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Glimpses of the live-action Akira(s) that could have been
September 17, 2012 8:19 AM   Subscribe

In January 2012, the whitewashed live-action Akira remake was shut down for the fourth time, after years of on-and-off interest in the remake. In the months following, storyboard illustrations from various iterations and artists have popped up, including illustrations by Sylvain Despretz showing a blond Kaneda, artist Jeffrey Errico shared his opening scene storyboards, and artist Chris Weston posted his more detailed drawings of the hospital scene and other scenes. Compare and contrast with the art of Akira (twice previously), and the art in the original manga.
posted by filthy light thief (66 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good.

We can wait until we get live action Akira, not live action Akira BUT NOW WITH WHITE PEOPLE, because seriously, fuck that noise.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I don't know that I ever need a live-action Akira.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:25 AM on September 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


No one needs remakes, but hey, people go to see 'em. Much like advertising, it only works because people look.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Japan already does enough ill-conceived live action remakes on their own. It's gotten to the point where Takashi Miike did a live action Phoenix Wright movie. Hollywood should just stick to doing live action reboots of the same half-dozen comic book franchises over and over again.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:39 AM on September 17, 2012


I would actually be fine with making a movie inspired by Akira, giving story credit to the original, that was a fully Americanized version. With a different title, of course. Sure, you won't get quite as much name recognition, your movie might never be the "official" Akira movie, but at least you got to see your vision through.

The thing is, Hollywood wants it both ways. They want to have a lock on the official Akira franchise, they want to gobble up every last dollar from every fan, but they also want to make the movie however the fuck they want. I'm glad they are met with occasional reminders of how unwelcome that is.
posted by hermitosis at 8:42 AM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's gotten to the point where Takashi Miike did a live action Phoenix Wright movie.

Ow! My brain!
posted by Drastic at 8:43 AM on September 17, 2012


Drastic: "It's gotten to the point where Takashi Miike did a live action Phoenix Wright movie.

Ow! My brain!
"

* BZZZ * The board is open: who wants to chime in with the correct answer?
posted by boo_radley at 8:47 AM on September 17, 2012


> I would actually be fine with making a movie inspired by Akira, giving story credit to the original, that was a fully Americanized version.

Seconded. It's not really the sanctity of Otomo's vision at stake, it's the obvious stupidity in watching an all-white or even a multi-racial cast running around the streets of New York or Los Angeles yelling at each other using Japanese names. Any attempt at a backstory that I could think of would call attention to how ridiculous it looks and exacerbate things.

I mean, there's more to it than that, but it starts there.
posted by ardgedee at 8:58 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goddamnit, was so looking forward to Keanu as Kaneda and Owen Wilson as Tetsuo. That would have been a great buddy/cross country road trip flick.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 AM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are myriad reasons why Akira doesn't need to be remade and why a Hollywood live-action version would probably suck, and positively zero of them concern the race of the actors or their characters.
posted by cribcage at 9:04 AM on September 17, 2012


I would actually be fine with making a movie inspired by Akira, giving story credit to the original, that was a fully Americanized version.

We could call it Charlie X...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:05 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The board is open: who wants to chime in with the correct answer?

OBJECTION!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:10 AM on September 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's gotten to the point where Takashi Miike did a live action Phoenix Wright movie.

And it was awesome.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:11 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


They should just give a Japanese director free reign on this. Hell, why not Otomi himself?
posted by empath at 9:42 AM on September 17, 2012


hermitosis: I would actually be fine with making a movie inspired by Akira, giving story credit to the original, that was a fully Americanized version. With a different title, of course.

I'd call it "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." No, wait, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift:: 2 -- Revenge of The Clowns"

Brandon Blatcher: Goddamnit, was so looking forward to Keanu as Kaneda and Owen Wilson as Tetsuo. That would have been a great buddy/cross country road trip flick.

