is Devilman, and I must say the 80s ova is my personal favorite, if just for the dub and artstyle.  I really like older series because usually they have a lot more reviews, content, etc. than newer ones, meaning I won’t get any nasty surprises or triggering content. I know this sounds a little wimpy (I get that a lot from my friends haha) but I’ve learned from watching madoka at the tender age of ten that I should definitely read content warnings and reviews beforehand.

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