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Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction

by Elliott Samuels

Staff Writer

Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction, by Motoko Tanaka.
Palgrave Macmillan, Academic.

Japan is no stranger to apocalyptic events, a fact drilled home with the catastrophes of March 11, 2011. The country has suffered all number of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear bomb attacks, disasters that have all in helped mold national identity. In “Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction,” academic Motoko Tanaka examines how apocalyptic ideology has changed since World War II. Using manga, anime and novels, she assesses how the structure of apocalyptic science fiction reveals what is at stake in Japanese society and suggests ways to cope with these crises as well as visions for the future, both positive and negative.