Weekly Round-Up, 30 June – 6 July 2021: Women’s Sports, Exploitation at MAPPA, and Summer Anime

By: Anime Feminist July 6, 20210 Comments
winking chibi Vanitas

AniFem Round-Up

Scarlet Nexus – Episode 1

Extremely “meh” video game adaptation.

Peach Boy Riverside – Episode 1

Momotaro retelling that’s extremely confused about what it wants to convey. Possibly because it’s being aired out of order for some reason.

The Case Study of Vanitas – Episode 1

Drop-dead gorgeous vampire series that blends comedy, action, and horror (and homoeroticism).

Girlfriend, Girlfriend – Episode 1

The polyamory angle is interesting but likely to devolve into a lazy excuse for this dude to accumulate girlfriends.

Remake Our Life! – Episode 1

It’s not a terrible time-travel premise, but the presentation is too thin to carry a double-length premiere episode.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom – Episode 1

Wow. Another isekai about a dude who automatically gets to be in charge because he has one basically competent skill. *Yawn*

RE-MAIN – Episode 1

Fun and bittersweet premiere from the director of Tiger & Bunny.

Kageki Shojo!! – Episode 1

While it’s not the most lavish to look at, this drama school title is working to do the staff-beloved source material proud.

The Duke of Death and His Maid – Episode 1

Mixing bowl of rom-com, boobs, sincerity and production woes that comes up less than the sum of its parts.

The Honor Student at Magic High School – Episode 1

Ostensibly stand-alone spinoff about a magic-wielding girl and the brother she has the hots for.

The Detective Is Already Dead – Episode 1

If it wants to be a mystery show, it should maybe care even a little about the actual mystery-solving part.

Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan – Episode 1

“Overworked millennial is secretly dead inside” is bleakly relatable, but this might’ve worked better as a series of shorts.

Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles – Episode 1

An isekai harem show so boring it’s already being forgotten.

Chatty AF 142: Wonder Egg Priority Postmortem

Alex, Mercedez, and Vrai sort through the rubble of the finale to see if there’s anything left worth salvaging.

What Summer premiere are you most excited about?

We’re only halfway through, after all.

Beyond AniFem

Expected to Be Demure, Japan’s Girls Face Steep Hurdles to Athletic Dreams (The New York Times, Motoko Rich)

Girls often receive less space and funds in addition to bias and pressures to be more “feminine.” Rich also tweeted a thread of additional quotes she collected while researching the piece.

In addition to instruction on goal shooting and passing techniques, the girls on the team get lessons in femininity. During an overnight training camp when Koko was in middle school, one of the coaches advised the girls on how to hold their chopsticks and rice bowls in what he considered a properly delicate manner.

“He mentioned that he would be prejudiced about a girl he was going to date if he heard she played soccer,” Koko recalled after finishing a series of intense sprints across the field during a recent evening practice.

“I did not like it at first,” Koko said. “But now that I am in high school, I am grateful. I realized that some boys care about things like that.”

After the women’s national team won the World Cup a decade ago, there were hopes that the situation would improve for female athletes in Japan.

Before that victory, girls in the United States had flocked to suburban soccer clubs after the U.S. women won the World Cup on American soil in 1999.

But there has not been the same kind of flourishing in Japan, and the disparities have not been elevated to the public consciousness.

According to a 2019 survey by the Sasakawa Sports Foundation, 1.89 million boys ages 10 to 19 — close to a third of all boys in that age bracket — played soccer either casually or on a team at least twice a month, compared with 230,000 girls, or just over 4 percent.

Animator Ippei Ichii Says Netflix Anime Produced at MAPPA Paid Bottom Rates (Updated) (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

While working on Yasuke, the MAPPA animators received 3800 yen per cut, when the average price ranges from 3800-7000 yen. This continues MAPPA’s ongoing issue with underpayment and overwork of its staff as it takes on schedules too short for even other studios to accept.

[The animator] then clarified: “To avoid misunderstanding, I have to say that my issue is with Netflix. For all the exorbitant amount of capital they have, it’s a problem that they’ve started to place orders with such low rates. There is a possibility that the prices are even lower than a TV series.”

Freelance animator Zayd commented: “The usual 4500 yen per cut is already bad enough. What is Netflix thinking allowing them to pay less than the average?”

In May, a freelance animator tweeted that they left MAPPA due to the “factory-like” conditions. They criticized MAPPA‘s decision to work on four shows at the same time instead of properly training its team so that such corrections wouldn’t be necessary, and said, “As far as I can tell, about 80% of the employees had similar complaints at the time.”

Yahoo! Japan search leads victims of sexual abuse to helpline (The Asahi Shimbun, Mizuki Sato)

Searching will return results for a sexual assault helpline if certain words are entered into the search bar (semi-graphic discussion at link).

Yahoo! Japan worked with the Cabinet Office, which introduced the common helpline number, to change the way search results are displayed on June 3.

“We have spent several years studying how our search service could help to solve social issues,” said a Yahoo! Japan official, citing changing social perceptions about sexual abuse as a key factor.

The official said the company was aware of a recent online campaign.

A group of university students began collecting signatures in April for a petition, which calls, among other things, for a change in the way search engines operate.

When victims of sexual abuse go online for help and enter related words, pornographic websites and reports on real-life cases often appear at the top of search results.

As a result, they are often unable to find out about available counseling services and also exposed to more unpleasant content, experts said.

Women hold only 5.9% of director-level jobs in Japan government (The Mainichi)

This report comes from 2020, with Prime Minister Suga allegedly shooting for 10% by 2025.

