Podcast IX: With Jonathan Clements!

Professor Irony

Two podcasts in well under two months? This is madness! Also blasphemy. Possibly Sparta, but more likely just...

Nakama Britannica Nine – “Does Anime Reflect Japanese Culture?” With Jonathan Clements!

Breaking from our usual schedule of complaining about how things were better in [Insert Hippest Decade Here], this time we’re joined by author, translator, occasional voice director and general Renaissance Man of East-Asian culture, Jonathan Clements, to seek his wisdom about the extent to which anime reflects Japanese culture. In a sign of things to come, we also wind up talking about Scotland Loves Anime – whatever that is

0:00 The loss of Schoolgirl Milky Crisis, the great unseen anime, disappeared from the record in an unfortunate boating accident. Scotland Loves Anime — the logistics of getting Japanese guests to Glasgow.

10:00 What is Anime? Nowhere near as dull a question as it sounds, leading to all sorts of gossip about the battle for anime’s soul between the spirits of Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki. Includes the words: “Communists”, “witchhunts” and “crappy”.

20:00 Anime as Soft Power. The size of otakudom. The meaning of TV ratings. How anime form follows function. How much is the anime business worth? Includes the words: “chimpanzee”, “over-engineering” and “popular”.

30:00 What is a silver otaku? The impact of Heidi and Yamato.The phenomenology of fandom and misremembering Evangelion and Gundam.

40:00 Traditional concepts of storytelling, and how unlikely you are to find them. How “traditional” was the Hakkenden. The ethics of tying anime directors to chairs and slapping them. Noh drama and Gasaraki. Jinzo Toriumi’s Introduction to Anime Scenario Writing. Includes the words: “fallacy”, “posh” and “pervy”.

47:00 Wimmin. Do 125 million Japanese people all like hentai? The demographics of female anime fans and the birth of Noitamina. Fujiko Mine and the line between sexy and sexist. The role of women within the anime industry. Includes the words: “mind bleach”, “boobs” and “jellyfist”.

57:00 The chivalry of chauvinism and its impact on anime staff rosters. The evolutionary role of colour recognition. Women in powerful positions, like CLAMP. Includes the words: “xerography”, “concordance” and “primal.”

67:00 Aloha Higa and the unpleasantness over Polar Bear Cafe. How many fingers am I holding up? Includes the words: “sod off”, “Disney”, and “torpid”.

69:00 The nature of originality: giant robots and schoolgirl witches. Downton Abbey the anime, and what a production committee might do to it. Creativity among limits. Includes the words: “tropes”, “Metallica” and “Minovsky particles”.

73:00 Three trends for the future: Kickstarter, mobiles and China. The size of the informal anime market. Issues for intellectual property. What’s changed in Sino-Japanese relations since the publication of the Dorama Encyclopedia. Includes the words: “crowd-sourcing”, “Margaret Thatcher cyborg”, and “sandwich-making”.

84:00 The Death Note backlash in north-east China. Cosplay in China. And goodbye. includes the words “boobs” and “grabbed”.

Thanks once again to Mr Clements for sharing his time with us, kindly providing the timeline for this episode and generally being a top bloke.

iTunes link available shortly – search “Nakama Britannica” in the iTunes store.


School Idol
I just love listening to Clements talk. You learn so much and oh yeah the discussion on females in the anime industry was especially interesting. I didn't realize K-On! was directed by a lady (i just assumed it was some random director guy).


Za Warudo
Haha, really great podcast! I love the story about the Chinese guy who asked for advice on how to destroy the Japanese animation industry :lol:

Oh, and thanks for asking my question on the effects of traditional Japanese arts (such as noh) on anime.


The Boss
The chat with Jonathan was going so smoothly that we felt bad for not acutally putting the questions forward. We will next time though, promise!