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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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The Taboo and the discomforting Visual & Performing Arts Essay (Essay Sample)


Manga and Anime portray taboo subject matter much more openly than western comics. This has unfortunately earned them the stigma and label of being perverted. Perhaps the main issue stems from the fact that, although taboo subject matter is sometimes touched upon in the west, it is done purely through underground comics whereas manga offers this type of material to any average mainstream reader. Furthermore, although such subject matter may be depicted in the west, the message associated with is is very clear - such behavior should be avoided at all costs! On the other hand, manga and anime attempt to place the reader/viewer in the shoes of the props on/people engaging in said behavior (e.g. I Love my Little Sister), and truly understand the emotional turmoil or issues they experience. Additionally, they do so while eliciting sympathy from the reader which allows him or her to sympathize with whatever taboo they are presented with. And herein lies the issue,
1. Should taboos be made available through entertainment? Should they be turned into a leisurely pastime? Is this appropriate or not? Is it actually fair to label anime and manga perverse just because of their attempt to understand these problems while doing so in a fun loving and entertaining way?
2. Does encountering taboos in such a way make them easier to swallow? If so, does it in turn bring about more intellectual curiosity about said issues and does it offer more comprehension rather than the traditional 'don't ask, don't tell' approach?
3. Finally, should these issues be widely talked about or is it perhaps better to keep certain subject matter away from young audiences? (This is an entirely opinion based question but make sure you defend whatever point you make in a convincing manner).


The Taboo and The Discomforting
Taboos should be made available through entertainment. However, they should have viewer restrictions. The films or series should advise viewer discretion and have ratings that set a particular age limit. Taboos can be turned into a leisurely pastime. They are already being used in this way in Japanese culture. If other societies are willing to accept them, they can become part of their leisure activities. Still, this can only be appropriate in certain cultures. In different contexts, they are highly inappropriate. The fact that anime and manga are labeled pervert due to their illustration of taboo is not fair.

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