Are we living in a Cyberpunk anime future?

Currently there is less than 2 weeks until the U.S presidential election in a new time where we are dealing with a new kind of war which is being fought on all fronts. The war of echo chambers.

Most of us as anime fans and geeks will associate ourselves with similar and like-minded individuals but as we get older times have changed conventions have changed and we have changed.

Conventions have created new discussions on cosplaying , immersion of genres and how they create commentary but we learn to forget this more playing on commentary on the country of origins culture and not the one we live.

These anime suggestions tell us something about our society now even before their time

Eden of the East.

Set in 2010 a series of missile attacks are launched on Japan with no casualties. The incident referred to as Careless Monday . Our main character wakes up in Washington DC naked with no memory and phone equipped with 8.2 million yen.

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Why this show relates to now?

The true meaning behind this show is the level of political games played now a day at the time of its creation was during the events and birth of wikileaks. And whether you believe the information they leak now a days back then it did create a conversation about how we perceive news and process information especially about sabotage, government deals with money .

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Ghost in a Shell

Created in 1995 and set in an alternative future reality of 2029 centers around a group of highly trained cyborgs and 1 unaltered human who are tasked security task force who get wrapped up in a plot with a living urban legend of the mysterious puppet master a hacker that takes over cyborg’s minds.

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Why this matters today?

One of the first cyber punk anime and manga of the time and one of the first anime films to become financial success. This has influenced a lot of our culture from James Cameron films to the Matrix. Even further into the series which was created in the early 2000s we have talked and theorized on the concepts of Gender roles we play or even the concepts of what defines a soul.

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Akira

Considered one of the greatest anime films of all time. Centres between a conflict rogue bikers and society and how one punk bikers gets wrapped up in science experimentation, psychic battles and an ever growing war between ideologies.

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Why it matters today?

Fanatical worship, anti government riots, and groups of crazy religious groups. Remove the science fiction and psychic elements and a lot of what is happening in this world.

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Pyscho Pass Seasons 1 and 2

While many consider this to be a knock off of the Film Minority Report this cyber punk series deals with many topics of stuff we deal with today.

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Plot

Set in a world where members of society are judged by a computer system called sibil on whether their personality and mentality of committing a crime. Akane is a new inspector who joins a team of enforcers who investigate crimes relating to the sibil system called Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division.

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Why it matters today?

While the first season deals on the philosphical topics on whether it is right to judge people by society as a whole. A topic like this wasn’t major at the time but now in a world where idealogies judge others not by lawa they break. Goodwin’s law has no longer a internet rule but society since every one morales are judged by your friends and family . Everyone called Hitler to the point the lines of what is good behavior and bad behavior has been made moot.

The second and often looked as the worst season deals with a more personal concept. How much can one person take before you change.

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In today’s society we judge with whether what we do is truly the right way to do things. In your 20s and 30s we juggle with building a career , student debt, and getting used to our own personalities. What one social group and even your work colleauges may consider normal behaviour other groups may redeem as extreme or odd. In your late 20’s particularlly even though you have become more comfotable with yourself you may not feel comfortable or know where we are going. Saving up to travel to Conventions / Events abroad or planning to travel to go to a far off location as a way to find some inner peace or just your personality is right to find a partner? These are things that may drive you crazy at times especially when every sounds like they are drinking the kool aid a little too often . People change and so have you but its your mission to moderate yourself on not being stuck in a echo chamber of negative opinions or choices . We are all of our bad choices and decisions but we are also every potential of a good future for us all . The world has always had horrible people and events in it . Both commited by men and women. We can only change our actions and try to help the people around us.

 

 

Cult Fiction: Player 2 Rowdy Rowdy Randy – Review

It has been 2 years since we got introduced to Municipal City and the characters of Rowdy Randy , Lockheart, and Anna. Written by Irish writers James and Brendan Dwyer. This book takes a slightly different turn taking place years before Lockheart and the E-Virus come to the city. As this story comes from the self titled most awesome player Randy a troll of a player Rowdy Rowdy Randy and how he makes his way through the city from rookie to a walking powerhouse that he is today.

What makes this version so much different from its previous novel is its perspective. Taking place before the main novel in the first part the second part taking place during the main novel and the final part being the actual sequel to Cult Fiction.

Rowdy who only comes off as an asshole in the first novel . But in this novel he develops his character through his backstory and his actions as what can only be explained is a “True Hero” a player with a shattered ego only playing the role of loud mouth only because it’s the only thing he can do well . Through betrayal and development he becomes redeems all of actions and choices  he’s made in the past .

While the first novel drew major inspiration from works like Neuromancer and Ready Player One . This novel takes a very classic Hero Journey approach for Randy.

From the development of the city to new refrences to the media of the 80s,90s and 00s to comedic scenes between Randy and his female team mates . This book has definately surpassed the first novel.

But what the novel does more than tell a good story is almost give a perfect commentary on a lot of people today we see a disconnect with players and death in the game which for the most part we really don’t see alot of.

Should you read Cult Fiction : Rowdy Rowdy Randy. Absoutely 5/5 E-Viruses13612307_948254938620448_7851435590130236020_n

Welcome to the WEird – Serial Experiements Lain Review

Us as anime fans watch shows for a variety of different reason. Sometimes we watch shows because we can relate to the characters and stories . Sometimes we follow the shows because we aspire to want to be the positive characters especially if we grow up with some of the shows.

Other times maybe once in a blue moon a show truly resonates to the spirit of our character. Serial Experiments Lain is one of those series.

Made in 1998 by Pioneer Entertainment and directed by the late Ryutaro Nakamura who passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer shortly after making this work.

Serial Experiements Lain is based around Lain Iwakura, an adolescent girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the Wired, a global communications network similar to the modern Internet. Lain lives with her middle-class family, which consists of her  flaky older sister Mika, her emotionally and non responsive distant mother, and her technology-obsessed father. Lain herself is somewhat awkward, introverted, and socially isolated from most of her school peers and her family , But her routine is changed once she hears that a girl in her class received a email from Chisa Yomoda  who committed . When Lain receives the message herself at home, Chisa tells her (apparently in real time) that she is not dead, but has merely “abandoned her physical body and flesh”, and is alive deep within the virtual reality-world of the Wired itself where she has found the almighty and divine God.

From then on things get more and more bizarre as she is entangled in conspiracies, cults and the realization that everything she has ever known has changed.

This show while being quite old has built some amount of following and has gone on to inspire cyber punk artwork and hacker groups. Even academic papers have been written on the show trying to breakdown the concepts and symbolism used through the show.

I could give you my own version of what the show is about but I like the original creator of the show want viewers to create new theories about what the show is about.

Character designs are done by Yoshitoshi ABe whose work has a distinct feel and makes him stand out as a artist . He has worked on such shows Welcome to the NHK and Haibane Renmei.

Should you watch this series ? Well the simple answer is yes but like Lain everything has its levels but if you would like to venture into a series that explores philosophy and concepts of technology with the occasional messing with your mind. Then this show is just for you.

10/10