With the new season of Dagashi Kashi starting up, I wanted to tell my readers about one of my favorite activities as of late: reading reviews of the first Dagashi Kashi anime on MyAnimeList.
The reason is that I take an odd pleasure in seeing innocent anime fans grapple with Dagashi Kashi. While the show has its fair share of positive comments, it also sports around a 6.7 rating—pretty low for the site. Many of the reactions from MAL users involve a combination of puzzlement and frustration over what Dagashi Kashi is. These reviews are typically along the lines of, “I thought this was going to be some epic fanservice romance but all they do is talk about snacks for 25 minutes!!” Those viewers wanted 90% rom-com, 10% snacks. Instead, they got the opposite.
Dagashi Kashi is clearly not a show for everyone, given its odd premise and eccentric cast of characters. But as the new season coming in the next few days, I’m looking forward to more flabbergasted expressions from people who decide to jump in for the hell of it.
As for me, I can wax poetic endlessly about the show, and I voted Shidare Hotaru “Best Female Anime Character of 2016.” To say I’m looking forward to Dagashi Kashi S2 is an understatement.
There have been many, many American characters in anime and manga over the years, and in many cases they tend to use a very odd and unique form of Janglish, where Japanese and English are interspersed. One common way to convey that a character is American (or perhaps just American-esque) is to have them use English pronouns, e.g. “YOU wa baka desu!”
So you’d think they’d use “I” when referring to themselves, but there’s a long tradition of using “ME” (as in “me, myself, and I”) instead. Of course, I don’t quite understand why it’s used over “I.” So the thing I’d like to know is, when did this start? How far back in the history of anime and manga does it go? Is it even something that arose out of anime and manga? Perhaps it has something to do with how Americans spoke in post-war occupied Japan.
As far as anime and manga go, the oldest example I can think of with an American character who uses “Me” as one would normally use “I” is Getter Robo, which features American cowboy and robot pilot Jack King. Another popular American character is Terryman from Kinnikuman.
If anyone has more information about the history of American manga and anime characters, I’d like to hear all about it.
Also, In celebration of this most American of days, I’ve decided to open up the myanimelist club dedicated to American characters a little more, so that non-members can also post. I know I haven’t been able to keep up with requests and such over the past year either, so I’m also going to be opening up officer positions over the next few days so that the truly patriotic can make this club greater than it has been.
Yesterday while hanging out with friends in a game shop, I overheard someone who was probably 17 or 18 at the oldest say, “I know all the anime!” Then he mentioned Code Geass, and I didn’t really hear the rest.
I don’t know if he was putting on airs or actually believed he knew “all the anime,” but it made me remember an earlier time in my anime fandom, back when I was already familiar with internet forums but they still felt pretty new to me. There was a thread, I don’t remember what it was about, where I decided to list as many of the shows that I watched that I could remember. Eventually the list was large enough that I felt satisfied to post it, thinking it was a job well done. “I’ll show these guys just how much anime I’ve seen,” was probably my intention at the time. I distinctly remember listing Gundam Wing as “Gundam W,” and this was before W began airing on Cartoon Network. Just the idea that I could start listing shows and act like I had done more than scratch the surface of anime makes me realize how naive I was at the time.
Years later I signed up for a myanimelist.net account (check the second post on this blog), and tasking myself with jotting down all of the shows I’ve watched, I felt overwhelmed. Even with this very convenient website which remembers things for me, I lost the will to just record every show I watched.
So I don’t know who that kid is, but I hope he knows that if he truly wants to know “all the anime” that he has a long journey ahead of him.