The Importance of Anime to Cyberpunk #cyberpunk

We’ve talked in this series about the formative contributions to cyberpunk of the film Blade Runner, the novel Neuromancer (and all of the books this book pointed to — by Gibson, Shirley, Sterling, Rucker), and the TV show, Max Headroom.

Another vector of influence for the genre was Japanese anime. Asian high-tech urbanism had already played a significance role in the aesthetics of seminal c-punk, as seen, for instance, in Blade Runner’s Hong Kong-like perpetually rainy Los Angeles and Gibson’s Chiba City. So, it was not surprising that Japanese artists and animators immediately took to the genre, feeding their own unique cultural signal back into the squealing feedback of cyberpunk.

Films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, along with lesser knowns in the West, like Megazone 23 and Bubblegum Crisis, had a huge impact on early cyberpunk writers, artists, and filmmakers.

This video does an excellent job of looking at cyberpunk anime, its relationship to cyberpunk as a whole, and the most significant films in the cyberpunk anime genre.

See my entire history of cyberpunk series to date here.


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