One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most well-known movies, Psycho (1960) continues to instigate debate and academic scholarship. While this movie was the precursor of many trends, such as the slasher horror genre, it has not escaped controversy. According to John Phillips, Psycho “[provided] the original model of the mentally disturbed cross-dressed murderer” (87) by equating cross-dressing with a form of mental illness so severe that its only logical manifestation is violence. Norman’s gender bending, expressed by dressing and living as his mother, threatens gender binaries, and thus creates a veritable monster. In this article, I will argue that Psycho promotes a transphobic rendering of its main villain, Norman Bates, in order to understand how the movie tries to contain Norman’s transgender identity. Using film studies and queer studies, I will examine Norman as a transgender character, Lila as an embodiment of the Law, and the psychiatrist at the end as a repressing force. Mainly, I will argue that Lila and the psychiatrist function to normalize Norman and to contain his non-normativity.
The growing popularity of anime and manga since the early 1990s not only generated passionate community of fans around the world, but also an increasing body of academic work taking the emerging media more seriously than ever. Topics such as gendered stereotypes, the psychology of the otaku’s desire, unconventional gender representations, and so on have contributed to this relatively new field of study. Analyses of the ‘technological body’, dealing with questions of post-humanism and its relationship to gender, have paved the way to rethinking the body in significant ways. The complexity of the technological body and its depictions in anime and manga, however, requires exploring new avenues that further challenge the boundaries of the body. This essay will present a fresh perspective on the technological body by building on current scholarship emphasizing its transformative features, as well as adding a layer of complexity to the analysis by examining the intertwined nature of technology and war in reshaping the human body into a weapon with which to wage war, in the context of four selected works: Strike Witches, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, and Saikano: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet.