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Wow! You got that up pretty fast. Damn.

Yeah, sorry I wasn't a better host/interviewer. Perhaps you'd be willing to come on for another show? This time for a more proper discussion. Some of the things you said got me thinking of doing an "anime, then and now" episode. That won't be for months from now though. If it ever happens at all.

There's not much going in this cafe except for my deadline, the refresh button, and some girl making a salad.

"and some girl making a salad"

Ohhh, is that what you call it? A little of the old polishing the bayonet, eh? The heat seeking moisture missile? the Ollllld NICK ADAMS? Huh? huh?

Or what Duke Togo calls "........."

I don't know why I said all that...

A couple of things I forgot to bring up in the discussion.

First thing: Regarding your comment on how modern creators lack real world influence, I think that perfect example of this can be found in Gundam Seed. In the original Gundam, Ryu and Sleggar sacrificed themselves to save their comrades. This kind of self sacrifice was very much a reality to those who lived through WWII. Now, in Gundam Seed Mwu Ra Fraga (the series' answer to Sleggar Law) protected the bridge of the Archangle from an incoming laser blast at the cost of his life. But, in the follow-up, Gundam Seed Destiny, he returns. It's almost as if the director missed the point of that sacrifice.

Second thing: Another question, in Otaku in USA, do you mention the kind of culture that has sort of developed around places like 4chan?

Well, Gundam SEED is Dragonar Version 2.0, IMHO. I get the total vibe it was created with the American market in mind(at least at some level, while another level totally ignores the US market...I have long, long essays on this), trying to capture what Bandai *thought* were the things that made Gundam Wing a hit in the US. Thus, in keeping with American cartoon practices, it's perfectly reasonable for someone to 'die' and come back.

Gundam SEED was (again, at some level but not at others, and not at all NOW) supposed to be the triumphant crowning of the Gundam Invades the USA project, as it exists now it's a wet fart bubble in the bathtub.

But I'm what Patrick fears becoming, the cranky old fan :) YMMV

Wow... that is so topical.

I originally found your site because I'm doing a research paper for a class on Akihabara and the phenomenon of a group of people who primarily communicate over the internet physically gathering in a city (from a sociological perspective of isolation, etc.) Anyway, it's not really supposed to focus on the sexual aspect of it but that's the part I find the most facinating. I think I have a more positive perspective on it than you, but you most certainly share my professor's opinion about it.

On the whole I think that the moe thing- and what you seem to be conflating moe with, lolicon- is fairly harmless. It only becomes harmful when it becomes an obsession, and that's true for pretty much anything anywhere. It's really quite natural for people to be attracted to "cute" things, and I'm not sure that moe is a sexual attraction is a sexual one anymore than finding a kitten cute is (although lolicon certainly is).

I would agree that when you start prefering animated characters to videos of live ones, and videos of lives ones to real ones, then you have a serious social problem. I enjoy all of it, but certainly not as much as my boyfriend.

"and I'm not sure that moe is a sexual attraction anymore than finding a kitten cute is (although lolicon certainly is)"

Also, did you notice that Amazon.com lists your name as "Patrick Macia" for Fresh Pulp?

>modern creators lack real world influence

Still, directors like Oshii manage to create topical, thought-provoking works. I think an even bigger problem is that since everyone's painfully aware that they could be making the next "international smash hit" these days, they bend over backwards trying to make things that appeal to a broader denominator.

(Then again, rumors of total creative freedom even during the "golden age" might be exaggerated: Tomino went on TV a few months back, complaining bitterly that nearly every detail of the original Gundam series, from the names of the characters to the robot designs, had been forced on him against his will by the sponsors.)

I've always been of the mindset that the best art is made when nobody's looking. For better and for worse, all eyes are on the manga/anime industry these days.

I suspect, like many things, the truth about the past is in the past, and Tomino is just indulging in biting the hand that feeds him. Is he still doing the bald head 'penitent monk' look?

I'm still not totally convinced on the create the next international hit angle, I'm of the opinion that it's more about trying to be 'heard' in a very, very crowded domestic market. It would be quite enjoyable somehow for us all to sit at a table at an Akiba Denny's and spend all night hashing it out :)

Don't get me wrong, I know there's a Government PUSH to spread Japanese pop culture worldwide, but I'm not sure that's worked down to the production level as a mindset, ya know? Like it was in the '70s? For all it being a very Japanese show, Mazinger Z really softpeddled the Japanese Cultural elements...

