I’ve been watching a lot of anime and reading a lot of manga lately, mostly of the Yami no Matsuei variety. I know it is common and even expected for a good deal of symbolism to be incorporated into manga, anime, and even cartoons in general. Part of why I love animation is because I love watching the symbolism unfold as much as I love storylines and character development.
My mother has often accused me of being a symbolist, and to a certain extent I agree. It’s much easier to convey things sometimes if you can just work in a widely accepted set of symbols. It’s interesting to note that my script shows absolutely no sign of symbolism. In fact, I suspect if you dig through my writings, you’ll find very little symbolism at work. I think that’s just odd. One would think that a lifelong symbolist would subconsciously embed symbols left and right into her artistic work.
Honestly, for whatever reason, the part of my brain that is creative doesn’t talk with the part of my brain that handles symbolism.