Weekly Round-Up, 5-11 June 2024: Free Film Festival, Pride Month VNs, and Viz Originals

By: Anime Feminist June 11, 20240 Comments
Elf Senshi, tallman Chilchuck, kobold Izutsumi, and half foot Marcille wearing looks of horror and skepticism

AniFem Round-Up

Boys Run the Riot, Visual Kei, and Gender Euphoria Through Fashion

Clothing can be an incredible way to feel like yourself, as both the author and Boys Run the Riot‘s trans creator explore.

The intersection of queer and Deaf identity in I Hear the Sunspot

The series, which explores multiple facets of hearing loss, Deafness, and queerness, is getting a live-action adaptation this summer.

Chatty AF 208: Monogatari Watchalong – Kizumonogatari

Toni, Vrai, and Peter return to their Monogatari watchalong with the ultra violent trilogy Kizumonogatari!.

Who was the most influential queer-coded character from your childhood?

Some nostalgic vibes today.

Beyond AniFem


The films are free to view and will be available until July 3rd.

The Japan Foundation holds its third edition, the largest one ever for a month. A variety of 23 films will be delivered during the first two weeks, followed by two TV drama series for the subsequent two weeks.

These will be streamed for free with subtitles in up to 16 languages, available in up to 27 countries/regions. Do not miss the directors’ messages and the uniquely organized talks & events in some countries/regions.

For updates, be sure to follow our JFF+ SNS accounts as well as those of the Japan Foundation and the Japanese Embassy in your country.

Please enjoy and immerse yourself into the world of Japanese movies and TV dramas for a month!

※ In Egypt, France and Peru, only films are delivered.

FEATURE: Famed U.S. artist Gates melds Black, Japanese cultures in Tokyo show (Kyodo News, Miya Tanaka)

Gates’ exhibition will be the largest ever solo show by a Black artist in Japan.

The exhibition in Tokyo is titled “Afro-Mingei,” a term Gates has coined to give form to a concept he has been examining through his encounter with Japan as a Black artist, with “mingei” meaning folk crafts in Japanese.

Afro-Mingei is a “testament to what happens when a person yields themselves to the possibilities of cultural influence through making and friendship,” Gates said in a written message presented at the museum.

While the Mingei movement developed in the 1920s to recognize the beauty of ordinary objects made by unknown artisans, Gates sees it as cultural “resistance” amid Westernization and industrialization, akin to the “Black is Beautiful” movement from the 1960s in the United States that challenged Eurocentric beauty standards by embracing natural Black features such as the afro hairstyle.

Mingei is also about giving thoughts to “other countries that contributed to the creativity and artisanal wellspring of Japan,” Gates said, noting that he has no intention to overlook the controversial aspects in the history of Japanese pottery which advanced through the forced transport of skilled Korean potters to Japan during invasions of Korea by the 16th-century warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Japan has lowest ratio of those who think men looking after kids is unmanly among 31 nations (The Mainichi, Tomofumi Inagaki)

The survey received roughly 2,000 responses.

The respondents were asked to choose from five options regarding whether “a man who stays home to look after his children is less of a man”: somewhat or strongly agree, somewhat or strongly disagree, and “don’t know.” In Japan, 10% somewhat or strongly agreed. The corresponding figures in Ireland and the U.S. were 14% each, followed by Chile and Poland at 13% each and Canada and Argentina at 11% each. The highest percentage was South Korea’s 74%, followed by India at 62% and China at 32% — all in Asia. The overall average was 22%, up slightly from 18% in the 2019 survey.

By gender, Japanese men and women both ranked the lowest in terms of the percentage of those who agreed with the statement, at 12% and 7%, respectively, indicating changing values among both sexes.

In the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Gender Gap Report, Japan ranked 125th of 146 countries, a record low, and measures to improve the disparities are being sought internationally. In the latest survey, only 24% of Japanese agreed that “When it comes to giving women equal rights with men, things have gone far enough in my country.” While this was an increase of 5 percentage points from five years ago, it was the lowest among the countries surveyed, as was the case in the 2019 survey.

The latest survey also asked if respondents agree with the statement, “Women won’t be able to achieve equality in my country unless men also take action to protect women’s rights.” In Japan 57% agreed, third from the bottom among the 31 countries, but up 10 points from 2019. The increase was the largest in Japan among comparable countries, showing a move toward a notably heightened awareness of the need for men to take action to close the gender gap.

Author puts a ‘face’ on wartime Japan through cartoon satire (The Asahi Shimbun, Tetsuro Nakajima)

Takai’s most recent book traces cartoon depictions of the Allied Forces from 1941 to 1945.

