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Old 2009-02-20, 11:18   Link #1
ArianaChaz
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Join Date: May 2007
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Distopian Themes

I'm looking for anime that takes place in a distopian society-- something like 1984 (the book), although it doesn't have to be that extreme. But definitely a main theme of the show, where the government controls everything (badly). Control has to be a big theme, where at first it's like the people can't do anything, but eventually people, or at least a small group or individual, rise up against it. Anything like that out there?
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Old 2009-02-20, 11:42   Link #2
EternalDestiny
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Any list of animes you have ALREADY watched?

Off the top of my head, Code Geass fits your category.

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Old 2009-02-20, 11:48   Link #3
Niji
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Innocent Venus - mecha show
Wolf's Rain - not like a superpower controlling everything, but distopian and a small group rising up to find their dream
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:12   Link #4
itisjustme
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I think Terra e may have what you're looking for, the computer-controlled society has quite a 1984 feel to i.

From ANN: In the far future, humanity has left behind an environmentally destroyed Terra and began colonization in order to reproduce their home. Humanity, now ruled by a super computer that controls the birth of children, sees the emergence of a new race called the "Mu". The Mu, now hidden from the rest of humanity, have one dream, to return home, to Terra...
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:16   Link #5
SeijiSensei
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Ergo Proxy definitely portrays a dystopian future with some of what you're looking for in a plot.

In another medium, this is the plot of most of the Final Fantasy series of games. In VI, the world is ruled by a corrupt and evil-minded empire. In VII, it's a collusion between government and a corporation. In X, the theme is theocracy. In all the games you're part of a small group of rebels fighting the evil power.

Surprisingly, Oh! Edo Rocket also has similar themes though it's set in 1840's Japan. The ruling Edo government passes a series of decrees banning most forms of entertainment, and the main characters rebel in a variety of ways.
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:20   Link #6
blue skies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itisjustme View Post
I think Terra e may have what you're looking for, the computer-controlled society has quite a 1984 feel to i.

From ANN: In the far future, humanity has left behind an environmentally destroyed Terra and began colonization in order to reproduce their home. Humanity, now ruled by a super computer that controls the birth of children, sees the emergence of a new race called the "Mu". The Mu, now hidden from the rest of humanity, have one dream, to return home, to Terra...
Oh god seconded so hard. It's one of the most tragically overlooked anime out there.

Terra E is just freaking incredible, and it has exactly what you're looking for. Computers control absolutely everything, and humanity is pretty screwed up as a result.

But my description doesn't even begin to do it justice. It's just that awesome.
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:20   Link #7
Echoes
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I'll second Innocent Venus.

You might also enjoy Speed Grapher. It's not about an oppressive government per se, but more about the upper class spinning way out of control and gaining enough power to do whatever they please.
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:24   Link #8
ganbaru
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If you are looking for a distopia, Texhnolyze should be on your list.
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Old 2009-02-20, 12:43   Link #9
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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The obvious ones have already been suggested, so let me a couple of more obscure recommendations:

Quote:
A future where the continuity of history has broken off, a world of enormous ruins that continues endlessly. Oceans and continents have vanished, existing only within the archives brought up from the remains. Ura works in the Archive Excavation Department, which restores and analyzes the data left behind. One day, he finds a disturbing visual record...
Yasuhiro Yoshiura created this little gem prior to his ongoing project,Time of Eve, an anime take on Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Next:



Quote:
After witnessing the suicide bombing of a terrorist girl, Kazuki Fuse becomes haunted by her image, and is forced to undergo retraining for his position in the Capital Police's Special Unit. However, unknown to him, he becomes a key player in a dispute between capital and local police forces, even as he finds himself increasingly involved with the sister of the very girl he saw die.
If you manage not to fall asleep in this movie, you may also want to try Mamoru Oshii's latest movie, The Sky Crawlers.
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Old 2009-02-20, 16:55   Link #10
james0246
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Now and Then, Here and There. Not quite a 1984 level dystopia, but still a bleak vision of an overwhelming nonsensical governmental agency that controls nearly ever aspect of life.

Strong seconds for Jin-Roh and Terra E...


Other recomendations:

Cannon Fodder from the movie Memories (though no one really changes the system in the short-film, the society si still dystopian in tone).
Kaiba
Library War
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Old 2009-02-20, 19:54   Link #11
Rawgers
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Mmm, I was planning to ask for recommendation of this particular genre.
First off, I would not consider Code Geass a dystopia society at all (IMO). From that, I'll second some.

Kaiba- Just about a Man who woke up in a society that appears to be sort of Utopian. The people are like robots, figure of speech, which little emotion. In the society, a man lays that controls the whole universe (and kills/takes memories of many different people).

Ergo Proxy- A world that cyborgs and humans coexist. On the top of the society lies statue type thingies (forgot) that control everyone and everything in that little world. But when cyborgs start to actually think for themselves (and stop thinking for the humans) and mysterious beings start appearing, a problem arises.

P.S loved the book 1984 as well as Orwells other book, Animal Farm. =)
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Old 2009-02-21, 03:42   Link #12
signorRossi
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I have to ask, what is so dystopical about Jin Roh?
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Old 2009-02-21, 04:06   Link #13
Fevvers
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Seconding Pale Cocoon (had to do a double take, it's not really something I see mentioned often), Now and There, Here and There (don't let the character design fool you; it's a very moving and gut-wrenching show, not something I can watch again), and Texhnolyze (right up there with NTHT in terms of gut-wrenching show; it's deeply moving and provocative, as well as totally gorgeous in its direction, writing, music and sound presentation).
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Old 2009-02-21, 04:26   Link #14
wao
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I can only sit here strongly n'thing Now and Then Here and There, Kaiba, Ergo Proxy, and probably Wolf's Rain too in roughly that order. NTHT really confused the hell out of me as a kid...

