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INTEREST: Gundam's Tomino, Yasuhiko Comments on War Themes in Girls & Panzer, KanColle


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Neohybrid_kai



Joined: 29 Apr 2011
Posts: 130
Location: Indonesia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Blackiris_ wrote:

The question is more like: "Should tools of war be portrayed as fun toys?" I know there are a lot of military otaku, in Japan or otherwise. I’m personally not even comfortable with the concept of (realistic) toy guns for children.
[...]
But I agree that Gundam also has a problem with romanticizing military machinery.


This is why I tend to gets uncomfortable whenever around military or gun otaku. Some unusual interests like train or insects I can still understand (I have a close friend who is totally into ancient rocks) but weaponry? Why would people be obsessed with things created to destroy/kill other people? But then again humanity and war is something that's very close to each other since the dawn of time. Maybe the charm is imprinted in our natural instinct.. or something lol.
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Electric Wooloo



Joined: 19 Aug 2020
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
This is why I tend to gets uncomfortable whenever around military or gun otaku. Some unusual interests like train or insects I can still understand (I have a close friend who is totally into ancient rocks) but weaponry? Why would people be obsessed with things created to destroy/kill other people? But then again humanity and war is something that's very close to each other since the dawn of time. Maybe the charm is imprinted in our natural instinct.. or something lol.


As a big history buff myself, covering a time period from the middle ages until present, I've had a few encounters with military otaku in the past. One such interaction gave me the heebie jebbies like you described, but then with another two encounters with people into the same things they treated their interests differently and gave off a different impression. I think the difference between the interactions might have just been an acknowledgement and I guess respect for the fact that they were in fact weapons that could have killed people.

That might just be what it boils down to. You can portray these weapons and situations as "fun toys" or in bizarre ways like some modern series do, so long as you acknowledge what they are/were originally used for. In my opinion it's ok to have these series like GuP to treat tanks as toys so long as they're presented with the proper historical context I guess is what I'm trying to say. Though maybe that's just the history buff in me coming out again. Laughing


Last edited by Electric Wooloo on Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2916
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:56 pm Reply with quote
Banjo wrote:
entertainment shouldn't be used to send serious real life messages


Gosh, I guess someone should hop in a time machine and tell Homer. Wink
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kae kurono



Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 69
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:54 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Plus Tomino is Mister "War sucks but my god I like the money I'm making from those toy sales".
[/quote]

I'm not sure if your actually joking or not but tomino hates that gundam makes money by selling toys to the point he that attempted to kill the franchise with victory gundam.
if that's not good enough tomino stated in a 1981 interview by animage
stating "Generally speaking, the robots aren’t portrayed as being all that strong, and we’re not aiming to sell toys"

The reason why tomino made gundam in the first place was "packed his frustrations" when making Gundam. ~ wikipedia.

Everything else you said in your post was good but that part about tomino is completely wrong & false with his judge of character.

Plus gundam doesn't need to sell toys at all really when the dvd or blu ray sets enough on their own to the point that some of the best selling anime of all time are mostly gundam series anyway. With 0079 gundam being the 2nd best selling anime on video behind eva.

So it make sense why tomino would rather do without the toys in the first place.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3521
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:51 am Reply with quote
Yasuhiko wrote:
"We, who were educated in democracy after the war, did not respect our elders. We berated them: 'Those were the guys who made the mistakes. Why did they participate in such an idiotic war?'

Revisionism at its worst. It's not as bad as In this Corner of the World which had one moment of a civilian's view of the enemy forces, one single moment, while the rest of it nobody talked or seemingly even thought about why they were under attack while being lead by Imperial Japan. There was so much self censored material, I swear whole conversations were just cut out. But I can hear responses to this now: "No, this really what it was like as it was told directly to me by the people who lived through it." Uh huh...

In order to do what Japan did during WWII you actually have to inflame an entire population as the chosen people and all others as less than human. But some things seemed to have not been taught in those classes after the war was.... like...

"Participated" What a long word to use when "started" is right there. And, no, I'm not talking about Pearl Harbor, I'm talking about Korea and China, topics Japan refuses to talk about to this day.

Apart from that, I disagree about about Girls Und Panzer as its take on WWII stereotypes are more anti-war than most Japan anti-war stories. What does make me uncomfortable is any anime that insists on memorializing Imperial Japan's most prevaliant symbol: The Yamamoto class battleship.... and its one of three ships called the Yamamoto.

Three ships, most civilians never saw them, the war itself barely saw them but you may as well think every fleet had a bunch of them.


