Dystopolypse now!

May 12, 2006 on 12:14 am | In Anime Scene | 3 Comments

In my Film and History tutorial today, the idea of dystopic societies came up in relation to Mon Oncle, Jacques Tati’s farce about the vapidity of high society.

Now, I couldn’t really relate the idea of a scathing critique of consumerism to any real sort of dystopic ideals, because this was simply a dystopia of the mind – petty bourgeoisie consciousness.
I cited Kiba‘s Neotopia as an example of the worst kind of dystopia: one in which its citizens don’t realise that they are being oppressed, and thus gleefully accept the horrid punishments meted out by their corrupt governments. I then directly compared the public execution scene in episode 5 with a similar scene in V for Vendetta … and I got away with it.

I can’t believe that I brought up Kiba, of all things! Anime that handles such big issues with all of the subtlety and grace of a meerkat eating a hippopotamus! In retrospect, I should have cited Brave New World, which has a genuine veneer of respect. It’s a different kind of government conditioning, but it works so much better. In that it doesn’t make me feel filthy.

In summary: damn you, Kiba! Damn your insidious didacticism! Damn you all to hell!


  1. Well, I agree that Kiba isn’t exactly the most subtle series ever. You’d havve been better off citing anime that deals with insightful issues a bit more delicately (Kino’s Journey, Rurouni Kenshin OVA prequel, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Now and Then: Here and There, etc…).

    I would just like to say that you’re lucky you’re able to do that. At the university I study at, you’d be lucky not to be laughed out of class if you ever mentioned anime.

    Comment by Michael — May 12, 2006 #

  2. That’s pretty much the point of Ergo Proxy, which is arguably better than Kiba.

    Comment by Skav — May 12, 2006 #

  3. Ergo Proxy was a good series for the first four episodes, then it went down the drain. Now I’d recommend that you refer to it as: “Magical Boy Vincent.” That’s pretty much what it is now, and the animation quality’s nothing compared to the first two or three episodes. The opening theme, “Kiri,” never gets old though…luckily.

    Comment by Michael — May 12, 2006 #

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