Mecha and Animated Dolls

The theme of animated dolls is a very interesting one in anime and essentially, we seek to unravel what they reflect about Japanese society through its various elements in this essay. We will first look at the history, religions and folklores pertaining to the background of animated dolls. In addition, we will also compare how the Japanese and Western dolls come alive, their roles and functions as well as the interactions among the dolls and with humans. The motivations of the doll-makers in creating such animated dolls and the effects on their dolls will also be touched upon. Throughout this essay, we will be focusing mainly on the anime, Rozen Maiden, as it is of pertinent interests to our project. However, we will also be bringing in examples from other anime series such as Bleach, Tactics, and Card Captor Sakura. There will also be other minor references from other titles as well.

We define animated dolls as inanimate objects that come to life through spiritual or magical means. Hence, animated dolls will not only be limited to conventional dolls but would also encompass puppets, soft toys, and even medieval armor. One important characteristic of animated dolls is that they usually possess human-like traits which include the abilities to talk and move, have distinct personalities, feelings, emotions and facial expressions and possess sentience. Sentience would be an important defining trait of animated dolls as it gives them intelligence and the ability to make their own choices, instead of being manipulated like inanimate dolls. It also allows them to learn like human beings, and develop in terms of character. In addition, the dolls also have the ability to develop emotional bonds with other characters in the anime as well as discovering new perspectives about their world and the humans around them. The animated dolls which we will be discussing possess all of such characteristics to certain degrees, and some will be more human-like than others. Overall, sentience provides the foundation to animated dolls, as it gives them their “animated” characters.

History, religion and folklores

In order to understand more about animated dolls, we have to examine their backgrounds through Japanese history, religions and folklores. Historically, the importance of dolls in Japanese society is established through several popular religious beliefs and practices. Besides being children’s playthings, dolls are also seen as embodiments of spirits to be worshipped or as objects which are endowed with spiritual or magical powers.2 In addition, Japanese dolls were sometimes being made simply for the purpose of being admired and appreciated by owners and doll-makers alike.

There are several myths about dolls, one of which is the belief that sins and illnesses can be removed or exorcised from a person by transferring them to a substitute, such as a doll, through religious practices. The substitute would then be set adrift down a river or ocean, thereby carrying the sins away. In more recent times, mothers who are concerned about the well-being of their children would present dolls to shrines “in order to ensure the god’s protection of their offspring”.3 Additionally, dolls have the ability to bring the gift of maternity to those who desire it.

The Dolls’ Festival, known as Hina Matsuri, is an annual festival in Japan, which falls on the 3rd of March. This is the time of the year where dolls are displayed on tiered shelves which are usually covered with red cloth. The top tier consists of the dairibina, which is the display of the emperor and empress in elaborate costumes. Their courtiers, which are lower in rank, would be placed beneath them. In Japan, every region has “developed its own distinctive type of doll”.4 Some of the more well-known types are the kokeshi ningyo and the nagashibina.

The Boys’ Day, which falls on the 5th of May every year, is a unique festival particularly for boys to display carp banners by hanging them outside their houses. It is noted that boys also have their own set of dolls for display. However, their display of dolls is less formal than girls’, as it only consists of 3 to 4 tier of shelves covered in green cloth.5 Although such annual festivals for boys and girls may restrict the owners of dolls to children, adults actually take the most effort in arranging the dolls in their respective tiers and dressing them in elaborate costumes.6 Therefore, it can be said that adults do enjoy and participate in such festivals, like the children. More importantly, dolls seem to have an important place since ancient times in Japanese society, which is why elaborate festivals are celebrated in their honor every single year.

In Japanese folklores, people believe that a doll would come to life if much love is given to it. Since dolls have such lifelike characteristics, it is no wonder that some people may treat them like humans and shower them with love and attention. In extremes cases of love (or hate), the dolls may come alive. Thus, we feel that Japanese folklores may have an intricate link with why dolls come alive in anime, which will be covered later.

