Date: 2007-06-08 08:05 pm (UTC)
Mother>mom: ACK! My professor caught that and I forgot to edit it out. Thanks!

I felt Vampirella came out of nowhere too. I should really talk about it a little more.

First of all, I am curious as to your perception of the male gaze in conflict with shoujo manga. Is yaoi manga, or homoerotic undertones, the only instance where we see it denied or subverted? Do you think there's a possibility for a "male gaze free" manga product? (I think this sort of speculation could have a place in your conclusion.)

It probably isn't the only case but for the scope of my paper I guess this is what I focused on. There were some material about shoujo-ai I didn't include because I thought it would deviate too far from my particular emphasis for the paper, but it would probably be great to footnote. Male gaze free manga products? I'm not sure what the ration of male/female artists in Japan but I think given that the most popular stories are shonen- read by both men and women- the dominant view is definitely male. This probably makes "male gaze free products" hard to come by. (I'm just speculating here.)

(It's interesting to contrast this with Hokuto's death in Tokyo Bablyon, then, since she dies in a male fashion in taking her brother's place.)

Bingo! I did notice that too. Hokuto is very masculinized. (If that's even a word. XD) Not only does she have short hair, more outgoing/outspoken than Subaru, she was also paired up with Kakyou who is definitely more feminine. She's still one of my favorite characters despite her ridiculous sense of fashion. XD You are also correct to notice the anime-wide trend, but it also goes far beyond that in the history of representation.

I wasn't allowed to include these notes (since they are far too tangential for the topic) but ever since the Renaissance, the female body was seen as inferior to the male body and has since been represented in a particular way. Drawing from sources like Aristotle and Plato, the female body was designated as cold, moist, unruly (which is why it's "Mother" Nature), and empty/abstract. This is why female bodies are used as signifiers (for example when painting the allegories of Poetry, Liberty etc. etc.) Male bodies couldn't represent these virtues because they were seen as active, concrete subjects instead of objects.


Finally, the distinction between utsukushii and kawaii is a fascinating one, and one that is particularly interesting with regard to CLAMP's works. It also fits in well with your Claude Levi-Strauss analysis at the beginning of the essay (although you might want to mention that just one more time to strengthen the connection.)

I was pretty happy to come across this distinction fairly late in the process but it did certainly apply. I hadn't even realized how differentiated the women were until I read my source material. My purpose for actually quoting Levi-Strauss was to implicate myself in my research so I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. (Etic-emic being the insider-outsider discussion referring to myself as both an anime/manga fan and an art historian/scholar)

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check these out.
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Laur

June 2007

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