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Sex and the Single Cyborg: Japanese Popular Culture Experiments in Subjectivity Author(s): Sharalyn Orbaugh Reviewed work(s): Source: Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 29, No. 3, Japanese Science Fiction (Nov., 2002), pp. 436452 Published by: SF-TH Inc Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4241109 . Accessed: 19/08/2012 21:49 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
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SCIENCE FICTION STUDIES, VOLUME 29 (2002)
SharalynOrbaugh Sex and the Single Cyborg:JapanesePopularCulture Experimentsin Subjectivity I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experiences and feelings to one anotherby articulate sounds.... This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to become acquaintedwith it ... for I easily perceived that, although I longed to discover myself to the cottagers, I ought not to make the attemptuntil I had first become master of their language; which knowledge might enable me to make them overlook the deformity of my figure; for with this also the contrastperpetuallypresented to my eyes had made me acquainted.(Shelley 121-24) What is really being debatedin the discourse surroundinga cyborg futureare contemporary disputesconcerninggender and sexuality, with the futureprovidinga clean slate, or a blank screen, onto which we can project our fascinationand fears. (Springer322) Visual representationsof cyborgs are ... not only utopian or dystopian prophesies, but ratherreflections of a contemporarystateof being. The image of the cyborg body functions as a site of condensationand displacement. It containson its surface and in its fundamental structure the multiple fears and desires of a culture in the process of transform-ation. (Gonzalez 267)
As ClaudiaSpringerandJenniferGonzalezcontend,cyborgsarenotaboutthe future,theyareaboutcontemporary In societyandits currenttransformations. this essay I will discussrecentJapanesenarrativesthatuse the figureof the cyborgto explorenewparadigmsof subjectivity,as theadvancednationsof the worldbecomeincreasinglypostmodern,postnational, andeven postindustrial, posthuman.In particular,I will focuson two aspectsof subjectivitythathave been fundamentalto the modern-as opposed to postmodern-notionof personhood: sexualityandsingularity.Thefigureof thecyborg-thatembodied amalgamof theorganicandthetechnological-confounds themodernist criteria forsubjectivity and,whenfeaturedinnarrative,allowsreaders/viewers to think throughthe ramifications of the changeswe currentlyface. Theculturalproductsthatengagethe notionof the cyborghelpus to come to termswiththemeaningof thisnewrelationship betweenthehumanbodyand technologyas thatrelationshipunfolds:narrativehelpsus to workthroughthe fearsanddesiresof a particular historical-cultural moment.We areeachof us alreadycompelleddailyto face the breakdownof the distinctionbetweenthe andtheorganic/biotic. mechanical/technological allowus, in Cyborgnarratives JenniferGonzalez'sphrasing,to personify,condense,anddisplacetheanxieties andhopesraisedby this situation. DonnaHaraway,the best-knowntheoristof cyborgsubjectivity,explains some of the fears and hopes that most fundamentally characterizecyborg narrative:"Inretellingoriginstories,cyborgauthorssubvertthecentralmyths of originof Westernculture.Wehaveall beencolonizedby thoseoriginmyths, withtheirlongingfor fulfillmentin apocalypse"(175).' She suggeststhatthe only way to avoid the hypocrisiesand dangersof Westernculture'scurrent
SEX AND THE SINGLE CYBORG
trajectoryis to recastoriginmyths-which culturesuse to explaintheirown ontologyandsubjectivityto themselves-to confrontandsubvertnarrativesof (false)innocenceandapocalypse. I would contendthat, in general,Japanesepopular-culture forms work throughissues of apocalypse,survival,andthe impossibilityof establishing innocencefar moreoftenandin termsof greatermoralcomplexitythanthose of NorthAmerica.For example,SusanNapierhas arguedthata multitudeof Japanesepopular-culture products-from the 1950s GODZILLA films to the internationally popularanimefilm Akira(1988)-can be seen as attemptsto grapplewith issues arisingfromthe 1945 atomicbombingsandthe very real thattheyimplied(Anime197).IntheGodzilla possibilityof globalannihilation filmswe see anothercommoncharacteristic of Japanesepopularnarrative: both the destructive and the potentially productive aspects of technology are explored. Consequences, including occasionally the pointless deaths of protagonists, are rarely evaded in Japanesepopularnarrative. In anothersense, too, Japaneseculturalproductionmay offer a particularly fertile area for the study of cyborgs and subjectivity.Japanesesocial discourse incorporatesrobots and cyborgs with little of the implicit dread often found in North American references. Manga artist SHIROMasamunehas remarkedthat from childhoodJapanesechildren are educatedin robots/robotics.Startingwith [the cartoon characters] Astro Boy and Arare-chan, and progressing to Doraemon-these are all robots. Japanesechildren give robots names and see them as friends, and are raised from the beginningwith an image of robots that portraysthem as extremely useful.... (qtd in Ueno 116).
