When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis
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When a Crow is not Just a Crow Karas Psychoanalysis. By Michael Chartuk COMM 403. Freudian Analysis. Conscious: Human World The humans are oblivious of the Spirit world Even when the human world becomes damaged by the Spirit’s attacks, they do not realize what it is that’s hurting them.

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When a Crow is not Just a Crow Karas Psychoanalysis

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When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis

When a Crow is not Just a CrowKaras Psychoanalysis

By Michael Chartuk

COMM 403

Freudian analysis

Freudian Analysis

Conscious and unconscious

Conscious: Human World

The humans are oblivious of the Spirit world

Even when the human world becomes damaged by the Spirit’s attacks, they do not realize what it is that’s hurting them.

The humans are the only ones allowed to affect the physical world

Unconscious: Spirit World

Spirits can be harmless or devastating to the human world

Eko, tired of being ignored, brings the unconscious front and center with his Mikura

Most demons choose not to interfere with the human world

Conscious and Unconscious

Both worlds are necessary for the other to exist.

Oedipus electra


  • The most profound example of an Oedipal complex comes from Eko

  • Let’s assume that Yurine represents both Father Law and a love interest

    • Eko wants to be free of the restrictions put upon his powers by the will of the Yurine.

    • However, over the centuries Eko has become emotionally detached to his lord.

    • Since the mother and father of this Oedipus drama are one and the same, Eko faces a strange dilemma.

When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis

So Eko locks away his love in a machine.

Now Yurine holds no power over him.

Id ego superego

Id, ego, superego







When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis

  • There are three aspects that make up a Karas; the spirit of a chosen human(Otoha), the will of the city to protect itself (Yurine), and the power that is given to the human by the Yurine (Karas).

    • The Human aspect is the Ego. Otoha becomes surrounded by the power of Karas and listens to Yurine’s orders but still remains in control of his own decisions and actions.

    • Yurine is the Superego. The power of a Karas is immense and must be only be released when deemed proper. Yurine is emotionless and judges when to release the seal on Karas.

    • The Karas power is the id. There is no conscious to the armor and sword, though that is exactly what makes it the id. Karas is raw power. It is regulated and invoked to perform tasks. The user instantly knows how to fight using the power and will not stop until the mission is complete. The Karas power is not sexual but rather instinctual.



  • The spirit world exists in a time that far outpaces the normal time in the human world.

  • As such, spiritual interactions with the human world are incredibly fast and can be disastrous.

  • Initial encounters with the Karas and Mikura were quick. The people involved really had no clue as to what had just happened.

  • As the movie progressed, the encounters got longer and longer, much the same way pre-REM sleep proceeds.

  • Those who believe in the existence of the spirit world (unconscious) or declare that they have seen it are ostracized and ignored by society (the conscious)



  • Hinaru is a girl who is frequently swept away by these supernatural encounters.

    • She gets crappy jobs, often having to dress in costumes. Unwittingly, she is impersonating the creatures of the unconscious spirit world.

    • She is a symbol of both the mockery and ignorance of the humans towards spirits, but also an example of how the spirit world affected humanity.

    • Nue, a member of the unconscious, warns Hinaru early of the consequences of delving into the unconscious spirit world.

Symbolic fulfillment of unconscious desires

Symbolic fulfillment of unconscious desires

  • Suppose that Yurine, the will of the city, is the ultimate in unconscious desire. She carries with her not only concern for the individuals of both the unconscious and conscious worlds, but must make sure that the balance of the worlds are kept in check with each other.

  • When the wishes of the citizens of the human world and the denizens of the spirit world are the same, a new Yurine is born. At the end of the second act, their focus was on their savior: Otoha.

    The id, ego, and superego were finally harmonized once the wishes of the conscious and unconscious were unified.

Desire fulfilled

Desire Fulfilled

Psychosexual symbolism

Psychosexual Symbolism

  • The Karas at this point has been confirmed as an id. Also affirmed is the fact that a Karas cannot use his sword without expression permission of a Yurine.

  • Loosely translated, the sword could act a phallic symbol. One that cannot be used or unsheathed without the consent of a woman. This creates a power struggle between the Man (Karas) and Woman (Yurine)

    • The Man wants to use his phallus (sword) anyway he wants.

    • There is a bigger force preventing the man from doing so.

    • The Man eventually gets frustrated at this. (Eko)

    • A Man who finds this acceptable can use his phallus/id. (Otoha)

    • A Man, through possession of the Woman, may use his id to his liking. (Marriage/ Yurine’s abduction)

    • The Woman then loses her control over the Man.

