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søndag den 20. april 2014

Jibanyan figurine

I saw this on Tiny Cartridge today. It is Jibanyan, from Japan's current fad, in the vein of Pokémon and Tamagotchi, Yokai Watch. It's such an interesting example of Japanese pop culture. First of all, it's a really pretty figurine with a character with a very interesting design (look how the mask portion of the face is sort of a smokey spirit!). I can see why the looks of the characters in Yokai Watch are popular.

Beyond that, the character is holding some sort of bathing-suit pin-up magazine with cat-girls, reminding me how the notions of cute, sexy, mature, lewd and kiddy always seemed to be different sizes in Japan than what I was used to in Danish culture and on the American internet that I mostly read.

Shonen Jump (I think it was), the weekly teenage boys comics anthology would feature girls from the massively popular group AKB48, in cloth like on the Jibanyan figurine, and oftentimes, images that I thought were to be considered sexy, seemed to convey cuteness, since college-age girls would simply and giddily comment how cute they were. Perhaps it's not the correct understanding, but it seems to me that the idea of cute in Japan can sort of hold an ambiguous meaning, where cute can be sexy (as in conveying sexual appeal), innocent (even at the same time) and quotidian (as in, it just is and isn't worth contemplating).

Jibanyan is pretty cute. But it isn't sexy. The cat-girls are sexy though (the girl part at least), but I would venture a guess that they would be considered cute as well (the girl part too), in Japan.

source: http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20140417_644715.html

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