Weekly Round-Up, 29 May – 4 June 2024: Trans Legislation, Silent Hill Redesigns, and a Portrait of Abuse

By: Anime Feminist June 4, 20240 Comments
Reimi on the train, making an alarmed cat face

AniFem Round-Up

The Villain Edit: Dissecting how Oshi no Ko evokes real-life tragedy in its depictions of harassment and reality TV culture

Oshi no Ko evokes a real woman’s death with good intentions, but it’s still worth asking if the story’s execution did more harm than good.

Nagata Kabi and the Mundane Pain of Sickness; or, That Time My Body Broke and I Had To Figure Out How to Keep Going

AniFem editor Cy on their medical issues and looking for joy despite the stigma against being Black, fat, and disabled.

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede-Destruction – Episodes 0-1

Chilling, ambitious, and often funny…just probably skip over the prologue.

What’s your most recent favorite BL manga?

Since there are always interesting new titles coming out.

Beyond AniFem

Introducing Anime Herald’s 2024 Funding Drive (Anime Herald, Samantha Ferreira)

The wonderful Anime Herald is currently fundraising to cover site operations and matching funds with a donation to The Trevor Project.

This year marks the seventh anniversary of our relaunch as a reader-supported publication. At that point, we did so with the intention of making Anime Herald an ad-free publication that pays its writers and editorial team fairly. And, over the past few years, we’ve worked to embody that ideal, as we’ve grown gradually and attempted to keep our expenses low while dedicating the lion’s share of our payments toward our team and the writers with whom we work.

We’re in a good place now, thanks to that. We’ve finally reached a point where we’re publishing twice a week on a regular basis, and we’re paying everyone $50 per article for their work. We’re not quite breaking even every quarter, but we are close.

The Fund Drive

This month, we’ll be making a drive to do the following:

Break even on our financial costs

Raise our rates by 50%, for both our team and the writers we work with

Add a new monthly feature or article series to Anime Herald

Opinion: Transgender assemblywoman’s struggles light path to a better society in Japan (The Asahi Shimbun, Richi Tanaka)

Profile of Ms. Kojima Sayuri, a member of the Kasugai municipal assembly in Aichi Prefecture.

After some time as a company worker, at age 27 she founded a cafe and live music venue. Although her shop struggled financially, it made a name for itself in Nagoya. In 1982, Kojima got married to a woman who was a regular patron, and the couple eventually became parents.

In this world, it’s a norm for those born as male to get married and have families. Though feeling uncomfortable, Kojima, too, went along with this. “As far as I knew, at the time there was no such thing as ‘gender discomfort.’ It was that kind of era,” she recalled.

Kojima only realized her gender was at the root of her discomfort at the age of 57, some time after divorcing. She read in a newspaper about the opening of a bar in Nagoya that welcomed people of diverse sexualities. “I thought, ‘I have to go there,'” she recalled.

Kojima became a regular at the bar and connected with others like her. Sharing her worries made her feel better. She wore makeup for the first time and participated in an LGBTQ community parade. At age 62, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began hormone therapy.

As her body began to change, she resolved to come out to her family and the students of a computer training school she managed. Kojima came out to her mother the last, who told her, “Live as you please.” Her fears that everyone would distance themselves from her proved unfounded.

My Picture Diary Manga Review (Anime News Network, Rebecca Silverman)

Nonfiction work by artist Fujiwara Maki, wife of GARO creator Tsuge Yoshiharu.

Even if you’ve never read Tsuge’s manga or heard of Maki Fujiwara – and you may not have; today, she’s probably best known for being Tsuge’s wife – the more you digest her story, the more you begin to notice what’s going on. On January 30th, she writes, “This is Daddy’s three-tatami-wide castle. I rarely dare trespass. Because Daddy works (?) from the time we go to bed until dawn, he doesn’t get up until midday.” At first, this looks like the life of a manga creator’s wife, but when we analyze the text more deeply, certain elements stand out. Her question mark after “works” indicates her doubts, but the sentence “I rarely dare trespass” is much more striking. Yes, everyone has private spaces within their home, and a shared bedroom would necessitate somewhere else for Tsuge and Fujiwara, but the way she frames it makes it sound like she’s afraid to go into his workspace. When she says in a later entry that he hits her several times, it feels like this entry was foreshadowing – she wasn’t afraid to enter because she didn’t want to disturb him but because she knew he could be violent.

