Japanese Anime Influences Big-Budget Hollywood Films

Japanese anime has had a major impact on many mainstream Hollywood movies over the years.  Five movies that used elements in anime are Clash of the Titans, The Matrix, Avatar, Real Steel, and Transformers.

The first movie is the 2010 remake of the Clash of the Titans directed by Louis Leterrier.  It is a remake of the 1981 classic based on the famous Greek myth of Perseus.  The armor-like costume in the movie was inspired by anime Saint Seiya, which borrowed heavily from Greek legend in which the characters battle with each other wearing special armor called “Cloths.”  The French-born director thought it looked great andwanted topay homage but putting it in the movie.

A second movie greatly influenced by Japanese anime is The Matrix starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.  It contains a great storyline and spectacular visual effects.  Japanese anime Akira and Ghost in the Shell had a great influence on the making of this movie.  Super-human by some of the movie’s characters are reminiscent of certain scenes in Akira and Ghost in the Shell.  One example can be shown in the cinematography of some chase scenes in The Matrix.  The Wachowski Brothers were very inspired by Ghost in the Shell and motivated to create a live-action movie.  Also, they even provided a video of the anime to the creative staff.  The impact of the anime gave them a clear visual concept of the world they wanted to create on film. A Japanese reference in The Matrix consist of falling green digital code containing mirror images of Japanese katakana letters.

Another movie is the 2009 hit movie Avatar directed by James Cameron.  It is an epic story about saving mankind from destruction.  Hayao Miyazaki has a huge influence on this movie in several ways.  The presence of a strong, attractivefemale lead character is a crucial element that Avatar shares with Miyazaki’s works.  It displays a similar theme of industry/technology vs. nature them consisting of unique vibrant colors.  Characters in Japanese anime that share similar struggles are San in Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.  Both are young women that battle wars with sophisticated technology and fight to protect the environment around them.  Many visual details contain images of Miyazaki’s.  These examples include the floating islands of rock similar to the floating castle Laputa in Castle in the Sky or supernaturally powerful tree with healing tendrils, a concept appearing in Princess Mononoke.

The next movie is called Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman set in a world of robots engaging in boxing matches to substitute human boxers.  It contains images of Japanese anime famous for its robot/mecha genre.  Among some of the hugely popular anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion.  The main character of the robot in this movie is named AtomAtom is the name that Astro Boy (iconic anime robot character) is known in Japan.  Movie viewers of Real Steel is reminiscent of the classic Tetsujin 28-go.  In the United States, it was released as Gigantor.  The design of some robots is similar in the anime version.  Also, the robot is controlled by a young boy just like in Real Steel.

Finally, Transformers has a large impact on Japanese anime.  Based on the 80s cartoon, the anime world has had a tremendous impact on the visual elements in this movie as well.  This popular toy line of robots was produced jointly by an American and Japanese company.  Over time, the entire franchise including the animated series, both companies has collaborated with South Korea in the process.  In one of the earlier animated versions, some designs of the original toys were most likely influenced by the Macross anime series.  

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About wmckenzie95

I am passionate about travel and learning about other cultures. On my free time, I love to listen to music and watch movies. Some countries that I really want to visit are Japan and France.
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