A comprehensive criticism of the depiction of Japan in Ready Player One

[I suppose this post will spoil the plots related to the Japanese characters. But then again… Ready Player One has so few surprises that I doubt it matters…]

As a break from my MMO isekai anime binge, I thought I would jump back to my own culture to observe the state of American virtual reality fiction. However, I had one requirement: it had to be a book so that I could read it during summer break downtime in the teacher room. The obvious choice seemed to be Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel Ready Player One, which had been riding high on media hype early this year following the release of a film adaptation directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. Two friends were already reading it, so I decided to pick it up and make a book club of it.

And o-ho boy, did I make a mistake. Ready Player One might be the worst book-for-pleasure I have ever read. I should have stuck to anime for my VR fix…

Since this site has become a de facto anime blog, I’ll skip a more general review and focus on Ready Player One’s shocking ignorance of Japanese culture and language. Plenty of other people have criticized the book but I have yet to come across a comprehensive breakdown of its awful depiction of Japan. So, while trying to stave off heat exhaustion in an unairconditioned Japanese middle school, I thought I would give it a shot.

Continue reading “A comprehensive criticism of the depiction of Japan in Ready Player One”