sunday morning coffee: culture collision

Meta: Finally, I got around to finishing up this post. And should Sunday Morning Coffee be a running item?

No, anime is not illegal in Canada, nor is stupidity and ignorance. The article misinterpretation of anime stems from the fact that anime is a fairly unknown subculture right now– it isn’t the NFL, Homer Simpson, Home Shopping Network, Guns and Roses, Halo, Nascar, or even Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. While mainstream people have heard of this “anime” before, they don’t truly understand it and have developed incorrect assumptions and connotations. Sometimes, though, a subculture reaches critical mass and tries to go mainstream, and, by doing so, there’s going to be a collision of culture and values.

A good example of this mainstreaming would be Mr. Master Chief vs. Mr. Jack Thompson. Ten years ago, gamers weren’t celebrated, and the absolute best movie star available to star in a game turned movie was John Leguizamo. Nowadays… The Rock and Angelina Jolie headline games turned movie (ok, maybe not that much of an upgrade). Madden is more known for his game than for his stint as a coach. Gaming is suddenly a $40 billion industry and has surpassed the music industry. Axl Low over Axl Rose.

But it isn’t a smooth transition, and the gaming industry is learning what happens when a subculture merges with the mainstream: not everything is fit for general consumption. Gaming has a highly violent side that doesn’t bother many of us, but it does bother some, and that “some” (a.k.a. Penny Arcade’s nemesis, Jack Thompson) has voiced it’s opinion and artificially caused a friction between the gaming culture and the mainstream culture. Sadly, that’s only touching the surface of gaming’s underbelly since while violence is a part of gaming, there’s also that smutty side. If America and Jack Thompson thought Hot Coffee and BMXXX were immoral, what will they think of To Heart 2, Kanon, Fate/Stay Night, and other bishoujo games? America has yet to be exposed to bishoujo gaming, and I wonder what the mainstream will think about games that aren’t just about stripping. It’ll be an interesting collision.

Anime is starting to congeal enough critical mass to join the mainstream, and the little conflicts have already started. I mean, claiming that anime = hentai doujinshi in an ad-revenue supported Canadian newspaper? Check your facts, again, please. Anime is a lot of things that isn’t easily consumed by American mainstream, and maybe that’s why we like it so much. Violence? Sex? A plenty in anime.

Horned nakkid chix0rs decapitating other horned nakkid chix0rs? CHECK.

Loli, goth, nekomimi, yuri, kawaii, onii-sama calling, bloodsucking vampires? CHECK.

Pack of nubile females pursuing a prepubescent boy? CHECK.

Scoring with or fending off your twelve sisters? CHECK.

Gay? Hard gay? Y4L? With a hint of jailbait angel who enjoys torturing and killing people and reviving them and then killing them again? CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

(As always, this post is Yotsuba approved.)


And that’s just the stuff I post on my blog. But, please, don’t generalize anime. Like how there’s different kinds of sports or different kinds of music (not all music is cop-killin’ rap or suicide-inducing John Tesh and Yanni duets… I promise, this is the first and last time I ever link to John Tesh’s website), anime isn’t all about decapitations, underaged nakkidness, or sexual promiscuity. Most of it is very vanilla shounen stuff like Naruto and One Piece where stories about making friends and teaming up, being smart and merciful, and righting wrongs take precedent over Nami exposing herself or Zoro beheading someone. As much as I deride typical Toriyama-style series, they do teach something positive to little kids. And despite the subject matter of yaoi, it’s namesake is, “no meaning, no climax” for a reason– most of it is fairly innocent and lacking that “meaning” and “climax.” (No, I didn’t verify this.) Then there’s Totoro. I wonder how different American perception of anime would be if Totoro came over first before Sailor Moon. It was just unfortunate that the first big exposure to anime in America was a magical girl show that seemed to be more popular with men than women, and, sadly, it has given anime a negative connotation.

Like gaming, maybe not everything is fit for general consumption, but there’s a lot that is. Ghibli. Jubei-chan. Keroro. One Piece. Initial D. YKK. And so on… there’s just so much out there that’s different and enjoyable from normal Western media and isn’t about nakkidness or gore, and the only way people are going to know what they are or how to find them is if we tell them. That reporter from Edmonton surely isn’t going to give a proper description.

2 Responses to “sunday morning coffee: culture collision”

  1. I just can’t get over that last episode of Dokuro-chan… maybe it’s because I’m gay. Hard gay!

  2. フウ~!

Leave a Reply