Japanese culture under the tree

If there is one cultural phenomenon that marked the end of the 20th century in our region, it is the appearance of Japanese manga in Western culture. Originally, there was Japanese animation that exploded onto American TV in the mid-1950s, thanks to semi-animation that made their production cheaper than Full Animation in waltz disney which dominated the market head and shoulders.

But a union revolt in February 1941 diverted Disney’s best talent to television, a relatively new industry with little money at the time. However, traditional Disney animation is expensive: for one minute of animated film, you have to make between 12 images, with peaks at 24, per second. Disney dissidents who make for TV will reduce it to less than 12 and the Japanese between 4 and 12, with an average of around 6. Therefore, a production is cheaper and less demanding to in technical terms, the first TV screens of that time were in any case not yet very efficient.

As a result, this “poor” animation was a hit and TVs bought it in droves. These anime soon arrived in France by the truckload, especially in Récréa2 from 1978. Dragon Ball ZSailor MoonNaruto where One piecesimultaneously be present in the video games industry that is booming at the same time, crush the competition and conquer the whole world.

Amazing Animation

The job of Nathalie Bittinger,” In Wonderland – Treasures of Japanese Animation », in addition to being well written (it is rare in this kind of literature) well explains the tone of a production marked by a deep existential angst, constantly revolving around the metaphor of the apocalypse.

This is because, born of war, Japanese production is framed by disasters that have marked the history of the country of the Rising Sun: repeated earthquakes, atomic bombs in 1945, until the tsunami in 2011 that caused the disaster in Fukushima…

“In Wonderland – Treasures of Japanese Animation” by Nathalie Bittinger – Ed. Hoëbeke
“In Wonderland – Treasures of Japanese Animation” by Nathalie Bittinger – Ed. Hoëbeke

Behind the chromos: wars and weapons of mass destruction, giant robots, inhabiting ghosts, urban alienation, existential crisis, permanent struggle for survival…are the recurring themes. The universe reflected in the Japanese Cave of Plato is that of an inexorable anxiety that can only be relieved by an imagination tinged with a somewhat naïve melancholy. Shall we say its beauty?

The beautiful journey that this book offers us however, through the great films that have marked the history of anime, immediately: AKira, Grave of the Fireflies, Gen Hiroshima, Porco Rosso, Attack on Titan, Street Fighter II, Metropolis, Blame!, Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, The End of Evangelion, My Neighbor Totoro, Cowboy Bebop, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Cat Kingdom, etc. Guaranteed nostalgia effect!

“In Wonderland – Treasures of Japanese Animation” by Nathalie Bittinger – Ed. Hoëbeke

Shonen Nekketsu for Dummies

The job of Chief Otakuyoutuber with 1.2 million subscribers, holds you if your knowledge of manga is limited: we explain the recipe for the magic potion behind the success of Japanese comics with large figures from Shōnen Nekketsu (see our “Lexicon of manga-> https://www.actuabd.com/Petit-lexique-du-manga]: “ Literally “bubbling blood”, this is the narrative framework most common in shônen today.).

“Manga Story” by Chief Otaku – Ed. Hoëbeke
“Manga Story” by Chief Otaku – Ed. Hoëbeke

Chief Otaku defines archetypes (the hero, the rival, the SenseiThe sidekick…), the founding myths, the concepts that make it up (power, initiation, single combat, the tournament…) and the various themes that keep coming up…

It is richly illustrated, with the most characteristic manga: Asahi No Joe, Saint Seiya, One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Bleach, My Hero Academia, Hajime No Ippo, Hunetr X Hunter, Toriko, Full Metal Alchimist, Boruto, Fairy Tail, Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, etc… and explained in a simple way. You don’t have to be a manga fan to subscribe.

“Manga Story” by Chief Otaku – Ed. Hoëbeke

For those familiar with these worlds, this is a journey dotted with “madeleines de Proust” but also a handy manual full of well-laid out and well-edited images.

For those who want the eyes of their interlocutors to light up while we carve the Christmas turkey.

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