Friday, July 15, 2011

Sket Dance

Was going to post tonight about the new Citizens Co-op that opened up in town this week, in my least-neglected blog The Accidental Environmentalist, but decided instead to bring news of a favorite anime I've been watching, the adaptation of the manga Sket Dance.  It's really very funny and I'm surprised it isn't more popular.  I always think that this is because it is something specifically geared towards my age-group (old enough to know better than to get sucked into anime and manga), but maybe it's just that this is an anime that doesn't really have a niche audience.  I think the manga is probably pretty popular and I'm resisting reading it until I've watched all the episodes. 

Perhaps the reason why I like it, besides being really funny, and perhaps also the reason why it isn't as popular is it is really a narrative about, and hommage to, manga and otaku.  There seems to be a growing snobbery in fan communities about "otaku pandering" and I don't really understand where it comes from; it's probably the awareness of a sub-genre of late that dotes on otakus in the storylines and perhaps that is seen as breaking the fourth wall, or something.  I see it as just what it is, a sub-genre of narratives that talks about something that a whole, small segment of the manga and anime fan base are aware of and the rest of the population who enjoys this media is not as educated about.  I happen to be in this last category, so I like storylines about otaku and enjoy it as part of the broader narratives that play into manga and their anime adaptations, or original anime works that create subtle subplots that take this fan community into account.  I have no examples so please don't ask me - yes, you have correctly guessed that I generally talk out of my ass on my blogs and welcome.

Sket Dance constantly breaks the fourth wall of otaku pandering by affectionately calling up each formulaic meme in manga and Japanese culture throwing it out there for laffs.  And that's okay.  It's funny and endearing for those reasons, as well as the well-developed world of Sket Dance characters.  It's one of those stories where I want to get a Sket Dance wrist band but realize I am too old to sport this stuff anymore.

Got the image from Cypherninja