Weekly Round-Up, 3-9 November 2021: Revisiting Utena, Anti-Immigrant Attack Ad, and Netflix Pay Rates

By: Anime Feminist November 9, 20210 Comments
Three women at an aquarium, two in pirate costumes and one with a giant fish hat

AniFem Round-Up

Site Update: New Patreon perks, manga recommendation pages, and more

We’ve added new pages to the site, new patron tiers, and new rewards that will keep rolling out in the coming months.

2021 Fall Three Episode Check-In

The team checks in on the current season of anime to see what shows have blossomed and what’s fallen off a cliff.

Chatty AF 150: Soul Eater Rewatchalong – Episodes 14-26

Chiaki, Dee, and Vrai cover the show’s second cour; featuring much crying over Crona, talk about the show’s portrayals of adult women, and EX-CALI-BUR.

What’s your dream production team for your dream anime?

Shoot for the moon, readers.

Beyond AniFem

Trans Soccer Star Kumi Yokoyama Proposes to Girlfriend: “She Said Yes!” (them, Oliver Haug)

Yokoyama came out last June and hopes to live as a man after they one day retire from soccer.

Yokoyama is the second NWSL player to come out as trans after Quinn, who plays for the OL Reign as well as the Canadian national team, came out last year. Quinn recently became the first openly trans player to compete on an Olympic stage this past July in Tokyo, where they took home the first-ever medal — a gold — for a trans Olympian.

In their coming-out video, Yokoyama mentioned being inspired by Quinn in their decision to be open about their trans identity. 

“I realized that it was what taking action looks like. To be able to accept people you have no relationship with, that’s the kind of person I would like to become, and I hope we can create that society,” they said, referencing recent photos of Quinn in a “protect trans kids” sweatshirt. The phrase references the conservative-backed slate of legislation seeking to ban transgender youth from playing sports and accessing medical care.

Director Masaaki Yuasa Wants INU-OH To Be a Positive Story About Disability (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

Yuasa’s film will also be a story involving the Heike, like Yamada’s current anime.

What particularly struck Yuasa about the story of the historical figure of Inu-Oh was how he was pressured to conform to a certain “correct” style of Sarugaku Noh. This inspired Yuasa to dig into the idea that there were multitudes of diverse experiences that were ignored in the creation of an “approved” history. By telling a fictional story around an Inu-Oh that the records do not acknowledge, Yuasa hoped to convey the existence of the marginalized, whose stories have been flattened or erased in the telling of history.

“I like stories about history’s losers,” he said. “For me, it’s kind of an assurance. Even if history does not remember them, within the span of their own lives, there were surely people who understood them. That’s meaningful to us in the modern day as well. Everyone needs someone who understands them.”

Self-affirmation and choosing one’s own identity are also big themes of the film. The main characters change appearances and names multiple times throughout the story, and for them the act of choosing their own name becomes a way of resisting the labels pushed onto them by the world around them. Yuasa hopes that audiences can ultimately see it as an uplifting story.

Should You Watch Utena? (Empty Movement, Yasha)

On the pros and cons of starting the classic series as a new viewer in response to the show becoming available on Crunchyroll, from the head of the show’s longest running fansite.

Utena is weird, guys. It’s a classic, and for some really fucking good reasons, but there are a lot of psychedelic visuals, references to literature, psychological breakdowns, references to its own damn self, and just… it’s just so much. I’m not gonna lie, it can be offputting, because you never get what you expect. It’s shoujo as hell, but backwards and run through a shredder. It’s magical girl anime, but only if by “magical” you mean “traumatized.” It’s yuri– yes there are queer relationships– but it’s actually a story about abuse and how hard it is to build an honest relationship in the midst of abuse. I’m not saying it’s not yuri, but I am saying that holy shit it’s NOT the soft, fluffy, lesbian love you imagine when you think of the yuri genre. Anyone who just says “It’s yuri, watch it!” and won’t explain anything else is, like, probably out to get you or something– especially if they mean the other kind of yuri. It is, absolutely, not porn.

