Author Matt Alt walks us through his new book "Pure Invention," especially as it relates to a democracy loving hamster, and other intersections between anime and politics, like how MAGA actually stands for Man with Anime Girl Avatar.
Ollie recommends a river cruise simulator that lets you see turtles, all the way down. Bobby talks about the difference between paying passage and paying toll.
Topics discussed on this episode range from:
- The Japanese cultural artifacts that we grew up with
- How they shaped our ideas of what Japan was when we were little
- How the various iterations of Godzilla rank, as compared to the star power of Matthew Broderick
- How Japanese stuff took over the global fantasy sphere
- How subcultures operated pre-internet, and how they've evolved
- How and why Japan gets you before you know it
- Otaku hierarchy (Ollie, Bobby, Matt in ascending order)
- How, believe it or freaking not, the existence of the ORIGINAL BRIAN gives us street cred in Matt's eyes
- The difference between soft and hard power, and why it's silly for the Japanese government to try to leverage soft power
- NOT CORONA. NOPE. NOT THIS WEEK
- The pro-democracy protests in Thailand adopting the anime character Hamtaro as a mascot
- American versions of pop-culture being incorporated into political activism
- The rebellious storylines of anime like Evangelion resonating with protesters in Hong Kong
- The difference between progressive or anti-establishment messages in the production of anime/manga and the consumption of it
- Manga as activism in Japan in terms of content, and as a career choice
- Aso Taro's "I love manga" declaration and how earnest it really was
- The Abe administration's desperate scramble to deal with Trump's surprise win and quickly build a relationship by giving him his very own "Pen Pineapple Apple Pen"
- The difference between the affinity between the US and Japan between now and the 80s
- How we interact with Japan with characters
- Options for modern day Japanese villains
- Aggressive Retsuko as another example of political messaging in anime
- Retsuko as compared to her dai-dai-dai senpai, Hello Kitty
- WHY Hello Kitty has a mouth
- 2chan and 4chan and the overlap between anime fandom and radical rightwing conservative causes
- Which political philosophy, exactly, would GOKU align with?
- Getting angrier and more nationalistic as a built-in function of anonymous online forums
- The tendency for Japanese people to personally identify with the reputation of Japanese things abroad
Topics Discussed on the Extras:
- Tentacle Porn
- Tentacle Porn
- Tentacle Porn
- There's actual some REALLLLY interesting substance to the (20mins worth of) tentacle porn talk
- It's basically government endorsed fetish sex
- (the tentacle porn, I mean)
- Where the legendary Japanese genital mosaic comes from
- How porn creates social trends
- How fantasy is the first step into creating new realities
- Hokusai erotica
- The first x-rated cartoons, and the competition between them
- How cartoon erotica was initially received
- The instantaneous demand for availability of Japanese products translated into English, and vice versa and how it affects the quality
- Matt's take on Sub or Dub?
- Why his company doesn't have to worry about quality control re: translation timeline issues
- Fun examples of things that need to be changed during localization and how those decisions get made
- Western apprehension about ideas of Japanese dominance throughout modern history
- What they thought about the future being Japanese in the 80s
- Notice how Ollie totally disappears whenever the conversations turns to movies. He knows NOTHING about movies.
- Guys who protest a little TOO much about how sexy Dragonball Z is
- Why Trump talked about Japanese economic power during his campaign
- The Japanization of global fantasies and tastes
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- We record remotely using Squadcast and the podcast is hosted on Transistor.
- Bobby uses the Samson Go Mic and Ollie uses the AT2005USB mic
What is Japan By River Cruise?
Stand-up comedians Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn purport to report on the Japanese river cruise industry each week.