Anime's Human Machines

A glowing child in front of enormous grey skyscrapers

In 1963 Osamu Tezuka’s TV series Astro Boy brought a new kind of robot to Japan. The robot child with a loving heart began a line of compelling, conflicted cyborgs whose existence challenges humanity.

Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity’s responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.

Our season examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films on various aspects of humanity’s response to technological change. One interesting factor to emerge from these films is how our own view of technology has changed since the earliest was released. Another is how humanity still refuses responsibility for the impact of our actions. These films give no answers, but suggest responses.

All films will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.

wellcome

Sasakawa Foundation

In association with

The Japan Foundation logo - a purple butterfly

Official event

Japan-UK Season of Culture

Events

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

Explore Life Rewired

anime of cityscape containing shop signs in chinese characters

Watch: human shape and cityscape in Anime

 

Luís Azevedo (aka Beyond the Frame) looks at the way anime presents and builds cities on screen.