Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

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Drunk dude
A female cosplayer surrounded by cameramen at Comiket 2017
Scene from commentator's couch of Terrace House

Terrace House: How "Unscripted" Is TV's Most Boring Reality Show?

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  August 05, 2019 • Tagged with television, entertainment, culture

Known as a uneventful, markedly "boring" show, Terrace House has still gained a massive following overseas. But how much of it is truly "natural"?

Visual Kei woman holding a lemon

The Freedom to Describe Yourself: Japan's Visual Kei Movement

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 15, 2019 • Tagged with fashion, entertainment, clothing

How a music-fueled rebellion against conformity and fixed gender roles became a significant cultural movement in Japan - and why some people are still trying to keep it alive.

Scene from Message from Space

Dud from Space: Why "Japan's Star Wars" Almost Failed to Launch

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 02, 2019 • Tagged with movies, entertainment

In 1978, the Toei Company rushed a Star Wars knock-off into theaters. It nearly blew up on the launchpad. Here's why (and why you should watch it anyway).

2.5D upcoming musical productions

Bring Me To Life: How 2.5D Musicals Bring Anime and Manga to the Stage

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  May 06, 2019 • Tagged with anime, manga, entertainment, theater, technology, business

Many live-action manga and anime adaptations are received poorly. So how has musical theater captured the imagination of fans worldwide?


Is Time Running Out for Japan's Idol Culture?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 29, 2019 • Tagged with music, entertainment, idols, women, women's rights, feminism

A high profile abuse case has the Japanese press saying to idol groups: Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Woman being blamed

For Japan's Busted Drug Users, Shame Trumps Treatment

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 15, 2019 • Tagged with law, crime, society, entertainment

The Japanese actor who voices Olaf in Frozen is viciously shunned after a cocaine bust, leading some to criticize their country's attitude towards rehab.

My precious manga

Manga Protection Law To Be Revised After Manga Author Backlash

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 12, 2019 • Tagged with manga, anime, culture, entertainment, law

Why are manga authors hopping mad over a proposed new law that supposedly protects their rights?

Go board

9-Year-Old Japanese Go Player Will Become Country's Youngest Pro Ever

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 31, 2019 • Tagged with games, entertainment, culture, south korea

A young girl who can't even turn pro until April is already giving some of the world's top Go players a run for their money.