Social Commentary in Manga/Anime

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Let's face it--Manga was introduced to the rest of the world through little kid shows and hentai. But since then (especially in america) it has evolved to be just like any other literary genre. Book stores actually have sections of anime labeled "historical", "romance", and "horror". But america in general is not taking manga and anime seriously.

In my own little way of educating america to the true nature of manga, I'm giving a speech in my class about the social and historical aspects of manga and anime.

I'm asking you guys for help! I have several historical mangas picked out (Inuyasha, Rose of Versailles, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Home and Away, and Rurouni Kenshin) but I'm having trouble with the social part. Full Metal Alchemist has several metaphysical philosophical themes, and anyone can argue that Slayers is a model of female empowerment.

But what about others? I need your help! Could you guys give me some ideas of historical manga and books that have social commentary in them?

Thanks a bunch!

EternalParadox

Retired Moderator

EternalParadox

.:Enigma Mod:.

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Chobits definitely. The entire conflict about whether a human being can legitimately love a persocom more than another human being is very much a commentary on the self-absorbtion of modern society and the obscession with "high tech" gear. When you look at Shimizu-sensei's plight with her persocom-obsessed husband, you see the pain that humans inflict upon themselves by losing sight of those human emotions and interactions that are so necessarily a part of being human.

The concept of a "Chobits" persocom, one that can learn, think, and feel just like a human is also a part of this social commentary. Can a machine ever become "human?" What if it can do everything a human can? Are humans able to, and should they, feel the same emotions that they would toward another person? What happens to a society when people starts having feelings only for machines rather than humans? Would it still be a human society anymore?

Then there's also the problems with trying to replace a human being with a replicate persocom, programmed to act exactly as the person would. Can you make a copy of a human being with a machine? Is it right to do so even if you are capable?

When you look deeper under the surface of ecchi pantsu shots, Chobits actually raises some very serious social questions, which is why I love the series so much. :)

EternalParadox
Previously the Forum, Vector Art, and Policy Moderator

  • Feb 14, 2006
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That's true, Bleach raises the same sort of questions. In the earlier chapters they had that guy who was created to take over bodies temporarily but then they decided to kill them all off cause they didn't want them anymore. They were created for their convenience and killed for that same convenience. As "Kon" (the dudes name) says, "what makes you human? why are our lives worthless compared to yours?"

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