Your Friend in Japan

The Best Show of the New Season, and This is your Brain on Anime

Written by HotAnime

One subject I’m interested in is the way the brain undergoes actual physical changes when we learn new information or have new experiences. Did you know that the way to express “I see” or “that’s interesting” in Japanese is naruhodo? If you didn’t, and if you ponder the word for 15 seconds or so (to allow it to seep from short-term to intermediate memory) then try to recall it a few times, you’ll have actually changed your brain, creating a new synaptic bond that stores this word. I’m interested in how our brains — which are really “wet computers” — differ chemically when comparing, say, a capitalist with a polytheist, someone who really loves spicy food, or a tan line fetishist.

To be an anime fan, we’ve generally gone through several phases, including the initial strong attraction — maybe it was that first epic transforming mecha, that first tender kiss, or perhaps it was that first anime shower scene — which was followed by repeated positive experiences, finding new shows to watch but also positive social feedback, as we found new ways to express ourselves with like-minded people at anime conventions, through social media, etc. As we internalize the various tropes of anime — for example, the “running to school with toast in the mouth” running gag — we create even more synaptic bridges inside the brain. And just as hypnosis requires a willing subject, as fans we agree to suspend our disbelief about how the main character of that harem show can be so dense, or why that girl isn’t wearing pants.

The new anime season is upon us, and I’ve started watching the new shows so I can find the best ones to recommend here. One series that seems promising this season is Masamune-kun’s Revenge, about an ikemen (extremely handsome boy) named Masamune who wins the hearts of all the girls at school without breaking a sweat. He’s got a plan, though: to make a rich girl named Aki fall in love with him so he can break her heart, getting revenge for when she broke his when he was a (fat and ugly) child. It’s definitely one of the freshest ideas for a show I’ve seen in a while!

It’s a new year, and J-List is coming out swinging with tons of great products and upcoming news announcements for everyone. Last year we had a fun contest for different artists to draw our official mascot, Megumi, and here are some of the results. We hope we can serve you many times in 2017!

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