When I first heard that the mall was getting a Sanrio store put in, I was a little disappointed. After all, we already had plenty of Asian food joints in the food court. I soon learned that Sanrio was not in fact an eatery - but only because I was falsely led to believe that it was an electronics company. Only recently did I realize that Sanrio is the company that brought the world Hello Kitty.

Is there a Hello Kitty comeback in progress? If so, why? I thought we, as a nation, were finally getting over Japanimation. Don't get me wrong; I respect that anime has an important place in both historical and contemporary Japanese society. I just don't understand why or how it's done so well over here in the States. The style is poorly animated, crudely drawn, and generally peppered with plot holes. These flaws are very much accepted in Japan for reasons that warrant an entirely separate discussion, but here in America, we like realistic and seamless animation, a certain level of detail, and coherent and well-organized story structures.

Still, it is undeniable that there exists a niche within American society in which anime is not only accepted but also the preferred form of storytelling. I know some people in this niche, and have been told (and made) at various times in my life to watch episodes of different animes. Having done so, I can safely say that, as with any genre, anime has its highs and lows. I wish I could make some recommendations, but honestly, I have seen so little anime, and committed even less of it to memory, that doing so would be leaping way beyond my area of expertise.

This has been a very weak entry, lacking both direction and substance. And for that, I apologize. However, in a way, it's oddly fitting, because direction and substance are sparse in anime. I guess my main problem in tackling this subject matter is that I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to Hello Kitty and other American-embraced Japanese phenomena, but don't care enough to educate myself on such subjects. I am willfully ignorant. I wish I still thought Sanrio was a cell phone company.

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