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Post Reply Recurring cultural themes in anime
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23 / M / Australia -Melbourne
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Posted 9/30/13

qualeshia3 wrote:

Does anything pertaining to Germany count?


monster is an amazing anime based on a lot of German culture/history/ideologies
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Posted 9/30/13

Felstalker wrote:


eyeofpain wrote:

And Hercules had the whole "going to hell to save your love" thing way back in the original Greek, so that's nothing new.


Hercules didn't go to hell to save his loved one, but as part of repentance for killing her. He was a strong demi-human, who was resented by Kings and Gods for his awesomeness. Hercules most famous accomplishment was atoning for his mistakes, not denying them. Megra died, Herc then cried, and did 12 labors to atone, and was granted Godhood for his efforts. Favored son of Zeus indeed.


Ah, yeah, I knew there was a difference between the movie and the myth, but I'm not up on my Greek histories at all.
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Posted 9/30/13

bradpt08 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Does anything pertaining to Germany count?


monster is an amazing anime based on a lot of German culture/history/ideologies


I've seen a little bit of Monster.
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Posted 9/30/13 , edited 9/30/13
References to different (from the west) myths.

108 heroes of the water margins.
the 30 something minstrals.

the Moon Princess. (Kaguya?)

etc.

Kabuki sound effects (YOOOOOOO. clack clack)

Different Character Tropes.
This was one of the appeals for early anime fans. they were confronted with new (then) Character archetypes.

The Sensei: including: a) the dirty old indestructible wise man, b) the Combat ace (who usually dies to make room for the hero) c) the 'Big Brother' (when combined with the combat ace it's as clear a marker that you're gonna die as wearing a red shirt while working for Gene Rodenberry)

The sympathetic villain. The idea that maybe the other guy wasn't just blindly evil but rather just not acting in accordance with the HERO's interests.

Of course recent anime I think is trying to break those boundaries much as an earlier poster suggested that the east and the west are learning from each other.

Lelouch of the rebellion seems fresh to anime watchers but he's actually a classic Byronic hero. And those have been around in the west since well... Bryon's writings and include characters like the Count of Monte Christo. Sherlock Holmes might have had a touch too. though he seems to have avoided a lot of the tragedy of the trope.


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Posted 10/1/13

Felstalker wrote:



That's an interesting point you brought up; the notion that the Japanese society is more accepting of death.

You've made me realized that the heroes in Naruto don't try to bring the dead back to life, but the villains in Naruto do bring the dead back to life--it's as if bringing people back to life is the equivalent of evil.


There's nothing wrong with comparing Asian literature to Western literature... I think they're very different because of cultural differences and your comparison made your point clearer. As I read through your post, I kept thinking of the Western novel Frankenstein...
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Posted 10/1/13 , edited 10/1/13

qualeshia3 wrote:


bradpt08 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Does anything pertaining to Germany count?


monster is an amazing anime based on a lot of German culture/history/ideologies


I've seen a little bit of Monster.


Got to watch more it is amazing
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23 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 10/1/13



Hmmm.........sure okay.
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Posted 10/1/13 , edited 10/1/13

GayAsianBoy wrote:

That's an interesting point you brought up; the notion that the Japanese society is more accepting of death.

You've made me realized that the heroes in Naruto don't try to bring the dead back to life, but the villains in Naruto do bring the dead back to life--it's as if bringing people back to life is the equivalent of evil.


There's nothing wrong with comparing Asian literature to Western literature... I think they're very different because of cultural differences and your comparison made your point clearer. As I read through your post, I kept thinking of the Western novel Frankenstein...


I say not that Japanese society is more accepting, but Japanese culture is about accepting. Differences see?

I've got another one to bring up. Cultural attitudes.

For those old enough to remember .Hack//Sign (It's too young to be old school, too old to be known well enough) Remember the main character Tsukasa?

For those not in the now, or in need of a refresher. Kid's a prick. Take Shinji Ikari. Now replace everyone who as an ass to him with someone nice, caring, intelligent, socially ok(They ain't perfect) and have them go out of their way to try and improve his life.
Now make Shinji even more apathetic. He doesn't care. About you, your life, your mom, breakfast, bagels...nothing. Thats the character we're dealing with here.
Now to make maters worse, remove 90% of the action in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Replace it with more dialogue. That's .Hack//Sign in a nutshell.
Tsukasa is an asshole. He acts like a spoiled brat. Everything you say to him, he responds with "I dunno" or "So what?" Did he do something wrong? Trying to tell him what he did wrong? Hissy fit. The kid went out of his way to act like he never cared about anything. I don't know why, but it pissed me off. I love the show to death, even back then, but thats what I put up with.

Now, lets throw a Japanese cultural spin on things.

Tsukasa is trying to act "manly". Masculine traits in japan are more inline with the classic Samurai school of thought. A man shows no emotion. He treats serious matters as tho they're the slightest of problems, worthy of joke instead of thought. They also treat the smallest inconvenience with absolute seriousness. By being in control of your emotions, you prove you're capable of the task at hand. You're acting all Spock like, with them Vulcan traits. You do things logically DESPITE your emotions. A key thing in many Samurai movies is the main character being emotional, then having a tragic event remove that emotion from him(Gurren Lagann, Samurai 7) so that he "attempts" to be apathetic towards something, but isn't doing it quite right. You need to HAVE emotion and IGNORE IT. That's the sign of a true man.

This fits in nicely with Tsukasa's eventual background reveal. The character is just a child/high schooler afterall. The entire adult thing was a failed facade/act, very apparent throughout the show. What looked like a whiny bitch being an ass for no reason to me originally, became a slightly complex character.