As opposed to the terrifying figure of Darth Vader-one of the first memorable cyborgs encountered by children in North America-Japanese children enjoy a wide range of characters that mix human and machinic elements.2 Certainly it is difficult to overlook the large number of robots, cyborgs, and "metal fighting suits" in Japanese television, animated videos (anime), and comic books (manga). While manyof these narrativeproductscan be dismissed as unimaginativeor derivative, others are complex andthoughtful, and their sheer quantitymeans that the various issues at the heart of the new cyborg paradigm are explored in Japanese popular culture perhaps more thoroughly than anywhere else. (And, given the extraordinarypopularity of manga and anime outside Japan, this exploration is shared by increasing numbers of internationalviewers.) Further, Japanese popular culture may enjoy a particularly significant, persistentengagement with the cyborgianbecause of its participationin what I call the "Frankensteinsyndrome." I have proposed this notion as a parallel to what film theorist Rey Chow has called the "King Kong syndrome." Drawing inspirationfrom the 1933 film, she identifies a tendencyon the partof Western countries to read the non-West as the "site of the 'raw' material that is 'monstrosity,' [which] is produced for the surplus value of spectacle, entertainment, and spiritual enrichment for the 'First World"' (84). My inflection of the parallel notion, the "Frankensteinsyndrome"-inspired by
MaryShelley's1818novelratherthananyof the fims-refers to thetendency of developingcountries,thosedefinedas "monstrous" and"raw"bythealready developednations,to see themselvesin thosesameterms. WhenJapanre-openedto theworldin themid-nineteenth centuryaftermore than250 years of isolation,one of the most powerfulmessagesof Western discoursethe Japaneseabsorbedwas the "scientificallyproven"racial and culturalinferiorityof the "Asiatic"race. Lessthanfiftyyearslater,Japanhad replicatedeveryaspectof Anglo-European modernitywithastounding success: cutting-edge science,medicine,andtechnology;a colonialempiresupported by a powerfulmilitary;a fullydevelopedindustrialeconomy.Nonetheless,after helpingthe AlliedpowersdefeatGermanyin WWIandbecominga founding memberof the Leagueof Nations,Japanwas once again relegatedto the position of anomalousOther by the other foundingnations' refusal to a statementof basicracialequalityin its charter(Dower204). incorporate Likethemonsterin Shelley'sFrankenstein,rejectedfirstby his creatorand eventuallyby all theotherhumanswithwhomhe triedto establishcontact,the peopleof modernizing Japanwereforcedtimeandagainto recognizethateven the completeacquisitionof the "godlikescience"of language-inthe formof modernism-wasnotenoughto thediscoursesof industrial,post-enlightenment save themfromthe curseof monstrosityin the eyes of the West. All modern Japaneseliteratureandarthas been (andcontinuesto be) producedunderthe shadowof this recognition,leadingto an unusualconcernwith monstrousor anomalousbodies/subjectivitiesand various attendantissues. In striking similarityto the key themes in Shelley's Frankenstein, some of the most havebeenquestionsof legitimacy pressingissuesforJapanesemodernnarrative andillegitimacy(basedonanimproperly resolvedoedipalcrisis),non-normative formsof reproduction, thehybridityof bodiesor subjectivities, andambiguous of gender/sex/sexuality.3 I havewrittenelsewhere or anomalousincarnations abouttheeffectsof theseculturally-specific concernson thedevelopment of the in Japanesepopularculturefrom1870to the figureof thecyborg/robot/android present.4HereI will confinemyselfto discussionof two veryrecentJapanese andto a limitedsetof questionsregarding cyborgnarratives cyborgsubjectivity. The title of this essay incorporatestwo of the key terms I use in my explorationof cyborgsubjectivity:"sex"and "single."I beginby explaining in thiscontext,andthendiscuss why sexualityandsingularityareso important two recentanimenarratives-Shinseiki Evangelion (1995-96, Neon Genesis Evangelion, 1996-97)andK6kakukid6tai (1995, Ghost in the Shell, 1996)-in termsof the nexusof contemporary fearsor desiresregardingsubjectivity that is beingnegotiatedthroughthosedepictions. Sexualityandsingularityare not unrelated,of course,sincepartneredsex andits variousconsequencespresentone of the mostcommoncontextswithin which the humanexperienceof the singularityof the subjectis challenged -through intimacy,loss of self in orgasm,pregnancy,infection,andso on. Luce Irigarayhas writteneloquently(thoughin a differentcontext)aboutthe thatis not singular:"withinherself,she is experienceof sexuality/subjectivity
already two-but not divisible into one(s)...." (24).5 She eventually arrives at the useful term "not-two"for this doubled but coherent kind of subjectivity. In one highly interesting attempt to map the conceptual limits of human subjectivity, Elizabeth Grosz has invoked the examples of conjoinedtwins and intersexed people.6 A consideration of these naturally-occurringanomalous subjectivities can help in understandingthe conceptual challenges involved in cyborg subjectivity. Conjoinedtwins challenge the notion of the individual,autonomousidentity housed in a singular body; they demonstrate the possibility of separate personalitiesand consciousnesses-separate subjectivities-in a single physical unit. Moreover, althoughconjoinedtwins have separateconsciousnesses, Grosz quotes first-personaccountsthatunderscorethe fact thatthe "usualhardandfast distinction between the boundaries of one subject or another are continually blurred" (62) to a degree unimaginable to morphologically singular human beings, even including identical twins.7 In the case of intersexed or ambisexualpeople, the morphologicalbinaries of male and female-usually taken to be utterly natural and universal-are confounded. Again it may be difficult for the single-sexed individual to conceptualize the experience of subjectivity embodied in a way that is not sexually unitary or singular. But it is importantto stress that while conjoined twins and intersexed people cannot be considered and do not experience themselves as singular/unitary/one,neithercan they be considered(nor do they experience themselves) as doubled/separate/two (Grosz 58-65). They are incarnationsof the aforementionednotion of the "not-two." In the case of some kinds of cyborgs, it is possible at least to sketch the boundaries, the interfacing surfaces, between one component(the biotic) and another(the techno-mechanical),but once the two are joined, those boundaries are meaningless in terms of determiningor experiencing subjectivity.8Some common examples of this would include people who have been inoculatedand those with transplantedorgans or prostheticdevices. We can separatethe parts, but once they are combined, they make one functionalunit. In premodem and modern(ist)conceptualizationsof subjectivity, naturally occurringanomalies ("monsters")such as conjoinedtwins and hermaphrodites functioned to mark the borders of the "normal"embodimentof the "normal" subject. In Judith Butler's terms, these "monsters" formed the constitutive "outside" that "secures and, hence, fails to secure the very borders of materiality" (Bodies that Matter 188). Cyborgs, which are by defimitionnot naturally occurring, serve in a new but equally significant way to mark the bordersof modern(ist)subjectivityand simultaneouslyto reveal the ways those borders are breaking down and being redrawn in postmodern, posthuman paradigms. In the case of cultural productionin Japan, cyborgs and other anomalous -hybrid, "not-two"-embodiments performthe same function:thatof marking the abject borders that serve to define "normal"subjectivity. But in Japan, because of the "Frankensteinsyndrome,"the bodies or subjectivitiesmarkedas anomalous may simultaneously be identified as simply "Japanese," since
