Monday, May 30, 2011

Aa! Megamisama!: Shakespeare and Anime

"Midsummer Night's Dream." Perf. Kikuko Inoue, Masami Kikuchi, Yumi Tôma, Aya Hisakawa, and Yuriko Fuchizaki. Dir. Hiroaki Gôda. Oh, my Goddess [Aa! Megamisama!]. Episode 2. Anime International Company. 21 May 1993. DVD. AnimEigo, 2001.

In one of the more bizarre bits of serindipity, I chanced across this while searching my local library for a video of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I found what I was looking for—but the catalogue also suggested a Japanese Anime version of a popular series of Manga with the quasi-blasphemous title "Oh my Goddess." One of the episodes was itself titled "Midsummer Night's Dream."

To the Westerner, the series is quite odd. The show is for older viewers, and it involves a real-life goddess named Belldandy who is conjured up by a college student—who has no idea what to do when she arrives.

The Shakespeare comes in in episode two. As the image above notes, "Even Shakespeare is said to have used . . . a love potion." While that's not exactly accurate—suggesting, as it does, that Anne Hathaway was somehow bewitched into falling in love with the young Will—Shakespeare did use a love potion as a plot device.

In the anime, as in Shakespeare's play, drinking a love potion is sure to bring about undesired results. Observe:

And I think that concludes our series of Shakespeare in Animated Media—for now.

Links: The Wikipedia entry on the series.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

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