We are hosting two panels at Fanimecon this year! We are hosting our typical Animemes talk on Sunday May 27th from 11pm-1am, but we would like to invite you to our brand new panel: Keep Anime Anime - Whitewashing of Anime Culture.
In today’s globalized world, access is the name of the game. Companies tout statistics bragging about floating balloon with internet access to server rural communities in Australia, or brag about how they’ve brought electricity to much of India. However, is access always a good thing? Sure, globalism has provided great humanitarian benefits to much of the world, but should the same apply for cultures?
A few years ago, GamerGate happened. Whether you as a person are “for” or “against” GamerGate, there is no denying that it not only changed the culture of video games, but also the political atmosphere. Suddenly, it was cool to reject the mainstream. Games were originally designed for the basement neckbeard, fingers coated with cheetos dust while downing countless bottles of mountain dew. Gamers were bullied for being uncool, and they were ostracized and often looked down upon for not enjoying mainstream hobbies such as football or baseball. Now as video games are easily accessible and e-sports are streamed on ESPN, the formerly bullied feel as if their culture has been appropriated by the same audiences who shuuned it in the past.
While GamerGate’s claims of culture appropriation are valid or not, cultural appropriation is a real thing. Sure, if we think of ourselves as cultured by avoiding Sushirrito and going to the Real Sushi(tm) place next door, conveniently ignoring that the workers speak Spanish and the owners speak Cantonese. We know quinoa is bad for the poor South American farmers who can’t afford to eat their own traditional food anymore, but a few articles about the health benefits of the crunchy grain and Kimberly’s incessant ranting about how her hot new yoga instructor thinks it’ll make people live forever will make us change our mind.
Companies such as Crunchyroll enjoy bragging about how many “overseas fans” they’re connecting to the “industry.” They make broad claims about how overseas money is helping the “industry” while they themselves make big bucks from subscribers. Now, we even see their names on the start and ending credits.
More and more people have access to Japanese animation than ever before. Come to our panel to learn why this may not be a good thing.
Sunday, May 27th 12am-1am (Saturday Midnight/Sunday Morning)