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Tangential learning.


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wanderlustking



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 449
Location: Bozeman, Montana

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:03 pm Reply with quote
My recent thread about Japanese student protests in the 60s, 70s, and 80s got me thinking about tangential learning; which which is when media, rather than teaching you about a subject, gives you the motivation to learn about it yourself by introducing it in a context you already enjoy. I'd never really given the Japanese student protests much thought, but after watching Kid's on the Slope and reading 1Q84, I became interested and began looking up information about the events.
I did the same thing with alchemy after watching Fullmetal Alchemist, not to mention all of the cultural information I've learned about Japan (modern and historical) due to my general interest in anime. As a teacher, this subject is fascinating and, potentially, quite useful.

So, what anime has motivated you to learn, and what about? Did you just take a cursory glance at a Wikipedia article, or did you spend hours/days pouring through scholarly articles? Has anyone taken up a new hobby because of anime?
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ZorgonXtreme



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 248
Location: Anchorage, AK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:09 pm Reply with quote
I too read up on the basic theories and applications of alchemy after FMA, as well as the many concepts of Time Travel after Haruhi.

Not an anime, but Parasite Eve taught me all about mitochondria.
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wanderlustking



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 449
Location: Bozeman, Montana

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:14 pm Reply with quote
I'm sure your biology teacher was thrilled!
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nbahn
Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1816
Location: Now in Great Lakes region

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Anime has motivated me to make a -- however cursory -- study of Japanese culture. People who learn a foreign language frequently make the mistake of not studying cultural anthropology.
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:45 pm Reply with quote
Hikaru no Go inspired me to try playing Go. There are a ton of online sites where you can play against real people or computers. I'm really bad, so I mainly play against the computer on the easiest setting possible. Also, seeing Shogi pop up in many different shows inspired me to try that too, but I don't like it half as much as Go so I haven't kept up with it.
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SereneChaos



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 372
Location: Middle of Nowhere, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:54 pm Reply with quote
I've done some basic research on Victorian culture, demonology, and late 1800's early 1900's history in general because I work on the Black Butler wiki. The series has many references to those subjects. Knowing about them really helped me pick up on a lot of interesting trivia in the anime and manga and add it to the wiki. I've also chosen the topics for school projects because of their relation to anime I like, such as choosing Prohibition and gang war for a paper because of Baccano.
I didn't learn solely because of it, but enjoying Hetalia and having a friend who was obsessed with it in my world history class definitely made the class far more fun and memorable. I'm sure no one else in the class remembers what the War of Austrian Succession was, but my friend and I had way too much fun learning about it to forget what it was.
It's not really learning, but when I found out Maka Albarn of Soul Eater was named after Damon Albarn, I looked up some of the stuff he's worked on, found the Gorillaz and they quickly became one of my favorite bands.
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ZorgonXtreme



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 248
Location: Anchorage, AK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:58 pm Reply with quote
There's also the bevy of little things I looked up, such as what foods are what, what certain things people refer to are...

A recent example would be in K, one of the characters makes a reference to Nimono and I went to look it up.

Really, it's part curiosity and part helping create better context in whatever show I'm watching.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1001

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:40 pm Reply with quote
I've had moments like this before myself. After watching Akagi I bought my very own mahjong set, and I removed the Chinese flower tiles just so that anytime I play it I can play Japanese style... Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to play mahjong with anyone.

But, for the most part, if I find myself enjoying a title I end up trying to find out more about the creator & what other titles he/she has done. I also like to find out what certain references are if I didn't know beforehand.
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Dessa
Baka RangerBaka Ranger


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 1893

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Not exactly wanting to learn something, but I went into (and later applied and was hired by) a bread store, because of Yakitate Japan.
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marie-antoinette
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Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:43 pm Reply with quote
I definitely have learned a lot about Japanese culture and language because of anime, I think it would be pretty much impossible not too.

I can't think of anything else, though I did develop a new-found appreciation for jellyfish after watching Princess Jellyfish.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 955
Location: Colorful Colorado :)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:04 pm Reply with quote
marie-antoinette wrote:
I can't think of anything else, though I did develop a new-found appreciation for jellyfish after watching Princess Jellyfish.


^^This is also true for me. If I'm able to get to Japan in the next couple years like I want to, I'm definitely going to have to try and pay a visit to the Osaka Aquarium.

Also, reading through the ANN Book Club thread for Wolf's Rain while watching the series inspired me to look up information on a bunch of different religions, Shinto and Hinduism in particular.

Anime and manga in general have gotten me very interested in the history of Japanese art, so I've done quite a bit of research (and written a fair few art history papers Laughing) on that as a result. I especially enjoy learning about the long history of narrative art in Japan.
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EireformContinent



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Łódź/Poland (The Promised Land)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:21 am Reply with quote
So next one of The-Most-Natural-Things-Existing has a sophisticated name? Nice. Since I became conscious enough to get that Moomins are based on a books available in local library I had an impression that every culture creation is a part of tangled web and felt obligated to catch the nearest treads and flow following them.

So my childhood anime introduced me to literature classics- mostly WMT's, but also Ramayana which I read as a 5 years old half-illiterate spoiler[OK, descriptions under illustrations, but it also counts:P]. Journey to the West inspired Dragon Ball? Queen Millennia as a New Story of Bamboo Cutters? Now I face Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

My first days as a self-aware anime fan were full of checking wiki and collecting everything I could get about Japanese culture, in pair with private research about anime itself- who, what, when, why, inspired by what? I guess I just like to know.
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Saffire
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:41 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
I've had moments like this before myself. After watching Akagi I bought my very own mahjong set, and I removed the Chinese flower tiles just so that anytime I play it I can play Japanese style... Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to play mahjong with anyone.
I also picked up mahjong thanks to anime (and also don't really have anyone to play with Sad). I played DS games for a while until I sold it. I play online on occasion, but the English clients are all universally terrible so it's hard to stay motivated with it.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3001
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:55 am Reply with quote
Well, Bakuman got me interested in the manga industry and made me want to draw. I also did a year of Japanese as a minor at university because I could and I'd become interested in it thanks to anime and manga. I've also developed an appreciation for Japanese food and I make pretty good sushi now.
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Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 11263
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:12 pm Reply with quote
This happens to me quite often, especially for the series heavily ground in historical context. Night Raid 1931, Kingdom, Strike Witches, and Hakuoki are recent examples that immediately spring to mind where I was spurred to look deeper into the setting and/or characters by the anime content, but there have been many, many others.

It's not just history, either. Canaan got me interested in looking up info about synesthesia, for instance, while ef - a tale of memories sent me on an exploration into anterior retrograde amnesia (which is what Chihiro's condition would technically be classified as). Again, I have had many other instances of this.
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