- Visual representation of emotion in manga: 'loss of control' is 'loss of hands' in Azumanga Daioh volume 4
- Language and Literature
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Comics and manga have many ways to convey the expression of emotion, ranging from exaggerated facial expressions and hand/arm positions to the squiggles around body parts that Kennedy (1982) calls ‘pictorial runes’. According to Ekman at least some emotions - happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, anger, disgust - are universal, but this is not necessarily the case for their expression in comics and manga. While many of the iconic markers and pictorial runes that Forceville charted in an Asterix album to indicate that a character is angry occur also in Japanese manga, Shinohara and Matsunaka also found markers and runes that appear to be typical for manga. In this article we examine an unusual signal conveying that a character is emotionally affected in volume 4 of Kiyohiko Azuma’s Azumanga Daioh: the ‘loss of hands’. Our findings (1) show how non-facial information helps express emotion in manga; (2) demonstrate how hand loss contributes to the characterization of Azuma’s heroines; (3) support the theorization of emotion in Conceptual Metaphor Theory.
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