avatarAnime as collective despair 🥜

Taken from a conversation with my best friend. Why is more and more of modern media portrays dystopias and children fighting for freedom? Why has anime lost that certain kind of warmth to it? A small note,

Allow me to be a bit sentimental, I liked this thread a lot and the attached article

“reborn/reincarnated/transported to another world as a _" has matured and gotten popular to the point of being its own genre with associated tropes, rather than just being a trope that would sometimes appear in fantasy stories.

I think of it this way: As the current world everyone lives in is devoid of meaning - you have to escape inside or to fantasy in order to find meaning. Disenchantment is the mood of the day. With the internet competition among local people becomes a bit moot. Economically everything is irreversibly and increasingly owned by the investor class and its likely that everyone will have more modest goods than their parents had.

Where and how do you find a purpose, a meaning against such a backdrop? This is the question that artists and writers are trying to answer. Defeating inner demons, finding connection and community, fighting an uncaring out of touch older class.. all sorts of theories are there.

In response,

I’d agree - there’s a reason that the protagonists in these are almost always unemployed shutins or people that are half-dead from overwork even before they have their unfortunate encounter with a truck.

Either you can’t find work, or it’s a soul crushing march towards death while performing meaningless work to make someone else rich while receiving no appreciation for it.

Japan has been facing a lot of these issues for longer than a lot of the rest of the developed world, but it increasingly seems like they were just a bit ahead of the curve in it happening.

Japan has always been ahead of the curve. If you think about it, a lot of recent movies, not only coming from Japan or Eastern hemisphere, but Western media produce content primarily with future dystopia feelings, teenagers being oppressed by some investor class or old propel with money, and how they have to overthrow them to bring balance and dignity back in people’s hands. Popularized by hunger games and maze runner, and in Japan before that.

Of course not to read too deep into it at all or why is the door blue, this is quite a shallow analysis, but there is something of—a big psychological shift in how we perceive the world and how it treats us back, and not in a good way. Mark Twain said, “the world doesn’t owe you anything, it was here first” and ok—it doesn’t help, justify, or explain the kind of collective despair experienced by people en masse, yet lacking any real uniting principle or a common goal to band together, make our voices heard, or even at the least acknowledge that it is dehumanizing of the situation that modern people are put into.

The argument of “suck it up, buttercup” or “it was bad too in the past” are incredibly naive, ignorant, or straight up evil. The whole point of us living and trying to do anything is to see improvement in our lives, futures, and general well-being of everyone around us. If older generations bring down the newer generations, either because of jealousy or malice, they can’t let them be better than they are—then there isn’t a lot left to do for us, but wait until it’s too expensive to “own” anything, have kids, or anything of sorts—having population grow older with fewer young working adults and having the more senior populace die and wallow in their own work.

Interesting thread and thoughts. I’ve been thinking about this too. I do think the popularity of isekai says something about society and a desire to escape from somewhere you aren’t appreciated to somewhere you are. Also that most protags are self insert. The world can be a sad place to live sometimes.

Can you blame people for seeking that?

Not one bit.