Posts with the “society” tag

Why Sawako still isn't married

The most innocuous of episodes and off-the-cuff remarks can lead to the most fascinating of rabbit holes. In this case, Sawako of K-On!! and why despite all of her obvious positive attributes, is unable to find a boyfriend and get married. It would seem she has everything going for her: looks, demeanour, intelligence and drive but it's only when scratching beneath the surface that it becomes apparent how much is aligned against her happiness.

The obvious remarks on this: she's fictional and the chances of finding a compatible partner are always slim. The former means that her status of being single is part of the character written for her, however as with other elements in anime, it is reflective of deeper social issues.

Ironically the past she desperately hides would likely offer her more opportunities to find a partner
Finding a compatible partner usually boils down to waiting for a perfect partner - what that definition of perfect is varies, but the mentality is universal. Do you settle and potentially miss out on somebody better suited or do you maintain your standards and threaten to reject a more than acceptable match for some potentially minor fault. It seems that a large part of the Japanese ethos favours "wait-and-see", forgoing decisive action and hoping for a better situation to arise; while not universally true the best demonstration of this can be seen in their financial crisis in the 1990's, had the banks taken action instead of waiting in the hope that the economy would revive, the so-called Lost Decade may not have happened. But even if Sawa-chan isn't being unnecessarily picky, there is a vast array of barriers obstacles of her control.

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Anime of the decade: #1

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

The news of a Ghost in the Shell television series was met with a mix of joy and trepidation; highly regarded in the West and being helmed by a then unknown director, the assumption would be that the themes and delicately balanced characters of the Mamoru Oshii movie as well as the racy futurism of the original Masamune Shirow manga would be lost on a televised broadcast. Defying expectations however the series is supremely accomplished, blending the setting of a near-future, highly networked society with cyberpunk brassiness and an acute focus on the implications of such a world and what it means for communities, individuals, organisations and power structures. Production I.G. proves that their animation production was up to the challenge by rendering a fully realised, distinctly designed world where everything from skyscrapers to handguns have a plausible tangibility to them.

Each scene demonstrates a craftsman's dedication to constructing an immersive and entirely believable future society

Spanning two full length series and an original televised movie, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex follows the secretive paramilitary organisation known as Section Nine across three large scale investigations, distinct in chronology from its predecessors. An eclectic team composed of faces familiar from the 1995 film including Motoko, Batou, Aramkai and Togusa as well as bit parts and new members such as Ishikawa, Saito, Pazu, Borma and the artificial-intelligence tanks, Tachikomas. The case of the Laughing Man starts with the death of a friend before plunging into corporate terrorism, technological misuse and conspiracy as well as demonstrating the first large-scale instance of the titular Stand Alone Complex syndrome. The Individual Eleven investigation had more immediate ramifications when a fleet of military helicopters is inadvertently hijacked and flown brazenly over a refugee slum; igniting existing tensions, a concentrated campaign of provocation accelerates the new government's plans for dealing with the refugee problem but transpire to be part of a sophisticated powerplay by a megalomaniacal official and a dwindling Western superpower. The third and final investigation begins with a series of suicides by foreign operatives and portents of an individual known as the Puppetmaster, the trail exposes a systemic kidnapping of children for a project known as the Solid State Society which, unbeknownst to her, has a very personal involvement with the now freelance Motoko.

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