Sunday, January 20, 2013

Evangelion after Fukushima (Part 4)

Günter Anders

This is Part 4 of the series. Part 1, 2 and 3.
There is a vital difference between the empty streets of ULTRAMAN or EVANGELION and the empty streets in Fukushima. In fiction, these empty streets demand you to kill your imagination. Don’t think about them. They act as bits of the propaganda, which coerce you not to contemplate. But, the empty streets in Fukushima demand us to imagine the absence of the society - lives destroyed, families torn apart, businesses crumbled, promises crashed, smiles forgotten, and hopes demolished. Parhaps we should remember, - as Hiroaki Koide pointed out - that this is much worse than war. After the war, you can rebuild the society again. This disaster is different. It does not allow us to re-enter the land of our own. The part of Fukushima is totally lost to us and remains so for more than 100 years to come. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Evangelion after Fukushima (Part 3)

The Empty Streets of Tomioka Town,
inside the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Plant
(via. Reuters)
This is Part 3 of the series. Part 1 and 2.

"MAZINGER Z", the first and the most influential Robot/Mecha Anime was aired in 1972. It was the time of consumerism, aftermath of turbulent sixties, the entrance to the highway of economic boom, Japanese technology revolution. In MAZINGER Z, the question of “perfect” only applied to the perfectness of the machines. The viewers of the program were kids born in sixties, the generation too far removed from the days of the Imperial military. The archenemies in MAZINGER Z are the worst kind of worst ex-Nazis, who are grotesque, sadistic and horrifyingly evil. It didn’t occur to the young viewers (including me) that Nazis were the partners to our grandfathers military. The series was one of the first to exploit the power of franchise business model through the medium of TV. All we kids cared about was this new, cool toy figures of Mazinger Z, made of "Super Alloy Z", whatever that was. This 60cm tall toy, armored with the “Rocket Punch”, became a standard Christmas or birthday gift for the pre-teen boys, and was the perfect product of imagination which came true.

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