Arts feature

How Japan became a pop culture superpower

Virtually every childhood craze of the past 30 years has its beginnings in Japan. Today its influence is stronger than ever

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

There is an island nation, just off the main body of a continent. It gained an empire from the force of its military and the finesse of its trading contracts. The empire withered, as they all do, under the gaze of history. But that didn’t finish the island nation off. It simply took over the world in a different way, with something greater than arms and economics: popular culture. Its territory is now the television in your lounge, and the headphones in your ears.

Sounds like Britain, doesn’t it? We often boast of how, from the Beatles to this year’s Oscar nominations, our country punches above its weight culturally. But I had another island nation in mind. One with twice as much weight, in terms of population, and a hell of a lot more punch: Japan.

If you want to see a totem to Japan’s influence, then pop down to your local cinema this week. Among the new releases is the latest Disney movie, Big Hero 6. Its plot, about a boy and his robot taking on a supervillain, doesn’t really stand out. But its style and its setting sure do. Here is the splendiferous future-city of San Fransokyo, a perfect hybrid of …well, you guessed it. Huge neon cats grin from the top of redbrick offices. The cable cars have paper lanterns fluttering from their corners. Even old Uncle Walt is turning Japanese.

Nerds will point out that the immediate forebear of Big Hero 6 is actually an American comic book. This is the first Disney cartoon to use the Marvel characters that Walt paid billions of dollars to acquire for himself. But a quick read of that comic — particularly the five-issue series drawn by David Nakayama in 2008 — reveals a definite Asian ancestry. Not only is it set in Japan, but it also borrows enthusiastically from Japanese manga books. There are big mechanical battle-suits, big spiky hair-dos and big buoyant breasts. Not all of these make it into the Disney version.

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This mingling of Japanese and American culture has been going on for decades. It was soon after the end of the second world war that John Ford first visited the set of an Akira Kurosawa film. ‘Give the director my regards,’ he told one of the studio staff as he left. But 13 years later he could do that himself. Kurosawa was on one of Ford’s sets when the entire cast and crew stood up to applaud the Japanese director. The memories of a horrible war couldn’t undo the ties that bound these artists together.

Yet it’s the post-war generations who have really basked under the rising sun. Almost every childhood craze of the past 30 years has come from Japan: Transformers, Power Rangers, Tamagotchi, Pokémon and on and on and on. And together these have blasted through boundaries between different media.

One of the driving forces behind this cultural takeover has, of course, been money. Perhaps because of its island status, Japan has a knack for exporting itself and its goods to the rest of the world. A case in point is the company behind those Pokémon and so much else: Nintendo. Even before it had sold us hundreds of millions of consoles, Nintendo had already expanded into the United States. Apparently, the company’s president at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, had been inspired by meeting executives from — where else? — Walt Disney in the 1950s. He ached to turn his great-grandfather’s playing-card business into a global concern.

It’s easy to be cynical about art that emerges from boardrooms, as people often are about Hollywood. But the truth is that Japan’s cultural sector is sustained by the quality of its product. Nintendo’s most famous child, a high-bouncing plumber named Mario, lives in a detailed world that draws on classic fantasy and Japanese folklore — even if he was born to retain the custom of gaming arcades in America. You can’t get kids excited about branded lunchboxes and pyjamas if there’s nothing behind them.

And it’s not just for the kids: Japan likes to entertain adults too. One of the strangest things about the country’s culture, which only a qualified anthropologist could explain, is how it ignores puberty. If someone was into comics or cartoons when they were 12, why wouldn’t they be when they are 14 or 40 or even 80? They might prefer more mature themes as they age, but there’s no particular need for the form to change. Hence artists such as Masahiko Matsumoto — whose work is now being published in English translations by Breakdown Press — could sell crime comics to adults in the 1950s.

The latest Japanese megahit to detonate in the West is also aimed at adults. It’s an anime series, based on a manga comic, called Attack on Titan. I’d recommend that you watch at least the first episode, which captures the tenor of the whole thing. It begins with a great, skinless giant leering over the walls of a city. It ends with other giants turning the streets into a Hieronymus Bosch triptych. As the hero flees, he sees his mother bitten in half by one of the monsters, her blood splashing on the ground like slow-motion raindrops. Only in Japan.

But the rest of the world is learning. You can see this in the work of those Pixar folk who produced Toy Story (1995), who now occupy the upper echelons of the Walt Disney Company. Several years ago, they spent much of their time extolling the talents of the great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Here is someone, they said, who makes films for children that are also fun and rewarding for adults. Which goes to show that playtime doesn’t end when you get a job. That’s actually when you might have the cash to do it properly.

