Akira, a Japanese anime film created in 1988 is the central film for this week’s post.
Akira was my personal first experience with an anime film, Akira follows the story of Tetsuo, a teenager apart of a local biking ‘gang’ who feuds with another gang until he is abducted and experimented on by the Japanese government and more of less destroys Tokyo and is taken to another dimension by Akira another supernatural being.
According to Ellis’s definition (Auto ethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (ELLIS, 2004; HOLMAN JONES, 2005) I believe that my personal perspective or view of anime prior to this week’s class was close to nothing at all, I didn’t think about it until it was sat in front of me, which actually led to a slight fascination on my behalf although my westernised taste for movies and film did make me question the legitimacy of the film from the beginning. However, following many tweets and google searches I finally felt the experience an eye opening one. After some research I have realised how much of an influence this film has had on western culture including big time Hollywood celebrity Kanye West who references the Akira movie and credits it for much of his creative work. Akira’s story line reminded me of many other superhero and villain movies evident within Hollywood, the villain (Tetsuo) has been pushed or bullied into being resentful and abuses his new found power when the hero saves the day to the detriment of the originally abused/bullied villain.
Akira is known to have many underlying messages and meanings along with lots of other animated films. This video explains a central hidden meaning behind the film and breaks down each aspect, this video helped to improve my understanding of the film and how it has become such so popular in western society.
Reddit is another great site where people give their experience of viewing the film, circumstances and more. See bellow:
Following my viewing of this movie I have gained a better understanding of the ‘hype’ or popularity surrounding Anime, I believe it brings real world issues and culture to consumers in a ‘fun’ and ‘artistic’ way with exaggeration and dialogue. One scene that heightened my attention was the government or ‘police’ hurting Tetsuo and how the brutality is evident cross culture.