Interestingly enough, only Tsuge has his own personal space within what, from the illustrations, appears to be a tiny apartment. Shosuke, the couple’s son, refers to the kitchen as Fujiwara’s room. Her place is behind the pots and pans, beside the stove, and even if she’s pursuing a creative endeavor, she’s still a housewife first and foremost. This is borne out by the various ways that Fujiwara describes her days: she’s happiest when she can take a long walk with Shosuke, preferably to a friend’s house, and when she can go out by herself, there’s a tone of panicked relief to her writing. But she also mentions that her husband doesn’t like her going out for a jog as often as she does, and their only truly positive interactions are when they sit down to watch movies together – but at home, on their TV, not in the theater, unless Fujiwara has permission to go out by herself. This is even more damning when we consider that before marrying Tsuge (or rather, becoming involved with him), Fujiwara was an actress in what today we’d call indie films and theater. Tsuge can be read as trying to change who she is from the ground up.

Child demands transgender woman be acknowledged as parent at Japan Supreme Court (The Mainichi, Kenji Tatsumi)

Current Japanese law does not allow individuals to medically transition if they already have children.

The woman in her 40s had two children with her partner, who is in her 30s, using her own sperm frozen before she transitioned under Japan’s Act on Special Cases in Handling Gender Status for Persons with Gender Identity Disorder in 2018.

The transgender woman submitted a notification to be recognized as the parent of the two daughters, but her request was rejected by the local government. Therefore, the daughters filed a suit as plaintiffs, demanding acknowledgment of parentage.

The Tokyo Family Court refused to recognize the parent-child relationship for both daughters in February 2022. In August the same year, the Tokyo High Court recognized the relationship between the woman and her eldest daughter born before her transition, but not for the second daughter born after her transition.

Presiding Justice Akira Ojima of the Supreme Court’s Second Petty Bench held a hearing involving related parties on May 31. The second daughter’s side argued, “We are biologically related and both parties have agreed to acknowledge (paternity), so recognition should be granted.” The court is set to hand down a ruling on June 21.

Just Kiss Him Already Game Review – Sugary Sweet Frenemies to Lovers Romance (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

A bite-sized game jam title that also has a yuri companion game.

Since you don’t play as one of the boys, you watch from the sidelines as Arley and Hayden gradually become a couple. Aside from a few interactions at school, most of the romantic stuff happens off screen. You’re mostly a sounding board for their feelings about each other. They will both give you a detailed rundown of everything that happens when they are alone together.

It’s an interesting choice, not having you take on the role of either Arley or Hayden. But, I kind of like being a bystander in their romantic antics. Oddly enough it makes me more invested in their relationship. You kind of feel like a proud mama watching your sweet babies finally get their ish together! Though, I will admit, there were a few moments where I desperately wanted to peek in on their little dates!

Older Japanese men ‘making up’ for lost time by dipping into cosmetics (The Mainichi)

The new market has brought in four billion yen in two years.

The market grew about 1.7-fold from 2017 to 43.3 billion yen ($275 million) in 2023, according to major Japanese marketing research firm Intage Inc., as men focused more on how they appear in the video and online meetings that became much more common during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

The use of makeup became more accepted among some young Japanese men in recent years, but the trend has spread to older generations, with spending on cosmetics rising some 1.5-fold among men in their 40s and 50s, the firm said.

In November last year, Shiseido Japan Co. featured actor Takashi Sorimachi, 50, and his wife and actress Nanako Matsushima, 50, in its advertisement for the men’s skin care brand Shiseido Men.

Group: Mentally ill people face discrimination under local rules (The Asahi Shimbun, Yukiko Sakamoto)

The group’s surveys found almost 500 discriminatory provisions across the country in 2022.