When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis

  • The Man has now obtained the use of power but is confused on how to use it. (Eko’s motivation and goals change throughout the movie)

  • With id free, the Man’s desire becomes unbound as he desires more from those around him.

  • If a Man’s Woman is separated from him, his phallus becomes increasingly fragile. (Otoha after Yurine’s kidnapping)

  • The breaking of a Man’s phallus can result in injury to both spirit and body. (Otoha)

  • A Man who accepts Woman is one whose desires become parallel (Otoha’s “Revelation”)

  • The phallus of a Man without a Woman is weaker than the phallus of a Man with a Woman to command him. (Otoha and Eko’s final clash)

  • The defeated Man will look towards a Woman to save him.



The mirror stage

The Mirror Stage

  • When Otoha first enters the Spirit world he is confronted with Yurine. Yurine is standing on a porch surrounded by reflective fish wind chimes and hands Otoha a pocket watch.

  • Otoha appears to be despondent.

  • Once he looks at the watch, understanding dawns on his face and he knows his task as Karas.

  • The pocket watch is a mirror that reflects Karas. Otoha comes into the world blank, like an infant, and the watch shows him his power.

  • It shows Otoha what he must achieve, who he must become, and ultimately provides him a rival for what he must later achieve.

The symbolic

The Symbolic

  • Police Officer Sagisaka believes in demons; he believes in the Imaginary. He understands that there is a presence that cannot be seen, but is there. Something that cannot be described by language.

  • The other people mock him for his belief, it is not in the culture to describe and follow demons. The “other” people are not seen, but it is understood that they are there judging.

  • Sagisaka is eventually devoured by the Imaginary in his pursuit.

The imaginary

The Imaginary

  • The Imaginary world (Spirit World) is entirely separate from the conscious human world.

  • It’s not that the Imaginary world cannot be understood, unlike the Real which is not translatable, but rather the Imaginary is not to be understood or spoken of in the Symbolic.

  • The demons of the Imaginary may or may not exist. Though a person who vehemently believes so may not be participating in the Symbolic.

The real other

The Real Other

  • As stated earlier, the Yurine play a number of roles. They are beings connected to an immaterial will, possibly God, and they do what is necessary to protect the city or land that they are charged with.

  • The collective unconscious would be that which the Yurine obey. A will beyond both the spirit world and human world but connects through the Yurine is the collective unconscious.

  • If a Yurine is cut off from this will, her power to control the Karas vanishes, yet the cat-demon remains.

The name of the father father law

The name of the Father (Father Law)

  • Despite being obviously female, Yurine is a representative of the Law.

  • Unlike the human representatives of the law, Yurine is the only one with a link to the Real, the true Father Law.

When a crow is not just a crow karas psychoanalysis

  • The policemen of the city are only human, and the more desperate the situation gets, the more they begin to look out for themselves rather than the law.

    • The Chief of Police seems to have a plan to protect the people, thus serving them as a father figure. But instead reveals himself to be a monster bent on devouring them. (Chronos the titan was a father who tried to eat his children in Greek myth.)

    • Sagisaka came to protect his daughter, but lost his life in a foolish attempt to save her. Was mistaken that his passion for demons would make things right.

    • The City Governor did not understand what was going on with his world and took the lives of himself, his wife, and daughter.

    • The Deputy Governor tried to protect his citizens but due to misunderstanding attacked the Karas.

  • Their downfall was the lack in understanding their situations. They had no connection to the Real or Imaginary, and thus they lacked crucial knowledge of the world around them



  • "Intellectual History Newsletter." Boston University. Web. <http://www.bu.edu/mih/>.

  • "JACQUES LACAN." PHILWEB HOME. 15 Oct. 2009. Web. <http://www.phillwebb.net/history/twentiethcentury/continental/(Post)Structuralisms/StructuralistPsychoanalysis/Lacan/Lacan.htm>.

  • Rohman, Muhd. "KARAS Episode 5." The Emulator Geek. 20 Oct. 2007. Web. <http://man3k.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/karas-episode-5/>.

  • Karas: The Prophecy. Dir. Kei'ichi Sato. Perf. Jay Hernandez, Matthew Lillard, and Piper Perabo. Tatsunoko Production Company, 2005. DVD.

  • Karas: The Revelation. Dir. Kei'ichi Sato. Perf. Jay Hernandez and Matthew Lillard. Tatsunoko Production Company, 2007. DVD.

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