Weekly Round-Up, 9-15 March 2022: Predatory Square Enix Practices, Voice Actor Wages, and Indie Devs to Know

By: Anime Feminist March 15, 20220 Comments
Noe looking blushing and happy with Murr on his shoulder

AniFem Round-Up

The real-life adventures of teen racer Noda Juju adapted by manga creator Inuwashi

Gabriel Leão interviews a 16-year-old racing prodigy and the artist who’s adapting her adventures into a manga

Love, Agency, and Androids: A Chobits Retrospective

Alexis Harper looks back at the sci-fi CLAMP series that explored the personhood and gendering of AI, but also often undercut its most interesting themes with ecchi elements.

Kotaro Lives Alone – Episode 1

Cute and bizarre but needs to decide whether it’s going full slapstick or trying to address grounded domestic issues.

What’s your favorite CLAMP series?

They’ve been creating manga for over 30 years, after all.

Beyond AniFem

Anime has never been bigger, so why are voice actors struggling to get by? (We Got This Covered, Autumn Wright)

Interviews with multiple actors working today on industry rates and lack of protection for actors.

These are unsurprisingly centered in Los Angeles, but Funimation also operates studios in Texas, a right-to-work state saving the company operational costs, according to several actors interviewed for this article. Morgan Lea, a voice actor in Dallas, began working with Funimation in 2020 and most recently voiced the shirabyoshi Tsuki in the company’s dub of The Heike Story. But after almost two years of time at the company, and more experience elsewhere, Lea is still contracted to work at $35/hour. 

“My husband works at the same rate as I do,” Lea pointed out, “and has been an actor there longer, since 2018. $35/hour with no minimum has been the starting rate for many years there, and the only way for that rate to change is to either have representation or to reach out and advocate for it yourself.” The truth is, Lea added, “Funimation will and in fact, can pay more when prompted.” 


Of course, most voice actors aren’t even working full-time. Secora said “a normal schedule could be anything from two hours a week to two hours a month.” The last time Lea recorded was at the beginning of February; they instead make their income primarily through design work. 

Both Lea and Secora shared that Funimation also uses contracts with a $75/hour rate, comparable to the minimum professional rate in L.A. under SAG’s expired agreement, but that’s still not enough to compensate for inconsistent work. Other actors can rely on residuals to cover periods of inactivity between successful auditions or minor roles, but dub actors have never received these. And as freelancers, what little pay they do see must also be taxed, and they don’t receive benefits. 

Membership in SAG-AFTRA can help, but union members must make a certain income to qualify for healthcare and a pension. According to Marin Miller, “The less than $26,000 I am required to make annually to qualify for healthcare would not cover all of my bills, so I still have to prioritize other work, as I have for the last 15 years of my career.”

Tokyo Mew Mew Artist Mia Ikumi Passes Away Due to Hemorrhage (Anime News Network, Rafael Antonio Pineda)

The famed magical girl artist was only 42 when she passed.

Tokyo Mew Mew New (seen left), an all-new anime based on the original manga, will debut this July.

Kodansha will re-release all the previous Tokyo Mew Mew manga in a new 10-volume edition with new covers, with the first three volumes slated for May. Kodansha stated that Ikumi already drew the new cover art for all 10 volumes, as well as retouched art and all new manga shorts for the new edition. The announcement added that Ikumi had been overseeing the anime production and the work on the new manga edition for the past two years, and that the anime production will continue, carrying with it Ikumi’s wishes.

New job support center caters to LGBT with disabilities (The Asahi Shimbun, Aya Shiori)

The center is organized to teach job-finding skills and attendees are able to use names and presentation of their choosing. Article includes references to suicide.

Employment support centers for people with disabilities provide job training and other assistance to those who are seeking employment at companies instead of other forms of work offered specifically for them. Some 36,000 people were using the services at around 3,000 centers nationwide as of September 2021.

The DCC is the first one in the country that promotes its LGBT-friendliness, according to ReBit. 

Nine job seekers are currently using the center, located on the fourth floor of a building situated along the Koshu Kaido road near Hatsudai Station on the Keio New Line.

