Peepo Choo 2
By Felipe Smith
The version of Tokyo Milton is now witness to is nothing like what he saw in his favorite cartoons and comics. While he has seen brief flashes of the futuristic and techonogically advanced Japan seen in the media, he has not experienced the side of Japan COOL that pop culture circuits have been promoting back in home. Instead Tokyo is a bustling and surprisingly quiet megaopolis where salarymen are seen more often than cosplayers, and no one seems to have read the Peepo Choo manga. What’s more, those who do read comics, and they come from every age group and demographic there, are reading comics about sports heroes, office employess, wine tasters and politicians instead of ninjas and giant robots.
How could this Japan also be the same Japan that has talking toilets? “And how can a country of freedom and independence built by immigrants be so racist and sexist,” says Milton’s new Japanese acquaintence Reiko. She grew up loving the concept of America. In her mind it was nothing like the patronist society that is modern day Japan. However, whenever she would meet Americans in Tokyo or chat with them online, all she got was abuse. Women would treat her coldly; men would immediately hit on her. In a way the people of America are worse than the Japanese, as they are more open with their rude behavior.
Somewhere between these two young people there is a commonanlity of culture clash. And it is that which will bring the two together in a mutual understanding of each other’s culture and one another.