The America that Mistranslates Japan

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The cover story in the new issue of Newsweek Japan (which I am pretty sure is an independent company from Newsweek in the U.S.) focuses on 「日本を誤訳するアメリカ」— “The America that Mistranslates Japan.” The editors ask over a picture of 「SAYURI」(aka Memoirs of a Geisha) — why does America think Japan is all geisha, samurai, and Mt. Fuji? According to what I gleaned off the subway ad, they are outraged that the movie casts a Chinese woman to speak English lines for a story based in Japan. Hollywood is to blame, they say, for the never-ending prejudice against the Japanese nation.

While I’ve yet to read the full article, I find this topic very interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, of course Hollywood does not provide accurate depictions of social, historical, and cultural phenomena but instead bends all ideas through a prism of entertainment and familiarity. Newsweek Japan may be certainly right to question the effects of American films in transmitting the core messages ultimately responsible for cultural understanding, but they’ll have to go to the back of a very long line to cast their grievances.

I am also surprised about the timing of this article, seeing that right now, the world shares more understanding of contemporary Japanese society than ever before. As terribly inane as Lost in Translation may be, millions of Western viewers saw a film featuring karaoke boxes, the editor for Dune, Hiromix, Fujiwara Hiroshi, and a Happy End song. Puffy Amiyumi are on American TV daily. Nigo sits behind Jay-Z at the MTV Music Awards. Thousands of kids make fan art to Katamari Damashii. In the last five to ten years, Japan for the first time has become something other than geisha and “Fuji-yama” for legions of young people.

Americans may find comfort in Japanese Orientalism — hot baths, sushi, katana — but guess what? So do the Japanese. Consider for a moment the possibility that Japanese society’s constant messages of self-Orientalization may have left the internal media zone and traveled outwards to the rest of the world. A pleasant voice calls out: Come to Kyoto, salaryman! Hang out in the Gion with real maiko! A thousand Hollywood writers at a thousand typewriters could never come up with anything more Oriental than Japanese advertising for domestic travel. I suspect both Western and Eastern audiences enjoy these Oriental images of Mt. Fuji woodblock prints, onsen hot springs, and kaiseki cuisine — the big difference being that the modern Japanese users of these symbols get them “right” while Americans are often sloppy, uninformed, and implicitly racist. The images themselves, however, are not fundamentally discriminatory, but are used on a frequent basis precisely because they convey beauty to a large number of people all around the world.

I suspect that Memoirs of a Geisha most likely deserves the wrath of the Japanese press, but is right now really the low point of cultural understanding between Hollywood and Japan? Remember when Japanese businessmen were murdering women and using high-tech devices to cover up the video evidence only to be foiled by Wesley Snipes? (“Always bet on black”) Americans in 2005 may think Japan is samurai and kimono, but c’mon, do you really think they don’t remember that the guy who can eat the most hot dogs in twelve minutes is Japanese?

W. David MARX (Marxy)
December 7, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

36 Responses

  1. Carl Says:

    Wow, that was really good. Being busy doesn’t seem to negatively impact your quality level, though it may your quantity.

  2. jasong Says:

    The Sayuri controversy is mostly just another big bandwagon for lazy journalists to jump on. For every Japanese critic upset with Hollywood’s take on their homeland, there are countless movie watchers here that are fascinated by depictions of Japan through foreign eyes. It doesn’t make the films in question (Lost in Translation, The Last Samurai, Sayuri etc.) good films, but just as the future can be depicted without limits of the imagination, why not other cultures, or the past, or both? These are not documentaries. An interesting tangent is the Chinese “outrage” at their actresses portraying Japanese. A minor, but more pedantic protest often comes from Japanophiles who bristle at seeing “their” culture of choice depicted by gonzo Hollywood filmmakers who spend most of their time here shopping in Ginza. Fair enough, but isn’t it fun to see a way-off-the-mark, slick Hollywood look at Japan a few times per decade? I hereby deem it「誤楽訳」
    Even the worst offenders are rarely boring. “I’m an old Japan hand…” etc.

    I’d love to see a Japanese director depict the history of the American West (especially its darker aspects). Director Lars von Trier catches a lot of flak for commenting on American culture in his films when he’s never even been there (see Manderlay, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark). Conversely, he’s won many major awards.