Also I know you're asking for anime and not manga but if you do want to read something decent that, I believe, gets into the scenario you're describing for at one point, try 20th Century Boys... with the obligatory brainwashing theme parks and the lot. The story does go kinda downhill in the last third or so but I still think it's a manga worth reading


I'm pretty damn sure there's some more not mentioned in this thread but I just can't think of them...
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Old 2009-02-21, 06:37   Link #15
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signorRossi View Post
I have to ask, what is so dystopical about Jin Roh?
Good question. The ANN synopsis is pretty mediocre but I couldn't find a better one. I would suggest avoiding the Wikipedia entry on the movie as well, because it gives away the entire story.

In short, Jin-Roh is set in Japan during an alternate timeline where the Nazis had won WWII. The country had essentially become a police state, rife with civil unrest as disgruntled citizens riot violently against the government. Amid the fighting, one trooper from the elite Panzer Corp was nearly killed after a suicide bomber detonated herself in front of him. While recovering some time later, he meets another girl who looks exactly like the suicide bomber. She turns out to be the bomber's sister.

But this is Nazi-ruled Japan. Corruption is rife, even within the public security forces. Is the girl truly an innocent, or is she part of a larger plot? There are rumours of a vigilante group within the police, known as the Wolf Brigade, that is allegedly hunting down and eliminating such compromised elements. Eventually, everyone will find out the true extent of the conspiracy, and just helpless they truly are.
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Old 2009-02-21, 08:33   Link #16
signorRossi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Good question. The ANN synopsis is pretty mediocre but I couldn't find a better one. I would suggest avoiding the Wikipedia entry on the movie as well, because it gives away the entire story.

In short, Jin-Roh is set in Japan during an alternate timeline where the Nazis had won WWII. The country had essentially become a police state, rife with civil unrest as disgruntled citizens riot violently against the government. Amid the fighting, one trooper from the elite Panzer Corp was nearly killed after a suicide bomber detonated herself in front of him. While recovering some time later, he meets another girl who looks exactly like the suicide bomber. She turns out to be the bomber's sister.

But this is Nazi-ruled Japan. Corruption is rife, even within the public security forces. Is the girl truly an innocent, or is she part of a larger plot? There are rumours of a vigilante group within the police, known as the Wolf Brigade, that is allegedly hunting down and eliminating such compromised elements. Eventually, everyone will find out the true extent of the conspiracy, and just helpless they truly are.
Oh, I should have mentioned that I have already seen Jin Roh, sorry for that.
I just thought that the whole setup wasn't that dystopical at all (compared to others like Techxnolyze) and the whole society portrayed reminded me more of an right wing dictatorship somewhere in South America than a Nazi regime with all its' one-party system, youth-woman-etc. organisations.

SignorRossi.
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Old 2009-02-21, 10:25   Link #17
ArianaChaz
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Thanks for the suggestions so far! I've already seen Wolf's Rain and Ergo Proxy, but I really haven't seen anything else I think qualifies as "distopian" (that I can remember). I just watched Pale Cocoon and loved it! Thanks guys! I'm also going to watch Inncoent Venus, Now&Then Here&There, Kaiba, Terra E, and Oh Edo Rocket. Oh, and Library War, which particularly interests me because I'm a librarian by trade. ^_^ Suggesting manga series is fine! I'll look into 20th Century Boys.
Texhnolyze, I've heard, is more about the gore and violence than anything else. Is this not true? I'm not one for the extreme violence.
Any other suggestions you think of, feel free to continue!
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Old 2009-02-21, 19:14   Link #18
Fevvers
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@ArianaChaz: Glad to know you liked Pale Cocoon! Maybe you can try Time of Eve? It's not dystopian, but it is from the same creator.

As for Texhnolyze, one word, no. I would go so far to say that NTHT is more violent in its treatment of children (but hey...), not to say that's all there is to the show though. You were asking for a dystopian setting, so some violence is totally unavoidable.

Texhnolyze is a heady show set in a very, very unforgiving world; gangsters, oppression, and poverty abound. Despite all that, the characters, along with the city itself (but that's a different beast entirely), take center stage. The characters all evolve, not one character you can compartmentalize as good or evil (despicable, yes, but evil? I think not). If anything, what can put you off the show is its super slow pacing (which I personally thought fit the claustrophobic its nature) and dialogue-less first episode. The plot points are challenging (a second viewing, along with the recent ANN book club, helped big time) but never heavy-handed about it. It’s subdued and far from pretentious (unlike say Ergo Proxy).

Anyway, if you don't plan to buy the dvds, just give the first three or so episodes a try.
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Old 2009-02-21, 22:11   Link #19
Silverwyrm
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Mentioning Ergo Proxy again, above posts explain it pretty well but give it a go
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Old 2009-02-22, 10:49   Link #20
Nosauz
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since most have been stated, check out the old school movie Venus Wars, dystopian society on the planet of venus, its well written, also Galaxy Express 999, the series the movie, are all great and deal with a dystopian society ruled by robots, and humans are hunted and converted into androids.
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