As a student of Japan’s animation industry, I’m interested in the changes studios have had to navigate over the decades: the initial worldwide explosion in popularity, the transition of anime from a 100% made-in-Japan to a “pan-Asian” industry spanning several different countries, the rise of digital coloring of animation over traditional painted cels in the early 2000’s, and the increasing use of computers for production. Another big change was the bursting of the DVD licensing bubble in 2006, which caused the industry to take a hard look at how it could survive without a huge stream of revenue coming in from overseas. One answer was to turn to moe, a word that describes the adorable traits in anime characters that make fans experience feelings of protectiveness or even love, and want to buy cute anime figures and spend quality private time with their favorite 2D waifu. The latest innovation in moe is the currently-airing Kantoku anime One Room. Each (short) episode features one of three female characters but no male main character, because he’s YOU. All interaction with the heroines is viewed from the camera’s point of view, making you part of the story. Congratulations, you’re an anime main character now!
Valentine’s Day in Japan involves females giving chocolate to the special men in their lives to thank them for their hard work. In Japan, you never receive a gift without giving an o-kaeshi or return gift, which is why clever retailers created White Day on March 14th, a day for men to give something to the women who gave them chocolate on Valentine’s Day. In the past, male employees of companies could look forward to getting giri choco or “obligation chocolate” from female coworkers, who felt a social obligation to give them chocolate, although this tradition is largely fading these days. But not at J-List, since our Sailor Moon and bento buyer Mai just loves giving us all chocolate, and does so any chance she gets. This year the male staff all chipped in to get her a nice baumkuchen cake to say thanks.
While Japanese-style Valentine’s Day and White Day are common across Asia, South Korea takes it further with Black Day on April 14th. It’s a day for single men who haven’t managed to find girlfriends to wear black clothes and eat a black Korean noodle dish called jajangmyeon, washed down with black coffee.
J-List has awesome anime figures in stock for you, ready for your order, from Holo to Android to Iowa to Yuri!! on Ice and more. You get 10% off your preorder automatically, too. Why not browse our figures and see which one(s) you’d like to get?