AnimeChicago Presents “A Discussion on Transformation in Anime and Manga”
• AnimeChicago Symposium Series “A Discussion on Transformation
in Anime and Manga” took place on April 2 at the Japan Information Center
of the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. AnimeChicago began with
a website more than 10 years ago and now has become a club and holds nearly
700 members. It has also hosted monthly meetings in the Chicagoland area.
• The lineup was “A Visual Analysis of Outward and Inward Transformation” by Ruben Rosario; “A Brief Introduction to Race and Cosplay” by Lindsay Stevens; “The Female Body in Kill la Kill” by Shaun Kelly; and Nostalgia, Yearning, Anxiety, and Fear “Contemporary Japanese Narratives of Rural Decline and Extinction” by Benjamin C. Edmonds.
• A Visual Analysis of Outward and Inward Transformation
• Ruben Rosario spoke about his analysis by referring “Tokyo Ghoul” to outward transformation and “Madoka Magica” to inward transformation.
• Tokyo Ghoul was a series of manga and was produced
as anime films later. Protagonist Kaneki was transplanted an organ from
a ghoul girl and accidentally became a half ghoul. Now, he has to live
as a ghoul while he keeps his dignity as a human. As a sequence, he faces
battles with both investigators and other ghouls.
• The inward transformation occurs in Madoka Magica when
protagonist Madoka decides to take a responsibility to become the heroine,
a magical girl, after she pondered, contemplated, feared, and yearned
• Nostalgia, Yearning, Anxiety, and Fear: Contemporary Japanese Narratives of Rural Decline and Extinction
• Benjamin C. Edmonds explained Japan’s population loss
and spoke about his analysis on narratives of rural areas described in
• Horror anime also portrays an old candy store, a big
school building with several students, a rustic stationary store, desolate
café, and village council room with tatami mats which are all desired
to keep alive. The village people are related with those institutions,
and horror anime illustrates the reality of the village life.
• Can I be Sailor Venus?
• Lindsay Stevens was in her favorite costume of Sailor
Moon and first participated in Anime Central in 2009. She was surprised
to see the diversity of people there. When she did research, she found
a story of Chaka, Funimation Media Director. Chaka did a perfect cosplay
with Sailor Venus, but many malicious texts were posted in social media.
Some of them read, “She RUINED my favorite character,” “This Venus looks
• In her closing remarks, Jamie Sanchez, President of
the AnimeChicago, introduced comments from members. Some of them read,
“By following and celebrating something so outside my own culture, I believe
that helps me to grow independent of influences that media can subject
their audience to, assist cultural homogeneity, as unintentional as it
may be,” “It’s introduced me to a variety of different people who share
the same interest. I think without anime I wouldn’t know a lot of my close
friends,” and “Anime leads me to be the critical thinker I am today, and
helped guide me towards a much deeper appreciation of all forms of artistic
A photo of Chaka, perfect cosplay with Sailor Venus
Benjamin C. Edmonds
Jamie Sanchez, President of the AnimeChicago