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The Human/Post-Human In Japanese Animation

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Chapter Summary

Kōkaku kidōtai which Oshii released in 2004, and Inosensu : Kōkaku kidōtai (Ghost in the Shell: Innocence), forms the central discussion of this chapter. Reading through these two films and touching tangentially on others, the chapter considers the ways in which Japanese science fiction?both animated and live action?intersects with the posthuman debate, to show ways in which Japanese philosophical and spiritual influences can contribute to this emerging, ?western? attitude toward technology. The issue of the posthuman, however, is in many ways connected with both idealism on the one hand but also community, on the other. Using Japanese animated science fiction, the chapter interrogates the theoretical perspective of posthumanism to demonstrate the presence of a fundamental oversight in its thinking, an oversight both critical and destabilising of posthumanism?s project to recast consciousness as existing beyond the limits of biologically immanent embodiment.

Keywords: Japanese animation; Kōkaku kidōtai; Posthumanism



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