"The film is under attack for cultural bias, and for maximizing its humor by depicting Japanese as robotic and cartoon-like. The question is: to what degree is the film insensitive - and to what extent is this the kind of "poking fun" that some ethnic groups now ignore?
Until now, none of these voices or questions has come from Japan. Indeed, while "Lost in Translation" opened all over the world last fall, it opened in image-conscious Tokyo only last weekend. Some sources say this is deliberate. Japanese decorum on culturally sensitive matters precludes angry protest or high-volume misgivings about images that might be considered unfair or "unpleasant," to use a local reviewer's term. But it is telling that the Academy-award-winning "valentine" can be seen here only in a small 300-seat theater in Shibuya, and critics warn that the film may hurt the feelings of ordinary Japanese."