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Old 2014-07-03, 20:06   Link #1
Fireminer
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Counterculture: Is it possible to make one with Anime?

Counterculture: A subculture whose values and norms differ greatly from those of the mainstream society

So, in my block, they just has opened a shop selling goth clothes (I live in an area of diplomats, so there is a bit of everything here.) Immediately, they became a hype and a lot started to wear it. However, my older sister (a hardcore goth herself) has been vocally showing her disdant of it, calling it "fake" and "immitation". Quoted her:

"These are all mass-produced"

It gave me this weird notion. There are two type of hipsters: Those who are its followers since the start, and the people who jumped for it after it turned a trend. (http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2...aps-and-beards)

But what make a trend, and when could it be called a subculture? It must be unique, to the point of nonsense if you stand from a commonman's view.

However, is there counterculture anime, shows that could draw out that wave? For example, the Beatles, they were statues of the hippy era, but did they make the hippy wave? No. I think there are two reasons why anime could not do it:

1. It is art, so it must has some substain values that would last with time.

2. It is a consummer product, so it must be reached to many as possible (highlighting my sister's idea. Kuroneko, if Maschera wasn't existed, would still find something else to latch in and create her personal values upon its base. To be a trend inspiration, the work must be able to kickstart the audience's imagination and creativeness. Those who don't do it are the second type of hipster.)

So, in short, my question would be: Could an anime really create culture value, even contemporary?
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Old 2014-07-03, 20:47   Link #2
Marcus H.
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Sorry for not answering the real topic immediately, but this took my attention:

Quote:
So, in my block, they just has opened a shop selling goth clothes (I live in an area of diplomats, so there is a bit of everything here.) Immediately, they became a hype and a lot started to wear it. However, my older sister (a hardcore goth herself) has been vocally showing her disdant of it, calling it "fake" and "immitation". Quoted her:

"These are all mass-produced"
I remember a long-running "cold war" between cosplayers in the Philippines. One side warmly accepts the surge of purchasable cosplay merchandise, from accessories of particular styles (from kawaii to gothic to school to anime-inspired) and doesn't mind if people starting dressing themselves in Akatsuki cloaks bought for a sum in the local anime store. The other opposing side cherishes the hobbyist core of cosplay and refuses to acknowledge the rise to fame of particular cosplayers (namely Alodia Gosiengfiao) because they accuse them of outright buying her cosplay materials instead of making them from scratch "as most cosplayers do".

Moving along, I think anime as a medium is already a counterculture... that is of animated media in general. Just ask the average joe and you'd eventually discover that most of them thinks of anime as simply "cartoons", which we anime fans obviously wouldn't accept due to the vast differences cartoons have with anime.
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Old 2014-07-04, 02:40   Link #3
DonQuigleone
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Anime is fairly countercultural, both in Japan and outside it.

Likewise, you also see a fair overlap between Anime "Otaku" and other countercultures, in particular Goths.

That said, I think what you're describing is more of a conflict between the "Hardcore" and "Softcore" sides of a fandom. It's about group identity, for a group to be cohesive it has to be able to define who's "out", and who's "in". After all a group doesn't want "Poseurs" who try to reap the benefits of being part of a group, without genuinely being part of it, or not putting in the work.

Generally, I think it's better to be easygoing about these things, but on the flip side, how do y'all feel about people who describe themselves as "Anime fans" or "Otaku" even though the only Anime they've ever watched was Pokémon or Naruto? Personally that would irk me, hence you might understand the feelings of those goths or cosplayers.
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Old 2014-07-04, 03:28   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Moving along, I think anime as a medium is already a counterculture... that is of animated media in general. Just ask the average joe and you'd eventually discover that most of them thinks of anime as simply "cartoons", which we anime fans obviously wouldn't accept due to the vast differences cartoons have with anime.
Speak for yourself. Anime are always cartoons to me, it's just that they have a lot of themes and styles that resonant with me. If I am really in the minority of anime fans that think like this, maybe I'm part of a counterculture within a counterculture.
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Old 2014-07-04, 03:53   Link #5
Fireminer
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Hmm... It seem that I shouldn't had included the first part of my question. It's irrelevant.

