Forum - View topic
NEWS: NPR: The Revenge of Japan's Nerds


Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
murph76
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 2796
Location: Akron, OH

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:40 pm Reply with quote
One nitpick about the news item: The story was broadcast November 24, not December.

That aside, the story draws an interesting contrast between different aspects of otaku culture. They have spending power ($4 billion in 2004? that's impressive), but some are still shy enough to buy time with the opposite sex in maid cafes.

Sounds to me that while otaku are gaining acceptance, they will never be truly accepted. And thinking about it, why should they want to be? Half the fun is in doing something different.

-Murph
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
LydiaDianne



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 5629
Location: Support Breast Cancer Research

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:15 pm Reply with quote
Nerds of the World untie Wink and together we can do as little as we want to!

Nice article. It's nice to see that people, no matter where they live, can go out and be what they want no matter what.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 2303

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:11 pm Reply with quote
And that last paragraph did a nice job of grounding that article back into the reality of their situation in Japan.

NPR article wrote:
There's a dark subtext, too: Maid and butler cafes are manifestations of the dysfunctional gender politics among Japan's nerds, and of a predilection for buying subservience. Geeks may now be chic in this otaku nation, but their alienation from traditional norms speaks of social upheavals ahead.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
scortia



Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:18 pm Reply with quote
The 'need' for maid cafes in Japan is rather sad. But if all otaku in Japan resembled those in Genshiken, I can see why they can't get dates. Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Strephon



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Did they also post the piece on hikikomori that ran in the same episode?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tkwelge



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:27 pm Reply with quote
I don't know. I think a lot of these articles that try to "discuss" japan's latest generation of spoiled only children who never grow up are just trying to glam onto something newsworthy to hype. I'm sure that the vast majority of Japanese men and women have no trouble dating, reproducing, cohabitating, etc, etc, and I'm also sure that most of them are growing up with asperations of college and careers. Every one of these stories of Japan's "lost" children can be met with an equivalent story about loser Americans, Brits, etc that are equally pathetic. A frightening epidemic? Probably not.

Also, check out the related articles below the one in the link. They include more of the hype/misdirection that I'm talking about.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sam18x



Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:53 pm Reply with quote
Regarding the true magnitude of the hikikomori epidemic, I'm of the opinion that the truth is somewhere in between. Wikipedia has estimates that the actual number of hikikomori are somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million(which isn't truly troubling compared to 80 million workforce), but points out that hikikomori are largely concentrated in the male adolescent demographic, at which point that 1 million would represent 1 in 5 adolescent males. Shocked That's definitely escapism to an extent that is not yet seen in Europe or the US, and something indicative of a problem specific to or magnified in Japan.

You know, before 1996, Japan had 240-day school years? School 6 days a week with "special events" on Sunday? High School entrance exams? Yeah, if I had that kind of schedule, and had to live up to my hyper-ambitious parents expectations(whose generation lifted their country to 2nd place with their tireless work), and had to set an example for my siblings, I'd crack too...

[/i]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tkwelge



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:40 am Reply with quote
The parents must be really doing a crappy job then. If I had loser kids like that, I would kick them out of the house. Is that considered unnacceptable in Japan?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GracieLizzy



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 380
Location: Sunderland, England, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:01 am Reply with quote
tkwelge wrote:
The parents must be really doing a crappy job then. If I had loser kids like that, I would kick them out of the house. Is that considered unnacceptable in Japan?


I've heard it's very unacceptable, because you're not supposed to draw any attention to the fact that a member of your family is acting in a way that is different to what is considered "normal".

I'm not sure how true that is though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 2303

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:53 am Reply with quote
tkwelge wrote:
The parents must be really doing a crappy job then. If I had loser kids like that, I would kick them out of the house. Is that considered unnacceptable in Japan?



I think that when the problem (hikkimori) is that huge and a possible cure involves leaving the country as stated in that NPR article, then it's past a parental issue and more of a problem within the Japanese society.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Samurai-with-glasses



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 628

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:34 pm Reply with quote
tkwelge wrote:
The parents must be really doing a crappy job then. If I had loser kids like that, I would kick them out of the house. Is that considered unnacceptable in Japan?
The constant reference to "loser kids" brings on to my mind one of the many reasons so many individuals are withdrawn from the general society...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tkwelge



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:29 pm Reply with quote
It's a parental problem. Does society provide these children with their perpetual adolescense? No. It's obviously the parents. If they were forced to choose between a life on the street or a life of work, most of them would shape up and get a job. I would like to point out that I'm not saying that you're a loser because you don't strive to make 400 grand a year. I'm just saying that if a person doesn't work or have any real life, it's obviously because their gaurdians are raising them more as a pet than a child, and the only reason such people exist is because there is a large enough army of co-dependents to support them.

