Download Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Updated Edition: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation PDF

TitleAnime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Updated Edition: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN 139781403970510
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size17.5 MB
Total Pages384
Document Text Contents
Page 2

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Page 193

N O W Y O U S E E H E R , N O W Y O U D O N 'T T H E D I S A P P E A R I N G S H O J O * 177

While Utena "disappears" from the illusory world of fantasy to
come home to her furusato in the real world, the eponymous protago­
nist of Seria l Experiments Lain (1998) has no home to go to . Techni­
cally, Lain takes place in the "real world," a near-future vision of a
japan very close to reality, though perhaps slightly more technologi­
cally advanced. The series even uses historical figures, such as
Vannevar Bush and other American scientists, to add to its surreal
verisimilitude, yet the final effect of Lain, as with Utena, is to make us
question the borders between illusion and reality. In Lain's case this
question is posed through cyberpunk science fiction rather than
fantasy. On the whole, the series can be read as a dark commentary on
certain trends in japanese society, in particular the increasing anomie
brought on by overreliance on communication technology.9

In contrast to Utena, whose powerful sense of self makes her a
perfect example of the fighting shojo (sentou bishojo) to japanese
critics, Lain's personality is so attenuated that it seems barely to exis t . 1 0

Passive, quiet, and seemingly apathetic, Lain herself often questions
her existence, sometimes vocally and at other times symbolically (as
when she stands staring at her shadow, which seems to take on a life
of its own as it undulates in front of her), or gazes at her hands from
which white vapors suddenly emanate . Although her world initially
seems to be a conventional one with parents, an older sister, and
school friends including her best friend "Alice" -a nod, perhaps, to
Alice in Wonderland-Lain is curiously detached from them, drifting
ghostlike through Tokyo dressed in a bear suit and hat that, while
evoking the ubiquitous "cute" culture of the shojo, suggests a slightly
creepy form of disguise.

The Tokyo through which Lain wanders is also a s tark contras t
to the brightly colored fairy tale visuals of Utena. Rather than castles
in the air, Lain dwells on images of power lines pulsing with an eerie
and disorienting hum. This disorientation is reinforced by the series'
depthless visual style, a drab version of the contemporary artist
Murakami Takashi's superflat aestheticY Whereas Murakami's playful
creations draw the viewer into the fantasy, the dreary world of Lain
almost repulses any notion of human interaction.

As a result, it may not be surprising that the first event in Lain is
the suicide of one of Lain's classmates . (She jumps off a building in
Shibuya, a popular shopping district in Tokyo known as a consumer

Page 383

354 * INDEX

Springer, Claudia, 86, 87, 88, 89,90,
94

Stallybrass, Peter, 185
Starn, Robert, 214
Star Wars, 90, 102
"statelessness," 23-27
subversion, 33, 97, 233, 235-237
Sugawara Michizane (god), 67, 68
Sumiko Iwao, 80
superheroes, 37, 122
superhuman attributes, 262-263
supernatural, 158, 215, 237, 244, 245
surreal, 261-262, 288

Taiitsu Kitano, 278
Taisho period, 121
Takahashi Rumiko, xiii, xiv, xvii, 20,

31,49,198,126-127,129,130,
285

Takahata [sao, 32, 217, 278-281
Takaya Yoshiki, 90
Takeuchi, Melinda, 21
Tale of Genji, T he, 78, 170, 199
Tales of [se, 78
Tampopo, 30-31
Tanner, Ron, 85, 94
Tarzan (Disney film), 247-248
"technoeroticism," 88
tech noir, 88
technological anime. See mecha, 37
technology, 10, 11, 36

ambivalence toward, 86-89
anxiety over, 291-292
armored body and, 86, 89-102
apocalyptic mode and, 258, 271-

272
combat and, 88-90, 106
disaffection with, xi
embrace of, 112-114
fragmentation and, 205-206, 293
Princess Mononoke and, 240, 241,

