Abe and Anime
12.8.2003 by , every Monday.
If you ever see the news, you're bound to see, buried beneath the headlines about Gwyneth Paltrow's pregnancy, another story about how American high school students' standardized test scores rank lower than all other countries in the industrialized world, several Amazonian tribes, certain schools of fish and the long-dead inhabitants of Atlantis. Whereas the average European student could correctly answer a multiple choice question, the average American student would burn the test as a witch, then jam the pencil into his eyeball. Perhaps most tragic of all was that the majority of those pencils were not the required Number 2.
Yes, it's true. While America leads the world in such key areas as vote fraud and bomb production, its youth, the Precious Future of Our Country, is wasting its collective brains by sucking on the foul, tainted teat of pop culture, making the inbred dairy farmer of the ruling elite richer instead of nursing at the clean, nutritious teat of, let's say, thought. This can lead to such atrocities as '80s pop culture revivals and badly thought-out metaphors.
But why are things this way? Why would the youth of America prefer to sit on the couch and watching “Jerry Springer” and injecting such vile substances as heroin, marijuana and Quik into their veins while their counterparts in other countries all graduated college by age 9 and are now all CEOs of major corporations? Why are these kids all fat, lazy, and stupid? WHY WON'T THEY GET OFF THEIR FAT, LAZY ASSES AND MOW THE FUCKING LAWN?? OH DEAR GOD HOW I HATE YOU, YOUTH OF AMERICA!!
There are as many theories about this as there are copies of Britney Spears CDs bought solely for the liner pictures. It could be that America's ruthlessly capitalistic culture has so met even our most trivial of needs that there is little desire or need for any sort of academic effort. Or perhaps we put so much emphasis on athletic achievement, attractiveness and just the superficial in general that mental prowess is seen as little more than a parlor trick. (Look, Jason can add things without the aid of a calculator!) Maybe today's youth have finally figured out that the public school system is designed more to force conformity and obedience to authority figures in order to prepare them for a lifetime of making the rich richer and it's all a big stupid lie. Perhaps it's just one of many signs of a bloated, decadent culture collapsing upon itself. However, there's no money in any of these theories, so I say that the solution is in the way the U.S. education system presents its material.
Let's take a look at Japan. Immediately, you'll notice a truly incredible amount of magazines dedicated to schoolgirls in compromising situations. You filthy pervert. If you weren't so busy drooling over girls barely out of junior high, you'd realize that I meant something a bit more holistic and culturally significant. The one thing Japan has that we do not. The key to their success. Discipline, you say? A culture based upon personal and familial honor to the point where violent crime is virtually nonexistent? A tradition of personal responsibility and laser like dedication? No, you ignorant fool. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with you, you mind rotted TRL watching buffoon. I mean anime.
Anime is everywhere in Japan, aimed at all tastes and ages. Contrast this to the Americas, where such fine companies as Disney and Hanna-Barbera have firmly pigeonholed animation as entertainment for preteens. If someone was to market animation to high school students, it would obviously enthrall them. Even the hopelessly illiterate football players would be as sponges, soaking up the low frame rate goodness.
Now, here's where I saw a way to
make a boatload of cash contribute to society by enriching the precious, precious children. Anime History! Just imagine, U.S. history presented as an anime series. George Washington and The Alien Girl! The war of 1812 fought by giant robots! The possibilities are endless. Here's an excerpt from my first script, “Anime Gettysburg Address:”
Super Deformed Abraham Lincoln: Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. KAWAII! (Lincoln jumps into air for no reason as giant pink cat floats behind his head.)
Super Deformed Edward Everett: (muttering: giant tear drop forms at side of head. His eyes are tiny pinpoints and his face is blue) That giant space cat ruins everything.
Super Deformed Mary Todd Lincoln: Pay attention during my husband's speech! (crushes Edward Everett into the ground with huge hammer produced from thin air)
Super Deformed Japanese Schoolgirl From Outer Space: MOON STARLIGHT PRINCESS MAGIC! (enters long transformation sequence, appearing briefly nude as her clothes dissolves in favor of her combat sailor suit uniform) MEGA PRINCESS GREAT JUSTICE!!
Super Deformed Large Group Of Men Who Just Saw The Super Deformed Japanese Schoolgirl From Outer Space Naked: (blood spurts from their noses. Many of the wounded die.)
Super Deformed Long John Silver: Baka. Arrr.
I plan to start selling the videos next fall.