Hollywood Steals Anime Again, and My Favorite Half French Video Game Producer
The internet was buzzing yesterday about news that there will be a Hollywood remake of Shinkai Makoto’s Kimi no Na Wa anime, made by none other than lens-flare loving J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot studio, criticized as another example of how Hollywood steals anime culture, supposedly. I guess the news shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Mr. Abrams is a known fan of Japan and anime — the planet Takadano in Star Wars Episode VII was famously named after Takadanobaba Station in Tokyo — and it’s clear from looking at the huge number of remakes, sequels, prequels and reboots that Hollywood has been netagire (out of ideas) for a while. While I’m generally a fan of Mr. Abrams’ work — though not so much of his penchant to throw the technical limitations (transwarp beaming in Star Trek, hyperspace travel in Star Wars) of an existing universe out the airlock to make his script easier to write, nevermind that this will change the universe in question for all time — I’m understandably concerned about Hollywood encroaching into what I still consider to be “our” subculture. In a way, I’m almost afraid the film could be a financial success, potentially opening a flood of this kind of thing left and right. Already a large amount of anime is being funded by American companies, from Warner Bros. to Netflix to Amazon, which is creating a tendency for Hollywood-style sequels and spinoffs, most of which haven’t really gone anywhere with fans. So, what do you think of this? Is it a problem if Hollywood steals anime? Or is anything that brings more opportunity to creators a good thing?
We’re rushing this update because the staff is off to a farewell party for one of our members who’s leaving the company. Shigeta-san has worked for J-List for ten years, picking and packing products for our customers, including that naughty item you ordered last Friday. She’s known to J-List customers because she’s always been a good sport about posing for product images for us. She recently got married and is leaving the company to have a baby, so we’re going to send her off in proper fashion. Thanks for all your hard work, Shigeta-san, and gambatte kudasai!
Speaking of farewell parties, I caught the last episode of New Game, the fun slice-of-life yuri-ish series about cute girls working at a game development company in Tokyo. The final episode included a farewell party for one of the characters who was leaving for France to
run away from her relationships challenge herself to develop a game in a completely new environment. One of the more interesting characters to be introduced in season 2 is Christina Wako Yamato, who is half French and half Japanese, and torn between both cultures to a degree. As often happens in anime, the creators make use of the silly trope that Japanese are terrified of Europeans (including British) who will suddenly kiss them because “a kiss is just a greeting in the West,” which has caused Christina to be fearful of any physical contact. I’m interested in characters in popular culture who are haafu because it’s fun to compare them to my own children, who I carefully raised to know everything American kids should know, from Dr. Seuss to Scooby Doo and Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, so they’d feel they were a part of the U.S. as well as Japan. Sadly, Christina seems to not feel totally at home either in France or Tokyo, which strikes me as kind of sad.
Remember, we’ve posted the awesome upcoming Princess X: My Fiancee is a Monster Girl?! for preorder, allowing you to lock in the awesome preorder-only goodies we’ve prepared for you. This is a great game in which you have to choose your bride from a host of inhuman (but adorable) girls. Like Naja, the snake girl, a princess of the Gorgoneion Empire, a military superpower who has come to this world to make you her husband. Or Lady Tegusu, a spider princess from the Night Country, the land of semi-magical yokai. The game ships Oct 31, so preorder it now!