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Post Reply My favorite psychological and/or philosophical anime is___________
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14
Psycho-Pass was on my mind for weeks after I watched it. Like, I watched it in one go and it just hit me hard. Made me enter that void after a good anime. Holds a special spot in my anime favs.
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Posted 3/27/14
I don't really have one favorite, but I haven't seen Eden of the East mentioned yet.


Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14
Serial Experiments Lain.

Holy fuck.
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14
Code Geass
xxJing 
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Posted 3/27/14
I'll throw this up there too.
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Posted 3/27/14

CoffeeGodEddy wrote:

Code Geass


I was waiting for this.
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14
Kuuchuu Buranko. For all the eccentricity and how it visually makes me sneeze glitter, it actually deals with grassroots psychology in a very accurate and...entertaining manner. Nothing quite like it out there.

I loved almost everything about Psycho Pass but I think it lost its way thematically in the second half, around where the writers seemed to run out of philosophical ticker tape and so just had the antagonist quote often irrelevant scholars constantly. Simply too austere for its own good in the end. Still that show could be utterly brilliant when it wanted to; episode 11 in particular is unforgettable.

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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14

windsagio wrote:

There's no actual philosophy there, just 'deep sounding stuff'.

Edit: If you're trolling me, I don't wanna hear about it ><

Not trolling, and I don't want to hear "that's just keep sounding stuff" on a page where Psycho-Pass has been mentioned five times alongside Ergo Proxy. Thank God nobody's said Fate/Zero yet. And of course there's Code Geass.

It's all just "deep sounding stuff" when you get to it, what matters is if it empowers viewer agency. And Neon Genesis Evangelion does (along with Psycho-Pass, Ergo Proxy, Fate/Zero, and Code Geass, for the record).

Ergo, the answers to this thread will be very personal.

    "Is it very natural that when we have gone through the ordered movements which a great play or narrative excites in us--when we have danced that dance or enacted that ritual or submitted to that pattern--it should suggest to us many interesting reflections. We have 'put on mental muscle' as a result of this activity. We may thank Shakespeare or Dante for that muscle, but we had better not father on them the philosophical or ethical use we make of it. For one thing, this use is unlikely to rise very much--it may rise a little--above our own ordinary level. Many of the comments on life which people get out of Shakespeare could have been reached by very moderate talents without his assistance. For another, it may well impeded future receptions of the work itself. We may go back to it chiefly to find further confirmation for our believe that it teaches this or that, rather than for a fresh immersion in what it is. We shall be like a man poking his fire, not to boil the kettle or warm the room, but in the hope of seeing in it the same pictures he saw yesterday. And since a text is 'but a cheverel glove' to a determined critic--since everything can be a symbol, or an irony, or ambiguity--we shall easily find what we want. The supreme objection to this is that which lies against the popular use of all the arts. We are so busy doing things with the work that we give it too little chance to work on us. Thus increasingly we meet only ourselves."

      C.S. Lewis, from An Experiment In Criticism (1968). Pages 84-85.

There's also a great short video related to this that iblessall showed me a week or so back on the PBS Idea Channel on Youtube about authorial intent: "Does It Matter What Evangelion's Creator Says?".

I'll also support Serial Experiments Lain and add Casshern Sins (Edit: nevermind, xxJing beat me to it).
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Posted 3/27/14
Psychology and futility of political conflict:
Mononoke Hime (inability to see the point of view of others leads to conflict that no one wins)
Kaze no Tani no Naushika (bloody-minded ambition leads to ruin)
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14

Insomnist wrote:


windsagio wrote:

There's no actual philosophy there, just 'deep sounding stuff'.

Edit: If you're trolling me, I don't wanna hear about it ><

Not trolling, and I don't want to hear "that's just keep sounding stuff" on a page where Psycho-Pass has been mentioned five times alongside Ergo Proxy. Thank God nobody's said Fate/Zero yet. And of course Code Geass.

It's all just "deep sounding stuff" when you get down to it, what matters is if it empowers viewer agency. And Neon Genesis Evangelion does (along with Psycho-Pass, Ergo Proxy, Fate/Zero, and Code Geass, for the record).

Ergo, the answers to this thread will be very personal.

