Japanese popular culture and character fashioning: the quest for subjective agency in the animated films, "Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind" and "Perfect Blue"

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Abstract

What constitutes and/or determines one person’s identity and uniqueness in the discourses of Japanese popular culture? Are individuals attributed with a potential for self-fashioning in dialogue with their surrounding community, or are they rather interpellated by social formations and influences? Situating narratives within the prevailing pressures to conform which are imposed intentionally or unintentionally on individuals in Japanese society, and the individuals’ internalised conflicts over their identities, this paper contrasts how Japanese animations, Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind (1984 hereafter Nausicaä) and Perfect Blue (1998) produce the characterisation of the principal female characters, Nausicaä and Mima respectively, in terms of subjectivity and abjection. Both films were based on earlier written texts (manga and novel), but discussion in this paper will focus only on the animations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of the humanities
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • characterisation
  • subjectivity
  • abjection
  • Japanese popular culture
  • Anime (Japanese animation)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
  • Perfect Blue

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