Anime for the Non-Otaku

When writing about nerdy things for the pan-nerd audience, how do you introduce anime and Japanese terminology when you know some people might not be familiar?

No, seriously, I just talk about my novel.

Anime Icons

It’s another solo podcast this week. Today I talk about Anime Icons, or images from anime that refer to anime properties but also carry meaning all on their own. Click download and have a listen.

Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty brings you peace, love, and more Hello Kitty!

Domo is just Domo, but that could mean anything.

Some fandoms grow from an original text (say, a comic book) and are represented with imagery. Other fandoms started with the imagery and grow a world from there. Both are cool!
batman-logo-big VERSUS Airship

Maybe there are amigurumi crafters who have never read “Call of Cthulhu,” but that doesn’t make this little guy any less legit.


My guests today are Rachel and Leeman of Geekually Yoked, a married Christian geek podcast. In a previous episode of their podcast, they coined the phrase “efangelism” and discussed actively recruiting people to a fandom. Today on “Anime, Brains, and Culture,” we explore that idea as applied to otaku culture.

We also explore geekiness, religion, fandom, cliques, tribalism, and bullying. Oh, and Full Metal Alchemist. Give it a listen. 🙂

Lost In Translation

Ellen and I discuss the non-translations, mistranslations, and weird translations that occur when Japanese anime is dubbed in English.

And now, references!

Ash, that’s not a donut.

Engrish on Purpose:

Another salient comment on how you can’t just throw language around and expect it to have an effect:

Engrish in “Sailor Moon.” First, Ami’s term paper:

And Usagi’s test:

Yeah, that’s not a creepy story at all. BTW, to “do nanpa” means to “pick up girls.” In this example, Ikuhara’s hitting on girls, and…applying for comfort to any tender girl? Um… Ms. Haruna? I’m not so sure this is appropriate for school.

These are some of the best Engrishes I have ever seen. I was happy to find all the ones I was looking for in one compilation, so thanks, person who collected and posted these:

It’s funny to see, once again, the awkwardness of trying to have a conversation outside one’s comfort zone. Conversely, note how any native Japanese speaker who is also fluent in English is depicted as being cool, confident, and classy (presumably because their language skills allow them to sidestep that awkwardness).

And while we’re on the subject… Awkwardness while speaking English:

This is what I sound like trying to speak in French. Actually, it kind of reminds me of that letter in Sophie Kinsella’s “Shopaholic” where she gets a letter from the Finnish guy and it goes “Finnish Finnish, Finnish Finnish Finnish…”

Going My Way?

This is the comic I was talking about. My mistake, though. It’s by Silent-Soliloquy88, not Cadaska, although you should check her comics out as well.

From Abenobashi, Episode 12 (the Hollywood episode). This one is NSFW!!

And, finally, Sailor Moon: Drunk or Juice:

I WAS looking for the bit with Darien speaking French, but I found this, which is fun if anyone feels like playing Spot the Differences. Actually, I could probably do a whole podcast on the translation and cultural adjustments for this one-minute clip.