Dolls are also treasured heirlooms handed down from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters. When a doll finally becomes broken or worn out over the years, it is “regarded as dead and offered up to the god Kojin”.7 The Japanese actually provides funeral services for dolls, known as Ningyo Kuyoh, which we find chilling yet fascinating. The funeral service is called the shohne nuki (soul drawing-out), which is a “serious Buddhist rite to draw out the souls of dolls who have reached the end of their useful lives”.8 Such ceremonies have important implications, as people would learn to respect and care for things (such as dolls), instead of merely throwing them out. In addition, the funeral services also cultivate peace in people by releasing “pent-up feelings and enabling a sense of completion”.9

Furthermore, the religious significance of dolls in Japan can be seen through Shinto and Buddhist practices. During the New Year, the Japanese people would visit shrines to pray for good luck and protection for the coming year and sales of protective charms would be held at the shrines. An example of a popular protective charm would be the papier-mâché daruma doll which was “originally a representation of the Zen Buddhist master Daruma (or Bodhidharma)”.10 Although these dolls are of Buddhist origin, they are usually sold at entrances of Shinto shrines and are kept at home for the coming year. Last year’s daruma dolls or other protective accessories would be brought back to the shrines to be burned in a bonfire or by the shrine staff. These “once-cherished dolls are burned and their souls ‘sent to heaven’”.

To sum up the above, the religious foundations of dolls in Japan’s culture are portrayed through the Shinto and Buddhist beliefs and practices of the Japanese people. Also, the history of dolls goes back to ancient times where dolls were used for various purposes, such as exorcising sins or simply as toys for children. Festivals such as the Hina Matsuri and Boys’ Day exemplify the importance of dolls in the lives of children and adults alike. Thus, dolls serve many functions and they are deeply rooted in the lives of Japanese people both in the past and in present times.

Motivations of the doll-makers

Let us now move on to the dolls themselves and uncover how they come into being. The fundamental motivation of doll-makers is driven by the desire and ambition of making a doll which is superior to others. For example, in the anime Tactics, the doll maker, Shinzaburou, created his best doll, Yae, who eventually came alive due to his ambition and pride. Shinzaburou models Yae after a dancer, Yumeyako, whom he considers a perfect woman. He has a firm belief that his doll would be a perfect one. Although this may be an extreme example to show the desire and, often lofty, ambitions of doll-makers, it is nevertheless useful in understanding the reasons behind the creation of dolls. This is because such desires compel the doll-makers to create their dolls, which must be as perfect as they can be.

Another motivation of doll-makers is the need to create dolls for companionship, which is fuelled by the desire to substitute a loved one who had passed away. This is evident in Card Captor Sakura, where Cerberus was created as a guardian to guard and watch over Clow Reed’s Clow Cards, on top of being as a companion of Clow Reed until Clow passed away. Subsequently, he became the companion of Sakura as he was introduced in the beginning of the series. Similarly in episode 4 of FullMetal Alchemist, we see that the alchemist Majhal tries to create a substitute of his beloved Karin, whom he thought to be dead in an accident. As a result, Majhal created multiple dolls that are identical to Karin and he also attempted to bind the souls of various village women into the dolls so that they would become similar to Karin.

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Finally, we can see another example of the motivation of doll creation for companionship or replacement in Rozen Maiden. While it is not clearly stated that the dolls are made to be substitutes of humans, the implication of them being treated as substitutes of a dead person still exists. For example, the doll Souseiseki, as seen in episode 8, was treated as a substitute to the dead son of an old man, as is seen from how he calls her Kazuki instead of her own name. It is noteworthy that while such motivations may not seem harmful on their own, negative emotions and interaction will result if taken to extremes. For example, in Tactics, Shinzaburou’s obsession with making a perfect doll by modeling it after Yumeyako infused the doll with overwhelming doses of jealousy which eventually killed both the doll and her creator. Likewise, Majhal’s inability to get over his beloved’s assumed death is an indirect cause to his own demise. In short, there are two main motivations of doll-makers as shown through examples in the various anime series, namely that of desire and for companionship or replacement. When the motivations are negative, the dolls often turn evil, with undesirable outcomes.