Let me repeat myself. Trekker, Trekkie, or whatever you want to call them, build their own subculture (which could be considered counterculture by some who wear like Klingon to people that have their ears surgeried for a more Vulcan-like) on the base of a franchise that goes for decades. Could an anime do that, consider their narrow audience and its shortness (less than 50 episodes, compare to hundreds of a TV show)?
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Old 2014-07-04, 03:55   Link #6
Marcus H.
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I wouldn't group myself with the same people who are totally into the cartoons of recent times, though. There's something different with fans of Adventure Time, Homestuck and My Little Pony that I probably will never understand.

Maybe it's the fans of MLP who just have to draw anime characters as ponies. It's utterly unnerving.
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Old 2014-07-04, 08:19   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
Hmm... It seem that I shouldn't had included the first part of my question. It's irrelevant.

Let me repeat myself. Trekker, Trekkie, or whatever you want to call them, build their own subculture (which could be considered counterculture by some who wear like Klingon to people that have their ears surgeried for a more Vulcan-like) on the base of a franchise that goes for decades. Could an anime do that, consider their narrow audience and its shortness (less than 50 episodes, compare to hundreds of a TV show)?
If your benchmark is the trekkie subculture I think it already happened with anime since a long time.
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Old 2014-07-04, 09:43   Link #8
Fireminer
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Which show? The possible that I could see is Gundam (although Gunpla is not a subculture.)
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Old 2014-07-04, 10:20   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
Which show? The possible that I could see is Gundam (although Gunpla is not a subculture.)
Why not? What exactly gundam fans would need in order to be equal to trekkies according to your view?


As a side note, do you know where the word "otaku" originates from? It is basically an outdated term to refer to someone else's house. In several dialects and some form of current Japanese you can use the word "house" as a pronoun. "Uchi no inu", literally "dog of (my) house" translates as "my dog".
The characters of anime Macross consistently (and differently from common usage) used the word "Otaku" to refer to other persons the same way in English you use the word "you".
Then some fanatics of the anime started addressing people with the word "otaku" in their everyday life, causing disconcert because that's not proper Japanese.
These group of Macross fanatics were henceforth labeled as "Otaku" by "normal" people because their frequent use of that word was their most distinctive trait. Then later the term "otaku" was extended to similar fanatics of other anime even if they did not care about Macross nor they used the word "otaku" at all.


So if the fact that people adopted behaviors, styles and speech patterns different from the norm isn't enough for you to consider that an example of "counterculture", then what are you looking for?
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Old 2014-07-04, 18:01   Link #10
Fireminer
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That is close, but there are still the numbers. I need raw statics. Estimated there are hundred thousands of Trekkie, and the percentage of extremists is quite high. How many shows has that number of fans? Robotech?

And how well-organized they are? There would also need groups and like that.

Last edited by Fireminer; 2014-07-04 at 18:45.
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Old 2014-07-04, 18:45   Link #11
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Touhou. If there is anything with a random randomly large fanbase, its Touhou. And it isn't even an anime. It is just everyplace.
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Old 2014-07-04, 21:29   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
Hmm... It seem that I shouldn't had included the first part of my question. It's irrelevant.

