The Werewolf in Anime – Dangerous, Yet Beautiful


Konachan.com - 73223 kushinada_nemuru ookami_kakushi

Werewolves will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched any western horror, or horror themed films (twilight counts in this respect), they are often beasts of immense strength, but also primeval and dangerous. In western traditions, the werewolf is often a symbol of becoming a pariah, for losing or failing to find an acceptable role in the social order. This theme can be linked with notions of puberty, sexuality, along with race, class, and gender roles, with werewolves displaying elements of hyper masculinity, along with an inability to truly fit into human society and becoming a dangerous force that must be crushed. Similar ideas run through anime and manga, with many wolf roles portrayed in a highly sexualised manner, or incapable of fitting in with their current society, which ultimately leads them to rejecting it entirely. Werewolves are however oddly absent in a lot of anime, at least in the ways that you might see them in western stories. Instead werewolves, or more accurately wolves and wolf gods in anime tap into a vat repertoire of Shinto and Animism beliefs within Japanese culture and society. Rather than werewolves, we more often see wolves who change shape, gods who manifest themselves in the form of a wolf, or perhaps a Kitsune, although in this case the mythology and beliefs associated with it are quite different. Read more of this post