Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Research Help: Non-american otaku in the 80/90's.

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by felipepepe, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    I'm aware that doing a serious research is mostly replacing prejudices with actual facts. I've seen vast ammounts of thesis and books where the author was only searching for ways to justify a idea he had before even reading about the subject, and his work never managed to go beyond "what I think about this"; so I find extremely interesting to hear opposing ideas. Debating with prestigious gentleman from all over the world as I have been doing here sure is helpfull, but a opposing voice is not unwelcome.

    Even if BC says something I don't agree, I have to acknoledge that is an existing point-of-view, understand where it's comming from and see how it ressonates with the rest.

    EDIT: Oh, ninja'ed.

    Agassi, I get what you're saying because I saw it countless time on american works on the subject; they look at themselves, look at what they know about Japan, make retarded paralels and call it a day, saying stupidities like how Doraemon only works in Japan due cultural disparities, even when hermanos argentinos como usted aman a "El Gato Cósmico".

    Besides, is not like I'm basing my entire research on what Vaarna feels about manga x comics, I'm only on a early stage, and hopefully I'll get my 2 years schollarship in Tokyo to expand it and understand "the other side", especially since my supervisors will be japaneses.

    However, I do think those paralels are very important, there are cycles bound to repeat thenselves; delving into the patterns between previous cultural movements can provide many clues to understanding ongoing ones, as long as you are not blinded by them.
     
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  2. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    I assume this is in regard to the parallels we've been drawing with the Western publishing industry and the manga industry.

    I admit, it is very broad strokes, but in the sense that the basic elements of the industry are the same, the parallel events between them and certain developmental differences are interesting to discuss and ponder. Now that we've mostly gone over various anecdotes regarding the spread of Japanese pop culture to many godforsaken corners of the earth, it's a fine thing to continue with, since the industry behind it is also an important element in formation and development of the subculture around it. And of course, there's that whole thing with Carl Barks.

    EDIT: Btw BC, I've still got the D'Kora Marauder in the bank, as per deal.
     
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  3. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    Besides, the broad strokes I'm going for are present in many other cultural movements cycles. Take music for example, if you take completly different styles like Progressive Rock, Disco Music & Glam Metal, they all follow a similar pattern of starting out underground, reaching wider audiences, then becoming a fever, until it's a self-jerking fever people are bored off and it's replaced by the "New Best Thing™".

    Not to bore everyone with satan worshiping marketing, but it's a well-documented process in most products, called "Product Life Cycle", here brilliantly coupled together with the "Product Adoption Stages" theory:

    [​IMG]

    It's easy after all the talk in this thread to make the paralels:

    On the 70's works like Astroboy & Speed Racer appear, showcasing something tottaly unheard before.
    Late 80's/early 90's was the proper "Introduction", with both anime and j-games spreading worldwide, with a yet moderate ammount of fans.
    Late 90's/early 00's was the "Growth" era, with a global boom and a big audience for otaku culture.
    Then, according to my theory, we just reached Maturity, the market/sales won't grom anymore, only decrease as the audience spreads into niches of fans lagging behind.

    Obviously, defining when a market has reached it's maturity is the great challenge, especially since at that point most people go into "it's too big to fail" mode... Of course, it's always possible for a product to reinvent itself and grab new audiences, extending it's days of glory. If otaku culture will be able to do that, only time will tell...

    Oh, don't be a teaser, please explain. :)
     
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  4. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    Ah, the thing with Carl Barks is that Osamu Tezuka repeatedly said that he owes his entire career to Carl Barks and Scrooge McDuck. What created the impetus that lead to the birth of a Japanese form of comics was imported Disney comics, namely those of Carl Barks with Scrooge McDuck (a very underrated character if you ask yours truly).

    People more well-versed then me might have more to say about Barks' technical influence as well.
     
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  5. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    Scrooge is one of my favorite characters and easily the best from Disney. While Donald, Mickey and the rest are walking cliches (especially mickey, I hate that mouse), Scrooge is such a mature and well-developed character...
     