Speaking of cash, a 20th-anniversary version of another Japanese console, the Sony PlayStation, was sold in a charity auction for $129,000 last week. That sum could buy you around 13,000 tickets to see Big Hero 6 this weekend, but it’s equally part of the same phenomenon. Welcome to San Fransokyo. Population: all of us.

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Show comments
  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    Stuff from Japan is cool!

  • Jim Dawkins

    I lived in Japan during the late 70’s as a kid. I do remember their cartoons and toys were so incredible compared to what was available in the states at the time. Things like mech toys, matrixesque cartoons, even hand held video games and this was around 1978. Most of that stuff from Japan didn’t arrive in the states until the late 80’s.

    • stefano666

      did u remember Tezuka ?

  • BabsonTask

    This type of “inspiration” is not new. Kimba the White Lion inspired The Lion King rather nicely…

  • Tigress

    Babson: Actually, the Lion King was more inspired by Hamlet than Kimba. Tezuka and Disney had a very positive relationship (Tezuka’s animation style was inspired by Bambi and Snow White and Disney hired out their staff to Mushi Productions to train Mushi animators on animating in color for Kimba), but the only connection between Kimba and Lion King is that both main characters are lions and sorta look like each other and their names sound alike.

    But the reach of Japan’s pop culture goes a lot further than this article suggests: A lot of Western animated shows from the late ’70s and ’80s were contracted out to Japanese studios. Foreign productions helped Japanese studios keep the lights on at the studios and gave them the capital to create more experimental shows, like Akira, Nausicaa and Grave of the Fireflies.

    • agumonkey

      Ahh Akira. A timeless landmark.

    • Tigress checker

      The connections between kimba and simba are much more than the name. i think you need to watch and read kimba again, or at least for the first time. While the lion king may have been influenced by hamlet, it definitely appropriated many key storyboard and visual elements from kimba, beyond the name, including many visual scene layouts and story points. There are many websites that analyze the “similarities” between the two and it does not lead one to have a favorable impression of the the creators of the lion king. There are way too many similarities to pawn off as simply sharing a a similar name and that they are lions.

    • lolipedofin

      The notion that Kimba has zero influence to Lion King is equally ridiculous as saying that Lion King is a 100% rip off of Kimba. Yes, of course it’s plain obvious that Lion King derived its plot from Hamlet, but you can’t deny some of the striking visual similarity between the 2. Tezuka’s studio was actually considering filing a complaint or lawsuit, but they decided not to, because they know they have no chance against Disney’s lawyer. They had no choice but to say the famed phrase, “sho ga nai”

      Even Matthew Broderick thought he was going to voice American adaptation of Kimba. Kimba might be obscure today, but back in the 80’s was considerably well known in Europe and even in US, and there is no way none of the animator is that clueless about it

      • camnai

        Other people were urging the Tezuka Osamu Office to sue over The Lion King. I don’t know what conversations went on in the company at that time, but outwardly they maintained all the way through that Osamu Tezuka, who was dead by the time The Lion King came out, had always had a great respect for Walt Disney, and if his work had influenced a Disney film he would have considered it an honour.

        • Tigress

          The reasoning for not suing Disney was that Tezuka’s animation style was heavily inspired by Disney, so he would have been flattered if Disney used Kimba as inspiration for the Lion King. IOW, Tezuka wouldn’t care, so why do you?

          And, clarification: I never said there was zero influence from Kimba, because it’s definitely there. Just that it’s not the “OMG PLAGARISM” that weaboos make it out to be.

  • Gary Wintle

    How then, do you explain Sega’s decline which was the direct result of Japanese suits being jealous of Sega America and Sega Europe’s greater success?
    The nadir came when pachinko gangsters Sammy took over, leading to a mass exodus of Sega’s genius in-house game developers; Tetsuya Mizaguchi, Noryoshi Oba, Yuji Naka, Hideki Naganuma, and of course the legendary Yu Suzuki, sidelined and forced to leave, while Rieko Kodama’s games are no longer released in the west. Likewise Namco, Capcom and Konami are also in decline. The once mercurial and bold Japanese have become conservative and dull.
    Also, I don’t see Japan’s cultural reach ever becoming mainstream; Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and Attack on Titan will never be shown on terrestrial British TV. Aside from Attack on Titan, there is precious little new, exemplified by Hideaki Anno remaking a blander , more conservative version of his classic, Evangelion.

