30 thoughts on “Laser Time – Moore on Japan Too

  1. That king of the hill artwork is amazing! Reminded me of Hanks older brother Junichiro. Funny how he also says “Bwahh” and suffers from a narrow urethra. Great show guys! P.S. Best moment of the episode was when Cotton told the Emperor he forgave the Japanese for taking his shins.

  2. Absolutely loved the first episode, so I’m excited for this one. More Moore on the LT Network, please!

  3. Hell yea! The first episode is probably in the top 5 lasertime episodes for me. And I’m seeing a weird habit of mine to just automatically love any capcom employees you guys get on your shows. First it was Seth and now its Greg.

  4. I think Chris hit the nail on the head near the start when he said they’re kind of like the closest thing we have to aliens. I’ve always thought part of the fascination with Japan stemmed from them being the most different, unfamiliar society, that’s still totally relatable to us as a first world nation, at the end of the day they do everything we do, but slightly different.

  5. Glad to see this go up! I’d apologize for repeating the whole “Invisible Man” anecdote, but it probably bears repeating.

    1. Definitely, your insight really puts living somewhere completely foreign into perspective. It’s not all sunshine and roses

  6. It’s nice to see a love for other cultures, it bothers me that almost all statements about America are about how horrible we are. Like we’re the only country that had people living there before the current people, or that other countries got rid of their natives in nicer ways than we did. We’re certainly not perfect, and deserve some shit, but automatically bashing America is lazy.

    I knew a number of gay Japanese guys in college, but that was in America, so I guess they were really outsiders from Japanese society, going away for college.

    I ran into an old man on a bike in Tama New Town, in Tokyo, whose Japanese was the easiest for me to understand of anyone I met in Japan. I didn’t get any porn from him, like Greg did, but he just seemed to want to talk to an American, too.

    I had a student at the college I was going to in Tokyo come up and say he wanted to hang out just because I’m white, and I had no problem with that. I had dinner with his family, and some of their friends at their house, and none of them had met a foreigner. It’s an interesting situation, being the center of attention just for being a normal guy where you’re from.

  7. Enjoyed the podcast, glad you guys got Greg back on. It’s interesting, because I’ve lived in Nara, Japan for about 9 months now and have had very few bad experiences. Sometimes they ask stereotypical questions (“You’re American? Do you own a gun?”) but that doesn’t bother me. Often, people just want a moment to observe you, as weird as that sounds, because it might be a while before they see another white person. (Also, if you have green or blue eyes, prepare to get a ton of comments about how pretty they are.) But that’s just my experience, everyone’s will be different.

    I gotta say though, it’s frustrating how almost every conversation about Japan eventually lands on moe girl fetishism, an extremely small and irrelevant aspect of the culture. The perverted games that are always thrown around as emblematic of the fetish (i.e. Hyperdimension Neptunia) tend to sell about 10,000-30,000 copies in the country. That’s about .025% of the population, and the fact that they were deemed popular enough to be localized and brought to the west shows that interest in that sort of thing isn’t exclusive to Japanese people.

    To put it in perspective, 5% of American’s listen to Rush Limbaugh, a far bigger proportion than the fetish games in Japan proportion. If almost every conversation about America by foreigners was about how Americans like bad impressions of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease,(as Rush Limbaugh is famous for) and whatever the hell else he does, wouldn’t that strike you as ridiculous? That’s all I’m saying.

    1. Fire Emblem: Awakening was a far more popular and better selling game, coming from a respectable company like Nintendo, that game allows you to form relationships and marry characters, including one that looks and behaves like a 10 year old, and the game’s excuse is that she’s actually a dragonkind and is actually over 100 years old… But again, for all intends and purposes, she still behaves and looks like a little girl.

      Bravely Default is another recent game that has become fairly popular and sold enough to change Square’s Enix stance on old fashioned hardcore RPGs. Said game also makes the female characters look like little girls, and you can outfit them in outfits that are painfully obvious to be sexually provocative, and while technically both are older than 18 years old, one of the girls often also acts and behaves like a child.

      These are only two very recent examples of games that are not at all Niche like the Neptunia games are. And this is to say nothing of all the examples I could find of older games that have sold a LOT to Japanese people that also feature women that look or behave like little children, and this also without getting into anime.

      I don’t think anyone claims that ALL Japenese people are like that, or that it’s a prevalent thing. But the fact remains that it’s a notable thing that they do this, because common or no, I don’t see any other culture that fetishises that aspect, even in a niche form. If you also say western developed games or cartoons that depicted little girls in that way, even if it was just a couple, I doubt it would stick out so much.

      And by the same token, your comparison to Rush Limbaugh isn’t really valid, because radical conservative extremism isn’t at all exclusive of the USA, or of any part of the world for that matter. People that act and think and said the shit that Limbaugh does exists and have existed in almost every culture of humanity.

      1. Both of your examples are games that A) Less than .5% of the Japanese population bought, B) Sold very well, if not better, in the US, and C) Were very well recieved critically, indicating there was much more reason to buy them than just young girl fetishism. If people were buying these games just for that, then games like Hyperdimension Neptunia would sell just as much. Instead, it sells very little in Japan, and actually sold (according to VGChartz, so take with a grain of salt) almost three times as many copies in the United States. You say you don’t see other cultures that have people with this fetish at all, but if that were the case HN would have sold nothing in the US, instead of 200,000. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the fetish, perhaps look to the westerners that are funding it. Based on my personal experiences, it seems to excite them more than the Japanese. Most of these sorts of games are still made in Japan, but at this point, that seems to be part of the fetish. Japan in general seems to have been fetishized by some small minority of westerners, because their only exposure to the country is through media that 99% of the people ignore.

        When you live in a part of Japan that isn’t super commercial, you realize just how small a role games and anime play in the society. Anime can’t be shown on TV until after midnight, and video game stores are much rarer and here than in America. Even in Osaka, they’re hard to come by. The only place I’ve found in Nara that sells games is a video rental store that has a small used game section on the second floor.

        As for Rush Limbaugh, I’d argue his brand of conservatism is pretty uniquely American, at least among talk radio hosts in developed nations. Denying the existence of climate change, comparing government-run healthcare to Hitler’s rule… I don’t see that getting much traction in Europe or Asia, where Obama’s approval rating tends to be extremely high. Other countries have conservatives, but only America has a major political party in which a majority say climate change is a hoax, or deny man contributes to it. But I could be wrong about this. I don’t claim to know much about foreign radio talk show hosts. 🙂

        1. Of course there’s much more to those games than Moe fetishism, I played and enjoyed both a lot, but I did so IN SPITE of the inclusion of moe fetishim, not because of it.

          And well, I’m not going to go deep enough into this to research statistics and argue to you over those, so if you say those are the numbers, I won’t argue. And certainly, it says something about western society than a lot of those games have more traction there than in Japan.

          This being said… It’s still almost solely Japanese developers that create these characters and games and stereotypes. The west is certainly guilty of exacerbating the issue by consuming it and thus making it commercially attractive, but my previous point stands: That kind of content originates from Japan, not from the west.

          And well… Not meaning offense, but it’s kinda naive to think ignorant conservative extremists like Rush Limbaugh are exclusive to the USA. If you paid more attention to the European political climate, you might be concerned to realize that the number of Neo Nazi sympathizers actually keep growing every day. Then you have commentators on the side of dictators like Kim Jong Un and Maduro in venezuela, who spout ignorance and nonsense and lies every single day. Even in Japan you have hardcore Nationalists that to this day deny the atrocities the Japanese committed in WWII such as the Massacre on Nanking. Limbaugh might stand out because of the exposure North American media has over other countries, but him and his kind are by no means exclusive to the US, and they aren’t even the worst.

