Anime (ã‚¢ãƒ‹ãƒ¡) is the Japanese shorthand word for animation (ã‚¢ãƒ‹ãƒ¡ãƒ¼ã‚·ãƒ§ãƒ³animÄ“shon). It is one of Japan's most influential exports, with the anime industry worth over 18 billion-dollars (The Association of Japanese Animations) The market reach is massive on a national scale, and notable on a global scale. As a form of mass media, it reinforces and perpetuates the social norms and ideologies of its native environment and is therefore worthy of critical analysis, especially pertinent as it is increasingly consumed abroad. This thesis aims to investigate representations of gender within magical girl anime (é”æ³•å°‘å¥³ mahÅ� shÅ�jo), a subgenre of shÅ�jo1 ('girl's anime'), in which young heroines harness magical powers to fight evil and save the world. Magical girl anime could be a highly positive influence on young women that emphasizes the importance of taking control of one's destiny and overcoming obstacles. However, the reoccurring themes such as eroticism, costuming, and self-sacrifice resultantly send mixed signals. I argue that the inclusion of these tropes, which appeal to the male gaze and adult viewership, within this empowerment fantasy subgenre reflects a negotiation of gender roles reflective of changing Japanese hegemonic femininity.
Nicole Ann Chan, New York University Shanghai, China
Paper Information Conference: MediAsia2018
Stream: Critical and Cultural Studies, Gender and Communication
Added on Friday, October 12th, 2018
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