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Book: Anime, Religion and Spirituality

Chapter: From Realistic to Supernatural: Genres in Anime

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25889


This chapter focuses on anime genres, arguing that these provide a fertile basis from which sprang numerous generic hybrids. They became the norm in anime, with the potential to appeal to various types of audience. The power assigned to female heroines is also investigated and it is argued that rather than reflecting the power of Amaterasu, the Shinto Goddess, their power more resembles Western Pagan ideas about the sacredness of the earth and Gaia as nature Goddess. In this chapter we further underline how the generic conventions of the supernatural subgenre permeate a large number of anime films and series, stressing that conventions of this subgenre are also often found in generic hybrids whose dominant themes do not necessarily fit with the supernatural subgenre (and thus, in that context they have various metaphorical functions). This chapter also analyses the child/young adult anime protagonist in terms of the mythological ‘divine child’ as a mediator between the supernatural and physical worlds. Chapter 3 argues for the strength of the supernatural.

Chapter Contributors

  • Katherine Buljan ( - kbuljan) 'Independent scholar'
  • Carole Cusack ( - carolecusack) 'University of Sydney'