Reverse Cold War: Anime in Communist Japan

Lets just say the Cold War was reversed where the Bolshevik revolution fails in Russia, but there is also an attempt to over throw the United States government and turn it Communist and they succeed. Now in my version of a reverse Cold War, China and Japan would've switched roles with a civil war in Japan between the Communists and Imperialists and the Communists win.

If Japan were Communist how would that impact the anime industry? Would anime even exist? Or would it have been made in Capitalist China instead? or would it just be used as Communist propaganda?
 
Depends on the kind of Communism Japan has. if it's like OTL's post-Mao Chinese communism which is basically state-controlled capitalism, then you would probably get regular anime. But if it's like North Korea's Juche ideology, which began as a spin off of Marxist-Lenism and Korean nationalism, then you'd get something like Squirrel and Hedgehog
 
Depends on the kind of Communism Japan has. if it's like OTL's post-Mao Chinese communism which is basically state-controlled capitalism, then you would probably get regular anime. But if it's like North Korea's Juche ideology, which began as a spin off of Marxist-Lenism and Korean nationalism, then you'd get something like Squirrel and Hedgehog

Interesting. Also in OTL My Hero Academia seems to have alot of pro-Americanism in it. But if Japan was Communist would it be pro-Communist propaganda instead?
 
Depends on the kind of Communism Japan has. if it's like OTL's post-Mao Chinese communism which is basically state-controlled capitalism, then you would probably get regular anime. But if it's like North Korea's Juche ideology, which began as a spin off of Marxist-Lenism and Korean nationalism, then you'd get something like Squirrel and Hedgehog

I've seen some North Korean cartoons well worth a look if they are still up on youtube. Depending who the capitalists are can see them being similar. Though I doubt it would resemble anything we would consider anime.
 
Interesting. Also in OTL My Hero Academia seems to have alot of pro-Americanism in it. But if Japan was Communist would it be pro-Communist propaganda instead?

Definitely state run studio would produce what its told unless animators wanted a trip to Hokkaido gulag.
 
I've seen some North Korean cartoons well worth a look if they are still up on youtube. Depending who the capitalists are can see them being similar. Though I doubt it would resemble anything we would consider anime.

I've seen a fair few as well and yes, they would be bizarre in comparison to what we think of anime. If you want an idea of want Communist propaganda would look like as anime, look no further than Japan's own OTL history. The first feature length anime film ever made was a propaganda movie called Momotaro's Sea Warriors.


Yeah, it's from a right-wing regime, but fascist and communist regimes tend to hit the same criteria when they produce propaganda. A love of nation? Check. Undying devotion to destroying the enemies of said nation? Check. Overthrowing authorities deemed to be in conflict with the movie's core ideology? Check.

Just imagine Battleship Potemkin, but lots of furry foxes playing the sailors.
 
A love of nation? Check. Undying devotion to destroying the enemies of said nation? Check. Overthrowing authorities deemed to be in conflict with the movie's core ideology?

That's basically how it works in any state, burgeois-democracy is no different here. Look at the James Bond movies for a particularly blatant example of "We're the good guys, they are the bad guys, in the end they loose and we win". Or look at western movies about real or alleged authoritarian or "totalitarian" regimes. Does anyone remember the movie "The Interwiev"? Don't get me wrong, of course I'm not a fan of North Korea, but this movie was blant propaganda and nothing else.

Television is an important propaganda tool for every state. Of course it works differently in a burgeois-democracy compared to a fascist state. Most of the movies are not directly made (or observed) by the state (though financial support by the state for movies especially well suited for propaganda purposes does happen). Yet, ideology re-produces itself. If the media has told you that country X is evil for your whole life, and you now get to make a movie about it, you'll most likely paint it in the darkest colours. Not to speak of the fact, that the pollitical stance of a movie is also determined by the interests of the film production company and it's donors. Moreover, the state and private newspapers and TV shows have massive influence on wheater or not a movie becomes known to the general public at all.

