Month: May 2017

High school graduation and what anime has done for me.

So I am no longer a high schooler. I just graduated from my high school two days ago. And it got me thinking…man, what a ride it was.

No doubt, my high school life was the period of biggest growth for me. Now that I saw the end of it, I understand better why many creators in anime, manga and light novel industry love the high school setting so much that it is overused in anime. Besides from the fact that the large market segment of the industry likely consists of high schoolers, high school life is also a pivotal stage that involves struggles and growths that many of us can relate to, regardless of our ages, genders or races.

It is during this time when some of us face challenges such as identity crisis, cynical phase (like Hikigaya from oregairu), intense academic pressure, relationship problems (friendship and love), bullying, insecurity, self-contempt, self-acceptance and others. In order to hide our vulnerability and avoid feeling hurt, we often hide our true feelings and thoughts. As a result, we can be misunderstood, and this could lead us to feel this devastating sense of loneliness. As if there is nobody out there who sees and empathizes with your genuine-self. Neither our family members nor our friends, whom we cherish dearly.

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And anime shines compellingly as a medium of storytelling because it deftly explores these universal issues. These problems are not just limited to high school period, and anime explores them in refreshing directions that other forms of media do not usually use. By doing so, it touches our hearts. (more…)

Can anime teach us something about discrimination?

Discrimination—prejudicial treatment of different categories of people— is not limited to race, age or sex. There can also be a form discrimination against others based on their hobbies (gaming and watching anime),  disability, social classes or other aspects. If we spot somebody being discriminated against, it would probably leave a negative impression on us. In fact, the term ‘Discrimination’ has a negative connotation. That is why a show named ‘Demi-chan wa kataritai’—Interviews with Monster Girls—made an indelible impression on me, when it made me consider a new way of viewing discrimination.

Firstly, the story plot goes somewhat like this:

“This story begins in the age where ‘demi-humans’ which is humans with some sort of special power have been accepted into modern civilization. Tetsuo Takahashi who is a biology teacher wants to study demi-humans and his luck smiles at him and ends up in the same school as 4 of these demi-humans. The story follows as he tries to ‘interview’ these demi-humans and learn more about them but with a lot of failure on his end and comedy at its finest on the other end.”

As the summary stated, there are 4 demi-humans: Takanashi Hikari (a cheerful blonde vampire), Machi Kyouko (a kind dullahan), Kusakabe Yuki (a cute yuki-onna) and Satou Sakie (a succubus teacher…yes). Although this show might initially come across as just a cute show with cute girls doing cute things, it actually brings more to the table than that.

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Do Japanese anime and manga promote pedophilia?

“My desire is to put all pedophiles and ones who produce pedophilic media in jail.”

-Stacey Dooley in her documentary “Young Sex for Sale in Japan”

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On March 6th, 2017, a British journalist Stacey Dooley from BBC claimed that anime and manga promote pedophilia. This statement was made in her documentary titled “Young Sex for Sale in Japan.” For those who are unaware, one of the social issues that Japanese community faces today is Enjo Kosai, which also means compensated dating. It refers to the older men providing money and/or gifts to teen girls in return for their sexual favors. Dooley insinuated that anime and manga likely have been exacerbating this issue, as they promote pedophilia and portray them as normal… (more…)