Weekly Round-Up, 30 March – 5 April 2022: Accessibility Resources, Ranking of Kings Translation Issues, and Gendered Pronouns

By: Anime Feminist April 5, 20220 Comments
a smiling Noe reaching out his hand while the sun breaks through the clouds

AniFem Round-Up

 Ya Boy Kongming! – Episode 1

A goofy, delightful reverse isekai comedy matching a Three Kingdoms strategist with a would-be singer.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life – Episode 1

A yuri fantasy series that looks like a gem and is well worth going into unspoiled.

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai – Episode 1

It’s stiff, the designs are unappealing, and it’s not vibrant enough to escape the shadow of the other rom-coms it borrows from.

Love All Play – Episode 1

Started airing just in time to be The Other Badminton Anime.

Thermae Romae Novae – Episode 1

An awfully straight-faced reboot of a series known for fish-out-of-water absurdity.

Fanfare of Adolescence – Episode 1

Enjoyable as a tropey sports anime, and the exploration of the lead’s disillusionment as a former idol is especially promising.

ESTAB LIFE: Great Escape – Episode 1

A somewhat endearing high-concept mess.

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs – Episode 1

It’s hard to hear anything in this premiere over the utter contempt it has for the genre it’s meant to be parodying.

Healer Girl – Episode 1

It’s not shaking up any formulas but it’s a well-executed fantasy series (and musical!).

I’m Quitting Heroing – Episode 1

It’s competent, but it can’t seem to decide whether it wants you to laugh at its trashboy protagonist or sympathize with him.

Tomodachi Game – Episode 1

Its main appeal right now is as a potential entry point for people looking for less gory/sleazy examples of “death game” horror.

What’s your most anticipated Spring anime?

The new season is in full swing!

Beyond AniFem

Crunchyroll: Shojo Anime Genre Has Strong Growth Potential (Anime News Network, Kim Morrissy)

“No shit,” reply shoujo fans.

Crunchyroll held a business seminar on Tuesday aimed at Japanese businesses. Part of the presentation centered on explaining current consumer trends in the west based on the service’s viewership numbers. Chief Customer Officer Asa Suehira explained that while shonen battle anime and “isekai” fantasy series continue to dominate, anime aimed at a female audience have strong growth potential. He stated that these titles tend to over-perform due to unmet demand from low supply, citing Fruits Basket as an example.

“In the west, where female anime fans were underserved with relevant content historically, shojo, josei, and even some BL titles are showing stronger performances than expected,” he said. Fans of idol anime shouldn’t get their hopes up, however, as female-targeted idol anime were singled out as the exception to this trend.

Identities divided (Pt. 1): Amerasians recall discrimination, pain growing up in Okinawa (The Mainichi, Shinnosuke Kyan)

Interviews on the experiences of Okinawans with American military fathers and Japanese mothers.

According to estimates, one in four Okinawans was killed in the vicious ground battles between U.S. and Imperial Japanese forces on the island in the closing months of the Pacific War. In the nearly three-decade occupation that followed, some people resisted U.S. military oppression, trying to free themselves from control by outsiders. But there were also locals who depended on U.S. bases for their livelihoods, from civilian base workers to those serving a U.S. military clientele at bars and restaurants.

This entwining of the daily lives of Okinawans and U.S. servicemen soon led to many children born between locals and Americans connected to the military. These mixed-race children faced various forms of discrimination and prejudice, and were slapped with the derogatory term “Americker.”

There were no U.S. bases near where the woman grew up, and there were barely any children who could relate to her situation. She had reddish hair and light skin, and was teased and kicked by other children every day. When class ended, she headed straight home. “In the afternoons, I was filled with thoughts of running away, and I couldn’t stay calm,” she said.

After her mother became pregnant with her, her father was deployed to a combat zone, and never came back to Okinawa. One time, when she was in middle school, she and her mother were buying groceries at the street market when people yelled at them, “Americker, go home!” They headed back the way they’d come. Later, she heard that a woman working at the market had been hit and killed by a U.S. serviceman driving drunk. “I resented my American blood,” she said.

All through her childhood, her mother would tell her, “If you do something even a little bad, people will find out right away.” She even dyed her hair black for a time to avoid standing out. The woman said, “The U.S. military personnel have a strong position in Okinawa. But, the actions of U.S. soldiers and their consequences have all come back to us. We were the weakest people in Okinawa, at the very bottom.”

Indie Spotlight: The Silent Kingdom (Kickstarter Relaunch) (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

The game is an RPG with otome/romance elements.