In 2019, Takai released two other books, “Senzen Hansen Hatsugen Taizen” (Compendium of Wartime Anti-warfare Remarks) and “Senzen Fukei Hatsugen Taizen” (Compendium of Wartime Blasphemous Remarks).

The books depict more than 1,000 expressions of anger, such as doodles in restrooms, and images of civic resistance in the media. 

Monthly reports issued by the wartime Special Higher Police provided a treasure trove of materials for his books.

Takai’s interest in topics related to World War II stems from his grandfather’s decision to volunteer to serve in the Imperial Japanese Navy. 

Takai was struck by the fact his grandfather returned home prematurely because his shoe size was found to be too large for the footwear available at the preparatory pilot training course. 

As a result, neighbors and others shunned his grandfather, viewing him as a man who had shirked his duty.

He essentially became an outcast who was “barely able to survive” simply because his feet were too large.

This prompted Takai to learn more about the lives of ordinary people during the war when dying for the emperor was considered a noble sacrifice. He began combing through historical records and stories rarely portrayed in school textbooks.

Gay African man seeking asylum in Japan for 4 years fears deportation under new law (The Mainichi, Keiko Shioji)

A law went into effect this month making asylum seekers who have been rejected twice vulnerable to deportation. Includes discussion of homophobic violence.

Ado Matsumoto, a lawyer with the Osaka Bar Association who is representing the man, pointed out, “It has been proven he has been persecuted by his family and that he has not been protected by his country. Sending him back without recognizing him as a refugee is tantamount to telling him to die.”

The Japanese government, on the other hand, has argued that there is “no credibility” to the man’s claim and that there are no fears of him being persecuted immediately.

As his court case proceeds, the man is also preparing a second application for refugee status.

Work not permitted, unable to enter health insurance program

The man is now on “provisional release,” which means that although he has lost his status of residence, he has temporarily been released from detention in an immigration facility. However, around once a month, he must appear at the immigration bureau to receive permission for an extension of his provisional release. He must also obtain permission in advance if he wants to travel outside the prefecture where he resides. He cannot work or join a health insurance program.

Introducing the VIZ Originals One-Shots Program (Black Nerd Problems, Carrie McClain)

There isn’t yet word on whether artists retain the rights to their intellectual property, compared to the Rising Stars of Manga.

The One-Shots program is a showcase for aspiring manga creators, led by renowned former Weekly Shonen Jump editor-in-chief Hisashi SASAKI! The Viz website goes on to put out a call to action: “Whether you are an established creator with a new idea or are putting the finishing touches on your very first one-shot, if you are passionate about manga, we want to hear from you! Learn more about how to submit your work.”

Read all the one-shots from aspiring creators chosen as the first batch in this exciting new project here!

Read more about the VIZ Originals One-Shots Program and read Hisashi SASAKI’s thoughts on each selected entry on the Viz website!

VIDEO: Visual novel recommendations for Pride Month.

VIDEO: Obscure manga recommendations.

INSTAGRAM: Podcast interview snippet about Wheels and Roses.

BLUESKY: Archived collection of historical anime coverage.

Quick heads-up: If you want a REALLY good collection of historical anime writings, Fred Patten's collection – "Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays And Reviews" is on the Internet Archive.

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— Samantha Ferreira Wants to Talk About Anime History (@sam-animeherald.bsky.social) Jun 7, 2024 at 1:40 PM

AniFem Community

Happy Pride Month, AniFam.

I got so attached to Yellow from Pokémon Special back when they were being released in the US as single-issues. I had her pinged as the girl Red saved in Viridian Forest pretty much right off the bat, but the fact that she could pass as a boy just by hiding her ponytail (and kept doing it even without really having a strong reason to) made me as jealous as her actual magic powers did. I definitely didn't have the vocabulary to even headcanon her as nonbinary at the time, but I sure do now, and her arc remains my favorite out of that whole series.  Ironically, though, I found an actual queer character I related to even before that! Haruka from the Sailor Moon manga (also back when it was being released in single-issues) was so fascinating to me as a little kid. The fact that she could switch between being male and female whenever he wanted was exciting in a way I couldn't put words to; all I knew was that it made me so upset when the other fans I was friends with kept trying to tell me she was really just a girl who crossdressed as a disguise, and it was just as bad when I found out she was a girl all the time in the anime. I know the manga's portrayal has a lot of flaws and handles that genderfluidity in a pretty shallow way, but he still made a serious mark on me at the time and I wish we could get an adaptation that approached it with more thoughtfulness rather than writing it out...
Sailor Moon 😁

The day I saw them Transforming from a pretty boy to a pretty girl made something in my child mind click✨

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— Anilea (@anilea.bsky.social) Jun 11, 2024 at 11:56 AM

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