Week 8

4. Is anime a high or low cultural genre/media, according to Napier (2005)? How does she frame her discussion and argue her case?

Animation is a high cultural genre. Animation is a charming form of contemporary art expression, with a unique visual beauty. It returns to the Japanese tradition, but also to the forefront of art and media. Anime belongs to popular culture in Japan, but it is a subculture in the western countries. Ten years ago, anime was regarded as an intellectually challenging art form, as indicated by a large number of academic works. Anime popular culture is based on the previous highly traditional culture. Anime showcases the influence of traditional Japanese arts such as kabuki and this print, as well as drawing on the world art traditions of 20th-century cinema and photography. Anime presents problems in surprising ways that are familiar to readers and audience alike. In text, animation provides entertainment for audiences all over the world. It moves and stimulates the audience in the form of old art. Because of the popularity of animation, more widely attract a wide range of people. High-level cultural exchanges, which are not easy to do, do not. Therefore, whether from the perspective of sociology or aesthetics, animation is a cultural phenomenon worth taking seriously (Nappier, 2005).

The wide range of topics of animation reflects a mirror of contemporary society, providing today’s publication of major issues, dreams and nightmares. To be a force of commerce and commercial culture, animation has infected the whole world as a phenomenon. It plays an important role in transnational economy. For more and more non-Japanese enterprises operating animation, animation is an important part of Japan’s export market. At the same time, it also as a small but it grows part of the Japanese business world. Animation scale from small to large, from the small video rental business to send mail to everywhere. For instance, from Amazon.com to Walt Disney Enterprises. Although the influence of animation is small, it is attracting the attention of more and more marketers around the world. Animation as a cultural force is more attractive than its commercial aspects. Because anime brings a deep understanding of Japanese culture. As a kind of implicit cultural resistance, Japanese animation attracts people’s attention and is also a unique artistic product. At the same time, anime is a local form of popular culture that clearly shows its Japanese roots. It also exerts a broad influence outside Japan (Nappier, 2005).

Animation has become a commercial advantage in the western. In the 1960s, the United States extended Japan to the European market by adapting Japanese animation. It had also produced products for children in Europe and Japan and broadcast them in various countries. Italy, Spain and France, in particular, became interested in Japanese products because of their low prices. As a result, Italy has become the country that imports the most animation from Japan. These imports influenced the popularity of anime in South American, Arab and German markets (Pellitteri, 2014; Bendazzi, 2015). Animation is a type of popular culture in all over the world, which has important significance. However, it is also a cultural form whose themes and patterns transcend arbitrary aesthetic boundaries and have important artistic and psychological resonance (Nappier, 2005).

References

Bendazzi, G. (2015). Animation: A World History: Volume II: The Birth of a Style-The Three Markets. Routledge. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/dell/Downloads/9781315720753_googlepreview.pdf

Napier, S. (2005). Why anime? In Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle (pp.3-14).

Pellitteri, M. (2014). The Italian anime boom: The outstanding success of Japanese animation in Italy, 1978–1984. Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies2(3), 363-381. Retrieved from: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/jicms/2014/00000002/00000003/art00004?crawler=true&casa_token=G9Bs5uBwnGQAAAAA:4v9zp7YEJ1vQTsVF-pcGcbjr5mplYtcJEf9C4smRIwYQke0YzS068SYNc-v_8SO3Lj_lifsrBALjDnMUJ8E

Week 8

  1. In what ways is Nausicaä intended as a warning, and what attitudes does it express towards humanity, nature and the future?

Nausicaä is very much a reminder of what happens when we forget the past mistakes of humanity and misuse technology to destroy nature. In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, we see two countries at war, attempting to destroy nature with the help of a giant insect. By doing this, we can see that they disrupt the shaky balance of the world’s ecosystem. “Chan (2015) suggests that by rendering the landscape as majestic and a site of biological diversity and ecological importance, the forest landscapes of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind encourage audiences to care about environmental concerns”. (Mumchu & Yilmaz, 2018, p. 10). The groups of people still alive in the film at present, forget or wave off the treacherous damage of the past. Director of the film, Hayao Miyazaki is known for bringing his environments and landscapes to life as living entities. We see this in Nausicaä through the insects. This helps him to express the interconnectedness of humans and nature and to give the landscapes their own sense of power and force that they can use against humans to express what is causing them harm [ref here].

  1. Is anime a high or low cultural genre/media, according to Napier (2005)? How does she frame her discussion and argue her case?

