Weekly Round-Up, 4-10 November 2020: Magical Girl Gift Guide, Boys Run the Riot, and Fandom Gatekeeping

By: Anime Feminist November 10, 20200 Comments
A woman reflecting that her cat looks intense even when he's dreaming

AniFem Round-Up

Love Me for Who I Am is inclusive, but falls short for some non-binary people

Ghia Vitale does a deep dive on the first volume of FukaBoku and the ways it both rings true and falls flat in depicting its non-binary lead.

ParaKiss Lost: The Reductive Adaptation of Paradise Kiss

Vrai tackles one of the all-time josei classics and the way its anime adaptation dropped the ball at the end by reducing the heroine’s coming-of-age to only her love life.

Site Update: November Reruns

Update on a few weeks of feature reruns while the team recovers from 2020.

Chatty AF 128: 2020 Fall Mid-Season Check-In

The team checks in on the Fall 2020 season, from demon girls to sleepy gremlins.

What’s the best anime opening of the last decade?

Is that too many choices? It’s probably too many choices.

Beyond AniFem

Holiday Shopping Guide for The Magical Girl Loving Fans in Your Life (Black Nerd Problems, Megan McCain)

Gift suggestions from online indie sellers.

The holidays are coming up and you may find yourself at a loss on what to get your favorite baddie who fights evil by moonlight. What about your kid sister who may be moonlighting as a pink-haired prince? Your fave co-worker who warns you about contracts constantly, especially those brought by cute sidekicks? Your fave person in the discord who always reminds you to protect your neck, HEAD?

Or maybe you just want to send a “cheer up bish, things will get better (hopefully?)” gift to your favorite magical non-binary person? Hell, maybe you are tired AF from this year and just want to buy yourself something by means of self-care? ✨✨TREAT YOURSELF 💖 💖 *Cue the shojo sparkles and cherry blossom petals* Here’s a handy little holiday shopping guide that may offer up some recommendations!

Boys Run The Riot: A Powerful Manga Exploring Transgender Identity Through Fashion (Otaquest, Alicia Haddick)

A fairly new lead with a trans man protagonist. [EDIT] It was recently licensed by Kodansha.

Gaku uses fashion as a lens through which to explore the trans experience in Boys Run the Riot, and you see this from the opening chapter. It’s in this chapter that we immediately and most heavily see the internal conflict Ryou is going through as they’re struggling to understand their gender identity and work through the attraction they have for their female best friend with the thought of ‘if only I was a guy’. Once Jin enters the picture and the pair go about creating their brand, these direct discussions of gender dysphoria take somewhat of a back seat (though thankfully not completely) to the focus on creating and growing of the duo’s fashion brand, but that’s not a bad thing. Fashion in itself acts as a proxy for a discussion on gender, because creating clothing challenges the designer to create the clothing they most want to see.

Megan Thee Stallion and Anime – Or, the Male Gatekeeping of Fandom Spaces (Teen Vogue, Stitch)

Responding to the claim that Megan only wears anime looks for (implicitly male) approval.

What I find especially annoying is that so much of this gatekeeping is coming from other Black people who are also not the target audience for the overwhelming majority of anime series. We’re talking about Black nerds who know that they’re not welcome in the wider anime fandom and who are subject to antiblackness coming not only from other fans within their community but also from some of the series they watch. In October, #Blacktober launched as a safe haven for Black creators and cosplayers to showcase their art in fandoms they’ve long felt excluded. At points across the month, the Twitter hashtag challenge received backlash that involved racist slurs being sent to Black artists and race bent characters drawn via racist stereotypes with the intent to harm Black people. Even graphic images and videos of real-life gore were tagged with the hashtag.

Rather than viewing Megan’s interest in anime as a version of hip hop’s legacy of incorporating geek subcultures into her oeuvre publicly, these fans have decided that this is Highlander and there isn’t room for her visible anime fanning. Because they believe she thinks she’s talking about their “incredibly niche interest” to get clout and, as a result, anime isn’t so niche anymore. A lot of the comments scattered across the internet criticizing Megan Thee Stallion’s love for anime try to pull her down a peg and say that she’s not special for liking anime. To an extent, they’re right.

Rainbow Releases: Spring & Summer 2020 (Coherent Cats, Malia and Flamwenco Girl)

A list of recent English-language releases of anime and manga encompassing LGBTQ+ elements.

In 2018, we introduced an anime convention panel called Rainbow Releases to highlight LGBTQ-related anime and manga coming to the United States in English. With anime conventions on hold for the foreseeable future, you won’t see Rainbow Releases: LGBTQ Anime and Manga in person any time soon. However, we are looking into digital events. For DigiKumo, the online alternative to Kumoricon 2020, we pre-recorded a video to be streamed by the organizers. Thank you for tuning in!

As always, we will also provide blog post companions to our panel as well as a list of releases throughout the year, even if they are delayed. There may be some inconsistences between the recorded panel and these posts, as we correct and learn new information after recording. Without further ado, here is our recap of spring and summer 2020.

Tokyo sex parlor heads accused of illegally hiring foreign trainees (The Asahi Shimbun, Nobuaki Tanaka)

Unfortunately, this article fails to give details on the salary or exploitative conditions the 30 hired women might have faced as sex workers.

