Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow at
Fri Apr 22 14:10:27 EDT 2011

 From Nausicaä to Sailor Moon, understanding girl heroines of manga  
and anime within otaku culture

By Saito Tamaki
Translated by J. Keith Vincent and Dawn Lawson
Introduction by J. Keith Vincent
Commentary by Hiroki Azuma
University of Minnesota Press | 248 pages | 2011
ISBN 978-0-8166-5451-2 | paperback | $19.95
ISBN 978-0-8166-5450-5 | hardcover | $60.00

 From Sailor Moon to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the worlds  
of Japanese anime and manga teem with prepubescent girls toting  
deadly weapons. Saitō Tamaki offers a sophisticated and convincing  
interpretation of this alluring and capable figure. For, Saitō the  
beautiful fighting girl is a complex sexual fantasy that  
paradoxically lends reality to the fictional spaces she inhabits.

"A foundational book illuminating the phenomenon of cool Japan,  
Beautiful Fighting Girl explains the global desire for images of  
little girls that kick ass. Saitō’s uncomfortably deep  
understanding of the particulars of this Japanese phenomenon allows  
us to finally begin to answer questions about the far-reaching  
implications of the now nearly universal fetish, of our atomizing  
technologies of interactivity, and of our obsessions with new media.  
Its place in contemporary letters is nearly unparalleled and I  
wouldn’t be surprised if this book gives that once a decade jostle  
leading to the n-th wave of feminism or a complete reconfiguration of  
our understanding of male desire." —Jonathan E. Abel, Pennsylvania  
State University

Saitō Tamaki is director of medical service at Sofukai Sasaki  
Hospital in Funabashi, Japan. A practicing psychiatrist in the  
Lacanian tradition, he is the author of numerous books in Japanese on  
adolescence and popular culture.

J. Keith Vincent is assistant professor of Japanese and comparative  
literature at Boston University.

Dawn Lawson is New York University’s East Asian studies librarian.

Hiroki Azuma is a leading cultural critic in Japan.

For more information, including the table of contents, visit the  
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