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  6. Cool namegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I ask for forgiveness as my previous words may have sound harsh coupled with me remaining silent during the previous discussion. This was not my intention: The apparent harshness comes from an interest in capturing the essence of what I did want to say in as few words as possible and the silence from the simple fact I was but a project during most of the nineties and but a baby the rest. I will try to explain what I meant by those words so that no ill will remains. Nothing was further away from my intention than to offend or bring distress to anyone.

    Show Spoiler

    Not being well versed in the manga and anime industry my main point was that of subversion and submission. Asian cultures have a very different view on subversion and rebellion than western ones. To wit open subversion and rebellion is seen as something childish and unsightly at best, and very disrespectful. This can be even seen in the way criminal culture, which should be where subversive elements abound, did evolve in China, Korea, and Japan to not truly be in direct oposition to culture in general. According to my own understanding of what I have been told by my family and friends, the value of which depends entirely on how much faith you desire to put on my intellectual capabilities, those who fall through the cracks of proper society find nothing but another face of this very society waiting for them. They have a clearly identified role on the 'celestial' order of things, and they are kept on a lash as tight as those who remain on proper society. To be lawless, be it socially or culturally, is to be an animal.

    Other examples of this can be found but I do not want to turn this into a neverending wall of text.

    A good example of how subversion does work on asian cultures can be found in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Luo Guanzhong writes exactly the kind of story his cultural context did want to hear. He interpreted the facts of the Three Kingdoms in the way they wanted to see. But here and there, spread through the entire work, are spread elements that make you question the very perspective he is apparently supporting. He focus on this, he gives only a passing mention to that. He has establishes himself as a highly questionable source. While supporting the cultural establishment he brings it into question and spawns a three quarters of a thousand years long discussion on what he really meant and how should this or that be understood. And, thus, in what did really happen and how should it be understood.

    Not wanting to risk diluting the point beyond need I will get back on track now. Subversion, my point is, is as present in eastern works but does take a different form than in western ones and one should not be eager to call them submissive. If anything we should observe the differences that the approachs to subversion and rebelion bring to their respective cultures. While the western approach encourages innovation and 'progress' the eastern approach tends to protect cultural identity to a much greater degree than outsiders might be able to identify with a glance. With the west going through an age in which the very values and beliefs that supported and nourished it are collapsing into a ever widening chasm of disinterest and nihilism one should not be too fast in criticizing such a posture.


    The dangers of going completely off topic are already looming on the horizon so I will stop here even when I would have liked to go deeper into this. Please forgive the lenght and, again, my badly chosen previous words. It is my wish this will help fix any misunderstanding or offense I did previously cause.

    After our last chat it was my understanding you were planning on selling it on the auction house. Please forgive my lack of trustworthiness. I did spend a time away from Cryptic games as I was not pleased by the direction they seem to be taking things in but if you give me a little while I will get the few credits I lacked when I did leave. Thank you very much for your patience.
     
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  7. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    No need to be so apologetic, we're only throwing ideas around and I don't think you offended anyone. ;)

    Humm, so you're saying that while otaku are considered rebelious and childish at the eyes of proper society, they can't manage to rebel agains their own "otaku society", that would be going too far, becoming a lawless animal with no connection to any society... Interesting, it does shed some new light on why the status quo is so unchallenged, a person that defies proper society by delving into mangas cannot also defy the otaku culture and do a subversive work, deconstructing standards like Alan Moore did... there can be no such wild animals.

    More or less, that also explains why it was so hard for me to find anyone attacking otaku culture "from inside", a "it was good but it's declining" approach would both displease proper and otaku society... no serious researcher would research that unless he was an otaku, and no otaku would attack it's own society. Oh man, what a mess I am getting into, baka gaijin FTW! :lol:

    That was very insightfull BC, thank you. :)
     
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  8. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    It's a very interesting point, that's for sure. I approached it admittedly from a very Western/universalist standpoint, with the assumption that due to the view of "adult" society on the manga and otaku cultures, and the creators, it would be a natural breeding ground for counter-culturals in the manner comics have always been in the West due to their status as "unclean non-art." Or in case of otakus, the manner in which Japanese society does discard and frown on those who aren't model children who go straight from school to career (though this does provide an explanation for the high school subgenre, since it's clearly a collective fantasy about how they think school should be instead of the insane cramming and discipline). I guess it truly is a subculture in the literal meaning of the word, something of a "failure ghetto" underneath the "proper" Japanese society (then again, the Japanese public and private lives due to the intensity and overt discipline of public life there in an entirely different subject, and no less interesting), and otaku see it as their last refuge.

