Superego, Desire, and Living for Others in Asako I & II | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2042-1869
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1877


portrays the internal conflict of letting the demands of the Other dictate one’s own decisions. This article focuses on the film’s representation of two psychoanalytic concepts: superego, the part of the psyche that enforces adherence to the social order, and desire, a fundamental state of lack where an indescribable lost object is supplemented by empirical objects. This article analyzes certain sequences to reveal how Asako, the film’s protagonist, lets herself be dominated by the demands of the Other. Ultimately, the quest to either obey her superego or realize her desire proves unfulfilling.


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  1. Freud, Sigmund.. The Ego and the Id, translated by Joan Riviere., W. W. Norton & Company;, 1990.
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  2. Hamaguchi, Ryusuke., director. Asako I & II. Bitters End;, 2018.
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  3. McGowan, Todd.. Psychoanalytic Film Theory and the Rules of the Game. Bloomsbury;, 2015.
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Asako I & II; desire; Japanese; psychoanalysis; romance; Ryusuke Hamaguchi; superego
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