  3. marxy Says:

    Good points indeed, but the kanji pun only kind-of works.

  4. jasong Says:

    Good points indeed, but the kanji pun only kind-of works

    娯楽 -> 誤楽 –> 誤楽訳 –ahh fuck it, we’ll just make the geisha parade out on catwalks like strippers at the Brass Rail, but do up the set like Gion! I know I’ll be in line to see it.

  5. Momus Says:

    It seems to me that a time when information and contact between East and West is at its highest is precisely the time at which the Western media will start to decry inaccurate representations. There’s nothing surprising there.

    From what I’ve heard about the “Memoirs of a Geisha” film, the problem with it is that it’s an international co-production. The producers had a choice of casting it with entirely Japanese actors or going for a multi-national cast including Chinese, American-Chinese, Japanese-Americans, etc. They went for the latter (which is also what Tarantino did in films like “Kill Bill”), and there was a decision to have all the actors speak in a kind of generic American-Japanese accent, whether they were Chinese, Japanese, or whatever. The results are, apparently, incredibly stilted, and the actors are talking about how it’s the most difficult thing they’ve ever done.

  6. Adam Says:

    Wait, hold on.. are you saying that the idea of Japan that Americans get from anime and video games is accurate? Because American Japanophiles of today are fetishizing just as much as 19th century Brits did.

  7. Carl Says:

    I don’t think Marxy is saying that it’s accurate, just that it’s no more inaccurate than usual, and actually beating the odds as far it goes. Moreover, Japan loves to Orientalize itself, and even moreso, to Orientalize China (watch any TV show where the hosts go to China– and put on exotic Chaina doress-es!), so it’s hardly cogent to act like it’s entirely on the onus of Hollywood that they’re having their own self-stereotypes spit back at them.

  8. guest Says:

    Just to quibble, I loved Lost in Translation. Sure, it had no particular plot. But it was a thing of beauty.

  9. jasong Says:

    The number of actresses in Japan who are beautiful, can act, and can speak English is almost 0, so casting all Japanese wasn’t an option. They would’ve had to have made an entirely subtitled movie, which brings us back to the old debate about North Americans not wanting to watch subtitled movies on a wide scale (art house is fine). I don’t think that’s true, but producers are too afraid to test the waters with budgets as high as Sayuri’s (around 100 million dollars!)

    Martin Scorsese is now studying Japanese, in a respectable effort to connect with actors here for his upcoming adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel “Silence.” It’s a project I’ve been dreaming of him to do for years — I believe it will be one of his greatest films and one of the most powerful films about faith in God ever made.

  10. MiD Says:

    How many Japanese directors have experience making $100 Mm films? Why not hire a Japanese director for this project?

    Who points the finger matters as much as what is being said. My belief is that embodied in every communication, the vantage point of the communicator carries embedded power. I would be prefer my dad to criticize me than my neighbour.

  11. dzima Says:

    What about Ang Lee directing ‘Sense and Sensibility’?

    I question whether all these Hollywood Japan/China themed movies are a fad or from now are we going to have to handle them on a yearly basis. There has been Italian (Mafia and otherwise) films for ages now so who knows.

  12. marxy Says:

    It seems to me that a time when information and contact between East and West is at its highest is precisely the time at which the Western media will start to decry inaccurate representations.

    I don’t understand. Newsweek Japan is the Eastern media.

    The number of actresses in Japan who are beautiful, can act, and can speak English is almost 0, so casting all Japanese wasn’t an option

    This seems to be the root cause, and out of politeness no one wants to bring it up. If they’d done it in Japanese with subtitles, yes, no problem, but I doubt there are many female Kaneshiro Takeshi-types in the Japanese market who can act in multiple languages.

    There has been Italian (Mafia and otherwise) films for ages now so who knows.

    Mafia films are Italian-American, not Italian. Besides that one part in Godfather II, most mafia films take up the story in America.

  13. Fuzi Says:

    Hollywood creates just like cancer. It’ll continue to conveniently diminish and affect world-culture (simply because it can) all the while reshaping, reforming unless the militant Muslims can kill us first. This is why semi-accurate, semi-historical misrepresentations shown through a liberal “prism” go-down as being so damaging to the lesser minds of the population. An impressionable plastic commodity one could choke on; and sadly does.

