October 2016 Update: Why I Support Anime Feminist, And More

love-live-halloweenIt’s the spooky Halloween edition!

Here is where I should be apologising for the lack of blog updates lately, but if you ask me, I’ve got nothing to apologise for. Perhaps you might have come across my writing somewhere? Let’s run down the list of websites I’ve contributed to this month, plus some thoughts:

Crunchyroll

This is my third month writing at Crunchyroll. I still have a job there, so I must be doing okay.

It’s been fun writing for Crunchyroll so far. I get a lot of editorial freedom, so I’ve been writing about all sorts of topics, from Taiwanese puppetry to how to watch anime in Japan. The theme is “Found in Translation”, but I don’t just write about translation itself. The column has become a loving tribute to the growing internationalisation of anime production and fandom. I hope you find my pieces there interesting!

I want to stress that I don’t get told what to write about. There’s a whole lot of stealth marketing for various anime and light novels (especially light novels), but I pick the topic every week. In these cases, I am genuinely passionate about promoting things that I like. However, my anime recommendations are restricted to shows that are available on Crunchyroll, for obvious reasons. I don’t know how I get away with the light novel plugs, though.

The bias towards cute anime girls in the header images is also 100% my doing, in case you were wondering.

crunchyroll

Anime News Network

I published an editorial called What’s A Light Novel?, once again furthering my diabolical light novel agenda.

This was my ANN debut, so it was quite nerve-wracking for me, but it looks like the article went over well. Zac Bertschy even told me I was welcome to pitch another article there anytime, so who knows… I may stink up the place with another LN article one day.

I’m really surprised at how easily this happened. You see, at the time, I had just been rejected by McDonald’s, so I was feeling like an unemployable piece of shit. I was looking for things to do to fill up my job prospects plan, so I pitched a random article at ANN, expecting them to ignore my emails like the 20+ organisations I had contacted so far. But only a few hours later, Zac responded, saying he was a fan of my Crunchyroll stuff and had been thinking about contacting me to write for ANN first (?!?!?!?!). And the rest, as they say, is history.

I have a few people to thank for that ANN piece. Cho and Melody from English Light Novels looked over my draft, as did Callum May from The Canipa Effect and Amelia Cook from Anime Feminist. These people helped improve the article’s accuracy and flow. Any errors that remain are mine alone.

I also have to thank Zac Bertschy for giving me a job when McDonald’s wouldn’t. Yippee!

hestia-gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anime Feminist

I’ve been a financial supporter of Anime Feminist since the day it launched. I also got to participate in a roundtable discussion about the politics of Shin Godzilla, which was a total blast. The site is still very new, so I hope everyone gives it a fair shot before deciding whether or not it’s for them.

As it turns out, my involvement with AniFem was actually somewhat controversial in certain corners of the fandom. Nobody ever actually approached me to clarify my relationship with AniFem, but in the following days, I saw people aggressively quizzing Miles on Twitter about Crunchyroll’s possible, erm, “collusion” with the feminist agenda. People were seriously worried that Crunchyroll would start censoring or withholding anime. Poor Miles had to keep explaining that Peter Fobian and I are merely freelance writers, and that Crunchyroll would not be changing its policies anytime soon. Not that the goal of AniFem was censorship in any shape or form, but it’s nice to know that I can still watch anime girls slap their butts against each other any time.

keijo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, since we’re here, I probably should explain why I became involved with Anime Feminist. I have identified as a feminist before; I am broadly in agreement with the goals of feminism. But I would not have joined this particular project if I was not convinced that it was committed to intersectional feminism. The site has already featured an interview with an independent manga artist in Tokyo, with the promise of more to come.

As I’ve stated on the Patreon page, I’d like to do some translating for the site, and maybe shed some light on untranslated manga/LNs/games for women. (Something like this post on light novels for girls, perhaps?) On the other hand, I probably won’t be contributing many editorials to the site. I provide feedback on articles and do some fact-checking, but that’s about the extent of my involvement so far. Honestly, feminism is not my area of expertise; I’d rather create a space where productive conversations about feminism can happen while being fully respectful of cultural differences.

English Light Novels

But that’s enough feminism for now. To be honest, I’ve been pursuing my light novel agenda much more aggressively this past month. I recently contributed to a joint editorial with Cho and Melody about the first volume of Oregairu for English Light Novels. I also contributed to another editorial for that site, which will be coming out sometime in November.

It was quite a bit of trouble putting together that Oregairu editorial. It took a while before we had all received our copy of the novel. In the end, we only had about a week-and-a-half to write our contributions before the post went up. It was also my second time writing about the book that month, so I had to come up with a different angle to write about it. I chose “service” as a theme because it encapsulated a lot of what makes Oregairu tick as a series. I’m not sure how we’ll tackle volume 2, but I’m interested in doing more “book club”-type posts. I’d love to see more people reading and discussing light novels in depth.

By the way, I’m quite a fan of the title of the editorial: “THE RULES ARE MADE UP AND THE POINTS DON’T MATTER”. Cho deserves full credit for coming up with that one.

oregairu-ed1-banner

Wave Motion Cannon

I’ve slowly been getting sucked into sakuga hell these last few months, which culminated in me translating a piece for Wave Motion Cannon: a 2005 interview with Akiyuki Shinbo. I’ve also been commissioned to translate parts 2 and 3, so look forward to seeing those in the coming weeks.