"monstrosity"is "normal"for those defined as Other by Western hegemonic discourse. This allows for an exploration of the hybrid, monstrous, cyborg subject from a sympathetic, interior point of view rarely found in North American cultural products. Another culturally specific aspect of Japanese narrative is the frequent appearance of "female" or ambiguously gendered cyborgs. This, too, relates back, I would argue, to Japan's experience of feminizationby the dominantWestern powers of the nineteenthcentury.9The Japanesepeople currentlyinvolved in scholarshipandculturalproductionaround the figure of the cyborg are completely knowledgeableabout Western science fiction and cyborg theory, and they consider themselves as participatingfully in an internationalconversationon the topic. Nonetheless, the history of Japan's modernizationhas produceda body of cyborg discoursethatdiffers in these and other importantrespects from that of North America. The questions most frequentlyasked about conjoinedtwins and intersexed people are echoed in contemporary Japanese narrative explorations of the cyborg. We might wonder of conjoinedtwins, which is really in control of the body, or to what extent do they have separatecontrol?How do they coordinate movement and agency? In the case of cyborgs we are temptedto ask the same question: what is the power relationship between the biotic and technomechanicalcomponents;which is "really"in control?These questionsmay be as meaningless for the cyborg itself as they are when posed to conjoined twins-but those of us who consider ourselves to be morphologicallysingular beings strain throughsuch questions to understanddual subjects. Similarly, manyhave wonderedof bothconjoinedtwins andhermaphrodites: how and with whom do they have sex? (One of the most frequentlyreported facts about the original "Siamese twins," Chang and Eng Bunker, is that they marriedsisters and fatheredmore thantwentychildren.) This questiondoes not arise solely out of prurientcuriosity, but ratherout of our fundamentalbelief, "identifiedby Foucault as the sign of modernityitself, that sex 'harbourswhat is most true in ourselves"' (qtd in Clarkand Myser 347). It is no surprise,then, thatmany explorationsof the natureandpotentialof cyborg subjectivityinvolve a focus on sexuality in some sense as well-even if the focus is on the impossibility or irrelevance of some form of sexual behavior. The two Japanese anime under consideration here are no exception. Evangelionexplores the aspectsof humansexualityinvolvingbodily conjoining, intimacy, and penetration/permeabilityplayed out through a cyborg subject. Ghost in the Shell examines and rejects old forms of species reproductionin favor of cyborgian and cybernetic alternatives. Evangelion, directed by ANNOHideaki, was broadcastevery Wednesday night from October 1995 to March 1996 on Tokyo TV Channel 12, a total of twenty-six episodes. It was immediately and hugely popular. The story is extremely complex, but for current purposes I will provide only a brief synopsis. The setting is 2015, fifteen years after the global disaster known as "Second Impact" when a meteor had hit Antarctica and the resulting shock waves, tidal waves, and melting ice cap had killed billions of people. This is the official story. Most people are not aware that what actually happenedwas an
attackby anunknownalienmachineor creature,calleda "shito"-a wordthat means"apostle"or "disciple,"butis alwaystranslated intoEnglish,atdirector Anno'sinsistence,as "angel."The creaturewas destroyed,andthe resulting explosionis whatactuallycausedSecondImpact.It is now fifteenyearslater, and angelshave begunappearingagain.The mostpowerfulof conventional weaponsareuselessagainstthem;the only effectiveweaponis a kindof huge "metalsuit" robot, called an EVA, designedand deployedby a special internationalteam called "NERV." The EVAs look very much like the conventionalfightingrobotsof the metalsuit("mecha")genre,buttheyhave a few idiosyncraticcharacteristics: theycanonly be pilotedby fourteen-yearolds;andeachEVA andits designatedpilotmustachievea highdegreeof bioelectrical synchronizationin order to function.Developingthis ability to biologicallyinterfaceand harmonizecan take months.When the narrative beginsthereareonlytwo EVAsin existence,a prototypemodel,00, pilotedby a mysteriousgirlnamedRei, andthefirstTestModel,01, forwhoma pilothas yet to be found. In the first episode the fourteen-year-old protagonist,IKARIShinji, is summonedto NERV headquarters by his estrangedfather, IKARIGendo. Thinkinghis fatherhas summonedhim out of affection,Shinjiis shockedto learn that, on the contrary,his fatherwantshim thereonly to pilot the new EVA. Sincean angelis at thatverymomentattackingheadquarters, Shinjihas no time to thinkabouttakingon this task. At his continuedrefusalshis father ordersthatRei, the pilotof EVA00, be broughtin to battlethe EVA, despite the fact thatshe is still badlywoundedfroman earliersortie. Rei is broughtin on a stretcher,shiveringandmoaningin pain.Whenthe angelattackshakesthebuildingandshe is thrownoff thestretcher,Shinjiruns to pickherup fromthe floor. Whilecradlingherbodyin his arms,he sees her fresh blood on his hand and changeshis mind aboutpiloting the EVA. Repeating,"Imustn'trunaway,I mustn'trunaway,"he summonshis courage to tell his fatherthathe will do it. In the next scene we see a cylindricalcapsule,the "entryplug," being loweredintoan openingin the "neck"of the giantEVA suit. The sceneshifts to Shinjiinsidethe plugas it beginsto fill withsomekindof liquid.Terrified, Shinjitriesto holdhis breath,buteventuallyhasto breathein the liquidfilling the capsule,whichhe is toldwill deliveroxygento his lungs. Followingthis, thesupportcrewmonitorhis synchronization ratewiththeEVAsuit,astonished at his abilityto meshwithit on this first attempt.Soonafter,the Shinji-EVA cyborgis launchedto fightthe angel. Inthescenethatfollows,thisonechronologically, we see Shinjisuccessfully moving the EVA, which is extraordinarygiven his lack of training. Nonetheless,the Shinji-EVAcyborgis badlybeatenby theangel;we see Shinji in painandterrorinsidethe cockpitgrippinghis own armwhenthe angelrips off the armof the EVA-suit.Eventuallythe Shinji-EVAcyborgis woundedin the head, so thatthosewatchingbackat headquarters are convincedthatthe cyborgamalgamof Shinji-EVAis dead.Butat this momentthe Shinji-EVA,
disconnectedfromits powersupply,goes berserkand,throughsomeforcethe designershaveneverseen, managesto destroythe angel. Thepointto be notedfromthe sceneof thefirstcreationof the Shinji-EVA is, mutual cyborg is a process I would like to call inter-corporation-that incorporation of the other. The viewer sees Shinji, insidethe very phalliclookingentryplug,beinginsertedintothereceivingorificeof theEVA-suit,and being incorporatedby it: structurallythis is completelyanalogousto the of the penis by the body of the other. But "normal"sexual incorporation immediatelythereafterwe see the fluidinsidethe EVA fillingthe entryplug, and filling Shinji, much to his terror. In this case, therefore,each of the cyborg'stwo components-themechanicalEVA and the biotic Shinji-has by the other. penetratedinto andfilledthe other;eachhas beenincorporated MaudEllmanhaswrittenthat"Hegel,Feuerbach,Marx,andFreud,in spite of theirdivergences,agreethateatingis the originof subjectivity.For it is by ingestingthe externalworldthatthe subjectestablisheshis bodyas his own, its insidefromitsoutside"(30). Thebodyingestsor incorporates distinguishing materialsfrom"theoutside"-food,oxygen,semen-changesthem,andexpels a differentkindof materialbackto "theoutside"-feces, carbondioxide,baby. of our bodiesis basicto the construction of the unitary, This conceptualizing boundedsubject,permeableonlywithincontrolledlimits.Havingcontrolover is partof the whatwe take in and when andhow we expel wastes/products adultmodernsubject. trainingandprerogativeof the autonomous It must be remarked,however, that sexual differencerendersbodies differentially permeablein theseexamples.Whileall humansingestfood and genetic oxygenandexpel feces andcarbondioxide,only femalesincorporate informationfromthe sementheirbodiestakein with sexualpenetration,and forcefullybreachedbytheactof giving onlyfemaleshavetheirbodyboundaries This"extra" birthto thebabythatis theproductof thatoriginalincorporation. permeabilityto genetic information,as well as the mysterious"leakage"of andthe possibilityof violenteruptionfromwithinof childbirth, menstruation, areamongtheprimaryreasonsthatwomenhaveneverbeenconsideredto fully meet fully the criteriaof the autonomous,unitary,bounded,self-controlled modernsubject. of subjectivityrelateto How does this basic structurefor the construction by a Evangelion'scyborgianexample?In this case, we haveno incorporation and boundedself of a relativelyunimportant other,to be absorbed,transformed, of two then ejected, but ratherthe intercorporation and interpenetration to producea third,hybridproduct:thecyborg.Not relativelyequalcomponents unitary,but, at the sametime "not-two."(Whilespacedoes not allowme to pursuethe pointhere, it is significantthatlaterin Evangelionwe learnthata hasalreadyoccurred:Shinji'smotherhasbeenfused seriesof intercorporations withtheinorganicmaterialof theEVAsuit-as well as beingclonedto produce Rei-and Ritsuko'smotherhasbeenfusedwiththeMAGIcomputersystem.It is noteworthythat, in every case, it is a womanwhose completeintercorporationwiththeinorganichasproducedtheweaponspowerfulenoughto resist the angels.)
