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spririted away papr final

spririted away papr final - Michael Finfer EASC 150g Seung...

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Michael Finfer EASC 150g Seung Ha Lim April 22, 2008 The World behind the World: Spirited Away and Japanese Culture Animated film, in modern American culture, is rarely seen as culturally or morally relevant. Most animated films appearing in theatres currently are of the computer-generated variety; “CGI” films, as they are commonly known, are typically aimed at younger audiences. These films occupy the niche of children’s comedies, and rarely count artistic integrity as their most valued goal. Instead, they target the lowest common denominator of moviegoers, with straightforward plotlines and character archetypes. The humor and dialogue are typically simple and easily understood by audiences of all ages. In Japanese culture, animated films, specifically those characterized as anime films, serve a very different purpose. Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 animated feature Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi, or Spirited Away , is widely acclaimed as one of the modern masterpieces of the genre. The film is not only an incredible artistic achievement, but its relevance extends beyond film in the context of its country of origin. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is not only a defining achievement of Japanese anime, but an interesting reflection of several aspects of Japanese culture. Spirited Away is a ‘modern’ anime film, the root of which can be traced back to the United States’ occupation of Japan. After World War II, American armed forces began the occupation of Japan, bringing with them the roots of what would become manga . The influence
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of American comic books is clearly evident; from the beginning, manga characters often had a very Westernized look, and this has been a noted characteristic throughout the medium. The first widely popular manga was New Treasure Island , a reworking of Robert Louis Steveson’s classic, by the artist Osamu Tezuka. After this became a hit, artists began to catch on to the style, and manga eventually went on to become incredibly popular in Japan. It was simply a matter of time before manga was put on film, becoming the filmmaking medium now known as anime (Napier 47). The importance of anime in Japan is undeniable, but it is also becoming increasingly evident that anime is at least on its way to being recognized as a serious medium worldwide. Spirited Away was a major development in how Japanese visual culture is viewed outside of its home country. The fact that it won an Academy Award in 2003 was a major event. It was the first foreign film to win the Best Animated Feature prize at the Academy Awards (IMDB). This suggests that anime has “reached its maturity both as a visual medium and central to a globalized cultural industry” (Yoshida 1). In the wake of Spirited Away ’s success both in Japan, and worldwide, it has become evident that in this age of accelerating globalization, the acceptance of anime by the mainstream may not only be imminent, but is well underway. Hayao Miyazaki, the writer and director of
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spririted away papr final - Michael Finfer EASC 150g Seung...

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