chapter  4
From Metropolis to Metoroporisu: The Changing Role of the Robot in Japanese and Western Cinema
ByLee Makela
Pages 23

This chapter explores the techniques of incorporation, transformation, and fluidity in horror manga, as well as the very different modes of defining the self, which are a striking feature of these works. Hatsuka nezumi by Hideshi Hino is a very popular horror manga that was published in the 1980s for teenage girls and boys. The Jataka stories are intended to teach human beings a moral lesson. In this context they are not unlike the didactic tales found in the Bestiary, or book of beasts, as it evolved in medieval Europe. Indeed, if the self itself is problematized, then the disintegration of the body takes on a radically different meaning and becomes the means for the attainment of enlightenment and liberation. The indeterminancy of the self, the universe that is not centered around humans, the view of life and death as a series of metamorphoses, and the narratives that resist closure are all informed by a Buddhist sensibility.