American liberal media bastion The Atlantic has inadvertently just done its part to make aniblogging respectable.
Make no mistake: for all that it is nominally about music and pop culture, this is aniblogging. It’s a dissection of an entertainment video clip from Asia and its cultural context. It includes all sorts of cues and references for newcomers, who might not understand the cultural undercurrents in the film’s native country. It considers the work in the context of a larger body of work, which the casual reader is equally unaware of. It even cautions the reader about the difficulty in translating nuances, and the unacceptability of the English word “hollow” for the precise emotion that the video’s creator wished to convey.
Now, The Atlantic is not a friend to anime blogging, nor to Asian cultures in general. Witness the condescension (or perhaps cultural imperialism) inherent in this article about Japan:
So far, dating Gomez hasn’t hurt Bieber’s sales. His latest album, Believe, recorded the biggest debut sales week so far in 2012. But AKB48′s newest album, 1830m, released this week, sold in its first day a career-best of more than 625,000 copies. Until Japanese pop acts built on the illusion of youthful innocence start slipping commercially, the country’s music industry won’t be in a rush to mature their stars. Hideaki Anno, the director of the famous Japanese cartoon Neon Genesis Evangelion, once told The Atlantic that Japan is “a country of children.” That’s a bit broad, but it’s hard to dispute that Japan is a country that wants its entertainment to be innocent.
Gee, how dare the Japanese do things differently from the US? Allowing idols to date in America works just fine for them in America! Why would the Japanese not follow suit? Clearly, rather than it being a case of legitimate, respectable cultural differences, the Japanese as a people just aren’t grown up enough to hang with us excellent Americans. The arrogance in that is appalling, which caused gendomike to comment:
I love the way that Hideaki Anno gets quoted at the end to twist the knife. Wrote about that article long ago too. http://t.co/CLfB0RCk
With an attitude like that, any help they give to the appreciation of foreign cultures in America is accidental. That said, however, the publication of this Gangnam Style article by The Atlantic – and its wide acceptance as journalism – should cause anibloggers to sit up and take note.