Japan Is An Island
April 13, 2010 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Japan - The Strange Country, a short infographic film by Kenichi Tanaka. [JP version]
posted by d1rge (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
There were a lot of not-so-veiled gut-shots throughout that little film.
posted by bjork24 at 8:58 AM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kenichi Tanaka is actually from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, and this is his article for the Guide.
posted by cazoo at 9:02 AM on April 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is a strangely negative and nasty presentation; I skipped the last 60 seconds, but I imagine it concludes with the slogan, "Tokyo Must Be Destroyed." That, or cartoon Japanese figures being morphed into swarming vermin.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:03 AM on April 13, 2010


There were a lot of not-so-veiled gutcheap-shots throughout that little film.

And despite the concluding statements, nothing was particularly surprising, just framed for maximum snark. Ten minutes wasted.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:04 AM on April 13, 2010


Alternative Title: "My Parents SUCK. My Society STINKS. I Can't Wait to Graduate and Move to Paris... or Hollywood."
posted by darth_tedious at 9:06 AM on April 13, 2010


I think it would be wise to firmly plant your tongue in your cheek before you view this. Just because it covers serious issues, doesn't mean the author is particularly serious about them.
posted by d1rge at 9:16 AM on April 13, 2010


Someone needs to get the fuck out of Japan...

Just because it covers serious issues, doesn't mean the author is particularly serious about them.

Seriously? You don't read it as sincere social commentary? I mean, it's simplistic, but it certainly seems sincere. I don't see how you can read "you throw out food: look at all the starving people!" and "you drink bottled water: look at all the people who don't have clean water!" as comedy.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:46 AM on April 13, 2010


It seems like it was a somewhat serious "Critique of society", like a Japanese version of "The story of stuff", or something.
posted by delmoi at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2010


"Someone needs to get the fuck out of Japan..."

So you'd want to exile this artist for having a minimally critical view of capitalism in their home country?

Japan: Love it or leave it.


Alternative Title: "My Parents SUCK. My Society STINKS. I Can't Wait to Graduate and Move to Paris... or Hollywood."


Alternative snark: "This clip SUCKS. Japan is GREAT. I can't wait to voice my opinion on metafilter."
posted by ts;dr at 10:27 AM on April 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Given the news over the last week, where some Japanese are angry because they were prevented from getting their full "scientific" catch most of which is frozen anyway because younger Japanese don't even eat whale meat...

And let's not even get started on the tuna - my sources tell me that Japan won't back down on the whale meat issue simply because then they'd have to confront the tuna issue, which, if so, is one of the most disgusting things I've ever heard in my life, to slaughter intelligent creatures you aren't even going to eat just so you can continue to devour another species to extinction...

Well, I'm not prepared to watch a funny video about Japan, let's put it that way.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2010


Well, I'm not prepared to watch a funny video about Japan, let's put it that way.

The video linked to in this post is not funny. If fact, if you viewed before commenting, I think you would have found something satisfyingly in line with your own worldview. You might even get that nice warm feeling that you always get when someone tells you that you're right, and you're wonderful!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:38 AM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


mr_roboto: ha ha ha you are such a laff.

I don't want to see any videos about Japan today, funny or not, because I'm sad and angry.

I'm curious - what's your opinion on the Japanese whale hunt? On the imminent death of the tuna? Your tone seems to indicate that you don't think it's a big deal - can you justify this? Or, if you are concerned about it, then why the snark?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:00 AM on April 13, 2010


Yeah, okay, but how's their coming out insurance?
posted by Caduceus at 11:12 AM on April 13, 2010


Your tone seems to indicate that you don't think it's a big deal - can you justify this?

Why does that have to be justified when talking about the video? The author of the video thought it was enough of a big deal to criticize their tuna consumption specifically.
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on April 13, 2010


I didn't say he wasn't sincere, it's just plain to me that it isn't quite serious. While he brings up bombings, war, starvation, and environmental issues, he also talks about love hotels and toilets. His message isn't "WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" it's "Check out my strange country!"
posted by d1rge at 11:23 AM on April 13, 2010


Or, if you are concerned about it, then why the snark?

Because you made a bunch of comments critical of Japanese consumption habits as explanation for why you did not want to watch a video critical of Japanese consumption habits. It's "ironic", as the kids say.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


previously
posted by oraknabo at 11:32 AM on April 13, 2010


I saw this video a week or so ago, and refrained from posting it here after considering its intended audience, and also the fact that 'Strange' didn't feel like quite the right word for what Kenichi Tanaka was going for. MetaFilter is not this video's intended audience at all, as shown by the discussion thus far.

The video was good though—it's tempting to act all blasé 'cause it's yay! more MOTIONGRAPHICS swooping-words again, ugh! but I thought Kenichi Tanaka did a great job keeping the style fresh and interesting. His illustrations (of those strange, contentious issues y'all're honking about) in particular are striking and/or clever. The motiongraphics aspect isn't over the top, integrates form and function, and shows a lot of promise from the artist.

Good link, but guaranteed strange comments.
posted by carsonb at 11:39 AM on April 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, it should be noted that shortly after Japan: The Strange Country was uploaded and promoted Kenichi Tanaka removed the English version from his website and from Vimeo, where he originally posted it. The link above goes to a re-up from someone who is not Kenichi Tanaka.
posted by carsonb at 12:03 PM on April 13, 2010


Also, I really— I mean really— love typing Kenichi Tanaka.
posted by carsonb at 12:04 PM on April 13, 2010


He assumes the suicides mean the people are unhappy. My first impulse is to assume the prefer killing themselves to killing others.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:49 PM on April 13, 2010


His message isn't "WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?" it's "Check out my strange country!"

Well, he says he originally made it for the other people in his country, to show them that what they think of as "normal" is not, actually, if you look at it from a new perspective. He says that he's adopting a "foreigner's point of view", although how successful he is there is debatable, I guess. In places it's more of a universal-objective thing, given that for example he doesn't compare Japan's food waste or water importing to that of other nations.

Anyway, that's why he has the whimsical tone and light-hearted examples. It might seem (and/or be, I don't want to have that argument) disrespectful to people who are actually suffering from starvation instead of just infogrammatizing it, but the fact remains that not much social change gets effected just by shouting YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK at the people whose support you need.
posted by No-sword at 3:41 PM on April 13, 2010


Phew. I was afraid this video was by that idiot Ken Tanaka. He does a stupid, unfunny "comedy" schtick about having Japanese parents and growing up in Japan, but he's a balding, middle aged white guy who speaks English with a phony pseudo-Japanese accent. I find his act so offensive and racist, I won't even link to it here. I pity the people who think his videos are funny.

Well I'm sure glad this video wasn't by him.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:41 PM on April 13, 2010


Anyway, that's why he has the whimsical tone and light-hearted examples.

the tone of the japanese narration isn't as whimsical as the english narration. it looks like the person who did the english translation decided to go a little more lighthearted than then original, as did the english version's voice actor.
posted by mexican at 12:10 AM on April 14, 2010


« Older Single Link NYT Post: A Tax-Form For The Marginall...  |  The New York Times covers a 'n... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments