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Why Lum Invader is the unofficial mascot of Future Funk


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While I was browsing the future funk subreddit I saw a thread about Lum Invader, and PedalPDX made a really good explanation and thought I would share it with you guys!

"Anyhow, I can't really offer any insight into how it got started (probably someone just made a YouTube video and it caught on from there), but I feel like I can hazard a pretty good guess why. Sonically and thematically, future funk probably draws most heavily from the 80s, right? A huge amount of the samples that serve as the basis for these songs are drawn from either soul/funk or city pop -- in both cases, primarily from the 80s. And in terms of tone/style, it's a very optimistic, dance-y, good times version of the 80s. This isn't the 1980s of the Cold War or Iran-Contra or the AIDS epidemic; it's the day-glo 80s, and in particular the 80s of Japan's bubble economy. It's a very distorted, optimistic remembrance of the 80s (coming, unsurprisingly, from producers that either didn't live in the decade or were too young to remember it).

Lum is a really good visual indicator of that -- Urusei Yatsura's art style has that certain kind of rounded, adorable quality that's synonymous with 80s anime, a style that really fell away in the 90s, when things got a lot harsher and more angular. Just looking at it evokes Japan's economic boom, because Urusei Yatsura emerged arguably in anime/manga's peak years, at least in terms of domestic (and by that I mean Japanese) popularity. Like, folks in Japan were both so wealthy and so into anime that they'd blow, what, the equivalent of $30 on a single episode of an OVA in those days? And Lum is simultaneously sexy, but also kind of innocent -- which again, is in line with future funk's whole ethos."

What are your thoughts?
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The Taste of Late Capitalism
Thats a great explanation. I'm buyin' it. Additionally, I think that her show has just the right level of obscurity: not popular enough to have a sustained presence in popculture in the decades that followed but not obscure enough to not be able to find it all back here on the interwebs. It's both distinctively 80's and easily accessible.
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