Anime Archeology 101: references throughout the years

Ever since I wrote the post comparing modern shonen battle series to shonen battle series of the past, I was wondering how I could push the envelope on this further.  Then the thought came to me last week, what if I wrote about how earlier anime influenced the anime that we know and love today.  If we look at today’s society, a lot of what we have today have roots in civilizations of the past.  The romans had a lot of medical tools that we would easily recognize today or if we had time travelers from one hundred years ago, they would easily recognize a lot of aspects of society.  Like ripples in a pond, one drop can influence all other aspects of the pond.  Even when you can’t see them anymore.

To me this is a cliché starting point, but let’s talk about how the movie Akira influenced modern anime.  I’m not going to say how on a popularity or cultural level because there are a lot of articles that have done a much better job than whatever I can do, but by a visual and story level.  I mean, let’s compare the scene that Tetsuo leaves his room at the testing facility compared to the first scene of Elfen Lied because a lot of people were killed through psychic abilities.  The explosion in the beginning of Trigun is easily compared to the explosion in the beginning of Akira.


Also, Neo Tokyo.  The second Tokyo, Neo Tokyo was destroyed in the end of Akira and Evangelion has Tokyo Three.  Finally, for my last example, what about Tetsuo in Space flying through space with his aura with spikey hair?  Could you say that he possibly looks like a saiyan?


I know that there is no proof to any of this, but it has to be more than a coincidence.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is another show that has been referenced countless times.  How many times have you seen this frame of animation of Misato drinking a beer from other females on other series?  I mean, seriously.


Or what about Gendo and Fuyutsuki standing in an office with the camera a fair distance away from them?


Maybe even Gendo Ikari in his specific pose.


Evangelion also heavily changed the giant robot design game.  All giant robots have slimmed down ever since it’s inception.   Also, I know that I mentioned this before, but what about all the Rei clones that currently exits in anime right now?  It’s all crazy how that works. Something becomes popular and its ripples travel the anime cosmos forever.

I can probably go along and point out references like this all day, but here are some quick ones.  These aren’t as massive cultural things as the last two, but they do show that anime creators like to pay admiration to things they like.  The homage Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in No Game No Life is one of these.


Haruhi Suzumiya’s reference to Legend of the Galactic Heroes is another one.  Shirobako has an Initial D reference in it’s opening sequence.


Finally, I will leave you with this big one that may have only came to my mind.  The first season of Noragami’s last battle, Yato vs Rabo, is a direct reference to Rurouni Kenshin.  The battle between Kenshin and Jinei to be precise.  The circumstances of the duel are the same and some of the frames of animation, at least in my head muach

Anime, like everything else, is influenced from one thing to another.  This is partially how I see things when watching an anime.  I like connecting things, like how a single creator’s works are similar to each other or a small thing like characters in different shows having similar voice actors.  I will never claim that any of these are one hundred percent factual, but you have to admit that there is something to them.  So anyway, thank you for reading my first, technically second, anime archeology post.  There should be more to come in the future in different forms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s