Let me repeat myself. Trekker, Trekkie, or whatever you want to call them, build their own subculture (which could be considered counterculture by some who wear like Klingon to people that have their ears surgeried for a more Vulcan-like) on the base of a franchise that goes for decades. Could an anime do that, consider their narrow audience and its shortness (less than 50 episodes, compare to hundreds of a TV show)?
Gundam is about the only thing that comes to mind that was like Star Trek but both shows followed a similar pattern rather unsuccessful in there original runs that was cut short and had lots of success in reruns that lead to spin-offs which ultimately created a meta-series.
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Old 2014-07-06, 14:56   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Moving along, I think anime as a medium is already a counterculture... that is of animated media in general. Just ask the average joe and you'd eventually discover that most of them thinks of anime as simply "cartoons", which we anime fans obviously wouldn't accept due to the vast differences cartoons have with anime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
Speak for yourself. Anime are always cartoons to me, it's just that they have a lot of themes and styles that resonant with me. If I am really in the minority of anime fans that think like this, maybe I'm part of a counterculture within a counterculture.
He's not the only one; I still refuse to lump them together, no matter what one says about it.
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Old 2014-07-06, 18:12   Link #14
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
That is close, but there are still the numbers. I need raw statics. Estimated there are hundred thousands of Trekkie, and the percentage of extremists is quite high. How many shows has that number of fans? Robotech?

And how well-organized they are? There would also need groups and like that.
Anime is different from things like Star Trek. People tend to be "extreme" fans of the medium itself, or a genre within the medium, rather then any individual show, for the simple reason that no particular franchise lasts that long, or has a large output.

Star Trek has been running in one form or another continuously (though with a lot of breaks) since the 60s. No Anime can match that feat, except perhaps for Gundam, and as GundamFan says, it's probably one of the only franchises to match the size and passion of Trekkies. But even Gundam fans tend to cross over with other similar mecha properties (like Code Geass, Legend of the Galactic Heroes or Macross), while Trekkies are often only majorly into Star Trek, and not, say, Star Wars.


This is all down to the fact that in Japan they tend to run through a single story, and if it's a succesful show, just come out with another similar show rather then continue that previous show (Even Gundam, let's not forget it has multiple completely unrelated continuities). By contrast, in the USA they prefer to keep continuing and expanding a franchise until no one is interested in it anymore. So Star Wars has tens of thousands of hours of content produced, while the nearest equivalent in Japan might at most have a 100 (Gundam may be a tenth the size of Star Wars.)

Besides Touhou and Gundam, the only other thing I could think of with a large following (though it's as much China as Japan) is Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is probably the only popular "franchise" that's 600 years old!
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Old 2014-07-09, 08:49   Link #15
Fireminer
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That is a correct analysis, but remove the "No one care" part, especially with Star Trek.
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Old 2014-07-14, 22:54   Link #16
sunchips18
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Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
That is a correct analysis, but remove the "No one care" part, especially with Star Trek.
I don't think that they were specifically referring to Star Trek when they made their example.

With that being said, Star Trek just isn't as big in the US as it once was. You won't find many people my age (say 18-25) that are that into it (with the exception of the JJ Abrams movies). Most of the hardcore fans are 30+ at this point. So, it could be argued that people have stopped caring for it.

Now, back to the subject at hand. I think that the anime culture is already a counter culture. It's just a lot less organized since the culture spreads over many different shows as opposed to one single franchise.
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Old 2014-07-18, 01:49   Link #17
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Originally Posted by sunchips18 View Post
With that being said, Star Trek just isn't as big in the US as it once was. You won't find many people my age (say 18-25) that are that into it (with the exception of the JJ Abrams movies). Most of the hardcore fans are 30+ at this point. So, it could be argued that people have stopped caring for it.
Honestly, I think the stars of the original series (George Takei and William Shatner) are probably better known than the series itself.
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Old 2014-08-04, 00:28   Link #18
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Honestly, I think the stars of the original series (George Takei and William Shatner) are probably better known than the series itself.
That's very true. Haha
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Old 2014-08-30, 03:09   Link #19
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I think this is an example of taking our beloved animu a little too seriously.

After being here in Japan, I hardly regard anime as a counter culture as a whole. Akiba-kei anime maybe, but even then it depends. Attack on Titan is mainstream NOT counterculture.

Plus, this sounds like another example of people trying to elevate their pastime way past something it's not. It's just another form of mass produced pop entertainment albeit a niche one.
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