The Cabinet Office released data Thursday showing the share of such positions held by female public servants only rose 0.6 percentage points from the previous year, falling short of the government’s target of 7 percent.

Seven of the 18 ministries and agencies the data covers failed to reach the target. The worst performer was the National Public Safety Commission with 1.4 percent, followed by the Defense Ministry with 1.8 percent and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism with 2.1 percent.

The others were the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications with 3.7 percent, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with 4.1 percent, the Board of Audit with 5.9 percent and the Finance Ministry with 6.3 percent.

Pride Week: Disidentification and Lady Dimitrescu – Taking Pride in Queer Thirst (Eurogamer, Dr. Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston)

Analysis of the Lady D thirst phenomenon through a queer historical lens.

As this example suggests, disidentification is a crucial component of the cocktail of protest, performance, and play that marks Pride at its best, and few genres so readily invite this process of disidentification as the Gothic. In a discussion of ‘The Monster and the Homosexual‘, film theorist Harry M. Benshoff notes how, in heteronormative cultural contexts, instances of “queerness” – those forces and figures that resist the existing social order and destabilise conventional categories – often serve to disrupt the “narrative equilibrium” of a story, in the process bringing about “a questioning of the status quo” on the part of its audience. In the case of the Gothic, Benshoff argues, this queerness is emblematised by the “outrageous” figure of the monster, whose “sadomasochistic” antics consistently serve to pull focus from the narrative’s “banal and underdeveloped” protagonist(s) and disrupt their rational, bourgeois, heteronormative life-trajectory.

To return to the example of Resident Evil Village in the light of Benshoff’s comments, it becomes clear that while the surface narrative is structured around a quest to reunite the Winters-es and, by extension, restore the nuclear family to its conventional position of social and cultural centrality, the real pleasure of the game actually resides in the relish with which it sunders the Winters family, from their home, from one another, and, with much-memed regularity, key parts of their anatomy. It’s fair to say that a game in which a baby is crystallised and decanted into four labelled jars, and which features a set-piece in which a gigantic neonate engages you in a monstrous game of hide-and-seek, may not be uncomplicatedly invested in what queer theorist Lee Edelman calls “reproductive futurity”.

Japan is young Kurd’s only home, despite challenges of ‘illegal resident’ status (The Mainichi, Yukinao Kin)

Though Ramazan (23) has lived in Japan since age 9, he’s barred from working and cannot leave his home prefecture without obtaining government permission.

 Three years ago, Ramazan and his family filed a lawsuit demanding special permission from the Japanese government to stay in the country. The Special Permission for Residence system considers special circumstances to provide residency status to some foreigners who have been subject to departure orders and deportation proceedings. It has been over 10 years since the Kurdish family came to Japan, and their lives are now based here. If they return to Turkey, it is feared that they will face oppression. In the trial, the family has claimed that being sent back to Turkey would violate Article 13 of Japan’s Constitution, which guarantees the right to the pursuit of happiness, as well as Article 24 of the International Covenants on Human Rights, which states the importance of valuing the utmost benefits for children. The lawsuit is ongoing at the Tokyo District Court.

About 2,000 Kurds are believed to be living in Kawaguchi and the surrounding area. However, excluding cases where individuals have Japanese spouses, most of them do not have residency status. This occurs against a backdrop of Japan’s low refugee recognition rate, which stood at 0.4% in 2019. Many of the Kurds accompanied their parents to Japan as young children or were born in Japan and grew up without being recognized as refugees. For them, their “home country” is a faraway presence, and Japan is their de facto “hometown.” Meanwhile, they cannot carry on with their lives freely unless they are given permission to reside in the country legally. Through the lawsuit, Ramazan intends to crack open this contradictory situation.

According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, up to around 10,000 foreign nationals are deported after receiving departure orders each year. Meanwhile, the number of foreigners given special permission to stay in the country has stalled between 1,000 and 1,999 over the past several years.

Meanwhile, Japan, too, has made a significant policy shift to accept more foreign nationals in recent years, as it struggles with a labor shortage. It is an unquestionable fact that many industries in the country are dependent on foreign students and technical interns for workers.

Yasuzo Kitamura, an international human rights law professor at Chuo Law School, said, “That undocumented residents take on tasks known in the past to be tough, dirty, and dangerous, such as demolishing houses, is simply a fact. It doesn’t make sense to only rely on them when it’s convenient, while also adopting the official stance that ‘illegal residents cannot work.’ It is necessary to improve the system in accordance with reality.”

THREAD: Commentary on a video filmed inside Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial that includes convicted war criminals.

TWEET: News that Edogawa Ward prioritized Japanese residents over non-Japanese residents when sending vaccine tickets (original article in Japanese)

TWEET: Video about internalized orientalism in Japan.

THREAD: Discussion about COVID prep from an Olympic Covid Liaison.

AniFem Community

It’s not as strong a season as spring, but there are a couple bright spots before you head to your backlog.

Love Live Superstar, Kageki Shoujo, Aquatrope on White Sand in that order lol!
I'm excited for The Case Study of Vanitas but I'll probably wait for the 1st cour to be over I'm looking forward to Kageki Shoujo cause we're not receiving many shows like these lately(I know the 1st ep is out but I haven't had the chance to watch it yet) I saw The Detective is Already Dead and although I wouldn't say I loved it but it definitely got my curiousity as to where it might go from here The aquatope on white sand seems interesting but I'm worried it will go the direction of queerbaiting considering what it's about. Lastly Jahy-Sama is one I'm looking forward too cause it's such a fun and comfort series(though a bit mean to the mc at times) and Silver Link is really good at that sort of stuff(also 2-cour is really rare nowadays for these shows)

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