Weekly Round-Up, 29 March – 4 April 2023: Feminist Scholar Ueno Chizuko, Good Smile’s Right-Wing Connections, and Disability in Sports Manga

By: Anime Feminist April 5, 20230 Comments
Akane making the >:3 face

AniFem Round-Up

My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 – Episode 1

Most of the episode rushes through establishing the premise, but there are some very promising names on the creative team.

Hell’s Paradise – Episode 1

Cool action-horror with a female co-lead, but not for the gore-averse.

The Dangers in My Heart – Episode 1

A uniquely nauseating opening gives way to an overall sweet rom-com about two weirdos.

My Clueless First Friend – Episode 1

A sweet show about how basic kindness can really go a long way.

Tengoku Daimakyou (Heavenly Delusion) – Episode 1

It’s a shame Disney has so colossally bungled this release, because there’s interesting sci-fi building blocks here (and some potential yikes).

My Home Hero – Episode 1

It’s a terrible, insulting take on domestic violence. But it’s also awe-inspiringly incompetent on every level.

Alice Gear Aegis Expansion – Episodes 0 – 1

It’s very silly, but because its tone and lore are so at odds it’s silly in a way that’s baffling rather than fun.

Kizuna no Allele – Episode 1

A dull, calculated cash-in that completely fails to capture what’s freeing and exciting about VTubers.

Skip and Loafer – Episode 1

Sweet and energetic with a relatably anxious heroine.

The Aristocrat’s Otherworldly Adventure: Serving Gods Who Go Too Far – Episode 1

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World and Became Unrivaled in the Real World, Too – Episode 1

Trades away its most interesting element before the end credits.

What’s your most anticipated Spring 2023 anime?

We’re in the thick of it now.

Chatty AF 182: Ace/Aro Representation in Anime and Manga – Part 2

Dee, Alex, and Cy return to their discussion of asexual and aromantic coding, and dive deep into the works of Uta Isaki!

Beyond AniFem

How a Major Toy Company Kept 4chan Online (Wired, Justin Ling)

Long rumored, the link between Good Smile Company and 4Chan has been confirmed by partnership agreement documents.

While it has been suggested that Nishimura is working to boost the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, it’s more difficult to ascribe any kind of American political ambition to 4chan’s owner. Apart from his posts on 4chan, which tend to be administrative, he rarely even comments in English. According to documents filed to the New York investigators, Nishimura actually lives in Paris.

The fact that 4chan became both more hateful and more prominent after 2015 is a feature, not a bug, says Mitsuwo, a former 2channel user and moderator of the rival 5channel: It was all business. “I personally think that Nishimura and his moderators intentionally encouraged hate speech on 2channel in order to heighten the influence of the site,” Mitsuwo says.

Nishimura has escaped this kind of scrutiny for years, even as other major platforms have been put under the microscope. Jim Watkins—who, through his hosting company, effectively stole 2channel from Nishimura before becoming administrator of 8chan—has been hauled before Congress to testify about his site’s role in inspiring mass shootings. There have been rounds of hearings and investigations into the role that Facebook, Google, and Twitter play in political extremism, misinformation, and censorship. The US Congress’ January 6 committee had also requested similar documents from 4chan.

School Segregates Black Japanese Student at Graduation Over Hair (Unseen Japan, Jay Allen)

The student was isolated because his hair was deemed “unclean” by the school.

The student, 18, is the child of a Japanese mother and Black American father who holds citizenship in both countries. (Japan doesn’t permit dual citizenship; however, dual citizen status is honored until a child turns 20.)

Before the graduation ceremony, the student opted to put his hair into cornrows. He thought this was in the spirit of school regulations regarding hair styles, as he says teachers told him his hair “shouldn’t touch his ears”.

However, when he showed up for the ceremony, he says several teachers exclaimed, “What’s that?” and told him “That’s not according to regulations. It’s not befitting a student”.

Feminist scholar Chizuko Ueno gains following among Chinese (The Asahi Shimbun, Kanako Sanada)

Ueno’s work has been recently translated in China; a video of Ueno speaking with Peking University graduates also recently went viral.

An increasing number of women are opting to remain single. The marriage rate in China was 5.22 per 1,000 people in 2022, the lowest level since statistics first became available in 1978.

Lu said women are shunning marriage because they believe it ties them to a “double burden” of household chores and their work.

“That is a problem shared across East Asia,” she said. “Women are often so angry at the gender bias in their daily lives. And many women are reading Ueno’s books and sharing their thoughts on them so they can reshape that anger in logical language with which to arm themselves.”

The #MeToo movement arose in China as well.

The country’s Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women was amended in 2022 to ban sexual harassment at workplaces and to obligate the protection of equal employment for women, among other things.

“I hope that digesting Ueno’s thoughts will help us generate and foster feminist thoughts of our own,” Lu said.

Yuri Research Club Doujinshi at Comiket 101 (Okazu)

Survey of a handful of self-published yuri works.

Today’s review is sponsored by Rica Takashima who sent me all these treasures from Comiket 101 at Tokyo Bight Sight this past winter. She and I have had our fair number of surreal experiences there, but among those I had not imagined, was the growth of Yuri research clubs at various universities. Of course in retrospect, it makes perfect sense that, as Yuri grows in popularity, some folks would create circles around doing basically the exactly same thing I’m doing here – reviews and research, interviews and news.  Because when I first visited Comiket 20 years ago, Yuri was not a genre, it’s really delightful that there are so many folks doing just that now. (Also, marveling at the fact that when Rica and I were selling our Yuri manga at Comiket, these young people were in diapers. What a different world they have ground up in in regards to Yuri!) Thankfully Rica also enjoys other people’s enjoyment, and so I have some really fun Yuri Research doujinshi today to share with you and some joyful faces from Comiket.

“Run on your new legs” – On To A New Path (Sports Baka, Ichi)

Summary of the first three volumes of the prosthetic-centered sports manga.

At first, the rookie sports star didn’t look favorably upon the bothersome attention, but concluded that trying to hide his sporting activity would most likely be even more tiresome. Accordingly, he doesn’t seem to mind being seen with his ‘new’ leg—the sports prosthetic. It is also, again and again, presented in full to the gaze of spectators, sports club members, passersby, and us readers. On the other hand, we can glimpse his daily-use prosthetics primarily when the hem of his trousers moves.

Visibility might not always be desired. Take Kikuzato’s father, for example, who prefers that his son doesn’t train with the blade exposed, where the neighbors can see him. Despicable as it is, his attitude is tied to a desire not to stand out and to appear like the ‘able-bodied everybody.’ Kikuzato himself seems to prefer that his disability remain inconspicuous in his everyday life. Why else would he repeatedly remove the help mark until, one day, he found it glued to his backpack?

Midori-sensei touches upon an important issue here and encourages us to reflect on our own attitudes with regard to normalcy and visibility, how it impacts our own thinking, and how it influences the lives of people with disabilities.

Contrary to the help mark, which ‘marks’ Kikuzato as a person with a disability, the blade marks him as an athlete, and his athletic activity is immediately rewarded with female attention—because, of course, athletes are cool. And usually, the more successful they are, the cooler and more attractive they become. In any case, the ones in the manga are manly, muscular, and admired by Kikuzato and women alike. But not everyone is an (elite) athlete and can fall back on the ‘coolness’ of athletic achievements.

THREAD: Rec list of manga with major trans and nonbinary characters.

TWEET: Free downloadable guide of self-publishing tips.

THREAD: Announcement of an upcoming podcast about the relationship between Black and Asian pop culture.

THREAD: On the current status of “okama” as a semi-reclaimed slur.

THREAD: Summary of Japanese article about four ex-idols who were sued by their management for breaking contract by not losing sufficient weight; courts found in favor of the idols.

TWEET: Stu Levy of Tokyopop’s latest venture is a partnership with the Saudi Prince.

AniFem Community

There are some dynamite continuations this season.

*Glances at profile pic* *Glances up at article header image* *Thinks about the winning streak P.A. Works has been on during the last year*

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