October 12th, 2006


Today's login page at Mixi features a joushkousei with a Smeisser (by the way, I know enough about the history and designations of this weapon, so I'm just using that name because I'm naughty (DWL)). It probably is the first time I see such a thing in the mainstream, although it's nothing new in the anime. Kokoro Library was probably the most extreme case, which copied Reichsweir's attributes faithfuly, and made Germans the good guys as much as the anime concept allowed. However, they made sure that any shots of uniforms which included the nazi eagle were sufficiently un-zoomed to make swastikas indiscernible. Obviously, there are limits to the official tolerance.

Fan art is not limited in the same way, as the famous 4kona demonstrates (unfortunately, I do not have the untranslated original). I saw way more of the same, and the remarkable part how imbalanced this is. Neither is prominent at all (either because of the official position, or because all such stuff is carried by lunatic fringe), but nazis outstrip commies 10 to 1.

I mention this because, in the U.S., the same ratio is 1 to 100 -- in the opposite direction. Nazis are officially designated as "not OK" by the establishment (a position I support wholeheartedly), when commies are admired by large number of people. And some of these people have influence, so Lenin is studied in most colleges. For the benefit of those who escaped the contact with the liberal education, Lenin is the author of, among other things, the hilariously confusing telegram which ordered to "round up and execute prostitutes inebriating soldiers and former officers" (he obviously meant to execute both prostitutes and former officers, and not just prostitutes who inebriate former officers).

The popular love of communism in this country -- and most of all, in local universities -- was the most unpleasant surprise which I received as an immigrant. After all, commies wasted far more people than nazis (and continue doing it in NK today). Perhaps lower casualities in the Cold War and Vietnam made Americans think that commies were not as bad as nazis, who had to be fought in the old bloody way.

I do not suggest that Japanese on the whole are any saner, but it's something hard to miss if you see any anime.

Muteki Kanban Musume

The MKM (aka "Noodle Fighter Miki" - according to ADV manga translation) seems like a simple show, which ended its run in Japan few weeks ago. I can't describe it better than AoMM did:

By no means a series carried by plot, fanservice, h-game pedigree, tsunderes, big name cast, or giant mecha, Muteki Kanban Musume relies purely on its brand of over-the-top humor.

Usually I bypass such shows, but this one was good to me. Alas, no story.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Unlikely, but maybe with friends