- 学習院大学人文科学論集 (ISSN:09190791)
- vol.19, pp.239-274, 2010
This paper discusses the issue of realism in Japanese manga and American animation and suggests that we should change the framework which is dominant in Japanese criticism of manga in recent years by focusing the history of American animation. First, we refer to discussions by Eiji Otsuka and Go Ito who are the most influential critics of manga today. Otsuka insists that Japanese manga originated from American animation, whose characters have bodies which are never injured. Then he argues that Japanese manga got realism after the war by giving realistic bodies to such non-realistic characters. On the other hand, Ito insists that the reality of the character is based on the simplicity of drawing. Although there are differences between them, they both focus on the "character" and their frameworks prevent us from capturing another kind of realism which could be found by focusing contemporary 3DCG animations. 3DCG animations led by Pixar resulted from the development of techniques to represent physical space in reality. This paper describes it as a shift from "dots of ink" to "the falling body". In Disney's early works, we often find gags such that a character in the air doesn't fall until he notices that he doesn't have supports. Such meta-fictional gags reveal that the animation is nothing more than "dots of ink" rather than "representations of reality". The history from early Disney to Pixar has aimed to represent physical space which has the law of gravity, hiding its origin as "dots of ink". This shift also occurred in Japanese manga, but it is hard to find it because of the framework which focused on "character". Therefore, this paper suggests the change from "character" to "space". Of course, manga and animation have retained its origin despite the progress of tendency to represent reality. Therefore, we can describe the history of them as the history of conflicts between "dots of ink" and "representations of reality".