Last edited by Animegomaniac on Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:59 am Reply with quote
I agree with Tomino—I am afraid that some people have forgotten how or why war is bad. Or want to fetishize war, it’s weapons, it’s generals, etc so much that they don’t care how many people suffered or were murdered. And it chills me when this disturbing trend is reflected in anime. And it *does* pop up in anime—I submit as an example the first episode of Dies Irae, which depicted *the man who designed Auschwitz* as a bishie beautiful anime character. I don’t care if he was a villain, it’s very disturbinganimenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2017/fall/dies-irae/.122382.

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Zeparu



Joined: 10 Jun 2020
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:20 am Reply with quote
I'm frankly disgusted by the "people had no choice" argument Yasuhiko is trying to pull here in defense on Japan's imperialist war efforts in the early 20th century. It's basically the same line of argument Nazi prisoners used during the Nuremburg trials. "It's not our fault!" - "What could we have done?" - "Others made the decisions!" That's clear Nazi rhetoric but it's unfortunately very typical for how Japan looks at its role in WW-II.

Both Tomino and Yasuhiko also demonstrate the ostensibly more "innocent" approach to avoiding any historic responsibilities for Japan's own war crimes: talking about the "little people" and civilian suffering but never admitting that it was the complicities of all those little people that made an totalitarian, militarist nation and its imperialist war aggressions even possible in the first place.

That's why I'm usually creeped out by pseudo-anti-war suffer porn like "In this Corner of the World" or "Giovanni's Island" that abuse civilian suffering as an excuse not to deal with a nation's own historic responsibility for the war crimes it has caused, an acknowledgement that after 75 years Japan is still not ready to face. I'm frankly not surprised that Japan is slowly sliding back into totalitarianism if that's the way its cultural ambassadors think about WW-II.

At least Tomino is right about military otaku garbage like G&P and KanColle. As McLuhan put it: The medium ist the message, and there is no way you can make a show glorifying war machinary that is not essentially militarist.
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stefand



Joined: 24 Mar 2015
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:19 am Reply with quote
As a pacifistic german, stuff like the "cute girls re-enact Stalingrad" really felt quite strange. But on the other side, other than military equipment and some military artifacts, like uniform parts, there is no militaristic message or glorification of military.
In fact the message is more like "have fun, hurt no one, let's become friends with everybody".

I must admit i'm much more skeptical about shows that embrace heroism and the propagation of ideas like to sacrifice yourself for your people and destroy some inhumane enemy.
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Hellsoldier



Joined: 21 Jun 2013
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Location: Porto,Portugal,Europe,Earth,Sol
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:55 am Reply with quote
Banjo wrote:
entertainment shouldn't be used to send serious real life messages.. fans want fun and cool stuff, so even war stories will eventually turn into fun/cool mecha/fan service etc to satisfy those fans..


You've missed the memo that a lot of fiction, for the longest of times, contains some sort of message.

Zeparu wrote:
I'm frankly disgusted by the "people had no choice" argument Yasuhiko is trying to pull here in defense on Japan's imperialist war efforts in the early 20th century. It's basically the same line of argument Nazi prisoners used during the Nuremburg trials. "It's not our fault!" - "What could we have done?" - "Others made the decisions!" That's clear Nazi rhetoric but it's unfortunately very typical for how Japan looks at its role in WW-II.

Both Tomino and Yasuhiko also demonstrate the ostensibly more "innocent" approach to avoiding any historic responsibilities for Japan's own war crimes: talking about the "little people" and civilian suffering but never admitting that it was the complicities of all those little people that made an totalitarian, militarist nation and its imperialist war aggressions even possible in the first place.

That's why I'm usually creeped out by pseudo-anti-war suffer porn like "In this Corner of the World" or "Giovanni's Island" that abuse civilian suffering as an excuse not to deal with a nation's own historic responsibility for the war crimes it has caused, an acknowledgement that after 75 years Japan is still not ready to face. I'm frankly not surprised that Japan is slowly sliding back into totalitarianism if that's the way its cultural ambassadors think about WW-II.

At least Tomino is right about military otaku garbage like G&P and KanColle. As McLuhan put it: The medium ist the message, and there is no way you can make a show glorifying war machinary that is not essentially militarist.


I'm sorry but the Japanese Civilians were indeed victims of war, as were the Chinese and Koreans, among others, victims of war, via the Imperial Japanese Army.

It is true that Japan needs to learn from Germany, and face its past head-on.