    Hollywood also creates in a vacuum. Asian actresses, directors like Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-Wai are currently in full-bloom with the heavy decision-makers. The on-going trend towards Japanese anything right now (often lumped with Chinese culture by ethnocentrists and the ignorant) only makes their effort more attractive on paper, but all films begin in a staff-meeting or luncheon. “Movies” are not produced for you or me. Newsweek Japan needs to appreciate this. This film in question has more to do with pleasing personal friends and Chinese-American acquaintances than offering west-coast and northeast America a cultural perspective and has nothing whatsoever to do with approaching the Japanese walking around the archipelago. Had this movie been for them it would star Tadanobu Asano.

  14. marxy Says:

    You bring up a good point that Japanese filmmakers and actors – however talented they may be – have almost zero social capital in Hollywood. They don’t have the personal connections nor track records to get in the loop. Taratino used Kuriyama Chiaki because he saw her in a film, not because he knows her manager. I imagine it’s harder for directors, although I bet Kursosawa Kiyoshi etc. may make a Hollywood movie someday.

    Does anyone want to go as far as to say that the English-language ability of most Hong Kong film industry members helped bring Chinese movies (or at least Chinese filmmaking staff) to the United States? Or is the fact that Chinese films have a massive, international market even without the United States involved?

  15. goemon Says:

    The number of actresses in Japan who are beautiful, can act, and can speak English is almost 0, so casting all Japanese wasn’t an option.

    Please don’t forget Norika Fujiwara’s articulate English role opposite Coolio in “China Strike Force”…

  16. Fuzi Says:

    To answer your last question, I’d say it’s both (I’m oversimplifying).

    Hollywood is lazy- working from a vault of scripts that have an inch of dust on them, readapting previously released work, etc…

    Hong Kong cinema is profitable, a semi-autonomous vessel, already established and easily boxed and shipped. It can also thrive while being incubated (important). While language ability is indeed significant, I think this wave of imported cinema stems from Hong Kong’s desire to work with Hollywood; not the other way around.

    On the other side, the best current Japanese filmmakers are still too niche for the Western mainstream (thank God), and are far too demanding on-set to win a green-light (blue light if you’re Nihonjin) from Hollywood. It’s cheaper to film in Japan itself then ever before and the framed cityscape views or traditional art examples that can be incorporated into a production ultimately will have more pull at the American box-office than any living Japanese director’s name. You get “Japan” without having to work with the Japanese.

    Let’s keep in mind that we’re still talking about an extremely small group of Chinese who have almost all crossed paths with Zhang Yimou in the past ten to fifteen years. I see him at the epicenter of this movement. Do some research when you have the time.

    In any event, I truly envy your ability to visit Shimokitazawa. Got see some independent films before it’s all torn down!

  17. r. Says:

    i think that you are all wrong.
    the real reason they had to get chinese actors to play japanese people is that the japanese people’s english was so indecipherable, that they’d have had to use english subtitles for english (like “trainspotting” or something) and we all know that american’s just DON’T read subtitles.
    so blame it all on a lack of english education in the 芸能界

  18. jed Says:

    As far as Memoirs of a Geisha is concerned, its worth noting that the book was writen by an American male, Arthur Golden.(althogh he did study Japanese history) I guess those prisims keep on turning

  19. amida Says:

    I think American producers are selling their own audiences short. Audiences will accept something different as long as it’s good (especially visually)–look at the breakthrough success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It was subtitled and had no stars who would have been considered bankable in the non-Asian world at the time. Imagine a Japanese version of that–it might have been huge.

  20. jasong Says:

    Please don’t forget Norika Fujiwara’s articulate English role opposite Coolio in “China Strike Force”…

    Yes, of course. When casting for The Last Samurai was happening, Miss Fujiwara apparently walked into the offices accompanied by a mean-looking man with very expensive and bad taste in clothing (and maybe even a scar on his cheek). The producers laffed. Bless her heart.

    Amida, you’re right, although Crouching was couched in an already-popular genre (martial arts). Sayuri is perhaps less saleable, so having all subtitles would’ve been an additional risk. “The fear” still grips Hollywood, and maybe always will: nobody wants to be wrong, everybody wants a sure thing, nobody knows anything.

  21. Jrim Says:

    look at the breakthrough success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon…Imagine a Japanese version of that–it might have been huge.

