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Anime nerd to become Japan’s next prime minister


From Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:

Score one for the nerds! Shares of Japanese companies involved in the production of animated films and comic books soared in Tokyo Wednesday amid speculation that Taro Aso, secretary-general of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party — and a well-known comic-book fan — may be the nation’s next prime minister. Following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise resignation, shares linked to hobbies associated with “otaku,” or nerds, jumped.

In May, while serving as Japan’s foreign minister, Mr. Aso unveiled plans to establish the International Manga Award to recognize foreign cartoonists. When the winners were announced in July, Mr. Aso told Kyodo News, “It is my hope that manga, through these works, will act as a bridge to the world.” Mr. Aso’s official Web site contains an ode to “manga” published in August that praises the genre for lifting Japan’s standing on the international stage and urges his countrymen to be proud of this success.

  • Sounds great!

  • Danielle

    Shouldn’t the headline read “Manga nerd to become Japan’s next prime minister”? Granted, a lot of anime is based on manga, but it sounds like Mr. Aso is more of a manga fan than an anime one ;)

  • Marko Ajdaric

    I do not understand. Is he a nerd or a comic fan? both things are not the same

  • Oh god, does this mean the Lucky Star theme tune will become the national anthem? Help us all..

  • Total world otakuizaton as predicted (caused?!) by Gainax is well underway.

  • If he does reach the pinnacles of power, I hope he does something about those weird anime walk cycles that always look like the character’s ankles are handcuffed together.

  • sorry, he’s losing now.. maybe someone found his hentai collection?

  • red pill junkie

    An Otaku Prime Minister? Great!!

    He should begin construction of a new Tokio 3 Geo Front, so we can be prepared for the arrival of the angels in 2014 ;-)

  • Some Hiro


  • Oliver

    Unfortunately, there’s plenty of manga that might be a bad idea for a Japanese Prime Minister to read — Yoshinori Kobayashi’s ultra-nationalist/historical revisionist works, for instance.

  • GhaleonQ

    But Oliver, how could the revivication of Japanese pride in its history hurt ANY…prime…min…is…Abe, we hardly knew you.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Total world otakuizaton as predicted (caused?!) by Gainax is well underway.

    It may not be too long before Tokyo Otakuland gets built! :-)

  • c.tower

    Will he have a Superdeformed Chibi Prime minister sidekick?

  • Billy Bon

    As an anime/manga fan, I have to be territorial and defend my hobby as a whole but, Japan needs to figure out better PR if they wanna talk to other countries. I love anime but few people in the west really care about it, and most of it is junk food anyways (this comming from an ardent fan). Aso better find better substance, or at least be very very choosy about which manga he want’s to endorse.