I have plenty of friends who work pointless jobs for little pay and live with no goals. I don't have a problem with that. If you work and pay for your own sh!t, then you are at least putting in to society what you're taking out of it (more or less). But if you literally do nothing, and withdraw from society, you're just a spoiled loser.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ranmah



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 294
Location: Stomp'n on Tokyo Tower

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:56 pm Reply with quote
The article is very informative. I agree that Otaku culture might have cultural problems in the future. When I walk around Akihabara, I can see all these girls dressed in maid outfits and Otaku taking pics of them.

Japanese society is pretty much an enigma. When you finish understanding one thing, another pop ups and you have to start from Square one all over again.

I agree that the Parents need to take a stronger role in teaching their children. All it takes is for all the parties turn off their TV and Computer and start talking.

Very cool article though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Samurai-with-glasses



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 628

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:20 pm Reply with quote
tkwelge wrote:
I have plenty of friends who work pointless jobs for little pay and live with no goals. I don't have a problem with that. If you work and pay for your own sh!t, then you are at least putting in to society what you're taking out of it (more or less). But if you literally do nothing, and withdraw from society, you're just a spoiled loser.
Quite a view, that. Usually results in a few not-so-nice "trimming" of those worthless scum.

Oh wait.

I am of the opinion that your American Dream/Individual Ethics opinion excludes far too much to be fair and just.

Your assumption is simple: all otaku are spoiled losers; all otaku have other people supporting their "non-contributing" habits; all otaku do not deserve respect; pity, perhaps. A grand generalization: I vehemently disagree.

Define me "real life." I'll show you pointless.

Quite frankly, some people find it easier in this world than others. Just because you can doesn't give you a right to insult and disparage entire groups of people who might not be so well-suited or so fortunate as you are...

I would probably have gone into seclusion in my own world too if the pressure of society is as great as Japan appears to be.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tkwelge



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:21 am Reply with quote
Samurai-with-glasses wrote:
tkwelge wrote:
I have plenty of friends who work pointless jobs for little pay and live with no goals. I don't have a problem with that. If you work and pay for your own sh!t, then you are at least putting in to society what you're taking out of it (more or less). But if you literally do nothing, and withdraw from society, you're just a spoiled loser.
Quite a view, that. Usually results in a few not-so-nice "trimming" of those worthless scum.

Oh wait.

I am of the opinion that your American Dream/Individual Ethics opinion excludes far too much to be fair and just.

Your assumption is simple: all otaku are spoiled losers; all otaku have other people supporting their "non-contributing" habits; all otaku do not deserve respect; pity, perhaps. A grand generalization: I vehemently disagree.

Define me "real life." I'll show you pointless.

Quite frankly, some people find it easier in this world than others. Just because you can doesn't give you a right to insult and disparage entire groups of people who might not be so well-suited or so fortunate as you are...

I would probably have gone into seclusion in my own world too if the pressure of society is as great as Japan appears to be.


I never said, "All Otakus are losers." Theoretically, you can still be an Otaku and work and have something resembling a life. All I said was that any life that depends on the constant support of co-dependents is that of a loser. I live with my parents. They help me every now and then. But I pay for my own food, clothing, school, car, insurance, etc. I do my own laundry much of the time. I do chores and contribute to the household. The whole withdrawing from society thing is what I object to, because it requires the support of co-dependents. In fact it is the opposite of the American dream to live a life that requires others to take care of you. Choosing to live such a life, rather than being forced into it by racism, poverty, disability, etc. makes you a low person in my opinion.

I'm sorry, but much of your rhetoric is far too alternative school for me. In the natural world, these people would not survive. Their continued existence in the hikikomori lifestyle is an illusion.

Furthermore, there was another poster who talked about japanese society being an "enigma" and how we would never really understand it. You sound like your talking about the magical world of the smurfs when you talk about OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. This is shocking, almost a little racist. I know this is not your intention, but it's that age old idea of "East is East, West is West, and never the twain shall meet."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group