When I was watching episode 10 of Yuushibu the thought dawned on me: this is about a new world order. If we take the narrative about the lost generation of Japan to heart, the young adults of Japan has to prime themselves to a new reality where job security is an unicorn and living the life their parents do 40 years earlier is just how things not going to be–until they find the wind beneath their wings. It’s the reality today’s Millennial are dealing with in America, but things are trickier out in Japan.
The big picture view is that Asia, on the whole, are still banging out explosive growths. You can say China may have “landed” but it’s still growing hella fast. India is probably going to get caught up. On the other hand Japan is like the edge of a Red Giant, where fusion go beyond helium and into the heavier elements, eventually crunching back into something more suitable for a dying star. I guess things may go to hell if China and India crash hard enough? I guess that’s kind of a grim analogy.
But that’s exactly how it feels for our protagonists who had to swallow their dreams and go live a part-timer’s life working in a big-box electronics store. And in some ways this is what is truly adult about that sort of a story, it’s not about people living their dreams, doing anything they can. It’s about finding out about yourself as you find a place for yourself in the world. Like a good football defense: bend but not break.
In Hatarake Maousama, the story plays itself out differently but the concept is the same. A fantasy big shot learns to be a great McD assistant manager. But here’s the thing: if you make it as a shift manager at a Wal-mart or Best Buy, you can surely make a decent living? It’s a real salary, although you may have to work a lot of off hours. It’s like Yuusha’s job doing customer service for DoCoMo. I don’t know, but some of these jobs are not entirely terrible.
It’s a much more telling story for All A, I guess.
Here’s exactly the thing. Torn between, say, an inaka narrative, where we always give a lot of face for farmers, doing service jobs or even blue-collar type jobs in today’s cities and suburbs just don’t get the same kind of respect, even if said jobs are often much better and preferred than farming. Or any of the traditional arts of the land–brewing sake for example. Unless you got electron microscopes for eyes? I am not sure what makes the disenchanted feel better. However as far as head tricks go, you can do worse than Yuushibu and Hatarake Maousama. You can do worse than Kyon in Haruhi or Goto in Samumenco. You can do worse, only because it’s like everybody is doing it. Log Horizon? Outbreak Company? LOL Maoyu?? Maybe this is me looking like a hammer because everything seems to fit like a nail, but in 2013 everything looks like it.
All of this just goes and point out Yet Another Reason Why SAO is problematic. It’s the difference between a new world and an old one: it’s a world where the meek conquers the strong as lion rest next to the lamb. As far as fantasies go, it’s a classic, and herbivores sure eat it up. And this is also why nobody is procreating; it’s some new world order. (Versus just jamming it in as if you haven’t done it for two years. Virtually.)
And of course, unless you’ve seen Yuushibu up to episode 10, you might not know what I’m even talking about. Let’s just frame it real-quick-like–domesticated devil queen heiress decides to apply big box retail to the demonic world in a stereotypical fantasy hero-versus-maou setting, people think she’s a fool, but the idea comes across brilliantly.
And this is why Love Lab is one hella good anime that y’all should watch.
Year in Review 2013 Index: