Weekly Round-Up, 31 March – 6 April 2021: Ace Representation in Videogames, Dragon Maid Character Design, and Trans Manga

By: Anime Feminist April 6, 20210 Comments
A delighted blonde girl in winter clothes surrounded by capybara

AniFem Round-Up

MARS RED – Episode 1

Taisho-era vampires and stagey direction that’s going to click with a certain type of person.


Mash-up of quiet character beats about grief and a giant robot dinosaur fighting a kaiju.


Earnest and sweaty series about a frequently mocked South Asian sport.

Those Snow White Notes – Episode 1

Excels at the musical sequences that break up the slightly absurd melodrama.

Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- – Episode 1

Time-traveling robots from the writer behind Re:Zero.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer – Episode 1

Girls’ soccer series with weak animation but stellar writing.

Dragon Goes House Hunting – Episode 1

Chill fantasy series focusing on the monsters.

Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway – Episode 1

The adult lead is helpful and surprisingly not creepy; the camera, unfortunately, is.

Combatants Will Be Dispatched! – Episode 1

Isekai wastes a good premise on a one-note joke and dull fanservice.

SEVEN KNIGHTS REVOLUTION: Hero Successor – Episode 1

By-the-numbers fantasy mobile game adaptation.

ODDTAXI – Episode 1

Simmering ensemble mystery series staring anthropomorphic animals.

Let’s Make a Mug Too – Episode 1

Chill hobby show with an unexpected, poignant undercurrent of grief.

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent – Episode 1

Isekai wish-fulfillment fantasy starring an adult woman! ….If only this first episode weren’t so poorly paced.

What Spring series are you most excited about?

There are definitely a bunch of series we’ve been pleasantly surprised by!

Beyond AniFem

Video games are still falling behind in asexual representation (Gayming Magazine, Louise Chase)

Discussing extant ace characters and how the medium still falls short.

Another reason why asexuality is so important to include in video games is to get its true meaning across. For example, asexuality does not mean the person is aromantic; Parvati in The Outer Worldsdisplayed this perfectly through her companion quest. Parvati never feels one dimensional, that asexuality was everything about her character – she is multi-faceted and a great option for a companion for players to recruit. Having an asexual person involved with the writing and development of characters with their sexuality provides a more well-rounded result, with the experiences being able to positively influence. Being able to relate on such a fundamental level makes them feel real and not one-dimensional. They feel like a real person, a character we can get to know and like, someone you are more likely to have an emotional connection with than a faceless NPC.

But before we even get to having more asexual characters, we must also consider games themselves. For example, quest ‘rewards.’ All too often games position sex – particularly one-night stands – as a reward for completing a mission. In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, many of the side romance quests with Syanna, Madam Sasha or Keira to name but a few, all end with sex. In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, generally, any dialogue option to romance ends with a “fade to black” moment if chosen by the player.

Funimation Reaches Settlement in Class-Action Lawsuit Over Allegedly Violating Americans with Disabilities Act (Anime News Network, Alex Mateo)

Funimation declined to comment for the article.

The lawsuit stated that Angeles was “a visually-impaired and legally blind person, who could not use a computer without the assistance of screen-reading software,” and was proficient at using the “NonVisual Desktop Access” screen-reading software. Angeles reportedly visited the “shop.funimation.com” website on multiple occasions (including in January) to make a purchase, but was “denied a shopping experience similar to that of a sighted individual due to the website’s lack of a variety of features and accommodations, which effectively barred [her] from being able to determine what specific products were offered for sale.”

Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that features on the site lacked alt. text and failed to “Add a label element or title attribute for each field.” Additionally, the lawsuit stated pages on the site contained the same title elements and the site contained broken links. The lawsuit stated that Funimation had therefore “engaged in acts of intentional discrimination.”

Number of kids under age 5 who are stateless in Japan up 3.5-fold (The Asahi Shimbun, Mari Fujisaki, Hiroki Koike and Eiji Zakoda)

The past several years has seen a marked increase in undocumented workers living and raising families in Japan due to the often exploitative “trainee” programs.

But with a sharp increase in children under 1 who are stateless, children under 5 accounted for about 30 percent of all stateless foreigners after 2018.

The increase in the number of stateless young children comes in the wake of a rapid rise in Japan’s total number of foreign residents. For five years since 2015, the number of foreign residents has set a record every year.

Technical intern trainees have increased significantly, hitting about 410,000 by the end of 2019, an approximately 2.5-fold rise from five years earlier. The number of foreign students was 340,000 or so in 2019, up about 1.6-fold.

“The number of foreigners acknowledged as stateless under the residency management system is only the tip of the iceberg,” said Mizue Tsukida, professor emeritus of social welfare at Showa Women’s University. 

Sentimental Trickster BL Game Review (Blerdy Otome)

Spoiler-free review of the game and its individual routes.

I do want to mention, that sexual orientation does come up in the game—Haru’s arc in particular focuses on him coming to terms with his sexual orientation and dealing with being outed by his classmates in school. It’s something thing that is isolating for him as he feels that it makes him different from others around him so he internalizes a lot of his fears and insecurities.  Most BL media kind of handwaves LGBTQ+ issues for the sake of simplifying the plot and I like that I like that the game actually makes the effort to address some of the less than positive experiences Haru faces because he is gay. This comes up again in Soichiro’s and to a lesser extent in Shinya’s route and each time I felt that the subject of sexual orientation was handled in a much more realistic way than you see in some boys love stories. 

Now this next bit is more of a gripe about the treatment of women in BL media than a criticism of Sentimental TricksterBUT we need to have a serious talk about women in BL media. Almost all the women in this game are either BL fangirls or catty witches—except Haru’s mom, she’s great—and it is maddening! I get it, BL isn’t about the female characters, but it would be nice to see female characters in these games that are I dunno, relatable… please? All of the female characters can be boiled down to a single trope and it sucks since all the male characters have all this great nuance. Two girls Haru befriends, Midori and Anna, write their own BL doujinshi, Soichiro’s girlfriend is narcissistic and manipulative, and don’t get me started on the women in Kanae’s life, they’re… not absolutely awful. The only female character that gets by unscathed, it’s Haru’s mom. 

VIDEO: Character design analysis of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

THREAD: Recommendation thread of trans manga (some of which are not yet licensed).

THREAD: On Japan’s harsh penalties for marijuana use.

THREAD: Commentary on queerphobic comic published in the Chiba Newspaper.

THREAD: Open letter about a famous Japanese historian’s history of misogyny.

THREAD: 100 local Japanese governments now recognize same-gender partnerships.

AniFem Community

Yeah, we’re real excited about the zombie girls too.

The sequel and overall show I'm most excited for is Zombie Land Saga: Revenge. I'm hoping it is still just as vibrant, unexpected, and heartfelt as its first season.  New shows I'm itching to see are The World Ends With You and Shadows House.  So far, I watched Dragon Goes House-Hunting out of curiosity. The main character and premise are quite interesting and I liked the tongue-in-cheek depiction of the medieval/video game setting.
New and Exciting-Sounding:To Your Eternity; Dragon Goes House-Hunting; Let's Make a Mug Too; These Snow-white Notes; Jouran: Princess of Snow and Blood. Of course, some of these are soothing and the opposite of exciting, but I have still been eagerly awaiting them.  Sequels: I have to say Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun! 2; Zombie Land Saga 2. The former is probably my most anticipated for this season.

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