Dissertation update: Research and abstract

Draft submission’s due soon, and I haven’t published anything lately for this.

I wanted to just extend on how my research has successfully helped to broaden out what i have so far, I’m currently narrowing down some of my discussion and looking at the last minute possibilities to extend on.

It’s been rather challenging writing about a topic I’ve loved for such a long time, yet, I don’t see it as much as a task or a ‘thing I must do’, when it comes to discussing it.

I’ve discovered a few details, when looking over some articles; that how it’s crucial that Japanese culture has somehow shaped our view on these characters in Anime, or how they dress and behave. They’re almost set with these expectations, and it does indeed change in both of the genres. I must relinquish the fact that, this is probably not due to the change in audience, but I have yet to check over this again and get to the bottom of this.

It’s still very broad, and there’s a possibilities that there’s many different views and answers to this.

I can only share with you the presentation, I presented about a month ago, which does give a brief idea of how I have approached this, and started to consider the research for my study.


Dissertation: Female representation

As I’m revisiting Arakawa’s series again, as a source of reference for my dissertation, I strongly and highly believe that her series will play a good source towards beating the social norms of female representation in Japanese anime and Japanese culture.

Thanks to some good website articles, they had some good insight in to the mangaka’s decisions.


For example, above, are some of the female cast from the series. IN comparison to other anime or manga series, that are dominantly popular worldwide; her representation for females are represented in a more realistic approach.

In Japanese cinema, especially in the 1950’s Japanese women were put in to such a traditional stereotype, where the women of the house, would have to follow this ‘Mother’ or ‘Good wife’ image and would have to maintain a good role, in order to keep everything in line with her family.

Thus, this visualization or image became a running thing.

Izumi Curtis, for example, in relation to these two topics; she’s one of the characters from the FMA series, whose a house wife, but also works. She runs a butcher shop with her husband, while helping out Edward and Alphonse with their Alchemist training.

One example of how the authors characters have broken the social norm among the stereotype.

Riza Hawkeye, who as can be seen in Military uniform, it can be debated that during the times, of when this stor is set, and if were to be put in a realistic concept, women wouldn’t of been able to fight for military or even the army of that time. Thus, breaking the tradition, then again, she is also Roy Mustang’s right-hand woman, if you put this in to consideration as well.

From these view points, even when I first discovered FMA, I found the females to be incredibly inspiring, as they were a strong female lead with many aspirations.

Now, with this in consideration, I wanted to start thinking about how i was going to find four series which highlight how the traditions of the Japanese female representation have been applied for a female audience and a male audience.

Two shonen series (Shonen are aimed at males) and two shoujo (often aimed at females) and see how they can follow. So far, I’ve decided that I’ll be taking an analyitical approach with the way that I pull apart these female values.



Dissertation focus update


It’s been a while since the last Dissertation update, but the reasoning for this is, that I had prepared all of my ideas in to a presentation for the meeting.

I was anxious, that I may of set the ideas out wrong or that I was going off of the points I wanted to talk about, but it seems, that all of the questions I had made, had steered me in the right direction. //phew//

While, I’m excited to be able to share my thoughts on a subject that I’ve enjoyed for pretty much my whole life span. I can get across some of the things I’ve noticed.

Referring back to the discussion I had in front of the group, I got some interesting feedback and ideas to help focus this dissertation more.

So, thanks to everyone for giving me back some ideas!

I’ve decided that I’m going to focus the dissertation more on how females in anime are portrayed through a specific type. For example, there’s these words, such as Kuudere, Tsundere, Deredere etc. They all have meaning to them in Japanese for characters having this particular type, but there’s also Lolita’s, the cute types, the overly sexualised types etc.

Soooo, not to confuse anyone with those sayings and words, I’m going to be focusing on how females are represented in anime.

I felt that this would be a subject, that I’ll be able to write 6,000 words to and not lose focus.

To narrow this focus down even more, I would like to make this down to the categories of shonen and Shoujo, as there’s a variety of differences between both of them. Also, there’s a lot of considerations I could question as I think back to the meeting.