SEX AND THE SINGLE CYBORG
If intercorporation is one of the characteristic structural aspectsof cyborg subjectivity,what kinds of fears and hopes does it engender?Indeed,the questionof sex/genderseems to be crucialhere, as many contemporary thatintercorporation narrativesdemonstrate is anespeciallydisturbing concept for theirmale protagonists.The fact thatwe see Shinji'sterrified/terrifying butnot thatof his girl colleagues,is no experienceof initialintercorporation, on the fearsof the maleviewingaudience. doubtmeantto play dramatically Anotherpopularanime, for example,Kyoshokus6k6gaibaa(1989, Guyver, 1994-97),featuresa manbeingphysicallyinvadedbythebodyarmor-tentacles of it penetratehis skinandorifices-whichthenturnshimintoa benevolentand powerfulcyborgableto savehis friendsfromcertaindeath.Nonetheless,he is distraughtat the invasionof his body andhis inabilityto expel the invading component,whichretreatsintoa smallareaof his backmostof the time, but thentakesover his wholebodyagainwhenhe is provokedto fight.A further examplecan be seen in the live-actioncult film Tetsuo,the IronMan(1988; withEnglishsubtitles,1992),whichopenswitha manintentionally "infecting" or "impregnating" himselfby thrustinga metalbarintoa slit in his thigh,which graduallyturnshimintoa monstrousamalgamof themachinicandtheorganic. He then goes on to "infect" or "impregnate"others. This model of totheinvasiveattackof aninfectionora parasite-can intercorporation-similar be found in many Japanese popular-culturenarrativesfeaturingmale protagonistswho are "feminized"by their bodies' penetrationby and permeabilityto "the outside."(At the same time, they continueto exhibit masculine/male suchas theabilityto "impregnate," characteristics, resultingin a radicallyambiguousgenderingof theseprotagonists.) Theassociationof this tropewith HIV since the early 1990s only serves to reinforcethe nexusof sexuality,singularity,andsubjectivitythatis bothexemplifiedandchallenged by cyborgianintercorporation. Controlof the body andbodyboundariesis clearlyan importantnodeof anxietybeing playedout throughmanycyborgnarratives.Certainlythrough we arecontrollingthebodymoreandmoresuccessfully-this techno-medicine is one reasonwe have so manyliteralcyborgswalkingamongus now. The classic roboticbodies that appearin traditionalscience fiction are perfect, completelycontrollable.They representan ideal versionof the modernist conceptionof the body/self.Butthe conceptualpricethatmustbe paidfor our increasingattemptsto controlthe body is the recognitionthatthe repressed alwaysreturns.As the imaginedsocial body has becomeincreasinglymore perfectandcontrolled-moreandmorecloselyfittingthe modernistmodelof (male)autonomous subjectivity-thelikelihoodof theeruptionof therepressed body,in all its abject,excessive,imperfect,uncontrolled, boundary-challenged "female-ness,"increases. By the nineteenthepisodeof Evangelion,Shinjihas experiencedso many traumatic eventsthathe has fimallyquitas an EVApilot.Beforehe managesto leave the area,however,he is convincedto returnandfightan angelthathas takenon theunexpectedformof anotherEVA, afterhe seeshis friends,thetwo girlswhoalsopilotEVAs,nearlydestroyedby thisnewangel.TheShinji-EVA
SCIENCE FICTION STUDIES, VOLUME 29 (2002)
loses badly to the angel, with (again) one arm rippedoff in the battle. Finally, the suit's power reserve is drainedand the Shinji-EVAcyborg is completely at the mercy of the angel. At this moment, however, Shinji, screaming with frustration,manages to "synchronize"so completely with the EVA suit thathe disappears, simultaneously managing to activate some power in the cyborg amalgamof himself and the suit that allows him/it/her to rise up, regenerateits own arm (which is now flesh ratherthan metal), and defeat the angel. At the end of the scene the Shinji-EVA amalgam crawls like an animal to the dying angel and begins to eat it. Finally he/it/she rises up and roars in triumph,as the "mecha suit" armor is rent and destroyed from within. The stunnedwatchers from NERV are simultaneouslydelightedby the unexpectedvictory, mystified by the EVA's ability to move with no power source, and revoltedby the EVA's animalisticcannibalism.The chief scientist, Ritsuko, remarkswith fear thatthe EVA's "bindings"have been obliterated.In responseto a surprisedquery from a junior colleague, she explains: "That isn't armor. Those are restraintsthat allow us to control the EVA's power. But now the EVA is removing the web that binds it to our will. We can no longer control the EVA."10 KOTANI Mari has related this act of cannibalism on Shinji-EVA's part to "the explosion of the radically feminine, that is, to what Alice Jardine calls 'gynesis"' (3). Kotani describes the scene this way: The moment electric technology becomes unavailable(his power supply cords have been cut), Shinji strongly hopes for a miracle. Thus, with the ultimateaim to defeat the enemy, Shinji very naturallybut miraculouslycomes to feminize himself. This sequence unveils Shinji's epiphany. The more strongly he desires a miraculousbreakthrough,the more deconstructivehis own sexualitybecomes. Hence the abrupt explosion of fearful femininity out of Shinji's own male subjectivity. (5)
Despite the hyper-masculineoutlines of the EVA suit and the fact that the pilot of 01 is a boy, over the course of the series in scenes such as this one the Shinji-EVA cyborg amalgam is decisively gendered feminine: the uncontrollable, insufficiently bounded body/subjectivity that enlightened, rationalmodernityhas sought to repress. And yet, it is in precisely these same scenes that the Shinji-EVA cyborg manages through some kind of hysterical crisis to overcome the limits of technology-the power cord and back-up battery-to defeat the attackingangel. This narrative, therefore, emplots both the male terror of being radically feminized through the excessive intimacy implied by the interpenetrationand intercorporationof the cyborg subject and the paradoxicalhope that the one power thatcan finally oppose the various forces of evil is precisely the eruption of the abjectfemininity-permeability/penetrability-that is repressedin technopatriarchalsociety. That powerful eruptioncan only occur, however, when the interconnection of the various cyborg elements is at its maximum. In the nineteenthepisode Shinji's synchronizationratewith the suit is an inconceivable 400%, indicating that, despite the terror it provokes, the only hope for humankindis to move towardincreasedintimacy-permeability/ penetrabilitywith the mechanical other.
