Pokemon the series: The state of liminality in the binary opposition analysis of a modern myth

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Whisut Vejvarabhorn

Abstract

Based on theories outlined by Claude Levi-Strauss, myth analysis was used by Thai academics to understand socities in the past through several myths as a special language of the premodern period. This article applies this approach to understand contemporary society through one specific kind of modern myth, namely Pokemon the Series, a Japanese animation. With the integration of Victor Turner's conceptual idea of liminality and Ruth Benedict's ethnography on Japanese culture, for both textual and contextual analysis respectively. A message hidden at a profound level of Pokemon the Series was extracted suggesting that players “don't grow to be adult”, as appeared significantly by the pattern of Japanese culture and coeval economic situation at the origin. Although the myth analysis approach was formed and practiced by so many myths from ancient time theoretically. This paper proves and argues that it can also effectively be applied to enlighten society of today by means of modern myths, as Levi-Strauss claim to discover the same foundation of human mind structure, found in every time and every place, the binary opposition.

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