[Apartment 507] Showa Nostalgia in Anime: What’s the Deal?


I wrote a post over at Apartment 507 looking at the nostalgia for the Showa period that seems to be cropping up in anime. Leave a comment either here or there and tell me what you think!

5 thoughts on “[Apartment 507] Showa Nostalgia in Anime: What’s the Deal?

  1. I think it’s due to having been seen as a simpler time when the economy was doing well, lifelong employment was a thing, and people could imagine themselves being able to live relatively peaceful lives without the risk of depopulation due to a decreasing birthrate, terrorism, and people who would turn away from the world (I don’t recall that many hikikomori cases back then). Anime also dealt with simpler themes then, and the whole idol craze hadn’t reached the insane levels of the early 2000s.


    • Well Showa was also the years of the War in China, the Pacific War and
      the destruction of the industrial base by the American bombing.
      The years of mismanagement to push all available resources to the military
      in the field and the starvation of the population as seen in Grave of the
      The people who remember those horrid years are dying off and we
      see stuff re-writing history including invention in anime and manga like
      girls crewing warships against the Allies and being tank drivers, etc.
      In other words totally escapist fantasy to replace the true conditions
      of the time.


  2. Japan has a habit of preserving its history by attaching it to several things in order to keep it remembered. There are many other parts of Japan’s history that are virtually gone, but well remembered due to their attachment and reference in media. Consider all the exaggerations of the old Imperial Navy and how many shows and references are made, from Zipang to Kancolle – and how these result in preserving interest in something that has clearly passed by attaching it to something modern, like comics and cartoons.

    It is my opinion that Showa is exposing how old and outdated of a mindset it is that it now is being culturally rescued/preserved/distorted by manga and anime.


  3. Nostalgia for the Showa period is no surprise, as the world moves on
    the further from the Showa the more golden it appears in retrospect
    and especially perhaps in the minds of the Japanese right wing.
    Even though I am a US citizen with no Japanese blood I find
    the Showa period (when I was young) to be of such interest that
    I bought Mizuki Shigero’s: Showa History of Japan (in 4 big volumes
    of manga.).
    The Heisei period is when I got old and sick and chronic illness
    crept up on me, and from about Heisei 15 when I got into anime
    and manga. I have a great fondness for the some of anime and
    manga produced near the end of one reign and the commencement
    of the other, thinking of Yawara, a fashionable Judo girl, Kimagure
    Orange Road, Maison Ikkoku, etc.
    Oh and Heisei represents the period of time when computers
    became available to more people than ever before so that this
    whole Internet is a Heisei thing.
    But for the rest, Showa is when manga and anime arose out of
    the poverty of the Post WW II period to their present place in
    Japanese culture and since the beginning of Heisei, their place
    in world culture.



  4. Older, greener times for some. Or rose colored glasses for the adults who grew around the baby-boom years. Those people had their life between the high bubble of the 80´s and the fast economic halt that drove Japan to his knees in the nineties until today. Of course, that´s exageration, maybe, for any foreigner (Japan still leads a lot of indexs in general for its society). But somehow, japanese in general feel that Japan is receding in some areas that used to shine for them.


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