One show I’ve been keeping my eye on for a while is Kemono Friends, which has been generating a bit of buzz both here in Japan and around the Internet. It’s the story of a large zoo called Japari Park that’s populated by cute animals who have been anthropomorphed into humanoid girls called “friends,” and a single human girl who wakes up in the park one day, not sure what kind of animal she is. I pulled the trigger and started watching when I saw that the studio had planted some yuri seeds in the first episode, which naturally lead to related faanart from the Internet. That clever brief bit of fanservice was similar to the iconic pantyshots in the first episode of Wake Up Girls!, which sets up the expectation of future panty shots, which of course are never delivered. If Kadokawa intended Kemono Friends to stand as Japan’s version of Zootopia, they’ve failed, as the low-quality CGI — presumably done with Graphinica’s “cel-look CG animation” system, though it looks like it was rendered on a DOS laptop from 1995 — is well below the quality that most fans are used to seeing in 2017. Since calling CGI-based animation like Kemono Friends “anime” is difficult, perhaps we can come up with a new term? One follower suggested we call it “RWBY.”
One thing about the Japanese: they can be quite superstitious. Don’t cut your fingernails at night or you won’t be able to be with your parents when they die. Never write the name of a person in red ink or they’ll die. If a stalk of green tea stands upright in your cup, it’s good luck. Many of Japan’s superstitions are about money, and how to raise one’s personal 金運 kin’un, or money-related good luck. Here are some suggestions from Japan!
- Always put bills inside your wallet upside down. This supposedly makes it hard for the money to get out of your wallet, so you won’t spend as much.
- If you want to get more money in the future, fold your bills so they appear to be of greater denominations, e.g. a ¥10,000 note appears to be ¥1 million, and a $100 bill appears to be worth $10,000. Hide the bills in your wallet as a talisman.
- Get a giant Golden Poop for your company’s headquarters, like the Asahi corporation. Though they pretend the Asahi Flame represents the head on a beer, it’s really a giant poop bringing fortune to the company.
- Change your cell phone lock screen to an image that will bring you good luck. Recently, Golden Gudetama, Golden Mt. Fuji and Miwa Yoshihiro (the golden-haired singer who voiced Moro from Princess Mononoke) are said to bring good money-luck.
- Upgrade to a yellow wallet, because yellow = money. For even better effect, buy your new wallet in Spring, since 春 haru, meaning Spring, sounds like 張る haru, meaning “to swell [with money].”
- Snakes are considered very lucky, especially white albino snakes. If you find snake’s skin that has been shed, carry a piece of it in your wallet.
- Travel to a “power spot” that’s said to give you the power to realize your goals, like Arayasan Shrine at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
- Buy a Daruma doll and blacken one of its eyes as you make your wish (say, to pay off your past debts), and display it in your room, where he’ll stare at you, judging you for not doing what you promised. Color in the other eye when the goal has been achieved.
- Carry an omamori good luck charm from a temple or shrine in Japan. We just happen to have some in stock.
- This last suggestion is boring, but take an interest in saving and investing, at the very least socking away what you can in a Roth IRA or standard IRA, starting as young as you can. The best place to read about these things I know of is Bogleheads.org. Lurk there or ask questions!
Remember, the point isn’t that people necessarily believe that putting money into their wallet a certain way will help their personal fortunes. It’s all about taking specific steps and using any perceived benefit to create ongoing positive feedback loops which will create real benefits in your life.
In addition to anime figures, Fanta Melon Soda, Green Tea Kit Kat and various “prostate health management devices” for men, J-List has always stocked fun original kanji and anime T-shirts. Now we’re closing out our line of soft and warm J-List hoodies with a big sale. Browse our stock before your size sells out!