Weekly Round-Up, 3-9 July 2024: Kamisama Kiss Retrospective, Accessibility in Elden Ring, and Shirahama Kamome Interview

By: Anime Feminist July 9, 20240 Comments
a lightbulb going off in Makoto's head

AniFem Round-Up

The Ossan Newbie Adventurer, Trained to Death by the Most Powerful Party, Became Invincible – Episode 1

A middling but pleasant chill-out for the millennial viewer.

Alya Sometimes Hides Her Feelings in Russian – Episode 1

The leads have good chemistry; now the question is whether this rom-com builds on that or settles back into fan service and harem elements.

TASUKETSU -Fate of the Majority- – Episode 1

Whatever you call the special spark a death game needs to pull people in, TASUKETSU hasn’t got it.

Twilight Out of Focus – Episode 1

Feels like a beautiful little romantic short film that combines filmic artistry with well-executed character beats.

Ramen Akaneko – Episode 1

You’re telling me a cat made this ramen?

Failure Frame: I Became the Strongest and Annihilated Everything With Low-Level Spells – Episode 1

Another revenge power fantasy that will likely be forgotten before it’s finished airing.

Days with my Stepsister – Episode 1

It’s quiet and contemplative, but at the end of the day the “step sibling romance” element kind of overshadows everything else.

Pseudo Harem – Episode 1

It has a bit of charm, but the single joke is already wearing thin.

I Parry Everything! – Episode 1

It might not break new ground, but it’s cozy and the protagonist is a nice change of pace.

Senpai is an Otokonoko – Episode 1

It has heart (and Gender), but it also looks in serious danger of having a production meltdown partway through.

Dungeon People – Episode 1

Cozy and likable, and it’s nice to see a father-daughter story that’s primarily about the daughter.

Quality Assurance in Another World – Episode 1

This twist on the modern isekai has a lot of heart and definitely deserves more eyes on it.

Dahlia in Bloom: Crafting a Fresh Start with Magical Tools – Episode 1

A solid premise weighed down by serious production issues.

SHOSHIMIN: How to become Ordinary – Episode 1

Overshoots the mark on being quiet and restrained and ends up with with leads that feel tough to care about.

A Nobody’s Way Up to an Exploration Hero – Episodes 1-2

Leaves a lot of time to ask questions like, “why is the protagonist feeding these little girls rocks?”

The Elusive Samurai – Episode 1

A visually stunning bit of historical fiction.

2.5 Dimensional Seduction – Episode 1

Would like dudes to know it’s totally cool for girls to like things. As long as they like them in the exact same way you do. And are hot.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin – Episode 1

A stylistic folktale fantasy that’s looks stellar even beyond the standards of video game adaptations.

Narenare -Cheer for You!- – Episode 1

The cast is maybe a little big right out the gate, but it has that PA Works polish and takes cheerleading seriously as a sport.

My Deer Friend Nokotan – Episode 1

The trainwreck handling of the subtitles hangs over being able to engage with the show’s reference and pun-dense jokes at all.

A Journey Through Another World: Raising Kids While Adventuring – Episodes 1-2

This is a double-length premiere and it still feels like nothing happened.

Wistoria: Wand and Sword – Episode 1

A well-executed take on the familiar magic boarding school story.

VTuber Legend: How I Went Viral after Forgetting to Turn Off My Stream – Episode 1

If all you want is a show that revels in the contrast between pretty anime character designs and gross characterization, hey, you might have a good time.

No Longer Allowed in Another World – Episode 1

Please let Dazai Osamu’s ghost rest. He and Edgar Allan Poe are probably commiserating over brandy in the afterlife.


Failgirl YouTuber/blockhead vampire yuri, made by PA Works? Yes, please.

Chatty AF 210: 2024 Spring Season Wrap-Up

Alex, Toni, and Peter return to wrap up a season with multiple strong anime-original titles and stellar sequels!

What’s your favorite visual novel?

