Year in Review: Japan Just Can’t Get Some Things Right…

…but we should really encourage them to try and try again!

Love Never Fails

That is really my feeling about Baccano! in a nutshell. Japanese collaboration with Western producers are really one very direct way to solve some of the problems addressed by that dreaded open letter, but we should remember that Americans (and others) have been working with Japan to produce exported animation for over 10 years now. The earliest of those works I could remember was ADV’s BGC2040, but I suppose there may be earlier ones.

But Baccano! is not even a collaboration. It falls more along the lines of, say, Cowboy Bebop–straight up fantasy about a western-themed past (or future), created out of the mind of a Japanese. Yet short of last year’s fabulous exception, also known as Black Lagoon (which was also just an adaptation, I guess, so not a big exception here), there just hasn’t been a collaboration of the magnitude of western-audience-appeal as, well, non-collabs.

I guess Japanese/American collabs are just not as cracked up as they ought to be. Not only it doesn’t make anything go faster for the end consumers, the Japanese team still get stuff messed up (LOL can we say Engrish?).

But hey, if I wanted to see violence glorified and packaged in palettes sensible for an American I’d just go watch a movie in a local theater. Baccano, at least, delivers a little more. And I’m only highlighting it here because it renews my faith to know that there are Japanese people out there (I guess the opposite of a weeaboo…?) who at least tries to go at this stuff (this meaning the likes of recreating a prohibition era setting in a prose), and put together something not too terrible at all.

Sure, it won’t hold off rain (of scrutiny) if you stood under it, but at least it’ll make shade on a sunny day.

This is the second part of a series of blog entries highlighting some of the memorable and remarkable points of 2007 in review. I think Shinkai was actually one of the best things 2007 will be remembered for, but I’ll work up a climax or something from here…


4 Responses to “Year in Review: Japan Just Can’t Get Some Things Right…”

  • tj han

    Two words: AFRO SAMURAI. The biggest problem is Japanese perceive Americans as a bunch of hip hop, vulgar and action-loving fat men. And IT IS TRUE!

  • Boulayman

    Well, I beg to differ… I used to have that opinion of americans too but all those I met IRL were really top quality open minded people. Plus, if they were such vulgar and action loving, how could they make such great movies such as No country for old men… I think they have been getting a lot of slack because of their president but they really are an amazing people after all. An amazingly diverse one too. As for hip hop, well it hardly is just America, it is just as popular in france, the UK and JApan, the US just happen to have come up with that.

  • omo

    Boulayman: are you Japanese?

    As an aside, this hip hop, vulgar and action-loving fat man want to be specific and say that American media is not full of hip hop, vulgar and action stuff, but rather that kind of thing is readily available. American media, contrary to popular belief, is massively diverse today. In fact compared to a mere 5 years ago there is sooooo much more varied crap on US TV than even before.

    This really goes to the point that even when we talk about anime fans, we need to recognize there’s a wide variety of them. There is a home-grown variety of anime fans in the US that is particularly fitting of tj’s description, and they are likely some of the motivation behind the common Japanese stereotype associated with ex-pats in Japan.

  • 0rion

    Speaking as an American, I can testify that tj’s above statement is indeed fully factual, except he forgot to mention the equally fat women. :P

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