Moe in Anime

The term “Moe” is a very interesting topic to talk about. Nowadays you can see a lot of “Moe” elements in Anime, video games in TV shows in Japan. Moe means a slang for people when they have devotion, adoration,  and attraction toward to the characters in Anime, manga or Video games. Those characters are usually young females. they have big eyes, sweet and soft voice and taller height than normal people. In other words, Moe always describe cute little girls. The concept of Moe came to China and become very popular. The kanji “萌” for Moe also root deeply in Chinese pop culture as well. But I think the Japanese term of Moe is a little different than Chinese meaning of Moe.

I researched on the Moe and I am surprisingly found out the term of Moe can be sexual attraction to some people. So saying Moe can be sexual attraction to those beautiful and young girls. I read about the criticism online point out the Moe concept is the sick attraction toward to children. But Some people also argue that Moe is love toward to lovely girls but not lust. I agree on this idea, because when I say someone or something is Moe, I means pure like toward to them but not lust.

Another interesting thing about Moe is they have a contest about Moe characters. There is a contest that held by 2channels every year since 2002. People would vote their favorite character in Anime and people are very excited about. This concept of Moe became more and more popular not only in Anime culture but also in real world.

Hair colors In Japanese Anime

You can see different bright hair colors in Japanese Anime and some of them are not normal colors for human. At first, I just think because Animation is a fantasy world authors give characters different colors because those colors are hard to see in normal every day life and those colors are pleasing to the eyes. However, I was just curious about does it have meanings behind all those colorful hair in Anime, and I found out they do have meaning for Hair colors.

The Black Hair(kuro)

This is Japanese people’s normal hair color so this color do not bring a lot of meanings behind it. So people have black hair color can be everyone in daily life. But we can also in black hair for characters who are noble ladies from traditional Japanese culture, princess or idols. I believe black hair also means high honor and elegant, and the authors want to pay respect to traditional historical characters.

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The Pink Hair

he pink hair is my favorite, a lot of characters I like are pink hair. Usually for the pink hair it represents innocence pure and almost silly character. You can a lot of pink hair are belong to children or young girls. I saw a lot of characters in Shojo manga have pink hair. They are very innocent and have romantic thoughts toward to love. In Pink hair, the moe Phenomenon also shows in it. A lot of pink hair characters have moe feelings to them, childish, innocent and person to love.

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The Brown Hair

Another normal hair color for Japanese and close to everyday’s life. So those characters with brown hair are very friendly and kind. He or she is usually close friends to the main characters and they provide support to the main characters. The brown hair characters do not have a lot of personalities even helpless or unnoticeable sometimes. I think it is pretty interesting that characters have normal hair color are not main characters and you will see a lot main characters have bright, colorful hair.

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I saw a quote is pretty interesting about hair colors: ” the brightness of a character’s hair communicates how down-to-earth and otherworldly a character is”. 

I totally agree this opinion. You can see it very clearly in the Movie “paprika”. In the movie, the character Paprika has bright red hair, she is the fantasy version of Chiba. she is dreamy and out of this world. In contrast, Chiba has dark black hair, and she is serious and hardworking and more down to the earth everyday woman.

Voice acting in Japanese Anime

There will be not successful Anime without good voice acting actors. Voice acting in Japan provide voices in Anime, movies that not in Japanese and Anime. Also Japan has the biggest voice acting industry in the whole world.

Voice acting started with broadcast and during 1980s television started to spread out to every family. Voice acting for Japanese Anime also started to rise during the same era.  in nowadays, people started to love voice acting more and more and voice actors  become superstars or idols. They have a lot of fans became the characters. It is totally different from Chinese voice acting, because in China, Voice actors usually stay behind the scene, nobody really knows them. But in Japan, voice actors are very popular. Some of them have large fan base and they have concerts because of their popularity.  They even to start write their own books about being voice acting actors or actresses.

Voice acting is super amazing in my opinion. Some voice actors or actresses can be very variable. For example, the voice acting for Naruto is actually a female actress. But when you are watching Naruto, you really can not tell the voice of Naruto is came from a female actress.  The reason why voice acting actor can be really popular in Japan, I think is because the characters they voiced behind the scene. Because People love those characters so they falling love with voice acting behind them as well.

Behind the Scene of One Piece

Hollywood movies and Anime

After 1940s, Anime bloomed in Post-war Japan. You can see people express their feelings toward to war and social changes in Animation. From the beginning of Japanese Anime, there were a lot of inspiration from American Disney movies, Like the famous Anime series, Astro  Boys. But with Japanese culture expand to the whole world in modern days, Japanese Anime started to have huge influence on American culture as well. So in this blog, I want to talk about those Hollywood movies that influenced by Japanese Anime.

The first movie I want to talk about is the famous Disney movie ” Lion king”. You can see this movie was taking inspiration right from Kimba the White Lion. The White Lion was created by Osamu Tezuka during 1950s and it came broadcast  and Animated into TV series during 1960s. In the video, there are a lot of similarities between those two Anime. In Lion King, there are a lot of scenes look like exactly the same in White King.

Simba vs Kimba

There is another movie that have taken influence by Japanese Animation. The famous movie Inspection In 2010 was taking idea from Paprika. I saw both movies before and I do not realized there are some similar ideas between those two  until recent. In both Inspection and Paprika there are some high technology machines to help people to walk into other peoples’ dreams and the ability to go through different spaces into some secret doors or windows or drawings. They both have this fancy feelings toward to dreams. I do think they share similar ideas about dreams but their emotions or colors are completely different. In Paprika, there is a crazy colorful feelings but in Inspection, it is more darker and sad.

In the video, People use lines in Inception and combined it with Paprika scenes.

Paprika’s Inception

Anime into Live Action

in pass several years, we can see more and more Anime turned into Live action movies, Like ghost in the shell, Gintama, and Black Butler and so on. Why people want to turn Animation into really person movies? I think because movie maker saw the huge opportunity behind it.

For example, in most recently live action movie is the Ghost in the Shell. The movie Ghost in the Sell was released on March, 2017. It is directed by Rupert Sander and starred by a famous American actress Scarlett  Joanhanson. When this movie came out there was a huge debt for this movie. People have mix comments toward to Ghost in the Shell. People respond very positive toward to visual effect, fancy future setting flute actions and wonderful music. But people also criticized the development of each characters is lacking and the story line is not well thought through. Even this movie have mix reviews, this movie “has grossed $40.4 million in the United States and Canada and $128.3 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $168.7 million, against a production budget of $110 million. ” It is a success from the commercial side, people who never know the anime Ghost in the Shell will have interest to read more about it, I definitely believe Ghost in the shell will gain a lot of fans after the movie.

In my opinion, Turn Anime or Manga into Live Action movie can be a risky. With no doubt, those types of movie have a large fan base before the movie was released and there will be certain amount of fans come to see those movies. Those movies can be easily successful because of the fan base that already exited before. However, fan base can set up success for movies. they still can turn into tragic. If the movie story have huge and unreasonable difference between Anime, fans will be disappointed and they will not go to theater to see the movie. Like the live action movie for Black Butler, I was a big fan of the Anime, but the movie changed the main male character into female character and the story line is lacking of logic. I was really upset about it and I left the theater before the movie ended.

Ghost in the Shell

Seiyuu: How Income Works

It is true: compared to animators and other low-profit laborers of the production team, Japanese voice-actors can acquire a rather generous reward for their services. This, along with their booming idolization, has attracted many hopefuls into industry. Young people are drawn to this seemingly extravagant lifestyle of being adored by thousands and bringing “dreams to the children” through anime, while also earning a nice amount of cash on the side. Unfortunately, all of these wishes will simply end as a delusion for the majority of aspiring seiyuu. They are swarming in, completely blind to the regulations and severity of this extremely competitive world. One major detail that hopefuls seem to miss is the strange structure of income for seiyuu.

All Japanese voice-actors receive their revenue through a system of “ranks” decided by the Japan Actors Union (Nippairen). The lowest rank, Rank 15, is automatically assigned to rookies. Now, you might be wondering, “Why start at 15? Why not Rank 1?” This number actually refers to the minimum wage for seiyuu: 15,000 yen (about $150). The same formula applies to the other ranks. For example, a more experienced seiyuu at Rank 24 will earn ‎¥‎24,000. Pretty easy, right? Although popularity and experience do have some affect, ranks are not fixed and can be upgraded at any time. So, even if you are only in your second year of voice-acting, if you believe that your voice and skills are worth much more than the minimum wage (or if you’re just plain greedy), nothing can stop you from raising your rank.