Japanese Vs Western Animated Dolls

We feel that we cannot provide a thorough and holistic examination of Japanese animated dolls without drawing comparison with its Western counterparts as there are certainly quite a number of similarities and differences between the dolls of these two countries/cultures. Therefore, in the following part of this essay, comparisons will be made between how Japanese and Western dolls come to life, their functions and roles, the interaction among the dolls and between dolls and humans, the emotions they possess and display, as well as their characteristics and the relationship they share with their human counterparts.

How the dolls come to life

Firstly, Japanese and Western dolls share a similar way of coming to life, which is through the possession by spirits. This is seen in the Japanese anime, Bleach, where Kon, a modified soul created to fight against evil spirits known as the Hollows, resides in a pill known as Soul Candy. Through inserting the pill into a stuffed lion that the protagonist, Ichigo, found at a roadside rubbish dump, Kon is able to possess the body of the stuffed lion and control it according to his will. Although it is originally used to possess soulless dead bodies, it works equally well in possessing stuffed toys.

Similarly, the Western doll, Chucky, from the movie Child’s Play, comes to life due to the dark desire of a dying psychopathic killer, who passed his soul to an inanimate object (Chucky, a child’s toy, in this case) in order to stay alive. This serial killer, Charles Lee Ray, was tracked and gunned down by a cop in a toy store. Left without choice, he summons the power of the voodoo magic to transfer his soul into Chucky, the doll. Hence, both the Japanese and Western dolls come alive due to possession by spirits, as is illustrated through the description of the anime.

The second similarity between the Japanese and Western dolls is that they can also come alive due to the creation of a higher power. This is seen in Card Captor Sakura where it is suggested repeatedly that Kero-chan is created through supernatural forces by a magician known as Clow Reed, as a guardian of his Clow Cards and to be his daily companion along with another guardian called Yue. Kero-chan takes the form of a soft toy in his less powerful form, while his real form is that of a ferocious tiger. Similarly, in the West, Pinocchio a wooden puppet made by inventor, Gepetto, only comes to life after a fairy performs its magic. Thus, Japanese and Western dolls share another similar way of coming alive, that of being created by a higher power.

Soul fixing, or Shohne Ire in Japanese term, is another way in which Japanese anime portrays how dolls come to live. We can refer to the anime, FullMetal Alchemist which illustrates this point. Majhal, as mentioned earlier, tries to fix the souls of several village women to dolls which are identical to his lover, Karin, in order to create a being that is similar to Karin. Similarly, the protagonist Edward Elric is able to fix the soul of his brother Alphonse to a medieval armor that was nearby when the attempt to perform a human transmutation of their mother failed. In this way, Edward was able to preserve the soul of his brother even though Alphonse’s body was taken away in the transmutation.

Dolls can also come to life through developing their own will, as seen in Rozen Maiden. Suigintou, the main villain in Rozen Maiden, is an incomplete doll as her creator had abandoned the project halfway when she was being created and erased her design. As she was incomplete, she was supposed to be a lifeless doll unlike her other companions, such as Shinku, who were completed dolls. However, due to her great fear of becoming a piece of junk and desire to see her creator, Suigintou eventually developed a will of her own such as that she is able to stand up and come to life. When comparing with Western dolls, our group finds it rather disappointing that the Western animators seldom explain or elaborate on how the dolls come to life. For instance, in Toy Story, the dolls are merely toys which come to life when no person is around. We feel that this failure to provide adequate reasons and justifications as to how and why the dolls come alive could be due to their desire to concentrate on the other aspects, such as the development of the plot.

Why Dolls Come to Life

Dolls can come to life due to many reasons. For example, some of the animated dolls in Japan come to life as a result of their desire for freedom and survival, and the innate longing to become a pure human being. The former can be seen from Bleach and the latter from Rozen Maiden. In Bleach, a few days after Kon was created, the plan allowing the possession of human bodies to fight against evil spirits known as the Hollows was scrapped. As a result, Kon became one of the modified souls destined to be destroyed. However, he managed to escape through a stroke of luck. As his life was so arbitrary decided to be created and destroyed at others’ convenience, he feels that hee should now be in charge of his fate and have the freedom and choice to live his life. In Rozen Maiden, the dolls compete and fight against one another in a game called Alice Game, where the winner will have the chance to become a pure human being.

