Not-So-Daily Links of the Day: This past week, episodes of three different American television series — American Idol, 30 Rock, and Archer — each referenced anime culture.
On Tuesday's American Idol on FOX, the show highlighted contestant Mere Doyle during the Boston auditions. Doyle called herself an "otaku, which is another word for anime freak." Doyle also said anime inspired her to design and make her own kimono. The segment highlighted Doyle wearing a kimono and also other cosplay items such as a jacket worn by the titular character in Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto manga and anime. Doyle said her aspirations are to "become a singer and be successful in Japan." Doyle sang Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" for her audition.
Unfortunately, Doyle's American Idol aspirations did not pan out. Doyle did not pass the audition round. Even though Doyle protested and asked for the judges to give her a chance, she was told "This is not going to work out."
On Thursday's 30 Rock on NBC, guest star James Franco, playing himself, acted as though he were in love with a dakimakura (literally, a "hugging pillow.") In the episode, Franco starts a fake celebrity relationship with Jenna (Jane Krakowski) to dispel tabloid rumors that said he was in love with a hugging pillow. In the meeting to set up the fake relationship, Franco said, "Are you familiar with Japanese 'moe' relationships where socially dysfunctional men develop deep emotional attachments to body pillows with women painted on them?" Franco refers to the pillow as "Kimiko" and "Kimiko-tan" throughout the episode, and at the end of the episode announces that he is "in love with, and common-law married to, a Japanese body pillow!" The full episode can be watched on NBC's website.
Also on Thursday, on the double-episode premiere of the new FX animated series Archer, the characters on the episode referenced cosplayers. The series is about Sterling Archer, a secret agent, and the agency for which he works. The agency operates just like any other office — with paperwork and a Human Resources department. In the episode, when Archer asks fellow agent Lana Kane what kind of person would wear a flaming suit as a person on fire appears, Lana replies, “Cosplay enthusiasts!” The episode, "Training Day," repeats on Sunday evening and Thursday evening.