    Yes, but Crouching Tiger was still very clearly tailored for a Western audience. I mean, Chinese audiences were never going to buy Chow Yun-Fat’s stilted Mandarin, for starters… As with that other pompous historo-kung-fu bore, Hero, I’ve struggled to find many positive reactions from Chinese viewers on the internet (well, the IMDB boards, at least). Of course, the success of Crouching Tiger was impressive, but bear in mind that it was by a director who’d already made his mark on Western cinema with three critically-lauded English-language films.

    As far as Memoirs of a Geisha is concerned, its worth noting that the book was writen by an American male, Arthur Golden.

    See, this is what’s so hilarious about all the media hoo-hah now. The book itself was taken to the cleaners by People In The Know when it first came out, so why all the fuss when it gets transformed into an equally off-base film?

    You bring up a good point that Japanese filmmakers and actors – however talented they may be – have almost zero social capital in Hollywood.

    Well, except when they’re getting bussed over to make indifferent remakes of their own films. I see that Hideo Nakata is going from The Ring Two to a remake of another Asian horror (they’re all the same, right?), The Eye. Now that’s progress!

  22. andrew Says:

    “They would’ve had to have made an entirely subtitled movie, which brings us back to the old debate about North Americans not wanting to watch subtitled movies on a wide scale (art house is fine). I don’t think that’s true, but producers are too afraid to test the waters with budgets as high as Sayuri’s (around 100 million dollars!)”

    Wasn’t Hero and for that matter what wasd that other sino-kung fu movie crouching tiger in chinese both did well and were subtitled.

    Secondly, the point that Americans think this about Japan is ridicilous, most of the world including Asia makes these associations with Japan. And for that matter most of Asia (I’ in Hong Kong right now) think the Japanese are weird.

    peace,
    A

  23. andrew Says:

    as usual the asian pundits here seem more well informed than me but one more thing:

    also, as was pointed out, memoirs of a geisha is a book by an american and a historical fiction regarding Japan. The problem here being historical fictions about written by people in various countries about another country are usually somewhat off the mark as are historical fictions written by people with in a country. While the Japanese probably have the right to be a little upset in that some people will assume this film accurtately depicits Japan’s past Neal Stephenson wrote an entire trilogy about 17th century Europe that was far from historically accurate, it’s not like most anime or japanese film taking place outside of Japan realistically depicts historical epics examples being those anime about princes and princesses in Europe, Steamboy, etc. and most anime is a hyper-real mis-match of japanese culture wether current or historical. Memoirs a Geisha is obviously more like Stephenson’s work in that it’s supposed to be an assurate representation of the past or at least passes as authentic in the U.S., but what’s striking here, although I haven’t read the article, is the feeling I get that this is more of the Asian media’s consistent attempts to proclaim their culture is un-understandable by Western standards. Like Korea’s rants against MacArthur it seems to stem more from an attempt to proclaim Westeners are lacking the ability to congitize and take in Asian culture for what it is. But then again, Japan is a country that’s fussy about the detials from deriding it’s politicians when their english isn’t perfect etc. Hence they’re taking issue with an American attempt to recreate ancient Japan isn’t surprising, but does seem bogged down more in a peculair stance that Japan and Korea share when discussing the West and it’s “inability” to understand Asia as a whole.

    peace,
    A

  24. kurisu Says:

    “but what’s striking here, although I haven’t read the article, is the feeling I get that this is more of the Asian media’s consistent attempts to proclaim their culture is un-understandable by Western standards”

    I’m agree with this… Japanese don’t believe that as foreiger you could understand the “soul” behind traditional or contemporary culture…

    I that sense, the reserve the right to stereotype and mis-understood all the japanese ways of life and tradition, because the really can understand the “soul” of japanese-ism…

    -_-u

  25. Mark E Says:

    “As far as Memoirs of a Geisha is concerned, its worth noting that the book was writen by an American male, Arthur Golden.”

    Who was advised by Ms. Japanese Orientalism herself:

    http://www.lizadalby.com/ (it’s a good laugh)

    On a side note, does anyone else find these quotes by the director hypocritical or at least annoyingly pandering to all markets concerned?

    During filming:

    “I’m not doing a documentary of the geisha world — this is a fable,” the director says. “I’m very proud of an international cast. It is a celebration of the Asian community. I think it brings the world together.”