I rather like that 'the best art is made when nobody's looking' phrase. I suspect, at least anime-wise, there is truth in that.

I also suspect that in some ways, the advent of home video has harmed things, because instead of a show being sand falling between your fingers, here now, gone too soon, we're able to not only watch things ALL IN A HUGE BITE, years outside of the cultural context in which it aired, but we can obsess over every frame, catch every error, every re-use...and this knowledge may impede producers and creative staff...it SHOULD weed out the lazy act of re-using scripts, whole concepts and such, but maybe not, as the time pressure to get it in the can is never ending.

I'm insanely jealous that I didn't come up with the idea of giving Patrick the Voice of God reverb effect when I interviewed him. I'm also trying to figure out how it is that more information on Patrick is conveyed within these 37 minutes than I achieved in five hours.

I think I, too, lost touch with my humanity some time ago, as all of my socializing is done on instant messaging and the like. However, copious quantities of Kazuo Koike, Fist of the North Star, and Golgo 13 assured that no moe phantom would dare to try and possess me.

The moe phantom has completely possessed me, hah. When I said "not quite", I meant "totally."

Well, a lot of this stuff is covered in Japan Edge...if you had done your RESEARCH, Daryl.

oh SNAP!

Carl, say something nice to Daryl now, something positive, because he's gonna go all inward and obsess now.

The internet has saved my life. Honest and true. The simple, easy communication with people, with friends all over the world has been a godsend to me, because anyone who knew me back in the '80s remembers I was *horrid* about communication, and writing letters and maintaing posts in APAs. It stems from my poor handwriting and worse spelling ability. Few here can even imagine the terror of the TYPEWRITER....

Computers, desktop publishing (oh GOD to have had a first gen Mac and laserwriter when producing Space Fanzine Yamato!!), the internet...age of wonders, man.

Daryl knows that my typing "research" in all caps means I'm not all that serious.

In praise of Animerica, it's pointed out in the postscript to Vol. 10 of the Eva manga that, among its other achievements (I think "Animerica Interviews" remains one of the best books in English on anime, a decade after its publication), Animerica scooped the (Japanese) Newtype and Animage on Evangelion, although it's interesting to see how the actual series differed from what was first reported on it.

The last fan thing I remember being done on a typewriter was Toren Smith's BayCon '85 anime program guide. It was, of course, a great show, but the year afterward he came back with not only a great show, but a Mac-laid out, offset-printed, half-toned program book that simply blew everyone away.

I imagine an otaku terrorist conspiracy trying to spread chaos throughout Japan. Their ultimate goal? Not to create social upheval or revolution, but better anime, figuring that what today's animators need is that kind of real-world experience people had back in the Showa era.

I suppose it could be argued that moe for actual human beings is in some ways creepier than the graven image kind, for its stalker overtones, or for the rejection of its object once they pass a certain age. It was this type of idol fan, of course, who was cast under scrutiny in PERFECT BLUE.

One might add in the same moe category not only that guy who claimed he killed Jon Benet, but also her own parents, in that they entered her into all those godawful kiddie beauty pageants. If you ask me, that scene (Harlan Ellison wrote about it way back in THE GLASS TEAT) is more ominous than all the doujinshi in the world.

The well-known difficulty of meeting a Japanese schoolgirl's taste in expensive accessories is, of course, an odd mirror image of the otaku spending big bucks on customizing his 1/1 figure.

There was a Golgo 13 story a few years back which touched briefly on the increasing interest of American kids in anime. Saito-Pro attempted to depict cute anime characters floating amongst the exposition, and I was oddly pleased to see that they couldn't draw "cute" if their lives depended on it.

And as I've said before, it may be heretical, but "Groovin' Magic" is a better theme than "Active Heart."

I think my theme is the second Starzinger OP theme...electric wah-wah guitar, bongos, Sasaki belting it out...and I think score written by Kikuchi but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it.

Or maybe one of the Yamato III end themes, 'Be Forever Yamato', not only because it's a powerful song, but it was one of the winners of a fan submission contest! Imagine being a fan writing a song, and then one day you hear Sasaki powering out your lyrics, to a score written by Miyagawa...oh, to dream of those days...