Non-romance ones. We’ll make a separate post for those.

Beyond AniFem

INTERVIEW: Witch Hat Atelier’s Kamome Shirahama Muses on Her Love of Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Antiques (AniTrendz, William Moo and Melvyn Tan)

Q&A with the artist from her recent visit to Toronto.

I’ve heard the story gets a bit darker in those latter volumes. Without giving it any kind of spoilers, what can readers expect as the story winds down? 

The story does become a little darker and a bit more complicated, but at the end of the day, it’s about Coco and the children facing difficulties and finding a way through somehow. I want the readers to really go into it feeling comforted that they’re going to solve these problems with Coco and her friends, and even in the depths of despair, there’s always going to be a way out or a solution. I want them to sort of have that perspective as they see the story through.

Do you have a message for your fans at TCAF and around the world?

This is something that readers of Witch Hat Atelier will already know or have started to notice, but the idea of the manga is that magic is not something you’re born with. It’s not in your blood or genes, nor if you were born into a family of magicians that makes you a magician. That’s not how it works. [Magic] is something that anyone can learn to do with pen and ink, and it’s an ability that anyone can learn to harness and to hone. I want readers to think, “Well, if this is something that I also have an ability to do, what will I do with this power that I have in my hands?” 

I know the story is set in a fantasy world, but the characters’ world is real to them. When the characters have a real pen and ink in front of them, how will they use this power? I want audiences to think [about] that as they read my story. 

Why You Don’t See New Magical Girl IPs the Way There Used to Be (It’s Not Because of Madoka) (Leaked Experience)

Deep dive into the multiple factors that have lead to the current state of the subgenre.

That’s right: ever since its inception twenty years ago, PreCure has never ended. It’s got a different sub-series with a different setting every year, but it’s under the same general franchise and carries the same concepts that Toei had been continuously using in their Sailor MoonPhantom Thief JeanneOjamajo DoremiPreCure progression. It’s now considered to be a part of the “Sunday Morning Kids’ Time” trio that people of all ages will watch together on Sunday mornings, with the other two being Kamen Rider and Super Sentai (and although the latter two are targeted at a male demographic, it’s not uncommon to hear about young boys watching PreCure while waiting for the other shows and getting into it).

So in other words, PreCure is now considered to be a functional sibling to two of the most historically and culturally relevant IPs in Japan. When you have a staple magical girl series that’s guaranteed to be around every Sunday, you can see why people wouldn’t feel too starved for another one, especially since PreCure changes up its concept every year and thus has a reasonable amount of variety all on its own. Which means if you’re a new magical girl IP that’s too similar to PreCure and you want to enter the market in competition — especially when it comes to toy sales, the most important source of funding for a kids’ series — you’re unlikely to stand a chance.

In fact, it may not be inaccurate to say that PreCure has monopolized the magical girl genre as a whole; the fact that Sunday Morning Kids’ Time is starting to monopolize kids’ Sunday mornings has been an issue often brought up among Japanese fans, and even as someone who’s a huge PreCure fan myself, I have mixed feelings about whether its imposing presence in the market has led to it becoming pretty much the only style of kids’ magical girl series you’ll ever see nowadays. It’s also probably a factor in why Nakayoshi doesn’t do that many new magical girl series next to the nostalgia milk-fest, because PreCure is a media mix in itself and thus has manga versions that run in Nakayoshi every year.

Singer of Japanese anime ‘NANA’ keen to promote Japan-China exchanges (The Mainichi)

Tsuchiya Anna, singing voice for Osaki Nana, held her first concert in Beijing in June.

The anime has become increasingly popular via Chinese social media posts and many fans in their teens and 20s came to Tsuchiya’s concert in Beijing, according to an organizer of the music event.

NANA, originally a manga by Ai Yazawa, follows the story of two women both named Nana, with one of them pursuing a professional music career with her band, and their friendship.