    Recently in the media blitz:

    “I think there are many misperceptions about what geisha are, especially in the West,” said director Rob Marshall (“Chicago”). “I hope this film helps to clear that up.” (CNN)

    Its not that specific, but it is specific…its an international fairy tale, but also an anthropological study on a unique cultural niche.

  26. Satoshi Kawase Says:

    I doubt Japanese people have a problem with foreigners stereotyping them because they themselves stereotype more than anyone else. The difference I think, is they are cognizant of it.

    When your average Japanese orders mentaiko spaghetti at Pronto, he’s not fooling himself; he knows there’s nothing Italian about it. When your average American orders California rolls at the mall food court, he actually believes that’s what they eat in Japan.

    I’m reminded of what a kick Japanese people get when they browse the tourist trap Narita airport gift shop featuring T-shirts with 日本 boldly written in kanji. It is hilarious to them. The analogous novelty gift shop in LAX? Japanese are too busy shopping at the Mont Blanc store.

    You’re right. Right now may not be the low point of cultural understanding between Japan and the US. It may, however be the first time in history when more Japanese are in on the joke than Americans.

  27. Chun Li Says:

    Blah. And the Chinese people are mad that the Chinese actresses agreed to star in the Japanese film. I guess that means the only people who are going to watch this movie are going to be the Americans, as it was intended for, since it was written by a white dude who gave his main Asian character blue eyes. Add big breasts, a school girl outfit, and they could have converted it into a porno!

  28. amida Says:

    Yes, but Crouching Tiger was still very clearly tailored for a Western audience. I mean, Chinese audiences were never going to buy Chow Yun-Fat’s stilted Mandarin, for starters… As with that other pompous historo-kung-fu bore, Hero, I’ve struggled to find many positive reactions from Chinese viewers on the internet (well, the IMDB boards, at least).

    Many Chinese instantly react negatively to any Chinese film which does well abroad. I will stand up for CTHD, which I though was unfairly criticized, but Hero and the other recent Zhang Yimou films will have to fend for themselves.

    Of course, the success of Crouching Tiger was impressive, but bear in mind that it was by a director who’d already made his mark on Western cinema with three critically-lauded English-language films.

    That’s what I meant–maybe I should have said a “more Japanese-flavored American film” might have been huge. But the studios chose to dish out mechakucha crap instead.

  29. tim t. Says:

    hey. i just tell people to try to watch some japanese films made by japanese. theres so much great stuff out there. and remember akira kurosawa was acussed by japanese critics for not being japanese enough…. but stuff like memories of a giesha and last samurai are absolute crap.

  30. Michael McCarthy Says:

    Oh I don’t think that the complaints are all that justified— More or less a movie about geisha and samurai are going to sell more than a remake of “Nobody Knows”.

    Still— Japan isn’t exactly cranking out the cinematic gold en masse. No matter how Sayuri would have been done, it would have been done “wrong” in the eyes of Japan. It having been done the way it is, it assures it at least a little stateside success, where people can recognize the actors from their other Asian movie, “Crouching Tiger…”. Critics against the critics have even gone as far to say that white people can’t tell the difference between different Asians anyways—- I still think it’s a moot point considering it’s origin. In Japan, the movie could be centered around a gingerbread land with the boys from SMAP as geishas and it would gross billions.

    There’s a special on Rosa Parks on tv in a few days. I’m curious to see how this pans out, since Japan’s notable tip of the hat to blacks is their favourite pop-eyed deep voiced obliging talent, Bobby Ologon. Really, what does civil rights mean to the Japanese— that’s what I’m most curious of. When Japanese girls wear clothes that pronounce “Black Woman Pride”, in their PVs, and everything from synth laden pop, to synth laden Heartsdales pop, has the flava, what does Black strife really mean? It’ll be interesting.

    Oh yeah, and it has nothing to do with nothing, but Lost in Trans— is a good example of how high strung and bored people can be high strung and bored in circumstances where they are staying in completely STELAR accomodations, eating great food on a daily basis, and hanging out at fashion industry parties where their hosts speak a good deal more english than your average Keisei train employee…. how could two people who have it so good be so crabby?

    Jesus CHRIST, try staying a week in Usui and then get back to me on how lost you are.

