Learning from historical fiction

By: Anime Feminist August 14, 20175 Comments
A woman dressed in WWII era clothes with her back to the camera stares at a sky fully of smoke from exploding bombs. A child cowers behind her. a basket is discarded in the foreground.

This past weekend, Otakon and theaters around the US held screenings of In This Corner of the World, a historical slice-of-life film about characters who lived in or near Hiroshima before it was devastated by nuclear attack. During the introduction for the Otakon screening, Animation Director Hidenori Matsubara expressed “anxiety” at bringing the film to the United States at this present time and a strong desire that the story remind audiences that we should “never repeat” the events depicted.

Given both the film’s content and goals as well as current real-world events, it’s worth taking time to think about what we can learn from our media consumption.

  • Have you watched any historically-based anime? What kinds?
  • Is there a particular subject you’ve seen explored exceptionally well or badly?
  • What have you learned from those films, either from the events portrayed or the way they were framed?
  • What responsibilities should media have when telling stories based on real events?

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