A Conversation for Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Peer Review: A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 1

Knowthing Useful

Entry: Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime) - A3789912
Author: yprbest - U199394

Well, I realise that this probably won't be too interesting a subject for many people, but I figure there's got to be more than one person with as odd interests as me out there, right?

Anyway, I hope that this article is good enough to make the grade!

[And please give your opinions, any constructive comments - negative or positive - are greatly appreciated!]


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 2

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

'I figure there's got to be more than one person with as odd interests as me out there, right?'

Correct. And I see we've read some of the same books (and watched some of the same anime, of course).

First off, though, I'd better make the standard point about film & T.V. series' titles needing to be italicised in the Edited Guide, and first person references not being allowed. There may be some reluctance to take an Entry that's been published elsewhere, but since it's been published only on a personal website that may not be a problem. But if you'd have a problem with the personal references having to be removed, and the Entry being sub-edited by someone else who may not even contact you, then that is a problem.

'Indeed, many of the mecha genre'

You'd better explain what that is, for the sake of the poor ignorant masses.

'pushing Studio Ghibli's titles'

Ditto.

As things stand, this is in some danger of failing the rule forbidding personal theories in the Edited Guide, but since a lot of this has been drawn from professionally published works it could easily be made a clearly neutral _account_ of existing theories, if the specific interpretations were more explicitly shown to be drawn from their respective sources. I appreciate that this sounds like advice for someone writing an academic paper, but anything that looks like some random person's theorising won't stand much chance in PR. If you want an Entry on the subject to get into the Edited Guide, that's the sort of approach you'll have to take; if you don't want to, just withdraw the Entry and it'll stll be a very interesting part of the Guide.


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 3

Knowthing Useful

See, now this is why I should learn to read the guidelines better %_%

Well, I've enough experience now of essay-writing for university, so I should hopefully be able to edit the entry further to make it conform - though piecing together the references will take a little time (oh how I wish there were journals on JStor that could help me out here... hmm, that's an idea actually); unfortunately as the original article was written almost a year ago, I hadn't gotten into the practice of reference making, so it's going to take a while to find specific points that I can integrate into the article.

Still, hopefully I'll have time to do so; it's the Easter holidays after all, so I have some free time. Guess I'll just have to spend some time on it!

[And, to emphasize the point - I feel really, really stupid for breaking so many of the guidelines. I did look at them, but it would seem I took nothing in >_<]


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 4

Pinniped

Some very interesting points, and certainly a very well-written piece. Thanks for posting it.

Yeah, you're going to have to pay attention to the Guidelines because we all must. The really important things here, though, are the thesis and the encouragement of awareness of an important genre.

You're emphasising Anime as a single body of work, and considering the influence of an external culture on it. That's fine, but it's only a facet of the system.

For example : is Anime so coherent in the first place? Are Otomo and Miyazaki more or less alike than, say, Spielberg and Jackson? Isn't this more about directors than national cultures?

or, expanding the question : what about the influence of the West on Japanese culture as a whole?

or reflecting it : doesn't Anime shape Western cinema too? Which are the examples here?

or internalising it : do Western observers really 'see' Anime anyway? What's lost in translation? Does our cultural context force us to interpret it in Western terms, and so change its meaning?

I don't want you to try answer these in the piece. Certainly not yet anyway. I just wanted to throw this stuff in, to make sure you know that there's interest here beyond the Guidelines.

h2g2 is a wonderful, diverse and seemingly-boundless world of opinion and experience. Make sure you see it all, or at least as much of it as you can find.

And, as you've guessed, I love Japan. It's the most real and the most unreal place in the world, at one and the same time. No wonder its popular fiction teaches us a thing or two.

