Sara Connor grapples poignantly with both Banana Fish’s troubling stereotypes about queerness and its affecting portrayal of Ash as an assault survivor.
Lauren Orsini spotlights the karuta Queen Inokuma and the sympathetic portrayal of her struggle to balance returning to her profession with her newborn’s needs.
We unveil our site redesign and answer a few FAQs.
Because everyone deserves to have a nice time.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT #29DAYSOFBLACKCOSPLAY (Wear Your Voice, Briana Lawrence)
Tips to keep in mind as the annual hashtag event rolls around again.
Some folks tell on themselves real quick by the end of February, spaces ending their share-a-thon and suddenly ghosting us like a bad date. The point of #29DaysOfBlackCosplay is to keep the momentum going, not walk away until you see the words “Black” and “cosplay” trending again. If you’re only sharing us because it’s the popular thing to do at the time, you’re not really here for us: you’re here to boost your own brand. Acknowledge us beyond February, especially if you’re a cosplayer, fan, or coordinator of an event who tosses around the words diversity and inclusion.
What Happens When Old Ladies Watch Anime (Twin Cities Geek, Lisa Freitag)
A story about getting into anime fandom later in life.
In the anime we watch, the average character is in high school, young enough to be our grandchildren. Rarely, there is a character in their early 20s—though, the way they are drawn, they look much younger. The main characters sometimes refer to them as old people, which we find pretty hilarious. There are a few characters who are very old, usually sustained by magic or science, but they don’t often look or act older than teenagers. People my age are found only in supporting roles, transmitting the odd bit of useful wisdom or, perhaps, running a shop selling dubious items.
We old ladies are well aware that we are not at all the target audience for this stuff, either in Japan or here. The people marketing anime in the US have an enormous range of stories to choose from, and I imagine that only the best and most popular is translated or dubbed. Most of what we watch seems to be aimed squarely at teens and young adults. This ensures that, in the US at least, younger geeks have a much bigger playground that my generation did. But while these fannish activities are certainly more widely accepted now than when I was a teenager, there are still lines that adults are not “supposed” to cross.
Downtown Tokyo’s homeless fear removal ahead of Olympics (AP Images, Kageyama Yuri, Jae C. Hong)
A snapshot of the community’s concerns as the city prepares for the Olympics.
Many of those sleeping rough are “working poor,” said Daisaku Seto, who works for a nonprofit for refugees and a consumers’ food cooperative called Palsystem. He says some suffer psychological trauma and need training to get better-paying jobs. Once they drop into poverty, they rarely find their way back out.
“We need to come up with ways to help that empower them,” said Seto, who is a leader in a one of the leaders of a grassroots group called the Anti-Poverty Network.
Yukio Takazawa, executive director of a support group for the poor in Yokohama’s Kotobukicho, an area of flophouses where homeless people also tend to congregate, worries the worst is to come.
The construction boom from the Olympics will be winding down, reducing chances for odd jobs for day laborers. The younger poor, who now spend nights in Internet cafes, likely will eventually end up on the streets, said Takazawa, who has been working with the poor for 30 years.
Babylon Episode 12 Review (Anime News Network, James Beckett)
In case you were wondering how the misogyny shook out.
To make a heinously long story short, here is the best I can make of what Babylon might have been trying to say with all of this: “Suicide is definitely not good but, like, we live in a society, you know? And society is pretty messed up. Maybe we’ll get to the point where we think suicide is good! Wouldn’t that be wild? Also, apropos of nothing, I bet that it would happen because a super sexy anime woman who axe murders people used her magic powers to make men cum their brains out. Like literally, with bullets. Women, am I right?” If there’s something less puerile than that going on, Babylon sure as hell isn’t telling any of us about it, and I certainly won’t be looking into the books to find out more.
Rainbow Releases: Summer 2019 (Coherent Cats, Malia and Karleen)
A round-up of anime and manga with queer content from last summer.
Last year we transcribed our midyear panel as a single blog post, which left out unprecedented works later in the year such as Zombieland Saga. This year we plan to keep a simple list of all releases on a Rainbow Releases: LGBTQ Anime and Manga of 2019 blog page, with in-depth blog posts looking back on each season as we move through the year.
Without further delay, here is our recap of LGBTQ-themed anime and manga from the summer season of 2019! Better late than never?
VIDEO: Discussion of gambling addition in Japan
VIDEO: Trailer for Noir Caesar’s new anime (flashing light warning)
THREAD: Discussion of the demonstrable positive impact shuttering scanlation sites has on the industry
TWEET: GDrive of readings on Black sociopolitical writings in response to a previous booklist, crafted to include work from women and queer writers
TWEET: A short video about the making of the original Sailor Moon anime.
We hope y’all stay on the lookout for inclusive sex-positive content, because there should be more of it, dangit.