Weekly Round-Up, 9-15 August 2023: Witch From Mercury Wedding, Switch 2 Accessibility, and Women Hikikomori

By: Anime Feminist August 15, 20230 Comments
Helck giving a thumbs up next to a horse-like creature with a fish face

AniFem Round-Up

Sailor Moon From Manga to Anime: What does systemic villainy look like?

The two best-known versions of the series take very different approaches to their antagonists, and thus the story’s overall themes.

My Fave is Problematic: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

JJBA is epic, absurd, often unexpectedly insightful; but it’s worth talking about some of its considerable pitfalls (like Stroheim).

What are your thoughts on “next generation” sequels?

Whether that’s “everyone has babies” or “years later in this same world.”

July 2023 Patron Newsletter and Staff Recommendations

The staff chimes in with some World Cup-relevant recs.

Beyond AniFem

Friends Remember Hiroe Tsukamoto, Aniplex USA Producer and Dub Advocate (Anime News Network, Lynzee Loveridge)

Tsukamoto worked on multiple well-regarded dubs and helped many get their start in the industry.

Digitalization of proofs was decades into the future. Instead, everything was analog, and staffers would screen and review ADR scripts on timecoded VHS tapes. Maseba had a new batch of tapes that needed to be transported from the Valley to Tsukamoto’s office in Long Beach. The trip would take about an hour. He couldn’t recall if the tapes were for Tenchi Muyo!, Serial Experiments Lain, or Trigun, but for some reason, they were not playing correctly. After one complete trip, Maseba received a phone call that the tapes were malfunctioning, and he had to make the whole trek again in Los Angeles traffic.

“To make a long story short, I must have degaussed 3-4 batches before I realized those heavy magnets in the subwoofer were causing the entire problem! I was so embarrassed and scared to tell Hiroe, but in the end, she was so happy to hear about what the problem was. Whew!”

Apparently, this wasn’t the first time this had happened, but Tsukamoto was happy to finally know the cause.

“I’m not sure why this is coming to mind, but I’m sure it has to do with the company, ‘Pioneer,’ my car audio from ‘Pioneer,’ and Hiroe, one of the great anime pioneers of all time!”

Maseba’s story exemplifies Tsukamoto’s reputation as someone who held her colleagues to high standards but also saw their potential.

Plus Size Lolita Fashion Manufacturing from a Japanese Brand’s Perspective (Stephano)

An analysis of sales and production costs in releasing a new plus-size line.

Across overseas lolitas of all sizes, people are less inclined than Japanese lolitas to buy new. Being able to shop and see items in person is a factor, but a significant enough portion of the Japanese customers live outside of cities with the items and also buy online.

I think the ordering attitudes is partially due to differences in Lolita culture. Early lolita was incredibly difficult to get new overseas; people were encouraged to buy secondhand. Also partially because Japanese lolitas are more aware of the small size of brands and the importance of investing in them.

During the pandemic when Metamorphose, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Atelier Pierrot, and Innocent World said they were struggling/at risk of closing, many Japanese lolitas rallied together to support brands, even if they could only do so in a tiny way.

For overseas customers as a whole, I think plus size individuals are equally likely as size 1 to buy secondhand rather than new. However, the plus size market is overwhelmingly represented by overseas lolitas as you can see in the graph on this post. Metamorphose releases are also very similar figures. This means that plus size releases are even more reliant on overseas investment, and even more affected by overseas buying practices.

There’s nothing wrong at all with buying secondhand or from Taobao (I also do!), but I think it’s sometimes necessary for people to consider prioritizing investing in the items they want to see more of rather than a larger quantity of items.

‘Not alone’: Growing number of middle-aged female ‘hikikomori’ shut-ins in Japan (The Mainichi, Asako Kuroda)

More women are slowly feeling comfortable coming to meeting to speak with fellow shut-ins.

Kyoko Hayashi, co-chair of the organization that has hosted 170 of the women’s hikikomori group discussion events since 2016, said, “Finally, there are numbers that have caught up with the situation,” adding that she felt it’s due to the growing number of women, including housewives and domestic helpers, who recognize themselves as hikikomori.

“Sympathizing and speaking with each other from the same perspective allows these people to become empowered by the idea, ‘I’m not alone’,” Hayashi emphasized.

The reasons behind their social withdrawal can range from domestic violence and abuse to financial hardship and the loss of one’s job. Matsuyama University’s Ryoko Ishikawa, a professor of sociology, pointed out, “I think it’s essentially about a struggle for life. The goal of support is not simply employment. We should think of ways to provide support so that each person can face the anguish and conflict at the core of their lives.”

Vinland Saga’s Makoto Yukimura Shares Opinion on Violence: ‘Consider Attack on Titan’ (Anime News Network, Kalai Chik)

Yukimura discusses the role of violence and father/son relationships in Vinland Saga.

You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you dislike violence. The title of the series is Vinland Saga. In the beginning, Leif Ericson describes Vinland as a new world without war or slavery. What would you like to tell readers deeply interested in just the violence within the manga?

