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Frankenstein , Akira , and Beyond. The Ebb and Flow of Cultural Exchange. Presented By: Jackie Bernstein Jarreau Bowen Scott Lanum Kevin McLean. Tradition of Storytelling. Ancient folklore first recorded in early 8 th century Poetry Visual storytelling Meiji Period

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Frankenstein akira and beyond
Frankenstein, Akira, and Beyond

The Ebb and Flow of Cultural Exchange

Presented By:

Jackie Bernstein

Jarreau Bowen

Scott Lanum

Kevin McLean

Tradition of Storytelling

  • Ancient folklore first recorded in early 8th century

  • Poetry

  • Visual storytelling

  • Meiji Period

  • Manga develops from newspaper comics

Emergence of anime
Emergence of Anime

  • Cartoonists experiment with animation (1914)

  • First feature film Momotaro (1918)

  • Various animation styles

  • Small industry

  • Inspiration from American market

World war ii

Western influence

Military theme develops (1930’s)

Propaganda films made during the war

U.S. bans media with military themes

World War II

Comparison between mary shelley s frankenstein and akira
Comparison Between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Akira

There was non among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies?  No: from that moment

I declared everlasting war against

the species, and, more

than all, against him who had

formed me and sent me forth to

this insupportable misery.

(Frankenstein, chapter 16)

Katsuhuro Otomo’s Akira, scene 23

What are the parallelisms
What are the Parallelisms?

  • The Trinity of Transgression

  • --The Creator, the Transgressor, and the Memory Bearer

  • The Creation of a Monster

    -- In both Akira and Frankenstein, the monster created is the result of a quest to harness the power of science to positively effect mankind

  • Central Conflicts

  • -- A battle between the monster and the humanity found within the monster, as well as a battle between the monster andsociety

  • Similar Conclusions

    -- Both Frankenstein and the power of Akira are not meant for our current plane of existence

Akira s influences in the west
Akira’s Influences in the West

  • Natural Born Killers

  • The Matrix

  • Remakes of Akira (by WB) for Modern Audience

Reflections on society
Reflections on Society

  • Message of the Dangers of Technology

  • Reflections on Power and Control

In other medium
In Other Medium

  • Ghost in the Shell

  • Dark Horse Comics


  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (Marc Davis Lecture on Animation)

Thank You

ThAnK yOu



ThAnK yOu

Thank You

Works Consulted

Website:, last updated on 21 January 2003.Website:, last updated on 21 November 2003.Website:, last updated on 12 October 2003.

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13 November 2003.

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August 16, 2003.

Website:, last updated on 19 October 2003.

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26 November 2003.

Website:, last updated on 4 April 2003.

Website:, last updated on 7 August 2003.

Works Consulted, Continued

Online Collection:, last updated on 30 October 2003.

Website:, last updated on 17 November 2003.

Website: Scarum, Harum. "Preaching the Post-Enlightment Judgement Day to a Fictional Congregation: From Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner to AKIRA.“ 12.html, last updated on 25 Nov 2003.

Napier, Susan J. "Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation." New York: Pelgrave 2000.

Sibbald, Vanessa. "'The Matrix' film history 101." The Mercury News. 9 May 2003.

Vallen, Mark. "A Night At The Academy-Anime Comes Of Age." The Black Moon. 18 Nov 2001.

Works Consulted,


Website:, last updated on 2 December 2002.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Puffin Publishing. New York. 1818.

Otomo, Kamaturo. Akira. Anitech. Tokyo. 1987.

Lee, Felicia. Consultant. November 2003.