Champloo-loving MIT Prof Outdoes Us All

Now this man is a fanboy

By writing a whole anime-influenced play! From the trusty Anime News Network:

On Thursday, November 29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dance Theater Ensemble will premiere Live Action Anime 2007: Madness at Mokuba, a play inspired by themes and images from classic robot anime series. The story of the play involves two teams, competing in the Giant Robot Contest at the fictitious “Mokuba Institute of Technology,” that join together as a strange disease invades the campus. The performance will be held at the Kresge Little Theatre, on the MIT campus, and will be repeated on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1.

Mike’s Take: You know, I applied to MIT, knowing that I probably wouldn’t get in (I didn’t, and thankfully, because I ended up not liking computer science very much at my still-demanding alma mater anyway), because I wanted to be on the same campus with a bunch of hardcore geeks like me. Stuff like this helps explain why! You should also read the interview with the author of the play, Prof. Ian Condry, who loves hip-hop and Japanese pop culture–which of course explains why he loves Samurai Champloo so much and got excited when his students introduced it to him. (Who else? This is the campus that invited the Otaking himself after all!)

Otaking for MIT Student President

I agree with most of his choices for his favorites, especially The Girl Who Leapt Through Time–which I gave a glowing review–but I somewhat disagree with using Paranoia Agent as a starter into anime as he does. Kon is absolutely wonderful, a total original, but I think a bit too convoluted and artsy for many people. Maybe that’s why movie critics tend to love him so much. Cowboy Bebop, another one of his favorites, is a better choice IMO: much more accessible stylistically, well-told, and extremely well-scored. Plus it has tons of well-directed action. (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is also great.)

Any readers here go to MIT and can offer some thoughts or a review of this performance? I’m curious about it.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

4 thoughts on “Champloo-loving MIT Prof Outdoes Us All

  1. The man has taste. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei? Win. I haven’t watched Paranoia Agent yet, but perhaps it would work as an intro anime for an art/experimental film-familiar person. I definitely think that Millennium Actress or Tokyo Godfathers would work as well as Spirited Away. My mom liked all three of them.

  2. Ian Condry is a respected scholar on Japanese studies. He has this article where he talks about J-rap and Otakus, which is required reading for my module on Japanese pop culture.

  3. Between him and Henry Jenkins, I wanted to apply to MIT SO BAD for my Ph.D., but then I found out that they only have a MA program.

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