Of course, the rank system has its rules. The most important detail that hopefuls seem to be missing is that the rank system is NOT a fixed salary. The majority of seiyuu, as soon as they enter the industry, will join voice-acting agencies like Aoni Production of Mouse Promotions. However, they are not employees there. They are treated like “products” that the agencies can promote to production studios. As a result, seiyuu receive their money after they are chosen and used. In other words, a fixed amount of ¥‎15,000 does not automatically drop into a Rank 15 seiyuu’s bank account every week or every month. This is not how it works. Rather, they are paid ¥‎15,000 for every recording session. Here is an example to better illustrate this system…

Seiyuu “F” sits at Rank 18. For every recording session, he earns ¥‎18,000. On Monday morning, Seiyuu F goes to a studio and records for an anime episode. Later in the evening, he travels to a different studio and records another episode for a different anime. This concludes his schedule on Monday. Because he recorded two episodes that day, he earned ¥‎36,000 (about $360). However, he had nothing in his schedule for Tuesday through Friday. For these days, he receives zero payment. On Saturday, he has one recording session. He earns ¥‎18,000.

Again, the rank system only pays for each recording session. Whether you are in the studio for three hours or six, it does not matter. Whether you speak one line or 20 pages of dialogue, it does not matter. Even if you voice the main character, it will not change. You will only receive the amount assigned to your rank. This becomes very odd when seiyuu of various ranks work together. A rookie could have pages upon pages of lines and only receives the minimum wage, while an experienced Rank 23 seiyuu can speak one or two words and earn $230 for that session.

The example above also shows how the income for Japanese voice-actors is incredibly unstable. One month, they might earn over a thousand dollars, then only a few hundred the next month, and maybe nothing after that. Again, they have no fixed salary so it will always be unknown whether they will earn enough money to survive throughout the year. Not only does this make budgeting extremely difficult, banks are reluctant to offer loans to seiyuu because their profession/income is not secure enough. Many seiyuu are also single (especially men) because they cannot support a family with what they earn. On top of this, there is absolutely NO guarantee that a steady flow of jobs will forever flock to them. Auditioning for roles is another complicated system (which I will have to explain in a separate post). Even the most popular seiyuu must always be weary of the inevitable future – that they will be replaced by the newer generations. Many will hastily save their income for the fateful day when all momentum is lost. Some have invested by constructing cafés or other recreational spots, hoping to create an additional source of income besides voice-work.


Even with all of this information so far, aspiring seiyuu still tend to foolishly believe that they will be okay – that they will be the exception to this harsh industry. At first glance, a starting income of ¥‎15,000 sounds like a great bargain… WRONG. Modern seiyuu cannot adequately survive from voicing one main character in a popular anime. In fact, this is a case of simple math. A typical run for an anime series is one “cour” – 10 to 14 weekly episodes. The seiyuu are brought in to record by a weekly basis as well. Now, let’s pull out our calculators…

¥‎15,000 x 14 (episodes recorded) = ¥210,000

That’s approximately $2100 earned over a period of three months. That’s less than what I earn working as a waitress! Obviously, this is hardly enough to survive, much less in expensive Tokyo city. Successful seiyuu have shared countless horror stories of their struggles as beginners in the industry. One recounted the time he ate mayonnaise sprinkled with salt for dinner because he couldn’t afford to buy food. Although it may be a funny story now, this is still a brutal reality for the majority of seiyuu hopefuls. Instead of living an extravagant lifestyle of being adored by thousands and bringing “dreams to the children” through anime, they find themselves earning close to nothing, having to work multiple part-time jobs, and desperately grasping for the tail of withering success.

(Post by Gina. This is my best post.)

Ghost in the Shell 2017: Impact on the future of Live-Action anime adaptations

In this post, I wanted to talk about the recent 2017 Hollywood movie adaptation of the Anime/Manga Ghost In the Shell (GITS). For those of you not familiar with the GITS media franchise, it was originally a cyberpunk Manga created, written, and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, debuting in 1989. The manga was very popular, and in 1995 the first Anime film installation of GITS was made, which was a large international success. The sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, was “Honored best sci-fi film at the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Awards,” and was also featured in the 2004 Cannes Film Festival asonly the sixth animated film to be featured at Cannes ever.” These are rather remarkable achievements and milestones for Anime, adding to the legacy of GITS as one of the most successful Anime/Manga media franchises of all time. Since then, GITS has had multiple TV series and movie installations, all of which have seen International success.