OK, how about "Akira and Kaneda's Excellent Adventures"?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 AM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's something thematically interesting about contrasting that boarded opening to the anime's opening.

In the anime, it opens with eerie quiet, showing present Tokyo destroyed. After that, it introduces us to the bikers, years later, going to fight with another gang. It's only over the course of the film that they get drawn into a larger conflict.

In this storyboard, it shows one of our bikers (Tetsuo?) heading out to the crater to look out over it. Thematically, it looks like our biker is already thinking about his place in the big picture, and visually it implies he has a connection to the disaster.
posted by RobotHero at 10:03 AM on September 17, 2012


In case you're looking for something else to be disgusted by, the people behind the live action/CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks movies have optioned The Brave Little Toaster.
posted by brundlefly at 10:05 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It should stay on the shelf until someone realises that it should have Japanese people in it, and if western audiences can't handle that then it's not worth it.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:30 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Weston does good work. Here's an interview with him regarding ‘Death of Dan-E Cannon’, a rather cheekily titled Dredd story he did recently.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2012


Between this and the news of Bay's Alien Turtles remake being shuttered (or indefinitely postponed), I'm glad Hollywood is starting to realize the idiocy of this kind of shit.
posted by symbioid at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2012


I don't know that I ever need a live-action Akira.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on September 17 [13 favorites +] [!]


I understand filming a play -- it both expands the audience and changes the medium significant.

But live-action versions of already existing (and very good) animated films? That is so utterly pointless. The animation IS THE ART.
posted by jb at 11:22 AM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


it should have Japanese people in it

Why?
posted by cribcage at 11:30 AM on September 17, 2012


Seeing those storyboards really brings home the utter senselessness of the whole endeavour. In places it cleaves close to the manage and the original film, you have to think, why bother? And where it differs, again, you have to think, why do that? What a waste of everyone's time.
posted by WPW at 11:54 AM on September 17, 2012


Why?

Please see this entire thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:58 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that Akira isn't the cultural touchstone in Japan that it is in the USA, and that it's been mostly forgotten. False?
posted by 1adam12 at 12:27 PM on September 17, 2012


I will never understand people who lay claim to a piece of art as if it's their own, and only they get to decide what goes down with it. If you don't like the idea of something, then don't go see it. If you want something done differently, then you pay the 200 million dollars it'd cost to make this thing.

Were you offended that time when John Sturges remade SEVEN SAMURAI with an all-white cast? No? Alright then.

Also please yes let's all judge a thing that not only has no one here seen, but hasn't even been made.
posted by incessant at 12:48 PM on September 17, 2012


Were you offended that time when John Sturges remade SEVEN SAMURAI with an all-white cast? No? Alright then.

Uh, I probably would have been if he'd actually made a film called Seven Samurai and it was all white dudes, but instead he made a cowboy movie with all white dudes so it's kinda different.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:51 PM on September 17, 2012


So it's the title that's the problem then?
posted by incessant at 12:52 PM on September 17, 2012


I am not interested in answering facetious questions.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:54 PM on September 17, 2012


just throwing in my two cents and i didn't read any of TFA's

So, do we know that the script is /akira/ or could it be a retcon/reboot that is similar to akira, much like sturges's "THIS IS NOT SEVEN SAMURAI SEVEN COWBOYS" ?
posted by xcasex at 12:54 PM on September 17, 2012


But live-action versions of already existing (and very good) animated films? That is so utterly pointless.

Spielberg's Tintin was an interesting hybrid of animation and live action. I'd like to see what could be done with AKIRA with that approach.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:56 PM on September 17, 2012


Please see this entire thread.

It's like you're at a cocktail party having a conversation and suddenly this weird guy walks up and declares, "You know, the people who were here just SIX MONTHS AGO had this exact same conversation!", and now it's awkward because you didn't realize you were offending Klipspringer.

I am not interested in answering facetious questions.