According to Napier (2005), anime is a high cultural media. She argues this by mentioning that the genre is seen to be building on high class Japanese traditions, and shows influences from other high class Japanese art forms such as Kabuki. In Japanese culture, anime resides within the main stream popular culture, but it also has an outreach across the globe. “Its products are popular in countries such as Korea and Taiwan, and also in South East Asia,” (Napier, 2005, p. 5). Napier also goes onto mention the names of some European countries who have adopted anime into their sub-cultures, such as France and the United Kingdom. Anime has had an incredible outreach in the past 30 years and is now being seen as an intellectually challenging art form. Anime has a way of being completely surprising, and makes use of a lot of different storylines that Western viewers may not be used to, this would explain why it has become such a phenomenon even outside of its original cultural sphere. Napier summarises that “the medium is both different in a way that is appealing to a Western audience… and also remarkably approachable in its universal themes and images,” (Napier, 2005, p. 10).

Chan, M. 2015. Environmentalism and the Animated Landscape in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) and Princess Mononoke (1997). New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 93–108.

Mumchu, S., & Yilmaz, S. 2018 (April 17). Anime Landscapes as a Tool for Analyzing the Human–Environment Relationship: Hayao Miyazaki Films. Arts 7(2), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7020016

Napier, S. J, (2005). Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle. Hampshire: Palgrave/ Macmillan.

Week 8 Response

Looking at both Napier (2005) and Cavallaro (2006), discuss how these critics suggest anime is culturally ‘located’ – i.e., in the East or West, or somewhere else?

It is obvious that the anime market is rapidly growing and getting popular in both Eastern side (especially, Japan) and Western side. However, it is ambiguous to judge which side does anime belongs to.

According to Cavallaro (2006), the famous Japanese anime director, ‘Miyazaki’ had inspired by many Western authors, cartoonists, and animators such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Winsor McCay. Therefore, the elements of his anime sometimes followed “Greek and Norse mythology, Western folktales and fairy tales, and the Bible” (p.8). Moreover, the characters’ appearance is more resembled with Caucasian rather than Asian. However, still, he used Japanese graphic styles which is called ‘ukiyo-e’ as well as put distinctive and unique Japanese sensitivity, beauty, and sadness inside his works (Cavallaro, 2006).

Miyazaki’s anime is well-combined by both Japanese culture and other Western countries’ traditions as well as he produced traditional Japanese anime which have touched people from other countries’ mind. It shows that he created his own “mainstream Japanese anime” rather than some imitated works of Western animation or Japanese style “Disney productions” (Cavallaro, 2006, p.9). Although the father of Anime in Japan, director ‘Miyazaki’ produced his own works by referencing Western pieces, his works amazingly and beautifully demonstrates world-wide messages in unique and traditional Japanese (or Oriental) emotion such as the importance of protecting the naturistic system. Therefore, Cavallaro (2006) suggested that anime is culturally located in both West and Japan.

Similarly, Napier (2005) argued that both in western countries and Japan, anime is treated as the popular genre. Also, the anime characters usually wearing European dresses as well as their appearance are not like ordinary Japanese people – they are having a huge eyes and different hair colour (Napier, 2005). Moreover, not only in Japan and western countries, but the popularity of anime in other Southeast Asian countries such as Korea or Taiwan increases (Napier, 2005).

However, unlike Western animations, Japanese anime brought ‘otaku’ culture which defines that the rabid fans of anime (Napier, 2005). They are nerds who are into the anime characters or anime drawing techniques more than other people (Yusuke, 2019). As Napier (2005) emphasized that Japanese anime is something unrivalled genre since it is quite different and varies from Westerners’ children’s animations such as Disney animations, this critic’s point of view is that ‘anime’ is culturally located in nowhere but Japan its own. Thus, although the genre of ‘anime’ is getting popular globally, ‘anime’ culture is Japan’s own culture which includes not only the entertainment for children but different subgenres for adults, especially those who were born in Japan, and even otaku. For example, anime with including the feature of ‘shojo’ which refers little girl in Japanese, and ‘kawaii’ which is the term for cuteness are stimulating the otaku’s interests toward anime which lead them to buy the products with the anime characters drawn on them (Yusuke, 2019). Not only otakus in Japan, but otakus from other countries are also into buying this since anime directed from Japan has its own attraction especially for them (Yusuke, 2019) which is different from western animations for educating and entertaining children.

