[Reading Response: TSUTSUI W.M]

In “Oh No There Goes Tokyo”, Tsutsui W.M mentions that in the years since World War II fictional apocalypse has been visited upon Tokyo more frequently than any location on the globe. He claims that in the “Doom laden dreams “of Japanese popular culture, Tokyo has fallen victim to, earthquakes, floods, fire cyclonic winds, alien invasions, giant monsters and robots. These fictional apocalypses are usually understood by audiences as a result of humiliation and persisting traumas from the second world war. It is true that the bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki have engraved wounds on the Japanese minds that would take

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[Reading Response-William Tsutsui]

Japanese monster shows and movies to some might be cliche popcorn shows with little plot divergences, but the genre actually carries a cultural significance on the post-war Japan and explores more serious topics as reflected by the reading. Whilst it is not difficult to deduce that films like Godzilla were meant to be a caricature of nuclear devastation and its lasting effects on the environment, other elements of these films are often overlooked– despite all the destruction or the fact that people are always facing imminent devastation, akin to how Japan has always been an epicenter of sorts of natural

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Reading Response 3 – Monsters, Materials and skyscrapers

Symbolic mushroom clouds, as well as the giant monsters in a Japanese city setting are used frequently in Japanese animation, manga and films, they present a regular annihilation fantasies. And showed aesthetic of destruction. Despite of the “apocalyptic nightmare” after the periodic manmade and natural destructions, there were a “salutary impact” as them as a nation and a city “won” and walked through the disaster together, and welcome an inevitable recovery. Japanese’s appreciation towards the aesthetic of shadow, in a way, shows their ability to celebrate the “harmony and strength” in the society in the dystopian environment. Nostalgia over the

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[READING RESPONSE] TsuTsui W.M. and Carl Abbott

I think there is certainly a relationship between destructive/ monstrous and cyberpunk movies. Apart from the discussion on Gojira, Akira and Ghost in the Shell we did during the tutorial, the part that talks about the walking (moving) city definitely interests me. The British architect Ron Herron depicts a Walking city with a huge self-contained mini-city that looked like a combination of giant building cranes, 1950s robots and praying mantis. As such, there are also depiction of an imaginative assumption of train as a miniature of a city, as mentioned “The train is  a moving world, it contains all surviving

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Evolve through the reality and the fiction

  In his essay, ‘Technology and (Chinese) Ethnicity,’ Professor Darrell William Davis tries to reveal the relationship between by analyzing the surreal cyberpunk setting and the imaginary Chinatown space in three science fictional animations, Blade Runner (1982), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Innocence (2004). In general, he illustrates that “imaginary Chinatown spaces are appropriated to model claustrophobic hyper-realities.” in both visual expression and social context. Moreover, he believes that among the inter-mediation of the literary works and its ethical background, “Chinatown feels familiar in these animated environments, yet it pushes toward defamiliarized, alien, life-like zones of informational identity.” He

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THE JAPANESE “doom-laden dreams”

 Japanese Literature, “After the quake” by Haruki Murakami and it was then filmed in 2007. In the book: Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City, chapter 5, “Oh No, There goes Tokyo: Recreational Apocalypse and the city in postwar Japanese Popular Culture”, the writer Tsutsui describes Japanese films and anime as “tragic”, “apocalyptic”, “ironic”, “speculative”, while still captivating our audiences in a sense of its thoroughness. Among these monster and imaginative films, Tokyo is the city of imagery which has been destroyed and annihilated by means of human weapons, natural disasters,  alien mutation or even unknown supernatural powers. All

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Reading Response 2: Chinatown identity crisis

Darrell William Davis observes in his Technology and (Chinese) Ethnicity that Chinatowns in films have long been serving as stock backgrounds through which ‘jaded white heroes gather clues and chase villains,’ layered with unnoticeable Chinese niceties, of being mysterious and extraordinarily colorful. Chinatowns are also commonplace setting in cyberpunk films, as they were born with the Chinese culture and urban cyberculture. Locales are significant to the rendition of such cyberpunk films because they are powerful imageries that galvanize sentiments for both the protagonists and supporting characters. The modern, glitzy enclave of post-industrial disarray depicted in Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the

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Reading Response 2

In D.W.Davis’ essay Technology and Chinese Ethnicity, the arguments start from a common phenomenon, which is the appearance of Chinatown in future/sci-fi films. The author discusses (taking Hong Kong as an example most of the time) the reason why Chinatown-like areas are the favorite of such many future films and how the environment of Chinese ethnicity provide a similar atmosphere, which is of course not only just a single copy of a Chinatown, for those films showing an unpleasant view of future. Hong Kong is a protagonist or a representative of Asian cities and it is used in so many

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Reading Response 2: Hopelessly Devoted to Desolation

Sentiments are bombs in a film, sparking off infinite interpretation and complexity. Architecture is after-wave of a film, uncovering “denied vulnerability” of the post-trauma nation. “Oh no, there goes Tokyo… but it will be back, and it may be even better than before”, a line filled with uncertainty echoes with my understanding over Japanese post-traumatic emotion. In fact, Godzilla, one of the most famous post-war monster movies has been popular long after the war, no matter if Japan was thriving or drowning economically. At first, it was a cry for the millions of innocent deaths caused by the bombs in

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Reading Response 2: ‘Destruction’ in Japanese Pop Culture

While commonly understood by general audiences as a straightforward derivative of humiliation and lingering traumas from the second world war, Japanese apocalyptic imagination comprises sub-genres more than the cliched detonations of fission bombs by ill-natured men: which span across natural disasters and extraterrestrial invasions. The fictional narratives have tapped into more than the nuclear anxiety of shuddered ground and radioactive remnants. This archipelago nation in Sinking Japan (1954) was entirely submerged by the eruption of the dormant Fuji, while in Akira (1988) it unveiled a vision of a “neo” Tokyo, where supernatural power Akira restored the order in the post-apocalypse

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