The Werewolf in Anime – Dangerous, Yet Beautiful - 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

Strong Female Characters in Anime – Fights, Role Models and Homicidal Maniacs


Very often in anime we focus on the cute girls, the younger sisters, and the love interests – these characters can be fascinating, but often those female characters that are very strong (in a multitude of ways) are left out. There are significant number of female characters are very powerful or strong, be it physically, psychologically or sexually. They can fall into the classic character traits of the Tsundere or Yandere, however their appeal and importance within anime goes further than simple characterisations. While shows with all female casts, such as Koihime Musuo, Sengoku Otome and Queen’s Blade have a significant number of female fighters; I will not explore them in this post. Strong female characters offer more interesting insights into ideas surrounding women in Japan when they appear in shows that are in part realistic. Although, horror anime, or anime with a strong element of horror produce some of the most interesting and enlightening female characters. We should also examine how these characters fit into the discourses surrounding women’s place in Japanese society. Read more of this post