4se Material explores some of the many stories at the intersection of sport, entertainment, lifestyle and culture.
Anime as an art form can be misunderstood by adult professionals in the western world. But what if we said that it has inspired directors such as James Cameron? Quentin Tarantino? Christopher Nolan? The argument isn’t necessarily that animation is just for kids (adult cartoons like Bojack Horseman and Ricky and Morning have received critical acclaim during their runs) but that it’s often unsophisticated and best utilised for comedy.
While sports anime can often have comedic elements, it also has masterfully choregraphed action scenes, gripping drama, diverse casts of characters, and it thoughtfully explores themes such as resilience, ambition and sacrifice. Live-action content can also do so, but the creative freedom that comes with drawing the characters, the action, the backgrounds and all of the stylistic elements that make for a scene allow for a new level of visual and emotive storytelling.
So what is sports anime? What impact has it had to the sports industry? And last – but certainly not least – what makes it perhaps the best vehicle for sports storytelling?
The episodes includes contributions from two expert guests: Rayna Denison, Professor of Film and Digital Arts at the University of Bristol, and Tatiana Tacca, an esports and anime consultant and founder of Oni Vision.
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