© 1988 Nibariki • G

gan·riki [眼力] [がんりき] insight; power of observation

There's little question Japanese culture has created around it an audience — a fandom and a casual viewership both — unlike almost any other in popular culture. Anime, manga, live-action Japanese film, and literature deserve, and more often than not receive, the kind of attention they need.

But there's always room for more such attention, and more importantly, attention of a new sort.

Who we are and what we're doing

We are fans of Japan, bloggers, and critics, in roughly that order. Our aim is to talk about Japanese culture, popular and high alike, in a critical way — not in the sense of finding fault with it, but of looking at why it is the way it is, and to celebrate that in all its incarnations.

We're trying to look at what Japan offers itself and the world in a way that complements its uniqueness, and is conscious of its larger place in popular culture generally. We want to be insightful without being pretentious, knowledgeable without being didactic, and eager to bring different corners of fandom to light without assuming anything.

We want to appreciate Japanese visual, verbal, dramatic, and literary culture for being what it is, rather than scold it for not being something it was never intended to be. But we also want to see it for what it can be, and not assume that all it is and all it has been are all it can ever be. “A palette, not a hierarchy” is a good way to describe this approach — one where the lowbrow, the popular, the rarefied, and the greatest-and-best can all rub shoulders in a lively way, each informing the other.

We don't feel the need to review absolutely everything that comes our way, or to make a case for shows that already have an existing fandom. We want to be curative, not completist. If we look at something that's already popular, it'll be because we believe we have some view on it that is new and refreshing.

How we're doing it

We've elected to go with a publication model that's low-volume by design. Rather than have a torrent of posts all day long, we'll post one feature-length article a week, the same time every week (Monday morning). We won't cover breaking news or review every single show that hits our doorstep; instead, we'll look at the shows we feel matter most, whatever the reason why.

We decided not to make the site an ad-supported venture. We provide affiliate links for relevant products and some contextual ads supplied through our commenting system, and we solicit additional support by way of Patreon. As of this writing, we don't yet have a reward system in place for various tiers of support, although we're contemplating something in that vein -- for instance, allowing patrons to weigh in that much more on what to review or examine.

Contact us

[Updated July 9, 2018]