(2011). “Visual representations of emotion in manga: loss of control is loss of hands in Azumanga Daioh volume 4.” Language and Literature 20(2): 91-112. DOI 10.1177/096394701 1402182
Abstract: 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 paper 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. Keywords: Manga, Emotion, Hand-loss, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Embodiment.