Gender and genre in Japanese animation

Cook, Charlotte (2015) Gender and genre in Japanese animation. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation will examine the changing nature of gender roles in Japanese society, and the ways in which this is affecting the representation of gender in anime. Anime is one of Japan’s most prominent forms of media, and is consumed by all age groups across society: it is therefore necessary to study anime because of its overwhelming presence in Japanese media. Anime has historically been written, produced and marketed on the basis of gender, but tropes and traditions within the form are now being challenged based on changes to gender expectations in contemporary Japan. This dissertation considers these changes through close analysis of two anime series: Sword Art Online and Naruto. It has been well documented that Japan is struggling with an aging population, with its citizens marrying and reproducing later and many choosing not to at all. These changes in gender roles, particularly that of the woman shifting away from the role of housewife, are reflected in anime: male protagonists struggle to live up to traditional gender roles assigned to them and deal with increasing equalities sought by women, and in turn female protagonists are increasingly represented as independent and successful in their self-reliance. Through analysis of protagonists, romantic relationships and expression in the form of anime, this dissertation will discuss the traditions of the gender-orientated form and the changes it is making – or attempting to make – in light of modern Japanese society. The dissertation concludes that modern characters of anime are struggling to adapt and change, and that the male in particular is troubled by the changes expected of him. However, the study makes clear that changes are present and progressively moving forward in both anime and Japanese society.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 16:27
    Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 16:27
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22701

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