Is somebody forcing you to read or post in this thread? Because I've got a phone right here and can dial 911 for you. Post three commas if you need help.
posted by cribcage at 12:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


it should have Japanese people in it

Why?


Because it's a Japanese story, set in Japan, with specific references to Japanese history, culture, and politics, and nearly everyone in it is Japanese.

But yeah, other than that, I can see why you'd question the necessity.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


,,,
posted by shakespeherian at 1:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Uh, I probably would have been if he'd actually made a film called Seven Samurai and it was all white dudes, but instead he made a cowboy movie with all white dudes so it's kinda different.

TBH I'd be less bothered by an Akira remake that went all the way, rather than half assing it like most of the accounts seem to indicated - It's New York! But it's called Akira so we need Japanese people! er... they can be the baddies? At the same time there's a question of what happens if you take everything that's distinctivly Japanese out of it and if what's left is worth doing... probably not without a great deal of understanding of the original and creativity and smarts when expanding that out to a new story... and let's face it those are not Hollywood qualities.

Pity Hollywood wouldn't have the guts to go with Asian casting and do with it what Fincher did with Dragon Tattoo.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on September 17, 2012


I would actually be fine with making a movie inspired by Akira, giving story credit to the original, that was a fully Americanized version. With a different title, of course.

You might like Chronicle, if you haven't seen it! It's remarkably similar in terms of the characterization, very well-made, and thoroughly American.

codacorolla also made the case that Southland Tales is the American version of Akira, which I can buy, though while Chronicle echoes Akira on the personal level, Southland Tales echoes it more in capturing the zeitgeist of frenetic end-of-empire decay.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:23 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


God every time I wander into a thread like this my Netflix queue grows.
posted by Mister_A at 1:28 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


At the risk of sounding pretentious, I'm not even sure what the purpose of the original movie adaptation is. The original manga series (translated into English, by the way) was so long and so dense and so complicated that the animated movie makes almost no sense whatsoever (unless you've read the original manga series).
posted by KokuRyu at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


In this storyboard, it shows one of our bikers (Tetsuo?) heading out to the crater to look out over it. Thematically, it looks like our biker is already thinking about his place in the big picture, and visually it implies he has a connection to the disaster.

The begining of the manga is similar, Kaneda and his gang drive up to the crater as well.
posted by SageLeVoid at 2:28 PM on September 17, 2012


It was really, really pretty? Pretty much the same reason some genius decided it would be a good idea to make a movie out of X, although God knows even Akira didn't get that incomprehensible.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:28 PM on September 17, 2012


> Please see this entire thread.

Yeah, that thread is in the fpp under the "whitewashed" link and I remember it from when it was new. But it's still evident to people with eyes that most of the job of whitewashing and westernizing the look of anime characters has already been done by anime/manga artists themselves. Which makes seeing them portrayed by Western actors a great deal less jarring that seeing, oh, John Wayne cast as Genghis Khan.

One comment in the prior thread wants to have it that this is all in white Western anime fans' heads:

> As about a baskrillion web pages will tell you, this is because white people read whiteness into
> faces when they're pale and haven't been given wildly exaggerated facial characteristics that
> whites think Asians should have.

But that's easily refuted, courtesy of google image search. Does this individual have the facial features he does because white people think that's the way a Japanese guy should look? Or this one? Or these? Were this lady's facial features dictated by how white people think a Japanese woman should look? Don't be silly, white people had nothing to do with it. It's just an observable fact that anime characters are drawn to look like roundeyes to a degree that stands out because it's never been done that way in any other form of Japanese portraiture. (This one here is especially telling because it shows that Asians were still being drawn by other Asians to look like Asians even after Western clothing styles were starting to be known.)

