One of the more interesting trends of the past decade has been “moe anthropomorphism,” the practice of taking real-world objects or historical persona and turning them into cute moe girls. The trend got started when illustrator Shimada Fumikane designed a line of figures for Konami in which WWII mecha were converted into cute girls with cat tails. The concept was expanded for the popular flying-pantsu anime Strike Witches and then moe-tank fest Girls und Panzer, and finally Kantai Collection, which takes the famous warships of Japan, Germany and Italy and turns them into cute characters. While unofficial (fan-created) versions of Allied warships did exist on Pixiv, there were no official U.S. ships in the game, but this changed when the PSVita version dropped this week (we have it in stock) and fans got to see Iowa-chan. As expected, she fits the classic stereotype of Americans as seen from Japan: tall and blonde, oozing self-confidence and possessing very large…guns. I was frankly nervous at what reaction fans might have, because of history and all that, but everyone seems to love her so far. So what do you think of Iowa-chan? Will she make KanColle great again? (Link to artist’s Facebook page is here.)
One thing I like about becoming a fan of Japan’s animation, manga and game culture is that it more or less guarantees your mind will be opened to new ideas, including linguistics concepts that are different from English. I’ve been a fan since the early 80s, back in the days when nothing was subtitled or dubbed and we’d all sit around at our monthly anime club meeting watching episodes with perhaps a paragraph in the newsletter about what was happening. Learning Japanese was hard (though J-List can help). I remember puzzling out that dare da! dare da! dare da! from the Gatchaman opening was saying “who are they?” three times, and certain words like 我々 ware-ware (a formal word meaning “we”) show up so often you figure them out. And as usual, the “naughty” words of Japanese are always easy to learn, being that’s the way our brains work. So, what was the first word of Japanese you learned?
We’ve got great news for fans of yuri stories today: Flowers, one of the most beautiful games exploring lesbian relationship by girls, is coming out in English soon, and you can preorder the game now! We’ve prepared a wonderful limited edition set with acrylic figures and more. Read about it and order now!