Growing up I always felt like I was little more different to those around me, different in the sense that I did not feel like I whole heartedly identified myself with western culture, It was strange. I had my first taste of foreign media when my parents bought me the first DVD volume of the Anime Naruto for my 12th birthday, one of the gifts that would change my life for a long time coming. I could say I owe a lot of who I am as person to that present.
Watching Naruto the story was just so compelling, unlike any western animation the whole Japanese aesthetic really left me in awe. So much so that after the years I started to binge anime after anime, started listening to anime OSTs, eventually going to conventions, collecting it and even creating a few different Youtube channels where I would show my hauls, discuss and review everything anime & manga.
As I grew up I had a inscrutable desire to just go to visit Japan. I did for the first time back in 2015 and made trips the years following. I loved nothing more than visiting the country and if you watched the video below I feel like you’ll be able to grasp my feelings towards the place.
I look back at how it’s affected my life I can tell you about the Japanese themed calendar I made , my traditional Japanese tattoo, my Japanese branded clothing, the Instagram I made for all my Japan shots and even my digital artefact that I was able to do through a few different BCM subjects. Although bringing it to the present I feel like I have scratched my Japan desires quite well and even though I feel like I still owe some of my self to the country I am no longer deeply fascinated by it.
So to set the framework up I have luckily been exposed to elements of Japanese culture that very much will help me within the subject but to ‘Gorjira’ the 1954 black and white classic felt like a big breath of fresh air. Unfortunately I miss the class screening of the film so I have no live tweeting to show but I took out one major thing from it. I knew nothing of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The scene of the commuters in Tokyo discussing Gojira really made my brain click and think, it kind of put the whole event in to perspective.
It wasn’t even too long ago.
It actually happened.
I realised I had gone my whole life with this love for Japan but knew nothing about the very real reality that a lot of the people had to face.
That was the main thing I took from the film, it was oddly relaxing to watch it must have been the black and white, aged special effects. It was a film with a story driven plot on how the town/country dealt with the prehistoric monster, much much better than a block buster with crazy CGI and explosions, it almost felt as if a book was coming to life.
So my understanding of Gojira was one that taught me a valuable lesson and that even though the film is from 1954 a good Japanese story can always hold it’s ranks as being the best.
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