This is sort of a digression, but it has a point. We are seeing a cultural shift in the West away from the certainties of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Films are increasingly becoming moving graphic novels with the development of ever sophisticated CGI. It is hardly surprising that it therefore turns to comics and anime for inspiration. Indeed, we are witnessing a flood of films based on comic book heroes. But it goes further than that. The ‘gaming’ industry is getting to be as big as films and there is considerable cross-fertilization. Comics become games, games become films, films become games – and on it goes.
And as I said, Japan is a major source of inspiration. Of course many older people locked into the Anglophone interpretation of Judeo-Christian mythology overlook the growing influence of Japanese anime culture on the gaming industry and then on Western film making.
I think the more interesting aspect of this is the way the Japanese reframe Western tropes, often exaggerating and yes, corrupting the original intention. The Japanese are prepared to be far more transgressive of Judeo-Christian sensitivities; simply because they owe no allegiance.
Evangeline A.K. McDowell is a 9-10 year-old vampire in the Negima: Magister Negi Magi series (there are echoes to Harry Potter here). She is not as sexual as Mina Tepes or as violent as Saya. Instead she falls into the kawaii or ‘cute’ category. However there are still many transgressive elements to her character, and all the conventions of the kawaii phenomenon. Some of which is an intentionally innocent or asexual play on sexuality. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I hope these images explain themselves.
Overall my point is that we will begin to see these characteristics flow into Western film making and Western consciousness. Thus there will be an increasing demand to find young actresses who can portray the interesting mix of cuteness, precocious sexuality, assertiveness, martial ability and Gothic sensibility.