Feature Writing Obsessions Rough Draft

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 14-09-2012

“I love Sug! When I heard that they came out with three music videos, I thought I was going to die!” Jessica Sievers tells me with zealous enthusiasm. Sug is a Japanese punk and metal rock band that formed in 2006.

Jessica, a senior at Morningside from Correctionville, Iowa, is an avid fan of anime and Japanese culture in general. Her interest began at an early age, when she was about five years old. After her mother bought the movie My Neighbor Totoro, it quickly became one of Jessica’s favorite movies. Right away, she knew it was a lot different from other animated movies she had watched. The houses were a different style; they did not look like typical American houses. The two lead characters were a little girl and her younger sister.

Totoro is a massive bear-like creature who is considered the ruler of the forest. He is one of the dust creatures who can only be seen by children. Totoro’s roar is so loud that it shakes the hugest trees. He can leap long distances, and children cling to his fuzzy stomach so Totoro can leap them to their destination.

Another creature in “My Neighbor Totoro” is the cat-shaped bus called the Catbus. The Catbus has eyes that shine as the headlights. The bus’ destination is shown with the help of mice. Like Totoro, the Catbus can leap far distances. The Catbus has six legs, and the door on the bus opens differently depending on the size of the passenger. The seats on the bus are fuzzy.

Jessica enjoyed Pokemon when it first came out in 1997. She said, “It was really hard to find other people who were interested in Pokemon, because it didn’t catch on right away.” It wasn’t until she switched to another school that she found a friend who shared her interests. “My new neighbor, Shondra, lived two doors down from me. I brought my Pokemon toys to her house one afternoon, and she was really happy to see that we both loved Pokemon. She pulled out this huge box of all her Pokemon toys. We were both so excited.”

Pokemon is a media franchise that was created by Nintendo in1996. The goal of the Pokemon video game is to collect all the species that exist in the Pokemon universe and become “the Pokemon Master”. There is a Pokemon television show and Pokemon movies that are separate from the video game. The television series’ main character is Ash Ketchum, whose adventures are followed throughout the show’s many generations. A trading card game and a large collection of manga books have been made as well.

One of Jessica’s favorite shows in her childhood was Sailor Moon. “I loved Sailor Moon because it had strong female lead characters, in contrast to a lot of other kids’ shows, where males dominate as the leaders.”  Sailor Moon’s premise centers around a cat named Luna who is looking for the Moon Princess, and finds her in an average middle school age girl. Each planet has its own prince and princess.

Manga, the style of Japanese comic books, is one of Jessica’s current interests. The books are written from right to left and they are in black and white. “Any topic imaginable is covered. There are manga books for young children, and there are horror manga books that have themes that are in “R” rated movies.”

Instead of listening to Lady Gaga or One Direction, Jessica listens to almost all Japanese music. Her favorite singer is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a female pop singer. When I asked her if there was an American equivalent to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, she said that “there is no equivalent. She is completely original, in kind of a “cute meets creepy” sort of way.” Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was previously a fashion blogger and a model.  She launched a line of fake eyelashes called Harajuku Doll Eyelashes by Eyemazing x Kyary. Her musical career took off in July of 2011 with her first hit single, “PonPonPon”.

As a die-hard anime fan, Jessica appreciates quality anime television, and she knows when a movie or tv show has been poorly dubbed. “I hate it when American companies buy the rights to the show and then edit and chop it to pieces. It becomes unrecognizable.” The Saturday morning program “4Kids”is guilty of such “editing”.

Her love of anime extends online as well. There is a “humongous anime following on the internet,” Jessica told me excitedly. “If you like it, there is someone probably writing about it.” One website,, is where Jessica wrote about anime while she was in middle school. Now she has an anime blog on Tumblr that has 80 followers.

She plans to go to an anime convention in Minnesota in April called Anime Detour. Anime Detour has been hosted in the Twin Cities area for the past ten years. It is an anime convention “run by fans, for fans,” according to the official website, Coincidentally, the event is on her birthday weekend. “I’m really excited! I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.”

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