This article examines the evolution and impact of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl on postwar manga (print comics) and Japanese visual culture. The author argues that Anne’s enduring legacy in Japan, dating back to 1952, owes much to the ways in which the content of her Diary capitalizes on certain hallmarks of shōjo (girls’) manga culture, such as affective storytelling and character interiority. Moreover, as shown through a primary analysis of two emonogatari (illustrated story) versions of the Diary from 1964 and two manga versions from 1967, among others referenced, Anne Frank’s life and legacy inspires a hybridized narrative and visual style in manga that blends the emotionality and interiority of shōjo with the more graphic depictions of violence common to shōnen manga for young boys. In so doing, it encourages a reevaluation of the shōjo mode and its ability to bear witness to the physical violence and psychological trauma of the Holocaust.
When Anne Frank Met Astro Boy: Drawing the Holocaust through Manga
Ben Whaley is assistant professor of Japanese in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Calgary. His research examines discourses of ethno-racial identity and national trauma in postwar manga and Japanese video games.
Ben Whaley; When Anne Frank Met Astro Boy: Drawing the Holocaust through Manga. positions 1 November 2020; 28 (4): 729–755. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-8606417
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