Reading Response, Anne Allison

Millennial Monsters by Anne Allison was far more enlightening about Japanese culture than I thought it was. From the title, a little bit of talking to Patrick, I assumed that it would be discussing Pokémon and similar games but it really delved into imported culture from Japan as a whole, as opposed to just mentioning Pokémon and similar Japanese games. Another thing I wasn’t expecting is how little I actually knew about the imported culture and just how big it had become. I guess I always assumed the people like me were a minority for liking Pokémon and similar games as well as other Japanese products like anime.

I know that we have already talked about how Pokémon is actually a game about capitalism and “Capitalism is a terrible thing” but after reading Allison’s book is when, I think, we were supposed to actually come to that conclusion. Regardless I hadn’t realized how capitalistic Pokémon actually is until I was told in class about it, and had it explained in Anne Allison’s book. The creators wishes, when making the game, to make it challenging but also help escape “the stresses of growing up in a postindustrial society.” (p. 201) Postindustrial society includes the capitalistic economy in Japan, so basically in order to escape capitalism you need to play capitalism the game, or Pokémon.

When Anne Allison talked about Sailor Moon I learned that apparently the U.S wasn’t sure how it felt about Sailor Moon but the rest of the world loved it. Sailor Moon was something my older sister watched once, but she didn’t really like it because it was rather over the top. The fact that Sailor Moon was actually a big thing in the rest of the world is kind of surprising because of how it was received in my house and the fact that I don’t know anyone who actually watched more than one episode. Regardless I am kind of worried that people might like things because they are Japanese, and therefore it has to be good.

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