Tag Archives: Japan

Mangaka Art Work for Japan to Hold On!

Arale and Goku - Message from Toriyama Akira

Finding this link [EDIT] and more in this link, filled with wonderful Japanese artwork calling for the Japanese to hold on, is quite inspirational, and reminder of the popular industry that has roots in Japan. Being a sincere anime and manga fan. Please hold on Japan!

Haruhi prays for Japan

Despite the fact that there are delays and cancellations, have you consider your worth as an Anime/Manga fan?

Arina Tanemura's message that You're Not Alone!

There are more images from Gurren Laggen, Galaxy Express 999, Phoenix Wright. Are these images you find to be reassured by?

Chi mentions Gambatte Kudasai!

In Japan there will be a further doujinshi fund raising efforts, ANN lists the mangaka in English.

Minna Gambare! Message from Chopper and Luffy!

There are more work to be done, please consider donating for relief efforts.

Anime and Manga Bloggers for Japan Link
Anime and Manga Bloggers for Japan is just one of these relief efforts. This was an effort that was started by Daniella over at All About Manga, and further along by our own Mike. More work is going to be updating in the coming days about this newly formed site via blogging and tweeting. So Anime Diet Readers, did you think about supporting us?

Sendai Magnitude 8.9

Northern Japan was hit with an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale.

Image courtesy of US Geological Survey.

Amid the general panic, fires broke out, glass shattered, and the Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged, causing radiation levels to rise.  This prompted civil authorities to order an emergency evacuation of the nearby area and the US to dispatch technicians and coolant from its nearby military base.  As if that were not enough, the offshore quake (near Sendai) caused a massive tsunami.  Internet-savvy Japanese immediately started using google services, websites and social networks to communicate and coordinate their activities.  Many credit stringent Japanese building standards with reducing the effects of the quake and its aftershocks.

Continue reading Sendai Magnitude 8.9

USA commissions manga

It is, if anything, the reverse of “Cool Japan.” Rather than spread Japanese culture and influence to the world, a new manga titled Our Alliance – A Lasting Partnership has been published by the US Military in a bid to win the hearts of local Japanese citizens.

The manga presents America as a blond, rabbit-eared boy named Usa-kun, who enthusiastically explains the facts of geopolitical necessity to a Japanese girl named Arai Anzu – which sounds like a Wasai-Eigo pronunciation of “alliance.” (In Japanese, the prefix “Usa-” (兎) indicates things which are rabbitlike; thus Usa-kun has “usamimi,” 兎耳 or rabbit ears.)

“I am on your side,” Usa-kun tells Arai. “We are important friends.”

Continue reading USA commissions manga

B Gata H Kei: the Fifteen Year Old Virgin

Is virginity a character flaw?

Traditionally in Japan young girls were assumed to be maidens, to the point where the terms were at times used interchangeably. Perhaps in today’s sex-positive, metropolitan world, it’s assumed that youngsters of both genders will fool around.

In that light, B gata H kei appears to be something of a deconstruction of high schoolers’ attitudes towards sex. The details strain credulity (aiming for 100 casual sex partners in high school? Really?) but the overall idea that impressionable and insecure teens feel obligated to put on airs is dead on. It’s interesting that so much of the main character’s insecurities rest on the gross physical details of her anatomy, but what better symbol for the teenaged preoccupation with sex?

Continue reading B Gata H Kei: the Fifteen Year Old Virgin

American politician says nuke Japan

Sometimes, people hate what they don’t understand. Sometimes, politicians go so far as to demonstrate this hatred on the public record.


State Representative Nickolas Levasseur (D-NH), pictured to the right above, posted to Facebook:

Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just wasn’t enough.

Leaving aside whether or not the Representative personally enjoys anime, this is an elected official joking about deploying atomic weapons on a civilian population simply because he dislikes their TV shows.

Red Hampshire broke the story immediately on the 24th, which is unsurprising given that such an irresponsible statement ought to be no less than political suicide. Major news media followed suit.
Continue reading American politician says nuke Japan

Objects in Japanese Pop Culture

The recent theft of costumes and props from an AKB48 set highlights an interesting behavioral pattern. Viewed in a harsh light, it might be seen as a kind of voodoo, a ritual shamanism: obtaining relics of important people so as to be nearer to them and draw upon their power.

Mainichi Japan concludes its article on the incident with a tell-tale quote: “We intended to sell the items after getting tired of looking at them.” At once the frivolity of the exercise is laid bare: having no practical use for girls’ clothing or specially made signboards, all the boys really could do is look at the objects.

Continue reading Objects in Japanese Pop Culture

Tokyo Game Show – No, Not The Kind You Win Money By Eating Worms

The Japan Times Online had an interesting article regarding the attendance and  aftermath reaction of this year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS).  I’ll let you guys familiarize yourselves with the article before I share my thoughts on it.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nc20090930a1.html

All done?  Cool.

So basically the article points out that attendance dropped by almost 10 thousand people from last years show.  Additionally, the article describes there were no big announcements, no console reveals, or surprise “mega” game disclosures, which in some people’s eyes means it was a “lackluster” show.

