Whenever I hear “top-down” or “vertical” society, I recall Gatchaman Crowds. In that series, Rui Ninomiya references Japanese anthropologist Chie Nakane and her 1970 book Japanese Society, stating that one of their goals is to destroy vertical social structure still prevalent in modern Japan.
The basics of vertical society are just as it sounds: a top-down hierarchy with a “senior” and a “junior,” but Nakane reinforces that these titles and ideas are all tied into the group with which the person identifies. A Japanese person will first compare or establish themselves in a group, then branch out into their given profession or role.
For example, she states that asking a Japanese engineer about their job would result in that person saying, “I’m from A company” rather than the more western response, “I’m an engineer.”
Made in Abyss is a vertical society in both in social construction and physical existence.
There’s an obvious, “It works on two levels!” joke here, and both societal and physical structures are reinforced visually. This only adds to the post-apocalyptic feel of the series, dropping clues as to what may have happened in the past to create such a vibrant society that is seemingly on a dangerous precipice.
When Gatchaman Crowds first aired, I was undecided on what direction the series would take. The premiere episode hinted at anything from poking fun at superheroes to an odd “buddy cop” duo starring Hajime Ichinose and Sugune Tachibana with Hajime inevitably spoiling Sugune’s stodgy plans, dragging his character forward. While the latter does happen throughout the series, it’s a byproduct of Crowds‘ main focus — examining existing societal structures and social mores.
At first clustering, or cluster analysis, may seem like sorting or separation. In reality, identifying clusters is more about pattern recognition and observing the association between similar groups of industry or potential customers. Seeing where they overlap, and where they don’t, paints a more nuanced picture of complex relationships between people or businesses that, at first, appear identical.
The current perception of traditional, so-called outbound, marketing is incredibly negative. Cold calling is a thing of the past, with the “do not call list,” caller ID, or the lack of a landline phone altogether. Most people employ ad-blockers online – even if they do purposefully disable them for sites they want to support – to rid themselves of website banners or pop-ups. Most snail mail is easily tossed into the nearest trash or recycling bin. And anyone who is asked by their company to dare and knock on the doors of people’s houses is certainly to be pitied – even girl scouts selling their well-known cookies can barely get away with this anymore.
Outbound marketing is the more traditional newspaper or magazine advertisement, designed to introduce the masses to one’s product. It’s easy to fall back on to create an initial contact point, or if one isn’t internet-savvy enough to maximize the potential of online inbound marketing. A mixture of both usually yields the best results, even with outbound marketing’s negative connotations.