Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Korea Vs Japan

Around 10 years ago, if you told me Korea will one day surpass Japan on the world stage, I would have laughed in your face and stuck a bicycle up your ass.

I'm a minor Japanophile, not obsessive enough to pretend I'm Japanese or fill my fridge with Pocky, but sometimes if you get me to drink enough, I do start speaking Japanese.Watched enough anime and played enough games in the language to pick up a phrase or two.

Korea and Koreans as well as Korean goods were, to me, cheap imitation Japanese. I was and still am racist towards Koreans - for no reason. I just decided I need to be racist at some people, and Koreans were a safe choice because I don't know any.

I don't know the exact moment it happened, but somehow, some way, Samsung overtook Sony, Toshiba and whatever else Japan can throw to become a real contender. Their car brand Kia - though plagued with accusations of inferiority, won some Car of the Year awards. And they're only second biggest in Korea. The number one auto manufacturer in Korea is Hyundai.

The Korean football team is arguably better than the Japanese one, as evident in the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup.

They even surpassed  Japan in producing annoying yet catchy pop groups like SNSD, Super Junior and T-Ara (the video above) which I've always treated as a joke. Korean dramas are getting traction while J-dorama is an old brand. I believe that after Dekichatta Kekkon, Japan has created the greatest and best J-Dorama and there is no reason to do it anymore. They have achieved perfection.

Korean animation and comics still languish behind Japanese manga and anime. This is subjective, but I find Korean comics to lack soul. This will improve, as the quality of the drawings are on par with the Japanese. Like what happened to J-Dorama, Japan also made the greatest animation every - Cowboy Bebop. The sheer perfection of Cowboy Bebop means that there are no reasons left for animators to hang around. They should all die. In fact, after creating Cowboy Bebop, mankind itself has no reason left to exist.

Cowboy Bebop is the single greatest piece of non-comics storytelling that mankind will ever attain. It is the highest art-form and I would burn all Renaissance paintings and sculptures to save a single episode of Cowboy Bebop.

Anyway, I am watching the Koreans with intrigue. I don't like most of their stuff, but given time, the Koreans might surprise me again. Or not. Whatever.