Last month, I was fortunate enough to present two panels at Anime Boston, one of the largest conventions for Japanese animation in North America.
The first presentation was titled “The FF7 Remake, Miss Cloud, and Changing Culture”. (Link to Description on Convention Site) It is in regards to Final Fantasy VII (1997) and its upcoming remake; I examined portrayals in the game of issues including gender, sexuality, race, terrorism, and environmentalism, comparing the depictions in the game to societal views in Japan and the U.S. in the mid-1990s and how those views have changed or remained constant today. I then delved into remake theory as presented in film studies scholarship and how those ideas are applicable to FF7, a videogame. The powerpoint slides are available to download as a PDF here: The FF7 Remake, Miss Cloud, and Changing Culture
The second presentation was a repeat of a panel I presented last year with two friends, titled “LGBT in Anime: Yaoi, Yuri, and Beyond.” It covered representations of LGBT individuals in Anime, looking at both mainstream anime depictions and the specific genres of Yaoi (gay romance) and Yuri (lesbian romance). We further explored depictions of transgender individuals, delving into more detail on Hourou Musuko (“Wandering Son”), which explores children figuring out their gender identity and societal reactions.
The Tufts Daily, the student newspaper at Tufts University, did a feature article on the three panels by Tufts University students at Anime Boston this year. It focused in particular depth on the LGBT in Anime panel, and can be viewed here: Tufts Anime Brigade Panels @ Anime Boston