The eventual background reveal was a slap in the face to me. It was straight out of nowhere! It's like if they revealed in the last episode of SAO, that SAO was actually an elaborate board game the whole time. Does that make sense to you? NOOOOOOO.

Having the cultural information however, I no longer insult the .Hack//sign ending. Everything lead up to it's conclusion in one way or another. Every horrible character trait was a dressed in universe. If Tsukasa ignored responsibilities, he got punished. If he acted tough, he messed up and got hurt. That was the point. His character was flawed, and it was up to the people around him to save him(if they can take a moment to stop talking about how they named their characters...altho if SAO had such an episode that'd be awesome as all hell.

I really like .Hack//Sign by the way. IF we could somehow combine .Hack//sign with SAO, we'd be fantastic. Think about it. .Hack//sign is often sooooooooo absurd in it's detailed tragic characters, massive world, and focus on dialogue. But it's overdone plot, lack of action, and tendency to end it's anime with "aaaah Bitch! Go buy the games! What year is it? 2013? $50 bucks at Walmart for 1 of the games, IT'S A PS2 GAME AND IT'S SELLING AT WALMART FOR 50 BUCKS, AND IT'S PART 3, NOT PART 1...OOOH NO IF I COULD FIND PART 1, I'DA PLAYED IT"
Where was I? Yeah um...

SAO's strengths and weaknesses combined with .Hack's strengths and weaknesses....it's like the perfect union.

And why the hell was Asuka's game name her real name? Whats up with that? Can't make up a good fantasy name here? Or would you rather pleasure yourself to a real name?
Put some god damn effort into it!
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49 / M / In
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Posted 10/1/13
I love the Kabuki sound effects I honestly want that as a ring tone
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Posted 10/1/13

qualeshia3 wrote:




Hmmm.........sure okay.


Awesome you will love it
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Posted 10/1/13



Thank you.



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Posted 10/1/13
Hmm....the pantsu shots?

No, I kid- to an extent...
If we're talking culture.......how about the culture festival?

I'm too sure if it's a cultural theme, but the rich girls almost always reveal a good portion of their foreheads and have that annoying laugh that seems like a bad imitation of a British royal's laugh.
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Posted 10/1/13
there is either a McRondles or a WcDondles in every city in japan
Posted 10/1/13 , edited 10/1/13
Part from a lot of Japanese culture there's a lot of European culture.

Not that European culture comes as a surprise, considering our European ancestors have repeatedly tried to take over the world one way or another. Like the crusades, the robbery of American soil and genocide against its natives, Napoleon and Hitler. And in all the aforementioned attempts they spread their culture across the globe.

And as if all the death and destruction wasn't enough, now we got these guys---- and whatever dignity we had left... these guys are just picking at it, like a scab, like a bad wound that will never close, like really, just beating at that fraction of dignity, making it vanish, like *poof* smoke, like a dream, into thin air.
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Posted 10/2/13

dankuuwut wrote:

Part from a lot of Japanese culture there's a lot of European culture.

Not that European culture comes as a surprise, considering our European ancestors have repeatedly tried to take over the world one way or another. Like the crusades, the robbery of American soil and genocide against its natives, Napoleon and Hitler. And in all the aforementioned attempts they spread their culture across the globe.

And as if all the death and destruction wasn't enough, now we got these guys---- and whatever dignity we had left... these guys are just picking at it, like a scab, like a bad wound that will never close, like really, just beating at that fraction of dignity, making it vanish, like *poof* smoke, like a dream, into thin air.


What abut Africa? You know, the colossal continent who's countries are for some reason shaped in perfectly reasonable squares?
It's like someone drew a map of Africa, and several super-powerful countries drew lines on the map to decide who's get what piece of the African pie......

That said, I'll say Japanese culture is among the least influenced of all cultures, at least as of the current day.
Japan was an isolationist country with no profitable resources. They want to be left alone, and you have nothing to do there. Europe fought and fought for China, Africa, Inida, the Americas....but Japan's a small island that produces Fish. They buy shit from China and stay by themselves, wooop dee-doo.

It wasn't until America came barging in that they had to rethink Isolationism, AND they moved towards a very Nazi/Fascist/Imperialistic culture. Japan turned from "Be alone" to "IF we want to be alone, we should take over everybody else, and the key to that is Japanese pride"
This shows through with the Uniforms and it's military symbolism. It shows through with the fact that deep into WW2, Japanese officers generally had an abundance of Katana's and other warrior weapons.
Japan kept using it's Katana's and other warrior weapons LOOOONG after European nations moved on. I'll say Europe was easily 300 years ahead of Japan. Europe in 1400 had better tech than Japan at the start of the 1800's....or so I'll say

Europes Bastard Sword and the Katana were both created around 1400. The Bastard sword was created essentially due to the tech of Europe. With the creation of stronger Platemail armor, the need for a shield was diminished. A longer, more 1v1 style sword had become more appropriate. You don't need a shield to protect your leg's, your body, armor does this for you. Bucklers themselves are a higher form of Shield, since Plate protected the rest of the body, you could use a Bucklers as a bashing or entrapping weapon, instead of just a defensive block.

Back to Japan however. Europe got rid of the Sword, replaced it with the gun, then forgot about the sword, only to create a new sword and style based around "Remember when Swords were a thing? Lets make it a sport" which is partially where we get Fencing.

Japan....still used the Katana. Part of the reason Katanas are so cool, is we didn't forget about them. They have that stylized edge that only a Nation with so limited resources, so poor a place, that they had to over-compensate for it's failures.
Katana's are basically shitty lumps of shitty metal smithed so well that it'll work just barely, but only enough to sharpen one edge.

Japan is more influenced by how different everybody is, than say, how America is based off Europe.
Europes so cool, because they're so different. Good thing Japan's not worth anything and never got forcibly controlled..originally.
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