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Title: Representations of girls in Japanese Magical Girl TV animation programmes from 1966 to 2003 and Japanese female audiences' understanding of them
Author: Shimada, Akiko S.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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As a Japanese cultural genre, animated works for girls serve as sociocultural texts which articulate hegemonic social norms and ideologies regarding gender in Japanese society. This thesis aims to critically examine representations of 'magical girl' protagonists in Jpanese Magical Girl TV animation programmes (anime) for girls from 1966 to 2003, and to analyse female audiences' viewing experiences and understanding of those programmes in relation to the context of sociocultural and feminist movements in Japan. By using a combined methodology of close textual analysis of six Magical Girl TV anime and of qualitative research, in which individual interviews with female audiences and a focus group discussion among girl audiences were conducted, this thesis explores how representations of Western-oriented witches and witchcraft in the Magical Girl TV anime facilitated constructions of female gender identity and idealised 'self' and how actual female audiences in three different age cohorts understood, took pleasure in, consumed, negotiated, resonated with and/or reconciled with those representations. Although Japanese witch animation texts articulated Japanese normative moral values and hegemonic femininity as well as ideal gender equality, they served as sites in which female audiences took pleasure in constructing an ideal 'self' and self-assertion through negotiating, resonating and reconciling with Western-oriented fashionable female protagonists and their lifestyle, and attaining self-expression through 'textual poaching' or exercising imagined magical transformations in an all-female or solitary environment. This thesis attempts to contribute to uncovering little-explored but important Japanese cultural texts of Magical Girl TV anime and explicate the way in which actual Japanese audiences responded to this gender-segregated genre of Japanese TV anime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Kokusai Kōryū Kikin ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; PN1990 Broadcasting