mugichan_wPeter Payne of Jlist has an interesting post up pointing to how small details that in anime can reveal a lot about the culture:

It’s always fun to observe the little bits of Japanese culture that are communicated through anime. I was re-watching the moe anime K-On! the other day, and I caught an interesting gesture that seemed to speak volumes about Japan’s group-oriented society. Tsumugi had just joined the keion-bu (light music club) and was eating in a fast food restaurant with her new club members. As the other girls talked about how to find the fourth member they needed to keep their club from being closed, Mugi (who has some awesome eyebrows, let me tell you) picks up her “potato” (french fries) and adds them to the pile Mio and Ritsu are eating from. It’s the ultimate gesture of group membership, mingling one’s food with your new friends so you can all eat on equal terms, and it communicates a lot of information about what kind of girl Tsumugi is to viewers. I’d probably have hoarded all my fries, and when they were gone I’d steal from the others…