Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Magic That Is Anime

Miko Yuki - "Bleach"

When watching Anime, (Japanese animation) my child-like wonder is ignited and my eyes might mirror (assuming I can see them) the big saucer eyes of the characters in the animation. Anime is entertaining, but underneath the simple tale lays philosophical and spiritual gems. 
 However, there are no soapboxes here, simply characters dealing with inner demons while fighting off the evil outer demons.  Characters that are in trouble, carrying a deep inner wound, grows and finally triumphs over adversity.  And themes of good defeats evil, redemption of evil, protecting others, personal sacrifice, friendship and love abound in Anime, but are only realized through the characters struggle to become whole.
All of these things, characters growing emotionally, lessons learned, conflicts, and hidden meanings, I expect in any good story.  What intrigues me as a writer is how the supernatural (whether psychic or spiritual) in Anime is weaved like a tightly woven silk kimono into the story.  Perhaps, because the Japanese see the spiritual in all things and therefore seems natural.  Observing Anime, I would say it is a reflection of their culture and Eastern religions comprising of Buddhism, Hinduism and Shintoism.
For example, the elements, air, water, earth and fire are more than just what they name.  They are of the natural world and thus associated with gods and goddesses but they can and often have a magical existence.  Neat, huh?
Mixing the supernatural and the spiritual is not something that happens often in Western entertainment.  It would be like mixing oil with water. But, maybe that’s changing.  Looking at recent Disney animations like the Kung Fu Panda shows an appreciation for the power of the mix. 
Okay, okay, let it be known, I love animation and the magic it bestows on the viewer.  It entertains while juggling your emotions like balls in the air.  Then another set of balls labeled, “a new perspective” and “acceptance not necessary” joins the fun.  When the story ends, the balls fall, except one remains for a brief moment labeled “enlightenment.”  Or, maybe it's a sign with a light bulb on it and it leaves you wearing an inner smile because you had such a sweet time.
One of my favorite Animes,  Avatar, The Last Airbender has a spin off, The Legend Of Korra."  In this clip, Korra is introduced as the new reincarnated Avatar.   It’s a girl! Yeah!

And, just because it’s fun, the trailer for Kung Fu Panda.

What was the last animation that you watched? 
Till next time,


Ella Gray said...

I watch a good amount of anime and other animated stuff, I think the last one might have been Steam Detectives. My favorites are definitely Ninja Scroll, Macross Plus, Ghost in the Shell, and anything by Hayao Miyazaki.

Melanie said...

Finally!! Someone I can indulge my KORRA obsession with. I tell the story of how I got fired from a job because I was watching the Avatar anime. I got fired from that job and, after a while, got to the one I have now. Perfect fit.

I have favorite episodes of Avatar, and my favorite character is still Toph! Love me a girl who spits and walks around barefoot.

As for character development: Need I mention Sokka! He went from being the comic relief to being a true leader. When I finally stop watching the show for the acting and art and story, I might eventually watch it for its narrative technique.

Drop me a line if you want to chat about Korra.. specially with what's coming up!!


EW Gibson said...


You are so into it girl!

EW Gibson said...


We have so much in common and now...Korra! hehehe! I believe writers can learn a lot from anime. Yes, let's talk more about it.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

I'm an anime junkie since my teens. There are too many favorites to list. I'm working my way through Avatar at the moment.

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