Werewolves!

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Kai
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Werewolves!

Unread postby Kai » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:48 am

Antonia Levi: Anime, Manga, and Cultural Aspects of the Werewolf Tradition

What a neat article. I'm liking this blog more and more the further back I dig. Not only do I recognize this author, but I was really impressed by her conclusions.

<blockquote>To put it as simply as possible, the Japanese werewolf is generally a positive (if a bit dangerous) character while in Western stories, they are generally evil. Japanese werewolves are also likely to be wolves who change into humans rather than the reverse.
...
The American and more generally, the Western werewolf is a human being who degenerates into a violent, non-sentient wolf-like creature. I think this is partly due to the fact that Western religious and philosophical traditions make a huge differentiation between humans and animals; humans have souls and are capable of rational thought while animals do not. That's almost diametrically opposite from the Shinto view that all nature is sentient to some degree, and also far from the Buddhist idea of reincarnation in which all human souls have been animals at some time and may be again.</blockquote>

I know this one's a little long, but definitely give it a read. Well worth it.

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Molokidan
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Unread postby Molokidan » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:48 pm

This is an interesting subject/approach, and I must admit, I am a bit wary of of "academic researchers on anime," but what the professor was saying had a lot of good ideas behind it.

The big thing that strikes me as weird about her entire idea though, is that she's using a medium that has cropped up in about the last 50 years (anime) and the werewolves that inhabit it and juxtaposing that against the werewolf mythos of "Western" culture (whether that includes Europe isn't really clear) which date back much farther, and with much deeper religious meaning, although she dies tie in Shintoism with werewolves, which is cool and definitely meaningful.

I just think it's odd that she's constructed this huge dissection of Japanese werewolf "tradition" when the werewolves she talks about from anime, manga, etc. were clearly taken from Western ideas.
"Well slap a dead fish on me and call me Molokidan!"

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Kai
Fighting the Iron Law of Oligarchy Since 2006
 
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Unread postby Kai » Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:33 pm

I think that "tradition" here isn't meant in the same sense as "Eastern Orthodox tradition." It's not necessarily the length of time that werewolves have been in Japanese media or their inherent Japaneseness (nihonjinron lololol). Just the fact that Japanese media tends to deal with wolf+human=werewolf differently than western media is some cause for curiosity.

I liked the inclusion of Shinto as well, since it's definitely a very different way of looking at the border between human and animal.


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