Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"As a half-Japanese kid growing up in the Northeast, I masqueraded quite successfully as another disenfranchised suburban Caucasian dude, angry more at being nowhere special than for any definable reason. But two historical phrases instilled unease: 'Pearl Harbor' and 'The Bataan Death March.'
Friday, December 25, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This is a phenomenally difficult task quite frankly, and he does a good job of it.
Kelts approaches his subject in several ways, mixing them together throughout the book:
- The development of and traits of Japanese media companies.
- The history of the U.S. interests and how those intersected with Japanese products.
- The changing relations and technologies that made this possible.
The author handles these by using a mix of history, interviews, statistics, and speculation. Much as it's hard to break out one factor from another, Kelts doesn't really try - the entire "Japanamerica" phenomena is studied from its facets as opposed to broken down.
Thus the book looks at everything from the way Japanese media companies have developed the ability to produce effective niche media, to the effect of Star Wars and 9/11 on American media interests, to contrasts of artistic styles between Japanese and American aesthetics. The structure of the book itself is personal, almost like a story, and thus there are no "hard answers", so much as look at the players and their interactions.
I found the book to be very informative, mostly because of this approach - without overarching theories or simplistic answers, the book invites you to discover what's going on through the eyes of Kelts and the people he talks to. You don't go to this book for a list of answers - you go to it to get a feel for what's going on."
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded The U.S.
Author: M. Douglas
Roland Kelts is a fiction and nonfiction writer, an editor of the literary journal A Public Space, and a lecturer at the University of Tokyo. His 2007 book Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S. explores the conceptual history regarding the use of Japanese pop culture and its influence within the Western world.
Serving as both an insightful and personal take on the infatuation of Japanese pop culture within the realm of Western consumers, author Roland Kelts’s book Japanamerica gives a broad overview of the what, how, and why of the American experience regarding the Japanese pop culture phenomenon. While not attempting to answer every question concerning the matter, Kelts selectively chooses various key areas to address and fundamentally builds upon factual truth amidst personal stories. From cosplaying to the Japanese domestic animation market, Japanamerica gives the reader a plethora of topics to delve into and think about. [more HERE]
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009 By: Roland Kelts
Redline, Takeshi Koike’s heady new anime feature, embraces the car culture of the West.
Two years ago the staff at Madhouse, one of Japan’s most adventurous animation studios, sat me down in a screening room in west Tokyo. A sequence of spasmodic images blazed across the screen: long sleek race cars burning past elaborate robots and rubber-faced aliens; mechanical ships soaring, bursting into flames and smashing into skyscrapers—and, most memorably, contorting humanoid faces with bulging eyes and curdled lips, grimacing and shrieking. The action ended as abruptly as it began: with a slashing crimson silhouette of a drag racer and a thin red band bearing the title, Redline.
The five-minute trailer soon appeared on the Internet and at successive Tokyo International Anime Festivals. Buzz and curiosity swelled. And after six years in development, Redline finally had its world premiere this summer at the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. [Read more HERE]
Friday, November 06, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Late last year when Japan’s master animation artist Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Totoro) addressed a room of mostly Western journalists in Tokyo, many of us were expecting him to talk about his latest fantastical feature film, Ponyo, which was just about to open worldwide. Instead, the 68-year-old director spent 15 minutes issuing a stern warning about the dangers and delusions of living through virtual media. “All of our young people today derive their pleasure, entertainment, communication and information from virtual worlds,” he declared. “And all of those worlds have one thing in common: They’re making young Japanese weak.”
Miyazaki ticked off the usual suspects – cell phones, emails, video games, television – and he also included two more categories: manga and anime. “These things take away [young peoples’] inherent natural strengths,” he continued, “and so they lose their ability to cope with the real world. They lose their imaginations.” [Read more here]
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
"I have the great honor of announcing that Roland Nozomu Kelts will be attending this year's NYAF! Roland is a half-Japanese American writer who divides his time between New York and Tokyo and publishes in both English and Japanese. He is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US. He is also a lecturer at the University of Tokyo, a contributing editor and writer for "Adbusters" magazine and "A Public Space" literary journal, and a columnist for "The Daily Yomiuri" in Japan. His essays and stories can be found in the books "A Wild Haruki Chase," "Gamers," "Kuhaku," "Playboy's College Fiction," "Art Space Tokyo," "Zoetrope" and others.
He is the Editor in Chief of the "Anime Masterpieces" screening and discussion series.
His forthcoming novel is called "Access," and when he is not writing, reading, lecturing or traveling, he can be found playing the drums in his band.
Mr. Kelts will appear at NYAF to introduce Yoshiyuki Tomino on his Friday panel as well as moderate AKB48's Saturday panel and Sunday's Yui Makino Q&A."