Bullet Train




A podcast that delves into the fun, vibrant world of Asian pop culture to expose the many ways it influences our lives.


Hosted by journalist Ada Tseng, with commentary by Brian Hu, the Artistic Director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, each episode tackles a question — from what Japanese dating video games can teach us about love; to what the “辣妈 (Hot Mom)” phenomenon says about feminism in China; to what future Lip Sync Battle contestants can learn from Bollywood. As we conduct our investigations, we treat noted scholars and screaming fangirls as equals, and we take you along for the journey, making connections you didn’t even know existed.

Find us on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher.





#005: What Does The 辣妈 (Hot Mom) Phenomenon Say About Feminism in China?

With the terms MILF and “la ma (hot mom),” contemporary mothers are being celebrated in the media for their beauty. But in China, is hotness a tool for empowerment or just a commodifiable distraction? We consult professor Shen Yifei, who conducted research on usage of the term “la ma” in Chinese media over the years, and professor/director Mila Zuo (Carnal Orient) to learn more about feminism in China. Read More


#004: What Can We Learn About Love from Japanese Romance Simulation Games?

Otome has been extremely popular in Japan since the mid-1990s, but American gamers are just starting to realize how fun it can be to live out a romantic fantasy in a virtual world. But what can we learn about love from Japanese romance simulation games? We talk to Voltage game producer Michael Nakada, otome fan Eugenia Fung, and psychiatrist Ravi Chandra to find out. Read More


#003 “Cultural Humor on Someecards.com Isn’t Great, But Can We Do Better?”

We were impressed when we discovered the snarky humor e-card website Someecards.com had categories for ethnic holidays like Chinese New Year, until we realized they seemed to be written by people who weren’t that familiar with Asians. So why don’t we make our own, with insider humor instead of outsider humor? We talk to Taz Ahmed, who makes humorous Muslim Valentine’s Day cards, and Dis/orient/ed Comedy co-founder Jenny Yang, who gives us some tips so we can come up with our own Chinese New Year one-liners. Read More



#002 “Is American Ninja Warrior the Underdog of Japanese Game Show Remakes?”

In 2008, there was a flood of Japanese game show remakes, but there’s only one that has not only survived but is getting more and more popular by the year. We talk to competitors Yen Chen, Ryan Stratis and James McGrath — as well as scholar Jaime Wright – about the phenomenon that is American Ninja Warrior and what we can learn about remakes in general. Read More


#001 Why Aren’t There More Asian American Women Storytellers on YouTube?

If YouTube is a democratic space that finally allows all Asian Americans to tell our own stories, why are most of the creators still men? We talk to Christine Chen, a producer at Wong Fu Productions, and Anna Akana, an actress/filmmaker with over 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. Read More






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