Article: Western Fantasy in Anime The legacy of Roto

Western Fantasy in Anime The legacy of Roto
Warpshadow

Western Fantasy in Anime The legacy of Roto

One of the most odd genres of anime is the fantasy(also known as swords and sorcery) genre. It seems that year after year there are shows with fantasy environments. Not just any fantasy environment but settings which are based off of cultures that are completely non Asian. It is the most common setting outside of Japan in anime. Now why is it so popular?

One thing to remember is that anime is a very vast medium and creators are always looking for new show ideas. Eventually it would be somewhat inevitable that some creator would use Tolkienesque fantasy for the theme of his or her creation. One thing you have to remember about the Japanese, they are not used to what Americans and Europeans are used to and probably found it interesting and exotic the same way that some natives of English speaking Countries find anime interesting and Exotic.

The trend is pretty easy to understand if you also know that Japan also creates many of the video games we play, especially console games. In terms of influence on the genre perhaps the most important series of games is the Dragon Quest (released in America under the title of Dragon Warrior) series. It had many big names behind it including Akira Toriyama (Creator of Dragon ball) While it was only mildly popular in the US, in Japan Dragon Quest has been so popular that laws have been passed in Japan forbidden a Dragon Quest game being released During a school day as it caused massive disruption among students when Dragon Quest 3 was released.

Just like most popular manga there was a Dragon Quest anime series, in fact there was three of them. With such popularity it is no wonder that others would try to imitate that success.

One thing to remember about video game rpgs, especially the early ones is that they were incredibly corny. Almost as corny as say the sentai team shows of the 70's or magical girl shows. So it makes perfect sense that like the two other genres mentioned fantasy anime has it share of parodies. The same thing happens in America with comics such as Knights of the dinner table and Nodwick. In fact humorous fantasy shows outnumber the serious ones. Even many of the serious fantasy shows have a quite a bit of humor. Some of the more famous fantasy manga artists are also good at comedy. Ryo Mizuno is a good example of this. While some fans may simply think of him as the creator of Record of Lodoss War his other works, such as Galaxy Angel and Rune soldier show his talent for comedy. As is true with just about any other genre with the weight of a few inventive creators behind a tradition the lesser talents will often follow suit.

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