A MASSPRODUCTION COLUMN (12/04/98, 02/08/99 Revised)
Thinking about Japanese anime is describing Japanese life style (Part 2)
Recently young people that live in Tokyo tend to reserve the most popular goods before their venders begin to sell the goods. Sometimes those people buy the popular goods before their release day.
Other examples explain the tendency of Japanese youth.
- Ms Atsuko Enomoto, a voice actress, gets more and more popular. She played the role of the heroine, Ms Yukino Miyazawa from TV-anime type "Kareshi Kanojo No Jijou" at TV-Tokyo. Her events as performance show programs were held from October to December 1998 several times. A lot of fans gathered AS USUAL. In most of the cases, I could not obtain tickets. Producers distributed free passes. People could obtain them in order of arrival. The number of the people is extraordinery. If all of them are Enomoto's fans, she must be a top star in Japan. In fact, most of provincial Japanese do not know her name.
- Mr. Hiroyuki Utatane is a famous cartoonist in Japan. He draws "Seraphic Feather." He has always drawn and sold his erotic comic books only for Comic Markets. Those books have been always sold out. The number is more than 10,000 per one Comic Market. To buy those books, a lot of young people gather at Tokyo Big Sight from all Japan AS USUAL. However he is not so popular.
- TV-anime type Rurouni Kenshin ended. However SPE Visual Works began to release OVA-type Kenshin. What? It planned to release OVA on 12/02/98. The OVAs were sold out on 12/01/98 at Akihabara Animate and Akihabara K-Books. A lot of young people reserved the video tapes AS USUAL. SPE Visual Works plans to make the second print on 12/10/98. If all of the people who bought the video tapes are Kenshin fans, Rurouni Kenshin must be regarded as the most popular cartoon in Japan. In fact, Doraemon is much more popular than Rurouni Kenshin in Japan. Doraemon fans are not interested in videotape-type Doraemon.
These examples make me regard popularity of anime in Japan as a kind of illusion.
Who are such a lot of people? Where do they come from? Why do they come there? What controls them?
I restarted my anime column again on 11/26/98. I received several letters. Especially I was so impressed with a letter from Canada that I began to prepare my new column getting over my troubles.
I reflect that my column includes some mistakes.
However when I travel to provinces, I find most of anime fans there cannot see certain anime programs yet.
But in such districts, a lot of anime fans watch anime videos. They get anime videos in Tokyo.
In 1998, Animation study group of University of Tokyo recommends "Sorcerous Stabber Orphen." The anime is very interesting, but most of people in Japan cannot see the program. As you know, anime-type "Slayers" are based on novel-type "Slayers." Anime-type "Orphen" are based on novel-type "Orphen."
For example, if I recommend one title, most of Japanese cannot see the program. But those who can read my column can see video tapes from Tokyo. Therefore my readers know almost all of such a lot of titles (Please refer to the number of the titles...).
There is another trend.
A cartoonist group "CLAMP" strains to broadcast their works to all Japan. Ms Nansase Oukawa, leader of CLAMP, writes scenario of anime based on CLAMP works. Formerly TV anime-type "Magic Knight Rayearth" was made by Yomiuri TV Corp. Osaka Yomiuri TV Corp., which is located at Osaka Business Park of Kyobashi, is a subsidiary of Yomiuri Newspaper.
Yomiuri Newspaper has TV station "Nihon Television" which controls all the subsidiary TV stations of Yomiuri Newspaper.
Therefore Magic Knight Rayearth was also broadcast by Nihon Television to all Japan.
At present TV anime-type "Card Captor Sakura" is broadcast by NHK 2nd Broadcast Satellite TV (BS-11). Most of Japanese do not have television sets for Broadcast Satellite yet. However if you live in Japan and have a BS-TV, you can watch the anime program. Before the broadcast, CLAMP sent out questionnaires to their fans about broadcast of Card Captor Sakura through BS using their own homepage "CLAMP SCHOOL WEB CAMPUS" early January in 1998.
On the other hand, Hiroshima people see TV anime-type "Kareshi Kanojo No Jijou" Hideaki Anno's latest work 13 days later. For example, Act 7.0 was broadcast on 11/26/98 in Hiroshima. Act 9.0 was broadcast on 11/27/98 in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
Japanese youth do not share subculture from Tokyo yet.
(But PARCO and Tokyu Hands are located at almost all districs of Japan. Formerly such subculture is called Saison Culture and Tokyu Culture, respectively. Both PARCO and Tokyu Hands are located at Hiroshima. Both of them are located at Nagoya. Both of them are located at Shibuya. But Tokyu Hands are located at Sannomiya and Esaka. PARCO is not located at Sannomiya or Esaka. Formerly Saison Culture and Tokyu Culture made an illusion that Japanese youth could share subculture from Tokyo.)
(Associate Professor Shinji Miyadai, Tokyo Metropolitan University, formerly analyzed sex life of senior high school female students in the provinces. Their sex life is more improper than that of Tokyo students in his reports. He thinks Tokyo subculture is different from illusion of female students in the provinces.)
Recently a scholar who had lived in France published a book on anime in Europe. He pointed out that there were a lot of anime fans in French universities. But most of commoners in France are not interested in Japan.
(As you know, several French publishers have published Japanese-style comic books based on cartoons in Japan, for example, Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion.)
Therefore, he thought, we Japanese have to explain Japanese life style and subculture.
I mainly deals with Japanese education system, distribution system in
Japan, and mass media in my anime column.
I had to explain basic thought on these system in Japan to foreign readers.
The true character of my anime column is not to introduce anime but to
introduce Japanese style.
Previous Column|Next Column|Column Index|Index
Card Captor Sakura|Previous Column|Next Column
Kare-Kano|Previous Column|Next Column
Magic Knight Rayearth|Previous Column|Next Column
Neon Genesis Evangelion|Previous Column|Next Column
Ranma 1/2|Previous Column|Next Column
Rurouni Kenshin|Previous Column|Next Column
Sailor Moon|Previous Column|Next Column
Seraphic Feather|Previous Column
Slayers|Previous Column|Next Column
Sorcerous Stabber Orphen|Previous Column|Next Column
This page hosted by
Get your own Free Home Page