    • Ultra_Kraken

      “Hideaki Anno remaking a blander , more conservative version of his classic, Evangelion.”

      You’re not talking about the new movies, are you? I don’t want to give anything away (because a quick check on Wikipedia shows it’s apparently basically not been shown or released overseas), but especially the 3rd movie is just…wild. Completely diverges from any of the previous story lines. It also has one of the most dazzling opening scenes I’ve ever watched in a movie.

      • Tigress

        I’ve had the 3rd movie pre-ordered forever and asked Funimation about the delay when I last saw them at a convention. They told me that their scriptwriters are working with Anno to make sure their translations are correct. They are showing it subbed (they just did at Otakon last year), but just haven’t released it on DVD.

        • Ultra_Kraken

          I wasn’t even a big Evangellion fan, but I had nothing to do one day and decided to catch a movie – the only one that seemed interesting was the 3rd movie. (This was in Japan, needless to say). I believe I’d more or less caught the gist of the 1st and maybe the 2nd movie when they showed them on TV, but the 3rd movie was just amazing to see in the theater. Again, that opening scene…wow.

      • Ortega

        It also has one of the most dazzling opening scenes I’ve ever watched in a movie.

        1) Shame it was completely pointless and unneeded (I assume you’re about the space battle)
        2) You should watch more films

    • lolipedofin

      You have a point, but I think the fact that the way Japanese culture is so easily distinguished from the other, unlike how British sometimes overlap so well with American, is their extra selling point…. You also have to admit that they are slowly more and more incorporated into mainstream media. Manga and anime today is exponentially more well known than it was in ’90s. that’s something.

    • http://www.projectspark.com coip

      “Tetsuya Mizuguchi…Yuji Naka…and of course the legendary Yu Suzuki.”
      Some of the greatest video game developers of all time. I’d kill for a Kinect 2-enabled Rez/Child of Eden follow-up on Xbox One. And don’t even get me started on a Chu Chu Rocket re-release or Shenmue 3. Oh baby.

    • Ortega

      exemplified by Hideaki Anno remaking a blander , more conservative version of his classic, Evangelion.

      Thankyou

  • greggf

    Indeed, Japan took over the world in a different way.
    In almost every sphere from Pop to physics, from boom to bust and from crime to culture; the country and its ingenious people are some two decades ahead of the rest of the West.
    We should be able to learn from their experiences especially about the current economic crises – but we don’t and, worse, we won’t!
    A sort of collective denial separates the Western Occident from Japan – and it’s our loss.

    • Lynn Grace Corbin-Lohmanns

      I note that you haven’t actually given any specific examples of this Japanese cultural/scientific tsunami that’s ’20 years ahead of us’. Name me just *one* major (or even minor) Japanese invention that has swept the West, enriching and transforming our lives for the better like we have them? Computers? No, that was the West. The Internet? No, that was the West. Mobile/smart phones? No that was the West. The Hadron Collider? No that was the West. So what exactly? Cartoon characters with big eyes and Karaoke is all I can think of. You are a liar.

      • Fraga123

        Ramen

      • Cock Pit

        West mean the Germans.

        • Nathan Fleischman

          No, West means Europeans, North Americans, South Americans, and Australians, especially. The Germans are Europeans.

          • stefano666

            Natürlich !

  • http://twitter.com/WinstonCDN WinstonCDN

    Weird

  • paratize

    Japanese pop culture is now a bit passe, actually. Try Korean culture, instead.

    • lolipedofin

      I might sound biased, but I have yet to see any significant exported Korean culture, apart from Boy/girl bands and dramas. Ok, food… but Japanese food is way more entrenched worldwide than Korean food.

      • http://www.projectspark.com coip

        E~~~~~h, sexy lady! Op, op, op, op, Oppan Gangnam style!

        • lolipedofin

          Ahh yea… Macarena of this decade.

      • ian channing

        Korean culture is now ahead of Japan’s all over Asia. Korean soaps and films have displaced Japanese ones, and Korean music and the formats it uses now rule the roost. Korean cooking is also all over Asia now, though it is just arriving in the west. The west is just slow in picking all this up. In fact, both Japan and Korea have strong, exportable cultures, both distinctive, but Korea, still benefiting to some extent from the novelty effect, is in the driving seat just now. As for the fatuous and insulting idea that Korean culture is ‘stolen’ from Japan, well, anybody claiming that is simply parading his or her ignorance. South Korea many have borrowed much from Japan in its way of life, but in popular culture it is blazing its own trail. They are two very different peoples.

