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Responding to the PDF linked in that article, I'm not so sure about the good/evil thing. People actually are pretty easily sorted into good guy/bad guy classifications in most anime (hint: anyone ugly or scarred is 99% sure to be bad).

The trick is that bad guys aren't 100% bad (and good guys aren't 100% good). Also, there's some cultural stuff, so their idea of "bad" may or may not map to yours.

And if you go past people to ideas, some ideas are pretty much universally bad in anime. For example, resurrection is only for evil people in anime; the good guys get reincarnated. Examples: Death Note, Mar Heaven, Shaman King, etc. If there's a counter-example, I've yet to see it.


There is at least one counter example in Naruto. (A series where genuine literary merit hides under genre convention and filler.)


You're right, I neglected Chiyo's revival of Gaara. I guess I personally make an exception for instances when people are only dead for a few minutes (call it the difference between "mostly dead" and "all dead" if you like). There are a few revivals like that, both in Naruto and elsewhere. All had positive portrayals, that I can remember. It's kind of hard, sometimes, to know when people are really dead, after all.

Orochimaru & Kabuto's Kuchiyose: Edo Tensei ("Impure World Resurrection") technique, on the other hand is more the kind of "resurrection" I had in mind.


That article makes some interesting points, but I'm not comfortable with how recklessly it tends to generalize, and at times it seems to be picking evidence to fit its conclusions rather than trying to draw its conclusions from the evidence.

For example, at one point it argues that the typical plot complexity and subtlety in most anime is "extraordinary". I suppose this is true for something like Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke, or some of the longer-running plot-driven manga, but that's a very biased sample. Perhaps that's a sign of the time in which the article was written -- in 2003, Americans' reference pool of anime was smaller, and so there was some pretty serious selection bias going on.




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