|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,