Coming Out of the Anime Closet and the Mainstreaming of Anime
One of the enjoyable things about loving Japan is the way it connects us with so many other people around the world, including some famous ones. Do you like driving fast with Eurobeat playing in your car? Then let’s go for a drive up Mt. Akagi with Daniel Radcliffe, who’s a big Initial D fan. Do you dig the cyberpunk classic Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex? Then we can geek out about it with Quentin Tarantino. Or do your tastes run more towards the hentai side of things? Then you and I can relax over beers with Samuel L. Jackson and talk about our favorite ecchi anime titles. This love of Japan goes well beyond anime. When you embrace Japan’s culture, you’re connected with Albert Einstein, the Dalai Lama, William Shatner, and even Vincent van Gogh, who had a fascination with the ukiyoe art. Basically, it’s almost impossible for us to not be mesmerized with one aspect of Japan or another.
Of course, true aficionados aren’t always happy when famous people “come out of the anime closet” and declare themselves to be otaku. Yesterday Kim Kardashian — who I wouldn’t know if weren’t for Internet memes about her, one of the nice things about living outside the U.S. — revealed herself to be “obsessed” with anime, specifically Zero Two from Darling in the Franxx. Most of the reactions I saw to this on Twitter were negative, with most fans decrying the announcement as a stunt to get publicity similar to what actor Michael B. Jordan received when he came out as an otaku last month. This trend is similar to Japan a decade ago. Anime was just starting to go mainstream after the breakthrough appearance of Mizuki Nana in the legendary year-end music show Kouhaku, and suddenly it became trendy for “talents” (actors, singers, comedians) to come out of the anime closet and talk about how many manga they had in their collection. This caused some hardcore fans to object to this “mainstreaming of anime” and the stealing of the sub-culture they’d helped to create.
Personally I don’t care. All I want is for anime to be a fun place where we can watch giant robots and magical girls and laugh together at an anime convention. And I’d love to bump into Daniel Radcliffe at the San Diego Comicon and geek out about Initial D with him.
Did you see our good news? Our upcoming game Sweet Home: My Sexy Roommates is posted for preorder. It’s a fun game in which you return to your stepmother’s home only to find that she’s rented all the rooms out to various hot girls. Each one is gorgeous, and each one is interested in letting you take her any way you want, whenever you want. The art is amazing, and the characters are all fascinating! The game will be ready soon!