SEX AND THE SINGLE CYBORG
I will turn now to Ghost in the Shell (1995), a film directed by OSHII
Mamoru,basedon the popularmangaby SHIROMasamune.This is a much in a shorternarrative,and deals with one basic issue: species reproduction cyborgsociety. How does it occur, whatgets reproduced,andin whatsense does a cyborgspecieshavehistoricalcontinuityintothe future? The film opens with a very short scene, a joke, in which the first is raised.Specialsecurityforces officer problematicof cyborgreproduction Motoko,ourprotagonist,is hookedintothe Netthroughfour MajorKUSANAGI interfacesocketsin the backof her neck. A colleaguetalkingto her over the Net remarksthatthereis a lot of staticin herheadtoday."Yeah,"shemutters, "I'mhavingmy period.""Thisimmediatereferenceto menstruation-oneof those odd breachingsof bodyboundariesthatmakethe femalebodyunfitfor sexualityis modernsubjectivity-alertstheviewerto the factthatreproductive significant is particularly attheheartof thisfilm. Thereferenceto menstruation because,as we learnimmediatelythereafter,MajorKusanagihas a bodythat is completelymechanical,and certainly does not bleed. After this brief scene, we see, interspersedwith the openingcredits,Kusanagi introductory (it is impossibleto tell which)in thelab. As beingcreated/re-created/replicated we learnfromthissequence,herbodyis entirelyartificial.Therefore,thisbody is underperfectcontrol:nothinggoes intoor out of it exceptwhat/when/how she wishes. One assumesthat this body is also incapableof impregnation, gestation,or parturition-whatwould be the need for such functionsin a securityofficer? Her postmodern,reconstructedbody is not enhancedto maximize her preferencesor pleasures, we learn, but to maximizeher femaleintermsof external usefulnessto thestate.Althoughsheis extravagantly morphology(andspendsseveralscenesof the film naked),andalthoughshe is femalein termsof originalidentity,thesexedbodyas reproductive presumably body'2has no meaningin her cyborgstate. Thejuxtaposition,in the firstfive with the scenesof her minutesof the film, of her referenceto menstruation cyborgianreplication,immediatelyunderscoresthe factthatthis film's theme subject. sexualityin a posthuman is the problematicof reproductive Kusanagi'sonly bioticcomponentis her brain,whichprovidesher with a "ghost"-that is, memories, consciousness, and self-identity. The unhumansall possessa "ghost"as a matterof course. cyborgized,natural-body Butfor radicallyalteredhumanslike Kusanagiandmostof theothermembers the of hersecurityforce,theoriginal"ghost"is theonlythingthatdistinguishes fromthe pureandroid.13 cyborg-human Why,goingbackto Evangelion Why,then,doesshementionmenstruation? for a moment,is it thesightof Rei'sbloodon his handthatmakesShinjichange his mindaboutpilotingthe EVA?'4In bothcases, this early intrusionof the uncontrollable,messy, leakingfemininebody serves, amongotherthings,to underscorethe absenceof such bodies at the surfacelevel of the narrative. Everyonelooks perfect,appearsundercompletephysicalcontrol-butwhose andwhatkindof control?Thesebodiesperfectlyincarnatethe modernistidea in thissense,theyareallcoded"male,"despitethe of autonomous subjectivity; strongvisualdimorphism.Whereis the "female"in this perfectlycontrolled
universe? How does reproductionoccur in a de-sexed universe? These are the
of female(menstrual) questionsraisedby the simultaneous presence/absence in thesecyborgnarratives. bWood As the film progresses,we learn that MajorKusanagiheads a special d fense team:DivisionNine of the SecurityBranchof the Department of the Interior.She is broughtin to dealwiththeproblemof someoneknownonlyas "the PuppetMaster," who carries out terroristacts by hackinghis way into the "ghosts"of chosenpeoplethroughtheirimplantedprostheticlinksto the Net, their ghosts and causingthem to performterrorism.It is reprogramming revealedthat"thePuppetMaster"beganas a computerprogramthatsomehow becamesentientandwas thenforcedby its makersto abandonthe Net andto entera completelymanufactured body.Now, however,the PuppetMasterhas areunknown. es;caped,andits whereabouts Inthecourseof thehuntforthePuppetMaster,Kusanagiwatchesas people aretoldthatthememoriestheyhaveof spouses,children,jobs-everythingthey hold dear, everythingthatorganizesthe sense of self-have been artificially implanted by the PuppetMasterwhohadhackedintotheirghosts.Shewonders whetherherownghostis realandoriginal,orwhethereverythingshethinksshe knowsaboutherselfis, like herbody,completelyartificial. Inthefinalsequencewe witnessa mostunusualreproductive act,performed by two naked,voluptuousfemaletorsos,minusarmsandlegs, lying side by side. Kusanagi'sbodywas reducedto this statewhenshe battledto rescuethe "female"androidbodyintowhichthePuppetMasterhadfled.Throughthehelp of herfriendandpartner,Batou,Kusanagiis linkedthroughtechnologyto the PuppetMaster and they somehowmerge into a single entity, capableof travellingthe Net as the PuppetMasterdoes, butstill retainingsomeelement of Kusanagi'ssubjectivity(throughher organicbrain,it is assumed). Ghost attemptsto describea completelynew formof reproduction, for the new kindsof beingsthatwill emergefromthe increasedcyborgization of the world.Replication is the reproductive processof the cyborg,as we see in the openingcreationsequence,whereKusanagi'sbrainis encasedin an entirely manufactured body.Thisremindstheviewerthatsheis infintelyreparable-as long as herbrainis intact,herbodycan be reconstructed, in wholeor in part, as often as necessary,and she will still be KUSANAGI Motoko.Once again, therefore,thisnarrativeexploresthe ramifications of thepossibilityof perfect controlover the body. In thiscase, however,the interestis not focusedon the infinitereplicability of cyborgs,butratherthelimits imposedon subjectivity by suchperfectcontrolandhow theselimits maybe transcended, movingto the next stepof evolution. Humanspecies reproduction as we know it is structuredaroundseveral salient features. One of these is the interplayof repetition/sameness with diversity.Whilea parent'sgeneticmaterialis replicatedin thechild,themixing of geneticmaterialfromthe fatherwiththatof the motherproducesdiversity in theoffspring;andthisis repeatedfromgeneration to generation.Forcyborgs suchas Kusanagithereis no suchcombination of continuityandchange.The mechanicalbody-or body part-is replicable,but whatis (re)produced is a
