Your Friend in Japan

A New “Eva-Godzilla” Movie, and the Endurance of Sad Anime

Written by HotAnime

Last night I took my son to go see the new Godzilla film, called Shin (New) Godzilla in Japan and Godzilla Resurgence internationally. Since the film was directed by Evangelion creator Anno Hideki, I’ve been following the project for a while, and was not disappointed: everything good about Anno’s storytelling, from his intensely detailed urban visual shots to the precision of his dialogue and trademark quirky story elements, shines. (There are some direct Easter eggs for Eva fans, too.). While the movie pretends to be a rebooting of the kaiju genre for the age of Twitter and Nico Douga, it’s actually an allegory about March 11, 2011, essentially showing what would have happened if Japan had experienced a monster attack instead of terrible earthquake and tsunamis, right down to a bumbling Prime Minister giving out Godzilla radiation readings on the news in microsieverts, a unit Japan has come to know quite well over the last five years. Godzilla movies hold a special place in my heart since I trace my beginning as a Japan blogger to the awful 1998 American Godzilla release, which compelled me to write a long post about the movie here on J-List. The positive feedback I got from our customers about that post helped me see that J-List’s real mission is to be a bridge between Japan and the West with these posts, instead of merely selling Totoro bento boxes and otokonoko products to people around the world.

Ever since that cruel hunter shot Bambi’s mother, animation has been an excellent medium for telling stories that are especially emotional or sad. Both as an anime retailer and anime fan, I’m often concerned about the general trend of fans forgetting about 1-cour (12 or 13 episodes in length) shows the minute the final episode runs, which means studios don’t get time to make money from selling figures and other merchandise. (Longer shows like Attack on Titan or Sword Art Online tend to get a bit better penetration and aren’t forgotten about as quickly.) The exception to this 1-cour rule are shows that make fans cry like babies because of their touching or sad stories. While I don’t see many active fans of AnoNatsu/Waiting in the Summer on social media these days, there are plenty of people still talking about “sad” shows shows like Madoka Magica or AnoHana. Longtime anime fans know that some of the best and most emotional yet uplifting stories in anime, including Kanon, Air, Clannad, Charlotte and Angel Beats!, come from the mind of writer-and-composer Maeda Jun. Sadly, Maeda-sensei has revealed through social media that he’s been having health issues and needs a heart transplant in the near future to survive.

The Back to School season is coming, and we thought we’d help everyone out by having a big sale on all stationery (notebooks, awesome Japanese pens and more), Japanese study items (including the Genki textbook series), and related products. We’re also having a sale on bento boxes, bento accessories and cookbooks. Get 10% off instantly on all these products — no coupon to enter. Make an order now!

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