Discover more from TokyoScope by Patrick Macias
TokyoScope NEWS: Anime Explosion Heisei Retro Scooter Blues
A round up of recent Japanese pop culture headlines and ephemera
Anime: Suicide Squad ISEKAI
ANIME EXPO 2023 is wrapping up in LA, and as one of the world's biggest Japanese pop culture conventions winds down, we have a new batch of scary crowd videos and new industry announcements to ponder...
One of the biggest, purely from a recognizable IP standpoint, is Suicide Squad ISEKAI, a collaboration between DC Comics and WIT Studio (home of planet-shaking blockbuster hits like Attack on Titan and Spy X Family) that will bring Harley Quinn, The Joker, and... umm... some of the other characters from the Suicide Squad film franchise into the lucrative medium of anime.
As usual, I'm of two minds about these kinds of collaborations. I get that animators and studios in Japan need to keep the lights on, and productions based on Western properties help pay the bills. But I also wish more time and money were being spent on developing original anime instead of just remaking stuff from the West.
Most of the creatives in the anime industry that I've met all seem to have personal dream projects they've wanted to make for years, if not decades. Yet those kinds of anime rarely get made.
But hey, it's Harley Quinn, so I guess someone out there (browsing the shirts at a Hot Topic) should be happy if nothing else.
News: The Shimbashi Explosion
Tokyo is still reeling from Monday's dramatic explosion in the Shimbashi district, which apparently occurred inside a horse racing-themed cafe bar when someone sparked up a cigarette and wound up igniting a gas leak.
No one died, but four people were injured and at least one horse racing-themed cafe bar is no more.
Audio: Disk Union Heisei J-POP Store
While foreigners currently seem to be swooning over Japan's Showa era (1926-1989), via the City Pop music revival and other retro delights, there's a full-fledged Heisei Retro Boom happening on the domestic front.
Companies in Japan ranging from McDonald's to Domino's Pizza, and even the Matsuya beef bowl chain, have recently launched a host of Heisei-themed marketing campaigns aimed to lure in folks nostalgic for those long-gone thrilling days of yesteryear. (The Heisei era ran from 1989-2019, so it wasn't that long ago, but retro gonna retro.)
The next great leap backwards comes from the Disk Union chain, much beloved by CD/LP collectors like myself, who are set to open a new store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district dedicated solely to Heisei J-pop.
The press release for the "Disk Union Heisei J-POP Store" puts things into perspective, explaining that the '90s was when Japanese music transitioned from the older Kayokyoku Japanese pop music styles to the bright and shiny modern J-pop we know today in the form of million sellers released primarily on compact discs.
It's unclear if the same people who shelled out hundreds for vintage Tatsuro Yamashita and Mariya Takeuchi City Pop LPs from the 1970s will suddenly want to swap them for CD singles of '90s dance floor friendly chart-toppers like "EZ Do Dance" and "Renai Revolution 21" but only time will tell.
It usually does.
News: Quick Links
Retro: Random Mode: Film: Anime
Two Big Sci-fi blockbusters at once: Mobile Suit Gundam and Flash Gordon, 1981
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