Anime Meta-Review


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    Abstract:   This marks anime which focuses on something alien to, or ignorant of, humanity. As a result watching them explore our world can give an interesting view of ourselves. It's quite a common theme in anime.

Originally my `cute robots' genre. A world away from the giant robot genre. In addition this is also a more specialist term than simply identifying any anime with a robot character in it. There's a huge number of `fighting robot' anime's which aren't members of this genre. Instead this genre exists from the observation that an intelligent robot can be amongst the most innocent of creations. Watching a robot interact with the world, learn its way and find its place offers a wonderful chance for quite touching drama. Likewise it also lets us re-examine our world through a fresh set of eyes and observe new things about people, relationships and ourselves. These also have the advantage that novel worlds, and action, tie in quite nicely with the robot premise allowing various other anime elements to be combined in a hybrid. In fact a case could be made that cute robots (a lot of these robots are female) allows shoujo'ish introspection to take place in the shounen domain. The setting is often high tech, but given that in anime creating an AI is within the grasp of any mad scientest, is not exclusively so. In general if you have a show that includes the `human' or `domestic' elements of having or being a robot then it's probably within this genre. The archetypal example is probably the (non anime) story of pinocchio which really proves the depth of heritage for this type of material. Others might cite atom boy. I should also note that, especially as our technology matures, the robot need not look like one or even be a robot (such as biological constructs). The important thing is that it is `alien' strange and seperated from the `normal'. A case could be made that the character Rei (from Evangelion) and Lain (from Serial Experiments Lain) also draw from the essence of this genre.

Written: Mon Feb 19 16:29:12 EST 2001

Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:50 WST 2009