In 2004, Patrick Macias, an American commentator on Japanese popular culture, published a book called Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo. In it, he takes the reader on a tour of the varieties of anime, manga, toys, games, and music that can be found in Japan’s capital city. In the introduction, Macias asserts that although the anime industry might be receding from the growth it saw in the 1990s, at the time of the book’s publication, the influence of associated otaku (or geek) culture was in fact in the rise. He writes, “The more you look around in Japan, the more anime influence you are likely to see. That’s because anime is literally everywhere and has transformed Tokyo into an Anime City. And daily life there is stranger, more exciting, and more vital than any anime I’ve ever seen.”1 Of course, such assertions must be taken with a grain of salt, as Macias is attempting to provide an enticing perspective for the reader to purchase his book. On another level, though, Macias is indicating that media products like anime have seeped from the screens and into our lives and the geographies around us. In Macias’s view, the prevalence of anime, manga, and related popular culture has somehow changed Tokyo itself into an anime city. I want to wrap up my exploration of Oshii’s films by exploring this slippage from the screen to perceptions of the world around us.
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- Chapter Twelve