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Animating the SpiritedJourneys and Transformations$
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Tze-yue G. Hu, Masao Yokota, and Gyongyi Horvath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826268

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826268.001.0001

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Metanoia in Anime

Metanoia in Anime

Rehabilitating Demons, Turning Foes into Allies

(p.81) Metanoia in Anime
Animating the Spirited

Richard J. Leskosky

University Press of Mississippi

Through the concept of metanoia, this essay surveys examples of its occurrence in anime and suggests possible reasons for its relative frequency there. The author discusses the concept in his study of protagonist and antagonist characters, and the related concept of the story arc—revealing how a character changes over the course of the film and how the narrative plot is affected by the character’s transformation. The author particularly explores the varieties of rehabilitated antagonists in the context of Japanese anime and examines the literary and cultural antecedents for this sort of character and the character’s shifting moral stance. He also compares and contrasts them to the typical western character arcs and different hero-types featured in Hollywood films. The author concludes that the occurrence of metanoia in Japanese anime is influenced by Buddhist beliefs, for example, the concept of karma and subsequent changes of the spiritual identity of the character.

Keywords:   anime, anti-hero, Hollywood films, character metamorphosis, karma

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