    Then again, it does raise an intriguing question why the same kind of mentality doesn't seem to have such a strong hold over the people who make anime. But you can easily make the needle->haystack counter to that.
     
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  9. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    That's the kind of prejudices one must leave behind while researching, probably the hardest thing to do. Stating that otaku society has devolved into a circlejerking gettho without understanding the reasons why no one breaks said circle was a mistake I was blindly following... it also helps to think that perhaps their gettho will never die, it's the only place they have left, and any threat to it will probably result in a even tighter society, hardly into deconstruction, for they will have no interest in expanding or exploring new ways, only surviving.

    It doesn't? Most anime today are just manga adaptations, so I see them pretty much the same way... are you refering more to older anime? In the 80's/early 90's not only they seem to have more independence from mangas, but perhaps it "otaku" wasn't a estabilished society yet, at least not in such a restrictive way, there were no rules to be broken...
     
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  10. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    Hence why I added the whole "needle in a haystack" thing afterwards. Since ultimately, people and studios like Miyazaki, Anno, Oshii, Ghible, I.G. and so forth are a tiny minority in a sea of "cash upfront" studios.
     
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  11. alkeidesgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected Patron

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    You should try to engage in active participant observation in Japan then.

    I don't think that was her main point -- it is that the whole structure of Japanese society extends even to otaku culture. To take her example of subversion in criminal cultures for example, yakuza gangs still have a very rigid hierarchy with their own rituals and so on, even if they are not part of mainstream Japanese society. Similar examples exist in Chinese gangs.

    Earlier in East Asian history, this might explain why tantric Buddhism, especially the higher tantras, never really caught on in China. By the time the tantras got to Indian monasteries they were actually already stripped of many of the outright antinomian elements (originally directed against Brahmanic concepts of morality and cleanliness), which were more-or-less interpreted symbolically, but the Chinese still largely rejected them besides some elements of yoga tantra, which is actually very strict on purity, diet etc. Yoga tantra as transmitted to the Chinese currently survives only in Japan, where they candidates to undergo years of training to receive empowerments.

    Today, a lot of Chinese who practise Vajrayana still are reluctant to eat meat and drink alcohol even in ganapujas, where it is actually a requirement. In Tibet, a famous lama called Shabkar who was a strong proponent of vegetarianism in a time when it was pretty much impossible still ate meat in ganapujas.

    There are other examples from how Buddhism was transmitted to the Chinese dating back further in history. The concept of monasticism for example went against many Confucian tenets and monks were regarded as immoral originally. Over time, the Chinese adapted Buddhism to fit in with their culture and today there are many practices and unspoken rules in Chinese Buddhist organizations influenced by Confucianism. There is an excellent book called How Buddhism acquired a soul on the way to China which analyses the early adaptation of Buddhism to fit in with the Chinese worldview.

    I think it's interesting to note that even before the Meiji reforms, Japanese Buddhism already had a lot of married Buddhist clergy (with shaven heads).

    There is a book by Nakamura Hajime called The Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples that might be interesting for you. It is of course dated, and coloured with Orientalism prevalent at the era as well as his own Japanese biases on the sections dealing with other cultures, but it presents a Japanese scholar's view of his own culture. In themselves, his presentations on other cultures are not very useful especially with modern scholarship (Tibetans were historically rather more prudish than Indians for example, though not as much as Sinosphere cultures), but they do reveal the general Japanese view on some aspects of foreign cultures.

    Of course, I don't know how far this extends to otaku culture.
     
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  12. Make America Great Again Kz3r0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Criminal organizations are hardly subversive, and they are usually an emanation of traditional societies, even if only Yakuza has that kind of social integration, not that the Italian Mafia is that far from it.
     
