Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cake of the Day #2

On Linux and CrunchBang

I have always been a frustrated Linux newbie - and I do believe I will still remain a Linux newbie in the years to come. Is it lack of interest in the operating system? Or is it because Microsoft's user-friendliness spoiled me so much? I reckon it to be the latter. However, there are days like this where I hunger for complex stuff, so here I am back to using Linux.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Japanese Idols

American Idol may have gotten North American audiences used to the idea of putting a person plucked from obscurity on a pedestal for his or her singing talent for a year or so before the idol (usually) fades back into obscurity, but the “idol” (aidoru in Japanese, but the word is taken from the English equivalent) has long been hot in Japan. Not always (but often) singers, the Japanese idol becomes a massive cross-media hit known more for her (we’ll get to that in a minute) looks and (possibly manufactured) personality than her talent.

Sometimes in the 1970s, the idol boom began in Japan, strangely not after the cross-media popularity of a native Japanese woman in Japan, but of a French musician named Sylvie Vartan. Talent agencies formed keen to produce the next “idol,” the next young woman who would be plastered across all media outlets and become the next big “cash cow.”

Japanese idols are usually women, but some young men may be considered idols (men typically become idols through initially joining the music or acting industry, though, and don’t specifically set out to be an all-encompassing “idol.”) Idols are usually teenagers (specifically 14 to 16), but may be as young as 12 or so and as “old” as in their early 20s. Very few idols remain popular beyond their 20s, but there are a few memorable ones who have preserved and have been recognized for their talents in the long-term.

Idols may sing, act, or model (or all three), but they don’t necessarily have to have a “talent” and aren’t marketed for their one talent. The goal is to have the next, hot new idol permeate everything in the entertainment industry that she can. This typically means frequent appearances on talk shows, variety shows, radio shows, and game shows, as well as sponsorship deals. A Japanese idol must be pretty or cute (as deigned by the talent agency), thin, and must demonstrate a lovable, sweet personality in her appearances. Some are even known for being “lovable airheads” and gladly milk this personality portrayal for all that it’s worth. However, it’s well known that the overly cute “personality” is often just an act and there are sometimes gossip stories about how ruthless and mean—or conversely, how intelligent and down-to-earth—the idols can be when not “on camera.”

The Japanese idol industry is a tough, competitive industry for which thousands of young women compete each year. Only a few successful idols “survive” their few years of fame to become famous in the long-term, and those are usually the ones who have real talent and genuinely act like themselves when interviewed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Doujin. What is it?

What is Doujin?
In Japan, Doujin usually refers to activities which people with same interest get together and create things like comics(Manga), novels, games and other goods. These people are not necessary professional artists or writers. Many of doujin products are created by armatures as a hobby and often published by their own expense.

Japanimation and Techno-Orientalism

Japan as the Sub-Empire of Signs

The word "Japanimation" is neologism that is made by two words, Japan+animation. Now, Japanimation is seen in whole world. And people outside Japan are interested in the Japanese subculture including Manga and Japanimation, etc. If people once asked "What is ZEN?", now people ask "What is Otaku?". But I'm very skeptical about this condition. This phenomena is absolutely the effect of globalization, information capitalism. Under the Fordist economic system of the past, globalization meant nothing more than "Americanization," and media and entertainment were supplied by Disney animations.

The Politics of Otaku

(aka, "There's nothing wrong with being an otaku!")

By: Lawrence Eng (09/01/01)
This is a general commentary on the usage and meanings of "otaku" in Japan and internationally.
The word "otaku" became well known to American anime fans after the release of Otaku no Video (1992). I don't know if there were many American fans calling themselves otaku prior to 1992, but certainly Japanese fans were calling each other otaku before then. Perhaps we should discuss the history of how and why...

Vocaloid-ism | Megurine Luka | Planetary Suicide

Cake of the Day #1

Back Into the Subculture

I have always been a die-hard fan of the Japanese visual pop-culture. I would kill a man for me to be able to get my hands on some goods that would satiate my hunger for this batshit crazy of a subculture. Unforunately, a few months ago, I had a burnout. Maybe, back then, I realized that it's getting old for me. Something inside me was telling me to just move on, forget about this, and get a life. I followed the feeling I had, got a job, got a girlfriend - you know, all the normal stuff.

But lately, I had been craving for something. I had been craving for something I know I've tasted before. A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a link. Just a link.

I clicked on the link.

I was redirected to an anime streaming site and there was the video that reignited the flames of my fandom - Sword Art Online.

I was intrigued by the title so I decided to let it buffer to watch. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. Searched for the next episode and watched. After the second episode, I was hooked. Closed my browser, logged onto IRC, and started leeching episodes madly.

Now I'm back sitting down on my favorite chair and once again living the life of a 'once was and once again' otaku. Damn.

Obligatory First Post Conundrum

Shocking! I finally have a new blog!