Saturday, December 28, 2013

2012: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The author is a life-long fan of anime. The author first acquired a taste for anime at the tender young age of five and has never looked back. The author spends far too much time treading back and forth between Japan―their homeland―and the United States, where they currently reside. (Apologies for the anonymity, but it was requested by the author. - Ed.)

On December 31st, 2012, I walked out of the Mandarake in Akihabara into the chilly Tokyo night. After three days at Comiket, I was beat, but not beat enough to forgo the chance to pick up some last-minute goods before retiring for the night. On my way out, I saw a sign on the shop's door:

"The word of the year is 'imouto'."

So here we are, nearly fifty years after Tetsuwan Atomu. Our long, meandering journey through the history of anime leads us to this pithy little sign posted outside on of Tokyo's largest otaku interest shops, and the word of the year is "imouto". In one simple, elegant sentence, the staff of Mandarake evoked the zeitgeist of a generation: a generation who worships archetypes, not characters; a generation sensitive to trending words and phrases; a generation who revels in the predictability of industrially-produced plot lines and personages. There is no lament in the sentence, "The word of the year is 'imouto'." Only glee. In Dostoevsky's immortal words, from universal reason, we have arrived at universal madness.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2011: The Year of the 'Dokes

Patrick George Jones (@Whats_Ur_Name) is just another guy on the planet Earth living in the Milky Way. He puts the "Pat" in "Psychopath" every time he spits hot truths into the microphone on his podcast called "Oh Great! Another Podcast" ( if you're feeling dangerous). He also runs a website called THE WORST REVIEW SITE EEEEVAR, so clearly he is qualified to write reviews.

This photo describes 2011 as well as ALL OF ANIME.
As questionable as this phrase may sound, 2011 shook up the anime industry.

This is the year that Akiyuki Shinbo struck gold and lightning. This is the year that someone finally freed Kunihiko Ikuhara from his cage to make another anime. Most importantly, this was the year Japan was rocked with one of its worst earthquakes. That Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 anime that came out a while back about a "what-if" worst case scenario is now the reality we face.