There are so many great movies and incredibly well researched documentaries that never become known to the public, because they don't reflect the ruling opinion. Just recently I saw a great documentary about pollitcal repression and surveilance in the 1950s West Germany (the Bundespolizei even opened fire on peacefull protestors at some occasions). No newspaper wrote about it, no TV channel advertised it. This chapter of our nations' history is not tought in school. It's just "forgotten". Up untill the 1980s, the nazi era was not tought in west german schools either. According to my mother "history ended for us in 1933 - and started again in the 1950s." When one student asked her teacher "Why don't we learn about the RAF in school?" she was promtly expelled from the gymnasium.

In german there is a word for that: Totschweigen (literally, keeping silent about something untill it's dead).

I hope this post doesn't violate the "no current pollitics" rule. It was meant to be a general statement.
 
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I don't think it would exist except in communist propaganda cartoons. It wouldn't become popular.
 
I don't think it would exist except in communist propaganda cartoons. It wouldn't become popular.
I think it's inevitable there'd be a few creators who'd be very distinctive and thus artistic. Like Yoshiyuki Tomino, director of Mobile Suit Gundam and its sequels. He's notoriously "odd" and the original Mobile Suit Gundam from 1979 basically denies the hero (Amuro Ray) status as some elite warrior (unlike other 70s mecha shows) and displays how his faction is utterly corrupt even if it shows how the enemy (Zeon) is a hell of a lot worse (their leader Gihren Zabi likes being compared to Hitler). It isn't hard to rewrite Gundam to be more communist. Especially Zeta Gundam with the plot centered on "the elites of Earth are oppressing us Spacenoids".

If we have novels adapted into animation, then we can have some alt-Legend of the Galactic Heroes. The OTL anime adaption shows a failure of liberal democracy, but a communist version would have the Free Planets Alliance be an allegory for some liberal anti-communist democracy while the Empire is perhaps like the Japanese Empire or the pre-communist United States where the alt-Reinhard von Lohengramm figure (and his comrades) is a revolutionary and explicitly institutes a socialist regime which destroys the old Empire and then via world revolution conquers everything else. Reinhard isn't crowned emperor in this version, he's democratically elected by the proletariat (unlike corrupt Free Planets politicians who need all sorts of favours from major capitalists to be elected).

An alt-Ryousuke Takahashi might be a good communist anime director. Fang of the Sun Dougram is basically mecha anime Vietnam War with lots of nice discussions on neo-colonialism and guerilla warfare. His most famous show, Armored Trooper VOTOMS, incorporates elements from all manner of science fiction centered on a conspiracy regarding a corrupt church which is messing with both the major governments in the galactic war.

And if it's communist America, why not import some foreign cartoons if they have good propaganda messages? The comrades in Japan have some cartoon called Gundam where the son of a productive citizen fights against a militarist and fascist regime while calling out corruption in his own force. They have this comic book writer who portrays a martial artist that makes his enemies explode with one touch, and this guy is the savior of the century's end, freeing villagers from oppressive regimes.
 
And if it's communist America, why not import some foreign cartoons if they have good propaganda messages? The comrades in Japan have some cartoon called Gundam where the son of a productive citizen fights against a militarist and fascist regime while calling out corruption in his own force. They have this comic book writer who portrays a martial artist that makes his enemies explode with one touch, and this guy is the savior of the century's end, freeing villagers from oppressive regimes.

I don't think the USSA government would import any anime from Communist Japan because of the Nippon-American Split in 1960, however I'm sure anime would begin to be allowed after the collapse of the USSA in 1991 because despite Japan remaining Communist to this day and post-Communist US becoming a capitalist democracy again (tho an illiberal one riddled with corruption and not like what it was before the second American revolution) relations between Japan and the remaining Post-Communist United States would improve and become BFFs like China and Russia in OTL.
 
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