I talked last time about Japanese being related to Basque, Turkish, and Hungarian. This was a joke, although it does share certain linguistic features with these languages (also Finnish and some Native American tongues), mainly in that it's an "agglutinating" language, which just means it puts a lot of information in the verb conjugation rather than with helping verbs. Some information that can be contained in the verb form include passive voice, causality, negatives, if constructions and so on, and a single conjugated verb could, if you need it to, communicate something like "if I hadn't been made to work, (I wouldn't have missed my favorite TV show)..." While most languages are grouped into families, the most massive being the Indo-European that spans India and Europe, Japanese is possibly in a class by itself, having no generally accepted link to another language (other than Okinawan). Various theories are discussed, including that Japanese is related to Korean based on grammatical similarities between the two languages (this is usually denied by both Japanese and Koreans, to general amusement); that Japanese is related to a theoretical language group called Altaic that directly links, say, Hungarian and Japanese through a distant linguistic ancestor; and so on. Or maybe the Japanese do descend from the Sun Goddess after all, as their myths suggest?
Psychology is a complex subject, and no matter what culture you're from, there are certain emotional buttons that, say, TV advertisers can use to change the way you feel about their product. One button used in Japan is that of the "worried child" when mothers or fathers are made to buy some product because of the concern their daughter is showing over their health -- parents are saps for kids who are worried about them. The Japanese aren't long on nationalism, perhaps understandable given their past, but during the 1990s a health drink (Regain) gained popularity positioning itself as helping Japanese businessmen do business all over the world, with a theme song to match. One of the most pathetic commercial messages I've seen here is "if you use this product, foreigners will respect you." This was the message Cabin cigarettes sent in a commercial I saw soon after arriving in Japan, shown in movie theaters (yes, they had tobacco commercials, and yes, they showed commercials before a movie started in a theatre, although both are very rare now) which featured a Japanese man riding a train in Europe. As he smoked the company's product, the Europeans were listening attentively as he spoke, hanging on his every witty comment.
This certainly is a fun con to be at. Although it's different from anime shows in general, we're fitting right in despite our focus on Japan. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure you're going to see this Death Star floating above the San Diego Comicon in a few weeks.
Lots of fun fans.
This is General Veers in case you aren't up on your Imperial armor.
Hopefully not traumatized little girl.
This is Oola. Is this woman not hot as hell, or what?
One of the many fun things we're denied because we're working. Oh well.
This dude has such a good idea!
The married couple that makes pajamas out of Star Wars bedsheets together, stays together. Now I want to get them to pose in American Gothic style.
Prelude to the cool "Princess Leia bitchslap" followed by one Leia shouting "You don't even have a uterus!" to a (male) Leia standing there.