Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2003 Ed.

The most memorable moment for Japanese animation in the U.S. in 2003 – and, quite possibly, to date – was the selection by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as the year’s best animated feature film. The Oscar could be used as an easy explanation for why Western scholars and Western audiences should pay attention to anime – even if, paradoxically, Spirited Away, much like Miyazaki’s other films, is decidedly not representative of Japanese animation as a whole.

Anime_ExplosionStone Bridge Press, already the publisher of Helen McCarthy’s Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, as well as Gilles Poitras’ The Anime Companion What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation and Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Should Know, eagerly welcomed the opportunity to introduce readers to Japanese animation in a format that would probably be less intimidating than a theoretical, heavily footnoted text such as Anime From Akira to Mononoke. Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation would be just such an introduction – a necessarily breezy, maybe even surface-level tour through anime’s major stylistic and thematic elements. No, this is not the same kind of book as Napier’s – or, for that matter, as Thomas Lamarre’s The Anime Machine – but, I think it achieves its particular purpose as an introduction and a prompt for critical thinking and follow-up questions – quite effectively.

(Dennis Redmond’s The World is Watching: Video as Multinational Aesthetics, 1968-1995, an in-depth close reading of three seminal television/video series from three different countries, cultures, and time periods – including Neon Genesis Evangelion – is listed on Amazon as having been published in 2003. However, the book itself has a 2004 copyright date, and so, for the purposes of compiling annual lists of publications on anime/manga, I include it in the one for 2004).

In terms of individual articles on anime/manga, the 53 that appeared in English-language academic journals in 2003 were the largest number not only to date, but in fact, in any year until 2007. The International Journal of Comic Art once again welcomed the greatest percentage, with 6 (11%), but 5 more were published in a special issue of the U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal with a particular focus on manga, and 3 in an “Asian animation” special issue of Asian Cinema. Other journals that featured scholarly articles on anime/manga in 2003 included Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and the Social Science Japan Journal, for a total of 37 different journals. 7 of them (19%) were published by commercial publishers (2 each by Taylor & Francis and Wiley, 1 each by Common Ground, Intellect, and Sage), and 3 more by university presses (Duke University Press, Oxford University Press, University of Hawaii Press). 19 of the articles (36%) are currently available in open access.

(Another editorial caveat. I recognize that my criteria for selecting items to include in these lists are inherently subjective. Some – such as, for example, Memories of pilots and planes: World War II in Japanese manga, 1957-1967 – clearly a scholarly article on Japanese comics, published in what is clearly an academic journal – are obvious candidates for inclusion. But there are others that, under more selection criteria, would have been left out. The 2003 list in particular includes several articles that appeared in the non-academic magazines Kategaiho, Look Japan, and Nipponia, produced in Japan but aimed at Western audiences, as well as several pieces authored by undergraduate students and published in journals intended primarily to present such writing to small, most likely local audiences.)

English-language books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime/manga – 2003

This list is also permanently archived as a separate page. Any additional items will be added to the archived list only.

Books
Total published: 1

Drazen, Patrick. Anime explosion! The what? Why? & Wow! of Japanese animation. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge. Continue reading

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2004 Ed.

Stray Dog - 1st Ed.2004 marked another year of steady growth in the number of academic English-language publications on anime and manga. One clear highlight was Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii, the first book-length examination of the works of an anime director other than Miyazaki. Interestingly, it grew out of work that its author, Brian Ruh, completed while he was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Susan Napier, already the author of 2001’s Anime From Akira to Miyazaki: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation.

Pikachu's Global AdventureThe one relevant essay collection published in 2004 – Pikachu’s Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon – is notable immediately for its rather unfortunate title. As the years since have shown, 2004 was clearly too early to talk about a “fall of Pokemon”. Having said that, the book itself was certainly timely, and included a very wide range of approaches to the “Pokemon phenomenon” in Japan and around the world, such as an excellent case study of the process of “localizing the Pokemon TV series for the American market”. Perhaps because of its timeliness – and maybe because it was coming from a high-profile academic publisher (Duke University Press), it received favorable reviews in several different academic journals, such as Popular Communication, Social Science Japan Journal, and The Journal of Asian Studies.

The 45 articles on anime/manga that were published in 2004 in English-language academic journals were spread out over 33 different journals. The International Journal of Comic Art published 5, Femspec, another 3, and 6 journals had two articles each, with 25 others only publishing one. Some of the journals that accepted publications on anime/manga in 2004 included English Journal, M/C: A Journal of Media and Communication, Publishing Research Quarterly, Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, and Sex Roles.

Only 6 of the articles (13%) appeared in journals published by for-profit publishers, rather than university presses, academic departments, or non-profit organizations. 20 of the articles were published in open-access journals or are now available in open access. And, two of the 45 articles are particularly worth highlighting:

Oishinbo’s adventures in eating: Food, communication and culture in Japanese comics, by Laurie Brau deserves the award – if there was ever such an award – for appearing in the most unlikely subject-specific academic journal to accept a paper on anime/manga. It was published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies.

In The creative commons (Montana Law Review), Lawrence Lessig, then a professor of law at Stanford University, and recently, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, specifically uses dojinshi as an example of the kind of creativity that can only flourish when it is not subject to the kind of burdensome copyright regime that is currently in place in the U.S.

English-language books, book chapters, and academic journal articles on anime/manga – 2004

This list is also permanently archived as a separate page. Any additional items will be added to the archived list only.

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Seizures Induced by Pokemon Episode: A Bibliography

PikachuOn Wednesday, December 17, 1997, newspapers and other media – first in Japan and then around the world – reported that the previous evening, several hundred children were hospitalized after experiencing various symptoms, including convulsions/seizures, while watching an episode of the Pokemon anime series. The initial coverage, such as by BBC, CNN, and Reuters, was straight-forward and balanced, but soon enough, what took place was sensationalized and exaggerated – like in the E! Online article Convulsion Cartoon Bound for U.S. TV (Jan. 3, 1998).

In the following years, this “incident” has been brought up numerous times in writing on Japanese popular culture. It is no surprise that how authors have used it have little to do with what actually took place – for example, Elaine Gerbert, in Images of Japan in the digital age (East Asia: An International Quarterly, 19: 1/2, pp. 95-155) writes: “[T]he sheer physical power of this medium [of anime] to work on the nervous system was demonstrated when showings of ‘Pokemon’ on Japanese television produced seizures in viewing children.”

Accordingly, I think it would be useful to compile a comprehensive bibliography of academic writing on the incident. Using the Gale Academic OneFile, EBSCO Academic Search Premier, and ProQuest Research Library databases, as well as the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed resource, I located a total of 11 articles, published between 1998 and 2005 in 7 different journals (Acta Paediatrica Japonica, Epilepsia, Pediatric Neurology, New England Journal of MedicinePediatric Neurology, Southern Journal of Medicine, and the non-medical Skeptical Inquirer). 8 of the articles are written by Japanese authors; the authors of the other 3 are American/Western.

Academic articles on seizures induced by Pokemon episode

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