Science Fiction Film & Television

The ethics of Sekai-kei

Reading Hiroki Azuma with Slavoj Žižek

Science Fiction Film & Television (2014), 7, (3), 365–386.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to re-examine the engagement of sekai-kei (world-type) anime with questions of ethical decision through reasserting the usefulness of Lacanian-Žižekian approaches in contrast to the Derrida-inspired ideas used by Japanese cultural theorist Azuma Hiroki. Here I note that although sekai-kei may stage an encounter with the Lacanian real, such texts typically employ strategies by which any form of radical subversion through an ethical act are, in various ways, foreclosed. Sekai-kei thus often, alongside the work of Azuma, supports rather than challenges contemporary capitalism.

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Howard, Christopher