On top of all that, it’s longer than modern anime (39 whole episodes!), it seems at first to be just a “rah-rah girls can be awesome too” kinda show, and then later on it depicts trauma in ways that can be very hard to watch and that you might not expect. Are you up for extremely relatable or totally unflinching or uniquely painful scenes of abusive interactions, both sexual and nonsexual? Are you okay with explicitly depicted abuse, are you able to take care of yourself if you get triggered, and are you still gonna want to watch after seeing something that really hurts? If you are, Utena might be for you. Are you okay with surreal bullshitting and trippy imagery? Do you like that feeling of your brain melting because you’re not sure what’s real? If you do, you’re gonna like Utena.

And how about the core themes? Do you care about abuse and systemic harm, are you interested in gender at all? You don’t have to be, but if those things don’t bore you or actively put you off, you’ll get some good brain food out of Utena.

Game Devs Who Do Diversity Right (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

Shoutouts to several indie visual novel devs creating games with inclusive casts.

Jellyfish Parade is one of my absolute fave indie devs, hands down and I will sing their praises until there is no breath left in my body! If you have not played any of the Jellyfish Parade games, bookmark this post and go download one right now! All of their games feature BIPOC heavy cast and as a Black gamer, I always appreciate games that focus on characters that look like me. But, what really puts Jellyfish Parade over the top for me is that the team consistently puts out romance visual novels lead by strong, funny, and dynamic Black and brown leading ladies! And there is a nuance to the characters that makes them all so relatable and fun!

Family to seek criminal charges over death of Sri Lankan detainee (The Asahi Shimbun)

The family has still been unable to obtain full footage of the time leading up to the deceased’s death despite repeated requests.

Relatives of a Sri Lankan woman who died in detention at an immigration facility in Nagoya earlier this year are set to bring a criminal complaint against senior immigration officials at the time in connection with her death.

A lawyer representing the sisters of the late Wishma Sandamali, 33, announced the plan to take legal action on Nov. 8.

“We have decided to file a criminal complaint out of hopes for prosecutors to respond to the case swiftly and strictly,” said Chie Komai, the sisters’ lawyer.

The complaint is expected to be lodged with the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office as early as Nov. 9, targeting the then chief of the Immigration Services Agency’s Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau and other officials.

Sandamali died in March at the bureau’s detention facility after becoming seriously ill. She was taken into custody at the detention center in August 2020 after she overstayed her student visa.

U.S. Politicians Call for Consequences After Rep. Paul Gosar’s Attack on Titan Anti-Immigration Video (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

Critiques from politicians have largely focused on the fact that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is portrayed as the Colossal Titan and thus implicitly killed during the animation.

Twitter has not removed Gosar’s post on both his professional and personal Twitter accounts, but did add a disclaimer that states the content “violated the Twitter rules for hateful conduct.” The social media site has left the video up because it “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” The video was also posted on Instagram.

The parody replaces the anime’s title card with an alternate Japanese title that translates to “Attack of the Immigrants” (Imin no Kо̄geki). It intersperses clips of refugees with footage from the anime, and portrays U.S. President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party as the Colossal Titan.

The video appears to include implied positive associations with former president Donald Trump and U.S. representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Gaetz is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the House Ethics Committee for sex trafficking, including an allegation involving a minor. Gaetz has denied the allegations.

Gosar has ties to far-right and white nationalist groups, such as the Groypers, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. He has also endorsed far-right conspiracy theories such as the claim that leftist protestors organized the Capitol riot on January 6.

TWEET: Sailor Moon Fan Club interview with comic creator Sharean Morishita.

TWEET: Link to full series content warnings for Utena.

TWEET: Info on upcoming online lecture, “What Can Japan Teach Us About Global Disability Studies? Lessons to Learn from the Perspective of an Overseas Wheelchair User.”

THREAD: Translator’s experience with Netflix’s extremely low rates of pay.

AniFem Community

See, this is good couch casting.

- I'm In Love With The Villainess adaptation - Naoko Yamada directing with KyoAni animating - Yuniko Ayana or Jukki Hanada for series composition - Michiru Ooshima for the soundtrack

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: