Emilee’s Japanese Animation

March 17, 2010

I have watched Grave of the Fireflies after almost everyone I know told me that if I didn’t cry after watching it then I didn’t have a soul. Well, as a result of their constant warnings, I was appropriately braced for the ending and thus did not cry when it ended. Did you actually watch it? Let me know if you have a soul.

While our own cartoons might not adequately cover some of these subjects, which are obviously for children, you seem to ignore the fact that Japanese anime is not child-only viewing. I would not want any five-year-old to watch Grave of the Fireflies, not only because it’s still excruciatingly depressing but mostly because they cannot possibly grasp the gravity of the situation. I mentioned in my own Japanimation post that I watched a rather adult war anime and, while I enjoyed it, I did not wholly grasp the intricacies of the plot until I became older and was able to watch it fully.

Our culture does not really have adult cartoons (that aren’t serious at any rate) because we have real-action shows to cover those subjects. Dexter, from what I gather, is about a serial killer who gets away with his crimes because his adoptive father trained him to get away with it, while simultaneously working as a blood spatter analyst for a Miami police department. A new ten-part series by Steven Spielberg is airing every Sunday at this moment which is going to cover the World War II front in Japan:

Then, of course, there’s House, where the hero is a drug addict (well former drug addict now) who doesn’t trust anyone, least of all his patients, and who is an antisocial genius at being able to connect the dots in ways other people can’t. He’s also a jerk who constantly spies on his employees and belittles what few friends he has.

Americans are also original, we just do it in a different medium.

Now this might be a bad example to combat your endings point, but Silent Hill really did not have a standard happy ending. The mother who searches through this mysterious alternate reality of the town, Silent Hill. The town itself has a constant snowfall of ash and frequently warps into a twisted and violent version where monsters crawl out of the shadows to kill all in their sight. The mother eventually finds the daughter, although she is not the one to dispatch the monsters, but they never actually find their way out of the Otherworld and apparently stuck wandering it for all eternity. Not exactly storybook.

Granted Silent Hill was first a Japanese video game, but these story changes were made when adapted to the big screen. In the video game, that is definitely not the same ending.

The movie was not especially well-liked, but I liked it if only because it was so utterly twisted and its set design was pretty amazing. But then, the rest of the story and set design are definitely based heavily off the Japanese video game.


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