Hatsu is the Japanese word that is attached to things you do the first time in the new year. Japanese have a real thing for this, and the first month of the year is filled with people mentioning hatsu this and hatsu that. I've obviously screwed up here, cause a post about hatsu things should be the hatsu post, which just goes to show that you should take things about Japan with a grain of salt if they come from me.
Still, I'm thinking of taking up Gary's offer of a guest post, maybe trying to identify some things that puzzle me here in Japan and giving some background. The Japanese view of economy and money may be one, given Dr. Science's (understandable) bafflement at the notion of a loan stretching over 3 generations, but sex sells, so the first might be about how Japanese seem to view sex. With that, this interview with Gilles Poitras gives a taste of how strange things can be here.
ANN: Lately you've been focusing on the sex trade in anime and manga. Why that topic?
Gilles Poitras: There is virtually no erotic anime or manga [available in the US] that has the sex trade in it. Almost everything else is seinen titles and a few josei titles and that's it.
Poitras goes on to identify some of the strange things that go on here, and how sex isn't really sex over here. Interesting?
The discussion goes onto manga and anime, which is subject to a lot of interesting problems in terms of copyright. The current big problem is scanlation, which take Japanese manga that are not available in English translation, scan them and have fans translate them and post them to the internet. This has been tolerated, but now there are aggregator sites that collect scanlations and then sell access to them. Some fans argue that scanlation is the only way for them to access Japanese manga, aggregator sites claim they are merely charging reasonable fees, and companies and creators, facing financial challenges, are upset at the fact that they can't see titles that have been made widely available thru scanlation. Some folks I have read argue for people who use scanlation to only do so if they buy a copy of the original manga so as to make sure that the creator and the publisher get some payback. In short, one of those incredibly tricky problems of the commons that the internet creates with abandon.
This might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the rise of the iphone and the ipad
This is a great post that addresses the three legs of the manga problem
Or I could write about something else. Any thoughts?