For all this talk of how trauma breeds better artists, I find it intriguing that the manga-ka with one of the most traumatic wartime experiences has spent his life creating an incredibly popular comic book and television series that contains practically none of the stereotypical themes that American fans associate with Japanese anime.

Mizuki Shigeru spent the war fighting US forces in the jungles of the South Pacific, getting his left arm blown off in the process. His "Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro" contains no nuclear holocaust imagery, no wonder-weapons, no "samurai from outer space." Just an undead kid and his supernatural pals kicking ghouls and yokai out of town.

Kinda makes you think.

Recently I was asked to contribute some manga for a care package going to soldiers in Iraq. I put in Samura's OHIKKOSHI rather than some violent action, firguring they get enough of that every day.

Oh, sure Matt, but you know as well as I that's a title that like 8 people in the US know.

We all bring what's inside us when we want to go deeper into the subtext of this stuff. I mean, it's only cartoons designed to sell things for gosh sake.

Yet I am mindful of the scene in the first Yamato series, where Mamoru Kodai is at the rocket base, young Susumu visits him...there's a bento box, Mamoru invites Susumu to partake, and with joyful abandon he munches down on a rice ball...(in Star Blazers this became chocolate cake). It's mindful of the time during WW II when Japanese civilians were being asked to sacrifice food so it could be sent to the troops.

(actually, it's rather interesting..re-watching the episode, food is a central theme. And my, the autoserve dispenser is very very unappetizing)

wow...I'm going to shut up now, because I haven't watched this episode in a long time and holy crap I'd forgotten how powerful it is...

I also wonder about what older creators were reading when they were younger.

I once had a question from a school kid about what would be good to study for inspiration to write better anime and manga. He was thinking other anime and manga. I suggested older science fiction, especially pre-1950 titles; and when he got a little older serious (and good) fiction such as Dostevsky and John Steinbeck.

Hey Gilles Poitras! I'm on amrc-l, but I don't participate much. It's odd to see you on here. Small internet, I guess- or at least a small group of people who take a literary/academic approach to anime and manga.

wildarmsheero- yeah, I could tell that you were wholly into moe. When you're the interviewer, you can't let yourself be cowed by the interviewee! Macias is arrogant, but you have to be arrogant right back at him (don't worry, it's an attractive sort of arrogance.)

Also, to the man of the half hour-I've never read any Moorcock but I enjoy good sci-fi. (The Foundation is my Bible). What do you recommend I read first?

Wait wait wait here a moment...

'Marielle', you think Patrick is *Arrogant*? You listen to that interview and your first go-to is arrogant?!

Oh, my.

I usually throw out a line about how those that mistakenly see confidence as arrogance are often making other incorrect observations, but there's not much point to it.

I think it was Cassius Clay who said it best. "It ain't braggin' if you can do it"

And Patrick is DOIN' IT, baby. 24/7. Burning the candle at both ends..WITH A BLOWTORCH.

'Marielle'

Just admit it, you naughty girl. You really want a spanking, don't you?

Patrick, you think that's the tip? Oh, dear oh dear oh dear...

Make sure you wear that puffy shirt, open to your belly button to show off your manly, swarthy chest, glistening with sweat from the labor of killing your foes.

Better grow a goatee too, just to be safe.

Yeah, I've known Patrick for years, and arrogant is not the word I'd use. Steve has it right--confidence. Remember, Patrick's been a professional journalist since he was nineteen years old--I went through the whole college, Gen-X, slacker thing before I faced up to dirty, stormy destiny. He moves forward constantly as a writer, both in output and in technique. If there are days I can do as well as him, then that's a good day.

"Just admit it, you naughty girl. You really want a spanking, don't you?"

Yes.

"Just admit it, you naughty girl. You really want a spanking, don't you?"

Oh yes.

[/tongueinbung]

Oh wait. There was a question about good sci-fi lit. out there.

I'd start with Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, which is pretty much the beginning of the SF New Wave right there. Then hop to the killer British stuff during the '60s like Brian Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, etc. The good American stuff of the same era comes from Harlan Ellison, Thomas Disch, and Samuel Delany. Probably best to pick up the "Dangerous Visison" or "New Worlds" anthologies and mine them for gold.

I pretty much lose interest in SF after Philip K. Dick died. Except for the occassional cyberpunk thing.

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