Something has always bothered me about “The Princess Bride.” It starts with farm-boy Wesley going off somewhere via sailing ship and then the news that his ship was captured by the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” who is such a bastard that he kills everyone on every ship he ever does pirate things to. After a few years Wesley returns as the Dread Pirate Roberts to rescue his princess. Initially the princess hates him for killing her one true love, but then once she finds out he IS her one true love, she’s so elated to see him. She apparently has no problem that since he’s been gone, her beloved farm-boy Wesley was such a bastard that he killed everyone on every ship he ever did pirate things to (everyone; passengers, crew the captain’s wife and 12 year old daughter, nuns, a doctor on the way to help some beleaguered colony somewhere… everyone). This princess biatch and the audience are supposed to think nothing of the fact that this guy has racked up executions of mostly innocent people in the triple digits. I’m sorry but no matter how heroic he comes off there has got to be a huge take-a-number machine full of people who wanna kill his ass to avenge some family member he probably cut the throat of and let them bleed to death over the deck of his pirate ship and then kicked their lifeless corpse into the ocean.
To an equal extent, the same sort of forgiving eye is often turned to the world of pre-Meiji
Modern literature and entertainment from “Blade of the Immortal” to “The Last Samurai” glosses over much of this kind of thing for the sake of making a good story, and that’s ok if you you can keep in mind that these are works of fiction. This kind of romanticism in historical settings is more or less required for works such as “Ninja Scroll” or “Zatoichi” to be entertaining. To be entertaining you more or less have to be fun, and it’s hard to do that if you pack all that human misery of real life into it. The problem is when this gets taken too far, and we end up with tripe like “The Last Samurai” or things that make the Shinsengumi look like cool heroes rather than the more true to life Gestapo with swords. The same kind of view is also applied to world history with Hetalia, but that’s not exactly the same in the way it treats things. But since they are coming from a set of different set of historical literacy, iIt’s important to take context into account when dealing with historical anime titles. Think about it, how many people actually knew what the “House of Toyotomi” was when it was mentioned in "Ninja Scroll"...really?
The Meiji restoration is increasingly being seen and reflected in pop-art as something that was somewhere fundamentally was "done wrong". There’s a notion that there was a serious degree of “Japanese-ness” that was left behind in the Meiji that could have otherwise been brought into the modern time we have today if things were different. Of course anyone who knows the political climate of the Meiji and the history of
Even in the Kenshin OVA, Kenshin’s decision to choose a side is very relevant to the era’s political climate, which if you’re a guy like him you just can’t escape (though this is lost on American audiences who only want blood and guts). Ruroni Kenshin is worth a another watch if you try looking at it from a historical perspective. One thing I disliked about Ruroni Kenshin though, is that it had all the late 1990’s weaboos trying to use terms like “dono” and “gozaru” in Japanese, which sound stupid, since in Japanese this way of speaking died out a century ago (it would be like a modern English speaker using terminology from the Victorian era).
Apart from older history, anyone familiar with the political and cultural climate of
Also, I know I keep mentioning this, but the animepodcast.net interview with TM Revolution is coming soon.