Thursday, December 27, 2007


Antonia Levi: Anime, Manga, and Cultural Aspects of the Werewolf Tradition

What a neat article. I'm liking this blog more and more the further back I dig. Not only do I recognize this author, but I was really impressed by her conclusions.

To put it as simply as possible, the Japanese werewolf is generally a positive (if a bit dangerous) character while in Western stories, they are generally evil. Japanese werewolves are also likely to be wolves who change into humans rather than the reverse.
The American and more generally, the Western werewolf is a human being who degenerates into a violent, non-sentient wolf-like creature. I think this is partly due to the fact that Western religious and philosophical traditions make a huge differentiation between humans and animals; humans have souls and are capable of rational thought while animals do not. That's almost diametrically opposite from the Shinto view that all nature is sentient to some degree, and also far from the Buddhist idea of reincarnation in which all human souls have been animals at some time and may be again.

I know this one's a little long, but definitely give it a read. Well worth it.

1 comment:

John W. Morehead said...

Thanks for your positive comments about my blog. It has been fun to explore my interests in pop culture from my dual academic perspectives of intercultural and religious studies, particularly as applied to horror, sci fi, and fantasy. And thanks for making others aware of some of the posts and interviews.