Monday, October 17, 2011
Feminism in Anime
I really enjoy watching movies from the director Hayao Miyazaki. He writes and directs fantastic animated films. Lately I have been thinking about the interesting roles that women play in his stories. The main characters in most of his films are female. One of his best works, Princess Mononoke, features a male lead character, but the film’s title is the name of a central character who is female. She is a girl who is raised by wolves and has a unique perspective because she has roots in both the animal and the human world. The movie is about a war being waged between humans and nature. A very interesting female character in this movie is Lady Iboshi, the leader of the village of Irontown. She displays many characteristics that are traditionally considered male. She is hardened by battle, and puts emotion aside when she makes decisions for her people. She is a strong figurehead for all the people in the village and has respect from her soldiers who consider her powerful and intimidating. I think that Miyazaki’s perspective on women in his stories is something that defies classification. He does not seem to be a feminist, but in a school of though all his own. I strongly recommend Princess Mononoke and all of Miyazaki’s films to anyone who is interested in gender.