Yakushi said many of the job seekers have no other place to turn to because existing welfare services are not designed to serve the needs of sexual minorities with mental or developmental disorders.

ReBit surveyed 260 such people last May. Of these, 88.2 percent said they were harassed during interviews or other processes in screening job applicants, while 76.8 percent said they felt uneasy about or had difficulty using public administrative and welfare services for people with disabilities or job seekers.

Court opens way for victims of sterilization to get redress (The Asahi Shimbun, Yuri Murakami)

The eugenics law allowing forced sterilization was enforced from 1948 to 1996. The latest ruling will now allow victims to submit lawsuits until 2024.

Although a law was passed in 2019 to provide compensation for those who underwent forced sterilization, only 974 individuals have benefitted to date. It is estimated that around 25,000 individuals across Japan underwent forced sterilization.

“It (the ruling) is unprecedented and I believe it will affect future rulings,” said Tomomichi Watanabe, a professor of civil law at Tokyo’s Seikei University.

The Osaka High Court in February for the first time ordered the government to provide compensation on grounds the statute of limitations should not apply when a significant violation of the concepts of justice and fairness applied.

In the March 11 ruling, the Tokyo High Court laid out specific factors for not applying the statute of limitations on submitting lawsuits seeking compensation.

The ruling said the government policy of forced sterilization was a massive violation of basic human rights that also inflicted secondary and tertiary psychological as well as physical damage by making it impossible for victims to recover their reproductive functions.

Somari and the Guardian of the Forest Creator Asks for Support to Possibly Resume Manga Someday (Anime News Network, Crystalyn Hodgkins)

The artist had to stop the series in 2020 due to health issues.

Gureishi stated they cannot restart the manga now “Due to the Japanese manga industry and my lack of ability.” Gureishi explained the manga required a lot of staff, but manga creators themselves are the ones who pay the salaries of their assistants, and currently Gureishi is unemployed and has “no money and no income.”

Gureishi stated they need to own a big studio and be able to pay their staff in order to resume the series, but added they are “currently destitute.”

Gureishi added they think if their name becomes more popular or “if the strange customs of this industry disappear,” it might be possible to resume Somari and the Guardian of the Forest. Gureishi asked their fans to support the manga through purchasing the manga in e-book form and spreading the word about their situation. Gureishi did not directly ask for contributions to their pixiv Fanbox account, but Gureishi links to it in their Twitter profile. pixiv Fanbox operates similarly to Patreon.

Women and Femme Identifying Indie Devs You Should Know About (Blerdy Otome, Naja)

Indie creators of visual novels, particularly otome and queer-focused visual novels, to check out.

Everyday here on Blerdy Otome, I strive to spotlight members of the wonderfully diverse gaming community whether that’s with my reviews, lists, or through exclusive interviews. And today, I wanted to spotlight some of my favorite women and femme identifying creators within the indie games community! Each of these amazing creators is dedicated to creating a more inclusive community, by sharing their own unique stories and characters through their games and I want to shine a light on the fantastic work that they do!

VIDEO: A look at Square Enix’s increasingly predatory monetization practices.

THREAD: Translation of a photo story of a mixed-race Japanese person who faced racism while visiting Kamakura.

TWEET: Link to resources from the “Digital Harassment Across Asias” lecture.

THREAD: Fundraisers for two trans women in Japan.

AniFem Community

It’s so cool to see so many different answers from such an expansive career.

I've read nearly all of CLAMP's series that are available in English (not up to date on CCS: Clear Card and have yet to actually finish RG Veda.) They were hugely influential on both my reading tastes and also my writing style. I often say I have a love-hate relationship with them because, to me at least, their works run such a wide gamut of quality. There is a lot about the body of work that I admire wholeheartedly, and there is a lot that annoys me endlessly.  My favorite manga by them is xxxHolic. I absolutely love the core cast, the episodic stories, and the aesthetic. (And the ending of the main series absolutely infuriated me lol.) Close seconds: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and Tokyo Babylon. As for anime, it's got to be Cardcaptor Sakura for me. I love how the anime expanded on the manga storyline/cast, and the entire show is so gentle and iconic. Close seconds (cheating): CLAMP in Wonderland and CLAMP in Wonderland 2.

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