Jessie H. on how this josei manga contrasts two relationships in crisis, and how checking all the boxes of a “perfect” heteronormative marriage can quickly become a stranglehold.
Jordan Mulder sifts through the show’s fanservice, meme-worthy faces, and underlying commentary about women trapped in a violent class struggle.
Barring that, maybe you’ll find something new and cool to read.
Anti-Blackness in Anime: Loving an Industry that Doesn’t Always Love Me (But Why Tho?, LaNeysha Campbell)
Addressing the pervasive issue, shows that push back against caricature, and what fans can do.
So then what do we do about anti-blackness in anime? How can I love and enjoy a medium that clearly doesn’t always show me the same love back?
Well, for one, as I said before, anti-blackness is everywhere. But just because I can’t escape it does not mean I have to tolerate it. Ignoring anti-blackness by never watching any anime ever again won’t put an end to anti-blackness. To be clear, I’m not saying to continue to consume specific work that is repeatedly racist or anti-black. I am saying you should also speak out and let the creators and other fans know that their work is problematic. You, me, and any other fans of anime have the right to share our critiques and opinions, and the artists should listen to them.
I love seeing Black characters in anime because I love seeing characters that look like me in the things I love. However, that reflection should not come at the cost of being made the butt of racist and anti-black jokes. It is sad to say that even in 2021, we need to call out anti-blackness in pop culture, but if we don’t then, it will continue to exist.
We have to demand better and set a standard for how Black people should be represented respectfully because, frankly, we deserve better. There is no excuse for anti-blackness or racist themes to exist in anime or any medium for that matter. We have to demand better and set a standard for how Black people should be represented respectfully.
Wonder Egg Priority: Episode 4 (Anime News Network, Steve Jones)
Wading into the Gender Issues of recent episodes.
I’ve already seen lots of people come away from this episode with a lot of different interpretations of Momoe’s gender identity. The only concrete fact right now is a lack of them, and given the personal nature of this, I can only speak personally. In that respect, I think the fuzziness and uncertainty is part of the point (for now, anyway). Given the historical oppression and repression that has plagued queer voices and representation, I totally understand the reactive movement towards clarity and explicitness. However, I think this reaction also sometimes loses sight of the inherent difficulty of translating any part of one’s identity into language and art, which compounds exponentially when considering the inner, interpersonal, and societal complexities of gender and sexuality, neither of which are binary, nor necessarily rigid. I don’t want to lose sight of these messier and more muddled musings, because honestly those are the ones that have always resonated with me the most. Momoe, for instance, might be a trans girl struggling with gender expression, or she might be a cis girl struggling with gender expression, or she might be somewhere in between. These struggles don’t completely overlap, and some readings are likely to suffer as Wonder Egg Priority explores her character and backstory more. Nevertheless, the acknowledgement of this struggle is a good place to start.
Tokyo Olympics Chief Apologizes for Remarks Demeaning Women (The New York Times, Motoko Rich, Hikari Hida and Makiko Inoue)
Mori’s comments have led to furor both in Japan and abroad, including a petition against him.
The president, Yoshiro Mori, stoked a social media backlash after news reports emerged of his comments demeaning women during an executive meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee that was held online.
“On boards with a lot of women, the board meetings take so much time,” Mr. Mori, 83, said to laughter, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, one of the country’s largest daily newspapers. “Women have a strong sense of competition. If one person raises their hand, others probably think, I need to say something too. That’s why everyone speaks.”
Mr. Mori, a former prime minister, was responding to a question asking him to comment on the Olympic committee’s plan to increase the number of women board members to more than 40 percent of the total.
“You have to regulate speaking time to some extent,” Mr. Mori said. “Or else we’ll never be able to finish.”
Choose Wisely, Sweet Maiden! A Brief History on Otome Games in the West (Yatta-Tachi, Sandy L)
A brief history of otoge and localization efforts.
Out of the hundred games they’ve made over the years, only a very small percentage of their games ever made it to having English localization.
There aren’t many definitive reasons as to why this is, at least in the earlier years of otome games. Perhaps Japanese companies didn’t believe that there was a market for these games, and localization companies didn’t think it’s worth the effort since there’s a perceived lack of interest. One reason that could be one of the defining factors was the licensing costs for the voice actors. Starry Sky, a cult-classic otoge, had a fairly large fan base due to its beautiful artwork and the accompanying anime adaptation that was released in 2008. A localization company by the name of JAST USA had announced to much fanfare at Anime Expo in 2011 that they would be trying to bring over the much-demanded game to English-speaking fans. Unfortunately, after three years, the game still hadn’t been localized. The head of the company, Peter Payne, revealed that the problem lies with “its ‘all-star cast’ featuring famous voice-actors, whose inclusion would require a significant licensing fee.”
VIDEO: A breakdown on ADHD as a disability and how it affects videogame players.
VIDEO: Jeff Trammell on his show Craig of the Creek’s anime influences.
THREAD: Breakdown of myths and prejudices surrounding website accessibility in light of a recent lawsuit against Funimation.
THREAD: Academic article about Japanese women’s literature (full article paygated).
THREAD: How antiblackness in anime affects Black cosplayers.
THREAD: Statement from Wonder Egg Priority director about a line in episode 4.
There are some real good suggestions here that might be good ideas to suggest for licensing…