Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's Japanimation, Damnit!

 Via Noah - behold, the Geek Hierarchy!

Ok, not the most imaginative use of anyone's photoshop skills, but good for a chuckle or two. (I especially like Heinlein fans outranking Piers Anthony fans. Right on! Speaking of which - I have Starship Troopers on tape for the ride home. In fact, I made it to this ripe old age without ever having read the book or seen the movie. I also have Santuary as an insurance policy if it craps out, though.)

But I wouldn't be posting about it if I didn't have something to complain about, so here goes. They have "Anime fans who insist on subtitles" outranking "Anime fans who use the term 'Japanimation.'" Hello? Isn't that the other way around? That is, isn't the only reason we call anime "anime" because the supergeek fans (the ones who have stopped being able to see natural colors) insisted on using the Japanese word (which is really just a nipponization and shortening of the English word "animation") because they were offended that "Japanimation" can be as easily parsed as "Jap-animation" as "Japan-imation?"

I like anime/japanimation, and when I first got into it (I mean, modulo watching Voltron as a kid - which I didn't know was Japanese at the time) in 1990 or so, "japanimation" was the only available term. It was annoying to hear people insist on "anime," which if I remember correctly they started doing around 1994. And yes, it was generally the people who were trying to show that they knew more about it than you did at first. Eventually I switched to "anime" too - but reluctantly, only becuse it somehow managed to become the more popular term to the point where "japanimation" started sounding stilted.

It's sort of like "The Ukraine" vs. "Ukraine." I'm doing my best to hold out with "The Ukraine," which is what I grew up with. But I have to admit it's been almost a year since I saw it written like that in print. The media has wholeheartedly adopted "Ukraine," as have most of the people around me, which means it's probably only a matter of time before "Ukraine" starts sounding more natural to me and I end up reluctantly using it too. Right now, both versions are roughly equal in gut-level acceptability, which just goes to show that the process is underway.

In any case, I don't think people who call anime "japanimation" are the geekier of the two, are they? As far as I know, there aren't really such things as people who say "japanimation" anymore. The bad guys won.


At 5:27 PM, Blogger noahpoah said...

1. Starship Troopers is a fine book - you'll like it, I think.

2. Your switch(es) from Japanimation to Anime and from The Ukraine to Ukraine are fine, um, examples of exemplar theory in action. Don't tell Bob!

At 5:30 PM, Blogger noahpoah said...

Oh, I meant to mention that Starship Troopers is also a fine movie, but for very different reasons. It actually has fairly little to do with the book, but stands on its own as an important, demented part of Paul Verhoeven's oeuvre.


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