Weekly Round-Up, 7-13 October 2020: Ikuhara Interview, More LDP Homophobia, and Japanese Hip-Hop

By: Anime Feminist October 13, 20200 Comments
Lavish text reading "success" and a smiling pink-haired man

AniFem Round-Up

Ikebukuro West Gate Park – Episode 1

A stiff, awkward-looking moral panic detective show.

Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World – Episode 1

Romeo and Juliet fantasy story weighed down with obtrusive fanservice.

Noblesse – Episode 1

Painfully ugly and neither effective as a fish-out-of-water comedy or action show.

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear – Episode 1

Fairly “meh” VRMMO comedy series about a girl in a bear suit.

Akudama Drive – Episode 1

Criminals doing crimes in the most extra way possible.

Adachi and Shimamura – Episode 1

Soft, slowburn yuri romance with obtrusive thigh shots.

The Day I Became a God – Episode 1

Good at its few moments of silence, painful in its comedy.

Chatty AF 126: 2020 Summer Wrap-up

Dee, Chiaki and Mercedez look back at the season that was.

The Gymnastics Samurai – Episode 1

Weird and sometimes disjointed but unforgettable.

Maesetsu! Opening Act – Episode 1

A show about comedy that isn’t funny.

What’s your favorite “girls hanging out” anime?

It’s been going strong for almost 20 years now.

Beyond AniFem

Hypnosis Mic and the History of Japanese Hip-Hop (Anime News Network, Marc Schulz)

A brief history of Japanese hip-hop, from the 70s to today.

Unfortunately, hip-hop’s import into Japan has not been entirely seamless. The practice of burapan, the Japanese term for the appropriation of Black fashion, hair and culture by Japanese people, has been rife throughout hip-hop’s history in Japan and still is in certain circles. This is in addition to the outright use of blackface, a practice that is still a significant problem in wider Japanese popular culture particularly in comedy and music spaces. Hip-hop’s status as a decidedly Black, American art form and culture had a major role in the rise of burapan culture in Japan, as hip-hop culture and by association Black culture in the United States was seen as “cool” and “rebellious” by wider Japanese society. This appealed to an already disenfranchised youth during 1990s “Lost Decade” Japan when hip-hop first became popular there, and without the cultural and historical context to understand the harm of cultural appropriation and the use of blackface, burapan was born. Thankfully, burapan and blackfacing seem to have been mostly weeded out in modern Japanese hip-hop culture as people become more aware of these issues, but it still exists, and even HypMic has brushed up against burapan on occasion with the flippant use of imagery like guns and illicit drugs without any real seriousness or cultural context.

Examples can be found in Joe Wood’s 1997 piece The Yellow Negro from Harvard’s Transition magazine.

Japan may ease rules on ‘morning-after pill’ next year—report (The Asahi Shimbun)

The pill is currently only available with a prescription.

n August, a senior official at the Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sparked an uproar when he said that women had not had enough education about sex and contraception, and he worried that making the pills available over-the-counter would lead to women being irresponsible.

A petition on Change.org calling for non-prescription sales of the drug in Japan noted that knowledge about proper contraception was often lacking, sometimes leading to unwanted pregnancies even with consensual sex. It had just over 90,000 signatures as of Thursday.

The government has in the past dragged its heels on improving access to contraception. In 1999, it approved the safer, low-dose birth control pill after nearly a decade of discussion – just after the anti-impotence drug Viagra won approval in only six months.


Investigating the depressing realism of the Persona series’ s-link system.

Being cynical enough about the way the social links system works in Persona will routinely turn up those same critiques over and over again. The game doesn’t really portray how people can be bettered by strong bonds because most change is rote and never takes hold (a-la Persona 4’s way of resolving character conflict) – or like I said earlier is purely based on the protagonist exploiting someone else to become stronger.

I don’t find those criticisms damning enough. The question they present to me is not that how could you make these games into a better social sim, but who are they a social simulator for.

Exploiting people or using their problems as a means of getting close to them is never a good thing to do. Yet if you look at any drama involving the people who make indie games in Seattle, or independent comic creators becoming professional you’ll see those things over and over again. If you want to see both at the same time: look at the kind of people who write about music just so they can see their favorite bands for free.

Assemblyman to retract remarks about gay people destroying ward (The Asahi Shimbun, Aya Shioiri)

Another week, another member of the LDP saying something homophobic.

“Once again, I deeply apologize to the many people who have been hurt by Shiraishi’s remarks,” Akira Shikahama, the assembly’s chairman, said in a statement on the website released on Oct. 12.

During a ward assembly session on Sept. 25, Shiraishi asked about the treatment of sexual minorities in relation to children’s education and the falling birthrate.

“The ward would see no single child born if the entire population of the ward became gays and lesbians,” he said. “The ward could disappear if gays and lesbians are protected under the law.”

Episode 116- Farah Harris Interview (Getting Animated, Destiny Senpai)

Podcast discussion of fandom, self-care, and A Silent Voice.

This week on Getting Animated I sit down with licensed psychotherapist and Identity-Truth expert, Farah Harris! We will be discussing all things mental health, 2020, and Farah will give us a break down of A Silent Voice, a anime movie that dives deep into mental health and forgiveness.

Vol. 1 (2020): Journal of Anime and Manga Studies: Inaugural Issue (Illinois Library)

A collection of academic articles on anime and manga.

The goal of the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies is to provide a space for academics, students, and independent researchers examining the field of anime, manga, cosplay, and fandom studies to access high-quality research about these topics and share their research with others.

This inaugural issue explores a variety of subjects, ranging from the history of yaoi anime’s distribution in the United States to analysis of extinction anxieties.

Episode 0: Breaking the Limits on Gaming and Anime (But Why Tho?)

The launch of a new biweekly panel podcast.

You’ll tune in to hear the latest gaming and anime news but with a lot more spice. We’re here to drive the conversations, debate our favorite topics, and create a space for EVERYONE* to join the conversation.

*Except the racists

In this debut episode, we give you a sneak peek at the chaos and the segments that we’ll include every episode which includes Don’t @ Me, a debate segment, and Indie of the week – which is just as it sounds, us, gushing about our favorite indies. Additionally, you get to learn a little about our hosts!

Sexual minorities still struggling five years after LGBT ordinance (The Asahi Shimbun, Ananda Kokumai and Naomi Nishimura)

Domestic partnership certificates fall short on several key protections.

The partnership mechanisms also cannot resolve the many difficulties that sexual minorities still face.

Same-sex couples are ineligible for income tax deductions like married couples, and it is impossible for them to share joint custody of children.

Most private businesses and local governments do not allow sexual minority workers to take child-rearing or nursing care leaves.

Many lawsuits have been filed nationwide against the government, arguing that its refusal to recognize same-gender marriages violates “marital freedom” and “legal equality for all” guaranteed by the Constitution.

VIDEO: Q&A panel with Ikuhara Kunihiko and Saito Chiho.

VIDEO: On the queer-coding of Pokémon.

AniFem Community

Chill hangout shows are an ever-important necessity for 2020, tbh.

Favorite: I will be honest and say that this is a particular subgenre that I haven't been able to enjoy as much as it seems others do. I prefer Bold Girls Doing Bold Things over Cute Girls Doing Cute Things, and the latter seems to overlap quite a bit with lady-led slice of life - so while I really like slice of life, I usually watch shows with mixed-gender casts. That said, I did quite like Aiura (which is a short with girls just hanging out after school), Wasteful Days of High School Girls (funnier than I expected), Hitoribocchi (quite sweet), After School Dice Club (lines up with my interest in board games), Encouragement of Climb (another short, focused on hiking mountains), and Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (also a short, and rather funny). Huh, I guess I prefer this kind of story as a short rather than in full-length episodes.  Comedy versus Drama: I'm not that into drama in the first place, and I prefer my drama to be paired with action, which is a non-overlapping category with slice of life. So by default, comedy!
In spite of its issues, my immediate answer to this is actually Azumanga Daioh. I've gone back to it many times just for its (mostly) funny, sweet stories and characters.

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: