There is an interesting read that’s in last week’s (I think) ESPN the magazine on racism in soccer, specifically focusing on how racism has permeated throughout Italian soccer fandom. One interesting tidbit is a note on cultural conflict between Northern Italy and Southern Italy where as the article seems to put it, the north is very right-wing, traditional, and focused on preserving tradition, which somehow the south seems to threaten by being the “less wealthy” of the two, as well as the portion that has more immigrants migrate there. And there’s one specific right-wing political group, Lega Nord, mentioned whose goal is to have the North split from what they see as an “economically dependant” south. Which reminded me of Gunslinger Girl’s main antagonist faction The Five Republics Faction, and this article helped provide a lot more sociopolitical context in the many factors that lead to the complicated setting of the series, as well as some of the motivations behind the characters especially in the last couple of volumes before the final one that’s recently come out. Granted, all this information was available beforehand if you knew where to look, but I didn’t think that an article on sport would lead me to it though. You never know, I guess. I’d recommend reading the whole article even if you aren’t a fan of the show or of soccer, as its incisive writing regardless.