While the recent Nyarko-San anime lead to a serious uptick in the Japanese sales of the works of American pulp horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, the cosmic horror maestro has long had a considerable influence on Japanese pop media. So, in honor of Howard Phillips' 122nd birthday, let's toast the genre legend.
Along with references to Star Trek and the like, the delightfully geeky '80s anime Dirty Pair threw in a reference to Lovecraft's most famous malevolent entity, Cthulhu.
In the '90s and early '00s writer Chiaki J. Konaka was the king of Lovecraft influenced anime. Armitage III, the Hellsing TV anime, even Digimon were peppered with references.
Now, it looks a lot like Konaka's crown has been taken by Gen Urobuchi. The monster summoned by Fate/zero's Caster had a pretty obvious through line to the sleepers from the deep in Lovecraft's mythology, but Madoka Magica's visions of unknowable alienness and human fragility also suggest more than a little Lovecraft influence - or at least a like warped view of the universe.
So, if you want the perfect excuse for a Madoka Magica, Fate/zero, or Nyarko-san marathon, say you're celebrating classic pulp horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's August 20th birthday. And, while you're at it, be sure to check out Jason Thompson's guide to the Nyarko's injokes!