facsimileof the previousone, andhas no referenceto an organic"original." Nor is thereany intermixingof geneticinformation,andthusqualities,from another body/subject.There is continuityin the sense that Kusanagi's brain/ghostremainthe same.Butin a worldwhere"ghosts"canbe hackedand identitiesimplanted,how is she to be surethatherbrainis indeedoriginaland her senseof self unadulterated? Anotherfeatureof organicreproduction as we knowit is theimportance of place-the spaceof embodiment.One is bornfroma specificplace, the body of the mother,intoa specificplace. Thishappensonly once, in thattimeand thatplace. Thematerialityandspatialspecificityof the pointof originandthe of one'sjourneythroughlife areintegralto a senseof subjectivity. surroundings As we see in the openingcreditsof Ghost,Kusanagias cyborgis deniedthe specificityof time and place of birth.She emergestime and againfromthe sameprocess;the fact thatit is impossibleto tell fromthe scenewhetherthis is the first creationof her cyborgbody or the thousandth underscoresthe distancefrom organicbirth. In the case of manycyborgs,ratherthantwo physicalbodiescomingtogetherto (re)produce a newbody/subjectivity-limited and constitutedby place, circumstance,time-it is the corporationand the government,figured in many anime as disembodied,transnational,and threatening,thatproduceandreproducethe cyborgas species. In Ghostphysicalitydoes retainone very importantfunction.As UENO Toshiyaexplainsit: "Ratherthanthe mind(seishin),a 'ghost'is morelike a person'sspirit(tamashii),andlogicallyit is also unconscious;in generalit is madeup of pastexperiencesandmemories.It's somethinglikewaterin a cup, premiseduponthe existenceof somekindof shape(such as a metalsuitor a shell)"(104). Possessionof a "ghost,"ratherthana particular kindof body,is whatdeterminesthe legal andsocialstatusof a beingas "human"-thenature of the body is irrelevantin determiningontology. But since a "ghost" (evidently)cannotexist withouta container,the bodyis not (yet) a disposable elementof selfhood. Kusanagiis clearlyconcernedwiththesequestionsof cyborgontologyand andthePuppetMasteroffershera uniquechanceto overcomethe reproduction, limitationsof hercyborgnature.By reproducing, she, like the PuppetMaster, will have carriedout one of the definingcharacteristics of a life form, thus provingthatshe is morethanan automaton. Thatthisis a wholenew stagein evolutionis signaledin a Biblicalpassage quotedby thePuppetMasteras he urgesKusanagito mergewithhim/it:"When I was a child, I spakeas a child, I understoodas a child,I thoughtas a child: butwhenI becamea man,I putawaychildishthings.//Fornowwe see through a glass, darkly;butthenfaceto face;nowI knowin part;butthenI shallknow [fully]even as I am [fully]known"(I Corinthians13: 11 and 12). To know fully even as she is fully known is the possibilityawaitingKusanagi-as herselfandheroffspring-inhernew,unlimitedexistenceinthe simultaneously of hercyborgsubjectivity Net. Shewill haveleft the "childhood" behind,and achievedfull subjectivityin the nextstageof evolution.
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In narrativesof cybernetic reproductionsuch as this one, what becomes of subjectivity?How can we-not even yet fully transformedfrom modernhumans to postmodern cyborgs-be expected to feel any connection with Kusanagi's dilemma and the Puppet Master's solution? It is no doubt significantthat even here reproduction("merging")is the resultof individualdesire andwill, carried out only with great contrivance and sacrifice. In that sense, the subjectivities even of the cyborg Kusanagi and the new life-form Puppet Master are recognizableto those of us still strugglingwith our modernistpreconceptionsof personhood. Conclusion. Donna Harawayhas proclaimedthat "the cyborg is a creaturein a post-genderworld" (150). That may be true of Haraway'sidealizedvision of cyborgs themselves, but, as we have seen, contemporary Japanese cyborg narrativesare still very much concernedwith the binaryoppositionsof sex and gender, and the sexuality presumedto accompanythem. Nonetheless, I would argue that these narrativesrelate a breakdownin what Fuchs, quoting Judith Butler, calls the "'heterosexual matrix,' [in which] gendered identity and the construction of stable body contours rely upon fixed sites of corporeal permeabilityand impermeability"(283). As we have seen, thatpermeabilityis no longer differentiatedby sex/gender in cyborg narrative. Harawayputs the same point a little differently: "communicationssciences andmodernbiologies are constructedby a commonmove-the translationof the world into a problem of coding," resulting in a "world [that] is subdividedby boundaries differentially permeable to information" (164). Permeability to informationis not a genderedphenomenon,particularlyin the world of Ghost, where humans are altered by techno-medicineto link directly to the Net, or a world such as that of Evangelion, where male and female EVA pilots alike undergo involuntary intercorporation: Shinji cannot prevent himself from interfacing/synchronizingwith the machine. Nor is permeabilityto information and technology in general a genderedphenomenonin our contemporarylived experience, and it may well be anxiety not just over that fact in itself, but also anxiety over the breakdownof the "heterosexualmatrix" determinedby sexdifferentiatedpermeability,thatmotivatesthe stronglygenderedaspectsof many cyborg narratives. Haraway echoes this anxiety, warning against the increasing and undifferentiatedpermeabilityof the body, which she sees as a situationwhere "all resistance to instrumentalcontrol disappears,and all heterogeneitycan be submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment, and exchange" (164). In contrast, Judith Butler describes what sounds like a utopian vision of the potentialof cyborg sexuality/subjectivity: Foucault held out the possibility that we might cease to think of sexuality as a specific attributeof sexed persons, that it could not be reducibleto the question of his or her "desire," and that overcoming the epistemic constraint that mandatedthinkingof sexuality as emanatingfrom sexed persons in the form of desire might constitute an emancipation,as it were, beyond emancipation.The phrase, "bodies and pleasures" held out the possibility of unmarkedbodies, bodies that were no longer thoughtor experiencedin terms of sexual difference,
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and pleasures that were diffuse, possibly nameless, intense and intensifying, pleasures that took the entire body as the surface and depth of its operation. The turn from "sex-desire" to "bodies and pleasures"promised for some a turn away ... from the insistence that sexuality be thoughtof in terms of sexual difference, and that sexual difference be thought of as a function of oedipally induced differentiations, and that desire be understoodas structuredby lack in relation to a sexually differentiatedOther. ("Revisiting" 6)