        • lolipedofin

          I have to argue this one. Yes, Korea is gaining massive traction right now, but will it be a permanent mainstay? The jury is still out for that one….

          And btw, I’m from Asia, namely Indonesia. Even when the craze for Korea was fever pitch over here (it has dwindled a little) there was a study that deduce that Japanese influence is still marginally higher than Korea, mainly because of the crazy number of manga translated into Indonesian. But I digress, in majority of Asian countries, Halyu is overwhelming.

          As for food, I can bet my house that Korean food will never reach the level of influence Japanese food anytime soon. Sushi alone can beat all Korean food combined in this department. And then you have to consider Ramen, Gyuudon, etc.

          Lastly, you said that Korean culture is more novel than Japan. I feel that this is the one that is the most mistaken. Korean drama and music is so popular actually because it is still relatable to the Pop Culture of America. For example, the boy/girl band is basically an evolution of the 90’s era boy/girl band of USA. Japan is way more non-mainstream culturally, Adult can easily get in to the latest SNSD songs, but AKB48, it is just too weird for the masses.

        • Cock Pit

          But i do know Japan music culture is more advanced than Korean..Japan can Metal, RocknRoll etc..Korean only know how to Gangam n autobots the youtube view counts

    • greggf

      (South) Korean culture is the same but a decade behind para. What the Koreans are doing now the Japanese did before. The Koreans have advantages because their language is easier, they are more open to the West and have less of a problem with China.

    • Gandalf The Grey

      What Korean culture? All i ever see is Korea knocking off Japanese trends and then claiming they came up with the Idea.

      • Jae Seo Moncada

        What Korean culture…..we are the source of people who gave Japanese people writing system including religion…..Bakjae’s prince married Shamanistic tribal woman to eatablish their state. Read into Emperor Sujin, Gaya culture. people in Nara region including Soga Clan. We bellied these monsters!!!!!

        • Sammy

          What a joke. Koreans would be nothing without the Chinese and Japanese.

          • Tb

            Actually Japan stole most of their cultural artifacts when they shredded Korea and China several times. Look at history. I live in japan and I do love the culture but there’s no getting away from that most of their art, cuisine and language is adapted from Chinese and Korean influence. They’ve just changed it an made it their own and often in a better way (in my opinion) same as the best Italian, French and cakes in general are way better here than in the original countries.
            More modern things – probably the other way round yes.

    • Sammy

      What rubbish. What “Korean culture” do you speak off? The Koreans do not have a distinct culture like the Japanese. They certainly do not have as much an influence in the west as the Japanese do.

      • Seri Park

        I suppose ignorance is bliss… having lived in three countries in Asia, I an assure you that Korean culture is quite distinct from Japan’s, and quite a bit older, as well.

    • John

      Thank god we have you, paratize, to keep us abreast of the cutting edge of pop culture

    • doninwindsor

      You mean the stuff they copy from Japan? Korean culture can’t match Japan’s.

  • really?

    the info tied to that photo should be ponyo, ya dingus.

  • SackTheJuggler

    I’m rather immune to it myself, but I have a good friend who visits Japan every year and loves everything about the place. I remember William Gibson commenting that Japan and Britain are in many ways similar – smallish overcrowded islands with everyday cultural quirks and social conventions that can seem incomprehensible to outsiders.

    • Colonel Mustard

      The difference is that the Japanese are still Japanese, haven’t fallen for ‘multi-culti’ and are not ruled by some Asian Economic commission,

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Now that comment’s on the money. No way is Japan going to become a multicultural Muslim hellhole with a mosque on every corner. The churches are bad enough, but at least they don’t have a call to prayer five times a day. Coming up to 06.00; any minute now.
        Jack, Penang

      • 내가 제일 잘나가

        I don’t understand how English cannot still be English when 90% of the people surrounded by you are White English. Maybe the English culture isn’t as impactful as the incoming immigrants cultures if you feel that 10% of the population is threatening your traditions/cruisine etc. and that is why it sticks out to you so much. If that is so, then that is your problem and not a national problem. It’s not the immigrants that are closing down pubs and charging people to morris dancing on the street, it’s the local council who are mostly white English employees.

        • Ortega

          Maybe the English culture isn’t as impactful as the incoming immigrants cultures if you feel that 10% of the population is threatening your traditions/cruisine etc.
          Good question.

