This place has changed a lot.
November 29, 2015 7:55 PM   Subscribe

These photos are why I'm trapped in Tokyo forever now is an animated photo essay about ... some kind of Tokyo.
posted by grobstein (15 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
And, this is the Tokyo I can find myself in if I squint just right. Beautiful stories of buildings I almost recognize. Time to shift my office down the hall and up to the next platform.
posted by Gotanda at 8:07 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love Tokyo, but these dreary, near monotone blueish pics don't do it justice! - The window seat is cool, though.
posted by Yosemite Sam at 8:14 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This post destroyed my computer for some reason. Both firefox and chrome seriously struggled to load it. Cool pictures, though, and story.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:26 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


i want to go to there
posted by JimBennett at 8:28 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was honestly confused for a minute about whether or not this was fiction. He's casually mentioning things like drone delivery and mobile capsule apartments as if they're commonplace in Tokyo, and meanwhile Amazon is in the news over their "future" Prime Air service in the US. (And "mobile home" here means something completely different.)
posted by Rangi at 8:32 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah I wanted to leave some ambiguity about that in the post. I think that shading between real and science fiction is what makes the essay interesting.

It is of course a common theme in foreign representations of Tokyo. William Gibson says, "Japan is the global imagination's default setting for the future."

I thought this was an interesting variation on the theme.
posted by grobstein at 8:43 PM on November 29, 2015


The ambiguity was very effective, almost obnoxiously so. Still, cool pictures of cool architecture.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:57 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Went furiously searching for more information on this magical app that would let you move your capsule around :/
posted by jordemort at 9:15 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I found this post annoyingly exoticizing. Tokyo isn't a sci fi story or an exercise in minimalist aesthetics. It's a big sprawling mess of different things: life, commerce, art, poverty, families, pollution, transport, drinking, concrete, history, religion, parks, lovers, music, food, bicycles, wealth, globalism, long work hours, crowds.

It's a city. Technology-wise, one with many aspects dating from the late 80s.
posted by ead at 8:01 AM on November 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I understand that Tokyo has even started infiltrating social media to send out automated posts complaining that it's not science fictional, that it's just another city.

People are not sure why it's doing this, unless it's tired of the tourists coming to admire it's minimalist aesthetics.
posted by happyroach at 9:37 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Huh. This is a fabulist's tale of Tokyo, odd and misleading. The Nagakin Tower dates back to 1972 and is mostly abandoned, due to water leaks and asbestos concerns. (Oh, and apparently a pretty girl in a fuzzy sweater likes to hang out in a window.) If you want "clean," try Switzerland, not somewhere where they piss and spit on the street. And monorails zipping in and out of the buildings? WTF?

Don't get me wrong, I love the place. But there are no robotic unicorns frolicking among holographic rainbows. It's just a big city in a wonderful country.
posted by kozad at 10:42 AM on November 30, 2015


Robotic unicorns were all killed by the giant lizard monsters in 2007. Sorry you missed them.
posted by ardgedee at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2015


London feels way more futuristic to me than Tokyo, which is overflowing with old-timey frozen in time charm.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:41 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


London feels way more futuristic to me

But surely only in the sense that the future is going to be an endless, sprawling morass of drug numbed misery shuffling slowly to and fro around a towering crystal outgrowth filled with inscrutable machines that run everything?
posted by lucidium at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


London feels way more futuristic to me

But surely only in the sense that the future is going to be an endless, sprawling morass of drug numbed misery shuffling slowly to and fro around a towering crystal outgrowth filled with inscrutable machines that run everything?


Not coincidentally, I think a future London is one of the principle settings of Gibson's latest.
posted by grobstein at 5:03 PM on November 30, 2015


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