SNL Takes a Stab at Otaku Culture

As you may or may not have heard, last night’s Saturday Night Live, hosted by the always-funny Anna Faris, featured a skit called “J-Pop America Fun Time Now!”, which basically took a few completely overblown stereotypes about Japanese and Otaku culture and beat them to death.

I personally found the skit hilarious, but if you watch the video via Crunchyroll here and read the comments, this made a lot of anime fans very, very angry.

I can see why people would be angry at it, and I was slightly irked by it myself, but they made it very clear a little ways into the skit that this is clearly not what the culture is really like, and that the people hosting this ‘show’ were being borderline racist. Even so, most people who left comments seemed to have gotten so disgusted that they didn’t even watch that far into the video.

This skit seems to be taking more shots at American fans of anime and Japanese culture than the actual culture itself, and that is the part of it that irritates me. Either way, I don’t feel particularly offended by it.

What is your take on it? Did SNL go too far, or is the anime community overreacting? Share your thoughts, I’m very interested in hearing them!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    The Dood said,

    No. There are way too many people in America who are exactly like the characters in the skit. I studied Japanese with them in college. They tended to do poorly in class and say random catchphrases, much to the professor’s chagrin and befuddlement.

  2. 2

    Syn said,

    I just brought this up with a friend of mine and went back to look at the skit, I know that it has been some time since this post but I feel I must comment.

    Honestly I laughed the first time I saw it and sent a link to my friend who is honestly into the real Japanese culture, I admit to being something of an otaku and I found this hilarious mainly because there is actually that small group that really does act this way.

    Many of the anime fans might be angry with it but I think it’s because they are thinking that this is targeted towards them and that’s not true. This skit wasn’t poking fun at the causal or even the hardcore otakus who enjoys anime and dreams of visiting Tokyo but keeps from blurring the lines of that and real Japanese culture and going completely overboard about it.

    And honestly most f the fans know/knew or know/knew of someone who suddenly indulged in what they believed to be Japanese culture without bothering to really understand it, and thinks that all of Japan is how it’s portrayed in animes, and it annoys the hell out of them.

    What’s worse is that in the beginning they might have even acted that way themselves before they broke free from that delusion and became more educated about Japanese culture. Being that ignorant fan is a part of their life that they would really like to forget.

    All that skit was missing was a parody sponsorship by J-list and someone wearing cat ears while munching on some chocolate Pocky and it would have been so spot on that the rage would have been massive.

    Still the skit was funny. Those who naysay it are focusing mainly on the weeboo students hosting the show rather than the professor who was explaining how wrong these people were which many of the viewers are aware of.


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