"Why do anime characters look Western" is an imprecise question that attracts sloppy answers. Improved version: "Why do so many anime characters, drawn by Japanese artists, look so deracialized, when so many non-anime portraits of Japanese people, also by Japanese artists, don't?" Until someone produces a good answer to the improved question it's going to be hard to have a big visual problem with a Hollywood live-action remake of an anime being full of white actors, just as it would be hard to worry much about a Bollywood live-action anime being full of south Asian actors.
posted by jfuller at 2:33 PM on September 17, 2012


The so-called Godfather of Anime, Osamu Tezuka (see e.g. Astro Boy), drew in a style heavily influenced by American cartoons like Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse. Anime looks comparatively more 'Western' than a lot of other Japanese art because it is comparatively more influenced by 'Western' styles than a lot of other Japanese art.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's nothing wrong with a Western Akira remake.

Get ready for:

PHIL

Neo-Washington is about to e x p l o d e

I can't wait to see Raymond and Richie tool around on their Harleys!
posted by mobunited at 2:50 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


as i remember, akira is, in part, riffing on the youth outlaw motorcycle gangs of 'godspeed you black emperor' which themselves were inspired by american outlaw biker culture. so, an americanized remake isn't really such an abomination on the face of it...

it could be fun, in a pomo sort of way, to see it with american faces and fully "riced" out japanese automobiles.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2012


jfuller: are you really suggesting that when Japanese people look at anime and see Japanese faces, they're just too fucking stupid to know that they're really western faces?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:53 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Why do anime characters look Western" is an imprecise question that attracts sloppy answers. Improved version: "Why do so many anime characters, drawn by Japanese artists, look so deracialized, when so many non-anime portraits of Japanese people, also by Japanese artists, don't?"

I think the eye-opener for me, was reading the drawing book- bishoujo around the world which shows how to draw ethnic differences from a Japanese perspective- anime people don't really look very "Western" either- white people generally don't have eyes that big, or pink hair, or nearly absent noses. And living around tons of people of various ethnic brackets- anime westerners look like what it's characterize as middle aged/older people.
posted by Phalene at 3:54 PM on September 17, 2012


This is probably blashemy or something, but IMHO the movie Akira is better than the Manga as it's more coherant and cuts out a bunch of meandering stuff that was all over the place.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "Akira" we meet in the film was probably a bit of a shocker for those expecting the guy from the comics of course.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on September 17, 2012


The begining of the manga is similar, Kaneda and his gang drive up to the crater as well.

Interesting, because my initial reaction was it felt like a more generic way to start that would be added when they bland it up for American executives.
posted by RobotHero at 4:25 PM on September 17, 2012


This is probably blashemy or something, but IMHO the movie Akira is better than the Manga as it's more coherant and cuts out a bunch of meandering stuff that was all over the place.

Okay, fine, but it would have been good to know that everyone was popping amphetamines, and the amphetamines helped cause Tetsuo's crazy transformation.

And the aircraft carrier was cool.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:25 PM on September 17, 2012


Yeah, I like the aircraft carrier. I don't really mind the gangs wandering around in post-apocalyptic Tokyo either, but boy there is a lot of it and ditching it doesn't really harm the story.

I think most of all I miss what's-her-name with the surface-to-air missiles used as clubs.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


> how to draw ethnic differences from a Japanese perspective-

That's a very interesting link, Phalene, thanks. I was going to ask whether you thought it was any good considered as a drawing book but for under two bucks in "used-good" condition I think I'll just risk it :)
posted by jfuller at 5:58 AM on September 18, 2012


> are you really suggesting that when Japanese people look at anime and see Japanese faces,
> they're just too fucking stupid to know that they're really western faces?

Heh. That was you I quoted, wasn't it, Rou? I didn't attribute it, did I? I didn't as a courtesy to you, since I know you as a very sharp person and did not want to further associate you with a rare dimbulb comment.

But come off it, Rou. I linked to several examples of non-anime art by Japanese artists (hundreds more available on demand, the google-fu is strong in me today) in which the persons being portrayed are identifiably Asian--very plainly so to anyone's eyes and much more so than anime/manga faces ever are. Pointing to these, I deny that the non-anime portraits look Asian because they have "wildly exaggerated facial characteristics that whites think Asians should have." That's silly, you're seeing white spooks under the bed and there aren't any there. (But you can keep your night light on if it helps.)

