The Mitsuyo Seo’s animation, Momotaro’s Sea Eagle is an animation that is really related with the Pacific War. Also, this animation includes many similarities and comparisons with the Japanese traditional story, Momotaro. In the animation, the captain Momotaro commands his soldiers; pheasant, dog, and monkey to attack Demon Island, Onigashima, by air. So, the animal soldiers goes to the island and attack by air. The Demon Island receives huge damage and surrender to Momotaro’s army. Then, every soldier goes back to the base, and the animation finishes with a happy ending. This animation has similar composition with Japan’s children story, Momotaro as this animation is related with the Pacific War.
The characters and the animation’s settings are very similar with the story of Momotaro. In the traditional story, Momotaro goes on an adventure with three animals to conquer the Ogres’ land, Onigashima. Also, three animals and oni show up in the animation like this scene. The difference between them is three animals attack as the Momotaro’s soldier, and oni surrenders as the soldier of America. That is, the main difference between story and animation is its own background. The story is dated from early Edo period. However, the animation’s background is the Pacific War, specifically when Japan attacked Hawaii on 1941. Momotaro Story is really familiar with Japanese and it is a kind of story that is represented in general Japanese view. So even the animation’s background is gloomy like the war, children can enjoy watching this animation.
In those scenes, the captain of ogre changes the flag to the white flag. The flag looks like America’s flag. Also, when animals arrive and find the ogre’s island, the island looks like Hawaii. At that time, the sound track is like Hawaiian music. This animation is broadcasted after the Pacific War as mentioned before. So, it is possible to guess this animation is based on the Pacific War. In the original story, Momotaro conquers the ogre island and bring back treasures. Like the story, the animal soldiers (Japan) succeed to surprise attack the ogre (America). By having the ogre captain change his American flag to the white flag, the soldiers of Momotaro are victorious. By comparing the story that is familiar with children, it is easy for children to understand. So children would have the thought that the American is the kind of enemy or bad people by watching this animation.
In these last two scenes, the monkey brings his kibidango bag, and then the monkey gives an airplane toy that is from the dango bag to a baby bird to soothe. Dango is an important role in both animation and story. Three animals can join with Momotaro because he gives his dango to them. In the story, dango plays a role as an oath that is the relation with Momotaro and three animals. In the animation, dango plays a different role from the original Momotaro story, but it plays like an important foreshadowing. In the last scene, the airplane, torpedo bomber No.3, is attacked, so they have a dangerous situation. When they fall from the airplane, the baby bird and the bird’s mother helps them in return for the toy airplane from the dango bag. By putting dango as an important role in the animation, it ends happily like victory of Pacific War.
Nowadays, many animations just show pretty or handsome characters that do not have some meanings or lessons. However, Momotaro’s Sea Eagle is different from other animations. Even though this animation is for young children, many profound meanings are included in this animation like the war. In other words, the subject of war is kind of deep for children to understand. However children can enjoy this animation because the director made the animation based on Momotaro of the Japanese traditional story. Even this animation is made for young citizens in Japan like the saying that animation’s first part, this animation is not only for children but adults.