The research stage and writing of this EE was fascinating and engaging. I was able to closely study cinematic techniques of an animation which has many similarities as real-life techniques, but many that are unique to its style. In addition, I was able to study my own culture and how it depicts the western culture. This was a valuable experience as it reminded me of the historical Japanese culture and morals that I had forgotten. Living in a foreign country and attending an international school meant I had little experience with the Japanese culture, excluding the language, food, and anime. This essay granted me an opportunity to learn the Japanese culture and how it depicts the influences of western culture, a culture I feel more associated with. In my essay, I concluded that the anime series presented westernisation as a positive influence on Japanese society. However, as my essay focus was on one series, I was not able to explore the Japanese societal attitude towards westernisation which was my initial intention of this task. Being Japanese I personally know that many people are against westernisation and protective of the Japanese culture, shown through films such as “Good Morning (1959)”.
I believe my research so far has proven to be valid and has been effectively used as evidence for my arguments. One thing I need to improve on is analysing in-depth, exploring the why. My arguments thus far are shallow, and from the conversations with my teacher, there is more context from the cultural aspects of both the western culture and Japanese culture that I need to consider to analyse deeply. I then need to relate the cultural context, to the analysis of the animation film, such as the sound used, shot composition, etc and explore why they used certain techniques. I also have to rearrange my structure. My teacher recommended me to make my title specific to episodes as analysing the entire series would be too long. I will explore the western influences on traditional anime specific to episode 1, 23, and 26. This will allow me to explore and analyse in more depth.
Learned – I have learnt about the western influences in Japanese society in many animation films; such as the effects of hip hop music genre on the series Samurai Champloo.
Proud – I am proud of the research that I have conducted on the parallels between past and present in Japanese society. It is commonly known that modern Japanese men have not inherited the traits of those in the past (Samurai). Samurai Champloo shows this by comparing and contrasting the two protagonists – Mugen and Jin. Jin is a representation of the past- formal, proper kata (techniques), nice, humble, etc. Mugen is a representation of the present- irrational, dirty minded, self-centred, etc.
Next – I will conduct further research on the anime and the relationship between hip hop and the past/present influence; how they affect one another and how it is cinematically shown. I will also have to re-watch the series and take notes on each episode.
I started by researching Miyazaki’s biography and possible events that had affected the movies. I proceeded to research interviews and commentaries of the movies. I have also researched the western imperialism in Japan and its effects on Japanese movies and animations. One problem I faced was finding interviews. Interviews and commentaries are a necessity for this task as it is Miyazaki’s perception of the films. This will allow me to explore his intentions and possible western influences on the films. I have not been able to successfully find a commentary as the two films were made 10+ years ago. I have successfully been able to research about his biography and the western imperialism and it effects on animations films, not only Miyazaki films. I have been able to find relevant information from many articles about the topics I have mentioned and that are related to my EE question. My EE outline will be comparing and contrasting two Japanese animation films to show western imperialism.