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Post Reply Living in Japan ruined anime for me.
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33 / M / Australia
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Posted 10/17/16
I imagine Japanese people looking to move to the US may have unrealistic ideas about the US based on what they see in movies and TV too.
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Posted 10/17/16
Man... I've always wanted to go to Japan. I feel like I would have the same experience as you did. I will try and make my visit a short vacation and just see the historical sights. Hopefully that keeps it mystical for me.
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16
How do you delete posts?
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Posted 10/17/16

Shazzadude wrote:

I imagine Japanese people looking to move to the US may have unrealistic ideas about the US based on what they see in movies and TV too.


We had foreign exchange students living with us growing up.

ALL of them, expected there to be guns everywhere. They were very concerned about shootings, and sometimes we would get call from their home families to see if their kids were safe for shootings on the other side of the country. Here were my overall impressions from each of the students who lived with us. (I live in Michigan)

Brazil: She thought the people in Brazil were much more beautiful, probably the most offensive lol. In her defense she was gorgeous and so was her family

Thailand: Very worried about guns, she stayed inside a lot but was super nice and gave great gifts

Germany: Thought Americans were partiers/idiots and tried to hustle everyone in poker - he was very rich though and a lot of fun

Spain: She knew more about American politics than I did and made me feel foolish about it. Couldn't believe how little we knew about other world leaders
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47 / M / Auburn, Washington
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Posted 10/17/16

zipzo wrote:

Anime and "real" Japan are just too completely different.


I have noticed that Disney films don't accurately represent America, either.

I mean, this really begs the question of what you were expecting, because the animated part isn't even necessary. If you move to New York expecting Seinfeld, or Seattle expecting Frasier, or LA expecting Big Bang Theory... you're gonna have a bad time.
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16

Shadowmist123 wrote:

Man... I've always wanted to go to Japan. I feel like I would have the same experience as you did. I will try and make my visit a short vacation and just see the historical sights. Hopefully that keeps it mystical for me.





Shadowmist123 wrote:

How do you delete posts?





Shadowmist123 wrote:


Shazzadude wrote:

I imagine Japanese people looking to move to the US may have unrealistic ideas about the US based on what they see in movies and TV too.


We had foreign exchange students living with us growing up.

ALL of them, expected there to be guns everywhere. They were very concerned about shootings, and sometimes we would get call from their home families to see if their kids were safe for shootings on the other side of the country. Here were my overall impressions from each of the students who lived with us. (I live in Michigan)

Brazil: She thought the people in Brazil were much more beautiful, probably the most offensive lol. In her defense she was gorgeous and so was her family

Thailand: Very worried about guns, she stayed inside a lot but was super nice and gave great gifts

Germany: Thought Americans were partiers/idiots and tried to hustle everyone in poker - he was very rich though and a lot of fun

Spain: She knew more about American politics than I did and made me feel foolish about it. Couldn't believe how little we knew about other world leaders


You cannot now.

You will have to live with the fact that all three of your posts are forever immortalized.
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16

cdarklock wrote:
I mean, this really begs the question of what you were expecting, because the animated part isn't even necessary. If you move to New York expecting Seinfeld, or Seattle expecting Frasier, or LA expecting Big Bang Theory... you're gonna have a bad time.


You can go to Boston expecting a little bit of Cheers, but not as much as there used to be when it was on.

Not to mention, it's hard to expect Japan to "be like anime", when you're not even ALLOWED to like anime in Japan, without the common folk immediately establishing you as a shut-in work-shunning girl-phobic Internet addict for even expressing a preference on shows.
Anime is best appreciated from afar.
ItsMev 
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23 / M / Melbourne, Australia
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Posted 10/17/16
That was a good laugh, thanks.
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27 / M / USA
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16

Hey zipzo! I missed this thread somehow, haven't seen you around in ages. Glad the family is doing well.

It's interesting because in many ways anime seems to run counter to Japanese norms rather than represent them. I wonder if this is because its conventions were rooted in 60s-70s cartoons which allowed for more casual, assertive, adolescent behavior and language in the name of youthful entertainment. Along with possible perceptions about animation itself, the medium seems to have grown in such a way to be a borderline belligerent form of expression.

Highlighted through conventional differences of language use and interpersonal behavior, for example.

However, it's also fascinating to see how this freedom can be completely disempowered by actual culture.

For example the world kind of went through a detective fiction craze in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but everyone wasn't going around murdering each other after putting down their books (obviously). It was entertainment that found value to popular culture. Similarly people (Japanese and otherwise) watch anime to stir the pot of emotions, have those crazy highs and lows of pathos or whatever else, then go about the rest of the day. It's watched, not lived.

In a much more stark way than it might sound like I mean, actually.

One of the most fascinating examples of this in Japanese media is yuri manga, which has a long, beloved, storified history going back decades and has been a genre predominantly aimed at women. But how can this be when homosexuality is such a taboo subject in Japan right to this day? It's because female homosexuality in fiction became popularized as a symbol of close feminine companionship, which was already a closely held cultural ideal.

The literal material on the page, when translated to reality, came to represent something quite different.

Yuri manga has and continues to make a very big difference in people's individual lives, but its role as a voice for change was neutered by how broader culture categorized it. I think this is something that happens in general with fiction, but it seems highly visible in Japan as a foreigner. How contentious concepts can be taken, fictionalized, and then allowed to exist for the sake of feelings and emotions--an inner emotional life--that's held separate from your outer one.

