Here I was hoping Aya was on the road to normalizing her career, but that notion seems to be in my dreams. In reality, her career is becoming a large looming uncontrollable nightmare. Her recent revelations about her love life have caused quite a stir among her fans, creating lots of unnecessary and ultimately harmful drama. How Aya is coping with this is something we’d all like to know.
Could we be living in the last days of anime? One industry insider seems to think so.
This article featured on ANN is from an interview with writer Dai Sato, credited with writing episodes for Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. He paints a rather grim picture picture of the decline and death of anime within the next few decades.
Sato dismissed the idea of “Cool Japan” and complained that much of the in-between animation work in anime is outsourced to people in other countries, who may not be aware of or invested in the work itself. Similar to director Hayao Miyazaki, Sato criticized politicians and other who promoted the image of Cool Japan for their own purposes. Sato also decried series that were more about escape than about confronting real problems, and proclaimed that the anime industry in Japan is a “super establishment system” rather than a creative force, focused more on characters and on merchandise. He suggested that manga was “the last hold out,” and that if manga was lost then anime would not last without it.
While this reflects one person’s opinion, there are others who think the industry is growing. However given the subpar offerings for the summer 2010 season I can understand the reasoning behind Dai Sato’s statements.
This is a refined and expanded version of an editorial I originally wrote for Japanator. The original can be found here.
It seems one of the biggest problems in the ongoing moe debate is the lack of any concrete definition for the term “moe.” This has lead to all sorts of argument among otaku; some believe the term can be applied to any female character the viewer considers cute, while others argue it should be strictly limited to its original Japanese definition. Personally, I think the truth lies in between these two extremes. After all, language is defined by its usage, not by the opinions of a few crazed fanboys or some dusty old dictionary. Therefore, based on my own observations and research, I have created the Four Laws of Moe. I believe these laws lay out, in clear and concise detail, the exact parameters of moe and what traits a character must exhibit in order to be considered as such. Of course, these laws are merely a reflection of my own opinion; feel free to improve upon them, argue against them or even construct your own alternative theory. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Fame is a strange bedfellow: some handle it as if it were part of life, and for others it becomes a daunting pillar which they spend their entire life trying to stand upon. Aya Hirano burst on to the world stage a mere four years ago at the age of 18 when she voiced Haruhi. Since that time she’s moved on to a singing career, reprized her Haruhi role several times, was Konata’s voice in Lucky Star and has been searching for her real self in real life.
What is real life you ask? It is that life not on the stage, nor in the studio, those nights sitting in front of a mirror trying desperately to figure out what to do next. There are usually thoughts of “Who am I?” or “How did I manage to get into this dilemma?”
It is the opinion of this writer that Ms. Hirano is suffering a massive identity crisis. Her sudden unexplained illness, canceling of appearances, and hair loss all point to this. Furthermore, the rather garish appearance of her latest album (pictured above) in which she’s adopted yet another unnatural hair color after she promised she would return her hair to its natural color (black), seems to support this conclusion.