With the release of the fantastic film Pacific Rim(Which everyone should see) I am reminded of just how much anime(Japanese Cartoons) have influenced Hollywood and Tv. This is news to alot of people and alot of them call shenanigans on my claim, this is fine because everyone has there freedom to feel that way but I am here today in the Den to posture alittle bit so “Bear” with me.
I am a huge nerd we all know this and take it as fact lol(most do anyway) and this means I watch things from Doctor Who to Warehouse 13 back to X-Files and Star Trek: Next Generation ending with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. So shows like FireFly are loved by me and so many others yet when I brought up the fact that the scene in the beginning of the series when Dr. Simon Tam’s sister River is awakened coiled up in a briefcase the first thing out of my mouth was holy shit its Outlaw Star.
I am not saying this is a bad thing at all but but on the contrary is a great homage to Whedon’s love of anime. Yet alot of fans of the show call it a qawinky dink. Well huh.
Another movies that had my anime senses tingling was The Chronicle. I n my opinion its the closest we will probably ever get to an Akira movie. What is Akira you ask? Well it’s a SciFi action film from the 1988 directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, written by Otomo and Izo Hashimoto and is thought to be one of the most beautiful and influential feature length Anime to this day. It’s about a kid who gets psychic powers and as we power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The kid turns totally bag and ends up going against his friends, the government and himself. the story parts are very similar but the two key things that connected The Chronicle and Akira in my mind was the speech in chronicle about natural selection and apex predators and the visuals during the hospital break out and fight were the man character in chronicle has his head bandaged, along with his arm and leg and looks almost identical to Tetsuo in Akira during his hospital scenes. also the fight during the climax shown in the trailer has alot of similarities between the Tetsuo v Military fight in Akira.
I have simply talked about a tv show that has gained massive love from a its massive fanbase and a major motion picture that hit thousands of screens world wide. So to finish up and back track both at the same time I want to come back to Pacific Rim, or as alot of my friends call it G Gundam meets Godzilla. Gundam and Godzilla are probably the two most recognizable franchises to come out of Japan. The Godzilla connection in Pacific Rim is right in front of you as soon as you see the trailer giant monsters known as Kaiju. When you watch the film these creature designs are all based on Earth based critters, like the gorilla-esk monster fought by the main characters in there robot Gypsy Danger, or the crab like kaiju in a key flashback scene. Now the thing that brought the butts to the seats was giant robots and these things are awesome, and there connection to anime in this humble Bear’s opinion is more based in the work of Go Nagai. the Key and point being the Rocket Punch shown in the trailers along with the chest missiles used in the film and the chest blast which is very similar to Getter Robo’s Getter Beam. Where as the crews of each robot are definitely of the G Gundam-esk stereotypes ie cocky Americans, tough stern no fun Russians(with crazy 80’s hair), the lightening fast kunfu using Chinese team, and the cowboy like Australians.
The moral of this post in the nutshell is basically to say there is nothing wrong with liking anime or giving it its proper due, Hollywood does, even though they may not scream it from the mountain tops. The influences are all throughout our favorite tv shows, games, movies you name it. So when some nerdy lil otaku like me says hey man there is this Japanese cartoon with stuff just like that or identical too, why not check it out you could be pleasantly surprised.
Well this Bear is signing out sorry for the super long post, but some times a guy just has to go hey look! SEE! I told you man! and let that be that lol. Anyway hope I didn’t bore you with my gibber jabber and just maybe you came away with a new outlook on anime and how it can show up when you lease expect it. so until next time.