Tsuchiya said that even though she cannot speak Chinese, she felt at the concert that music transcended the language barrier and allowed the performers and audience to enjoy the occasion together.

Jiang Yuxuan, 26, who traveled from Qingdao in Shandong Province to join the embassy event in Beijing, told Kyodo News she was “overjoyed to be able to meet with (Tsuchiya) so close for the first time.”

“I would like to create more new songs and go to many places” in China to hold live music performances, Tsuchiya said.

Steam Next Fest 2024 Games to Keep on Your Radar (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

Short demos of indie games from a variety of genres.

[Boyhood’s End] isn’t in my usual wheelhouse, but I’m trying to branch out from visual novels… and I LOVE ‘Night on the Galactic Railroad’. You spend the bulk of the demo with Giovanni a severely bullied teen as he tries to survive in a world that is constantly against him. Fight a evil “benevolent” AI overlord that determines your worth based on an unfair point system. To make ends meet, you use your hacking skills to manipulate the world around you and solve puzzles. I’m not the best at games like this, I think I got slurped by a killer Roomba 10 times before I figured out how to not die. Frustrating AF, but so satisfying when I figured it out. And while Giovanni and Campanella don’t spend much time on screen in the demo… the chemistry is there *wink* *wink* I am definitely playing this when it comes out! I’m hooked!

Osaka lawsuit demands website info on ‘buraku’ be removed (The Asahi Shimbun, Issei Yamamoto)

Several communities in other prefectures have also filed suits.

The plaintiffs demanded that the head of the company remove information about places in Osaka Prefecture and pay 11 million yen ($68,000) in compensation.

As of the end of June, the website listed the names of at least 367 places where buraku, or feudal-era communities of outcast people, are located, according to the lawsuit.

Residents of those areas still face discrimination, notably in employment and marriage.

The website also carries photographs and explanations about the communities.

The plaintiffs said the photographs, including those of abandoned vehicles and derelict homes, “evoke an image that buraku are scary places and add to discrimination.”

“Many people (who live in buraku communities) find it difficult to come forward for fear of discrimination that still remains,” said Masahito Nakai, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “It is the role of the judiciary to extricate them from such a situation.”

Over 10% of people aged 16-29 have been groped, most often on trains: Japan gov’t survey (The Mainichi, Akiko Yamazaki)

13.6% of women who responded and 3.6% of men reported having been groped.

The study, aimed at understanding the actual situation faced by victims, received 2,346 valid responses, revealing that nearly half, or 46.4%, of the respondents were between the ages of 16 and 19 when they were groped for the first time, while 35.4% were 15 years old or younger.

Regarding recent incidents, 62.8% of victims were groped “on the train” — the most common location. Many of them were on their way to school (32.2%) or going home (31.5%). There was a noticeable increase in cases during commuting hours such as “from 6 to 9 a.m.” (34.5%) and “from 6 to 9 p.m.” (18.2%). Perpetrators were of the opposite sex in 85.2% of cases. In 4.3% of cases they were of the same sex and in 10.6% their gender was unknown.

To a question allowing multiple answers asking whether or not the victims contacted the police or other authorities, only 9.9% said they “notified the police immediately after the incident” while the majority, or 80.4%, said they “did not notify the police or officials of other authorities concerned.” The most common answer to a multiple-response question asking why they didn’t report the case to the police, was “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it” at 41.1%.

Women gradually rise in Japanese politics but face deep challenges (The Asahi Shimbun)

10.3% of the lower house of parliament membership is women, which isn’t far removed from the 8.4% when women were first elected to parliament in 1946.

Attacks on Renho’s aggressive image were a clear example of gender bias in a society that expects female candidates to be “motherly or cute,” said Chiyako Sato, a Mainichi Shimbun editorial writer and a commentator on politics.

Because of a small female presence in politics, powerful women tend to get excessive attention. Their presence in Tokyo governor’s election “conveyed a positive message that women can become political leaders, but a large amount of the noise about them also reflected Japan’s sad reality,” said Mari Miura, a Sophia University professor and expert on gender and politics.

For instance, a survey of national and local lawmakers in 2022 conducted by a civil group showed one-third of about 100 female respondents faced sexual harassment during election campaigns or at work.

Earlier this year, a gaffe-prone former prime minister, Taro Aso, was forced to apologize for describing Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, a woman, as capable but not beautiful.

Women make up about 30% of the Tokyo assembly, and their presence in town assemblies in urban areas is also growing. On average, female representation in more than 1,740 Japanese local assemblies doubled to 14.5% in 2021 from 20 years ago. There are growing calls for more female voices in politics.

But in rural areas, where more traditional gender roles are more usual, 226, or 13% of the total, had “zero women” assemblies last year, according to the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office.

Epilepsy doctor tells of brother’s forced sterilization under Japan’s old eugenics law (The Mainichi, Hiroshi Endo)

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Japanese government owes damages to victims of the eugenics law.

According to national statistics, Miyagi Prefecture had the second-highest number of forced sterilizations, with 1,406. The prefecture destroyed part of its records, leaving 900 verifiable cases including 39 due to epilepsy, accounting for about 4%.

Soga’s brother, now hospitalized at Bethel, uses a wheelchair and is described as always smiling and gentle-natured.

“I can say I built Bethel for my brother,” says Soga. It is rare for family to reveal cases of forced sterilization, and he suggests that, like his brother, many people with epilepsy also have intellectual disabilities, making it difficult for them to speak out. “Unless society ensures a mechanism to speak on behalf of the victims, it is challenging for these issues to be recognized.”

Only recently have the sterilizations been acknowledged as a social problem. Lawsuits for state compensation have been filed nationwide, and on July 3 the Supreme Court ruled that the government must indeed pay damages to victims. However, Soga feels that discrimination against people with disabilities persists.

VIDEO: Accessibility and Elden Ring.

VIDEO: Nostalgic look back at all of Kamisama Kiss.

VIDEO: Men and masculinity in shoujo.

AniFem Community

Thank you for giving us something to think about besides premieres for a minute.

Favorite VN from Japan: Jack Jeanne Favorite VN that is NOT a dating sim: Digimon Survive and A Little Lily Princess Subgenre you’d like to see utilized more: High fantasy Maximum length you enjoy in a title: It depends on how much I like the VN. One route in Jack Jeanne runs 30 hours without skipping and I really liked that one, where as one route in One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e runs 4-5 hours without skipping and I hate that VN.
My favorite VN from Japan is Danganronpa V3, the third and (pretty definitively) final game in the teen death game meets courtroom drama series. The opening is sick as hell, Masafumi Takada delivered another banger soundtrack (honestly the presentation is stellar across the board), there’s some great twists and character beats, and the extremely contentious ending is such a bold swing that I can’t help but love it. It’s not a perfect game by any means (the series has always been a bit mean-spirited and V3 certainly has its fair share of problematic elements) but it’s one of those pieces of media that’s basically permanently lodged into my brain.  As for my favorite VN from outside Japan, it’s a toss-up between We Know The Devil (3 queer disaster teens have a transformative encounter with the devil at a Christian summer camp) and Butterfly Soup (4 queer disaster Asian-American teens play baseball and fall in love). We Know The Devil and its follow-up Heaven Will Be Mine have such a distinctive voice that I really love, and like Danganronpa V3, WKTD lives rent-free in my head, albeit for very different reasons (of the gender feelings variety). Meanwhile, the Butterfly Soup games are quite possibly the funniest games I’ve ever played, and despite all of the hijinks and memes they also really deftly handle some more serious subject matter like homophobia, racism, and the cultural divide between second-generation immigrant children and their parents.

either umineko or house of fata morgana. both are literacy masterpieces.— Princess Flutters (@princessflutters.bsky.social) Jul 9, 2024 at 10:52 AM

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