Imagery and Narrative

Understanding the story from text is easy because you read the story; there is no need for creativity or imagination. This cannot be said for images. Images look different to different people because they allow the individual to create their own story that fits the picture.

Below are seven images from Anime shows that I have created a narrative for, but my story is probably different from yours, and that’s normal. There is no right or wrong because everyone has their imagination.

My Hero Academia

This series follows a boy, Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a world where superpowers are ordinary. He was born without any, but that never deterred him from his dream of becoming a hero.

Looking at this image, you can see that the Midoriya is looking up, but he is not the only character looking up; but all of the background characters are looking up. Two of the background characters are videotaping the event occurring in front of them, and Midoriya has a slight smile indicating that it is something exciting and abnormal. They are all seeing a hero in action, fighting a villain.

Midoriya has a backpack on, going to school, or coming home from school. The flowers in the background indicate that it’s springtime when this is occurring.

Yu Yu Hakusho

This show follows Yusuke Urameshi, who died, was revived, and given the title “Underworld Detective.” He now investigates cases involving demons in the human world.

This image has three prominent characters, the man with orange hair, the bird, and the man lying on the floor. The man lying on the floor is Yusuke, who is fighting and currently losing. His opponent, Suzaku, is standing on Yusuke’s hand, he appears to be in pain. The bird is looking at Suzaku but seems to be going in a downward direction, trying to help Yusuke.

The background doesn’t explain where the fight is taking place, but there seems to be a roof, indicating that they are inside.

Samurai Champloo

This series follows Mugen, Jin, and Fuu, who travel across Japan to find the “samurai who smells sunflowers.”

Mugen, Jin, and Fuu are all tied up in this image. Before this screengrab was captured, the two men Mugen and Jin, probably angered the men standing around them, the local townspeople, which is why they are tied up. Mugen, the man in the red, looks angry and ready to fight, while Jin, the man in the blue, looks serious, and Fuu looks defeated. We can’t see the men’s faces, but they seem angry by looking at the body language.

Looking at this image, I am picturing them cutting the rope, freeing themselves, and running.

Black Clover

This show follows Asta, a boy born without any magic, which is rare in his world. But this doesn’t stop him from joining the Magic Knights and trying to become the Wizard King.

This is Asta, he has a sword in his hand, and his clothes are ripped. Those all indicate that he is currently in a fight. Looking closer at his face, you can see some blood and cuts, which further prove the idea of him fighting. This image is him powering up and getting ready to deliver the next blow to his opponent. He is the only one in the picture to represent not giving up no matter how hard it gets because he doesn’t have any magic, but he is in the middle of a battle. He is taking everything that is being thrown his way, but he is still standing.

Before this image, I think that he was struck and pushed backward on his feet. Which he is why he is now trying to gain more power and confidence to strike back.

Attack on Titan

This series is set in a world where humanity lives inside enormous walls that protects them from gigantic Titans. It follows Eren Yeager, who made it his mission to take down the Titans.

The image has a massive ugly-looking monster, the Titan, and Eren. The Titan is looking at Eren because it seems like Eren is fighting him. Eren has sharp blades and a jet pack looking contraption strapped to him. The smoke around them indicates an explosion, and they were fighting each other during the eruption.

I think before this image, Eren attacked the Titan and jumped back onto the wall that he is standing on and is now getting ready to launch an attack.

One Piece

This story follows Monkey D. Luffy and his crew as they explore the Grand Line looking for the world’s most prized treasure, the “One Piece.”

This image depicts Luffy, the boy with the straw hat, smiling while giving Roronoa Zoro his three swords. Zoro is tied up, but Luffy doesn’t try to help him out of them Luffy only gives him his swords. The men in uniform in the background are the ones who tied up Zoro and don’t want him to be freed, which is why they have their guns ready to fight.

After this image, I think Zoro was able to free himself without Luffy’s help. Luffy was fighting the men in uniform while Zoro tried to free himself.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

This show follows a generation-spanning rivalry between the Joestar bloodline and the Dio bloodline. Every part of the show follows a new descendant of the Joestar family, who has energy, Hamon, who fights the Dio bloodline.

This image depicts Giorno Giovanna and his Stand, Golden Experience, a physical representation of his energy. Giorno’s Stand is standing next to him, which means getting ready for a fight. He uses his Stand as a defense mechanism, so Golden Experience will protect him when he’s in danger.

The images above are stills from the Anime shows, and I explained the picture as I saw them and what they could represent, but what I saw or predicted might not be the same as your ideas. That’s what makes images and stills so powerful because not everyone sees the same thing. It’s important to understand that not everyone sees the same thing when looking at the same visual, whether a painting, an image, a diagram, or anything else. It’s exciting to challenge yourself to look at a visual from a different perspective because you never know what you will learn.

2 thoughts on “Imagery and Narrative

  1. Hey Kim,

    Great job! I love anime too, so this approach really speaks to me. There might be a bit more depth in considering investigation of a manga panel/cover rather than an anime screen grab; the individual images from shows aren’t always intended to convey an overall story or emotion alone because they’re played in sequence, so it can leave a bit to be desired in terms of visual storytelling critique.



  2. Hi Kim,

    I enjoyed reading your post and I thought it was very unique that you decided to stick with the theme of anime for your images. I’m not sure if I was looking at the image wrong, but I didn’t see Jin in your Samurai Champloo image. I liked how you talked about the three characters different emotions in the scene though. You did a great job at explaining the stories that you saw in the moments of the images. I would only recommend that you refer to the readings a little bit more just because it could have added more to your narratives.

    I think the image I enjoyed the most was One Piece because there is such a clear visual of contrasting emotions between the two characters. I can almost feel the laughter that may erupt from that scene before any major fighting goes down.

    Overall, you did a great job with the assignment! I look forward to reading your other posts this semester.


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