Postwar Princesses, Young Apprentices, and a Little Fish-Girl: Reading Subjectivities in Hayao Miyazaki’s Tales of Fantasy
Abstract

Abstract:

In this article, I explore the representation of girl power in Hayao Miyazaki’s shōjo anime through feminist media studies. Located in feminist post-structuralism and media/cultural studies (Valerie Walkerdine, Mieke Bal, Elisabeth Ellsworth), I focus on the interpretation of the following films: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008). I have organized the narrative analysis of these animated films from a gender perspective by the articulation of four key problematizations: the construction of subjectivity through Miyazaki’s heroines; “preposterous history” used to produce otherness and difference; the creative relationship between fantasy and liminality in the critique of contemporary society; and transformation, corporeity, and transitivity involved in visuality, spectatorship, and education.