Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fictional sociopaths: anime

I don't know if it is because I don't watch anime that frequently or I have an odd view of japanese culture in general, but I am surprised at the number of anime series that people flag for my attention as including a sociopathic character or sociopathic themes.  I've already featured them here and here.  Could there some deeper explanation for the connection?  Repressed but ruthless Japanese culture?  I would just be guessing...

 From a reader:

I'm not sure exactly how interested you are in anime, but I thought I'd recommend Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It's a 12 episode anime which at first, due to the title and opening song, appears very much like some terrible fantasy anime made for eight year old girls, but probably by episode two you'll start to see why I would recommend it to you. The show is basically about how an alien creature named Kyubey, promises to grant one wish to teenage girls in exchange that they fight witches. Throughout the series you'll learn his real motivation, and what sort of emotionless, selfish lives these girls must learn to lead in order to protect themselves. Yet throughout all the times they're suffering, he's just smiling and cute and completely unaffected. Where he comes from, emotion is a mental disorder. 

Also looking this up, I came across the concept that Daleks are sociopaths. Ahaha maybe.


  1. Michael Martin PlunkettMarch 15, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    how about mutant ninja turtles ?

  2. been told Japanese view expression of most emotions as unecessary. Its why you can usually find characters that appear sociopathic. At young age, its all about what you can do for the family and family honor. So theu grow up thinking emotions are wrong and weak.

    1. Is that why they smoke so much - all that pent up
      emotions? I think so - something is going on. Emotions are good and healthy but there are times you
      should bracket your emotions and focus. Nothing new.

    2. The japanese make very loud noises while taking a shit in public bathroom. It's true . That is when they get emotional. In a private stall with their ass open.


  4. Now I'm wondering about fictional characters in novels or plays who seem to be sociopaths. They vary, even among their sociopathic traits, but so do "normals." Are any of these depictions more realistic/typical than the others?
    1. Cathy in "East of Eden." Usually a skilled manipulator, but has occasional bouts of knowing that she's different and hating it. Relieved whenever she encounters moral hypocrisy, because that means everybody else has to fake a conscience too.
    2. Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed." No qualms at all about greed, lying, or murder, except about getting caught.
    3. Richard III. Starts out claiming his usurpation scheme is a result of not being hot enough to get chicks, but doesn't abandon it when he scores with Lady Anne. Keeps shifting his excuse--like The Joker--but then so does Iago, and Iago is more of a narcissist ("He hath a daily beauty in his life. That makes me ugly").
    4. Becky Sharp in "Vanity Fair." Amused by everyone's troubles, often including her own.
    5. Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights." Aside from his "flinty gratification" over Hindley's probable murder, his condemning Hareton to the same servile ignorance he was once trapped in, he is highly amused that Isabella was ever taken in by his mysterious Byronic hero act. On the other hand, he still seems to have a conscience before the Christmas party, when he tells Nelly he wants to be good. Not sure how realistic his attachment to Cathy is: she's not a sociopath, although she's definitely in the DSM somewhere.
    6. The music producer in John Niven's "Kill Your Friends." He's complete without conscience, but he also is reduced to self-loathing tears whenever someone else succeeds, which sounds more like a narcissist.
    - Anonymous 4

    1. Let's not forget Citizen Kane movie. The other day
      I was reminded how loving animals are - especially
      dogs. God, would not have created these loving animals - if he wanted us to be sociopaths.....

    2. ^That's some bait.

  5. Well, Daleks are sociopathic, but they are more like really pissed off aspies, since they're mostly robot and their sole emotion is hatred for non Daleks.

  6. I've always wondered if people of Asian ethnicity are biologically or sociologically stunted when it comes to empathy. From a merely anecdotal standpoint, I'd say that a normal Asian person would possess less empathy than that of a white person. I must stress that this is merely my non-scientific observation from my past interactions with this particular ethnicity and I have no real actual evidence supporting this.

    If Asians were to have a lower level of empathy (assuming you could rate an individuals empathy on a linear scale), then I'd be curious to know if that rooted from biological or societal differences. Studies in this area could result in knowledge of how sociopathy manifests in regards to the nature vs. nurture argument.

    Following this line of thought would require consideration of other cultures and ethnicities, as well as an effective method of applying a rating to empathy levels, which I can only see being done efficiently by monitoring activity levels of the brain.

    1. Asians see westerners as having lower empathy.

    2. That is probably because they feel it is meaningless to do a Tom Cruise and shout your love, jumping up and down on a couch on Oprah. Ironically if one is constantly spilling emotion for all to see, the sentiment is less meaningful, I would think.

  7. Is there a borderline here now?

  8. Is anyone here at all?

  9. Haven has a nice blog you can go there Google "beyond the borderline personality".

  10. Its only because anime is fucking great. of course as with any media conduit I'm only referencing instances that escape the mainstream.

    i feel i have a greater authority on the matter, being Asian myself. its not that Asians have a lower/higher empathy, far from it. our views on based mostly on utility. we even view money differently. our humanity its not repressed, rather its wired to ensure dominance.
    obviously, in this case, the eye of the observer is biased. however i have little doubt that you'd enjoy:

    "monster" (anime) "sidooh" (this is a manga i recommend)
    also the anime "house of five leaves"
    and the manga "dead end"

    another point id like to make is that being Americanized seems to be synonymous with being an empath. but I'd like to stress that i believe empath "love" is nothing more than limerence. its all hooey. But, i do believe there is a very real love but the limerent are not in love.

  11. Light Yagami from Death Note is an obvious one. Although, he was only a sociopath because of his overdose on power. Near and L are obviously aspies, too.

  12. Cartman, south park.

  13. Look up Inu x Boku SS on Miketsukami is one of the main characters, seems like the pleasant sociopath type. Episode 11 almost proves it.

  14. Light Yagami is a malignant narcissist. Although the series creators denied the characters were created to match a diagnosis.

    Clare and Teresa from Claymore and Ulquiorra from Bleach represent the 'hidden suffering' of x-paths very well, instead of simply being badass antiheroes or villains.

    Did you know SociopathWorld appears in Haruhi Suzumitya series two as an "obscure English language website" or whatever its called in the dub? Its the old background with the lightning strike.


Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies


Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.