In conclusion, although many of Japanese anime had referred from Western cartoons and novels, one important fact is that Japan have created their own genre by combining their own culture, habits, and values with the Western cultures. Sometimes, Japanese anime impress audiences solely by showing their cultural references as well as inserting traditional music which emphasizes overall atmosphere of ‘Japanese Anime’.

References:

Cavallaro, D. (2006). Introduction. In The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki (pp.5-13). London: McFarland & Company.

Cavallaro, D. (2006). Frame of Reference. In The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki (pp.15-28). London: McFarland & Company.

Napier, S. (2005). Why anime? In Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle (pp.3-14). Hampshire: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Napier, S. (2005). Anime and local/global identity. In Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle (pp.15-34). Hampshire: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Yusuke, S. (2019, June 26). Otaku: What is the otaku culture in Japan?. Retrieved October 9, 2019, from https://jw-webmagazine.com/otaku-what-is-the-otaku-culture-in-japan-2283995b38c0/

week8

What genres/subgenres of anime can you identify?

“アニメ” generally refers to animation. Nowadays, the word “anime” is often used to describe those Celluloid animation (Japanese animation).

After the 1970s, cartoons (and a few novels) were adapted into animation by most Japanese animation companies. Many animation companies are paying attention to injecting culture into characters and stories, and also correcting the content of the original cartoon. Contrary to what we imagine, most animations are for children and teenagers. The animation industry is almost just a supplement to the cartoon industry. Few animations are aimed at college age, so most adult comic readers don’t care about animation. By the end of the 1980s, animation had reached the peak of his economic development. Now those famous cartoons and animations have to turn to video games (“Japanese anime”, 2019).

Action anime (with friendship, effort and desire of winning)

Throughout the spirit of “friendship, hard work, want to win”, advocate the value of bravery, kindness, struggle, hard work and responsibility. Readers of different ages and personalities can find a sympathetic role in the hot-blooded animation. At the same time, Japanese hot-blooded animation is a growing animation, the reader is growing, the author is growing, the author projects his own experience and thinking in his works, so that the plot reflects the current situation and changes of society.

メカ/mecha

The subject matter is extensive, including any instrument, robot or machine device. In particular, “giant robots” seem to have emerged from films like Godzilla. Mechanical design seems to have made animation works reach a high stage, but it is not an important condition for the success of cartoons.

劇画(gekiga)

“Theatre Film”. As the name says, it is known as “theatre animation”, which has a simple plot and is very similar to the usual theatre movies. The characteristics are straightforward, plain and direct narration, realistic doctrine and simple characters. Such writers as Baitu Sanping and Xidu. Drama was very popular in the 1960s (Drama is a genre of cartoons). Later, even Tomb Tortoise introduced elements of drama into his stories. But dramas are declining. It’s hard to see his shadow in teenage cartoons now, although there’s a market for this type of readership over the age of 40.

同人誌(doujinshi)

Literally, it means “like publications”. Comrades refer to groups of authors with the same style, not just animations or cartoons. A group of Comrade writers are called a “faction”. In the cartoon group, comrades now refer to amateur writers, those who publish their own cartoons, especially those who draw on existing cartoons or animations.

三无(やおいyaoi)

It is the abbreviation of “no end, no aim, no meaning”. This kind of cartoon is characterized by the description of gay men, usually using the characters in popular stories. It is also called “Boys’love” or “shotacom”. The development of

Manga first appeared in the early 1980s and has a related magazine “June” (June is called “Delayed Beauty” magazine). Now there are many such comic magazines and comrades have many such works. It can be said that football teenager cartoons such as Big Air Wing also promoted the development of cartoons, and comrades now dominate. Although comrades have become saturated, big publishers tend to use such cartoons to compensate for the money lost in comics.

Nakashima is a famous writer and critic of the category of “juvenile love”.

Reference list

Zhihu (2019). Retrieved 29 September 2019, from https://www.zhihu.com/search?type=content&q=%E5%8A%A8%E6%BC%AB%E5%88%86%E7%B1%BB

Japanese anime, Baidu wiki. (2019). Retrieved 29 September 2019, from https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E5%8A%A8%E6%BC%AB/8993244

According to Callavaro (2006), what does Miyazaki think about happy endings, and how do manga and anime more generally diverge from Western narrative conventions?

