Database for Animation Studies


Resistance to a Posthuman and Retrograde Oughtopia: Exploring the Narrative of South Korea’s Sci-Fi Animation, Wonder Kiddy

This article analyzes the narrative of South Korea’s first animated science fiction TV series, 2020 Space Wonder Kiddy, which presents the model of a posthuman society and seeks to demonstrate the characters’ perception of this imaginary world. The study provides insight into the so-called ‘oughtopia’ model, proposing a possible way to organize the society of the future. By portraying the community of Wonder Kiddy, where humans, aliens (elves) and robots of all kinds coexist as one social organism, the author carries out judgments about a technological civilization of the future and analyzes concerns associated with the technophobia of modern people. The first concern is the fear that intelligent machines could start living according to their own rules of self-evolution, imitating the governing principles typical of human society. Secondly, Wonder Kiddy reflects the fear of the collapse of modern humanity and the death of the human race, followed by a shift to a posthuman society. Thirdly, it presents concerns about how mythological value, an essential component of humans’ spiritual richness, might collapse if a technological civilization’s speed and sense of direction get out of hand. Finally, it questions the belief about the historical progress of the human race, which rests on the concept of linear time. On the other hand, Wonder Kiddy presents the model of an ideal solution for preserving all ecological, natural and scenic values. This adds strength to the view that the oughtopia of Wonder Kiddy was not planned as a realistic model, but designed to symbolize a simple outcome of general environmentalist logic.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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