        • Lynn Grace Corbin-Lohmanns

          Yes, immigrant culture has certainly had an “impact” on England. Everything from terrorist attacks, beheadings in the street, Muslim gangs torturing and raping English girls by the tens of thousands, electoral rigging, London riots, hundreds of homegrown ISIS recruits and Trojan horse schools. Aren’t we English dull and boring?

          • niga jael jal na ga

            Mmm that’s right because all 7 million of the immigrants here do that isn’t, they love a good riot, it part of the traditions of the scary unknown calles overseas because savages. I think I should let you know that overgeneralisation is not cute or in fact very intelligent. Have you know it, if I wanted to retaliate back using the same method, you could say, for example, that the rape of the thousands of schoolgirls was a homegrown culture as part if efforts to integrate into society!! You know since it’s very much a common occurrence (or tradition if you want to claim it) since its a been discovered that about 1/4 girls in the UK have been sexually abused, boys not to far behind at 1/6. Hell. It’s even so intergrated into society that the very people influencing this fine country whether in politics or entertainment all adhere to that tradition too! Not so shocking right? So there for looks like the immigrants have actually tried to intergrate in. You know what would be clever? If in British culture, there wasn’t this looming idea that British were better than others. Of the British were not so caught up on elitism and class that if they were to go into a country and blow up innocent civilians to smithereens, they are so up standing and right that we should celebrate the mass murder Britain commits and shocked when there is any type of consequence for it. No matter how twisted and disgustingly wrong the consequences also are too.What would be really cool if British politics incorporated the culture of actually doing their job of serving the people and not exploiting, in every sense of the word

          • Fraga123

            They made your food immeasurably better….WITH THEIR RIVERS OF BLOOD

  • adsf

    wrg

  • Walter Pewen

    I guess I’m the only one but I don’t agree at all. When Japanese cheapo cartoons arrived in the 1980’s that just what they looked like. Not as many frames, unnatural illustration of animals including humans, wide eyes that did not represent the natives of Japan. I don’t get any big jolt from any pop culture from Japan. It may be the happening thing, aesthetically it turns me off. Plus, they didn’t really design anything original, in keeping with their transfer technology ethos in general.
    If you like the stylization I can understand it, for me it just seems industrial, visually shallow and kind of strange. Starting with Hello Kitty.
    Oh yeah, and all that music of ours they listen to, does it still go on? Sure never listened to their popular music, whatever it is…

  • Dan Grover

    I feel like this article might be about ten years behind the curve, no? I’m 26 now, and when I was growing up in my early to mid teens, I feel like this was more the case than now. Then everyone had Japanese electronics in their house (Sony, Toshiba etc), all the large videogame console makers were Japanese (Sega, Sony, Nintendo – before the days of the Xbox) and the big hit games produced were more often than not Japanese – Mario, Metal Gear, Pokemon, Final Fantasy etc. A lot of my friends were getting into Anime (Dragonball Z was on “prime time” kids TV. You would hear stories about mythical Japanese mobile phones with their crazy-advanced features. Miyazaki was huge.

    But now? Based on my younger cousins, not much of this is the case now. You’re more likely to find a living room decked out with Korean or Chinese gear. Whilst Nintendo and Sony are big names in the Games industry, only really Nintendo’s games from Japan are popular outside of Japan (and their latest console has been an abject failure) – even most of Sony’s own first-party developers are based in either Europe or America. The biggest games now – your Call of Dutys, Minecrafts, Halos – are all developed in the West. And for a lot of kids, “games” aren’t “traditional” videogames (I feel a little silly saying that) but rather mobile games – Angry Birds, Candy Crush etc, which are also all developed in the West using hardware and Operating Systems developed in the west (Apple, Android, Intel etc). Anime looked set to take over Western cartoons but that’s not happened – in fact Western made cartoons have seen something of a resurgence recently (Adventure Time, Archer etc). And Miyazaki doesn’t make films anymore.

    They are still a powerhouse no doubt, especially given their size and the relatively insular and esoteric nature of their culture. But I feel like this was all more the case 10 years ago than it is now.

    • Arthur

      I guess it depends where you live in the U.S., since certain states embrace Japanese culture more than others. With games, the PS4 is leading by a margin as far as consoles go and Nintendo’s 3DS is winning in hand held sales, although their only competitor is Sony. But I agree, I don’t think it’s as dominant as it was 10 years ago.