    "Is it very natural that when we have gone through the ordered movements which a great play or narrative excites in us--when we have danced that dance or enacted that ritual or submitted to that pattern--it should suggest to us many interesting reflections. We have 'put on mental muscle' as a result of this activity. We may thank Shakespeare or Dante for that muscle, but we had better not father on them the philosophical or ethical use we make of it. For one thing, this use is unlikely to rise very much--it may rise a little--above our own ordinary level. Many of the comments on life which people get out of Shakespeare could have been reached by very moderate talents without his assistance. For another, it may well impeded future receptions of the work itself. We may go back to it chiefly to find further confirmation for our believe that it teaches this or that, rather than for a fresh immersion in what it is. We shall be like a man poking his fire, not to boil the kettle or warm the room, but in the hope of seeing in it the same pictures he saw yesterday. And since a text is 'but a cheverel glove' to a determined critic--since everything can be a symbol, or an irony, or ambiguity--we shall easily find what we want. The supreme objection to this is that which lies against the popular use of all the arts. We are so busy doing things with the work that we give it too little chance to work on us. Thus increasingly we meet only ourselves."

      C.S. Lewis, from An Experiment In Criticism (1968). Pages 84-85.

There's also a great short video related to this that iblessall showed me a week or so back on the PBS Idea Channel on Youtube about authorial intent: "Does It Matter What Evangelion's Creator Says?".

I'll also support Serial Experiments Lain and add Casshern Sins (Edit: nevermind, xxJing beat me to it).


I'd agree that most of the others you list aren't really 'philosophical' either, it's not exactly common in anime. I just picked out eva because it's kind of a go-to. The lewis quote is hard because it's hopelessly (and ironically considering who it's from) relativistic. I think we have to make judgement calls or the whole exercise is pointless.

We can agree that Lain is Legit, tho'.


All that being said, it was super rude of me to call your choice out, so sorry.
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Posted 3/27/14
I'd have to say Psycho-Pass again, but since most people have beat me to it I'm obligated to endorse Shiki.
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Posted 3/27/14


Interesting comment.
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Posted 3/27/14
Psycho-Pass philosophical? Nah that goes to the psychology part of the title for me. I'll say it has philosophy too, but it hits psychology more for me.

Kino Journey....How can you not say that's philosophical though?

If I have to say - both fit both ends of thread title for me.

But, Psycho Pass hits the psych better and Kino the Phil.
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14

windsagio wrote:

The lewis quote is hard because it's hopelessly (and ironically considering who it's from) relativistic.

Yeah... it's part of a much longer commentary on criticism and media, but I think it can stand on its own in this case. The point isn't that media has no point, but about whether or not we perceive it and what we make of it. I'm straying from the topic of Lewis's book here into broader territory, but furthermore the human mind loves patterns: we'll even go out of our way to invent them where none exist. And while the media can fuel an experience, it is never the whole experience.

I don't think there's any one right answer here but in most cases I'm thinking of media as more of an enabler than a teacher (at the moment, anyway). It can present us with various inputs, and it might even tell us what to make of them, but we might not agree. We might come up with something entirely different, but what we came up with is no less valid. It's like that Extra Credits video "The Role of the Player" and how we apply our own agency in experiencing media.

They actually take things like books and movies to be "whole and complete, finished on the shelf" but I'd disagree. I think, to a mind that wants to be engaged, anything can spawn that kind of interactivity. Even staring at a blank wall can do it. Nobody would espouse a particular philosophical insight to a particular portion of blank wall, but in the end, is our espousing a philosophical insight on a piece of media no less of a fallacy, especially when the insight isn't universal?

Media can set a stage, but the beliefs we draw from the experience are our own, imo. This isn't to say the author didn't intend some particular meaning, but once we gobble up all that raw data what comes out is our own conclusions. This is why propaganda is an issue, it creates a situation with carefully selected information which we take in, and from that incomplete data set we're steered towards a certain belief. But even if there's only one conclusion t draw we drew it.

It's like Inception. The media plants all the information, and when we wake up we create the conclusion ourselves. This can be used to manipulate people into thinking specific things, but also just to explore concepts and beliefs.

So I think psychological and philosophical anime are less about the end result, and more about the stage they offer. But this is less me going "This is right and that is wrong" and me going "This is what I think, but I'm still curious."

Edit: I'd say Kino's Journey is a great example of this. It doesn't tell us what to think, it gives us various scenarios and begs us to draw our own conclusions. But those conclusions are our own, they aren't necessarily Keiichi Sigsawa's.


windsagio wrote:

We can agree that Lain is Legit, tho'.

Now, ironically: I just wish someone would tell me what it means.
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Posted 3/27/14 , edited 3/27/14
People get deep in here.

Yay you said Kino's Journey!
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