Space Battleship Yamato ( 1977 ) And The Silent Services ( 1988-1996 ) Essay
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Space Battleship Yamato (1977) and The Silent Services (1988-1996) are both films that ‘rehabilitate’ Japan’s experience of World War II as they re-tell or imagine alternative histories or fictional stories that rehabilitate past trauma (namely their humiliating defeat of WWII and a sense of loss of masculinity to the U.S.-Japan alliance and what came corollary with it). Such narratives can be interpreted as expressing what contemporary Japan desires. The narrative of each film is reflected by the context of the time of its production (cold-war vs. post-cold war) and whilst the narratives of SBY and SS share similarities they differ in their depth of political discussions, conveyed messages and explicitness due to the constraints of post-war democracy, pacifism and U.S. relation. Relevant concepts are militarism, nationalism, anti-war messages, anti-US messages, pacifism, masculinity and patriotism and many of these co-exist in each respective film – the films try to reconcile them by ending with a lasting impression that justifies the aggression for the sake of world peace.
Space Battleship Yamato (SBY) was produced during the cold war period. The cold-war period of Japan is referred to as the “1955 system” whereby under U.S.’s protective umbrella Japan became a peaceful, powerful, capitalist Nation. Following Japan’s somewhat humiliating defeat of WWII a U.S.-Japan alliance was formed and this brought U.S. occupation, the demilitirisation and democratization of Japan,