UPDATE 4/5/22: Indie studio, Lucky Cat has relaunched the Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming dark fantasy otome JRPG, The Silent Kingdom. The team launched their first crowd funding campaign in January 2022, however, they failed to make their initial campaign goal. In The Silent kingdom, enjoy a story-driven, otome RPG where the player’s choices set the narrative. Follow the dark tale of a princess who must corrupt her own soul in order to save her kingdom, reaping death and sorrow along the path.

Families of special needs kids struggling as Japan gov’t fails to deliver (The Mainichi)

While the law now requires prefectural centers that provide support, availability and quality of these services has been far from universally available.

The center will offer advice to parents before they start communicating with local governments, which serve as contacts for nurseries.

Goki’s parents had wanted to place him in a nursery set up by the Ena city government, but the city responded that they could not secure staff to provide him with the necessary care.

Although the center also had worked to communicate with the city, it took three years until the nursery accepted Goki, and Yu, 38, was temporarily forced to leave her job as a nurse.

Yukari Ichikawa, 60, a nurse who works at Mirai, said, “There are regional differences in responses and some children slip through the cracks.”

Ichikawa called on the state to draw up a comprehensive system involving local governments, saying, “Although some say ‘just leave it to the centers,’ it doesn’t mean that municipalities are free to do nothing.”

Rep. Shiomura Ayaka Pushes Against Teenage Pornography; Colleagues Laugh (Unseen Japan, Noah Oskow)

While the age of majority will be lowered to 18, it will remain at 20 for drinking, smoking and gambling—but not sex work.

The worry is especially prevalent for 18-year-old girls still in high school. High school girls (often called “JKs,” short for joshi kosei) are still highly sexualized in popular Japanese media. Some older men seek out JKs for compensated dating (known as “papakatsu“). JK Cafes abound, featuring actual students wearing school uniforms serving a clientele of mostly older men. In Akihabara lies “JK Alley,” infamous as a pick-up spot frequented by those looking for paid interactions with high school girls. The market for underage pornography or porn-adjacent materials remains large, and there is concern that students protected from recruitment into full-blown pornography by age of majority laws will now be easier targets.

As discussion of this issue began in online spaces, many remarked on the irony of continuing to disallow the consumption of alcohol while simultaneously allowing 18-year-olds to appear in adult videos without any increased protections. (Shiomura herself tweeting about the seeming legislative mismatch.) In response to criticism of these changes, the government then provided a statement in written form stating that “coercion” or other illegal means of forming a contract with new young adults can still result in the cancelation of such contracts. Representative Shiomura pushed back against this statement, saying “what a ridiculous response.” [1]

LGBTQ safe space opens in Osaka (The Mainichi)

In addition to being a meeting space, the center offers a consultation specialist for LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones.

The center is located in an office building in Kita Ward near Keihan Electric Railway’s Temmabashi Station. Inside, the walls are white, while rainbow flags hang at its windows to tell people “we are here.” The bathroom includes a changing table for individuals who cannot wear the clothes they wish to outside.

Other facilities include a minilibrary offering picture books and other items, and anyone can visit.

The Osaka prefectural government building and the L-Osaka labor center are also within walking distance, meaning consultation desks for social support and governmental services are nearby.

According to Nijiiro Diversity, issues including pandemic-caused closures of clubs and bars that LGBTQ people felt at ease gathering in have meant they have fewer opportunities to share their troubles together.

THREAD: On choosing gendered pronouns in Japanese.

THREAD: Comparison between the recently rescinded ebook publication of Ranking of Kings manga and scanlations of the series.

TWEET: Upcoming seminar on 4/12 about Zainichi Koreans.

TWEET: Accessibility resources for wheelchair-users planning to visit Japan.

AniFem Community

New shows that I might check out are Shikimori-san (I haven't found a romcom so thrumming with glorious bi energy since Nozaki-kun), Summertime Render (the source material was excellent overall and, for a big-brain, dude-mained mystery-horror series, surprisingly good at not being terrible to women, though there are still some Ugh Moments early on), Deaimon (it involves a very pretty dork in his thirties learning how to be a dad and also the wagashi business) and Birdie Wing (I know basically nothing about it except that it's about golf, which is the dullest sport ever invented, but still feel obligated to give these exceptionally rare women-led sports anime a chance).  Sequels I'll be watching are the second seasons of Tiger and Bunny and Machikado Mazoku, because stories about bumbling sweethearts and emo badasses pairing up to create some semblance of hope and reform in corrupt systems while also being very fruity along the way are vital resources in The Times We Live In.
New show: Summer Time Rendering Sequel: Magia Record  Premiere I am most excited about not having to watch, since my current reviewing gig is drawing to a close with the end of the winter shows: Trapped in a Dating Sim

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