Posted by: Jusuchin (Military Otaku) | 05/01/2010

Blog Post #12

Animation and Social Issues, A Unique Look or is Justin Reading too much into this?

-more after the jump-

There is no use in denying it. This was supposed to be my Coraline post. As in, the post I write the week we aired that lovey film. I already knew what to write, and it seemed like a good set of videos. But that didn’t turn out to be, so I write these last two posts, hoping to preserve some aspect of thought or whatnot. Now then, on to the videos. The videos are called “There She Is!!“, a series fo Flash animations created by a Korean group called SamBakZa, featuring a lovestruck bunny (Doki)  and a realistic cat (Nabi). The first video is totally fun, setting the background for the two characters, from Doki’s playful and obsessive love tactics to Nabi escaping yet eventually giving in, showing that there are redeeming qualities that Doki has.

Now, the next few videos in the series, it seems best that one take time to watch em all, before continuing to the…hopeful meat of my posts.

Now that the reader has, hopefully, watched through all the videos, and they were fairly well made videos, amazing use of Flash animation. But that’s not what I would write about. I know little to nothing about the stuff, but chose to look ‘deeper’ as some teachers would like to say. Had I relied on my normal ‘right-wing-nutjob-extremist’* attitude in watching these, I would’ve been compelled to just say I watched these because it was aired in ‘catgirl’ night at the GMU Anime Cub a few Fridays back.

But no, even in the initial showing at the club, I saw something else. It might be that this right-wing-nutjob getting his screws a little loosened, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, but also something else. The issue of race and racism. In this it is represented by the whole inter-species conflict where a highly ridgid society imposes a set of societal norms on the people within its borders. It reminded me a lot about the 1960s, where African-Americans fought to be recognized as something more than a first class citizen. It also brought to mind the rigid social structure trope used a lot in other productions, animated or not, visual media or print.

Heck, here is the TVTropes page. Which is much more ‘accurate’ than the wiki page.

Anyways. Back to what I saw in it. Discussing the series with a friend, we tossed around areas of the world where society imposes a set of norms, standardizing love and interactions. It can easily had been set in America, past or present, as there are still people who claim such immoral or indecent (anyone proclaiming that group of people being Tea Party members better say that to my face :/ ), while it also reminds me of India. The whole rigid cast system may had been abolished, but such acts are still frowned upon. Japan itself may be part of it, or most of the older generation in East Asia, as I’ve been told by friends of horrible things happening when their parents, of different social lines, marry.

Usually happens is a clusterfrak and the something like a Hatfield marrying a McCoy during the height of their feud. Romeo and Juliet is another example, but I chose the more American and somewhat legendary feud because it brings to light the eventual peaceful end of There She Is!!, where the two characters live peacefully, and while there still some signs that the protests continue, they are willing to set those differences aside for their love, similar to the two families signing that symbolic peace treaty after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In all, the animation was well done, the music well selected, characters are easy to relate to and love (including the gang of delinquent bunnies), and it provides, at the very least, a lesson on people. That regardless of what society requires, each younger generation in contemporary times would find ways around it.

* – yes, I first resented that tag, but I wear it somewhat proudly now. Why? Because I do. Kinda like calling myself fat. I know its true, a fact of life, and I guess its just acceptance. Why should I bend over and take everything my more left-leaning associates say. That stifles my own individuality. Kinda like people who prefer Macintosh/Apple stuff. They seem to be the ‘trendy’ and ‘hip’ people. In reality, that trendy and hip lifestyle goes completely against my own views. I see them more as people on a bandwagon. Gone were the days when Apples could be counted on to be user friendly and user workable. Nowadays, they’ve become a corporate empire not-unlike Microsoft. At least Microsoft can still call itself a personal computer, seeing that PCs can be torn apart and rebuilt, or built from ground up, and use different types of operating systems. Try doing that with a MacBook. /endrant

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