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  13. alkeidesgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected Patron

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    Well, they certainly don't intentionally set out to break all of the social mores of the societies they are contained in, still there is a common distrust of them in mainstream society. The tantras on the other hand quite clearly set-out to break all the rules of Brahmanical society (which overlapped with Chinese Confucian society in many ways).

    I don't know that much about otaku culture and frankly don't care that much honestly, so I'll leave it to others to figure out how otaku culture relates to society at large.
     
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  14. Make America Great Again Kz3r0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Otaku culture seems more like a bunch of Misfits and Rejects that managed to become relevant only through sheer numbers in Japan, it's an interesting sociological question why there are so much of them in Nippon everywhere else they are almost non existent or overlap with simple consumers of Japanese entertainment.


    Also, relevant:
    http://mangafox.me/manga/genshiken/
     
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  15. Make America Great Again Hiratogender: ⚧ Purse-Owner Patron

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    Bakuman, eh?
    It would appear this anime season features a third season of Bakuman. I pretty much dumped it immediately, if the first episode's a taste of what's to come, I want no part of it.
    I'll leave my notes here for your perusal.

    Show Spoiler
    Bakuman 3
    I'm so used to the typical anime style, the smaller than usual eyes and mouths of these characters just seem weird... I'm guessing this is the third season of Bakuman, I'm unfamiliar with the earlier ones. The main characters seem to be people working in the entertainment industry, mangaka and seiyuu.
    Inanity have you, first conflict, the author of PCP's manga's girlfriend is a seiyuu who is auctioning for a rival group's anime adaptation and his friends visit her to dissuade her from doing this... I am absolutely face-palming.
    Azuki and his girlfriend are in some weird relationship, they won't see each other or do anything until their respective dreams come true... I think this is completely stupid, and it's dissuading me from watching further, may just be culture shock... small note, even their friends think this relationship is cold and weird...
     
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  16. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    I agree with Kz3r0, the yakuza or italian mafia are alternative societies, just like otaku culture, that challenge 'regular society', but are filled with their own rigid rules and costumes.

    I woudn't say so... those comic/manga-conventions are quite widespread around the globe, and you'll find some very extreme otaku there, walking the streets in cosplay and all that. There are more than 200 of those cons in Brazil alone, and the biggest one, called 'Anime Friends', lasts for 7 days, with more than 30.000 people per day. But you could say that since being an otaku here or in the US is not as subversive as in japan, they do not became such extreme outcast, they do not suffer from ostracization and embrace their culture as their only place in the world; outside Japan they are just weaboos having fun.

    Humm, didn't knew about that one, thanks.

    Bakuman starts by showing two kids trying to make their own manga at JUMP, it works very well at start, showing how the industry works and all that, without feeling freaky like Genshiken or Welcome to NHK, but after the 2nd or 3rd voulme it just go full retard... once it explores the curiosities of the industry, the manga loses all point in being, so they create some retarded "I must be the best" goal, add RIVAL manga authors, boring plot twists & "challenges", and the work simply loses any interesting aspect, especially since all they do to solve any issues is "WE MUST TRY HARDER!!!11" (seriously, they only do that) and that magically solves everything.
     
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  17. Make America Great Again Kz3r0gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Actually I intended to say that Yakuza and Mafia are just another aspect of society, their internal hierarchy has little to do with that, even if Mafia maintains an Anti-State attitude derived by its origins as an Irredentist and Secessionist movement, but they are more Sicilian than the Italian State.


    But this should be gauged against similar conventions not related to Japan, like WH40K or Super Heroes or D&D etc.
    Just to see if it's just a widespread model related to certain forms of entertainment or a genuine phenomenon on its own.



    One of the worst manga in decades, for real, on a side note I have found quite telling about a certain Japanese attitude that they chose the face of another editor for the Hattori character, fully Japanese, the original Hattori, editor of One Piece is only half Japanese.
     
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  18. alkeidesgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected Patron

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    The point I was trying to make with bringing up the criminal examples is that I don't think BC was trying to say that there is a separate "otaku society" to rebel against -- rather that "otaku society" itself cannot escape the conventions of larger Japanese society just as the Yakuza can't.

