This is an anime from 1934. So it’s a relic from a pre-war and decidedly imperialist Japan. Not exactly the Japan I’m familiar with but one that’s still a living memory for some and one whose attitudes inform the country I’m living in.

In it we see the rabid, rabid anti-American sentiment at the time symbolised through Mickey Mouse invading Japan. Well i assume it’s japan, only a Japan populated entirely by doll people.

Anyway Mickey Mouse invades the doll people with his army of Mickey Mouse bats and serpents and crocodiles. The doll-Japanese summon up famous mythological figures to fight Mickey Mouse only two of whom I recognise (Momotaro, the kid who fights Mickey Mouse and the kid on the turtle whose in the ni-nensei English textbook). Then some people turn into tanks and mickey gets old and my brain starts to hurt.

It&s all deeply symbolic of course (encroaching American modernism is defeated by traditional stories) but it’s also deeply, deeply messed up.

And what’s this business with the heroes saying okay all the time? Surely that runs counter to their argument in the first place.

Anyway I recommend you watch it because you will never, ever look at Mickey Mouse in the same light again. That and because it has Daruma dolls in it and I love Daruma dolls.

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