Hey guys, remember the whole “cool Japan” thing? You know, the theory that Japan’s collective pop culture empire acts as a “soft power” worldwide, giving Japan the edge in the hearts and minds of all people?
Well, Hiroyuki Okada – president of the legendary-but-beleaguered studio Madhouse – is releasing a new book on January 20 titled Anime! Real vs. Dream, which looks to explore the question of what’s really going on in the anime industry, a world known for its low pay, hours, lack of recognition, and other unpleasantness best not dwelled upon.
Most of the book will be based on a research paper compiled by Madhouse PR chief Fuuta Takei which examined anime’s place in history and pop culture, alongside the current state of the industry.
Okada, who became Madhouse president in early 2011 after a long stint at Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), will be represented by a character named “Hiro,” who will provide the outsider’s perspective in contrast to that of Fuuta, who will serve as the voice of elder otaku guidance throughout the pages of the book.
The conflict between Fuuta’s otaku idealism and Okada’s pragmatism looks to be the core of the book, and is neatly summarized by one of the book’s taglines: “Can the power of dreams overcome the limits of reality?”
Considering Madhouse’s position as an industry leader for the past 40 years, this should be quite an interesting look into the past, present and future of an uncertain industry.