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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Magearna is Reason and Eve

Many Japanese animated movies are meditations on the problem of science and the West, and attempt to present solutions as to how the Japanese - as represented by Satoshi, the boy with an "electric rat" and a woman's voice - can save the world.

The latest movie (Pokémon the Movie XY&Z: Volcanion and the Mechanical Magearna) from the Pokémon franchise, written by Atsuhiro Tomioka the same writer as the last, replaces Hooper and mini Hooper with Volcanion and Magearna. Volcanion, like Hooper, has a hoop, and is a bit too strong for his and his surroundings' good.

the Exquisite Magearna is the first robotic Pokémon built by the those blue eyed, blonde, science fanatics -- Westerners -- that often feature in Japanese animations. Magearna has a metal body, crucifixes for pupils, and a sciency cog-bonnet. Apart from having her own shell-like monster ball, into which she retreats when she is afraid, and the ability to produce bunches of flowers from her hands that put others (other than Volcanion) into a romantic mood, she does not do much other be "ezquisite." But she has great power.

The reason for this is related to her removalable "soul heart," which seems to be the very core of science. This heart soul is also said, in the catch copy for the movie*, in contradistinction to almost all other Pokémon, to have a voice.

For my money, Magearna is the linguistic Other who whispers in the hearts of Western "men". Sometimes as listener she is called Reason, by Jefferson and Dawkins, and shown the greatest respect.

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion (Jefferson see Dawkins, 2008, p64)

But her first name was I think Eve, the first in a long line of Western "robotic" pocket monsters. She is robotic in so far as she is linguistic. She doesn't just bond, and sit on the shoulder of her trainers and friends but alas, whispers to them, in romantic voice of her soul heart. She is the Sibyl that Heraclitus writes of.

Her name in Japanese is a pun on "bent hole," but I am not sure if that is any way intentional

This Pokémon movie reached the conclusion that Volcanion should sacrifice himself to save her, and that she should be taken from the land of the blonde blue eyed men and returned to the wild.

I thought Jarvis, the lead scientist and baddie (who is nonetheless forgiven as Japanese baddies always are) a little similar to David Bowie.

I would like to see or write a sequel where it is found that there is a real living pockemon trapped inside Magearna, who is at last released.

*熱き魂(ソウルハート)の声が聞こえるか!? Can you hear the voice of the 'hot soul heart'!?

Why are Pokémon movies and David Bowie better at explaing reality than science? The advance of science may be moved and supported by converse with an artificial monster far more terrible than that pictured above in her imagined Pokémon GO debut.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.