One of the newest trends in the world of Anime are Live-Action adaptations, which have essentially all been previously done internally in Japan. What makes the newest Live-Action adaptation of GITS so impactful on the Anime industry is the fact that it is a Hollywood production. For anyone familiar with global pop-culture, you are surely aware of the success and prestige of a movie production being done with the label of “Hollywood”, or rather the American film industry. This typically involves a larger budget, which in turn creates more improvements in many areas such as CGI effects, production, casting, directing, etc.. This also means that they are mainly targeting the North-American audience, which usually leads to predominantly white actors being casted. The new 2017 Ghost in the Shell movie has multiple caucasian actors portraying Japanese based characters of the GITS franchise, where the setting takes place in Japan and thus they are presumably characters of Japanese/Asian decent. In the new Hollywood film, the main character of GITS “Major Motoko Kusanagi”, is portrayed by caucasian actress Scarlet Johansen. This has displeased many fans who have publicly decided to boycott the film for that very reason. The film has flopped since it’s release and is expected to actually lose money or barely catch up to its $110 million budget. In my opinion this is actually a very negative result in the grand-scheme of things, and as a big fan of Anime who hopes to see some great Live-Action adaptations done from Hollywood, this does not bode well for the future. It has created somewhat of an uproar from GITS and Anime fans, who see this as a classic example of “white-washing”.

White-washing is a term used to describe the casting of a film with mainly caucasian actors portraying characters who are not supposed to be of caucasian decent in the original story. However I shy away from the term “white-washing”, as it can be demeaning to some. Hollywood certainly has a history of this type of behavior, and obviously the USA has a bad history of racism and in fact still struggles with racism; a significant part of why this still happens today. In my research I wanted to see how actual Japanese citizens feel about the decision for the casting of the main characters, which was nicely done in the video below with real interviews of Japanese citizens:

I cannot speak for those of the Japanese culture who see this in a negative light, but I can definitely understand the argument against the casting of white actors/actresses for Anime roles. However, I will say that if you are a fan of Anime/Manga and truly want to see well-done Live-Action adaptations created, then you should not boycott the film but rather support it for the hopes of more adaptations in the future. I have seen nearly all of the GITS Anime installations, and after seeing the movie I thought it was actually well-done at staying true the franchise, but still has some obvious flaws. The uproar created by fans online is actually a good thing for the future because I can guarantee that anytime Hollywood loses money, they will be seeking answers as to why, and hopefully they will address this issue correctly in the future while taking into account the wants/needs of the fans from the native country of the product.


Seiyuu Events

From mecha to moe genres, seiyuu events are almost a guarantee for every anime title in Japan. These special occasions allow fans of a specific series to gather and socialize together, buy exclusive merchandise, and participate in a large panel with popular voice-actors. Events will vary in size, depending on the success of its respective anime. While some are held within a humble capacity, others have managed to cater to the tens of thousands. The idolization of seiyuu in Japan has led to the expansion of these events; however, anime production companies are definitely using them to their commercial advantage as well.

One season of an anime is generally paired with one major event. Although held within the span of a day and at one location (usually somewhere in Tokyo), the event is often split into two sessions – afternoon and evening – to allow more fans to attend. Tickets are commonly priced around ¥6000-¥8000, depending on the seats. It is practically impossible to purchase them at a ticket window or through general sales, so people try to win tickets through official raffles. More information on tickets can be found HERE. Before the actual event begins, booths are set up around the area that sell exclusive merchandise. Fans also have this time to meet and mingle with other fans. Basically, events become mini-conventions for a specific anime.

The main attractions, however, are the seiyuu. Each voice-actor is wildly welcomed onto the decorated stage by thunderous applause and screaming fans. To begin, the seiyuu are given time to talk about the series and their roles. Afterwards, they might participate in some sort of activity relating to the anime (like a quiz game). Then, they demonstrate their skills by enacting popular scenes from the show or performing an original event-exclusive skit. This is the common formula of seiyuu events. Below is a sample of the event for “Osomatsu-san”.

Events are held because voice-actors are popular, but this is not the only reason. Anime production companies actively push seiyuu events because they create an alternate form of easy income. Iwata Mitsuo, a famous “veteran” seiyuu, stated in a recent interview:

This is an era where things just don’t sell. In the past, it was natural for an anime DVD to sell 10,000 copies, but now, it’s lucky if it even sells 3000. That’s where events come into play. Production companies try to recover their lost DVD sales by holding seiyuu events.

