popular manga in Japan. One might even suggest that the last ten years have been the Japanese equivalent of a film renaissance.
|One of the best adaptations, despite the silly special effects.|
|The best live action adaptation ever? Let's hope!|
|Oh silly people and their cars...|
- An Unrelenting Orientation Towards Action.
Anime and manga often don't pull punches on the action, letting high-powered weaponry or magic control the scene. This is in stark contrast to U.S. films, which, while over-the-top at times, are often focused on the effects of combat, rather than the combat itself (i.e. explosions). In anime, however, power is visible. Dragonball Z often went a little overboard with its action, dragging out battles for five or six episodes, but it also showed us action at its most flamboyant.
- Uninhibited Ideas
American audiences might be surprised to know that a lot of the anime that makes it to our TV screens has actually been watered down for our audiences. That might not be so true for the stuff that shows up on late night cable, but the popular shows on Saturday morning or in the afternoon have often had their questionable content removed. Anime, thus, tends to go places where traditional western television is unwilling (except in indie stuff and late night British TV). Sociology would suggest that this has to do with the absence of western-style theology in the Japanese sphere, since a great deal of Japanese people are not "religious" in a traditional sense. In any case, so many great anime are not afraid to go into the darkest, dirtiest, and awful places of human potential. But they also dig deep into the human mind, sometimes in the most beautiful ways (like in Gasaraki, which is both dark and beautiful at the same time).
- Romantic Tension and Emotional Hypersensitity
This may be a strictly Japanese thing, but one of the aspects I most appreciate about anime is how they often create an extraordinary amount of romantic tension that, often times, doesn't get fully resolved, or, if it does, it's expected, but still an enormous relief (like in Saikano). Great anime, however, do this by presenting enormously complex and flawed characters torn by conflicting emotions. Romances in science fiction anime are particularly powerful, because they place the selfless in opposition to the selfish. One's desire to save everyone fights against the suppressed desire to fulfill one's selfish desires (love, etc.).
But maybe I'm wrong. Either way, the next few years should be pretty interesting in the anime live-action adaptation department. Here's hoping for some knockouts!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.