Looking at these series side by side, we can see the same archetype and corresponding fantasy of the scarred, strong yet secretly sad man being nursed emotionally by a female love interest play out in different hues for their specific target audiences, in all its glories and pitfalls.
Despite its enthusiastic embrace of playful exaggeration and dramatic pageantry, Baki the Grappler shouldn’t be written off as mind-numbing entertainment for the masses. A critical analysis of Baki as contemporary anime, and a part of pop culture more broadly speaking, can help us all better understand how performative masculinity functions—and why it is so potentially dangerous.
Weekly Round-Up, 21-27 February 2024: Your Name Producer Arrested, Japan’s Stand-Up Comedy Scene, and AI SubtitlesSee All Articles
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