  • Rex

    If someone was into comics or cartoons when they were 12, why wouldn’t they be when they are 14 or 40 or even 80?

    So why the presupposition that comics cannot be read by anyone past puberty? Manga and anime are a medium, no more. It’s only Western thinking that comics and ‘cartoons’ must be for kids. Arguably af

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Mitsubishi passenger cars do seem to lean heavily on manga culture for styling inspiration.

  • Ortega

    I get quite bored of this “Japanese cartoons are so much better than Western cartoons” trope. It may technically be true but it’s also meaningless. Animation doesn’t have the same position in America as it does in Japan. The Japanese make cartoons for all genres and aimed at people up to there 20s (in theory anyway). US cartoons are usually just comedies aimed at entertaining children. It’s not an issue of the Japanese being more talented than American creators, they just view animation differently. I don’t think you can honestly argue that Japanese live action films are better than American films. If Americans made sci-fi, action etc cartoons aimed at people in their 20s they’d probably be better than anime.

    Also, although they may be better than the American cartoons that exist currently, most anime by adult standards are mediocre at best. This is especially true when it comes to tv series. The number of anime tv series that exist in history which could reasonably be described as good or great by adults is very small.

    • lolipedofin

      “Also, although they may be better than the American cartoons that exist currently, most anime by adult standards are mediocre at best. This is especially true when it comes to tv series. The number of anime tv series that exist in history which could reasonably be described as good or great by adults is very small.”

      Isn’t the same also true for American TV show? I think if you should make a ratio for mediocre tv show and great tv show, the ratio will look somewhat parallel to japanese anime. Sure there are a lot of mediocre anime, but once you stumbled upon the great one, it will be mind blowing, if you are into anime of course.

      As for your first statement, isn’t it worth praising though, how animation in Japan actually managed to gain such traction among it’s populace. You can’t just dismiss it by saying, “that’s because the crowd love anime”, that’s naive, the market exists because of the abundance of quality the anime studio provided them with, the market exists because the industry managed to design and place their products exceptionally well.

      And it’s not like USA doesn’t have adult cartoons… The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park… those are certainly not for kids.

      • Ortega

        “Isn’t the same also true for American TV show?”

        Yes but that’s not my point. The point is the way anime is presented by its Western admirers as being this uniquely creative and high quality medium that’s better than everything from the West. I’m sure there are many Japanese people who like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad etc, but they probably don’t go around praising American TV as a whole or becoming “American TV Otaku”.

        “And it’s not like USA doesn’t have adult cartoons… The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park… those are certainly not for kids”

        The audience for those series is definitely mostly below 20. I don’t know anyone who watches them anymore. In any case even if we did classify them as adult, on their own they don’t change my statement that most American animation is comedy aimed at children. How many U.S. animated films/series can you think of that are non-comedies aimed at people in their late teens and older?

        • lolipedofin

          American culture is so pervasive and embedded globally that you can’t really call yourself otaku if you love them. The amount of Hollywood films I watched is massive annually, add the sitcoms, by volume alone, if I convert it to anime, I would be called an otaku. Yet, because it is so mainstream and “normal” it no longer viewed that way.

          Anime, which then became niche, naturally made the fans felt that they need to spread the love. I think this is very organic and understandable.

          I also think there is merit in saying that anime is a highly creative medium. Anime is far less restricted than western media, anime can get away with touchy and controversial subject and there are much more freedom for the creators as each work usually mirrored the want of an individual rather than overproduced by a team like how it is done in US. Add to that the differing culture between Japan and the rest of the world, it does make for an interesting viewing.

          As for American Cartoon, I agree, they are mostly comedic, and yes, I see your point now.

          • Ortega

            “Anime, which then became niche, naturally made the fans felt that they need to spread the love. I think this is very organic and understandable.”

            It’s understandable if they promote it on the basis that it’s weird and unusual relative to Western Media. What isn’t understandable is when you start talking about it being artistically superior, especially when it comes to plot and character.

            “I also think there is merit in saying that anime is a highly creative medium.”

            Like I said above, if it’s specified that “creative” refers to the strangeness of the imagery that’s fine. This might be attractive to many people, but too many others it won’t be, and for them I don’t think this alone will qualify anime as being “highly creative”.

  • Duncan Dunnit

    My girlfriend enjoys either Japanese porn or no porn at all.

    • lolipedofin

      This is a shot in the dark…. but is she possibly insecure with her breast size??

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