Database for Animation Studies


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

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), in particular in relation to Japanese anime. In embodied acting, the expression of character is produced through particularized movement, where characters are constituted as individuals, each with their own discreet 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” rather than
“individuality,” where the self is a composite configured through the
citation of codes

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