Japanese Anime: Earth Girl Arjuna

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Earth Girl Arjuna is a thirteen episode anime series created by Shoji Kawamori that was originally aired by TV Tokyo between 9 January 2001 and 27 March 2001. The series was also later completely broadcast by the anime satellite television network Animax.

Arjuna is set in Kobe, Japan, where the protagonist, Juna, is attending high school. The story opens on her telling her boyfriend, Tokio, she feels too cramped in the city, and deciding to take a trip to the Sea of Japan. On the drive, they get in an accident, and Juna dies.

As her spirit leaves her body, Juna sees the Earth suffering, visualized by worm-like creatures, the Raaja, entwining the planet. A young boy, Chris, appears to her, and offers to save her life if she will help the planet. She agrees, and is resurrected.

As is clear from the title, Arjuna, the series is highly influenced by Hinduism, as well as Indian culture in general. The story was inspired by the Bhagavad Gita, most notably in the character of Chris, who is modeled after Krishna.

The setting for the show, Kobe, was chosen by creator Shoji Kawamori for his personal fondness of it,[6] and the city itself plays a prominent role, with famous buildings such as the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel and nearby Ferris wheel showing up as common backdrops. The idea of living in a city is a main theme, with both Juna and the Raaja rebelling against how removed from nature modern life is.

An idea which Kawamori emphasized was natural farming. Not to be confused with the mere absence of chemicals that is often meant by "organic farming", natural farming involves letting nature grow as it will, not removing weeds or bugs, or using any fertilizer. The old man Juna encounters in episode four explains the need for this return to nature in order to sustain life in the long term, a sentiment directly from Kawamori himself.

Another theme of the show is that of the disconnect between emotions, thoughts, words, and actions. In episode seven, "Invisible Words", Juna is able to read the words in the minds of everyone around her, yet still cannot understand their intentions. She sees in Tokio's mind that he has been asking Saiyuri about a ring, and assumes that he has been cheating on her, when in fact the ring had been for her. Juna and Tokio's, feelings never reach each other successfully. In episode eight, while talking on the phone, Juna finds her spirit in the room with Tokio. But despite her even embracing him, he has no understanding when she tries to say that she with him. At the same time, Tokio actually says he loves Juna for the first time, even though he is at the same moment not feeling her love at all. This idea is later visualized in episode 10, when Tokio is having an argument with his father. Juna is able to "see" their angered thoughts flying at each other, and entirely missing, neither of them hearing or understanding the other.

The ninth episode of Arjuna, "Before Birth", was not aired during the series' original run in Japan across TV Tokyo. This episode contains numerous controversial subjects, as well as images that were deemed inappropriate for airing on TV


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