In contrast, some of the Western dolls come to life due to their desire to seek revenge and the craving to kill. One example is Chucky (a doll possessed by Charles’ spirit) in Child’s Play, where he started to talk and tell strange things to his ‘owner’, Andy. It turns out that Charles is making use of Andy as a medium for him to seek vengeance on his old accomplices and satisfy his desire to kill. Furthermore, Charles harbored the intention to take over Andy’s body after completing his evil deeds. Hence, there are differences between the dolls’ motivations to come alive in Japanese anime and Western shows. Our group also feels that the dolls in Japanese anime come to life due to significant reasons unlike in the Western context, where there seldom are reasons which clearly explain and justify the dolls’ coming to life.

Roles and functions

In general, our group feels that Western dolls do not seem to serve recognizable functions or roles, unlike Japanese dolls. More often than not, they are simply children’s toys. For instance, in the Western movie “Toy Story”, Woody (a cowboy Sheriff doll) simply exists as the toy doll of a child called Andy. In sharp contrast to this is that the dolls in Japan are more than a child’s play thing as they are ultimately a work of art. They serve a myriad of purposes such as providing companionship, being guardians, mentors and minions of humans. This can be seen in Tactics where the doll maker, Shinzaburou, makes his dolls and considers them to be his family through naming his dolls. He feels that the dolls owe their existence to him and therefore can also be seen as his minions. While it may not be explicit, in Bleach, Kon and Ichigo eventually forms an emotional bond even though they have a rocky start to their friendship. Kon eventually lives with Ichigo and considers his room to be a safe haven after his trials and tribulations in episode 15 where he was tortured tremendously throughout. Evidently, Japanese anime differ from its Western counterparts in that Japanese dolls have much more clearly defined roles and functions. Perhaps the only minute similarity between the two can be seen in the story Pinocchio, who performs the role of a ‘son’ to Gepetto, which corresponds to the form of companionship for human beings found in Japanese anime. As can be seen, dolls interact with humans in a variety of ways, as seen from their functions and roles.

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Interaction can occur among/between dolls, not just with humans. We discovered a common trend where the dolls in both Japanese anime and Western films will usually work out their petty differences and cooperate with each other against the evil character during times of crisis. In other words, “good versus evil” is seen as an important theme in Japanese anime and Western films as the “good” faction will usually cooperate and join forces in order to fight against the “evil” characters.
In the Western film, Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear, (a space ranger toy which refuses to acknowledge that it is just a toy) manages to resolve his differences with Woody, another doll, and cooperates with him to overcome various challenges and obstacles, and to fight against the demonic toy killer, Sid. Similarly in the Japanese anime, Rozen Maiden, the three dolls, Suiseiseiki, Souseiseki and Hina Ichigo, work together to protect Shinku during her fight with Suigintou, who is the main villain in the series. Even though Suiseiseki enjoys bullying Hina Ichigo frequently, such as eating her favorite strawberry as seen in episode 4, they nevertheless managed to overlook their differences and combine efforts to help, Jun, the protagonist, to escape with Shinku from Suigintou. Hence, regardless of whether they are Japanese or Western, animated dolls share a common trait—that of cooperation with other dolls in times of crises, despite the petty arguments they normally have.

Problems with interaction

As with any forms of interaction, either between humans and dolls or among/within dolls, some problems can occur. Japanese anime, such as Rozen Maiden and Bleach, raise certain problems that exist in the interaction between dolls and humans. One example of such problems is the over-possessiveness of the dolls towards their human counterparts. This can be seen in episode 2 of Rozen Maiden where Hina Ichigo wanted to bring Tomoe, her owner, into her world so that they can play together forever. In addition, Hina Ichigo also displays unwillingness and insecurity in parting with Tomoe who has to go to school. She also throws tantrums when Tomoe comes home late; feeling that it indicates the latter’s broken promise of playing with her. All these are indicative of the doll’s over-possessiveness of its human owner, but the strongest indicator has to be the fact that Hina Ichigo almost drained the life out of Tomoe by drawing too much energy from her during the Alice Game.