Simply, there were no announcements because everything had already been announced at previous trade shows (such as E3), and those products aren’t out yet, such as Project Natal or that Sony motion wand thingy.  And most of the big game companies either have their name game already revealed, planned and dated such as with FFXIII, or they had a game already come out earlier this year, making it a little to soon to announce the next sequel in the chain, such as with the Metal Gear franchise.  Still for a big trade shows like TGS, the big guns would usually have an ace hidden up their sleeve to surprise everyone right?  So why not this year?

Because of the attendance drop and the lack of new products, some people like Mega Man creator Kenji Inafune, made statements to the extent that “The Japanese game industry is dead.”   Is this true?   Personally I don’t think so.  I don’t think that any of this is surprising during a world wide recession.  Less expendable cash means less people able to attend trade shows.  The recession may even play a factor in why some of the big products and games (that are still a looooooong ways from being finished) were announced earlier this year instead of holding off till TGS in late September.  They needed to reassure the stockholders by showing them early in a tough year, “Hey! Look at this spiffy new toy we are working on!  It’s going to make you a mint!”

On the first TGS public day this year, attendance was 62,138 people.  62,138 bodies squeezed together and stepping on each other’s feet in a crowded convention hall!  That’s nothing to sneeze at (and probably a bit painfully to boot).  E3 this year only hosted about 41,000 people.  So is the Japanese game industry dead?   I don’t think so.  It’s just a bad year.  If attendance drops that much again next year, then I think we have something to worry about.

– DC

Meidonomics

Pat Galbraith has an interesting article about how maid cafes are a bulwark of stability in these troubled economic times.

He dryly notes, “Maids in the original sense are not sex workers, though this is perhaps not always the case at the 200-plus cafes around the country.”

This I find interesting. Though it may be a one-sided perception, there has long been a sense of exotic sexuality tentatively attached to cosplay in the West. It’s not new; as far back as Richard Feynman’s 1985 autobiography, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! one finds a well-educated Westerner at a nice Japanese inn uncertain as to whether or not the kimono-clad attendant is going to provide sexual favors. How much more confusing, then, would one find it at what is often translated into English as a “fetish cafe”?

It’s not hard to think of the supply of willing maids in familiar terms: just as waitresses in Los Angeles are often aspiring actresses, Galbraith writes of the maids, “most do it because they enjoy it, but a lucky few can become cosplay idols.”  Given that this fits the mindset so well, is it any surprise that Los Angeles has its own maid cafe?

For the Japanese otaku, perhaps personal interaction is at the heart of it. In an increasingly isolated society, people are starved for personal interaction. Japan, with its workaholic culture leading to deaths of karoshi, can only feel this problem more acutely.  Twitter, Facebook, and all social media – including, yes, blogs – aim to provide people with regular interaction. This would seem to be confimed: Galbraith reports that many customers are regulars.

Is it really very different from going to Starbucks because you chat with the barista, or going to the local pub where the bartender knows what you like? The more people hold up these behaviors as examples of how otaku differ from normal society, the more apparent it is that they see differences primarily because they want to see them.

Japan’s LDP annihilated

In what can only be described as a landslide election, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost approximately 300 of 480 Diet seats.

Yabei desu~

Taro “Rozen” Aso was quoted by Associated Press as saying, “There has been a deep dissatisfaction with our party.”  Visitors to the official website of the LDP were greeted with the promise, “We will change what should be changed, and begin anew.”

Anime Diet previously reported on the economic woes that have plagued Japan in recent years, and Prime Minister Aso‘s unique association with the manga and anime industry.  His “Japan Cool” campaign attempted to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” but the numbers didn’t seem to add up.

Does this turn of events herald a dark era for animation?

Sir, it appears our portable potty fell to Japan…

From Pink Tentacle

The case of the captured mini-UFO (1972)

…Japan has had its fair share of UFO sightings over the years, but few encounters have been as peculiar as the one involving the mini-UFO captured…

Ray’s Take: “Sir, it appears a bunch of our portable potties fell out of our space shuttle and landed in Japan.” “So, what’s the problem?” “Well, sir, these things are biohazard…” “The Japanese are like our doormat and dumping ground for crap. It’s payback for the trade deficit!” “…Uh, What era are you from, sir?”

Shucks, China’s nuclear experiment gone awry…

From Weird Asia News Japan Section

Monster Jelly Fish Take Aim At Japan

Echizen kurage have shown up…the mass of them gathering now in the Yellow Sea off China is the biggest ever….

Ray’s Take: Man, everyone knew that Japan is the home for monsters, whether it’s dinasaurs, huge butterflies, turtles, squids, war criminals…I mean warlords, and now, Jellyfish! But actually, they’re gather in China for the biggest attack against Japan! It must be a Chinese scheme to wipe out Japan’s fishing industry! Oh no! No toro for you! XD

K-Ommerce

K-On’s influence is vast.  Here are some items that K-On! has sold:

Mio gets kickbacks for selling headphones

Headphones (English link)
Cell phones
Bass guitars
Pens
Hot plates

That’s in addition to the actual products associated with the series: CDs, figurines, manga, and of course dakimakura.

Given that overall Japanese retail sales fell 2.9 percent in April, will the boost from popular anime be enough to effect a turnaround?  Prime Minister Taro “Rozen” Aso, criticized as a “manga brain,” thinks so.  His “Japan Cool” campaign, whose stated aim is to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” continues to be the focus of government efforts under his regime.  Ultimately, time will tell if he’s right.