Cedar Park, Texas - Japan is majestic. Japan is beautiful. It has qualities we all love and much of it is tied to it's quirky pop-culture. From the anime and manga, to the hyper-obsessive 'otaku' culture and J-Pop fashion; Japan (to Americans) must seem like a country full of niche, odd interests.
Who could forget about the country's rigorous schooling and testing? Much of the West is watching and looking for aspects of Japan's school system to adopt, while marveling at it's technological prowess.
Which leads us to today's conversation:
Japan's future doesn't look all that bright...
Robots can pretty much do anything? Should they?
Japan seems to feel like technology is the key to solving these problems which are effecting the economy. However, the amount of faith the country places in it's technology does bring up some important questions. For example, many feel that relying too heavily on technology could result in a complete shift in the dynamic of Japanese culture. People relying on robots to clean. People relying on robots to feed them.
What about people relying on robots in the legal system?
A robotic police force should be able to cut through all the bias (aside from bias built into the laws), correct?
Here's something to think about: Imagine robots as social companions like a friend or even family member. Well, guess what? Japan's robot population is already over 350,000!
SIDE NOTE: WATCH THIS VIDEO BELOW OF ERICA THE ROBOT ANSWERING USER SUBMITTED QUESTIONS! WOW.
Robots can fill the void--be it economical or social...
Osaka University and other leaders in the field of robotics in Japan, believe robots are the key to a sustainable economy. Because there are too many jobs and not enough people to do them, robots (or the more human-like, androids) can be built to take on those jobs. Be it cheap labor or even running a hotel (i.e. google "The Weird Hotel").
The elephant in the room, as I mentioned earlier, is Japan's hesitation with allowing in more immigrants. Ideally, the idea of allowing immigrants to come in and take up those cheap-labor jobs with work visas, opportunities for citizenship, etc--seems like a fair trade off. But the Japanese fear the shift in society would be too drastic. For some reason, they believe the fabric of their country would be torn and replaced with something , a little less...Japanese, I guess? It's complicated, to be sure. In my opinion, loosening the immigration laws, and cracking down on the unfair practices of businesses treating immigrants like 'living trash' feels like the more humane route to go. Japan doesn't seem to be looking for what's 'humane'. They want efficiency. They want results. And exemplary ones, at that. Japan, has always been a step ahead and their technology innovation and prowess has been the torch that has lighted their path (so to speak). With that in mind, I completely understand the logic and reasoning behind their moves toward the future.
ANOTHER VIDEO BELOW OF A ROBOT MAKING SUSHI! AWESOME.
The 3-headed Threat Lives On
With awkwardly, outdated societal norms looming, the younger generations are not engaging in sexual intercourse. So without babies and children, thousands upon thousands of schools are closing. And as the population grows older, the need for more senior citizen caretakers grows more severe.
Men and women are no longer able to connect on an emotional level in Japan. But why?
Can technology really be the solution for problems as personal as sex, romance, and having children?
How do you feel about robots being the solution to worker-shortages in Japan?
Let me know what you think at email@example.com
Cedar Park, Texas - Another Pokemon feature-length film is set to release this Friday in Japan. 'Pokemon The Movie: Everyone's Story' is boasting a gorgeous, animation quality from Yoshitoshi Shinomiya who also contributed a visual to last year's film as well. Here are a promotional images as well as a trailer for the new film below:
Round Rock, Texas - This year's con, for better or worse, felt like more of the same. Familiar friendly faces all laughing, sweating, eating, shouting, and mingling. The communal feel of the convention is still here and the bonds that have already been formed are growing stronger still. From opening ceremonies to the Idol festival to the guest panels, AnimeCTX is what all conventions, big or small, constantly strive to be. Safe, communal, and consistent, yet flexible.
Only thing missing was a beautiful, sweet sounding, Zelda-themed violin tune swelling throughout. The cozy, comfy con is easily one of The Nexcrew's favorites to date. Until next time AnimeCTX!
Round Rock, Texas - The 2nd year convention has a strong list of guests for this year's event. Voice actors such as Chris Patton, Emily Neves, Morgan Berry, and Sarah Wiedenheft. Cosplayers like Sledgehammer Cosplay, Katfish Cosplay, and Mika Nicole. Bundle of energy hosts, Vitamin H are returning from last year as is the troupe of entertainers, Take Zero.
Cosplay contests, anime screenings, a maid cafe, and the Texas Summer Idol fest are among the heavy hitting activities during the convention. There's also going to be the dealers room, artist alley, and panels hosted by various interest groups. The website doesn't make it immediately clear as to whether or not there will be a gaming room at the convention, although there typically is.
The following link is to the convention's ticket sales page--Tickets are $50 for a weekend pass (June 29th-July 1st) and the sale ends July 1st. As of this post, AnimeCTX's eventbright page did not give an option for 'Day Passes'. For more information on the matter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
***The Nexcrew will be on site, covering specific aspects of the convention as well
The last week or so has been a scary time in Japan with earthquakes and tremors rumbling about. There's been at least SEVEN recorded earthquakes with magnitudes registering at least a 3.5 on the Richter scale. Take a look at the data we gathered below. The dates range from June 17th to only a couple of days ago. Even Taiwan is experiencing some of the seismic action:
m=Magnitude recorded according to the Richter Scale.
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So far, residents in Japan are seeing some of the destruction first hand according to The Japan Times. The historic Drum Tower has collapsed after damages sustained from heavy downpours. It was originally built in 1607 during Japan's Feudal Era and it is a real shame to see it in its current state. Here's hoping things settle down enough for a possible repair job or a similar solution.