Well, we’re finished with the first anime convention of the year, Anime Impulse, a new show that’s held in tandem with an Asian-America cultural celebration. The next show we’ll be attending is Anime Los Angeles, will you be there? The J-List staff hopes to see you!
I’ve been running J-List for a long time — we were founded in 1996, so we’re one year older than Google — and it’s fun to analyze some of the trends I’ve observed over the years, including many changes in anime fandom. The biggest change is the way the Internet has taken over all aspects of our lives, from the way we communicate for free with people on the other side of the planet without thinking twice to the way “the Cloud” lets me work on these J-List blog posts on any number of different devices during the day. When we started selling hentai RPGs and visual novels most people didn’t know what the games were, and I had to explain many times that no, these weren’t DVDs, they were fun interactive multi-scenario dating-sim games you play on your PC. (Happily anime that directly dealt with these games became common, helping educate our customers.) Over the past five years I’ve noticed that both men and women seem to be much less shy about discussing topics related to sex, whether it’s discussing their favorite “naughty” toys or what fetishes they might happen to have. I’ve seen this online (during in-depth discussions on J-List’s Facebook page), and also at fan events like the convention we just got done with. It makes me happy, seeing people feeling relaxed when it comes to the subject, and I wonder if these sex-positive changes in anime fandom will continue,
It’s fun to delve into history and see what interesting people you can find, like Nakahama “John” Manjiro, the first Japanese to visit the U.S. back in 1841, or six Christian samurai who decided to settle permanently in Spain in 1617, which has blossomed to 700 descendants today, who all have the surname Japon. Then there’s the lone Japanese passenger on the Titanic. Masabumi Hosono was an employee of the Japanese Transportation Ministry sent to Russia to study railroads, and after finishing his assignment, he prepared to cross the Atlantic on the Titanic. When the ship had its fateful collision with an iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, Mr. Hosono was asleep, and didn’t wake until someone knocked on the door of his second-class cabin to tell him to put his life-vest on. He eventually made his way to the lifeboats and, hearing an announcement that there was room in lifeboat no. 10, he jumped in. His life was saved, but he might have wished it hadn’t been: he was attacked in the Japanese press for living when so many others had died, and fired from his job at the ministry, and some even called for him to commit suicide to atone for his dishonorable act. If he’d died, the world of music would have been less bright: he was the grandfather of Haruomi Hosono, one of the founding members of the influential band YMO, which helped bring Ryuichi Sakamoto to the world stage in the 80s.
The new J-List Boxes for the month of February are up, and they’re extra awesome, with two delightful snack boxes, a Valentine’s Day themed kawaii box, plus this month’s super awesome “ecchi” box, with excellent items hand-picked by our expert staff. Browse and buy now, before our stock sells out!