YUKIMURA: If you’re into my story for the violent aspect of it, at some point, I might not be able to meet your expectations. If you really want to read about things like violence, you should consider Attack on Titan. I actually do hear comments from the fans saying that they like Thorfinn from back in the day. ‘What happened to him? He’s only farming!’ I hear their complaints, though, at the same time, I cannot help it. Sorry.

Vinland Saga has a nuanced approach to storytelling, involving important themes for teenagers who will grow into adults. Many people start reading shonen manga when they are young, which can be more violent, and they may later read your manga. Since fans all over the world read this series, what lesson would you want them to learn from Vinland Saga?

YUKIMURA: Even if the government told me to go to war, I do not want to go to war. Even if I have to go to jail. I wouldn’t want to yield to that and would rather not hold a gun. If everybody on this planet had the same way of thinking—being against violence—even under threat from the government or those in power, we would never have war. My hope is to have the younger generation share this kind of value in the future, so there wouldn’t be war in this entire world. This is the one wish that I have. As an optimistic person, this is the only hope I want to express in my story.

Teachers quitting for mental health reasons hit record high in Japan (The Mainichi)

The number rose from 171 to 953 teachers from 2018 to 2021.

Those who quit due to mental illness comprised 8 percent of a total 12,652 teachers who left jobs for reasons other than mandatory retirement in the academic year that ended March 2022, according to the survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The survey showed 571 teachers at elementary school, an increase of 114 from the previous poll, 277 at junior high school, up 35, and 105 at senior high schools, a rise of 22, left jobs due to mental ailments, with each figure marking record highs.

A separate ministry survey released late last year demonstrated similar results, with the number of teachers at public schools who took a leave of absence due to psychological issues marking a record high of 5,897 in the same academic year.

The increase in teachers’ workload and subsequent long working hours are also leading to a decrease in the number of people seeking to become teachers, making it increasingly difficult to cover for those who have taken leave due to illnesses or have retired.

To address the shortage of teachers, the ministry is considering improving their working conditions and significantly increasing assistant staff, the officials said.

[Boyish²] Butch×Butch Yuri Anthology[vol.2] (Kickstarter)

A 160-page sequel to Mutsumi Natsuo’s popular anthology.

We’re now planning the second installment of the widely successful butch x butch yuri manga anthology, Boyish²! The project is a collection of one-shot stories, so you can jump in at any point and enjoy it!

This time, we’re including artists from other countries, like the United States and Canada, for an international collaboration!

Our authors come from all corners of the LGBTQ+ community, with stories featuring lesbian, bisexual, and non-binary characters. This anthology is a joint effort between nations, connecting everyone together!

You’ll also be able to purchase both of my previous projects during this promotion, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can! I greatly appreciate your support, and I hope we can keep providing exceptional content to you all!

VIDEO: Panel discussion of transness in yuri (including our own Cypress)

VIDEO: On Supergals and gyaru culture.

VIDEO: Accessibility improvements needed for Nintendo’s next console.

TWEET: Gantz manga artist Oku Hiroya bemoans the Barbie movie being too feminist.

BONUS: Please enjoy this Suletta/Miorine wedding art from the staff art book released at this year’s Comiket.

Suletta lifting Miorine in her arms, both wearing wedding dresses

AniFem Community

We’ll always have Jojo.

I think that literal next generation continuations, where the former main characters' children are the protagonists of the new series, often don't handle the former protagonists well (they have become distant, or boring, or changed in some unnatural way to excuse them from getting involved in the new plot) and fail to make the new protagonists interesting (being too similar to their parents is an issue, often pushing a unique characteristic of their parent's to a now grating degree). It's actually hard for me to name specific series that did this because I usually watch a little bit and get too annoyed to continue, haha.  In my experience more figurative next gen continuations, where the former protagonists have moved on but have endorsed a new group to continue where they left off, are better. However, I don't think they gain much from having the previous generation in the story. The second shows in the Yugioh and Digimon series (Yugioh GX and Digimon Adventure 2) both include the original shows' protagonists symbolically passing on the mantle, and while I understand the idea behind that, there's a reason that none of the following shows in these series do this. If the audience is still attached to the past group, there's little comfort in getting the occasional glimpse at them and knowing they'll never get to play a larger part in the story again! Besides that, if the new cast can stand on their own they don't need the previous generation to prop them up, and it's better for newcomers who have no attachment to the previous cast to not feel like they're missing out on something.  I don't think there's really anything about the idea of a next generation story that entices me, honestly. It could be interesting to follow the old protagonists into a new part of their life, and I enjoy getting to follow a new cast in an old setting, but it doesn't do much for me to know that the old protagonists are off screen somewhere, completely uninvolved with anything that actually matters to the story.
I like the idea conceptually but I have seen none of them. The main one I'd be interested in is the Spice and Wolf one (if the books with their daughter are ever adapted,) but that's because it's the only original I saw.  Inuyasha's next gen thing was conceptually interesting but somehow didn't bag me.

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