The western three-act structure doesn’t apply or not popularize among Japanese manga and anime industries. As Callavaro (2016) explained “manga and animated series target audience intimately acquainted with their narrative content.” Anime, as an illustration, concentrates on daily life issues that closely relate to human emotions. The audience received emotions that were sketched, voiced and communicated and convey by animators. Miyazaki stated,” Their (characters) emotions will become yours.” Whereas Western cartoon studios like Pixar and Walt Disney trend to concentrate on unrealistic comedy like Madagascar and Toy Story to serve infancy and children. The majority of adolescent Japanese viewers expect an approach to a familiar sense of resonance that features popular culture or tendency amongst the indigenous young community. For example, girls dressed in Lolita style or boys were enthusiastically spirited. Even sometimes they were a marginalized cultural idea, Japanese aesthetics are stereotypically triggering our sentiments and granted such illustrated reality. 

Miyazaki’s cross-cultural tales are universally relevant thus his name has been singled out for decades. Over half of his films were less oriental since they set outside Japan such as rural Europe were also experienced the inevitable arrival of global industrialization. Regardless of the cultural differences, Miyazaki has consistently advocated Earth’s ecosystem and industrial consequences are always the universal responsibility that all human races ought to take. Thus, his films embedded both realism and fantasy. Miyazaki stylized his work despite by featuring powerful girls as a leading character or using 2D and hand drawing techniques frame by frame, his narration constructed the balance of fantasy and reality. In Spirited Away, Chihiro never had a hero journey because Miyazaki depicted her growth through her working experience in the Bathhouse. She was rewarded by her braveness and faith of love. Moreover, the silent train scene was the climax of the film where Miyazaki took the audience away from crowned modernism and returned to the true self. Films also widely inspirited by Shinto religion which spirits (Gods) must be respected but they are not absolute righteous and evil. Miyazaki introduced various kami in his masterpiece, Spirited Away through their entrance to the bathhouse. Spirits like river-god were devastatingly polluted by artificiality thus sought for purifying by bathing; some were evil as well as cruelty. Miyazaki refused stereotypical character design and story ending rather developed layers for characters. “The concept of portraying evil and then destroying it – I know this is considered mainstream, but I think it is rotten.” The director believes that there’s impossible for a monopoly justice practised in the complex society. “The Ghibli monsters seem mostly to derive from some terrifying past, and the magical beings are notable for an air of subtlety and, often, sympathy.”Plus, justice is a term of variety depends on the people living in a community. Therefore the Western convention is inapplicable in this case since there aren’t any absolute villainy against the protagonist. Even technology like the aeroplane wasn’t present as a negative concept of materialization in The Wind Rises. Consequently, Miyazaki advocated messages of anti-war, respect to nature and universal peace.  

Above all, Japanese anime and manga have not been regarded as inferior like cartoon amongst literature and popular culture. Therefore, both media have greatly adopted Japanese cultural performance such as literature, poetry and water painting techniques, even in the early days they were inspired by Western animation such as Walt Disney. Japanese animators had created and evolved their animation that separated from the Western cultural monopoly.

Sophie Tse 16912888

Scott, A.O. (2005) Where the Wild Things Are: The Miyazaki Menagerie. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/12/movies/where-the-wild-things-are-the-miyazaki-menagerie.html

Cavallaro, D. (2006). Introduction. In The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki (pp.5-13). London: McFarland & Company. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/User/Desktop/Cavallaro%202006_Intro%20&%20Chapter%201.pdf

Yrd. Doç. Dr. Sibel ÇEL‹K NORMAN (),Miyazaki and the West: A Comparative Analysis of Narrative Structure in Animated Films for Children. Retrieved from: http://iletisimdergisi.gsu.edu.tr/tr/download/article-file/82753

Week 8: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

In what ways is Nausicaä intended as a warning, and what attitudes does it express towards humanity, nature and the future?

 

In the beautifully imagined world of Nausicaä, we discover what on the surface appears to be a fantastical journey of adventure as a young girl strives to save her people from various threats. However, when the film is analysed more closely, it becomes clear that the creators intended it as a warning about the relationship between humanity and nature, and the potential consequences of the abuse of said relationship.

