Looking through the enemy's eyes: Point-of-view editing and character identification in manga Naruto

Yi-Shan Tsai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Various cinematic traditions have influenced manga, thanks to the ‘god of manga’, Osamu Tezuka, who brought this revolutionary change to the creation of manga1 in Japan. Cinematic views give artists freedom to vary angles, perspectives, and distances of shots as if they were holding a camera. They serve to direct readers’ attention to specific details in order to achieve the purposes of a narrative. This paper explores how manga artists employ point-of-view editing to engage readers by broadening the range of identification with characters. The reader is positioned in a double structure of the viewer (through whom they see) and the viewed (the one under the reader’s gaze). Both agents invite the reader to join their experiences in the fictional world. Thus, there is a kind of tension between the viewer and the viewed as both seem to allure the reader to identify with them. In this paper, I will draw on examples from Masashi Kishimoto’s famous work, Naruto, and from students’ responses in a case study. During the interviews with the students, I noticed that they actively imagined themselves to be in the situations of the characters. Their „situational identification‟ with the characters was affected both by whom they saw and through whom they saw.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd Global Conference of The Graphic Novel
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • manga
  • comics and graphic novels
  • reader response
  • Japanese Literature
  • children's literature
  • popular culture


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