The history of Japanese art is deep. There's a great (wonderful!) amount of it online and linkable. And that strange contrast between the degree of Japanese-ness and general Asian-ness of anime/manga faces and the faces in all other styles and periods of Japanese art (I am ready with links going back to the Jomon period,
ending 300 BC) could still use an explanation.


> they're just too fucking stupid to know that they're really western faces?

fuller rolls eyes. Anime faces, alone among all the forms and periods of Japanese art, have been de-localized to the point where both Asians and westerners can look at anime characters and see themselves and their own groups being portrayed. Maybe that's by chance, i.e. partly attributable to the grandfather effect of Western comics on anime and no other Japanese style (Archie and Veronica have big round eyes too, so do Mickey and Minnie, but folks presently doing Hiroshige-style wood block prints aren't going to care about that) and maybe it's on purpose, i.e. partly a commercial decision--wouldn't want folks in any potential market to feel excluded. Or supply your own explanation, but it'll have to account for the very showable difference between the anime style and everything else Japanese.
posted by jfuller at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2012


"Why do anime characters look Western" is an imprecise question that attracts sloppy answers. Improved version: "Why do so many anime characters, drawn by Japanese artists, look so deracialized, when so many non-anime portraits of Japanese people, also by Japanese artists, don't?"

It's about conventions. As noted above, anime comes not just out of Japanese art (which wasn't realistic either) but is also heavily influenced by western animation (French, American, etc).

You have different conventions for different genres of manga/anime as well: just because Yaoi characters all have extremely pointed chins doesn't mean that the artists think that gay men are more likely to have strange jaw bones. (Seriously: what's with the chins?)

But that doesn't mean that the faces don't "read" as Japanese. I've watched/read a fair bit of non-blue hairl anime and manga (fantasy or SF but with characters with natural hair colours - eg Miyasaki), and in most of it, Japanese or Asian characters tend to be drawn in the "standard" anime way, but characters who are explicitly supposed to be European are often given exaggerated European features - like massive beards and very large noses. In the manga of Anne of Green Gables, the older white women are also drawn to look very European, while the main youth characters are straight-forward shojo (massive, round sparkly eyes not found on any human).

The author/artist of 20th Century Boys actually has a fascinating style: very realistic characters' faces, such that each of them are so unique that you can tell even who a character is when comparing his face at 10 years old to 40 years old and 60 years old. It was so refreshing not having to rely on hair styles to tell the characters apart.
posted by jb at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2012


Can you imagine how shitty that movie would have been. We really dodged a bullet here, people.

TETSUO!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by chunking express at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2012


I was under the impression that Akira isn't the cultural touchstone in Japan that it is in the USA, and that it's been mostly forgotten. False?

My high school students had never heard of it. I put that down partly to incredibly short cultural memory, partly export culling, and partly age and novelty of the product in the west (and its incredible quality, of course. When did I last listen to that soundtrack? This morning on the bus.) Rattling off a list of titles influential in the west was rewarded with only meagre recognition.

Pity Hollywood wouldn't have the guts to go with Asian casting and do with it what Fincher did with Dragon Tattoo.

I get that this is widely regarded as the “good” way to do this, but seriously, why do it? Why?

You might like Chronicle, if you haven't seen it! It's remarkably similar in terms of the characterization, very well-made, and thoroughly American.

What a depressing comparison, and I liked Chronicle.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2012


jfuller,

Or supply your own explanation, but it'll have to account for the very showable difference between the anime style and everything else Japanese.


I think the core of your misunderstanding is, as pointed out above, is that you don't seem to understand how the styles we associate with anime and manga developed. Read shakespherian's link above. Manga grew out of Western influences to a large degree, and this is why its so different than traditional Japanese art.