246-248
romantic comedy and, 196, 205-

206
Serial Experiments Lain and, 177-

181
spirit and, 104
uncontrollable, in magical girl

comedy, 210, 211

Techno-Orientalism, 24
technophobia, 88-89, 96, 105
"Telepresentaton of Gender, T he"

(Painter), 195
television, 15-18, 170, 178,180,202
Teiotte,J P, 11,35,86,114
"tentacle sex," 21, 79, 93
Terminator series, 88, 89, 90, 92
Tetsuo [and Tetsuo II, 42
Tezuka Osamu, 122
T heweleit, Klaus, 88, 89, 90
Time, 6,9, 15
Titanic, 19
Todorov, T zvetan, 129-130, 157
Tokyo Godfathers, xiv-xv, xvii
Tolkien, J R. R., xi
Tomiko Yoda, xvi
Tomoko Aoyama, 121
Tootsie, 50
Toshiya, Ueno, 4-5
Total Recall, 88, 107
Toy Story films, 23
traditional culture

apocalypse and, 255
disappearing, 191
elegiac mode and, 13-14,31
female characters and, 240-241
historical mode and, 215, 228-

229
identity imposed by, 115-116
mecha and, 94
Only Yesterday and, 278-281
pornography and, 68-70, 73, 83
Ranma 112 and, 62
romantic comedy and, 200, 204-

205,207
shojo culture and, 148-149

transformation. See body; metamor-
phosis

transgression, 264, 265, 271, 273
Treat, John, 3-4,148,186,217,222
Tsukamoto Shinya, 42
Twelfth Night (Shakespeare), 53
Twin Dolls, 83

female body in, 64-69, 73, 75
male body in, 78, 79

Ueno Toshiya, 24, 25, 43
Ugetsu, 214, 215, 245

Page 384

uncanny, 106, 242, 245, 293
Underground (Murakami), 251
United States, 23, 28,47

anime fans in, 6
anime availability in, xiii
apocalyptic mode and, 12,250
female fans in, ix
ideological containment in, 33
romantic fantasy and, 212
science fiction and, 105
tech noir and, 112
see also American animation

Uno, Kathleen, 202
Urusei Yatsura, xiv, 20,31,197,211

magical females in, 198-206
puer aetema in, 125
recent comedies vs., 206-207

Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamet; 20,
32,119,198,277-278
elegiac mode and, 285-290

Urashima Taro, myth of, 124-125

Vampire Princess Miyu, 68, 148
victimhood, 28, 227-229
victim's history, 218-219, 221, 223
V ideo Girl Ai, 196, 197, 205

elegiac mode in, 275
women in, 206, 208-211

violence, 9
Akira and, 47-48
festival mode and, 30
gender and,94, 167, 168,238
historical anime and, 215
pornography and, 8, 64, 65
Rurouni Kenshin and, 131, 132-

133
voyeur, 69, 77, 78, 81

twist on, in Overfiend, 265-266

Watanabe Shinichiro, xvii

INDEX * 355

Wayfarer, T he (Natsume), 85
Way We Were, T he, 13
Wells, Paul, xii, 12,36,121,238,291
West, 250

anime fans in, 6, 41, 43,104
cross-pollination and, 21-25
fairy tale in, 162
science fiction in, 86, 88, 90, 114

W hisper of the Heart, 32
White, Allon, 185
Wicked City, 83,93, 115

female body in, 65, 66, 68-72,
75, 76

male body in, 80, 81
Wolf's Rain, xiii-xiv, xvii, 118-119,

122, 123, 139-145
women

aggressive, 203-204, 205
alternatives to passive, 33
changing role of, 11-12, 29, 31,

33,76,119-120
empowerment of, 75
independence of, and romantic

comedy, 196-197, 200-203,
206-207,211-212

irrationality and, 244
"nostalgic uncanny" and, 244
tamed vs. savage, 72-73
technology and, 91-95
torture of, 64, 65
untraditional, as evil, 93
see also female body; female

characters
Wynne Jones, Diana, xi, 192

yaoi (anime and manga with homo­
erotic themes), x

Yoshimoto Banana, 186
Yu-Gi-Oh, x

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