  31. Jesse Says:

    Let’s not forget that Crouching Tiger was made by a Taiwanese director whose two main actors were from Hong Kong and Malaysia. So it’s not really a Chinese film per se. Rather, it’s speaking with the voice of diasporic Chinese, not Chinese Chinese. You can look at Hero as a response to that: You silly little overseas Chinese, this is how an authentic Chinese people make authentic Chinese film is made! (as opposed to overseas Chinese, who are only kind of Chinese, according to mainlanders)

    Besides being boring, Hero was also a frigging propaganda film for the Communists, so there’s a hidden political message in there that lots of people aren’t aware of. I mean, honestly, presenting the first emperor in a sympathetic light, when the consensus among most Chinese people is that he was a bloodthirsty monster who burned history books, buried alive dissenting scholars, and lusted unendingly after power? They might as well have been presenting Stalin sympathetically. I was scoffing so hard I couldn’t scoff at anything else for a week.

    Plus, what about the central message of the film: Unity above independence? If that’s not a message to Taiwan, I don’t know what is.

    Regarding Orientalism: “Orientals” can and often do take up Orientalizing discourse for their own ends. Gandhi, for example, took up European Orientalizing notions of Indianness and used it to argue that the Occidental British did not belong in Oriental India (after emphasizing the Oriental nature of India and Orientalizing himself — the clothes, the pacifism, the “this is authentic India” thing in general).

  32. Abiola Lapite Says:

    so there’s a hidden political message in there that lots of people aren’t aware of

    Really? I’d have thought the great big quoted lifted from Machiavelli at the end would have sufficed to clue in even the most oblivious of viewers to the underlying agenda. “Hero” was Chinese Communist Party agitprop, sure, but subtle it definitely was not.

  33. Jesse Says:

    You’d be surprised how many people I’ve talked to had no idea about that aspect of Hero. Including this one cynical Marxist (heh) I know who’s intensely allergic to anything which smacks of Stalinist authoritarianism. I suppose no one expects martial arts films to have anything of consequence to say.

  34. Micah Says:

    the consensus among most Chinese people is that he was a bloodthirsty monster… etc

    In general, the voice of the Chinese folk I’ve spoken to see the first Chinese emperor as a guy who had to implement some tough-to-stomach measures in order to reach some previously unreachable goals: currency and measurement standardization, national unity, etc. Pretty much the same apologetics that the current CCP uses to justify its own past, and the same message your parents gave to you the first time you went to the doctor’s office to get an injection (granted society isn’t a child, but I’m not making that comparison; and some people would disagree, including the CCP and their subjects).

    So yeah, you can decry the mainland message in Hero on moral or ethical grounds, but don’t pretend that the propaganda hasn’t been effective and that the people are somehow being held hostage by the Party.

    Apologies to the Japan folk for the OT-ness.

  35. andrew jones Says:

    “Critics against the critics have even gone as far to say that white people can’t tell the difference between different Asians anyways”

    Neither can Asians. Once in Korea a friend of mine pointed to a woman and said she was Chinese. She was Korean, on the other hand I taught children of Chinese immigrants that Koreans didn’t know were Chinese etc.

    “So yeah, you can decry the mainland message in Hero on moral or ethical grounds, but don’t pretend that the propaganda hasn’t been effective and that the people are somehow being held hostage by the Party.”

    In the brief time I spent in shanghai the people at my hotel had no problem with the government, in the larger amount of time I’ve been in Hong Kong I can confirm that most people in Hong Kong LOATHE the mainland Chinese and desperately try to seperate themselves. Going to Taiwan on Friday, expect to find the same there.

  36. ndkent Says:

    I suspect the Japanese press will now go into a sort of kiss and make up mode now that it’s out because if specific media come off too convincingly against American Studio product then there goes their promo access to the visiting Pitts and Cruises and perhaps even some ads if word gets back too harshly. Their “outrage” *before* the film can be easily excused by not actually having seen the film and followups will justify Hollywood decisions as any genuine public “outrage” just won’t happen especially if the Japanese media re-offers the standard Hollywood issued justifications as positives.

    (not having seen the film myself I’m hearing the buzz that the English spoken in the film very uneven and sometimes pretty poor)

    Similarly I noticed that the American media all did their pieces on the death of drawn Disney animation enough *before* “Chicken Little” that it didn’t interfere with the ad cycle for the actual film.