Being anti-natalist, I’m very suspicious of anything that attempts to convince people to have babies. So when a video I watched suggested the idea that there are a collection of anime and movies trying to do this, it made a surprising amount of sense to me and led me to think up this half-serious conspiracy theory.Despite how crowded the main cities may seem, Japan’s population has been steadily declining ever since the late 90s. Being aware of the main cause of increasing CO2 levels, I think this is great, especially for a first world country. However, for a capitalist country that judges its worth by domestic gross, this is a cause for concern, and a problem they’re trying to solve with propaganda.
With anime like Bunny Drop, Sweetness and Lightning, Barakamon, shorts like Shelter, films like Wolf Children and many other anime both encouraging female hormones through cute imagery of little children and pushing forward the romantic idea of parenting for fathers, this motive couldn’t seem more obvious. I think this is why Japanese media is one of the few things that still conclude stories with old fashion, baby-boomer values.
However, anime isn’t the only medium this is done in. The amount of visual novel happy endings with children being a conclusion makes sense considering the lack of contraception being pushed in it and other Japanese erotica. This is not to mention the many films that express the horror of abortion and romance being the top priority of a character’s life, one of the many problems I list having with romance anime.
On my trip to Japan I went through Gongzhou, China and watched a film on the flights to and from these countries. They were created by production companies from those countries and I noticed a clear difference between the values they were pushing in them. Where the Chinese film showed how children ruined the relationship between the romantic couple, the Japanese film ended with an abortion ruining the couples relationship until a new kid was introduced. The meaning behind this was not lost on me.
Now media expressing its cultural values is not anything new. American patriotism values are so transparent in action films that it’s almost funny. However, from studying markets to sell my books, I’ve noticed how people use this to push certain agendas, whether they be pro-diversity, anti-capitalism or pro-natalism. It’s how manipulative these can be for societies as a whole that makes me wonder if and how effective they are.
It’s the level of coercion that I judge, the sneakiness or transparency showing whether its nature is manipulative or self-aware. Although a creator’s ideology inevitably comes through in their creations, a little bit of self-awareness to explore the problems in their own beliefs shows that a piece is more than just an author’s self-insert jerk-off fantasy, or whose work was chosen in order to increase the population of his country.