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    Weather and Water Motifs In Japanese Animated Films

    Two contemporary anime films, Weathering With You, and Penguin Highway, feature strong visual and thematic motifs of water and the weather. I suggest an article that explores how these motifs show similar themes between the two films of hope, youthful abandon, and understanding the unknown (to name a few), and how these themes reflect the cultural associations of water and weather in Japanese society, and perhaps society as a whole. I couldn’t help but notice that the two films both feature water so heavily, as well as an enigmatic female lead with mysterious powers connected to water/weather. Water is a primary element that has the power to both give life and end it. Japan has a long history of devastating typhoons, fearsome weather deities, and folk customs like the teru teru bozu. As a genre, animation enables filmmakers to depict otherworldly places and events that traditional filmmaking just can’t. Water, in particular, is quite challenging to animate well, so both of these films would have been quite challenging to make. I think there are links between the motif of water/the weather as a fearsome but also a crucial element in the world; exploration the unknown as a young person; Japanese animation’s penchant for the otherworldly and existential; and the challenges of animating water.

    • I'm unfamiliar with these, but I have encountered the weather motifs in Japanese anime before. You could also expand or change this to "element motifs," because while water is definitely important, earth, air, and fire are also crucial to some popular anime. Avatar: The Last Airbender is a great example. – Stephanie M. 4 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    I’ve always preferred the more tactical suits with clips and pockets, made out of sturdy materials rather than spandex that looks like it’s about to burst on anyone. They look more practical and modern. I also really love when superheroes where streetwear, like Miles Morales–I get them needing to wear a mask to obscure their identity, but why should small-time heroes need special costumes? It’s so unrealistic and gaudy. Another thing that always, always infuriates me is when female action stars wear their g-d d-mn hair down. In the sparring scene in Captain Marvel, I always shout at the screen, “Get her a bobby pin for g-d sakes!” Why do female spies and superheroes always have this perfectly tousled, just blowdried hair? And the men’s hair is greasy and full of dirt and out of their face. Nerds can complain all they want about PC gone mad, but I just want some answers.

    Sexism, Impracticality, and the Hopeful Future of Costuming

    It’s a never-ending challenge for the contrarian that the unpopular will eventually become popular if it lands in the right hands. I absolutely cannot stand the fake DIYs and life-hacks from YouTube content farms. But I don’t really have a problem with fashion picking up punk trends. Fashion is cyclical, and it doesn’t stop the train of innovation from chugging along. It is sad that independent creators get trampled by the capitalist engine (that’s my second train analogy now), but in the end, we all have to make money. I have hope that big businesses will be taken over by the right people eventually.

    Craft-Mageddon: The Explosion of DIY Culture

    I’ve always wondered about the Moomin stories as it’s been popping up on my radar a lot for the past year or so. People on the cottagecore side of Tumblr are really into it and I can see why. The messages of getting in touch with nature, enjoying the simple things, and seeking adventure when bored could not be more timely. Thank you so much for this detailed essay. It really covered everything! Moomin is such an underappreciated character and series, but I respect Tove Jansson so much for not selling out to Disney. It’s been able to keep the core messages and themes from its inception, and while many don’t know about it, I can say for myself now that I’ve learnt about it I love it and I value Jansson’s vision so much. I also really enjoyed learning about Finnish culture–I had not idea Moomin was a Finnish creation. I can totally see why Japanese culture grabbed onto it. A follow-up article on the Japanese influence on or embracement of Moomin would be great to see.

    Moomins and the Finnish Culture

    I found Taika Waititi perfect for the role because he’s so likeable and funny, and in the mind of a kid who idolises Hitler, you have to portray him as someone you could consider a friend. He’s completely absent during the parts of the movie where Jojo is falling for Elsa because Jojo doesn’t need a friend at this point–he has a new friend. At the end when Jojo must reject his Nazi ideals, Taika Waititi’s Hitler is scary, he’s mean, not like a friend at all. As a projection of Jojo’s idea of Nazism, he changes to reflect how Jojo’s perception changes.

    Jojo Rabbit – The Nazi Comedy That Struck A Chord by Sidestepping Modern Racism