(This is what the tsuma was watching while growing up in southeastern Japan.)
Now sharpen your powers of observation and check this out from Battle of the Planets (aka G-Force):
(This is what I was watching while growing up in central NY. Not to be confused with Star Blazers, which my dad often got up at 6 am to watch with my brother and me. More on that later)
Those who think globalization only means Americanization should consider the implications of their comparisons of these clips alone. But those who think it means pure transnationalism should do the same, for national cultures have always been good at assimilating foreign influences (it's kind of what they do).
[Update 3/22/07: You. Must. See. This.]
Case in point: Legend of the Galactic Heroes. When you get a free hour-and-a-half, watch the first four episodes and let me know if you're not hooked. Here's the first to get you started (if you're the impatient type, skip from it to episode 3):
Once you get past the terrible quality of the subtitles (there's never been an official U.S. release--and as long as neoconservatives and neoliberals have such a disproportionate influence on American political culture, there never will), you'll no doubt notice its obvious influences, from dashes of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and Orson Scott Card to truckloads of E.E. "Doc" Smith, Isaac Asimov, and Star Wars. (SF purists no doubt will condemn me for adding amazing fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay to the list, while historians will point out that my claim of influence needs documentation. To the former, I say, "whatever"; to the latter, I say, "yeah, yeah--wanna do it for me?")
And yet, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is much more than the sum of its American influences or interesting only for its resonances with transnational SF traditions. Whether you read it for its implicit commentary on World War II and the Cold War, or its proleptic applicability to the War on Terra (did I mention episode 3? yes? well, check episode 4, too!), it's exactly the kind of historical anime I wrote about when this blog was young and innocent and fresh that represents and enacts a working through of Japanese history. Through its playing with the "space opera" tradition and term--yes, there is opera in the soundtrack, it deals with many themes from German Romanticism, and its Reich Empire borrows freely from 19th C Prussia and mid-20th C Germany--it gets you critical of the leaders of both sides and of the war itself within the first few episodes. Plus it has an
Watch the whole thing (all 110 episodes) yourself, as we've been known to say in blogoramaville once or twice....