I do have two particular series which I wanted to look at– One from shoujo and one from shonen, so I need to take this in consideration for the case study.


Dissertation update (2)

Apologies for the lack of activity; I’ve got all of my posts saved as drafts, they are written out, but they need their correct images (Which I’m currently making smaller for upload).

Anyhow… I’ve been doing a lot of research and considering around my previous subject question and while it is based on my love and fondness for Anime, I’ve come to the sudden decision of narrowing it down even further and solely focusing on a subject, that I’ve been interested in for years and it’s been quite a well spoken topic with in our Otaku community.

The portrayal/depiction of femininity/females in Anime and manga, but I may just put this down to anime in general, due to the fact that I can tie this in to how they are visually and vocally conveyed as well.

As someone who can be considered (or I consider) myself as an anime otaku (nerd/geek), but there was one thing I always noticed, and tried to avoid, which was the stereotypical, over the top feminine characters which pop up in a lot of Shoujo anime. You know, the girly girl who is always shy or embarrassed and depicted as weak and useless? Yeah, those ones. At first, when I tried to avoid this topic question, I could help, but ponder why they are often like that. Not ALL female characters are like that with in Japanese animation. Some are, but there’s either those types and the ones who are the stubborn, ‘I hate you, but I secretly love you’ types as well.

This WAS NOT the only thing that came to mind, but there were so many things to bring up during this realisation. How the fans respond, or how over the years, this view on femininity with in japan has changed or has also reflected with in or through out these animations as well.

Also, why, how and when they start to be seen or recognised like that? there’s plenty of other questions that are streaming through my thought process as of now, but these were simply a few that had hit me with in this.


I did a bit of research over the past few days, and it does turn out that there’s a connection to Japans culture after all and good news! I have linked this thought process/question/subject back to the Gender roles essay which I wrote back in the first year. One of my items of choice which strongly depicts femininity (the Hello Kitty plush), I recited a finding from a book about how females of Japan are influenced in a particular way, and I’m curious to find out if this is due to the things around them, or tradition or even by their own choices.

Collect, analyse and (re)collect.

You never ever seem to notice the small collection of books gathering up on your shelf, or even the bundle of pencils, pens ad other stationary that clutters up in your drawers. There’s always a system and a way of how things are organised, and this is the new task that I’ve been set to work on, discuss, analyse, experiment, collect and start to develop.

When I start to think about this subject, I thought at first that this was going to be a pretty, damn hard subject to figure out, but as I returned home and arrived to my room… it hit me.  I have several collections of my own, but I had never considered them as a collection at all and I did have a strategy of how I line them up, organise the objects or even spacing them out in my room a certain way and it’s extraordinary.

As much as I like boasting about my little gathering of figures, or manga; I don’t like talking about it to the whole class. It makes me nervous.

The loom band jar.

My manga collection (which seems to grow every time I go into Waterstones.)

I have far too many keychains/keycharms now, but here’s the collection I have pinned to the wall.

Things to take in to consideration during the project:

What makes them a collection?

what defines them? how do they change when they are a mass? what are their qualities? what do they do? what shape are they? what are their functions? do their qualities change when reassembled? how do you reassemble them/organise them? Are they any different when they are resorted?

Now, the final outcome is going to be a book that’ll document or that will discuss our collection. I’m having a little trouble processing my thoughts/ideas in to how I’ll present my findings into this book, but I do have some ideas of what I want to do for the collection.

Collection ideas:

  1. Things about my cats: This could be a collection of images, sketches of them, I could also have records of events, for example their vet slips, food packaging.
  2. Letter packaging: Collecting a series of different packaging that’s to do with postage.
  3. Cosplay materials: Recording things to do with this subject.
  4. Pencils: I have so many of them, that I can’t even count them all. Pencils are a pillar to anything. You can make many different marks and record in different ways with them; you’ll also get many different results. There’s also so many varieties of pencil types.

A definite collection choice so far for me has been the pencils, I also thought about doing pens, though, a pencil can be recorded in numerous ways. I’m looking forward to playing around with the ideas that I’ve got so far.