Sakura-Con opens this weekend in Seattle. It’s a full three days of intense creativity, energy and excitement.
Seattle’s anime convention draws thousands.
What is anime? Anime is animated stories in books, movies and episodic broadcasts. It is also a Japanese cultural celebration.
The official definition of anime is: Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation.
Personally, I think it’s so much more.
Anime knows no boundaries. It pulls people together from diverse walks of life, diverse cultures, old and young (okay – mostly young), artists, voice actors, animators, gamers, and cosplay aficionados.
Anime started in Japan (1917) and is still mostly Japanese, though you can now find some “anime” created and produced in other counties. It spread like wildfire in the last few decades and is enjoyed around the world.
My favorite part of anime is the rich tradition of stories that rely heavily on mythology and crypto zoology. Among my favorites are stories that revolve around Yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits from Japanese folklore.
As a cat person, I’m fond of the bakeneko. http://yokai.com/bakeneko/ As Japanese cats age, they become more powerful and take on more human characteristics. They can shapeshift, possess humans, and can speak. The longer the cat’s tail, the more powerful they can become. The Bengals are quite hopeful about the possibility of these powers, especially if they involve mastery over can openers.
Cosplay (costume play): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay
Next week, I’ll return to our regularly scheduled mythology.