My new niece absolutely loves the Australian program "The Wiggles"... It turns out that the Wiggles have a giant octopus friend that sings and dances with them.
Oh, and Krin, I finally got around to reading your post about Cowboy Bebop. That is my favorite anime series and the crown jewel of my box set collection (I have the very rare box set, plus the movie and an original sound track).
Oh well... any more worldwide ceph sightings? Please let me know!
First, I'm grateful to you for mentioning "The Wiggles." I caught a glimpse of it months ago, saw an octopus performing a scary-bad children's rap number and decided it was an hallucination. Thank you for proving otherwise.
Are you, by any chance, a fan of "My Neighbor Totoro?" Some wag has gone and produced his own variation on the theme, "My Neighbor Cthulhu."
Elsewhere in the anime realm, Masamune Shirow, creator of "Ghost in the Shell," has a nifty logo:
Ah well I suppose I should own up to having researched this topic (from a purely socilogical/historic point of view you understand) and thrown my findings together here:
[Webmaster Edit, 12/29: Link removed, nice try though ... Contact Emperor via PM if you're interested in the link... interesting, but the contents are too adult to be displayed here pubically... ]
It largely revolves around Hokusai's "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" (largely as there was a big flap over David Laity's interpretation of the picture recently) and I have found examples of netsuke (kimono toggles) and small statues going back to the 16th century. Apart from the 18th century woodcut (which some may find rude/distrubing) there isn't actually any proper tentacle porn on the page (although I do link to some of the main sites - although I wouldn't recommend anyone start digging too far in that direction as it gets unpleasant quickly).
Ah well I knew I'd end up throwing this link in here at some point and never being able to darken the Tonmo doorstep
Thats an interesting question and one that I haven't really found an answer to. I've read all sorts of theories about its origin (like its somehow the product of having to nuclear bombs dropped on them - clearly the antiquity of this rules that out if nothing else will) and it may just be 'different strokes for different folks' (there are very specific reasons for its use in hentai which has strict rules about what can and be can't shown). The Japanese often do things that seem weird/amusing at first (and often third) glance but I'm sure they look on some of our practices with a raised eyebrow. If I had to guess I'd suggest that it might be due to Christianity (as opposed to Shinto, etc.) taking us further from our natural roots where a blurring between the lines of people and animals was more understood. Shamans communicate with animals and often turn into them and pre-Christian myths (in particular those around Zeus, esp. Leda and the Swan.) deal with these kinds of topics.
[edit: Its worth noting that all the original woodcuts and statues date to the Edo Period (1600-1868) which saw an upsurge in nationalism and a big return to Shinto]
Another big anime fan. Although I would not recomend Hand Maid May, it has a cute squid robot but the series its self is part of the Herem genre (ie one guy half dozen girls) and not a good example at that.
Anything by Miyazaki is great, each film is good in its own special way. I suggest people try to get their hands on Porco Rosa amazing film. The most fun of all of his movies.
Other recomended series
Crest of the Stars, well done hard science fiction, although I have heard very bad things about the English Dubbed version.
Haibane Renmei- New series done by the guy who made Lain. Is an interesting series. No where near as much of a trip like Lain but still good.
Slayers: Fantasy Anime Comedy series, very fun. The main character is a Sorceress who happens to be one of the most powerful in the world and has no qualms about using her power. There are movies and I think the first and I know the fifth movie deal with Cephs, all of the movies exept for the fifth are prequils to the TV series.