Weekly Round-Up, 22-28 January 2020: Noir Caesar Anime Trailer, Gambling Addiction in Japan, and Older Women Anime Fans

By: Anime Feminist January 28, 20200 Comments
the three leads of Hanako-kun walking through a nighttime supernatural space

AniFem Round-Up

Beautiful, Broken, and Queer: The complicated interplay of sexuality and trauma in Banana Fish

Sara Connor grapples poignantly with both Banana Fish’s troubling stereotypes about queerness and its affecting portrayal of Ash as an assault survivor.

How Chihayafuru frames breastfeeding as an early parenthood challenge

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.

The Great AniFem Makeover is Here!

We unveil our site redesign and answer a few FAQs.

Which anime and manga are both horny AND inclusive?

Because everyone deserves to have a nice time.

Beyond AniFem


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.

AniFem Community

We hope y’all stay on the lookout for inclusive sex-positive content, because there should be more of it, dangit.

One I would reccommend that I didn't see a lot of discussion about was Ao-chan Can't Study. The show is about a straight-A student who suddenly finds it hard to study when she develops sexual feelings for her classmate who is, naturally, the most handsome boy in school. There's more than a few sketchy moments, but the show puts a focus on Ao's sexuality and her figuring out what she wants, if she wants it, and what her boundaries are.

Manaria Friends is another hidden gem in my opinion, as it's a series of vingettes about a reserved dragon girl and an enthusiastic human princess. With the princess, of course, being incredibly thirsty for her dragon girlfriend. There were one or two male gaze-y shots at first, but after the first two episodes it's clear that the show is more interested in developing the relationship between Grea (the dragon) and Anne (the princess) than it is catering to the straight men who were watching.

As an ace reader, I scoured my list trying to find a show that speaks to me as an asexual girl that was also destinctly horny on main. Often times it's just the straightman to the horny nonsense I relate to, or yuri characters don't realize their feelings right away. However, O Maidens in Your Savage Season's Sonezaki gave off very ace vibes, as I can relate to vehemently hating the concept of sex in general around that age, as it was just so alien to what I personally felt. However, as that show was more about characters growing into their (non-ace) sexualities, I was eventually left a little cold. I'm really excited to hear if anyone in the comments has a horny anime that are also narratively accessable to asexual people, though!
Here is a list of my observations of how sexual manga/anime intended for straight male audiences tends to differ from sexual manga/anime intended for women.

1. Pointless sexualization of women
Even non pornographic works targeted to men will have women wearing skimpy outfits for no reason. Whereas women's erotica will typically only sexualize women when there actually having sex

2. More equitable depictions of sex
Sexual media targeted towards straight men tends to center sex acts that straight men like. Media for women tends to put more focus on sex acts women are likely to enjoy

3. Focus on women's subjectivity
In works made for female audiences their is a higher focus on women's subjective experience. She has dreams and goals and internal conflicts. They tend to be believable as characters. Stuff made for men tends to not even bother.

4. Works made about queer women are more likely to have butch women in them. Works made for men rarely do

5. Sex between queer women also tends to be badly written when targeted to straight cis men.

6. Idolized body types are common in works targeted to men and women. But the stuff made for men tends to take it to absurd extremes. With women with body types that could not possibly occur in nature.

7. Relatively less gender essentialism
While there is still rampant gender essentialism in works made for female audiences. I can still sometimes find erotic works that question gender norms and expectations in Josei. Stuff made for men almost never does.

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