Database for Animation Studies


Beyond the Mirror: The Functions of Gynoids in Mamoru Oshii's Innocence

American and European films often include robots or sci-fi artificial bodies that resemble women, "gynoids." They stereotypically represent passivity and sexuality, which are equated with the ideal femininity. Gynoids are also projected men's fear, hence are excluded as "the abjection" at the same time. In contrast, throughout Mamoru Oshii's Innocence, girl-figured gynoids serve as a complex metaphor, signifying not only conventional female images but also innocence and vulnerability. Thus, the gynoids could become the boundary-free entity. Then they can function as a mirror, compelling the protagonist to self-reflection, instead of projecting "the Other" or negative images that exist inside him. Additionally, the gynoids in Oshii's film act as messengers, delivering the truth to the protagonist. In this paper, I will critically examine the representations of the girl figured gynoids in Innocence through a comparative analysis with the representations of gynoids in some American and European films.

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