Tessie Alina Corwin unpacks the way this soulslike RPG recreates gendered narratives of passive women and active men, despite its setting allegedly making all its characters equally superpowered.
Alex looks at the normalized queerness of Villainess’ setting through background details and its simultaneous lack of onscreen queer couples.
Protest news and causes in need of visibility or financial support.
Shueisha Cancels Publication of act-age Manga (Updated) (Anime News Network, Crystalyn Hodgkins)
This comes in light of author Matsuki’s arrest for molesting middle school students.
NHK reported on Saturday that Matsuki was arrested on suspicion of committing an indecent act with a female middle school student. According to police, the girl was walking in the Nakano ward of Tokyo on June 18 at 8:00 p.m. when the suspect approached the girl from behind while on a bicycle and touched her inappropriately. Afterward, the suspect fled the scene on the bicycle. The girl went to police, who analyzed security camera footage to investigate. Police discovered through security footage that about an hour later, a similar incident on a nearby road with a different female middle school student occurred, involving a suspect who resembled Matsuki.
Matsuki reportedly told police “there’s generally nothing incorrect” with their accusations.
Episode 107A: Challenging Fandom Racism–Extended cut (Three Patch Podcast)
Podcast discussion between fandom scholars, including reference notes.
In this extended cut of the Challenging Fandom Racism roundtable, fan studies scholars Dr. Rukmini Pande, Stitch, joan miller, and Dr. Samantha Close join finnagain to discuss transformative fandom’s cyclical struggle to recognise racism, the skepticism and harassment faced by fans and acafans who speaking out against racism, why the AO3 and the OTW need to change, and ways fans can practice anti-racism in our fannish lives and online communities.
The Groundbreaking Female Artist Who Shaped Manga History (The Atlantic, Gabrielle Bellot)
A new book has collected the works of 60s manga artist Tsurita Kuniko.
For instance, as Holmberg’s essay explains, the title of the manga “Woman” was a bit “bolder” in Japanese than it might seem in English: The term used—onna—was often an insult at the time, connoting “female bodies and subjects in a raw state, as pure sex, or as social aberrations,” and was reclaimed in the ’70s by radical feminists. Tsurita’s “Woman,” which seems set during humanity’s earliest days, poignantly captures a woman betrayed by a man who has callously replaced her with another woman; she is beaten by him and, in turn, by the patriarchal assumptions that others make once they see that she has been rejected. The only word that appears in the comic is his name; she says it once, but his cruelty silences her for the rest of the manga, like other women who have been victims of trauma and have not felt able to speak up.
The other women that Tsurita drew ranged widely. Some are glowering and melancholy, like the eponymous protagonist of “Princess Rokunomiya.” Others are tomboys clad in gender-neutral attire, as in “Sounds” and, most notably, the 1969 lesbian story that Garo refused to publish, “Occupants,” which features a classically femme girl and her androgynous roommate, who appear to have sex in a dreamlike sequence. “Occupants,” unpublished in her lifetime, is one of the special joys of The Sky Is Blue With a Single Cloud, showing Tsurita at her most atmospherically oneiric and representationally unafraid.
Iran-born actor Sahel Rosa on the hardship and help she had growing up in Japan: interview (The Mainichi, Narita Yuka)
Rosa came to Japan in the 1980s and currently serves as a goodwill ambassador for an international nongovernmental organization.
MS: It’s been more than 25 years since you entered that school, and in that time the number of foreign children coming to Japan has risen, but more than 10,000 of them are in “unsupported” situations where they don’t get the Japanese language education they need. What kind of support do you think would be best?
SR: If they attend classes while still not understanding the words, they’ll never get the knowledge they’re meant to. First, the important thing is to secure school courses focused on Japanese language teaching. When they go home, there’s no one who can explain their homework to them, and they don’t always have people in the neighborhood looking out for them, so the school needs to provide some kind of comprehensive framework, I think.
MS: Is there anything you want to say to the foreign children living in Japan today?
SR: Living in a country with a different language and culture to your own comes with a lot of struggles. The children working hard in the middle of all that can’t really be open about their worries and pain precisely because they are working hard on it. I was bullied when I was in junior high school, and there were times I thought I wanted to kill myself, but to my mother, who worked morning to night in a factory until she was exhausted, I would just lie and say, “School was fun.”
What I can say from that experience is that you don’t have to pretend to be strong. I learned afterwards, but in truth my mother also had her own concerns about living in Japan. If you really show your parents and the people around you your weakness, then by sharing your troubles, maybe a feeling that you can overcome them together will emerge.
Visual Novel Writers Win Pay Raise After 21 Day Strike (Vice, Patrick Klepek)
Writers for the Voltage game Lovestruck have had their demands met despite initial pushback.
Prior to the strike, the 21 freelance writers earned an average of 3.5 cents per word. In their new contracts negotiated with Voltage, writers will be paid an average of 6.5 cents per word. The pay increases won as a result of the strike ranged from 66 to 94 percent.
According to VOW, all of the workers who won raises are women, non-binary, and/or LGBTQIA, and write interactive romance novels for Voltage—and many of them rely on their contracts with Voltage as a primary source of income.
VIDEO: Tackling the messy racial metaphors of Promare and BNA.
VIDEO: Filmed panel about the “Fabulous 49ers” or the “Year 24 Group,” named for their birth era.
THREAD: Discussion of how anti-Chinese and Korean racism is expressed through certain surname kanji.
THREAD: About manga author Watase Yuu coming out as x-gender last year.
TWEET: Other artists supporting artist Usazaki Shiro in the wake of Act Age’s cancellation.
Soothing food channel that tries East Asian street foods, convenience foods, and restaurants.
A few additional causes below as an addendum to this week’s resources post.
THREAD: List of BLM petitions.
TWEET: Number to text in support of the embattled USPS.