But then again, we ALL need to respectably face our national pasts head-on. Or should I start talking about the wave of rapes authored by American Soldiers in Occupied Japan? Or the British Atrocities during the Mau-Mau Uprising in Kenya? Among others... Or were the raped women of Japan and Germany accomplices of their regimes?

In This Corner of the World is masterful, and we need more works like it. We need more fiction that focuses on civilian loss. Because if you wanna talk about the horrors of war, all nations that have or had power have filthy hands. ALL of them.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:16 am Reply with quote
Neohybrid_kai wrote:

This is why I tend to gets uncomfortable whenever around military or gun otaku. Some unusual interests like train or insects I can still understand (I have a close friend who is totally into ancient rocks) but weaponry? Why would people be obsessed with things created to destroy/kill other people? But then again humanity and war is something that's very close to each other since the dawn of time. Maybe the charm is imprinted in our natural instinct.. or something lol.


I can't speak for gun or modern weaponry collectors/enthusiasts (or gun otaku as you said). However I have a decent medieval weapon collection, and a few katanas. For me it's not about being obsessed with things created to kill people or destroy. It's like collecting a bit of history. I also have always been fascinated with history, especially pre-industrial history and more specifically military history. Perhaps it is a bit of a morbid fascination given the ramifications of what those weapons and military conflicts represented and entailed. Still, it is fascinating to me from an academic stand point. I would surmise many more modern military/gun otaku might feel the same. However, I would agree with the notion that there is a portion that are a bit....obsessive about it.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:37 am Reply with quote
If our western nations can have fictional 'what if" stories, and alternate takes on historical events, Japan can too.

I grew up with science fiction and war toys. Toy soldiers, tanks, airplanes, and plastic model kits. We built opposing wooden forts and used those toys in battles. We didn't grow up to be serial killers or think that war is some sort of glorified grand solution to all problems.

I also don't have problems with model kits and toys featuring Imperial Japanese and NAZI Germany military equipment. World War II has been over for 75 years now, it's all history.

People who think war is the greatest thing since sliced bread, have other problems. Toys, models, humor, satire, fiction, and entertainment didn't make them that way.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:

I can't speak for gun or modern weaponry collectors/enthusiasts (or gun otaku as you said). However I have a decent medieval weapon collection, and a few katanas. For me it's not about being obsessed with things created to kill people or destroy. It's like collecting a bit of history.


I collect antique firearms, specifically 19th century British guns from the "age of exploration", mainly flintlocks and percussion guns (muzzle-loaders) but also some revolvers. I enjoy the historical aspect of it, the technological development which happened during that time, and the romantic "explorer" image. I also am fascinated by the quality of the workmanship in the guns as well, which I find especially ironic given that most modern guns are made to a far lower standard of quality. It's amazing to think how such complex and often artistic metalwork was done to such a high standard of quality without modern tools and materials, the aid of computers or even electricity. They show what human beings are capable of producing with only the most basic of tools and give a glimpse of skills that have been lost as industrialization and mass production replaced true craftsmanship. Obviously the fact that they are lethal weapons is not lost on me, but that's not the reason for their appeal and the idea of them being used for evil never enters my mind because I have no such intent. It's similar to someone who might be lusting after a fancy sportscar. They like the look of the car, the sound of the engine, they geek out over its tech specs....sure the car could kill them in a crash if they drive it unsafely, or they could even use it to run down innocent people, but that's not what the gearhead is thinking about when he's drooling over that sweet car.

I own a small number of modern firearms. I live in a rural area where pest control is essential as here in Texas we have a very serious feral hog problem (invasive species). I also shoot clay pigeons and go hunting. Those guns I view little differently than a kitchen knife or a baseball bat. They're not something I obsess about or collect, they're just tools.

I know several modern gun collectors. Most (myself included) are also into other 'mecha' things like watches or clocks, tinkering on cars/trucks/motorcycles, radio-controlled vehicles, or collecting old hand tools. Many people who collect guns like them because of the mechanical appeal. Most collectors I have met have been normal down to earth people, but every once in a while you come across someone who gives off a much stranger vibe.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:05 pm Reply with quote
The reason why In this Corner of the World works as anti-war, is because we don't see the war, only hints of it or at a distance. We see civilian life before and during the war, thus seeing how it changed peoples lives for worse. The moment you have gun fights, tanks, battleships and fighter planes, you are indirectly glorifying war. It takes a lot of talent to make a film like Saving private Ryan, which has war but does not glorify it.
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