Narrative Complexity in Contemporary Anime Witch Tales: Self-Consciousness and Knowability in Kurozuka and Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Antonio Loriguillo-López

Abstract

The fantastic is one of the main thematic frames in the productions of Japanese commercial animation. Within this genre, the various adaptations and reworkings of myths and folktales represent fertile resources to cover the demands of an extremely prolific industry. However, despite its popularity as an object of study, research on fantastic anime rarely venture beyond the thematic or historical coordinates of their plots. This article aims to address the relationship between the intricate narration of two significant television anime series—Kurozuka and Puella Magi Madoka Magica—and the representation of the witches involved in them. Through the use of the narratological categories of self-consciousness and the cognoscibility, we apply film analysis tools to delve into the relationship between the Japanese representational tradition and the narrative complexity in contemporary audiovisual productions.

Keywords

anime, Narratology, Japanese folktales, Noh, complex TV.

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