“That’s right. The world is open to me/ Encouraging me to go further not letting me down/ That’s right. I am holding the world in my arms / Hoping to change for the better tomorrow.” (From the ending song of “Kiko-chan's Smile,” an animated series on Tooniverse)
I remember my childhood when I would go to school in the morning to have fun with my friends in the playground, have a lunch and go out for extra fun. Around the sunset, we all would go back home to have dinner. Frankly speaking, it was all about watching TV cartoons over dinner.
Animated films served as an important medium in the collective memory of those born in the 1990s, the generation who witnessed both the golden era and the decline of TV cartoons. For sure, TV cartoons mattered more to us than to any other generation.
Characterized by a handmade drawing style that feels warm and human, 2D cartoons were the last analog cultural element for children of an era filled with hopes and expectations following the exit from a financial crisis. Directly imported from Japan, quality animated series were touched up by delicate adaptation and an outstanding level of acting by voice-over actors. However, things have since changed amid ever growing uncertainties over the future. Just as those displaced, those in the 1990s miss their childhood in the analog era.
With old TV cartoons available even today, YouTube is just like a museum that displays a hometown that those born in the 1990s consider a lost place. They flock together to console themselves, share hopeful views and let go of frustrations by interacting with one another for consensus-building.
If an older generation says, “The world is open to me, encouraging me to go further not letting me down,” people may be reminded of an oldie who patronizes younger people and forces value systems of yore on them. Younger generations today are criticized for being too cynical and hostile toward others. Yes, it may be true. However, on the other hand, as they are afraid to get hurt by others’ influence, they may have no option but to depend on a harsh self-defense mechanism. They may still hold the belief in changing for the better tomorrow.