Pinsmiley - smiley


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 5

Knowthing Useful

Thanks for the kind words, and also thanks for bringing to the fore all the tangents thrown up by the article; I left the Japanese culture question alone simply because I don't think I know enough on the subject to comment, and of course I realise that as a medium in itself, anime is far too vast to pigeonhole [like Western animation, which I barely touch upon in the article - compare if you will Belleville Rendezvous to the Corto Maltese films for a nice example within French animation of fairly recent films with very different styles and origins], and I only tackle it as a single generic 'block' because of the limitations of my writing ability and knowledge on the subject. If I knew more about Japanese culture, and in particular the ancient Japanese artforms (I'm thinking primarily of Noh and Kabuki theatre, and woodblock prints) I'd like to discuss in more depth what we lose in translation, but as mentioned before i feel I lack the relevant knowledge. I do feel that the topic would make for an excellent article in itself though, and if I get more knowledgable on the subject I'd be interested in tackling it.

(And as for your point on the influence on western cinema - that's actually something I'd originally intended to include in the piece - I must have completely forgotten! I'll try to add it into the article later, as there's quite a bit to suggest (and not just the oft-mentioned influence of Ghost in the Shell on The Matrix</i&gtsmiley - winkeye

As for Japan itself... I don't really know what I think of it. I've not had the pleasure of visiting the country myself, and don't intend to until I can at least get by in Japanese [as well as have the money to go, of course], but I do find it to be an intriguing country, even moreso than most [which is fairly impressive, as I'm interested by most cultures, my own included ^_^]

Egh, anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback, but now I've got to go and have lunch ^_^

Following that, I'll try and tidy up the article so it conforms more to the standards expected of the Guide, and then I'll try and add in a little on the influence of Anime on the West. And finally, I'll try and sort out my references (would you believe I couldn't find the 'footnote' GuideML code when I initially wrote that article? I looked for a citation marker, but that proved to be the wrong things, so I assumed they were impossible to do. I = not the greatest person when it comes to looking for things...), though that may take a while as the Anime Encyclopedia's in another house, and Napier's work has gone walkabout...


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 6

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

I've got copies of those books if you need something checking. I also think I recall seeing an anime-related article by Napier listed on Jstor, so it may be worth a look.

I'll run through the Entry with a finer toothcomb once you've made any immediate changes.


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 7

Jayne Austin

I like it! I like anime, but even though I'm a 42 yr old woman, I prefer the "kiddie" types like 'Sailor Moon' and the goofy stuff like 'Lum'!

I don't know if you want to get into it, but Japanimation is influencing American stuff quite a bit, too. I'm a huge 'Elfquest' fan, and Wendy Pini, the artist, is a huge fan of Japanese anime, and it conciously influenced her elves.

In all, nice job! smiley - cheers


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 8

Knowthing Useful

LadyBrianna: I'm glad you liked the article! smiley - smiley I'm guessing that by Lum you're referring to Urusei Yatsura, in which case I must agree that it's a great show (and must admit that despite its popularity I've seen none of Sailor Moon, though I intend one day to watch it). I would indeed be interested in talking about the influence of Japanese animation of American film/culture [and its influence on other countries besides], and so must thank you greatly for mentioning Elfquest and Wendy Pini, that I hadn't encountered before, and both of which I feel certain will help to increase my understanding of the effects of anime on the west! Thanks a lot!

RFJS: thanks for the advice, but I'll try and find the books themselves; the responsibility to back up my piece must lie with me, and I'd feel less than good for getting you to fill in for my mistakes! I'd rather assumed that Jstor would have nothing, but since you believe it might I'll look into it - I should have tried in the first place, and there's no excuse for me just making assumptions about it!

Again, I'll continue tidying up the article, and I'll make it known once I'm done (I must admit to being in a mild state of insobriety at the moment - I'm not a regular drinker, but as this is my first week back from university I went out with a few friends, and have had a bit to drink - so I'm not going to risk editing it now. I ask that you don't think less of me, though obviously your opinions are your own to make. But yes, I feel that at my current state correcting my article would be a bad idea, and so I shall leave it). I shall hopefully have time (between looking after my younger brother and revising for Latin) to make further changes tomorrow [well, technically today]!

Again, thank you both for your comments (thanking you for the second time then, RFJS!)


