Japan By River Cruise

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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.

Show Notes

Author Matt Alt walks us through his new book "Pure Invention," especially as it relates to a democracy loving hamster, and all the times when 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
  • 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
Get access to the extras by supporting the podcast for less than $1 an episode by becoming a member at http://buymeacoffee.com.

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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Social Media Links:

Matt Alt: Instagram | Twitter | AltJapan | Pure Invention

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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.