Families in fiction can feel like something universal. Loving your parents, and caring for your children, can strike us as things essential to our humanity; faulting them, likewise, can be monstrous.
But when we look across cultures, there is no single idea of ‘family’ that unites the world; household relationships are as much a product of our culture and society as the stories we tell about such structures. The families we see in anime are often readily understandable as though they were from the West, but there are details that become exposed when we tackle these stories with sensitivity to the way Japan thinks about its own families and social codes. Continue reading →