Translating this interview was incredibly tricky. It turns out that translating something related to anime production requires specialist knowledge, or at least a great deal more knowledge than the average fan possesses. In my case, I was very lucky to have others assist me with my translation – special thanks goes to karice, my very knowledgeable translator friend. Without her, I’m sure I would have made some serious mistakes. The last thing I want to do is spread more inaccuracies in a fandom where misinformation is rampant!

As for the interview itself, it’s pretty interesting in my view. This is all before Studio Shaft became a thing, and the insight into Shinbo’s early career is fascinating. In particular, Shinbo talks a lot about what went on behind the scenes with Le Portrait de Petite Cossette. It’s a three-episode OVA with some fantastic art direction. It also has horror elements and a goth loli, making it a perfect show to watch on Halloween.

cossetteAnd on that note, Happy Halloween, everyone! As you can see, I’ve been very busy this month, so I never really spared a thought for Halloween, but I hope you have a good time.

Bye for now!

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Posted on November 1, 2016, in Editorials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. “intersectional feminism”

    So what you’re saying… is that you’re pushing the communist, multicultural, and feminist agenda all at once *gets shot*

  2. I’m a sourpuss and don’t actually celebrate Halloween, but yay to the people who do, especially the Americans who think it ought to be a national holiday (stores closing and everything).

    I don’t contribute to Anime Solstice (my marathon blog) as much as I ought to; saying that though (hence why no-one reads it :P), I have a post coming up in a few days concerning anime and Happy Science. I know, though, that if my attempts of keeping a blog solid with loads of posts fall flat, I could always turn to contributing.

    I’ve been a review writer for Organization Anti-Social Geniuses since Summer 2014. I didn’t initially think I’d be a review writer, but alas here I am still doing it. I’d like to do other stuff of course, and writing for more group blogs and actual sites sounds cool. I think I just got lucky with OASG, and that I just need some kind of self-confidence push or something.

  3. I see my name so many times… Almost like I’m in your shadow.
    But, damn… There’s so much stuff you’re writing about. If translation doesn’t pay off for you, at least you’re a good columnist. :3

    And obviously, you’re always welcome to write for English Light Novels!

    • Light novel advocates have gotta stick together

    • Le Portrait de Petite Cossette…
      Omg, it brings back so much memories.
      I remember reading it in Shonen or the likes every month when I was back in HS. So like… 9 years ago?
      And I like both of you!
      The writing I mean. They are interesting and sometimes gives me some new insight.
      P.S I like the person too.

      • That’s funny – my first exposure to Cossette was through the manga too (even though the anime was made first). It might have been as long as 9 years ago too… can’t really remember…

  4. arbitrary_greay

    I was a little worried at first about AF because the moe article they wrote for TheMarySue was…concerning. But my dislike of their article was also nitpicky, in that I felt that they didn’t write to the TEM audience. A lot of the points they raised I agree with, but secure in my liking anime. The way the article went was likely to (and did) turn off TEM readers off of anime, reinforcing the “pokemon or porn” stereotype.

    But the actual content on AF has been good stuff. They’re nuanced, and a clear affection for anime (and not as a guilty pleasure) shines through.

    • For context on that TMS article, me and an anitwitter friend of mine helped fact-check that article before it was published. That might be why the definition of moe was so oddly precise why the argument of the article itself was fairly simple. Looking back, it felt like a piece that was uncertain about who its target audience was. At the same time, I can absolutely vouch for the author’s good intentions – she was well aware that her position was not the be-all-or-end-all of moe, and there was really no way she could have stated her honest opinion without attracting a disproportionate backlash.

      But anyway, I’m glad you like Anime Feminist so far! Hopefully, the content will continue to impress!

      • arbitrary_greay

        Yeah, for example, the big rants on the Moe Sucks blog are articles I really like (even as I also still enjoy K-ON), but that’s because those articles operate within the context of the Aniblogosphere. It’s trying to point out to preexisting fans some harms of moe they might not have been aware of. And the guy still watches a majority of every season’s shows, so there’s no subtext of elitism over anime as a whole.

        Just in the texts alone, the TMS article was making the same points with less strong language than the Moe Sucks posts, but the context on TMS was in contributing to a general judge-y atmosphere on TMS I don’t like, on a website that already has a bit of an elitist attitude towards anime.

        If the article had run during the period when TMS was also running the seasonal reviews, or along with an article celebrating recommended anime, I wouldn’t have been so bothered. Instead, it seemed like a few posts in a row on anime, which were already rare, were negative on anime as a medium, and seemed to be angling for maximum controversy and clickbait. (They succeeded on that part, the article stayed in the “most popular” sidebar for a while) That contributed to the feeling of bad faith, as well.
        (Although, again, a feeling that isn’t present at all in the Anime Feminist content, which is more like a feminism equivalent of the wonderfully compassionate stuff on Beneath the Tangles.)

        An article on moe to a primarily non-anime fan or very casual audience should probably be more like “here’s something you might run into if you delve into anime more than you currently are, here’s some of the troubling things about it, here’s some anime you can watch to support the better stuff.”

  5. Feminism is wrong in all aspects. It’s basically the racist version of gender. Supporting feminists is the dame as being racist.

  6. Getting rejected by Macdonalds. Man I know that feeling. But congrats on getting noticed by ANN! And happy late Halloween!

    Now I’m off to apply at Starbucks for the third time…..

  1. Pingback: Reflections on 2016: Making Friends with the Anime Feminists | Fantastic Memes

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