Koizora is claimed to be a biographical account of Mika, or at least, based on first-hand accounts. Mika Tahara has just started high school and yearns to fall in love. However, to her dismay, a gal-like boy in her grade, Nozomu, acquires her cell phone number and begins to call her frequently. When summer vacation starts, one day, Nozomu drunkenly phones her , but his friend Hiro confiscates the phone and converses with her instead. Although Mika does not know who Hiro is, she feels at ease at the sound of his voice and the two befriend each other.
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This level of cultural penetration would make the work the mainstream media event of the 21st century — quite a feat for an amateurishly-written love story about gang rape, teen pregnancy, miscarriage, and premature cancer deaths.
The cleaned-up book version sold in the millions, a manga version appeared, and the recent film adaptation debuted at 3 on the box office. Some wonder how this particular work found its way into the system so quickly when more popular keitai writers continue to be ignored , but just as in the Chad Vader model, Japanese companies are clearly using the internet as a testing ground for new talent. In other ways, however, Koizora is just another example of traditional Japanese diffusion patterns for pop culture.
Whether schoolgirl fashion or a hot band, microtrends in Japan very rarely show clean linear or even exponential growth from the grass-roots level up to the masses.
The effect is a huge jump in diffusion rather than a smooth curve. Like Densha Otoko before, Mika is essentially anonymous and untraceable. We get nothing more than a first-name and some attributed quotes.
Anonymity is important for individuals to share their creations on the internet, but there is also a sympathy and understanding amongst Japanese consumers towards protecting the anonymity of those who request it. Anonymity, however, is also a key component of this form of confessional literature. Empathy is the key emotional response to a book like Koizora. Readers cry because they have emotionally invested in the pain and suffering of this protagonist — feelings no doubt amplified by the assumption that the terrible gang-rape bullying and teenage death actually happened to this pitiful author.
The more net culture in Japan progresses, the more it becomes clearer that anonymity is its underlying principle. Even in the face of possible fame and fortune, amateur writers are finding it more helpful to hide real identities in order to reap in the benefits of building fantastical realities for mass empathy. This article originally appeared on the Diamond Agency blog clast.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. Both comments and pings are currently closed. Did you catch this tonight? I almost missed this when I was watching volleyball, but it was a really interesting look at this phenomenon. Some famous photographer guy interviews authors and fans of the genre. Some points from the show: 1. These mobile novels are being touted as the savior of the publishing industry, which has been in something of a decline recently. They are bringing in the high school girl demographic which never used to buy that many novels let alone expensive hardcovers.
Accordingly, the expected reaction from these is not uniformly empathy at tragic real events. One fan who was interviewed assumed she was reading fiction and was shocked when she learned it was a true story.
The growing dysfunction and loss of hope remind me a lot of the US suburbs right down to the high school drop out in a metal band. Though these novels have proven to be an efficient way to channel livejournal style postings into coherent, ultimately profitable narratives anonymity forces the writer to avoid navel-gazing entries about what she ate for breakfast, for one thing , I get the feeling they are just one more manifestation of the effects of Internet culture in Japan.
Much like the US, internet forum culture encourages people to be self-absorbed, minutiae-obsessed, and low on insight. The stories all seem to revolve around the idea of surviving the death of a loved one. Apparently there is no idea of subtle tragedy. Loves must die to fulfill the tear quota. See,this is pretty depressing situation. I see intellectual and cultural sensitivity is dying in this country. Daughters read Keitai novel and their mothers watch Korean Soap operas.
Sons and Fathers enjoy porn in all forms. They like what they can understand. This is true everywhere in the world. The idea of centralized elitist media is dead. It stays at the top position of the popularity chart because of its touching story that make many people cried.
It quickly becomes a printed novel in October and sold more than 1 million copies in the first month of release. Now, it was been read and supported by more than 12 million readers. I think the audience for these keitai novels is overwhelming young maybe high school females? And if you were a literary writer, there are lots of opportunities in Japan for you to publish a real book. If you are a real comic writer, manga seems to be the better format, no?
Perhaps some of them could identify with the characters and empathise with them and perhaps some of them are just young people looking to satisfy their cravings for love or some others simply liked heart wrenching romances with a sweet and pretty girl and a bad-boy punk with good looks as the protagonists. Twitter : wdavidmarx neojaponisme. Writer of essays, songs, and articles, living in Tokyo, Japan. Marxy's music can be found at Muxtape.
This level of cultural penetration would make the work the mainstream media event of the 21st century — quite a feat for an amateurishly-written love story about gang rape, teen pregnancy, miscarriage, and premature cancer deaths. The cleaned-up book version sold in the millions, a manga version appeared, and the recent film adaptation debuted at 3 on the box office. Some wonder how this particular work found its way into the system so quickly when more popular keitai writers continue to be ignored , but just as in the Chad Vader model, Japanese companies are clearly using the internet as a testing ground for new talent. In other ways, however, Koizora is just another example of traditional Japanese diffusion patterns for pop culture.
Koizora (Love Sky), Volume 1
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Imai Natsuki's Koizora (Love Sky) Review
Koizora debuted at the Japanese box office on 3 November During her freshman year in high school, Mika Tahara loses her cell phone, but later finds it in the school library with the help of an unknown caller. Throughout the summer, Mika and the mysterious caller continue to communicate, and agree to meet each other once school starts again. The caller turns out to be Hiro, a delinquent-like boy that Mika is initially afraid of, who shows proof of his identity as the caller with a photo of the sky on his cellular phone.