Category Archives: Animegatari

Hometown Tax, Buppan Bros

Two more ideas for this blog post. First, ImotoSae’s tax accountant.

I’m all for sadistic Nunu whispering “Oniichan” to my ears. That aside, the Hometown Tax or Furusato Tax or whatever, the idea is piggy-backing on the rural revival ideas partly described via these lines of thoughts, but without the actual tourism. The tax-deductible donation system is originally intended for people who moved to the big cities from the countryside, so that they can financially contribute to their hometown’s municipality. What’s more, the beneficiary can, in return, gift the person who designated part of their income tax to the municipality. This has become a weird scheme in which people are basically buying things via their hometown tax, because you don’t actually have to designate the money to your literal home town. You can donate to just about any Japanese municipality, even an urban one. You can read about the full situation here. I mean, just go and look at the home page of Furusato tax, it’s like a full blown shopping site.

Here are some things that was available for “purchase” with the donation (tax deductible!):

It’s not to say it isn’t already cool to get wagyu beef or snow crab legs from a humble donation (well, some of the gifts are quite expensive in order to get, but they are tax deductible). What’s kind of fearsome is that some of these goods are simply things you can’t buy, however, and are worth a lot if they are fungible. If you ever wonder how the hometown tax ends up relevant in a super otaku anime, now you know.

As for filing income tax as a freelancer or consultant in Japan, yeah it’s more about figuring out the deductions, but also knowing how much you have to pay to cover for insurance and various fees. That stuff is just administrative though.

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The BBT of anime, Anime-Gataris, has a moment in this past week’s episode where the Gataris meet Beibei (baby is the pun in the title, right?), a Chinese otaku braving Summer Ket along with our youthful protagonists. This is something kind of endearing to me as an experience, because it’s like a special bond you form with other folks in your same predicament, may it be a hostage situation or braving summer of Japan outdoors from 3am to 1pm, in a line. And you think Comiket lines are bad? LOL.

It’s kind of weird in that, not only I’ve had similar experiences (minus the Japanese speaking part), I’ve seen/been a part of it enough times that I don’t even bother anymore. I mean, usually I want to sleep, you know? Also, too bad Beibei and the Gataris are not Producers, because we would exchange IM@S business cards as part of the ritual. It’s pretty cool how you actually end up keeping in touch with some of these folks over the years because you got their contact info at an offkai or in the goods line. It’s one of those funny fandom quirks that ends up being really useful and a neat part of the fandom. It’s not a unique part of the fandom, I guess, because it’s pretty common for cosplay and art circles to have vanity/business cards, but it’s something to think about.


Anime-Gataris Is BBT

I watched 3 episodes of Anime-Gataris. It reminds me of anitwitter in that it has all these really low level takes. Unlike anitwitter it wasn’t funny or even occasionally insightful, or all that updated–tons of old takes. What I find more troubling in Anime-Gataris is that it lacks the double layer of awareness that I am coming to expect of my meta anime in 2017. Imoto Sae is a good example of what Anime-Gataris is not, for a recent example.

The result, I don’t know if it’s fair to say, is that Anime-Gataris reminds me a lot of the Big Bang Theory. A character and situational driven comedy poised to drop bombs on nerdy references…is exactly what both are. The problem is the jokes and references are fine and well and good in Anime-Gataris, but I’m not sure if it’s for an audience that really wants to get all the jokes. To use an example, it’s like how Garnidelia’s Aikotoba has a space in it on ANN’s listing of Anime-Gataris, and not a no-space or even a dash. (Do you get what I’m trying to say by this meta joke?) If it was proper anitwitter, “A~I~Ko~To~Ba” or something just a little more ~woke~.

The problem at a glance with Anime-Gataris, and other shows like it, is that they are the sort of despised creatures of the 00s in that mid-Azuma, database creation space. I think on a certain level I’m intrigued to see that “character X is supernerd into [vertical Y] and character Z plays the outsider getting in” template is applied to actual anime and not as a derivative work, because that’s how everyone outside of Japan sees things. [Which leads to a bunch of thoughts in my head about oversea fan-catering-isms, but that’s besides the point.] We’ve had enough of this with games, cosplay, Akiba culture, idols, whatever. Finally one on actually anime as disposable entertainment.

Anime otaku is really an underground and hardcore breed of otaku in Japan, ultimately. There are a lot of “poser-likes” who are aware of the meta but don’t play, to use a CCG metaphor. The type of people who watches 10+ shows a season over the span of a few years (minimum) is what makes up real anime otaku I think. Except I think there are more people who don’t watch that many anime and know what’s up, than those who do.

Maybe in 2017 it’s time to have another show like this (yes, it’s novel), in this way (no, it’s tried and tired). Like at this point I don’t even care for its curious, gloves-on references to other properties (such as..Dub Tones? Or whatever Love Live is). It just feels like a by-the-committee effort to milk actual anime otaku, in that flat kind of way that I know oversea nerds like. Of course, this is also counting on Anime-Gataris to carry out its plan to develop its characters as usual and provide some compelling hijinks, but until it makes an IDOLM@STER reference, all it’s doing is saying the things I’ve been hearing people say for the last 20 years.

I guess I judge this kind of things on actual merits, not on superficial performances. So while I will observe Anime-Gataris from afar, I’d suggest people actually go watch all the shows referenced in Anime-Gataris first before watching Anime-Gataris. You are guaranteed to spend your time better that way.