Narrative Imagination in Japanese Fantasy and Animation Films: A Dual Melody of the Value of Transcendence and Humanistic Resilience (81323)

Session Information: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Session Chair: Ying-Ying Chen

Saturday, 25 May 2024 16:05
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 704
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Contrasting the struggles of various international film markets in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Japanese cinema has achieved remarkable success in both domestic and international box offices in recent years. This paper conducts a narrative analysis of the top 10 most popular Japanese films, revealing trends in storytelling under the dominance of fantasy backgrounds and animated film genres. The analysis unveils the following narrative trends: Japanese youth facing extreme and surreal challenges exhibit passionate pursuit and uphold the ideals of righteousness and beauty in adversity, becoming a prominent feature of Japan's most popular films. Among these, the concept of the virtue of transcendence help protagonists interact and collaborate with spirit, ghosts, divines, and animals in alien realms to beat the evil. The youthful protagonists, compared to secular adults, exhibit a more open mindset, embracing diverse backgrounds, transcending ideologies, accepting different identities and appearances, and upholding the humanistic values of compassion, dignity, goodness, and the pursuit of truth. These narratives have been touching hearts of fans in Japan and worldwide, offering storylines that comforting experiences of mishaps such as prejudices, discrimination, natural disasters, pollution, class divisions, suffering, resentment, and loneliness. These healing narratives present a unique worldview of Japan: a dual melody of the value of transcendence and humanistic resilience in rhythm.

Ying-Ying Chen, National United University, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Ying-Ying Chen is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at National United University in Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00