Tag Archives | anime

The Future According To Anime

It’s something of a truism that science fiction generally is a good predictor of our future (think of the inventions of Star Trek). Hopes and Fears suggests that we should also be looking to Japanese anime for hints of our future:

While Western audiences constantly look to science fiction to get a feel for what the future might look like, anime is often overlooked when they pull out their crystal balls. This is a shame because the talented forces behind one of the world’s most popular artforms have an extremely distinctive outlook on what is to come.

From robot pocket cat children’s shows to battling it out on Mars with the Judeo-Christian god, Japan’s authors and artists have looked to the future with awe, hope, nuclear world wars, horrible space aliens, and giant, highly destructive mecha (that also make for very marketable toys). It’s often bleak, terrifying or just strange, but it’s always awesome.

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Japanese Media, Psychedelic Yokai, and Graphic Novels

My cinematic graphic novel TRETA-YUGA—the sequel to my breakout success KALI-YUGA—is now live on Kickstarter. In light of this, I thought I’d note the ways in which Eastern lore has profoundly influenced my work in graphic novels.


From my original article at Reality Sandwich:

The Japanese have always had a distinct way of portraying supernatural encounters with otherworldly beings. The infiltration of J-horror into the stale domain of Hollywood was an early sign of amnesiac Westerners longing to learn of the old ways. Supernatural encounters with the other (often the demonic Yokai), in whatever horrific way they are experienced in media, is seen by the Japanese as a way of gleaning knowledge from forgotten ancestry and learning the delicate threads of fate. It is in these darkly psychedelic, shadow healing encounters with the Gods that mortals are forced to reconsider the meaning of time, matter, and being.

Scholar Noriko T.

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When Titans Attack The Kingdom Of Pop Culture

attack on titanAre you a fan of Attack on Titan? No? Hurry up before you’re the last person on the planet who isn’t. Adi Tantimedh describes the manga/anime sensation at Bleeding Cool:

I could have sworn I wrote about Attack on Titan last year when It began to take off, but now that it’s really taken off as a global pop culture phenomenon, it’s worth looking at it again.

I suppose I should summarise the plot for people who don’t know it. The story is set in an unspecified quasi-medieval era, possible the future, where the world’s dwindling human populations live in walled cities under constant attack from giant humanoid monsters called Titans that threaten to wreck their cities and eat them all. Their only defense is an army of specially-trained recruits whose life expectancy is unsurprisingly short. What sets the latest generation apart is the emergence of a new weapon that may be a trump card, more radical and ruthless strategies and, at last, a push to uncover the mystery of the Titans and their origins and the possibility of ending the war once and for all.

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Aum Shinrikyo Cult Recruitment Anime

Japan's Tokyo-based Aum Shinrikyo ("Supreme Truth") religious cult reached peak notoriety in 1995 when members conducted a string of terrorist attacks on the subway system, releasing sarin gas that killed thirteen people and injured thousands. Police raided the group's compound and found a massive biological weapons stockpile including anthrax and Ebola cultures and chemicals that could produce enough sarin to kill millions of people. Before their undoing, the cult used anime videos as their recruitment tool, portraying the secret origins of human life and the heroics of founder/guru Shoko Asahara. Even unsubtitled, they're a fascinating view:
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