I have yet to see an anime narrativethat explicitlyapproachescyborg sexualityin thispleasurable,fullypost-gendered way, butI thinkthisvisionis suggestedin the reluctanceof cyborg narrativeto depict sexualityin the modernisttermsof the meetingof sexualorgansattachedto sexed/gendered bodies. The scene in Ghost in which two limblessfemaletorsos somehow perform "reproductive sex" is one example of this. Also suggestive is the radical-one might almostsay Frankensteinian-dismembermentandresuturing of the oedipalfamilyromancein Evangelion, whereShinji'sliteral,absolute merging with his mother's body is engineeredby the otherwise rejectingfather. What kind of sexual/sex/gender identity would result from these examples of
of subjectivity? fromtraditional emancipation conceptualizations of differencethroughbodiesthat InEvangeliontheradicalintercorporations cannotresist is a situationthat is exploredwith fear andhope. Despite the celebrationof the machinicin some senses, the humanbodyandwill-when as fmallythe mosthopeful, linked to the machinic-are ultimatelyreinscribed only truly effective force for resistance-even if that resistanceis only temporarilysuccessful. In Ghost, on the otherhand, the alreadyachieved compulsorypermeabilityof the populaceto informationandsurveillancecan the bodyaltogether,movingit to the nextlevel onlybe resistedby abandoning of evolution.Neitherof thesescenariosis very optimistic,butbothareuseful in the processof thinkingthroughthe possibilitiesof subjectivityin a rapidly changingworld. NOTES: 1. Haraway's "cyborg" is actually an idealized eco-socialist-feminist relationship between women and technology ratherthan the "literal"cyborg-an embodiedamalgam of the organic and the machinic-that I discuss in this essay. Many of her ideas aboutthe future model of subjectivity that she calls "cyborg" are, however, pertinent to my argument. 2. It could be argued that the great majority of the "cyborgs" (including also androids and technologically-enhanced humans) well-known to North American audiences are emphatically male in appearance,and often portrayedas threatening,or at times pitiable, monsters: Darth Vader and the Empire's soldiers (the clone warriors) in the Star Warsfilms (1977, 1980, 1983, 1999, 2002); Data, and all the Borg except the Queen, in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94); RoboCop (1987); Terminator (1984); Total Recall (1990). When female cyborgs do appear they are often '"afterthoughts"to the original narrativecorpus: Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001), and the female police officer in Robocop 2 (1990). Pris and Rachael, in Blade Runner (1982) are the unusualexceptions to this rule. 3. Although I will not take the time to repeatthe argumentshere, critics from Sandra GilbertandSusanGubar(especially 213-47) to Peter Brook (199-220) have identifiedthe
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multipleways thatFrankenstein'smonster,althoughpossessing malegenitalia,is actually gendered "female" throughout the novel. This gender ambiguity/hybridity,and the problematicsof monstrousreproduction/sexualityin Frankenstein,are very much a part of what I am calling the "Frankensteinsyndrome." 4. See "The Genealogy of the Cyborg in Japanese Popular Culture"; see also Napier's The Fantastic in ModernJapanese Literature. 5. Note that Irigarayis contrastingthe singularityof male/masculinesubjectivity,as symbolized by the singular penis, with the two-in-oneness representedby the female genitalia and reflected, she argues, in female/feminine subjectivity. I do not intend to bring Irigaray's argumentsabout sex and gender into this essay, but merely to borrow her short-handterminology for this kind of two-in-one subjectivity. 6. Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto" also explicitly cites "monsters" such as conjoined twins and hermaphroditesas importantin the establishmentof concepts of subjectivity, identity, legal autonomy, and so on (180). 7. She reportsthat ChangandEng Bunker,the "original""Siamesetwins," used the pronoun "I" when they wrote lettersjointly (when a "we" might have been expected), andjointly signed as ChangEng(62). 8. Clark and Myser write powerfully aboutthe ways that new medical technologies of vision are serving the modernisthumancompulsion to delineate the boundariesthat invisibly "separate"conjoined twins, in order to allow their physical separationinto "acceptable"singular units. 9. A point I have argued in "The Genealogy of the Cyborg in Japanese Popular Culture." 10. This is a transcriptionof the English subtitles from Neon Genesis Evangelion, videotape #10 (episode 19), released by A.D.V. films in 1997. Please note that in the original Japanese the pronouns used carry no indication of gender whatsoever: it is impossible to tell whetherthe speakersthink of the Shinji-EVAcyborg as "he," "she," or "it." 11. In the English-dubbedversion of the film, this is sanitizedas "Yeah, I must have a wire loose"! (Ghost in the Shell, dubbedversion, released by Manga Video in 1996.) 12. Although in this essay, I am not discussing the manga versions (which often differ considerablyfrom the anime versions), I shouldpoint out that in Shiro's mangaof Ghost in the Shell, Kusanagi is shown enjoying explicit (albeit virtual) sexual activity with a group of female cyborg security officers like herself (a scene that was deleted from the English translationof the manga). In the manga it is clear that sexual pleasure is allowed, but not reproduction,provoking Kusanagi'sdilemma. 13. The problemof creatingproperontologicaldivisions betweenvariousposthuman creatures is addressed in many anime films. In the TV series AD Police (1990), for example, which is largely concerned with the sexuality of female cyborgs, a person is considered human (with all the rights and privileges pertainingthereto) so long as no more than 70% of his/her body has been replaced with mechanicalparts. Those more than 70% mechanical are called Voomers and are liable to immediate arrest and/or destructionby the special AD Police (ratherlike the replicantsin Blade Runner). 14. A related, though not identical, example is Gally in Gunmu(1993, Battle Angel 1993), whose fighting persona is activated any time she sees or smells blood. As a complete android she neither menstruatesnor bleeds when damaged. Yet she retains traces of old values based on a culture of organic bodies: love, reproduction,loyalty, integrity.