The world the story plays out in is a post-apocalyptic future after the destruction of industrial civilization. The humans of the story struggle to cope with the deadly Toxic Jungle and the insects who protect it. After the humans anger the insects, Nausicaä “has to calm a herd of gigantic insects before
they inflict devastation on what is left of the world.” Napier (2006). Throughout the film there is a display of how humanity is working against the environment for the most part, with combat between insects and humans common and many kingdoms more concerned about power than their own people. Nausicaä  stands in opposition to them in that she tries to live in harmony with the world around her. The only overt display of violence that she commits in the movie is in her “treatment of her fathers assassins” Cavallaro (2006), where she kills them in rage, after which she is horrified by the violence she was capable of, and is nonviolent for the rest of the film. by her very nature she wishes to help others, even the insects that have killed countless humans and threaten her own way of life. She exemplifies the best of humanity; the protector of the environment in the context of the film. in her, the films creators are showing what humanity could be at its best.

As a warning, this film is almost explicit in its meaning. With the constant wars and continuing environmental decay that we face in our own day and age, this story could easily be set in our own future. The destruction that we see in the film, and the struggle for survival that the humans have to go through every day, are a stark reminder of what would happen if the environment that we depend on for our own lives were to collapse so completely. The film holds a sign up to the viewers face and shouts “listen, this could be you!”, but the view of the future that it holds is not entirely bleak, as the possibility that humans could coexist peacefully with nature, working with it to live instead of abusing it without thought is present. When “Nausica realizes that the plants underground purify the air indicating that nature recovers itself even though humans pollute the soil and air” Akimoto (2014), she is able to cultivate a garden in which the plants from the forest can grow free of the toxins that mankind has infected the earth with, showing us that there is a way to move forward with the environment that wont lead to the destruction of either group. The way that she seeks knowledge that can help her people encourages us that we should in turn find solutions for our own problems so that we do not end up in the same place as those in the film.

This film is a contentious effort on the part of the creators to convey the dangers of ignoring the negative impact we are having on the world around us. It shows the future it will bring, filled with danger and desperation as we struggle to survive in the world of our own devising, but also provides us with hope, that we can be better and work with nature to survive on this planet we call home.

 

 

References

Akimoto, D. (2014). Learning peace and coexistence with nature through animation: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, Volume 33, 54-63.

Cavallaro, D. (2006). The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki. London: McFarland & Company.

Napier, S. (2006). The Anime Director, the Fantasy Girl and the Very Real Tsunami. The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 10, Issue 11. Retrieved from https://apjjf.org/site/make_pdf/3713

Week 8 – Anime

3/5. Looking at both Napier and Cavallaro (2006), discuss how these critics suggest anime is culturally ‘located’ – i.e., in the East or West, or somewhere else? What does she suggest about the differing status of animation in Japan and in the West?

Napier suggests that Anime holds a differing standing in the East than it does in the West. She states that “The culture to which anime belongs is a present a “popular” or “mass” culture in Japan, and in American it exists as a “sub” culture[1].” She also goes on further to report that anime in Japan is being perceived as an intellectually challenging art work that has garnered scholarly attention and writings as a result of the recent cultural shift in Japan. In contrast, Susan Pointon states that “perhaps what is most striking about anime, compared to other imported media that have been modified for the American market, is the lack of compromise in making these narratives palatable[2].”

Cavallaro suggests in his work that “western audiences tend to regard animation as a second-rate art form and – when judging specifically Japanese animation – [tend] to dismiss it as violent, superficial, cliched and technically “cold”[3].” He further states that “[Western audiences] do not take into consideration the distinctive importance of cartoons and animated films in the context of Japan, failing to acknowledge that in that culture, manga (and their cinematic correlatives) are an integral component of literature and popular culture[4].

4. Is anime a high or low cultural genre/media, according to Napier (2005)? How does she frame her discussion and argue her case?

Napier perceives anime as a high culture genre/media as it has roots in high culture and “clearly builds on previous high cultural traditions. Not only does the medium show influences from such Japanese traditional arts as Kabuki and the woodblock print (originally popular culture phenomena themselves), but it also makes use of worldwide artistic traditions of twentieth-century cinema and photography.[5]” She also states that the issues anime explores reflect those seen in high culture literature (both in and out of Japan) and viewers of the contemporary art cinema scene.


[1] Napier, S. (2005). Why anime? in ‘Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle’. Hampshire: Palgrave/ Macmillan, p. 4.

[2] Napier, S (2005), p. 9.

[3] Cavallaro, D. (2006). Introduction in ‘The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki’. London: McFarland & Company, p. 12.

[4] Cavallaro, D. (2006), p. 13.

[5] Napier, S. (2005) p. 4.