Objecthood at the End of the World: Anime’s Acting and its Ecological Stakes in Neon Genesis Evangelion

Link to article: Objecthood at the End of the World: Anime’s Acting and its Ecological Stakes in Neon Genesis Evangelion in Anime Studies: Media-Specific Approaches to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Ed. José Andrés Santiago Iglesias and Ana Soler Baena (Stockholm: Stockholm University Press, 2021), 135-180.

Different forms of selfhood enacted in the TV and filmic endings of the anime Evangelion can be revealed by building on Donald Crafton’s typology of performance of/in animation of “embodied acting” and “figurative acting.” Embodied acting is “introverted,” and tends towards the production of modernistic, anthropomorphic individuals that appear to provide a sense of depth in their enactment of emotion through their individualized movement. Figurative acting, which repeats similar codes in varying combinations for different characters, is “extroverted,” as the codes appear shared between various characters, forcing a recognition of the surface location of the code for that emotion, on not in the character. As such, the interrelation and tension between these forms of performing selfhood play out in Evangelion: objects of human creation, the Eva-units, boldly display their agency as they exhibit shocking performances of embodied acting, the Eva-units appearing with the same autonomy as human individuals; on the other hand, humans are broken into parts, their psyche examined in pieces as they delve into their minds to find only more pieces of other characters, an interrogation of the constitutive codes of figurative acting—the examination of objecthood that we see in the TV ending. However, the filmic ending departs from the optimistic embrace of objecthood and presents the harrowing vision of ecological catastrophe as it explores different individualisms, taking them to their world-ending climax.

Anime’s Actors: Constituting ” Self-hood ” through Embodied and Figurative Performance in Animation

Link to article: Anime’s Actors: Constituting ” Self-hood ” through Embodied and Figurative Performance in Animation (English version). Animēshon Kenkyū, 19, no. 1 (2017): 3–15.

If animation allows us to envision a world of active objects through animating their movement, then surely how the objects are made to move through the animation changes how they are constituted as actors. In other words, how bodies move in animation, human and object alike, also entails certain conceptions of ” self ” as it is constituted through the dynamics of its animation. This study aims to (re) consider Donald Crafton’s conceptualization of animation performance forms (embodied and figurative performance), specifically in relation to Japanese anime. In embodied acting, the expression of character is produced through distinctive movements, where characters are constituted as individuals, each with their own discrete inside and outside. Figurative acting, on the other hand, utilizes various gestures and codified expressions. Due to this reliance on codified expressions, figurative performances build from previous ones, replaying and reiterating them in different contexts. Each of these forms enacts a different conception of selfhood: embodied acting performing the modern conception of individualism bound to the singular body on the object which performs the movement; figurative acting performing a type of “particularity” entailing a different conception of the strict internal/external borders of ” individuality, ” where the self is a composite configured through the citation of codes. Figurative performance thus facilitates an aesthetic well attuned to the contemporary performance of self under the conditions of neoliberalism, selecting from a vast array of options, jerkily moved from one product and expression to another.

アニメの「行為者」-アニメーションにおける体現的/修辞的パフォーマンスによる「自己」

論文へのリンク: アニメの「行為者」-アニメーションにおける体現的/修辞的パフォーマンスによる「自己」 (2017)『アニメーション研究』第19巻第1号, 3-15。

アニメーションは命を持たない「モノ」(物理的客体)を動かし、その「モノ」に行為をさせる力が注目されてきた。人間や動物、そしてモノの「体」がどのようにアニメートされるかによって、行為者としての成り立ちが変わってくる。アニメーションにおいて、動きの形式は、特定の行為者性あるいは「自己性」を伴う。ドナルド・クラフトンはアニメーションを分析するためにアニメーションのパフォーマンスを、体現的パフォーマンスと修辞的パフォーマンスに分類して概念化している。本稿では、これらの概念をより詳細に把握し日本のテレビアニメの研究に活用することを目的とする。体現的演技という概念は、キャラクターの表現は、個別化された動きによって生み出され、内部と外部をもつ個人として成り立たせる。他方、修辞的演技は様々な仕草や記号化された表現を通して演技が行われるのである。そして、記号化・コード化された表現に頼るパフォーマンスとしては既存の表現を基にしており、それを異なる文脈で繰り返し採用するのである。これら2つの形式は、それぞれの両端において、「自己」についての異なる概念を制定する。体現的演技は、動きを示す「モノ」に近代的な個人主義の概念を演じさせるのに対し、修辞的演技は「個人主義的な自己」よりも、既存のコードを引用することによる複合構成的なものとしての「自己」を中心に据えるのである。