Anime Expo 2014 Day 1: Special Guest Lecture by Eiji Otsuka

At 4:45 pm on Thurs, July 3rd at Anime Expo, Professor Eiji Otsuka gave a lecture entitled “The Rebirth of The Saga and the Fabrication of History: Gundam, the Aum Cult and Attack On Titan.” It was a fascinating lecture that explored the correlation of the rise of fantasy based popular culture in Japan (Otaku) in the 1980’s and 90’s with the rise of Japanese nationalist historical revisionists at the same time. While Prof. Otsuka does not believe the majority of Otaku share the views of Japan’s far-right, he does believe that historical revisionist views are embedded in a majority of manga and anime that is consumed yearly. Otsuka shows how many of the setting and plot details of the mega hit manga/anime Attack On Titan can be convincingly viewed as metaphors for historical revisionist views of Japan. The whole panel was quite eye-opening, and I would highly recommend readers seek out Prof. Otsuka’s numerous papers on the subject, for a engaging look at the meaning behind much of modern Otaku media.

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