An Exploration of the Anti-Hero From Past to Present in Two Cultures: American and Japanese




Burnett, Hunter A.

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When we consider the anti-hero, we must understand that this hero type is very dynamic, and always evolving. The anti-hero is different across cultures, and evolves as the zeitgeist of each culture progresses. Modernly, society has seen another uprising of the anti-hero. With new films and TV shows offering practical and identifiable stories of characters that are not considered all good or all bad. The foundation Carl Jung set for archetypes and symbolic meanings, followed by more contemporary research will be recognized and considered. This paper will explore the role of the anti-hero is two separate cultures, American and Japanese. This paper will cover six films, in which the anti-hero will be identified and discussed as a function of their respective culture, and place in society. Themes of motivation, agency and control, and identity and justice will be discussed as they pertain to the anti-hero.



anti-hero, American, Japanese, culture, psychology, motivation, justice, Honors College


Burnett, H. A. (2016). An exploration of the anti-hero from past to present in two cultures: American and Japanese (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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