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Wind turbines. When they appear they are mostly the horizontal type with three long, rotating blades. They can be an expression of environmental themes, and a symbol of old technology--windmills--meeting modernity, in that they make electricity.
They make for striking imagery against a blue or dramatically cloudy sky--or when used in large numbers. In other words, they make for great Scenery Porn. Anime and manga are two media where the trope is popular, particularly in more recent works.
Compare Everything's Better with Spinning.
Anime and Manga
- Aria. Three words: "Hill of Hope". Amano also likes on put wind turbines on the covers.
- To Aru Majutsu no Index series: Wind turbines appear prominently, even though Academy City is really not that windy. In one of the Railgun DVD specials, Mikoto goes on an extended rant about how impractical they are for an inland city and eventually concludes that they are actually consuming power in order to spin as part of a massive Government Conspiracy involving aliens and Mars. They do come in pretty handy to dissipate Accelerator's plasma ball, though.
- Real Drive has a whole sequence where several turbines have to be turned on.
- Haibane Renmei features a whole field of them.
- Psychic Academy had honeycombed wind turbines stacked upon the titular school to give the whole setting a Twenty Minutes Into the Future flair. The series is from 1999.
- One seems to figure as a prominent landmark in D.N.Angel.
- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an older example.
- The opening sequence of Macross Plus
- Planetes: Ai Tanabe's childhood was spent playing among her father's windmills in the manga version. Heartwarming scenes ensued.
- In Gundam Seed, Lacus Clyne sings in a music video that has wind turbines in the background. The video is repeatedly shown throughout the show.
- In Sonic X, Sonic blazes past a bunch of these, the resulting gust rapidly spinning them. It seems to make the city lights even brighter, and he notes how pretty said lights are from above.
- The city in Puella Magi Madoka Magica has this as part of its extensive, varied landscape.
- LaRousse City, setting of Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, features a forest of wind turbines in its outskirts.
- Yu-Gi-Oh ZEXAL! also has a large number of wind turbines situated...somewhere...with a tower.
- Serenity has some vertical windmills.
- The characters of 28 Days Later pass by some wind turbines on their drive north.
- Wind turbines are very prominent in Kamen Rider Double, as wind energy powers much of the City of Adventure.
- In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, one of these continues the episode's theme of Everything's Better with Spinning, which proves that thinking they'd escaped the virtual world earlier was in fact one more illusion.
- Nintendo seems to be fond of this trope lately:
- Alternative energy seems to be a big deal in Sinnoh, so it makes sense that wind turbines would make an appearance in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Wind turbines also appear in New Bark Town (but only in the remakes) and Nuvema Town of Pokémon Black and White.
- In Wii Sports Resort, a set of wind turbines are used as the sole source of electricity on Wuhu Island.
- From Sim City 2000 onward, wind turbines are a cheap source of clean energy, but have to be constructed in bunches in order to be effective.
- In No More Heroes, Letz Shake is fought in a wind farm, and the area is shown in the starting theme too.
- Persona 3: Wind turbines are visible from the roof of Gekoukan High School. They can also be seen on the map screen.
- You can build windmills in Civilization IV. In the pre-modern eras, they appear as the classic old European windmill - stone tower, big sails on a wooden framework. When you reach the Modern era, they transform into modern wind turbines.