    I wonder though, is there any actual otaku culture or society at all? The nature of otaku seems to be fundamentally solitary and anti-social, are the groups of otaku who meet in real life to talk about figure collection or whatever? I don't think conventions really count. Otaku might go there and take photos and buy new doujinshi but do they make new contacts there whom they keep in contact with? I'm also not so sure that many cosplayers are otaku in Japan; among girls especially there seems to be a lot of stigma attached to the label and they try not to be identified, although they do like dressing up in those costumes.
     
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  19. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    Another interesting aspect is when we look at how non-Japanese and non-Asian otakus get sucked into the ways of the otaku subculture. I'm not talking about the average Western manga/anime consumer, or even the types that want to move to Japan and become mangakas, but the ones that start the whole self-imposed isolationism deal. Those are rare, but it's very interesting.

    alkeides also brings up a very good point regarding the whole social aspect of otakus, or rather the seeming lack of it. Could be that the internet and online community is what turns it from a number of isolates into a "society", as it has done with many other things. I guess my earlier rumination why there are so few rebellious auteur types in Japanese pop culture is directly related to this, being a fan-fed machine where the subculture spawned by the mainstream culture holds strong, so you don't get to see many people who are concerned with making something that isn't for otakus.

    I don't think it's that strange. Japanese society and education system is very hostile to youth and anything except 100% discipline, borderline robotic cramming, with those who don't conform and perform being cast to the side without prospects until they pass the test to the next level. I once listened to an interview by one Japanese professor who specialized in education systems, who quite harshly criticized the Japanese education system and how it will eventually lead to deterioration of innovation and even more widespread societal problems due to alienated and withdrawn youths, and advocated a move towards the softer and more human-centric Northern European education model.

    This does bring us to the constant anxiety about youth in Japanese society (which is quite interesting, seeing how infatuated with youth the culture appears to be at the same time), which is what Battle Royale and Akira were entirely about. I guess this too is rooted in the nature of the culture there.

    That's an interesting aspect indeed, assuming I got what you meant. Japan still has this undercurrent of xenophobism and racism.
     
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  20. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    It probably started in the 80's as people gathered for more information & resources on their favorite themes, but as the industry began to feed them more and more, regular society outcast then and they turned thenselves into a ghetto, that although is not physical.

    It surely exists, even if only as a "imaginary community"; it doesn't require the members to know or interact with each other. The internet exists, but they seem to mostly interact in annonymus forms, that together with the media & industry managed to create groupthink, to impose a hivemind that desires only enjoy thenselves with as less conflict as possible. They never gathered and debated/voted on rules or laws, but there is a conduct code to be followed that emerged among them. I have not explored much of the theory behind imaginary communities, but I do believe they might reveal some awnsers in that subject.
     
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  21. Cool namegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    @ Vaarna_Aarne:

    I do believe you did hit the nail on the head in bringing the educative system to the discussion. But I do not believe that Japanese culture is particularly hostile to youth. Japanese culture in general is very exigent and leaves little place for excuses. I believe it is simply the natural interaction between this and that which comes with youth that creates a very brutal situation.

    Please forgive me for the long post that follows. I did try to say the same in a single paragraph but my skill is not up to the task. I am sorry.

    In my opinion what Felipepepe did mention earlier is one of the cornerstones of this. He did mention something present in many Japanese works. When the main character is facing a challenge that seems unsurmountable or an enemy clearly more powerful and skilled than him it comes down to the character needing to work harder. This may seem absurd but it is very important and prevalent in Asian culture. If you have to do a certain thing and are unable to do so you did not try hard enough. If your failure does hurt or bother others you are responsible for this. I believe, and I may be wrong, this comes from the idea few will ever release their whole potential during a lifetime. Even those who do will only do so after a lifetime of hard work and learning. Someone who is not at the end of his journey can't claim he is at his limit. He should accept his full responsability and work harder. To solve any situation that may arise to difficult a task was implicit in the task itself.

