Mythology moe-ified: classical witches, warriors, and monsters in Japanese manga

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Akgün B.

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, vol.11, no.3, pp.271-284, 2020 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/21504857.2019.1566155
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Page Numbers: pp.271-284


Through a gendered close reading, using classical reception studies as a springboard, this article discusses the reception and moe-ification of the female witch, warrior, and monster figures from classical mythology in Japanese seinen and shonen manga at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It focuses on Flora and Schierke in Berserk (1990–); the Gorgon sisters in One Piece (1997–) and in Soul Eater (2004–2013); and Medusa in Witchcraft Works (2010–), all of whom are named and/or fashioned after Circe, the Amazons, the Gorgons, and Arachne. It points out to the intertextuality between these worldwide popular turn-of-the-century Japanese manga and classical mythology narratives. It discusses the moe-ification of these classical subversive monstrous female figures, formerly demonised and marginalised by the patriarchal discourse. It analyses how their reception in manga contributes to canonising the monstrous female. It illustrates how that offers the female readers of seinen and shonen manga new ways of expressing and interpreting gender that liberate and restructure the female’s relationship to power.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics on 17 January 2019, available online: For the full text of the accepted manuscript, see: