Monday, April 20, 2009

The "New Deal" of Japan's Economic Crisis

Link The leader of a noble cause, Taro Aso

Japan Looks to Manga Comics to Rescue Ailing Economy:

"While other countries bail out banks, slash interest rates and prop up struggling industries, Japan is pinning its hopes for economic recovery on a less likely source: manga comic books."

Rejoice, fellow readers! For Japan's solution to the economic crisis means oodles and boodles of more manga available to us voracious fans. As is evident from this quote, Japan aims to increase revenue by capitalizing on the guilty pleasures of the global public.

During the Great Depression, in the midst of all the unemployment, falling wages, and general despair, people found solace and comfort in the movies, making the film industry the only one to profit during those terrible times. What prevents manga from becoming the new film industry of today's crisis? Manga books (shoujo manga especially) are like movies: they have attractive characters, witty repartee, incredibly contrived situations, and happy endings. Actually, I would maybe make the claim that manga books are BETTER than movies because they are portable! A rectangular book fits much better into your last-season Burberry tote as opposed to a whole theatre. And I think pretending to be a hapless heroine like Tohru in Fruits Basket or Mizuki in Hana Kimi with beautiful boys at your beck and call is loads more fun than being Katherine Hepburn verbally parrying with Cary Grant (though if I could have Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, and Gregory Peck, there MIGHT be a possibility for retraction).

This manga tsunami is predicted to crash against each respective continent within the next decade or so, sooner if Prime Minister Taro Aso had his way. A self proclaimed "manga addict," PM Aso evidently keeps some of his favorite titles in the back of his personal transportation vehicle (I suppose the road is the only time available for him to page through those well-thumbed leaves).

This leads to a rather intriguing question: what if more people in power were manga aficionados? What if President Obama, instead of listing "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison as one of his favorite books, listed "InuYasha"? Ahhh, the possibilities...

This coming decade holds great things in store for us, fellow readers, I can FEEL it. Anticipate this 15 trillion yen investment, and help to spread manga love!


PS: Picture credit to!

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