Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Anime of the Decade: Preamble

Through extensive investigation of the psyche and intense discrete and statistical mathematics I have formulated my top 100 anime of the 2010s. While these are based entirely upon my own experience watching as as such pertain solely to myself, I think you'll find they are universally correct across the otaku egregore. This list is six months in the making and has gone through a dozen revisions to hone the nature of it however it is still incomplete, as I have not yet seen every anime from the decade and thus there may be some left out from this list undeservingly. I will have a list of anime I have not yet seen but I think may get on to the list at the bottom of this post.


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Monday, 2 December 2019

The Immaculate Love pt1.

What is pure love? It's a question that storytellers have been trying to answer for millennia. Many a story revolves around a love so perfect that it's power transcends all. Romeo and Juliet is the prime example of what we in modern Western tradition expect from the perfect bond: a love between man and woman that transcends all barriers and has a prophetic power that can never be sated until either it is fulfilled (marriage) or it is destroyed (Shakespearean tragedy). It's answer is core to the idea of being human and thus usually takes a centre position in even religious symbolism worldwide. While our modern, mainstream idea of perfect love may seem obvious and set in stone (stemming primarily from the idea of Christian original love, Adam and Eve), many artists throughout history have attempted to answer this question with answers that are widely different from our own preconceptions, with varying levels of success in spreading their ideas. One thing that must be said is that the concept of "immaculate love" lays at the very heart of culture, and so an attack on the concept, or even a suggestion of other forms of love, often elicits highly negative responses from people. It's not that our collective perception of these things cannot change, it does rather frequently. A love that was heinous in the eyes of our forefathers just a few generations ago can easily have found it's way into a generally accepted state in the modern time; homosexual love is an obvious example.

However, as culture is twisted and morphed at the hands of the Zeitgeist*, we, as actors in the culture we belong to, believe our conception of love is obviously correct, even if it contradicts with our own culture's foundations. A great example is found in the founding myths of Japan; before the existence of mortal men when only the first Kami (Japanese for Gods) were around, a time when the world was comprised purely of heavenly mist (or kamikaze**). These first Kami (or technically second Kami but that's superfluous to this explanation) were born in pairs: an older brother and a younger sister. These sibling pairs would be wedded in immaculate marriage, a marriage so pure that if lower beings such as humans were to attempt it, they would suffer divine consequences. This divine right turned divine rite, as the historical system of imperial marriage within the Japanese royalty involved a method of marrying within the family, close but lesser than the purely divine sibling relationship, since even the emperors are below gods. Now, to a Occidental theatre this worldview of immaculate marriage seems completely immoral, as our (modern) Christian based culture sees incest in any form as completely unjustifiable. But both of these systems seek to push the same end: the avoidance of incest through divine persecution. In Christianity the act itself is deemed wrong, in Shintoism the act is seen as reserved for only the divine. Both prevent the laymen from partaking in the act, and allow (to a certain extent) the royal class to partake in it (most Western royal houses used, and still use, incest to keep the bloodline intact and closed to outsiders).

Both religious systems see the marriage of brother and sister as a bond so strong it is dangerous. For how can two people be any closer? They are tied to each other in blood, life and romance, such a connection is so powerful it can never be rivalled. And as posited above, love is an unbreakable strength, and if marriage has power infinite Aleph-null, sibling marriage has a power Aleph-one. This equation of power and love feeds into the overarching heroic journey of the individual, leading to the concept of the heroes incest***, for the journey to self-enlightenment marks cairn at the marriage alter. A love that break all boundaries for its tenacious grip on those in a hyperdivine bond. A love that is so everlasting that it will never pass on. For a love born of hyperdivine heroic incest cannot produce valid offspring, and thus the ourobourotic cycle of death and rebirth is broken. Nirvana. The hero has become the god, freed from the mundane mortal cycle and that blood-tale takes it's place amongst the stars.

To be continued in part 2 (I'll actually talk about anime then).

*Zeitgeist transliterates from German into "Time Ghost", meaning a ethereal, collective spirit that acts as a conglomeration of the world's thoughts at the current time. Or something like that. 

**Kamikaze translates to God-Wind and refers to the unseen power of the Kami being perceived by humans as mere wind. The term was used by the imperial Shouwa government to lionise suicide bombings as godly winds.

***Term NOT coined by NeutronNick.

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