Cyberpunk: the story of the machine


Akira represents a fusion of contemporary Art – Anime, Manga, cinema, digital graphics. and Cyberpunk narrative- with contemporary themes, addressed to all global audience. the effects of this new  ” global” Japanese Science Fiction continue to propagate (ix, Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams)

Rebellious teenagers and a government that suppress its people; that pretty much sums up Akira but this theme runs though a lot of Japanese narratives. Cyberpunk is a series of different films or Anime’s that express people concerns about technology and the effects it has over society. Gurren Lagann is also about technology taking over the world but none of the society know the effects of technology because like the movie the time machine (1960), where the youth have no idea of the disasters of the past. In Gurren Lagann the youth are not rebellious but they strive for a better tomorrow , It have a more biblical theme like 20th century boys.

The protagonist in Akira ere largely alienated male adolescence typified by Tetsuo (pp104, Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams)


Now cyberpunk is not just about rebellious teenagers , it is also about the government that surround them and in Death Note the teenagers lash out against the government where as in Akira the teenagers are suppressed. In Garren Lagann it is   Kamina who is the sacrificial for humanity and in 20th century boys it is Kenji Endo who is the sacrifice.  the whole point of this is to have a  Christ like figure that guides the other characters to a better tomorrow and this is a theme that even being adapted into live action films.

but he and his gang, in turn, are powerless against schoolteachers, military officers, the colonel, and others, who appear to embody the power structure that lies behind them. the colonel, for his part, is not an icon of Establishment either, and he becomes marginalized in His fight against humanity the correct political authorities. Audiences are generally led to side with the weaker of the pair. (pp163, Robot Ghost and Wired Dreams)


All cyberpunk messages are the same, it is a type of Waring to the future, it is positive message even though the film are negative it is telling the audience the worst case . Cyberpunk story’s are warning of technology as in the effect of technology but Cyberpunk is not just an Asian concerns but a worldwide concept .


Godzilla : Boldly going into Science Fiction


The Japanese  monster film became the archetype for cheap, cheesy disaster movies because of the sort of culture and technological interference pattern that still characterize the reception of Japanese science fiction in north america today.(vii, Robot Ghosts  and Wired dreams)

The concept of Godzilla (1954) is similar to the concept of King Kong (1933) in the sense that both of the film have monsters destroying  a city and both films have a franchise. The aesthetic in the film are not as important as the over plot of the film because of the technology that was available at the time and Godzilla is a very politically themed movie which reflect of the end of the war. Giant monster movies are as popular today as there was in 1954 and these films are being reproduced or influencing similar themed  narratives. For example The Host (2006) and Cloverfield (2008) are both film about a giant monster that take over the city so the citizen have to escape. except from the fact that The host is made in Korea and Cloverfield is made in America ; they are the same movie pretty much.  Now Japan 28 Godzilla movies and 4 television show according to the Wikipedia page but this doesn’t include the movies that Godzilla inspired  or the other film in the Godzilla franchise. America are planning on doing a reboot of their 1998 attempt of the film, the film is release on 16th may 2014 but there are a few other rumored american remake film like Death Note and Akira which have remained to be seen or not ??


In the Godzilla films we see another common characteristic of Japanese popular narrative: Both the destructive and potentially productive aspects of technology are explored.(PP172, Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams)

The destruct behavior that the article discusses is not just from Giant monster but all Japanese films have element of destruction whether it be the destructive behavior of the youth like in Suicide Circle which is a physiological movie or the destructive force comes from an unknown source like in a horror movie like in Audition where the destructive behavior comes from an unlikely source. The concepts and theme’s from Japanese films are hard to translate because they filled with cultural reference’s.  Cloverflield and The Host are two good example of films that work well; they have not taken the name away from the Japanese classic. The cultural expectation for a Godzilla movies will be quite high from people who love Japanese movies and this means staying true the original.