Before I discovered anime, I was a child of the Warner Bros, Hanna-Barbera, A.A.P.(Associated Artists Productions) and Disney generation. I was raised on Bugs, Jonny Q, Popeye and Mickey. My understanding of basic physics came from Professor W. E. Coyote. My early understanding of people came from B. Bunny. Yogi encouraged us to visit Yellowstone National Park and taught us not to feed the bears. Jonny Q made it cool to have a dad who was an international scientist. The Disney studio gave us the unforgettable mix of Hollywood spectacle, choreography and musical and also taught us the value of marketing, plus giving us a theme park or two. Anime has brought a whole new generation a different set of style, script, color palette, sound effects and cultural perspective.
Strong Female Characters: If you haven’t noticed, the characters I have mentioned above were male. In anime, female characters are prevalent, strong and held in esteem or respect. The anime film, Princess Mononoke is a classic example of a story with strong female characters. Two of the three main characters are female; San a.k.a. Princess Mononoke (female), Lady Eboshi (female) and Ashitaka (male). The films’ tag line of; “the fate of the world rests on the courage of one warrior”, gives thought as to who of the three that one warrior is. Within this group each individual is a warrior with great qualities and strengths within their own scope within the storyline. If you have not had the pleasure of watching the movie, it is not my intention to spoil your experience by further discussing the plot. I only encourage you to view the film for yourself noting the roles and interactions of the male and female characters.
Timeless Story Themes: The timeless nature of the anime story theme is not merely the classic superficial good versus evil conflicts, but rather the deeper conflicts that arise in differences of opinion or point of view. Anime scripts have a tendency to reveal visually more information on a character’s background which then gives the audience a more meaningful understanding of that character’s personal struggles. In many instances the audience will feel a reflection of that conflict within their own soul.
Social Commentary: Traditionally much of Japan’s writing has had a slant regarding the negative outcomes of technology outpacing cultural or social development or wisdom. The fact that Japanese anime has such a following in much of North America and the world at large suggests an importance in those concerns being expressed. In the film “Princess Mononoke”, the conflict between the old traditions of agriculture and the holistic or animistic beliefs pitted against the progress of Iron Age technology has meaning in many areas of today’s global issues. Anime stories traditionally expose and question the lines of progress, commerce, loyalty, honor and culture all within the graphic nature of animation.
Less Dialogue – More Meaningful Acting: North American movies in general use a lot of dialogue in scripts. A lot of traditional anime will …