Anime and Filipinos go way back. And now that we’re seeing more local animators bringing their flair and talent to create animations about social issues with anime inspirations, the meme game takes on a whole new level.

/ 26 August 2020

Social media recently became a playground for local artists to showcase their skills with wits and humor. But the meme game is now taking a whole new level with the surge of animations that feature local issues with anime stylings.

Onto today’s issues in social media, political affairs, and entertainment rumbles, it’s important to be delicate about creative execution in these topics. But with the saturated internet filling with a non-stop flow of bad news, perhaps some knack for comedy and/or creativity can be the saving grace we need in these pressing times. And since we have a lot of creatives at home finding ways to continue their craft and earn as well, it’s great if we can support their visibility and provide cash tips while mutually getting entertainment out of their art.

Now, anime has been quite a big thing in the Philippines. This is because the culture roots way back the nostalgic days especially GMA’s Anime Authority schedule that exhibits a selection of classics like Ghost Fighter and Flame of Recca down to today’s thriving anime culture spearheaded by Naruto, One Piece, and potential newcomers such as Hero Academia and Demon Slayer. So when local artists began to infuse anime stylings to paint local issues with a humorous and light translation, it has only made the meme game more exciting!

Here are some of the creative takes of local animators on today’s issues with their whimsical anime approach:

Awra Briguela VS. Buknoy Glamurrr

Featuring the style of hit anime series Bizarre Adventures of Jojo, animator Ian Dominic Alejo, also known as Iana1 on Facebook and Youtube, brings a fun twist on the feud between two social media celebrities, Awra Briguela and Buknoy. As a background, the issue began on social media when Awra noticed Buknoy’s violation of quarantine protocols that led to an exchange of statements. The issue opened a lot of discussion on Cancel Culture and the privilege of these social media personalities in their freedom of expression.

As you can see from the bold strokes, the machismo vibe of their physique and voice, the Japan-ized names, to the heated encounter—there’s no doubt that it has captured its peg and delivered an entertaining skit in just 1 minute. Now, that’s how you add flame to the fire with that awesome animation!

Gadon’s Infamous Faceshield

Also by Iana1, here he pokes fun at Gadon’s viral photo of him wearing (or not) his face mask attached to his face shield. Gadon has addressed the issue already with a statement that says, “I don’t believe in masks outdoors. Face shield is okay. Masks may be good for small enclosed places like elevators or conference rooms. In my case, the mask is only for a show because stores will not allow entry if you don’t have a mask.” However, DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire slammed him in an online forum saying, “Unang-unang, this is not a joking matter. Alam ng mga tao lahat merong namamatay, merong nagkakasakit, nagsu-suffer ang economy, and the only way for us to fight and to overcome this situation is lahat tayo magtutulungan.”

Iana1 infused Gadon’s another famous moment when he cursed against supporters of unseated Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno out of furiousness back in 2018. It’s crazy how the irony flips in this skit because the backfire on Gadon is creatively portrayed in just 7 seconds. 

Presidential Spokesperson Roque with a Naruto Shippuden Opening Animation

Created by Pol on YouTube and inspired by one of the highest-grossing anime of all-time, Naruto, the opening sequence centers on Roque and shows his vulnerable side in spite of all the hate and bashing on the government. While Roque has been a subject of memes and ridicule in social media, it’s quite creative how there’s some truth in the dramatic sequence in this short opening theme animation.

Aside from Roque, there’s also cameos of notable public figures including Sec. Panelo, Sen. Bong Go, and OWWA Deputy Executive Director Mocha Uson. 

ABS-CBN SHUTDOWN: Quiboloy’s Wrath

Quiboloy, the controversial founder of Kingdom of Christ, is the center of this animation for his famous remarks that have stopped the impossible. A notable event was when he exclaimed in October last year that he “stopped” the earthquake in Mindanao by simply chanting it. So Vice Ganda, one of the prominent artists of ABS-CBN, used it as a joke that only Quiboloy can stop the seemingly indefinite show Ang Probinsyano. But then Quiboloy countered with a joke to stop their network and unfortunately, it did happen. 

In this animation, we see glimpses of what transpired on the eventful day of ABS-CBN’s closure with cameos from Angel Locsin’s rally, Ang Probinsyano’s protagonist Coco Martin on his vocal expression of his dismay, and some interesting symbols and cliches like the Twitter icon which tells a lot about the fury of social media and its woke community, the clash of pro-ABS-CBN and those against its renewal which has been a running headline across news sites and social media, and the iconic symbol of ABS-CBN as it falls to the ground.

While we’re at it, here’s bonus animations from Raronesc which isn’t anime but sheds truth on some intriguing scenarios that happen during the lockdown:

RAP BATTLE: lumabag sa curfew

Pinoy street rap is a culture in itself. This animation with over 3.4 Million views  infuses comedy and rap to show an ordinary scenario of protocol violations. Here, we see the police being strict about the curfew policies due to the imposed lockdown and the common excuses of violators. While this may be quite a subtle and mundane skit, it’s more than just for entertainment. It also sheds truth on the many cases that the streets can be unforgiving with today’s strict policies. With the new normal, making excuses isn’t very much common since the protocols are in place to benefit everyone’s safety. So even if it’s for a short and good time drinking, what’s wrong will always be wrong. 

RAP BATTLE: Dahil sa Alcohol

This animation tells a lot about the hoarding issues at the onset of the pandemic. There’s been a struggle in groceries to find basic health necessities because many people have been focused on reselling products for their own gain. With this, the market has been hit with shortages and inflation caused by the overpricing of hoarders only caused more panic and uproar among consumers. Same approach with the classic rap battle, we hear both sides arguing on the issue and as simple as it may seem, it still holds true until today with face masks, face shields, alcohol, and PPEs rising prices in the market.