Anime (and Star Wars) Can Bring Us World Peace Through Shared Popular Culture
I had a fun weekend, traveling down to Tokyo to see a certain Star Wars film with friends and my son, which has become a treasured annual event for all of us. While in Tokyo I did some sightseeing with the J-List social media staff in the Kamakura area, a pleasant seaside town about 50 km south of Tokyo that’s known for a massive bronze statue of Buddha dating back to 1252, the second largest in Japan. We visited the Buddha statue, then had the good timing to arrive at a shrine as they were in the middle of their annual year-end ceremony. We also went to see the most famous train crossing in Japan, which is featured in the Slam Dunk basketball anime. The area has become a major 聖地 seichi or “anime holy land” site for otakus all over the world to visit, and while we stood there waiting for the train to depart so we could take pictures, we were surrounded by visitors from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and Europe. (There’s a frazzled security guard who stands there all day, doing nothing but guiding tourists safely out of the road so they don’t get hit by cars.) It occurred to me that anime was one of the few things that can really unite the world in peace, something with the potential to form the basis for understanding among people from distant corners of the world, regardless of language and culture. I’m a big believer in this principle of “world peace through shared popular culture” and I think all kinds of good things are possible if we embrace the idea.
One of the best anime series this season has been Blend S, about
five girls four girls and one boy who work at STILE, a coffee shop where the waitresses wear personas (sadistic, tsundere, younger sister, etc.) for the entertainment of customers. While the main couple is the Italian owner Dino and main sadistic girl Maika, in recent episodes the twintailed Kaho has been stealing fans’ hearts, especially when paired with Akizuki, the male chef at the cafe. It’s super cute because both Kaho and Akizuki are tsundere and unable to act naturally around each other, making fans naturally cheer for them to get together before the end of the show. I’m also a fan of Miu, an eccentric and hyper-perverted doujinshi artist who works at the cafe, who’s always fantasizing about creating doujinshi based on the people around her. If only she kept her mouth shut, people would think she was normal…
In addition to a new Twelve Days of J-List flash sale every day, J-List is doing the Twelve Onaholes of Christmas, highlighting a different toy that our customers have really loved to buy and use during 2017, and giving a big 10x J-List Points bonus on. For Monday, the specially discounted toy is the Tenga Moova toy, an innovative “cup style” toy that can be disassembled easily so you can clean and dry it. See details on the offer, which ends midnight California time, or read the toy’s full review on our blog.