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 9

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

smiley - dontpanicWe're not going to think any less of you; there's no rush.smiley - zen


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 10

Knowthing Useful

Well, I've added a segment on the influence of anime on the west now as well (and it's a fair bit more referenced than the rest of the article at the moment). As a side-note, I've now got back-ache from writing for too long (bad posture used today), damn you all :D

Still got more tidying up to do though (primarily the ubiquitous referencing), but I feel like things are starting to come together [again] ^_^


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 11

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"(Most famously the Seven Samurai; Akira Kurosawa's tip of the hat to the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, which was itself converted into a western: The Magnificent Seven)."

Seven Samurai 1954
Magnificent Seven 1960
Fistful of Dollars 1964

http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue06/infocus/spaghetti.htm
Spaghetti Westerns didn't take off until the mid-sixties


A little research goes a long way.


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 12

Knowthing Useful

Well, your dates help to suggest at least the main clause - "Most famously the Seven Samurai... which was itself converted into a western: The Magnificent Seven" could be (and indeed should be) correct, but I was not aware that the Spaghetti western was not popularised until later. Heh, now here's the main problem with publishing something I'd written over a year ago; I'm going to have to try and remember where I read about Kurosawa's influences, and then find some more accurate sources ^_^

Thanks a lot for bringing that to my attention (and I swear I did do a 'little research', indeed I would never have come up with the idea that Kurosawa was influenced by spaghetti westerns had I not read it in the first place ^_^), I'll try to sort it out as quickly as possible!


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 13

Knowthing Useful

Well, I've tidied that particular paragraph somewhat, hopefully it's more accurate now! Sorry about that, I wish I could remember where I'd read what I did, but either way it doesn't excuse the fact that I should have been particularly careful when talking outside my sphere of knowledge (I know very little of the American western, despite my father's insistence that they shed more light on the American psyche than any other genre)!


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 14

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

Well, having had a closer look:

smiley - modAlthough post-WW2 is a logical place to start from the point of view of examining direct influences on anime, Japanese cinema was influenced by the West ever since cinema itself was imported. Of course, it was also influenced, to a greater or lesser extent, by Japan's ingidenous theatrical traditions. Then there's the history of manga, which of course goes hand in hand with that of anime.

smiley - modTo what extent actually is there a 'traditional anime style'? Certainly Jin-Roh doesn't look much like Astro Boy, but then Galaxy Angel doesn't look all that close. Clearly there's been diversification, but that doesn't automatically imply Western influence.

One case that springs to mind of Western influence on what's recognised as an anime/manga visual style isn't an anime at all, but Final Fantasy VIII; see <./>A3505411#graphics</.>. Since anime and games often influence each other, it's a legitimate case to cite. (You can't link to the Entry, though, since Edited Entries aren't allowed to link to unedited ones.)

smiley - modOne detail you might mention is that Kurosawa has traditionally been seen in Japan as the 'most Western' of Japanese directors -- whereas Ozu was the 'most Japanese'. Mentioning this would make that section a bit more balanced.

smiley - mod'This understandably followed the upsurge of shows that were 'blatantly' anime's popularity amongst younger children in the west'

This reads rather awkwardly; I _think_ what you mean is the equivalent of 'This understandably followed the upsurge in popularity of shows that were 'blatantly' anime amongst younger children in the west'.

smiley - zenAnd don't worry; I don't expect any quick alterations. And you don't have to take any of this advice if you think there are good reasons not to.smiley - smiley


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 15

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

If I remember correctly, Kurosawa was influenced by John Ford...
I 'll check.


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 16

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/kurosawa.html

Hmm...


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 17

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"While mention is frequently made of the influence of John Ford's wide-screen cinematography and large scale mise en scène on Kurosawa's depiction of action sequences, the importance of Eisenstein's notion of a montage of oppositions is equally significant in considering the look of Seven Samurai. (1) Kurosawa's dynamic camera, tracking fast-moving warriors and sweeping across battle scenes, is counter posed with static and close-up shots. Long takes are opposed to rapidly cut sequences from a number of camera angles. Like Eisenstein (another great action filmmaker), Kurosawa's editing and camera direction work together to create spectacular visual impacts and elicit complex combinations of emotions and thoughts in the spectator."

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/cteq/00/9/seven.html


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 18

Knowthing Useful

Um, any particular reason for quoting my quote? Do you disagree with Senses of Cinema?

(And I in case you're bringing attention to the fact that I ignored the Eisenstein point, primarily because he was a Russian director, hence superfluous to the article, and also because the statement that 'mention is frequently made of...' is unarguable, whilst simply stating that Eisenstein was an influence is slightly more subjective ^_^)

I agree wholeheartedly with you on the point that there is something to be said for the influence of the west prior to WWII, and in the evolution of manga (and the influence of woodblock paintings upon them), I simply lack the knowledge to write on such an area. Given more time I could probably learn more about the pre-war influences and development of manga, but it would take a considerable amount of time and effort, and as such would probably lead to a seperate article in future. Perhaps I should change the title of this article to signify that I'm concentrating on Post-WWII developments in anime?

You are right in suggesting there is no single, true 'anime' style, just stereotypical factors that are often present (notably the big eyes [particularly on female characters] and elastic mouths), and while I brushed upon the subject perhaps I should go into more detail on it. It would probably, I guess, be a good idea for me to then bring to the reader's attention that, while outside influences such as the west are a factor, we should also bear in mind that each anime (and of course, manga) has internal influences; i.e. each director/artist/animation director/character designer will have their own styles (such as the distinctive - and fairly widely encountered even in the west - styles of Masamune Shirow's, Yoshitoshi ABe's and Keiji Gotoh's character designs, Hayao Miyazaki's and Satoshi Kon's character designs and direction, and Mamoru Oshii's directorial style). Thanks for pointing that out, I'll try and write something up in a bit ^_^

I didn't know about the distinction within Japan between Kurosawa and Ozu beforehand, so thanks for the information - I'll look into it and see if I can work it into the article. I really must brush up on my general knowledge of Japanese filmmaking!

Oh, and thanks for pointing out my bad sentence structure there - as I add new parts to my essay I'm likely to write a fair few parts which'll need tidying up - I'd like to hope that I'd have noticed that when I next proofed my work [probably tomorrow - I find that I can't proof my work effectively until I've left it for a day or so], but I certainly can't guarantee I would have, so thanks a lot!

I probably won't make any more changes today, mainly for the reason given above (i.e. I like to put a bit of space between changes, as my writing tends to get worse if I write repeatedly over a short space of time), but hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to correct a few more of the problems smiley - smiley

Again, thanks for your responses (though I'd be thankful if you could clarify the purpose of your last three responses! ^_^)


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 19

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Just stream of unconsciousness...
I'm doing three things at once.
"Quoting my quote"?
I don't remember doing that.


A3789912 - Culture Clash - the effects of the West on Japanese Animation (Anime)

Post 20

Knowthing Useful

Just where you wrote ""While mention is frequently made of the influence of John Ford's wide-screen cinematography and large scale mise en scène on Kurosawa's depiction of action sequences, the importance of Eisenstein's notion of a montage of oppositions is equally significant in considering the look of Seven Samurai. (1) Kurosawa's dynamic camera, tracking fast-moving warriors and sweeping across battle scenes, is counter posed with static and close-up shots. Long takes are opposed to rapidly cut sequences from a number of camera angles. Like Eisenstein (another great action filmmaker), Kurosawa's editing and camera direction work together to create spectacular visual impacts and elicit complex combinations of emotions and thoughts in the spectator." - a quote I use in part in my article: " (Most famously Seven Samurai; often described as the first Japanese 'Action Film', and many of the techniques Kurosawa used were borrowed from well known director John Ford2 - "mention is frequently made of the influence of John Ford's wide-screen cinematography and large scale mise en scène on Kurosawa's depiction of action sequences"[followed by a footnote giving the very same site you cited ^_^]


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