Japanese Women's Identity in Cyberspace and Anime

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Graduate Student, Department Of Philosophy De La Salle University – Manila April 2011

Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality Vol. 1 provides a contemporary feminist analysis of Japanese women and anime in terms of the relationship of identity with fundamental feminists’ themes such as sexuality, power and resistance. As such, I will argue that there is indeed a transformation of identity through anime and cyberspace which can be viewed as a social apparatus to produce and reproduce identity of women in cyberspace; that female sexuality is a power depicted in mostly of Japanese anime is a form of recuperation of identity status Japanese women; and that cyberspace as capitalist-oriented technology is domain for the proliferation of virtual violence. Consequently, from the above arguments, I resolve the issue of identity production and reproduction by concluding that anime exhibits: (1) female sexuality is a social in cyberspace; (2) androgyny is illustrated in the production and reproduction of identity as power relations in anime; (3) cyberspace is a domain of power and resistance; and (4) violence is a form of is misalignment of sexuality, power, and resistance.

Keywords: Michel Foucault, Japanese Anime, Identity, Sexuality, Power, Resistance, Social Apparatus, Cyberspace

INTRODUCTION Japanese Anime, especially films and videos, has been a dominant social interest in cyber media for nearly a decade. The term Anime is popularly associated with a typical Japanese animation featuring different characters with unusual powers and identities in different themes – adventure, action, romance, sexy, erotic, and even violent. Common settings of anime themes vary from market, street, park, school, home, neighborhood, outer space, and still some are highly fictitious out-of-this-world 1

locations. In all these themes, female characters have rendered rather more impact to the viewers, while male characters are presented, however, in typical masculine characterization as heroes, antagonists, monstrous, etc. Female characters are mostly cute, sexy, erotic, and what seems to be amazing is that they are characterized as having but feminine and masculine qualities – presented as having a fusion of qualities – a kind of androgynous character, especially if such female characters are heroines. It seems that in this sort of fusion, it caters both male and female audience; however mostly cater male audience in terms of characters being “cute” and “sexy”, in across cultural and geographical boundaries all over the world. In browsing contemporary Japanese anime in the internet particular in Google search engine, one can find Japanese anime in variety of classifications. These classifications could be based on the internet categorization in relation to the kind of desired audience and of market strategy of the producers in different websites. The categorization can be actuated based on the kind of “keyword” being searched. For instance, if one search for the word “Japanese anime women”, most of the results showed are sites which link information websites which is intended to give information but not necessarily for commercial purposes, and web portal which provides a starting point or a gateway to other resources on the Internet. If the search word, on the other hand, is “Japanese ladies” that following dominant results are the following: corporate websites which is used to provide background information about a business, organization, or service, and e-commerce sites, that is, a site offering goods for online and enabling online transactions for such sales. Finally, when the search world is “Japanese anime girls” the common kind of results are media sharing sites which enables users to upload and view media, and warez which serve designed to host or link materials such as music, pictures, movies and software...
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