In almost any discussion about Japanese animation, the names of certain directors are bound to come up. Hayao Miyazki is easily the most obvious, but there are several others who have also received significant attention in English-language anime scholarship. Continuing my work in documenting the literature of anime/manga studies, I am pleased to present a new bibliographic project – bibliographies of scholarship on major anime directors and their works.

The first item in this project addresses the a director one of whose films was, for many Western viewers, their introduction to Japanese animation as a genre, rather than simply as animation that was produced in Japan – Mamoru Oshii. Oshii’s prominence as a director is hard to understate – he is commonly mentioned in standard scholarly and popular introductions to Japanese cinema, is the only anime director profiled in Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction (Abingdon, UK: Routledge), and the only Japanese animator on in the worldwide list of “Great Directors” compiled by the influential film studies journal Senses of Cinema. And, while his list of credits as a director is relatively modest, the sheer amount of attention he has received in the scholarship, including monographs, chapters in edited collections, and individual journal articles, has been significant.

This bibliography covers all scholarly publications on Oshii as an anime director or screenwriter written in English that I am aware of. It specifically does not include scholarship on his live-action films, the “anime live-action hybrid feature” Avalon, or his Blood: The Last Vampire – Night of the Beasts novel. Whenever possible, and if this is not clear from the publication’s title, I have also tried to identify and note the actual anime that it discusses.

As of November 24, 2014, it includes a total of 53 entries, including 4 monographs, 8 book chapters, and 41 journal articles (for the purposes of this bibliography, I treat Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga, and the Fan Arts as a journal rather than an annual series of essay collections). Of the individual journal articles, eight were published in Mechademia, four in Science Fiction Studies, three in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and two in the International Journal of Comic Art. Twenty-four other journals published one article on Oshii and his films each. The vast majority of the articles and chapters discuss Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence; only a few address Patlabor, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, and Sky Crawlers. Several approach Oshii’s work from a comparative perspective, and read his films alongside those of other anime directors, in particular, Hayao Miyazaki and Hideaki Anno.

This bibliography is also available as a separate page. Any new updates will be reflected on that page only, not in this post.

Mamoru Oshii: A Bibliography of English-Language Scholarship




  • Riekeles, Stefan, & Lamarre, Thomas. Image essay: Mobile worldviews. Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and the Fan Arts, 7, 173-188.
    [Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell]


  • Clement, Frederic. Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence: Thinking before the act. Cinephile: The University of British Columbia’s Film Journal, 7(1), 30-36.
  • Terai, Hiroko. Disembodiment of our physical bodies and embodiment of urban space in Oshii Mamoru’s animations. International Journal of Comic Art, 13(2), 437-447.


  • Penicka-Smith, Sarah. Cyborg songs for an existential crisis. In Joseph Steiff and Tristan D. Tamplin (Eds.), Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder (pp. 261-274). Chicago: Open Court Publishing.
    [Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence]



  • Miller, Gerald Alva Jr. “To shift to a higher structure”: Desire, disembodiment, and evolution in the anime of Otomo, Oshii, and Anno. Intertexts: A Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection, 12(2), 145-166.
    [Ghost in the Shell]


  • Notaro, Anna. “Innocence is life”: Searching for the post-human soul in Ghost in the Shell 2. International Journal of Comic Art, 9(1), 610-624.





  • Yokota, Masao, Koide, Masashi, & Kifune, Tokumitsu. From the autistic world to entertainment in feature animations of Mamoru Oshii. The Japanese Journal of Animation Studies, 4(1A), 19-26.





  • Kim, Won. The quest for humanity: The hero’s journey in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio and Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell. Animatrix, 10, 50-72.


  • Chute, David. Ghost in the Shell: The soul of the new machine. Film Comment, 32(3), 84-88.

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