The Anime Pulse #13 – Some Anime Potpourri

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Anime Pulse! This week I have decided that a bit of randomness never hurt anyone. There are many things I want to talk about and give some thoughts on, but none of them would be enough to fill up an entire column, unfortunately. So I decided to throw them all together in a nice little bag of Anime Potpourri!

-Saving Face-

So the first thing that I came across was a screen shot from a manga that Masashi Kishimoto drew for the Naruto exhibit in Japan. What made this manga so special was that for the first time ever, Kakashi Hatake has pulled down the mask and has exposed his face. This has been a mystery to everyone who has followed the story in the Naruto universe. In fact, in the original anime series, they even did an episode where they wondered what Kakashi looked like under the mask in order to tease the fans with a possible unmasking that, never happened in the 700 chapters of canon material.

With Naruto Gaiden now publishing, fans often wondered if we would get a glimpse of Kakashi’s face, but even in the four chapters that have come out, he still dons the mask. It was this one special that Kishimoto drew for the exhibit that finally let the cat out of the bag and honestly… it looks just like any other anime/manga face out there.

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I never really understood what the appeal was to see Kakashi’s face since if you’ve been a follower of anime in some capacity and for any length of time, you generally come to understand that all anime/manga faces are typically the same minus the hair and the eyes. Those two are what really set the characters apart from each other. Sure, one might make the argument that series like Bleach or Hajime no Ippo, or even One Piece uses slightly different variations of the manga art style for their characters, but typically within a series, most of the drawings will look relatively the same with the big glaring differences such as eyes, hair, and outfits.

In fact, if you look at any How to Draw Manga book, a lot of them teach you to draw the head almost in the same shape or way. After you get the basics down, then you can pretty much modify it to make it your own. So when Kakashi’s face was revealed I was honestly going “Meh” because it was just that. Just another anime/manga face. I was hoping to at least see a scar or some other identifiable feature, but nope. Just a random generic face. It was kind of a letdown, to be honest.

-It Might As Well Be Trident Layers-

So I saw an article on Kotaku talking about just how low of a salary Japanese Animators make. On average, they make 1.1 million yen per year. You might stop in your tracks and do a double take bcause of the word million, but if you do the conversion rate to American dollars, then they actually make around $10,000 per year. To put that in perspective… working 40 hours per week at the U.S. minimum wage will earn you $15,840 per year. So if you want to flip burgers at McDonalds, then you can earn more than a Japanese animator.

I should also add in the fact that they also work, on average, eleven hours a day. They explain the low wages to try and stay competitive with cheaper solutions in Korea, Taiwan, and China. You would think that this would encourage Japan to pay more to make the job field more attractive, especially with anime being a huge commodity over there, but, like anything… anime is a business and the more profit a company can make, the better off they will be. If they decide to, they can outsource their projects to another country for a cheaper price and that means your anime viewing enjoyment will suffer. You won’t get better CG, you won’t get better animation.. you’ll probably get more still frames set to background noise or a shaking camera effect to simulate action and anime will become very miserable to watch.

-The Heroic Delay of UVERworld-

This is more or less a short blurb, but I just wanted to go outside and kick a few rocks over this one. UVERworld announced that their new single, which contains the full version of the opening theme for Arslan Senki, was set to be released on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Like any otaku into Japanese music, I scoured the internet in hopes to purchase this single and add it to my already vast collection… except I couldn’t find the damn thing anywhere!

Finally, I found a site that stated that the release date was pushed back until May 27, 2015. It’s only two more weeks, right?

I’ve been a fan of UVERworld ever since I heard their song Gekidou, which served as the fourth and final opening theme for the D.Gray-man anime. I don’t know what it is about the band, but they just have a different sound than anything else you can hear, but yet, not too different to really make them stand out like a sore thumb. It’s like they have the perfect balance of familiarness and uniqueness in their music and it’s something I really like. I am a fan of the Arslan Senki opening despite the cringing face of my friend who listened to it with me, so I’m looking forward to this finally dropping.

Let’s just hope it’s not pushed back again.

-That’s a Titan-sized Price You’ve Got There-

Okay, with the exception of one or two people, I’m a pretty big fan of Attack on Titan. I can’t wait for the second season in 2016 and I’m crossing my fingers that the live action movie doesn’t completely suck.

Apparently, right now in Japan, you can go to your local 7-11… grab some nachos, maybe an equivalent to a gas station pizza or sushi, a slurpee to wash that acid reflux down, and while you’re there, you might as well pick up a life-sized Attack on Titan figurine for the low low price of $14,443 USD. Yes… that’s right, they are selling life-sized figures of Eren Jaeger and Levi Ackerman for a cool $14,000 a piece. Eren stands at 5’6” tall and Levi is 5’3” tall.

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Now say that you are a wealthy American that’s into anime and you have that kind of cash to burn. You may be highly disappointed to learn that there are only twenty statues available (ten for Eren and ten for Levi). Also, you can’t just walk into a 7-11 and buy one… you have to enter a lottery and hope you win. This lottery is only open to residents of Japan as well so that kind of hurts your chances right there, but hey! There’s always the chance someone will sell it on eBay and you can pay five to ten times the price for it! After all, you had the $14,000 to pay for the original price to begin with, right? What’s another $30-40,000 for you, then?

I wanted to touch on that because I often wondered if life-sized anime figures existed. I actually did a search on this a few years ago and while I ran into some really… well…. INTERESTING web sites that ventured into the world of consensual acts of human manipulation on inanimate objects, I didn’t exactly find real, life-sized action figures. Now that I’ve seen this story, I can now confirm my hopes and beliefs that maybe, one day, there will be more of them.. and maybe, one day, they will be cheap enough to afford one.. however, having a life-sized Kurisu Makise staring at me while I sleep gives me the creeps… just a little bit!

Before I wrap this up.. here’s some bullet point thoughts:

Naruto Shippuuden returns to canon next week! Good LORD no more fillers.. just FINISH IT ALREADY!
• The Tokyo Ghoul √A Uncensored Blu-Rays need to come out faster.
• $80.00 is too much money for an action figure.. even if it is a special edition of Mega Man X
• Animetake is back.. anyone want to place bets to see how long it takes before Japan shuts them down again? Huehue.

That’s going to do it for me this week. To answer the question, send feedback, make general comments, or just to say hey, send a message to joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net! You can also DM me on Twitter if you wish, but first you’d have to follow me! You can do so @PulseIn.

Until next time,

Ja ne!!

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.