America goes to Japan as the Black Ships sail!
What They Say:
America travels to the land of Japan in order to become friends with some whales - or something like that. Anyway, when the boys from the west come ashore in the east, awkwardness and tea drinking ensues
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Relations between countries with their varied personalities is what makes the show fun, so having a segment that has America going to visit Japan, but to meet up with some whales and try to befriend them, is a little unusual even for animation. Going back to the time of the Black Ships arriving is certainly a good bit of fun since there's a lot of trade possibilities to be had between nations. While we've seen Japan as a character heavily, this one lets us see the various clans get involved as they panic about the whole event and what they should do. A little discord amongst them isn't a surprise either since there's always jockeying for position and power, all while Japan essentially hides himself away for awhile.
Even with a Dutch translator, America can't exactly get off on the right foot here since there's so many little cultural issues that come up. Their attempts are admirable though but the awkwardness of the situation is what dominates it. America's earlier thoughts on whaling and wanting to get in on that is definitely an interesting take on it, accurate to the time more than likely, but to be tackled in a present day show with an issue that's definitely not foreign-friendly is welcome. That's one of the reasons I continue to want to watch shows from around the world because of the different views, backgrounds and how they present it to the rest of the world. It's not covered heavily here obviously, but it does touch on it at least which is more than they usually do.
America continues to be a charming little character at this stage since there's a bit of a naïve feel about him in some ways and he's sort of clueless about what his mission is. The arrival of the Black Ships in Japan is one of those pivotal moments in history that's always interesting to go back to. This one plays it for humor of course and there's a lot to like in how everyone reacts. It's quick, simple and t the point but it does everything just right. With it focusing on some of the more well known characters while also bringing in some clan members, it's a good spot of fun that will leave you smiling and looking forward to more of America's early adventure in Japan.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.