Many local government staff members told The Asahi Shimbun that “old provisions from before our municipal merger were retained intact” or that some “rules simply went unnoticed during past reviews.”

They also stressed they “would never drive away mental disorder patients because of those provisions.”

Nobuhiro Terazawa, 78, a member of Kokoro no Tabi no Kai, said, “As far as I know, there have been no reported cases of mentally ill people being rejected unjustly.”

But he emphasized that local governments’ stances toward residents with mental disorders should be called into question.

“It will be meaningless for local governments to revise rules only after problems come to light,” Terazawa said. “They must have had the chance to become aware of problem rules, and overlooking such provisions shows they did not consider it their mission to eliminate discrimination.”

Kokoro no Tabi no Kai said restrictive criteria also regarded police matters, including a now-amended provision of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Justices hear about shattered lives from forced sterilizations (The Asahi Shimbun)

An estimated 25,000 people were sterilized while the law was in effect.

“I carried a secret because of the surgery and my life was greatly thrown off course,” he said. “I have suffered for 67 years.”

The man was sterilized without his knowledge when he was 14, but he never told his wife until just before she died.

A woman in her 70s who was a plaintiff in the lawsuit heard before the Sendai High Court told the Supreme Court, “I filed the lawsuit because I didn’t want the damage caused to be buried, but the government has only repeatedly said that it will not apologize or investigate.”

The last person to speak on behalf of the plaintiffs was Koji Niisato, the co-head of a national group of lawyers handling the various lawsuits.

“We ask the court as the bastion of human rights to correct those acts by the government that violated the Constitution,” he said. “We are hoping that the Supreme Court will hand down a ruling that is truly just and fair.”

The two major points of contention is whether the old law was unconstitutional and whether a statute of limitations of 20 years applied in denying the plaintiffs compensation.

All five high courts have ruled the old law as unconstitutional, but there was a difference of opinion over the statute of limitations, with the Sendai High Court denying compensation on grounds of the statute of limitations.

Being A Silent Hill Fan Is A Lot Like Living In Silent Hill (Aftermath, Gita Jackson)

Bloober Team, Masters of Themes™.

“There’s a reason Maria is in the town with James, and it has a lot to do with how James feels about his late wife and women in general,” he continued. “The changes in Maria’s outfit and attitude seem to signify not only how Bloober Team want to alter Maria, but also how they are changing James to alter or outright remove aspects of his personality that are central themes of the game that fans have been mentally chewing on for decades now.”

This is all to say: not only is Maria’s outfit from the original game an important aspect of her character and James’ story arc, it is a perfectly realistic, even fashionable outfit for a woman to wear in 2024. Not to be melodramatic, but the way that Bloober Team have missed the mark on how this character’s sexuality is visually expressed as well as the actual reality of what people wear in 2024 to signify sexiness makes me want to yell into a paper bag. This should have been a no-brainer, but we ended up with a character who looks like a sensible lawyer trying on an o-ring choker because her step-daughter said they were cool as opposed to a physical manifestation of James Sunderland’s misogyny.

VIDEO: Going over different genre names for romances between men.

AniFem Community

As always, take a look at the threads to find something new!

I'm still discovering BL, but I have to say that it's one of the first that I started reading that continues to be my favourite: I Hear the Sunspot. I have really enjoyed how the series explores different deaf and hard-of-hearing experiences, and the occasional conflicts between people with different points of view, without depicting one as better than the other, or more worthy of support than the other. I also have just really enjoyed watching the characters' relationship gradually grow, it feels believable.
Oh yeah, Restart After Coming Back Home is a lot little series especially in its theme of trying to find a new path after giving on your dream and reconciliation with the things that we have left before. It is a realistic portray and a little bit of a harsh reminder that sometimes dreams cannot be achieved therefore we need to seek a new fresh start in our life again.
Starry Magi @starrylitme.bsky.social · 11h Reply to Anime Feminist I'm pretty weak for Monster and the Beast. I haven't finished it yet but I'm a sucker for batb romances lol. This one's a fun subversion.

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