Sensei Sunday, valentines day

Sensei Sunday: The Origination of White Day

Happy Valentine’s Day week!

If you’re familiar with Valentine’s Day episodes in Anime, there’s often quite a bit of fretting on the part of various female characters about who is giving chocolate to whom, or male point-of-view worries over who is going to be giving them a gift.

cake-white-day

(This is not actually a White Day photo, but it’s frickin’ brilliant. Courtesy of Xinyuan Coffee & Tea in Taiwan )

According to legend, White Day was kickstarted by the candy industry as a way to split up Valentine’s day by suggesting that men should pay the women back in their lives who had given them chocolate or gifts on Valentine’s Day.  In 1977, a company by the name of Ishimura manseido(?) decided to market marshmallows to gentlemen in March, and the trend apparently switched to white confection chocolates the following year – making the first upswing of the trend in 1978.

There are two kinds of chocolate that are received on Valentine’s Day, and reciprocated on White Day.

  • Courtesy Chocolates – giri-choco – chocolates that are given in friendship or acquaintanceship (not to be fussed over, just a polite gesture) out of obligation
    • Most depictions show courtesy chocolates being given to co-workers, close classmates, club members, etc.
  • Romantic Chocolates – honmei-choco  – chocolates offered because they ~like~ the other person.
    • This is more what we think of when we think of Valentine’s Day chocolates – on Valentine’s day, girls offer sweets to their potential sweetie.  Either out of obligation or mutual interest, the man/target/fellow student is expected to reciprocate if they are interested in pursuing the relationship

In Valentine’s Day episodes, there’s usually additional fussing over whether to buy chocolate or to make it, and sometimes an entire episode dedicated to showing how determined the characters are to making an edible treat.

On White Day, It’s the men’s turn to reciprocate, by giving chocolate, or trinkets, or more elaborate displays of affection (if they are positively responding to a Valentine’s Day romantic confession).

So, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th (all over) and White Day is celebrated on March 14th in various countries in Asia.  Additionally, South Korea (some websites suggest Japan as well), has started to adopt the concept of “Black Day”, in which single people gather and console each other with food if they did not receive White Day or Valentines’ Day gifts.

Whether you participate in Valentine’s Day or not, the team at Anime Binge hopes you have a pleasant week, and lots of chocolate (they go on sale after the holiday!), hugs, anime (we recommend “Yuri on Ice” for a new show, or “Vandread” for a classic romcom binge), plushies, or whatever makes you the most happy about being you!  Have a great week!

 

Advertisements
Standard
Anime Primer, Holiday Suggestions, valentines day

Game of Themes: Love in the Age of Robots

As it’s the week of Valentine’s Day, I thought I might add just a few more topics with “Will They or Won’t They” plots with a future-forward setting.

  • Eureka Seven
    • Eureka herself is mysterious, sweet, subdued, and determined.
    • Renton joins Eureka’s friends and falls for her in the lower stratosphere as they both pilot big robots.
      • Hero genre, SciFi Genre
      • Even Funimation boasts “The Greatest Love story ever animated!”
  • Robotics; Notes
    • By the people who brought you “Steins; Gate” comes Robotics; Notes.  You don’t have to watch one to appreciate the other.  Trust me.
    • Deconstruction of the “Big Robot” genre, but in the BEST way possible. Neon Genesis is on one end of the deconstruction scale, Robotics; Notes is on the other.
      • Compare/Contrast with Big Hero Six, Neon Genesis Evangelion
      • Big Robot Genre, Shounen Genre
  • Chobits
    • Indirect sequel to Clamp’s Angelic Layer, focusing on an adorable android and the college student who takes her in.
    • Fanservice heavy at the beginning.
    • Compare themes with Astro Boy; Contrast with Metropolis
      • In a world headed towards self-driving cars, we aren’t TOO far removed from this future, actually.

And if your goal is to avoid romance altogether, just immerse yourself in One Piece.  There aren’t any robots, but they did say that there isn’t any romance officially scheduled in the storyline either, because that’s “just not what they think their audience wants”.  Hey, if the creator says so, it must be true. Perfect!

You can also watch Pacific Rim and Voltron if you’re looking for non-romantic robot stories, but you aren’t restricting yourself to Anime. (We’ll talk about where both franchises got their inspiration from some other time.)

Standard
Anime Primer, Anime Suggestion Trail

Anime Suggestion Trail: February

For February’s Anime Primer, stories of relationships and fantasy collide.

  • Romeo x Juliet
    • Perfect for binge-watching over February.
    • Science Fantasy update of the Shakespearian classic.
    • A treat for English majors and Theatre lovers who are just discovering anime
  • Kamisama Kiss
    • A young schoolgirl finds a world of responsibility suddenly on her shoulders when she is given godhood by a runaway Kami.  Hijinks ensue.
    • Suitable for compare/contrast with InuYasha
    • Additional genre: Shojou anime
  • Tenchi Muyo
    • Tenchi, a young man tending to his family’s shrine, finds his life turned upside down by the appearance of alien space travelers.
    • Start with the movies, in order.
    • Additional genres: “Harem” anime, Science Fiction
      • Think “The Bachelor” without anyone ever getting kicked out, with younger characters
      • Additional challenge: Find a drinking game for harem anime.
  • Fruits Basket
    • Follows the adventures of a high schooler who takes up residence with a family of young men who all symbolize characters of the Chinese Zodiac when they are hugged by a woman.
    • Rare “Reverse Harem” anime – One girl, lots of guys!

Done with fantasy and just want a pure feelgood, heart-thumping, saccharine romance?

  • The romance:
    • Whisper of the Heart
      • A good, old-fashioned, “This is how we met” love story
      • Violins and libraries.  Watch with “Nice to Sweet You” chocolates.
  • The fantasy:
    • The Cat Returns
      • The sudden return of The Baron from “Whisper of the Heart”. (In case you are charmed by his presence in the above movie.)
      • Compare/contrast with The Velveteen Rabbit.

(Most of the above are fairly Hetero-Normative romances, but I’ll try to cover Yaoi and Yuri romances in a later update.  If you’re highly interested in those genres, I would recommend Revolutionary Girl Utena, after checking out Sailor Moon.)

Happy Valentine’s Day for those who celebrate, and Happy Nirvana day for those who don’t!

Standard