As mentioned in the preceding post, various depictions of dystopian realities or futures are rather common currency among Japanese writers. One of the main elements in Japanese fiction, especially in anime and manga, is the inclusion of technology, A.I., robots and mechas. Usually, there is a group of humans that lead the resistance against extraterrestrial invasions or the rule of machines that subjugate humanity. In Ergo Proxy, for example, the main character has free will, which is something that has been suppressed in humans. So she sets out on a path to question the structure of the city where she was born and the citizens’ seemingly perfect lives.
me that explores similar themes is the animated miniseries Texhnolyze, which aired in 2003. In a city where despair and carnage run rampant, ORGAN, a cybernetic entity will do everything in its power in order to gain more power and wealth. As Robocop from the 80s, an underground boxer who has been mutilated is equipped with Texhnolyze body parts, which are cybernetic appendages that he will use to fight evil.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is an animated TV series that ran between 1995 and 1996 and it is considered a cult series, which spurred a strong fandom all over the world. In an alternative future, a catastrophic event which came to be known as Second Impact has devastated the city of Tokyo and has been replaced by Tokyo III, a city under constant siege by strange life forms known on Earth as Angels. Humans’ only hope is the Evangelions, mechas piloted by a bunch of teenagers. The future of humanity seems to lie in the hands of these three teenagers, even if, in the process, they might not be able to save themselves (or each others). A must watch.