Insects and Rain. Anime beyond Human
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new materialism social theory anime cultural theory Apocalypse nature matter social philosophy Hayao Miyazaki Makoto Shinkai

How to Cite

Afanasov, N. (2020). Insects and Rain. Anime beyond Human. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 2(4), 35-51.


The author refers to the empirical material of Japanese animation on the example of the works of Hayao Miyazaki ("Princess Mononoke", "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind") and Makoto Shinkai ("Weathering with You") in order to demonstrate how the discourses of new materialism are reflected in anime. The author problematizes the non-Western approach to the ratio of natural/human in the works of animators, showing that Japanese popular culture has been and continues to be at the forefront of artistic interpretation of new ideas in philosophy. The aim of the research is to articulate the view of Japanese animation on the agency of the material and to demonstrate the author vision of the problem of the relationship between humankind and the natural world. As a result, it was shown that Japanese animation, while maintaining its connection with traditional culture and having no background of European Enlightenment thought, often refers to the key themes of the new materialism. This appeal itself has an original character, which is embodied both on the visual and narrative levels. In contrast to traditional Western animation, anime does not seek to humanize the surrounding world and make it a pleasant place to live but demonstrates its fundamental independence and alienation from human morality. As a logical continuation of the logic of non-human, the author sees the theme of the Apocalypse, which is organically inscribed in the anime, as the quintessence of the relationship between man and nature.
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