Exploring the Realm of Anime – Individual Digital Artefact: Anime Watch (Podacst) // DIGC330
The idea behind my Digital Artefact is to explore the themes in top-rated Anime series on Netflix and compare common themes to that of my social context of living in Australia. I will bring my experiences of what little Anime I have seen and understood and autoethnographically analyse the context of which the first episode of these Netflix top-rated Anime series are set.
I aim to present my findings as a spoken text through a podcast using Soundcloud. In doing so I will be able to express my findings and discussion in a quick, succinct form with the ability to elaborate on more important points.
Already Acquired Knowledge:
First of all, autoethnography, as defined by Ellis et al. (2011), is an approach to research and writing that seeks to both describe and analyse (systematically) personal experience in order to understand ones cultural experience. To me, in short, this means that it is a systematic method used to decipher ones personal cultural experience when exposed to different cultural attributes. Applying this definition to my digital artefact, I wish to bring my cultural experience of being an Australian middle-class male, having travelled to Japan and studied the language many years ago, to the context of Anime – a largely Japanese cultural experience and form of story-telling.
Anime is a cartoon style of film-making which is traditionally Japanese. Anime (presumingly short for animated) is popular among children and adults alike and typically has Japanese voice actors, requiring subtitles for western audiences. Many popular anime series such as Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z and Naruto (to name a few from my childhood) have all been produced and animated in Japan although have English speaking voice actors in order to appeal to a wider western audience – this could possibly be the reason for their success in the western world.
In order to achieve a more autoethnographic research in my digital artefact, I thought I would watch more ‘traditional’ Anime series, ones that were written and produced for an Asian culture with english subtitles. The process of subbing and dubbing can often be known for poor translation or mis-informed translation, often leading to a confused audience and a miscommunication of cultural differences. Netflix is the world’s leading streaming service (190 countries worldwide) and so subtitles on foreign television series and movies need to be correct and culturally/politically correct. In saying this, choosing which episodes of the 3 mentioned anime series to watch was not difficult given their ratings on the streaming service.
The acceptance and adoption of Anime around the world, both in viewing it and recreating it, has lead to he solidification and acceptance of Japanese culture world wide. Given that Anime originated in Japan and so obviously has a Japanese cultural influence, viewing Anime texts exposes audiences to Japanese cultures and their ‘way of life’ (Emunety, 2015). Having watched some popular Anime texts when I was younger (mentioned previously), I have had some exposure to the common themes and aspects of the film form, although being young and naive and watching cartoons for the pure purpose of entertainment, I didn’t understand the cultural significance of such texts or how they could possibly shape my cultural beginnings with a culture foreign to my own. With this in mind, I will attempt to make cultural links and understand where my knowledge of Japan as a country and Japanese culture begin before sitting a Japanese language class in Year 8 and before visiting the country back in 2014.
Using the plot description that Netflix provides with each of it’s television series, along with the help of IMDb, I began to decipher what the series would be about, before settling in and watching the pilot episode of Kids On The Slope, Magi: Adventure of Sinbad & Kuromukuro. In the podcast(s) that follow, I have attempted to apply autoethnographic research methodologies and understanding to my research about Anime and it’s cultural similarities and differences.
A 3 part podcast series on an autoethnographic look at top-rated Anime series on Netflix. This episode tackles the first episode of Kids on the Slope which discusses how westernised and “Americanised” it actually is. Apart from it being all in Japanese with english subtitles, a lot of the themes are similar to that of an American cartoon or movie/tv show.
A 3 part podcast series on an autoethnographic look at top-rated Anime series on Netflix. In this episode, I view Magi: Adventure of Sinbad which discusses and shows a lot of themes surrounding that of war and adventure. It is a typically Japanese anime (in my view) and there isn’t actually much westernised influence on the series, although it is produced by Netflix.
A 3 part podcast series on an autoethnographic look at top-rated Anime series on Netflix. In this episode I look at Kuromukuro another top-rated Netflix Anime series. Again it was western influenced in it’s production although stuck to the traditional anime art style in terms of facial expressions and use of “anime eyes” to convey feelings and emotions which is quite culturally different to that of westernised cultures.
Natoli, D. What Have I Learned? An Autoethnographic Study of Anime Eyes. WordPress. Blog. Web. Accessed 25/10/16 > https://dannatoli.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/what-have-i-learned-an-autoethnographic-study-of-anime-eyes/
Emunety. Autoethnography: Why I Now Enjoy Anime, And You Will Too. WordPress. blog. Accessed 25/10/16 > https://digitalasia330.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/32/