In Bleach, we can see problems of interaction through the bullying that takes place between humans and dolls. For example, Kon is bullied in episode 15 by various characters. For instance, he is kicked by Ichigo, chased around by his classmate, and also torn apart by the young shop assistants at the Urahara Store when he wanted to use the goods there for revenge against Ichigo. Hence, we feel that bullying and over-possessiveness can be two main problems of interaction between dolls and humans.

Positive interactions

In contrast to the problems of interaction that occur, we argue that it is possible to have positive forms of interaction as well. In some cases, the dolls even share emotional bonds and build up close relationship with humans. For instance, in Toy Story 1 and 2, which explores the nature of relationships in life, the relationship between Andy (the owner) and Woody, the cowboy Sheriff doll, is interdependent as they both rely on each other for love, validation and sense of belonging. They mutually see each other as being important in their lives. This reflects the platonic love that can exist between Andy, a human, and his doll, Woody.

Likewise, we see a similar kind of relationship between Jun and Shinku in Rozen Maiden. Even though Jun was initially reluctant to become Shinku’s servant and “owner”, the emotional bond which develops between the two can be seen in episode 7 where Shinku falls into a deep sleep after Suigintou’s black feather entered her body. Jun, in his bid to save Shinku has to confront his intense fear of school to find a way to save her. Jun eventually succeeds in reviving Shinku, much to his relief. In summary, positive interaction can take place between dolls and humans, as well as among dolls, even though problems do exist sometimes.

Comparing Humans and Dolls

It is important for one to be aware of the key issue of identity that is brought up in both Japanese anime and Western films. For instance, a member of the audience once commented that “the humans look more like dolls and the dolls appear more human-like” after watching the movie, Toy Story.12 As can be seen, the dolls in both Western shows and Japanese anime possessed human traits, individual personalities, emotions and distinct consciousness, which creates the blurring of what it means to be a human being and what it means to be a doll. The concept of an “identity crisis” explored in anime is very intriguing and we seek to explore this issue further.

Essentially, we find that there is not much difference between humans and dolls to a large extent if we were to look at feelings and emotions. For animated dolls possessing human-like traits (such as the ability to move around and talk), they also have emotions and feelings, like that of pain, sadness, anger, and happiness as do humans. In addition, they are capable of forming bonds with other dolls and as well as with humans. Dolls also have minds, wills and desires of their own and the ability to feel hungry. Some even have special likings and cravings for certain types of food, such as Hina Ichigo of Rozen Maiden, who loves strawberry cakes. Lastly, dolls also feel tired and they need to sleep. Based on these factors alone, dolls and humans seem quite alike after all. Perhaps, this is why the issue of “identity crisis” is raised in some anime, indicating the blurring of dolls and humans.

On the other hand, there are certain distinctions between humans and dolls. Physically, dolls tend to be smaller than humans in size, with the tendency to look different, usually in terms of their dressing and outer appearance. Dolls also tend to differentiate themselves from humans mentally. It is interesting to note that although the dolls are already very human-like, they still want to strive to become totally human. This is due to the strong belief that only by becoming human, do the dolls attain perfection (this idea is most prominent in Rozen Maiden). Moreover, dolls, unlike humans, do not really die (despite the funeral services conducted for them by humans) and it is believed that they can be brought back to life if they are mended by a talented and loving doll-maker, such as Jun who possesses “special hands”. In view of the above, dolls are still different from human despite possessing human-like features.

The key point to note is that while dolls are “human-like”, they are still not human (with special emphasis on the word “like”). At the end of the day, dolls are separate entities and are merely a human construct. In essence, people should not confuse dolls with humans despite sharing certain striking similarities as the meanings for each existence are very different. Ultimately, dolls are only created through the imagination and skill of humans and are merely a part of the fantasy realm when they come to life. Therefore, the audience has to be discerning and understand that anime is largely for enjoyment, and not to be taken so seriously such that the human existence is challenged.

