Popular animes Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) and Full Metal Alchemist take place in settings reminiscent of WWII-era Germany, with characters sporting German names and wearing German-inspired costume. From a Western perspective, what can we tell about how the Japanese view their Axis counterparts (or themselves) in regards to the WWII-era through the stories told in these animes?
The German influence in Japanese anime has less to do with WWII cooperation than it would seem. Germany and Japan fought the majority of their battles independently, and there were threads of mistrust between the two nations underneath the public declarations of support. Neither was WWII a great time to spread culture off the battlefield. Rather, a lot of the German influence seems to come from before the Second World War when Japan underwent several revolutionary changes in its government, public systems, and technologies. Many of the changes were influenced by German engineers, scientists, and public servants, some changes which remain to this day. Even then, I don't believe that specific cultural exchange is what's influencing anime. Aside from the aforementioned series, there isn't a serious investment in Germanic culture. There isn't enough significant evidence to concretely say that any other anime has strong ties to Germany for culture-specific reasons. German names just mesh well with the Japanese phonetic system to create exotic sounds. – Austin5 years ago