          1. I need to mention that the same fetishism exists in western culture to a comparable extent, the only difference is that you’re not exposed to it as part of perceived western pulp culture.

            Advertisements, pornography, beauty pageants all exist in America and other western countries with the same disturbing fetishism. The only difference is that they aren’t as visible to the average person living in these countries. Anything you think Japan is famously disturbing for exists to a similar extent in all western countries. The difference is that people aren’t digging up the weirdest facts about their own countries to bring up whenever the chance arises.

          2. Japanese use media that are considered to be for kids, like cartoons, comics, and video games, to convey ideas that are for adults, which is what makes thing weird in the West. Live action fetishism doesn’t trigger peoples’ outrage in the West like having to put some effort into creating it does.

          3. Shigeruken raises a good point that I try to raise frequently, because it relates to orientalism. Lots of the things Westerners associate with Japan, particular the “weird” or “gross” things, are misunderstood as widespread trends in Japanese culture when they are in fact just as fringe as comparable fetish niches found over here.

            Not everybody watches, say, anal porn in America, but it’s way more common here than it is in Japan. That doesn’t mean many Americans won’t balk a little when you bring it up.

            The problem with “weeaboos” is that they project an arbitrary and poorly informed, romanticized image of Japan. It’s no different than someone who has an indiscriminate admiration for black people because he thinks they’re inherently cool. His admiration is discrimination nevertheless, albeit not from a place of hate.

  8. Goddammit, thanks for reminding me of that stupid ass Sakura-Con commercial with the intro, Chris. I actually shuddered when I heard GARUGAMESH! Hahahaha, wow…

  9. Funny actually I was just finishing a round of Godzilla films.

    “being a second-class citizen”

    I wish more people would call them out on that, yet sadly geek-dom seems to give Japan a free pass yet we all rally at even the slightest minority injustice in the West…

    …ah well, social and political issues aside, I hope to get around to listening to this one very shortly, these almost other-worldly tales are some of the funniest on the podcast haha!

  10. As someone working and living in Tokyo I was hoping for Moore of this. I have been living in Tokyo for 9 months and every since moving to a more central area 3 months ago I have got nothing but positive things to say about Tokyo. I have found inside and outside of work, people just want to talk with someone who is from a different country and find out more about your culture. They just want to have a greater world view. I have lots of Japanese and western friends here and we meet up together on the regular and always have a good time. My Japanese is still very basic so only issue occurs if I’m out with my girlfriend and her friends and only a couple of her friends can speak English and the rest can’t. I usually get around that by just going to events everyone can enjoy that don’t require language like karaoke and sporting events. Anyway I have been loving my time here and don’t want to go home to Ireland anytime soon

  11. Oh cool, a second episode on this! The first one was one of my favorites, as someone who learned Japanese by working in a restaurant for five years but has never actually gone to Japan.

  12. i lived in japan for almost 6 years and i’ve been looking for the term “micro aggressions” but never could think of something that explained my frustration with closed-minded japanese people. THANK YOU. that shit even happens in the workplace. I worked for capcom on the localization team for nearly a year and a half and also a few other small companies and its the same everywhere.

    By the way, Tokyo is a piece of shit and the same as any world major city. Go to Osaka or Nagoya. I’m biased though because I loved kansai and the wife is from Nagoya 😉

  13. I never knew Moe was fetishism for young girls. I always thought it just meant shows like K-On and Lucky Star. Learn something new every day.

  14. Awesome episode. I always love hearing these stories from visiting Japan. Always wanted to go there myself someday…

  15. As someone who lived in England for a while and isn’t a native speaker, I can confirm the sense of detachment that makes you feel like you can do anything when you’re living in a foreign country.

  16. Ahh, the good ol’ SakuraCon 2009 commercial. A real classic!

    It’s funny to hear this on LaserTime, considering I’ve been going to SCon for 12 years now. Crazy! Keep up the good work. 🙂

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