Reflections of Japanese society through animated dolls

We will now discuss how the theme of animated dolls reflects Japanese society. The idea of existentialism is worth exploring first as it is interesting to see how the Japanese are able to conceptualize and accept the idea of a protagonist living in a world where reality and fantasy is not distinct, without having to decide between the two of them. Napier13 suggests that this could be due to the fluidity between reality and fantasy, embedded in East Asian traditions. Western cultures in contrast, are traditionally more distinctive between what constitutes reality and fantasy. She cites the example of the Western puppet theater and the Japanese Bunraku. In the traditional Western puppet theater, the puppet masters are hidden from view. In contrast, Japanese puppet masters manipulate their puppets in plain view of the audience in Bunraku. Thus, the success of their performance depends not only on the skills of the puppet master, but also on the ability of the audience to suspend belief and convince themselves that the puppet masters are not on stage too. It therefore seems as if traditional ideas such as the suspension of beliefs may account for the relatively high degree of acceptance of the blurring between fantasy and reality in Japanese society.

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However, we should note that Napier also suggests that the tradition of distinguishing between reality and fantasy in Western cultures, are slowly becoming more fluid as the younger generations are growing more accustomed to virtual reality through computer games and animation. This means that Western societies may become more accepting of the blurring between fantasy and reality, much like their Japanese counterparts. Perhaps in the future, the Western animators may start to provide more concrete ideas on why and how the dolls come alive, which at present, is generally unlike their style but that of the Japanese.

In addition, we feel that certain positive aspects of Japanese society are reflected in the anime. First of all, there seems to be a general approval in Japanese society for taking pride in one’s creation. The ability of a doll to come alive is reward for a doll maker as it reflects the skill of the doll maker to craft a doll so realistically, that it actually comes to life. In addition, the human-like dolls are known to respond with sadness and disappointment when they have been neglected by their human companions and this serves as a caution to the characters in the anime, and indirectly to the viewers, against seeing their dolls as mere objects to be discarded after play. However, the idea of cherishing one’s possessions need not be limited to only dolls. It can also be similarly extended to all other objects, given the Shinto belief that spirits reside in all objects, irregardless of whether they are natural (like trees and rocks), or man-made (such as dolls). The need to cherish one’s possession then leads us to our third point, which is that the Japanese society seems to approve of the need to uphold traditions.

Due to the fact that dolls are usually passed down from mother to daughter when she marries off, the dolls are accorded status like that of a family heirloom. This need to uphold tradition, works in hand with cherishing one’s possessions, for it is only through the cherishment of one’s dolls, that the dolls can be passed on from generations to generations.

Last but not least, our group also feels that there may be a causal link between the dolls in anime and the need to behave respectfully towards those higher in the hierarchy in the Japanese society. This is a trait in most East Asian societies, which may correspond to the reasons for the hierarchical arrangement of dolls for the Doll’s Festival, as mentioned earlier under the background information for dolls. As reflected in Rozen Maiden, the dolls higher in the hierarchy tend to have more elaborately colored dresses, more elaborate hairstyles, and also possess higher powers (such as Shinku), as compared to the other dolls (such as Souseiseki, who is dressed in clothing meant for boys).

Lastly, we wish to address the issue that there may be strong societal pressures which results in individuals conforming to the norms and ideals of the majority group. Although it is important to note that the ideals and desires of the norms may not correspond to an individual’s ideals and desires, one may still conform for fear of being marginalized. After all, marginalization seems to be a fearful thing as it can lead to a decrease in one’s ability to trust fellow humans in evaluation of one’s self-worth.

This is exemplified in the anime, episode 1 of Tactics, where Kantaro as a child was shown to be upset because other people refused to believe him when he said that monsters exist, and tried to force him into conforming to their belief that monsters do not exist. Eventually, his companions in life consist mostly of demons, such as the fox demon, Youko, and Haruka, the ogre-eating Tengu, rather than fellow humans.

