Hagio Moto’s manga series Nanohana was one of the first attempts in female-oriented mainstream manga to depict the 3.11 tragedy and its aftermath. However, it appears to lack in overt social critique, providing instead a highly emotional story about overcoming hardship and maturing. Via a close-reading of Nanohana this article analyzes the modus operandi of social critique in popular manga highlighting the visual conventions of female manga genres and thereby going beyond the plotlines, which have been at the center of critical attention so far. The article contrasts the initial one-shot “Nanohana,” which directly addresses 3.11, with the subsequent three one-shots that anthropomorphize nuclear elements. Leaning on Thomas LaMarre’s theory of plastic and structural lines, Nanohana is analyzed in regard to signification and affect by correlating the manga’s varying line work with issues of gender, especially the dynamics of the gaze, as theoretically developed by Oshiyama, Nagaike, Ōgi and Ishida. Respectively, the visualization of popular gender stereotypes in shōjo and josei manga comes to the fore. Special attention is paid to how visual gender constructs help the reader to differentiate between “self” and “other” on the levels of signification and affect, and how the resulting identification and dissociation aid in approaching the traumatic nuclear accident.


affect, education, female readership, gaze, genre conventions, line work, manga studies, signification

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)