Much anime in particular might be seen as fulfilling that role for youthful belligerence.

Or even going so far as to categorize many things we see in anime as youthful versus fully matured.

Fiction can be representative of a self-image. But it can also lock away images in a safe space. I think that's really fascinating, but it's also how you see anime being balls-to-the-walls crazy while day-to-day Japan really isn't. But in general I think it's the same everywhere in how different groups in a culture are segregated, dominant ones come to exist, are perpetuated, social norms become apparent, and when something like anime comes up it is made "safe."

When we look at Japan we see some crazy shit, even in their IRL, but it's similarly made safe/contained to them.

Pretty much anything can be culturally institutionalized in this way given the right environment/incentives.

As a counterpoint for something that has no place in conventional Japanese society, underground manga (much like underground comics in the US) are the kinds of things you'll likely never see, and especially almost never ever ever see animated. Cult artists will occasionally draw attention but it's not an acceptable form of entertainment, quite literally by design. And I imagine it's something that doesn't come to influence even many native readers' perceptions of manga.

So, in a sense anime can do whatever it likes, because anime as an entity is culturally safe and nonthreatening. As long as it stays fulfilling some role in the inner lives of audiences, how it would strictly relate to "outer life" culture is moot.

Culture as a whole seems less interested in what anime says, versus what anime can be determined to "mean" or "fulfill" and then how that can be positioned in such a way to make everybody comfortable, is my general impression really.


This maybe be why when we look at Hollywood we can see a kind of grandiose "The American Way" wrought out in huge theatrical excessiveness, but when we look at anime we probably don't see a "The Japanese Way" in the same sense.

Although we certainly can in some genres. Sports for example.

    (Although maybe sports in all cultures play a determined role in "caging" certain behaviors in a safe "space.")

But anime in general as an overall representative image for Japanese day-to-day society probably not so much. It certainly fulfills a cultural role and has a broader relationship with Japanese culture obviously, but it's oriented differently.

Anyway this could all be wrong, it's just been my impression of the topic for a while.
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Posted 10/17/16
Very nice and informative post to read. The phrase "culture shock" springs to mind which often people are warned of before they go anywhere. My second holiday to Japan was a lot nicer when I realised that the Japanese were as human as people were at home. Amazed that you went the bounds you did, and pleased that you do not regret what you have got out of it despite the anime bitterness. Best wishes to you and your family!
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30 / M
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16
I've never consciously imagined that modern Japan would be very much like anime, but maybe I would still have found myself disappointed if I had moved there. The experience of a foreigner living in Japan for ten years and a native Japanese would be unbridgeably different. Of course cultural sexism does come over clearly in many anime and drama. The importance of public face, and society being more frequently correct than individuals shows up a lot too.
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47 / M / Auburn, Washington
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Posted 10/17/16

Ejanss wrote:
You can go to Boston expecting a little bit of Cheers, but not as much as there used to be when it was on.


And you can also go to Cheers while you're there. ;)

Funnily enough, I've been watching Cheers on Netflix lately. I don't really know why.


Not to mention, it's hard to expect Japan to "be like anime", when you're not even ALLOWED to like anime in Japan


I don't actually believe that's the situation. I think people try to geek out overtly in Japan, then are confused when the Japanese find it embarrassing and repulsive to share those kinds of personal details. But I could be wrong.
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Posted 10/17/16 , edited 10/17/16

cdarklock wrote:
Funnily enough, I've been watching Cheers on Netflix lately. I don't really know why.


(Because it's better than any of the downbeat new series on Netflix, that's why!)
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47 / M / Auburn, Washington
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Posted 10/17/16

Ejanss wrote:


cdarklock wrote:
Funnily enough, I've been watching Cheers on Netflix lately. I don't really know why.


(Because it's better than any of the downbeat new series on Netflix, that's why!)


What are your thoughts on "AJIN: Demi-Human?" I'm five episodes in and kind of on the fence.
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Posted 10/17/16

cdarklock wrote:



Not to mention, it's hard to expect Japan to "be like anime", when you're not even ALLOWED to like anime in Japan


I don't actually believe that's the situation. I think people try to geek out overtly in Japan, then are confused when the Japanese find it embarrassing and repulsive to share those kinds of personal details. But I could be wrong.


Yeah, there are Animate stores everywhere in Japan. You're allowed to like anime (how would you be not allowed to like something that's widely available for purchase?)

Unless you think "like anime" means "act like most of the people at American anime cons". Which you don't do in Japan, even at anime cons /events. And that's probably a good thing.

Yeah, If you've been to American cons and you think you'd like them better if they were more mellow, go to Japan. If you like them loud and wild... don't go to Japan. You'll just make foreigners/foreign fans look bad.

But seriously... the book store in a train station had a huge table outside promoting the latest volume of Attack on Titan last time I was there. And it wasn't Akihabara or Ikebukuro station, either. (it was Shinagawa, which, as far as I could tell, had a lot more businesspeople going through it than otaku, at least compared to somewhere like Akiba). Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and plenty of other stations that aren't Akihabara have also had big anime displays (like advertisements for new series/games/etc.)

That, and... I see fashion embracing animation both here and in Japan (though, in Japan it's good stuff, here it's Trolls. but still.) So that's interesting.
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