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Old 2009-11-13, 03:22   Link #26
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Originally Posted by QED View Post

Do you really feel this is that fundamental of a difference? Yes, the Japanese are willing to put a lot more stuff in anime than Americans are probably willing to put in their TV shows (this is actually something I constantly point out to friends), but in what way does this in any special way show that the Japanese are unique?
Well, the very fact that they like it in their entertainment is fairly telling in and of itself, don't you think?

The fact that American TV show romances (if you can even call them that) are, to be frank, typically very very shallow compared to anime romances... I mean, like it or not, it really does say something about the two cultures, imo. Like Ricky said, the Japanese simply don't seem to have this same emphasis on instant gratification that has come to typify modern western culture.

And that's a huge difference, in my mind. It really is.


I think that my point is that these differences arise from cultural idiosyncrasies that are more deliberately developed aspects of Japanese life rather than some basic difference in the character of the Japanese people.
You're walking on very nebulous ground here.

Some would say that gender identity, for example, is entirely rooted in sociological factors; that they are cultural constructs with out any basis in actual genetics.

I don't agree with that, but a fair number of people do.

And so, when you raise questions like "is it just artificial cultural constructs, or is it something more inherent?" you get into very sticky sociological debates that there's not necessarily a definitive answer to.

I am inclined to believe that the considerable difference between how anime handles romances, and how the west currently handles romance, is rooted in more than mere cultural idiosyncrasies.

But, that's just my opinion.

When we watch anime, perhaps it's the superficially unfamiliar elements that hook us - the political incorrectness and treatment of harem themes are good examples - but it's ultimately the familiar motifs that keep us watching. For example, if they set a harem romance in, say, Tokugawa Japan, before the more modern *Western* ideals of dating and marrying for love inundated the Japanese consciousness
Well, there's enough within the Japanese culture for us in the west to have a certain familiarity comfort level in watching it, yes. But those "hooks" don't cease to be a factors after "hooking" you in... they're a big reason, at least in my case, for why I keep watching.
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