By Steven T. Brown
This assortment charts the terrain of up to date jap animation, essentially the most explosive sorts of visible tradition to emerge on the crossroads of transnational cultural creation within the final twenty-five years. The essays supply daring and insightful engagement with animé's matters with gender id, anxieties approximately physique mutation and technological monstrosity, and apocalyptic fantasies of the tip of background. The members dismantle the excellence among 'high' and 'low' tradition and supply compelling arguments for the worth and value of the research of animé and pop culture as a key hyperlink within the translation from the neighborhood to the global.
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Extra resources for Cinema Anime: Critical Engagements with Japanese Animation
Another youth wanders around selling a fanzine devoted to the group. All the while a sinister looking group of potential troublemakers who apparently interrupted a previous Cham show look on. These shots underline Mima’s vulnerability to her (apparently entirely male) fan base, a position that will become even more problematic with her decision to leave singing to become a “serious” television actress, something which the fans in this scene are already uneasy about. As the film progresses it is clear that this decision is pivotal for the plot, as the more or less harmless obsession of the generic fan boys transforms into a psychotic overidentification on the part of two other characters, Mima’s mentor Rumi, an older woman who was herself a former pop idol, and a grotesque looking concert security guard who, as his fan-obsession mounts, begins to call himself “Mimania” (a play on “Mima” and “Mania”).
But, in comparison to American directors, it may also be seen as suggesting new directions in treating such issues as memory, materiality, and the tension between male and female. Transcending the strict boundaries of the patriarchal gaze, Kon offers his audience a world of fluidity and ambiguity in which the male and female gaze are both powerful and capable of uniting with other gazes, such as the nostalgic or the romantic, to offer alternatives to a hard-edged worldview. In his masterful use of animation and his openness to a bisexual gaze, Kon provides his audience with an unabashed pleasure in uncertainty and a conscious appreciation of illusion.
This is particularly obvious in Kon’s first film, the tour de force thriller, Perfect Blue. I use the term tour de force because the film’s brilliant use of animation and unreality creates a unique viewing experience, forcing the viewer to question not only the protagonist’s perceptions but his or her own as he/she follows the protagonist into a surreal world of madness and illusion. Perfect Blue announces its preoccupation with perception, identity, and performance—especially in relation to the female—right from its opening sequence.