Flashback to the 1990’s, Pokemon, Digimon, and Dragon Ball Z were all the rage. Ivan Ong, who you can check out on linkedin, remembers when boys and girls alike were glued to their screens on Saturday mornings to view the newest anime installment and find out what happened since last week. It wasn’t long before these shows spawned video and card games plus a plethora of marketable toys and clothing. The creators made a lot of money very quickly but like all good things, they came to an end when popularity died down and something else was the new fad. Dragon Ball Z has not aired any new episodes since 1996, almost twenty years. The show is being brought back this summer and is ready to make some new fans while pleasing the old ones. There are going to be a lot of happy people as a result of this decision.
The term ‘kawaii’ has invaded the western world due to the manga and anime that brought unique characters and some words from the Japanese language characteristic to them into the foreign language vocabulary.
Hello Kitty and Pikachu incorporate the qualities and are the universal symbols of Japan, the visually-enhanced society and kawaii said Brain Torchin. In Japan, the term is both meaningful and wide-spread, as you can travel on planes with Pikachu and other colored characters on it, sit on a chair with colored bunny ears on the bus and go through a hotel decorated with pink bunnies.
The Japanese even have a term kimo-kawaii, which means too cute for comfort and often describing the over-decorated planes and rooms. If you go very deep in the history, you can even notice ‘kawaii’ being used as ‘pitiable’, as used in Lady Murasaki’s book “The Tale of Genji”.
One of the biggest out-of-nowhere anime successes since ‘Pokemon’ has got to be the hit series ‘Attack on Titan’. Based off of a popular manga, or Japanese comic book, the show quickly resonated with audiences worldwide. The blend of melodramatic but powerful character motivations and larger than life horror-action made it the stand out series of the year. Now the anime, which only has released one season to this point, is aiming to go to the big screen. In a recent release the company behind the live action adaptation decided to release some character portraits in order to tease fans and hype up the release.
In a release that left fans both wanting, and sort of confused, we got to get out first look at Eren and co as live action characters. This is something that a few of the anime fans at North American Spine were wanting. While fans will love the attention to detail on the Scout Uniforms as well as the 3D omni-devices that are so prevalent in the show, there are more than a few things that may leave fans a little unsettled. One of the biggest changes that Watanabe and Machiyama, the men behind the adaptation, is the blanket racial homogenization of the characters. in ‘Attack on Titan’ the characters are a mixture of European and Asian descent. The adaptation features all Asian actors. Going along this route some of the more iconic character traits, like Armin’s blonde hair, have been completely changed. There are also key characters missing from the line up including Captain Erwin and Captain Levi, two important characters with fans.
Lately there has been a movement to adapt various popular anime and manga into live-action movies. Most of those efforts seem to be held up in development, but one giant that is advancing: Shingeki no Kyojin, known in English asAttack on Titan.
The project is being spearheaded by Hajime Isayama, the creator of the manga, along with screenwriter Tomohiro Machiyama and director Yūsuke Watanabe, so fans can hope that it won’t get the typical Hollywood mistreatment.
The sci-fi epic involves a future world less technologically advanced than ours, where the remnants of humanity live in a walled country to protect themselves from man-eating giants called Titans. After a century, the Titans finally manage to break in, and the teenage protagonist, Eren Yeager, joins the military with his two friends to fight them. New characters and plot points will apparently be included in the film.
A cast has been picked out, and movie posters are available online.
One concern for Dave and Brit Morin, and many other fans of the manga and anime, is the possibility of “whitewashing”, when Caucasian actors are chosen to play Asian characters (as happened in the widely-hated Dragonball: Evolution). Interestingly, Attack on Titan has gone in the other direction: all of its main actors are ethnically Japanese, though it’s a plot point in the source material that mixed-race Mikasa, one of Eren’s best friends, is the only remaining non-white person in the world.