In shonen anime, there's a type of "ethics" that emphasizes on someone reaching their potential, becoming the greatest, trying no matter what, persevering, etc. But, whenever I've heard about modern Japan, it's always as a very business oriented society that pressures people to work and things like that, so I wouldn't expect that kind of ethics to be a part of actual Japanese society (I don't know much about this topic, so if I'm wrong on that, please tell me).

If that's true, how did that ethics end up in a Japanese medium? The only answer I could think of is through older Japanese and Chinese literature, but I just don't feel like that's good enough to fully explain the problem.

  • you said that modern Japan pressures people to work right? so these ethics could just be a motivational thing. they want to motivate their youth to work hard and never give up and maybe aim for the highest rate of success. can you imagine if all the people in a society were motivated like that how successful it would be? – Henjin Jul 31 '18 at 11:22
  • Possibly, but it could go either way; while there's something to be gained in those kind of ethics, there's also something to be lost. If I truly want to be the greatest, in the way that the characters I'm talking about do, I can't be following orders from bosses, I would have to go above them. Also, I don't think an answer to a question like this can be sufficient without taking history into account. – Julian Jefko Aug 1 '18 at 3:25
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    Shounen anime is aimed at young men, so it's also possible that the ethics of shounen anime developed as a counter to the values society expects out of adult men because its audience wanted to rebel against them. – Torisuda Aug 17 '18 at 22:59

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