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WORKS CITED ANNOHideaki. Shinseiki evangerion. TV series. Gainax/NAS/TV Tokyo/Tatsunoko Productions, 1995-96. Neon Genesis Evangelion. SubtitledVHS. 13 vols. ADV Films, 1996-97. Brook, Peter. Body Work:Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative. Cambridge, MA: HarvardUP, 1993. Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. New York:Routledge, 1993. . GenderTrouble;Feminismand the Subversionof Identity.New York:Routledge, 1990. . "Revisiting Bodies and Pleasures [excerpt]."Ampersand1 (Nov. 1998): 6-7. Chow, Rey. "Violence in the OtherCountry:Chinaas Crisis, Spectacle, and Woman." Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Eds. Chandra Talpade Mohanty,AnnRusso, and LourdesTorres. Bloomington:IndianaUP, 1991. 81-100. Clark, David L., and Catherine Myser. "Being Humaned: Medical Documentaries andthe Hyperrealization of Conjoined Twins." Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of theExtraordinaryBody. Ed. Rosemarie Garland Thomson. New York: NYU Press,1996. 338-55. Dower, John W. War WithoutMercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New York:Pantheon, 1986. Ellman, Maud. The Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing, and Imprisonment. Cambridge,MA:HarvardUP, 1993. Foucault, Michel. Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Rediscovered Memoirs of aNineteenth-Century Hermaphrodite. Trans. Richard MacDougall. New York:Pantheon, 1980. Fuchs, CynthiaJ. "'Death is Irrelevant':Cyborgs, Reproduction,andthe Futureof Male Hysteria." The Cyborg Handbook. Ed. Chris Hables Gray et al. New York: Routledge, 1995. 281-300. FUKUTOMI Hiroshi. Gunmu(video). K.S.S./Movic Inc., 1993. Battle Angel. Subtitled VHS. ADV Films, 1997. Gilbert, SandraM. and Susan Gubar. The Madwomanin the Attic: The WomanWriter and the Nineteenth-CenturyLiteraryImagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 1979. Gonzalez, Jennifer. "EnvisioningCyborg Bodies: Notes from CurrentResearch." The CyborgHandbook. Ed. Chris Hables Gray et al. New York: Routledge,1995. 26779. Gray, Chris Hables, Steven Mentor, and Heidi J. Figueroa-Sarriera."Cyborgology: Constructingthe Knowledge of CyberneticOrganisms."The CyborgHandbook.Ed. Chris Hables Gray et al. New York: Routledge, 1995. 1-13. Grosz, Elizabeth. "Intolerable Ambiguity: Freaks as/at the Limit." Freakery: CulturalSpectaclesof the ExtraordinaryBody. Ed. Rosemarie GarlandThomson. New York:NYU Press, 1996. 55-66. Haraway, Donna. "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century." 1986. Simians, Cyborgs,and Women.New York: Routledge, 1991. 149-81. Irigaray, Luce. "The Sex Which Is Not One." This Sex WhichIs Not One. Trans. CatherinePorter with Caroline Burke. Ithaca:Cornell UP, 1985. 23-33. ISHIGURO K6ichi. Guyver. Video. Takaya Pro, 1989. SubtitledVHS. 13 vols. Manga Entertainment,1994-97.
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KOTANI Mari. "Evangelionas the ImmaculateVirgin: A New Millenialist Perspective on the Daughters of Eve." Paper delivered at University of Montreal, March 27, 1999. to PRINCEss New York: Palgrave, 2001. Napier, Susan. Anime:from AKIRA MONONoKE. . The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversionof Modernity. London and New York: Routledge, 1996. Orbaugh,Sharalyn. "The Genealogyof the Cyborg in JapanesePopularCulture." Paper delivered at RitsumeikanUniversity, March 7, 2001. OSHIIMamoru. K6kakukidotai. BandaiVisual/Kodansha/MangaEntertainment,1995. Ghost in the Shell. SubtitledVHS. Manga Entertainment,1996. OTOMOKatsuhiro,dir. Akira. AkiraProductionCommittee,et al. 1988. SubtitledDVD. Pioneer, 2001. Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft.Frankenstein,or TheModernPrometheus. 1818. Poole, Dorset: New OrchardEditions, 1986. SHIROMasamune. Interview with UENOToshiya. In Komikkaazu(Autumn edition). Tokyo: Bijutsu shuppan, 1995. n.p. . K6kakukid6tai. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1991. Trans. FrederickSchodt and Toren Smith as Ghost in the Shell. Milwaukee: Dark Horse Comics, 1995. Springer, Claudia. "The Pleasure of the Interface." Screen 32:3 (1991): 303-323. TAKAHASHIAkihiko and NISHIMORIAkira, dirs. AD Police. Video. Artmic, Bandai Entertainment.1990. A.D. Police Files. SubtitledVHS. 3 tapes. Animeigo, 1995. TSUKAMOTO Shin'ya, dir. Tetsuo, the Iron Man. Video. Kaijyu Theatre, 1988. UENOToshiya. Kurenaino metaarusutsu: anime to iu senjo (MetalSuits, TheRed: Wars in Animation). Tokyo: Kinokuniyashoten, 1998. SubtitledVHS. Fox/Lorber, 1995. Williams, Sarah, with MarjanLousberg and Mark McGuire. "'PerhapsImages at One with the World are alreadyLost Forever': Visions of CyborgAnthropologyin PostCulturalWorlds." The CyborgHandbook.Ed. Chris Hables Gray. New York and London: Routledge, 1995. 379-90. --
ABSTRACT This paper examines two aspects of subjectivity-sexuality and singularity-that are consideredfundamentalto a modernistnotionof the person. These aspectsof subjectivity are undersiege as new technologies of reproductionchallengeour understandingof sexed bodies and as, simultaneously,a postmodernworld-view brings forwardthe multiplicity of sexual subject positions and embodied hybridity that modernist thinking sought to control or dismiss. In this time of conceptual crisis regarding subjectivity and embodiment, the popular culture media of many advanced countries have produced increasingnumbersof narrativesaboutcyborgs, those embodiedamalgamsof the organic and the machinic. I begin by explaining why the concepts "sexuality"and "singularity" are so important in this context, and why Japanese popular culture is a particularly fruitfulgroundfor explorationof cyborg subjectivities.Then I discuss two recentanime narratives-ShinseikiEvangelion(1995-96, Neon GenesisEvangelion)andK6kakukid6tai (1995, Ghost in the Shelf)-in terms of theirdepictionsof specific aspectsof sexualityand as the nexus of contemporary fears or desires regarding subjectivity that is being negotiated through those depictions. I conclude with observations about what these narrativesreveal about new, postmodernconceptionsof subjectivity.