The imagination for "reality" of space in Japanese animations
Kiyoshi Kawamura (National Museum of Japanese History)
Paper short abstract:
This presentation discusses how the imagination of space in the works of Japanese animation, especially "Mobile Suit Gundam", which is one of the most popular works in Japan, has changed.
Paper long abstract:
This presentation discusses how the imagination of space in the works of Japanese animation, especially "Mobile Suit Gundam", one of the most popular works in Japan, has changed. Since the dawn of TV animation, science fiction has been an important genre in Japan. Mostly, severe battles with aliens from outer space have been described. However, after the 1990s when the typical science fiction or space opera deceases, the topic about parallel universe, different dimensions and inner space is mainly and eagerly described. This qualitative conversion can indicate a change of the imagination in the works of Japanese animation. It seems that the viewers consider the worldview of Gundam to be real, compared to the other animations. In the story of many of Gundam series human beings appears as follows. After the war which causes the global deterioration of the environment, they survive mainly on the surface of the moon or the space colonies constructed at Lagrangian points, and travel beyond the solar system. In every episode the political inequity and economic disproportion causes the tremendous war as in our contemporary world. Although many contradictions and erratic situations of these works are pointed out, Gundam series are constructed by the imagination for "reality" of space. Does this imagination conform to the evolution of space development and scientific knowledge of real world or prefigure the reduction of stories of outer space in the animation? These questions will be considered, understanding to examine the characteristics of the worldview and concept of Gundam.Download the full paper
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