Essay on Female Roles in Anime

842 Words 4 Pages
Since the midterm of the class, we have watched several anime focusing on female protagonists or other important characters in a number of different roles. It is interesting to note the different views the creators have on gender roles, and how they express them in their anime, both visually and contextually. For the sake of saving time, I will explore only two anime that we have watched, namely Ghost in the Shell, and End of Evangelion.
Ghost in the Shell has a strong female protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi. She is headstrong, determined, incredibly strong, and rather overconfident as a result. A recurring theme throughout the movie is her uncertainty in her identity. Since she is a cyborg, she states that she cannot prove her
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When this finally happens, the Puppet Master reveals that it is missing two things that would make it fully alive: reproduction and death. In order to facilitate both of these, it merges its ghost with Motoko’s, making an entity that is both yet neither. Because both are severely damaged physically, and hunted by many a party, Batou houses the new ghost in a young girl’s cyborg body. He says it’s the best he could get on short notice.
Visually, Motoko is an adult female, the Puppet Master is female, and the final combination is a female child. Mentally, Motoko is an adult, but does not seem to care about her gender. The Puppet Master is ‘young’ and could be considered a child, but is referred to as male even though it occupies a female body. This begs the question if gender really even matters, if a digital being could exist alongside organic ones. It seems as though gender has no place in this setting, as it is only about individuals.
In End of Evangelion, there are two distinct tones for each half of the movie. The first half of the movie offers seemingly reversed, contradictory, and confusing, gender roles, while the second half portrays a more traditional interpretation.
In the first half of EoE, Shinji is in a weak mental state. After all of the trauma he experienced in his past, he is rendered unable to do anything for himself. Shinji relies on Asuka to lead him in his life and to make decisions for him. She is unconscious in a hospital…

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