Secondly, there is the issue of the intense school pressure exerted upon Japanese students, which can result in a social disorder14 known as Hikikomori, in which the affected individual withdraws from society and isolates themselves at home. In extreme cases, some may isolate themselves for years in a room and even refuse communication with other family members.15 Hikikomori, which is unique to Japan, is usually triggered by an event at school, such as bullying, exam failure, or a broken romance. It is speculated that the disorder could be related to Japan’s traditions of isolation where Japan used to be an isolated island from the outside world for 200 years, and her traditional poetry and music often take pride in how noble solitude can be.16 Hikikomori is exemplified in Rozen Maiden, where the protagonist, Jun, is taken into his dreams by his dolls who hoped to help him confront his fears. In his dream-world, Jun encounters buildings made up of stacked school desks and flowers who speak like his schoolmates. He is also hunted by a monster made up of failed exam papers.


To sum up, we have explored the theme of animated dolls based on historical and religious backgrounds, as well as the motivations of doll-makers. We also compared between Japanese and Western dolls in relation to how they come alive, their functions and roles, and issues related to interaction. In addition, we raised the issue on the distinction (or lack of it) between humans and dolls, which in itself, is partly indicative of societal values. Finally, we also delved into aspects of anime which reflects the Japanese society. It is certainly interesting how we can come to understand more about Japan as a whole through a form of popular culture—by watching anime.


Japanese Anime and Western Shows Used:
2004, Dir. Abe Noriyuki. Studio: Studio Pierrot.

Card Captor Sakura.
1998, Dir. CLAMP. Studio: Kodansha.

Child’s Play.
1988, Dir. Tim Holland. USA.

FullMetal Alchemist.
2003, Dir. Mizushima Seiji. Studio: Bones.

1940. Dir. Hamilton Luske & Ben Sharpsteen. Studio: Disney.

Rozen Maiden.
2004, Dir. Matsuo Mamoru. Studio: Nomad, Peach Pit.

2004, Dir. Watanabe Hiroshi. Studio: Studio Deen.

Toy Story 1.
1995, Dir. John Lasseter. Studio: Disney, Pixar

Toy Story 2.
1999, Dir. John Lasseter & Ash Brannon. Studio: Disney, Pixar

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Importance of Sentience slide (2 Pictures of Kon with orange and blue background respectively)
Kon with orange background:
Kon with blue background:

Pictures under “History of the dolls”

Scanned pictures under “Folklores” and “Religion”
Statler, Oliver, All Japan: The catalogue of everything Japanese, (Bromley, Kent: Columbus Books, 1984), pp. 24-25.

Under ‘Dolls: History, Folklores & Religion’
Picture of 5 dolls and picture of Emperor and Empress dolls (under ‘Dolls’ Festival’).
Dolls of Japan. <>

Gothic Lolita (picture of gothic lolita girls, one with the maid costume and one with the all white ensemble)
Blue Period – Elegant Gothic Lolita (15 Aug 2003)

Gothic Lolita (picture of black gothic lolita girl with black handbag)
Elegant Gothic Lolita – Kyshah Hell.

Malice Mizer (picture with the 5 members and the name of band)
Secret World of Malice Mizer ( Date of publication/last update: 1998)

Malice Mizer (picture of group member Mana)
Malice Mizer from Wikipedia (14 Oct 2005)

Malice Mizer (picture of the band in gothic lolita black and white costumes)
Malice Mizer

Rozen Maiden (picture of Shinku with Suigintou in title page and picture of Shinku in a box)
from yahoo search engine, just type “Rozen Maiden images”, no specific websites

Rozen Maiden (picture of all 5 Rozen Maiden dolls at the last page of powerpoint slides)
Ronin’s Anime Chronicles

Other pictures from Rozen Maiden:

Under ‘How the Dolls reflect Japanese Popular Culture’
Picture of Kon in gothic lolita (blond hair and red dress)

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About the author

Nadia Petrova

I'm running this blog because I love Japanese culture, especially the art of geisha. When I was a little girl, I used to dream of becoming a geisha myself. In my spare time, I enjoy watching good anime and reading some manga.

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