With this understanding in mind, your problems disappear. Manga artists are working in a tradition descended from Western styles and have over time developed tropes and characteristics quite different from artists working in the traditional Japanese mode.

So, going back to your point, you're wrong and the critics you address are right:

As about a baskrillion web pages will tell you, this is because white people read whiteness into faces when they're pale and haven't been given wildly exaggerated facial characteristics that whites think Asians should have.

The artists working in the manga tradition draw characters using the tropes of that tradition, tropes influenced by Western styles. They are Japanese people drawn in this style. You are falling into the trap identified above: since they don't have "obvious" Asian characteristics, they must not be Japanese. But they are; they're Japanese characters in the manga style, which is a tradition distinct from traditional Japanese styles.

Now that you know the history, I think it should fall into place. It's actually funny you should say this:

(Archie and Veronica have big round eyes too, so do Mickey and Minnie

The above-mentioned Osamu Tezuka drew heavily from Mickey comics, so of course the artistic tradition he inspired and influenced to an enormous degree has those characteristics. The Archie comics have a lot more in common with manga than Hiroshige-style wood block prints do because they both descend from similar Western material.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2012


Sorry, I just noticed shakespherian didn't actually link to anything, so here's the Wikipedia article on Tezuka.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


jfuller: Sorry. I was hopped up on goofballs when I wrote that and, as others might say, phrased that inelegantly. I ought not have cussed at you or spoken so combatively.

My point should have been that if Japanese people look at a face drawn for a Japanese audience and see a Japanese face, we should conclude that it is a Japanese face that westerners are misidentifying as western. We shouldn't conclude that it is a western face that Japanese people are misidentifying as Japanese.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2012


TETSUO!!!!!!!!!!!

KANEDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


TETSUO!!!!!!!!!!!

KANEDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Chief?

McCloud?
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


MIAKA!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:49 PM on September 18, 2012


I don't recall if it was on Metafilter or somewhere else on the web, but I remember reading a discussion about Let The Right One In and the remake Let Me In.

Someone said he felt that by being set in America instead of Sweden, the remake had lost an element of eerie strangeness that he had enjoyed in the original, to be replaced by a mundane setting. Another commenter pointed out that the setting would have been mundane to a Swedish audience.

I wonder if the objection to an American Akira has a similar aspect to it; that being a Japanese movie lended Akira a sense of the exotic that would be lost when it's transferred to an American setting.
posted by RobotHero at 4:54 PM on September 18, 2012


Sorry, I just noticed shakespherian didn't actually link to anything, so here's the Wikipedia article on Tezuka.

Drawn and Quarterly has published (in English) a lot of Tatsumi Yoshihiro's most popular books, including A Drifting Life, which is an excellent introduction to the history of postwar manga in Japan.

Tatsumi was actually a disciple of Tezuka's, but ended up developing a new style of manga, gekiga, in reaction to the more Disneyfied early postwar style of Tezuka.

A Drifting Life is just fantastic.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


jfuller: "But it's still evident to people with eyes that most of the job of whitewashing and westernizing the look of anime characters has already been done by anime/manga artists themselves."

Wait, you think that's the case with Otomo's work? He's one of the best guys at making Japanese characters look like Japanese characters.

I disagree with both you and ROU about who generic anime characters "look like". They don't look asian, nor do they look white. They look like aliens. Giant heads, giant eyes, barely any nose, no lips. White folks look at them and say "big eyes, not all chinky! must be white people!". Japanese look at them and say "little nose, not an enormous honker! must be Japanese!" The reality is, they really don't look like either one.

But Otomo's totally different. He's an artist who draws folks that everyone, on both sides of the argument, can agree look Japanese.
posted by Bugbread at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2012


I think the important thing aboit Akira's setting isn't so mich that it happens in Japan as that it's informed by Japan's collective nuclear trauma. Which has less to do with where it's set than who makes it, really.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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