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Weekly Linkage: Learning Language, Episode Counts and the Anglophonic Fandom July 4, 2006

Posted by Samurai Tusok in Links.

Just don't call him an otaku to his face.Frederik Schodt, professional manga enthusiast and J-pop academician recently wrote at Japan Times Online about manga as a learning aid for the Japanese language and makes some very informative distinctions about the varying differences between how different manga-types use the language differently:

It may be easier to start reading gender-neutral or male-oriented stories, rather than girls comics, because the page layouts are less abstract and more orthodox. It also helps to read stories on familiar subjects, and for that reason I recommend avoiding samurai-oriented jidaimono (period pieces) as all but the history buff will find the unfamiliar terminology daunting. When I was learning Japanese, I liked a tragic-comedy, “Otoko Oidon (I am a Man),” about a starving student living in a four and a half mat tatami room, because I lived in one, too. 

Seth Johnson of Gnostic Lone Wolf Poetry talks about how episode counts affect television storytelling, whether in longform multi-season serials or as compact single/double-seasoners:

The 26-episode show, however, seems to have a particular sort of pacing to it. A common progression I see, is the one found in Trigun and Mai Hime, where roughly the first half of the show is devoted to comedy-(insert genre) and after that it’s dark-(insert genre) as, the characters now being familiar, the humour of the audience is taken advantage of to elevate the pathos of the drama by comparison to what preceeded it. More generally, most 26-episode shows seem to split into two 13-ep arcs, though they aren’t self-contained arcs most of the time (you generally need to watch from the beginning).

JP Meyer of “a fairy tale of love and courage” brings up the difference between American anime fandom and English-speaking anime fandom and how the two can never be assumed to be the same thing:

The ANN blogs just started a few days ago [but so] far, we have two posts about Anime Expo, one on recently-licensed live-action titles, and two on American tours by two Japanese musical acts. These are all anime-related, just like posts on an anime blog well, are supposed to be. There is however, a huge difference here: they’re not about Japan, but rather about America. This band is touring in America. These doramas are being released in America. Here are fun things to do at this con in America. Contrast this to what anime bloggers generally blog about: These are the upcoming new anime this summer in Japan. These figures go on sale next week in Japan. A man in Japan stole a little girl’s swimsuit and shat in it.



1. lisa - July 4, 2006

used to be an obsessive reader of manga, always read them in french knowing that the Japanese versions must be tens times better. Still couldn’t put the book down though.

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