[EVA] Imperialism & nationalism in _Gunbuster_
revolutionofevangelion_dot_org at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 29 00:02:12 EST 2011
Well he prominently said in that old interview that in the background of Gunbuster, Hawaii was conquered by Japan in an off-screen war before the alien threat put a stop to that.
Still the road from "Jung Freud" to "Asuka Langley-Soryu" is intriguing; much discussed and rehashed, but little illumination.
TVTropes.com seems to think that German characters are considered relatively cool in Japanese anime....not just because of the Axis alliance, but because during the war years all Western culture was banned *except* German stuff (Beethoven music, etc.)
Its interesting how Jung Freud is explicitly Russian and Soviet.....but then they associate "Western" things in general with her (Christian cross, Apollo 11 imagery, psychologist names, etc.) Generally I always thought there was a serious "East-West Divide" between the United States and Communist Russia, enough that they couldn't just be combined (as even this blog points out, the Soviets are officially atheist, so why would a pilot be allowed a cross?)
What isn't immediately obvious to the "casual viewer" is the mention that Asuka technically holds United States citizenship through her father; though this has been easily available online for many years in her basic biography. But they don't even really develop that and Asuka all-around seems to consider herself "German" -- but again, the really treat her like a catch-all stand-in for "Occidental". Curious then that she isn't particularly religious (though that might not have worked with her overall cynical attitude).
But this blog write-up was really interesting; the first Japanese political cartoons really built up Russia as their big traditional enemy....because around the first 30 years of the Meiji Restoration leading up to the Battle of Tsushima Strait, Russia was the European power which was the most immediate threat to Japan (notwithstanding the guys carving up China into spheres of influence...) So for a long time Russia was deeply ingrained as "the enemy", though this got displaced in World War II when they were primarily fighting the Americans and were eventually occupied by them.
So what's the significance of shifting from a Russian female lead to a German one?
Also what's the significance of making Eva-05 a joint British-Russian venture? Because Mari Makinami herself is stated to be British.
Btw, I've read in some places (i.e. Colony Drop) that Jung Freud is actually intended to be East German, but I can find no confirmation. Is this verifiable?
From: Gwern Branwen <gwern0 at gmail.com>
To: The english-language evangelion mailing list. <evangelion at eva.onegeek.org>
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 10:27 PM
Subject: [EVA] Imperialism & nationalism in _Gunbuster_
I've long said Anno's nationalism and anti-American subtexts have been
ignored, but I'm still amazed by some of the subtlety. No wonder I
missed everything but the basic 'imperial Japan in space' subtext.
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