    I wish to explain I am neither defending nor decrying this. To my eyes it is a thing both beautiful and terrible. I admire it as much as I know there is a long way to go before I can survive five minutes in such an enviroment. But I believe it is an important element to understand asian culture. Back to the educative system the situation remains as ambiguous. Asian schools are very good. They are also very destructive and competitive. Taking a wrong turn can ruin your life. Going to the wrong school can ruin your life. If your family has great plans for you going at the wrong preschool can ruin your life. I do find interesting how both worlds react to each other. In asia there are voices calling for a more western system. In the west there are voices calling for a more asian system. I believe neither is good. Maybe they could be mixed without lossing what does work in each of them. For some reason beyond my ken I do not think that would be possible.

    On the other topics being discussed it is my opinion a part of Otaku culture does come from this. Students in Japan (and Korea, the reason why I mention this will be soon apparent) have no life. They have little time for passtimes. They have no social life outside of school. They have little emotional and psychological support. They are constantly under pressure. They are constantly feeling guilt for not being good enough. Several types of bullying are common. Not too long ago I was reading a series of articles on Korean Idol Culture that did explore it from this angle. Part of the conclussion was that fans become so obsessive and scary about their idols because they are living through them. Or, instead, through the glamour the idols weave around themselves and their world. I believe this may also be why Japanese media aimed at teens and kids is so fixated on simplistic and repetitive adolescent narratives. It is easy to understand they can develop such a deep obsession for the only life they are allowed to have. And a shame almost as deep.

    I wish to repeat I am very sorry for the lenght. This is a topic that greatly interests me and it is hard for me to decide how much is too much.
     
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  22. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

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    That's a great observation. The same aspect most likely explains the huge number of high school settings in manga and anime, its' wish fulfillment fantasy (I think I mentioned this earlier).
     
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  23. felipepepegender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Personally, I find very amusing both japanese mindset of "work hard to earn it", and america's "you're special and entitled to it". Especially as a brazilian, since the general mindset here is very conformist.

    I think I mentioned before, but Shonen JUMP did a survey with it's audience on what they wanted to see and the results where quite revealing:

    And thus they decided those 3 elements would be guidelines for JUMP's editorial choices. Seeing "Effort" appearing as the most important thing for manga readers is very interesting, and goes with what Agassi is saying. These people value effort, and thye want to see people winning by trying harder, so they can be motivated to do the same.

    In regard to the school's pressure, a close br friend of mine is finishing her Master's at Tokyo Universtiy now, and she said she was impressed by the despair in the other students, how most of the undergraduates believe their whole life depends on getting a job right after graduating, for if they take too long, the next class may graduate and they'll be left behind forever, with no hopes or ever finding a good job again. Age is very important too, she is 27 years-old and people get impressed by that, she said some people even pitied her for being "this old" and still not properly inserted into the work force & married...

    I have to say I'm a bit weary myself of leaving my huehue life to face Japan's harsh educational enviroment, though I now they'll have different (probably also lower) expectations of me & my talents than they have of locals... besides, I can always flee back here, while sadly those kids have nowhere to flee but into fantasy land...

    No apologies are needed, I created this thread precisely for debating and discussing this sort of concepts; long posts, questionings or even vague suggestions are more than welcome. :)

    I also take this cue to thank everyone posting here, it's being a very enlightnening experience. I've debated the topic with academics and teachers from various fields, but the ammount of insigths coming from this global brainstorm is unrivalled. Thanks bros. :salute:
     
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  24. Tehdagahgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Tehdagah
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    Tell me more.
     
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  25. I'm With Her Vaarna_Aarnegender: ⚧ for prison Notorious Internet Vandal Patron

    Vaarna_Aarne
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    MCA Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    I can sympathize with the situation the Japanese students face as well, what with my own still ongoing psychological problems that have completely halted my life. Obviously, it's not the same (for example, no conscription, which is a major part in what fucked my wires even worse than just Asperger's state), and in my case my own way of thinking is more forceful than social pressure. But I can just imagine how badly a society pushing that on everyne will fuck up people. I mean, our culture has this rooted sense of normative progress, which media has further instilled, but it's much worse in Japan where it's almost institutionalized. I guess the main similarity is that the gender division when it comes to offing yourself is the same.

    And of course, there's the severe stigma against mental problems (or admitting them) they have over there, or so I've heard. At least here, I feel that there's at least the people treating me who care, even if society at large doesn't.
     
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