The women entered Japan to learn technical skills or to study, but they lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were unable to return to their country as they could not afford a ticket home.

The suspects are accused of violating the immigration control law by aiding illegal employment.

Police on Nov. 9-10 searched a multitenant building and a rental room where women waited, the sources said.

They have arrested three Vietnamese, aged 24 through 35, on suspicion of violating the immigration control law by engaging in activities that foreign nationals are not permitted on their visas.

The women told police that they worked in the sex industry due to the difficulty of returning to Vietnam or the need to send money to their cash-strapped families back home after the pandemic hit, according to the sources.

Beyond The Romance Drama Podcast Episode 1: ‘Coffee Prince’ 13 Years Later (But Why Tho?, Carolyn Hinds)

Retrospective on the K-Drama that kicked off the genre’s worldwide boom in popularity.

When the South Korean rom-com Coffee Prince premiered on JTBC no one really had any idea how popular the show would become with audiences. Starring Gong Yoo dreamy sigh as Choi Han Kyul, the rich playboy tasked with running a café to prove he’s worthy of being the heir to his grandmother’s fortune, and  Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan the tom-boy who pretends to be an actual man in order to work for Han Kyul. The show became an instant hit and classic with audiences during its original televised premiere in July and August airing of 2007. Not only was it a massive success locally in South Korea, it became a hit overseas as part of the Hallyu, or Korean Wave movement across Asia, making it credited as being one of the most influential with attracting international attention to the Drama side of Korean entertainment, or K-drama as it’s known as.

Fake residence cards proliferating as more non-Japanese overstay (The Japan Times)

The market continues to grow as foreign “trainee” workers seek cards that will let them apply for higher-paying work.

Amid an acute labor shortage due to its rapidly graying population and declining birthrate, Japan created a new visa system in April 2019 to attract more blue-collar workers from overseas, marking a major policy shift from its traditionally tight immigration intake.

The number of foreign workers in the country hit a record 1,658,804 as of October last year, according to a tally by the labor ministry.

Poor labor conditions for foreign workers have contributed to a rise in offenses involving fake residence cards, said an official from a company that helps Vietnamese people find work in Osaka.

In particular, interns working under a technical internship program, which has been criticized as being a cover for companies to import cheap labor, have sought to purchase forged residence documents because they want to be able to work in jobs other than those available through the government-sponsored program, experts said.

Lifting the barriers for Black professionals in the games industry (GameIndustry.biz, Marie Dealessandri)

A breakdown of the barriers currently pushing Black creatives out of the games industry, focused on the UK, and advice on how to improve.

Throughout our discussions, the interviewees offered words of advice to young Black people who have just started in the industry. The resounding feeling was one of hope and mutual assistance.

“Follow companies and organisations like POC in Play. If you join a company and you’re a junior, you might be the first Black employee there — it’s a lot of pressure. It’s just nice to know you’re not alone. There are a bunch of us all in the industry and it’ll be cool if you connect with [us]. POC in Play or the UK games industry Slack has a bunch of [dedicated] channels. There are people to speak to about things if you have a bit of a bad experience.” -Mike Anderson

“Work to the best of your ability, do the job well, and do it to the highest standard. What opportunities could you get? Could you actually be mentored or sponsored by someone in the organisation? And, in a positive way, challenge. One thing that is quite popular in a lot of organisations is network groups, employee engagement groups, all diverse and inclusive. Try and get involved and get the Black voice heard.” -Natasha Broomfield-Reid

“Find mentorship before you enter, while you’re in, and if you decide it’s not for you, be honest as you can in an exit interview.” -Tanya DePass

“It’s going to be hard — I’m not even going to try and sugarcoat that. But this industry needs your voice. We have got to this point in the industry where we’re starting to see a lot of the same games come out. We need a whole host of diverse voices. I don’t want to say: just swallow it and pretend all this bad stuff isn’t happening. No. Find peers. There is a network of people like you who want to uplift you and protect you — and I will do my damn best, even if it’s the last thing I do, to protect everybody. Don’t give up.” -Shay Thompson

VIDEO: A video about video games, completely free of politics. 😀

TWEET: Highlighting an older article about colorism in Japan.

AniFem Community

We regret asking this question in a format that does not easily allow for embedding of sweet tunes.

There are a lot of really good ones, and a lot of iconic ones. My overall favorite at the moment is from A Place Further Than the Universe. I love the song (more on that in a moment), and it has the silly bit at the end with Kimari "swallowing" her friends. But what puts it over the top for me is that about halfway though the series, the characters start referring to events we only see as clips in the OP sequence.  Now, about favorite songs - Hiking is one of my hobbies, and on my mp3 player I have a mix of themes from A Place Further Than the Universe, Yama no Susume, and other outdoorsy shows. Just the thing for getting me through a gnarly stretch of trail.  Finally, honorable mention goes to the opening sequence for Fractale, which in case you don't remember is a psychedelic swirl of fractal geometry patterns. I'm currently writing a biography of Benoit Mandelbrot, creator of fractal geometry, and what's shown in the OP is the real stuff.
Visually, Mob Psycho 100. 100% Song wise? I’m partial to Shiny Days from Yuru Camp and Love Dramatic from Kaguya-sama.

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