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2:00 PM on 09.10.2013

What do you think of the PS4's Japanese release date?

While I am excited to get my hands on the PS4 this November, I can't help but be really saddened by the news of a February release date for Japan. Basically, it boils down to no big games Japanese games being released in the ...

Hiroko Yamamura

Feature: Reverse Importation is the name of the game photo
Feature: Reverse Importation is the name of the game
by Jeff Chuang

[Some interesting legal decisions have just come down the pipe that could affect the time-honored pastime of importing cool stuff from overseas. Jeff brings us his analysis. Read about it below, and see some more coverage from our import-happy pals at Tomopop! - Josh]

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court pulled out a 6-3 opinion that allows an oversea student to import and sell text books from his home country, for Americans looking to score text books cheap. Normally this is not something within Japanator's wheelhouse, so to speak, but surprisingly it hits a little close to home personally, and maybe for some of you too. Because while we can say it's about the doctrine of first-sale, the name of this game is called reverse importation.

Reverse importation is what gets our Japanese publishers' pants into a knot when they license their wares to American anime publishers at American prices. It happens occasionally with video games and game consoles too, but it's an everyday life sort of thing for the fluent otaku. The Supreme Court opinion above is an American decision affecting only American companies and it directly affects people doing business in America, but the ramifications are international. And also complicated.

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Promoted: Breaking down Sasami-san@ganbaranai's symbolism photo
Promoted: Breaking down Sasami-san@ganbaranai's symbolism
by Jeff Chuang

[Did you find Sasami-san@ganbaranai as confusing as I did? Well, don't drop or bash it just yet, because Jeff's got an expert breakdown of the first episode's deep-rooted symbolism. It's an enlightening read straight from his personal blog, and for your elucidation, we've published it here. If you've got your own deep thoughts and insights about Sasami-san, or anything else, for that matter, post in your C-blog! The very best can get promoted to the front page for great justice and internet fame!  -Josh]

Did you just watch Sasami-san@ganbaranai episode 1? Did that make sense? No? I don’t know, but there’s plenty to go on from here, even for someone unfamiliar with the source material like me. But it requires some decompression for someone who isn’t neck-deep in Japanese culture and subcultures.

Let’s start with the basics. The key is to know what the names of the characters and what they mean. While I generally ignore anime names on the get-go and come back to them as auxiliary supporting evidence, knowing what the names mean in this show helps a ton. That might be hard if you don’t read a lick of Japanese, but you can get that info via the web search gods. I’ll explain how it comes together below.

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5 reasons why Rio Rainbow Gate is the Best Anime of 201 1 photo
5 reasons why Rio Rainbow Gate is the Best Anime of 201 1
by OxKing

[New Year's is a time of reflection, when one should take a look back and think about life, love, and, most importantly, the Japanese cartoons we've watched. To that end, we've gone and picked our favorite series of the year, and got to writing about why they were great. If you've got your own favorites, or want to react, try posting in the comments, or better yet, join the community and write up your very own C-blog!]

Dude, like you even need toask... this shoe was, and is, the best anime of the year. Remember when anime wa sFUN?!?!!? yea me neither! Pfft, people takin shit so seriously and serious these days, forgot what anime was ORIGNALLY AND TRULY ABOUT! My top 5 resons down below explain my stance preeeeety well.............

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8:31 AM on 10.27.2010

A swing and a miss...

Japan and all things Japanese are so "cool" that it hurts. It hurts so bad that I want you to kill me. Kill me like I'd want you to when I hear someone say uh-KEE-rah one more time. Or kill me like you'd kill me whe...

Dale North

Japanator Discusses: Dai Sato rants on the state of anime photo
Japanator Discusses: Dai Sato rants on the state of anime
by Josh Tolentino

Hello, and welcome to the first installment of Japanator Discusses, a roundtable-style feature that we resort to when a topic - and the thoughts and commentary inspired by it - is too big for any one editor to monopolize.

Today's topic comes from earlier in the week, when storywriter Dai Sato vented some of his frustrations over the current state of the industry in Japan. And Sato's word carries weight, as he's one of the pens behind such works as Ergo Proxy, Wolf's Rain, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex, Eureka 7, Samurai Champloo, and - perhaps most famous of all, Cowboy Bebop.

Sato had much to be concerned about, to say the least. He raised the issue of the industry's dependence on outsourcing "grunt" animation work to foreign subcontractors, to which he attributed a decline in consistent quality and a lack of investment in the actual production (since many subcontractors know next to nothing about what they're animating). He even stepped up to accuse Japanese studios of refusing to teach these foreign workers vital creative skills, out of a desire to keep Japan's position dominant.

And it wasn't just the establishment Sato had a bone to pick with. He went on to rail against the Japanese audience, which had "no respect for stories," noting early fan dismissals of Eureka 7 as an Evangelion-clone and the lack of a Japanese box set for Ergo Proxy (contrasted to its presence overseas). The audience was now more interested in cute characters and materialistic escapism rather than dealing with greater social issues. As such, the industry which caters to them has become "super-establishment" and "sold out".

Despite declaring that anime "will die out in Japan in a few decades", Sato vowed that he would still continue to work on it in attempts to avert that bleak fate. Hope still held out, he said, in manga and the independent doujinshi scene. 

Rather bold statements, don't you think? A more detailed write-up of the rant is available at Otaku2. I recommend checking it out before seeing what I, Jeff, Bob, Mike and Brad had to say about Sato's gloomy predictions under the cut. Taken in light of Yamakan's own statements, how do you think anime's doing nowadays? Tell us in the comments!

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6:00 PM on 03.27.2010

Rant: Don't insult us. We CAN understand hostess bars

A few days ago a feature was posted on 1up detailing the Yakuza series' troubled history in the west. Reading it (I recommend you do) will no doubt leave you with the impression that Sega found itself frustrated and confused ...

Josh Tolentino

8:00 PM on 03.23.2010

The dilemma of Twilight: The Graphic Novel

You'll notice that there is no "Recommends" anywhere in the title of this post; in a strange way, Yen Press has done me a tremendous service. As reported elsewhere, the lettering in Twilight: The Graphic Novel is ve...

Karen Mead

4:00 AM on 03.04.2010

Chu-Bra!! review raises questions about fanservice

Over on Anime News Network, Carlo Santos posted a review of the first five episodes of Chu-Bra!!. While his overall opinion of the show sways much further towards the negative end of the spectrum than mine, I do agree with mu...

Karen Mead

8:00 PM on 02.26.2010

Do manga magazines have to be disposable?

You've all heard it:"Manga is first printed in magazines- anthologies printed on cheap paper that will soon yellow and degrade. People throw away the magazines, and instead buy the published books for posterity." Th...

Karen Mead

6:00 PM on 12.11.2009

The Otaku Dilemma: Manga or Anime?

Once upon a time, I used to buy a VHS of anime with my babysitting money and then watch it forty times, because it could be months before I could buy another one. While I hate to say anything that might make it sound like I c...

Karen Mead

8:00 PM on 12.06.2009

A Certain Scientific Railgun: More range, please

I like A Certain Scientific Railgun; it's been a really interesting take on the "kids with superpowers" idea thus far. The writers consistently come up with clever ways for Mikoto and Kuroko to use their powers, so ...

Karen Mead