Sunday, February 15, 2009

Naruto and V

I was watching The Big Bang season one, and I was thinking of how the idea of cool influences others' decisions. On one episode, the main character Leonard said something very profound. “Girls like Penny don’t get with guys that have time machines" (life size model from the original movie). That to me says something about cool. We must conform ourselves to what is cool so that we can achieve social norms, such as a hot girl friend in this scenario. Leonard thoroughly believed that he had tp give up his ways of being a nerd and start being more normal. In the end he realizes that he is cool in his own way. It takes Penny to convince him of it, and she is cool in his eyes.

A movie that has a good example of imitation of cool would be The Sand Lot. The kids in the movie emulate Babe Ruth. The imitation of Ruth adds great humor to the movie and leads to significant character devolvement. They also do a great job in putting Babe Ruth, their star of cool, into context throughout the movie.

I believe that there is an abstract way of looking at this. What if a person embodies the thoughts and values of an entire group of people and others imitate him in an act to show support? I believe that V for Vendetta would be a good example of imitation cool. V is a man that embodies the values of the oppressed, the citizen, and the used. By the end of the movie the majority of the people imitate V so that they can seek the justice that he represents. It is a very powerful scene seeing people all dressed as V storming Parliament.

The last imitation of cool I would like to talk about is Uzumaki Naruto. Naruto’s whole quest throughout the series is to become Hokage. He follows in the fourth Hokage as a rite of passage. His teacher and master is the same as the teacher of the fourth Hokage, which was his father. Naruto’s best attack is a variation of his father's. He never finds out that the fourth Hokage was his father, but he eventually surpasses him in power.


  1. I think it's interesting that you choose V for Vendetta, because that's not what the movie (or the book) is about at all. V for Vendetta isn't about imitation - that's part of what V's fighting against. It's about individuality and the value of the human against the value of the oppressive state.

    Great visual entry. Good job!

  2. I think it is imitation. People dont have the courage to stand up till V comes along. No one dares oppose the goverment openly in that socity. V gives them a way to do that. They use him as a way of resistance in the end. V is the Segway for what the believe and they imitate him because he is a symbol of what they all believe

  3. Terrific examples, John. Are we seeing through these icons to what they represent, or are they the locus of cool? In other words, do we want to be like them by pursuing the same goals, or do we want to be them?

  4. I think that we want to be them. We see these Icons for the greater picture of what they are. Imitation will fall short, so the only real way for us to walk in their shoes.