As stated before, tickets to events can be pretty pricey – ranging up to ¥8000. And the average event is held at an arena that holds approximately 2500 people. If you do the math, this adds up to quite a hefty sum. But that is not all! Secret codes to win tickets in a raffle are sometimes included as bonuses to anime DVD and Blu-rays. This motivates more consumers to buy said products. Additionally, most seiyuu events are recorded and later released on store shelves, creating more revenue for production companies as fans scramble to purchase a psychical copy.

Seiyuu are treated like idols in Japan, but they didn’t reach that pinnacle alone. Anime production companies have definitely had a hand in popularizing them.

(Post by Gina)

Interview with Iwata Mitsuo (in Japanese).

Actions Adapted

For long time fans of action series, we are all used to characters yelling out the name of their skills, before activating that said skill, or side characters standing around for minutes just explaining what their skill does. While this certainly isn’t a huge deal, I sometimes find the flow of actions rather stifled when these scenes are brought to life in animation form.


Probably the most well known jutsu in Naruto.

For people who know anything about anime at all, they will know that mangas are one of the largest source for anime adaptations. Popular series such as Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto all originated from Mangas. When drawn on paper, action scenes are meant to look very fluid. In the image above where we see Naruto casting his shadow clone jutsu, we get the sense that he is yelling the words “Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!” and casting the jutsu simultaneously.

But in anime, when this scene is recreated, we get a sort of delay between yelling his skill’s name, and then casting this skill. This problem is extra aggravating when you take into consideration times where fight scenes and expositions happen alongside one another: let’s say Naruto casted a completely new skill that the viewers have never seen before. In order to let us know what the skill does, the author normally have some other characters on sidelines giving explanations. In manga, when in one page, a panel shows Naruto casting his skill, and in another panel, a side character explains what his skill does, you get the sense that these things are happening simultaneously, because you read panels in a split second, and everything feels like it’s happening very fast.

In anime, to show everything, there will be a back-and-forth between characters fighting and other characters explaining their skills, one scene after the another. So the whole fight seem to be constantly pausing for dialogues, and the intensity of the scene just diminishes. This problem only further escalates when action scenes are adapted from novels, because novels tend to use a lot of monologue.

For this reason, I would really recommend anybody who is a fan of action animes to search for the original manga / novel, and see if your experience would improve from seeing how each scene is enacted on paper, rather than on screen.


Voice Situation CDs

What is it like to be the heroine of a romantic drama? Do you want to feel the heart-fluttering excitement of a blossoming relationship without the effort and commitment?

From within the sea of anime-related media, voice situation CDs have emerged as a popular and commercially successful business in Japan. A “situation CD” is an original audio adaptation of a specific circumstance and is heavily reliant on the listener’s active participation. In other words, these CDs purposely break the fourth wall and pull the listener into the story. YOU are the main character. For example, the listener might be placed in the role of a princess who is protected by a loyal and handsome knight. But just as the name suggests, a situation CD is less concerned about the story and more focused on enacting certain situations.

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Would you like to have your blood sucked by a sadistic vampire? Do you want to spend a romantic night with a fictional boyfriend? Or perhaps you’re into tsundere maids? Voice situation CDs have covered nearly every desire. You name it, it’s probably been done. In Japan, especially with the female fanbase, this stuff sells. Some series have become popular enough to spawn game and anime adaptations.

The commercial success of situation CDs have also triggered advances in recording technology. One major step, the “dummy head mic”, was introduced to allow a closer, more personal experience. This specialized device is used to generate binaural recordings: a 3-D stereo sound sensation intended to make the listener feel as though they are actually in the room with the performers. It basically tricks your brain. Voice situation CDs are implementing this amazing technique, allowing listeners to feel like they are truly part of the story and communing with the characters.

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There are two possible explanations for why these seemingly niche CDs are selling so well. First, voice-actors in Japan are incredibly popular and treated like idols. When a situation CD is released, the cover art always includes the name of the voice-actor in large font. Obviously, this is to attract the attention of their fans. Most consumers tend to purchase situation CDs mainly because their favorite seiyuu is voicing the dashing prince or blushing schoolgirl. The specific circumstance, story, or character appearance comes second. Fans just want to hear Sakurai Takahiro whisper words of eternal devotion in their ear. Another cause for success may be associated with the diminishing appeal in real-life relationships amongst the younger generations. Multiple studies have shown that, for various reasons, young Japanese adults are showing less interest with dating and getting married. It’s possible that voice situation CDs are catering to such people – people who are finding satisfaction in fictional relationships. Like I mentioned before, you don’t need any commitment or effort to have a CD lover. You just need to put in your earphones and press play.

(Post by Gina)