Presentation PA #69
The Year 2001 In Reality TV And Recent Anime Trend. Gee, the year 2001 is certainly an unforgettable and horrible year, due to the World Trade Centers destruction and the following war in Afghanistan. Since September 11th, several months have passed and yes, I definitely feel a great change in the air. We are now living with the terrible reality of terrorism in our backyard, not in movies or in anime shows! In 1991, when the Gulf War was being waged, we still felt that the war was taking place in a faraway place, right? Now homeland security has become a main concern in the US and we all know that an endless struggle has begun. When we watch anime shows about war and terror, we are always only an audience, only viewers, but, now, we have become actors in something very real. We were forced to face reality and got deeply hurt in the process. However, because of this terrible tragedy, I have begun to feel tremendous positive changes as well.
What are these changes, you may ask? I feel that people in the world, especially American people, have begun loving each other more than ever. I attended the Big Apple Anime Fest 2001 in October in New York City and felt tremendous solidarity and love from people in the city. Even Mayor Rudolph Rudy Giuliani showed up at a record shop opening (the anime festival supporter!) next to what is now called Ground Zero. In Manhattan, I felt warmth, the kindness of the human heart. When a disaster happens, all sorts of human feelings and emotions explode around, but, this time, people are shouting Give, give, give! Give everything to help each other!
At the same time, we also feel a tremendous need NOT to create hate in our families, work places, schools, communities, cities and countries, to unite through love, not hate! Whatever the way you do it, tell your family members, friends, fellow workers, etc., that you love and care for them. Since September 11th 2001, Japans most popular anime show has been Fruits Basket (see our article in PA#71). This is not science Fiction or Fantasy or anything like that. It is a show about being left out, bullying, not being loved and accepted and the characters try to change so they can love each other. Talk to people and dont keep things to yourselves. This show clearly says that we need to do that to create a better world, a world without hate. Unfortunately, this Afghanistan war was necessary to flush out Osama Bin Laden and his nefarious Al Qaeda terrorist network. We all know that there are pacifists who refuse all wars and criticize the American government for whatever they do (20% of Americans do not support this war and Europeans are even more negative about it.). I am a middle-aged person who went through the cynical and pessimistic era of the Cold War (remember, when the Americans and Russians hated each other...), but I can really tell the young people of today that I am proud of being a citizen of the world today because I had never seen this type of massive support to the government and people have become giving. I am sure that this struggle toward world peace will be long, but I am hopeful. But please, do not expect a Hollywood-style Good VS Evil ending to all of this. We are living through an historical moment that will truly affect our daily reality. Let us hope for a positive outcome!
Postscript! Oh, yes, I saw something great on CNN. After the Taliban regime was kicked out by the American forces and the Afghan Northern Alliance, people in Afghanistan, after going through five years of abject terror, can watch TV again (although they have to depend on Satellite TV because their local TV system is in really bad shape) and guess what? CNN showed Afghan kids watching anime shows! Anime rules! How wonderful! Watching that on CNN really made my day! A Happy New Year 2002 to you all!
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This issue is offering a spotlights on Yu-Gi-Oh / Duel Monsters and Love Hina. It features more reports on the summer conventions & festivals (continuing our coverages of the FantAsia Film Festival and of the Montreal World Film Festival, but also reporting on the Big Apple Anime Fest, Otakon, Anime Iowa and the Academy Of Motion Picture Anime Event) along with the usual Anime World articles (The Modern Japanese Music Database Part 13), the review of lots of recent anime & manga-related products (videos, DVDs, CDs, books, model kits, etc.) and the latest news. But above all, this issue presents lots of overviews on new anime titles not yet available in North America to introduce you to Japanese animation of all styles: Comic Party, Earth Girl Arjuna, Miami Guns, Noir, Ojamajo Doremi Sharp, Salaryman Kintaro, Soul Taker, and Sci-fi Harry! It is a little bigger than usual (76 pages!) and contains tons of useful information about anime. It is the result of our hard work and express our love for Japanese animation, so please enjoy it and let all your friends know about it (and check our web page: www.protoculture.qc.ca)!
Next Issue: Spotlights on Heavy Gear and Spriggan, an Interview with ADVs Matt Greenfield, the usual Anime World articles (The Modern Japanese Music Database Part 14, more convention & festival reports), and lots of Anime Stories: Angelic Layer, FLCL, Gene Shaft, Inital D OVA & Movie, Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran, Sadamitsu The Destroyer, Tales Of Eternia, and much more! Coming in March. Dont miss it!
Claude J. Pelletier