One common way to characterize any academic field is by its publication patterns and trends. In what formats is research in this field published? What kinds of topics does it cover? If the majority of the research is published in the form of journal articles, is it concentrated in a small group of journals, or spread out among many?

Developing the annual bibliographies of English-language academic publications on anime and manga is an important step towards coming up with this kind of characterization for anime/manga studies as an academic field. But, each annual list is only a single snapshot. A more thorough understanding of how exactly this field looks like would require comparing the publication patterns of anime/manga studies in different years. For example, the lists of books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime/manga published last year, and three years ago are actually fairly similar. But, of course, the question comes up – how different would the list look if we expand the range more than just a few years? To answer it, I decided to jump back a bit, and also compile the same list for 1997. And, the differences between what is published on anime/manga now and what was published then are immediate and obvious.

The full list of 1997 English-language publications of all types on anime/manga consists of a total of 28 items: 3 books, 5 chapters in edited collections, and twenty articles. This compares, for example to last year’s 8, over 20 chapters, and more than 80 individual journal articles – or to the around 40 articles that have been published this year so far.

All three of the books are “popular”, rather than scholarly; two of them are essentially guidebooks, and the third, a collection of interviews. It is also curious that two of the five chapters deal with the same topic – vampires in Japanese visual culture – and even discuss the same titles. One particularly interesting point to notice regarding the journal articles is that almost every one of them that was published in a a major academic journal is currently available online, either through the journal’s website, or through another database. This is even true for one paper (Transcultural orgasm as apocalypse: Urutsukidoji: The Legend of the Overfiend) that appeared in a journal which ceased publication in 1999. Three more are available in open access – two through their journals’ websites, and one through an institutional repository. So, in fact, it is easier to access and read these articles now than it was when they were first published! And, it’s really interesting to see names on this list – like Helen McCarthy, Anne Cooper-Chen, and Antonia Levi – that should be familiar to anyone with an interest in how Western critics have responded to Japanese popular culture.

Considering all of these publications together, yes, there is the just the curiosity factor of comparing them to to the kind of writing on anime/manga that is published now. But, it is also important to remember that several of these publications are essentially foundational to how anime/manga studies has developed as a field. Through being cited and included in class reading lists, they have influenced how we approach Japanese animation and Japanese comics academically – what general topics and specific works we look at, what kinds of questions we ask, and really, even, what kinds of answers we hope to get…

English-language books, book chapters, and academic articles on anime/manga: 1997


Ledoux, Trish. Anime interviews: The first five years of Animerica, Anime & Manga Monthly (1992-97). San Francisco: Viz.

Ledoux, Trish, & Ranney, Doug. The complete anime guide: Japanese animation film directory & resource guide. Issaquah, WA: Tiger Mountain Press.

McCarthy, Helen. The anime! movie guide: Movie-by-movie guide to Japanese animation. Woodstock, NY: Overlook.

Book Chapters (Total published: 5)

Cooper-Chen, Anne. Postwar magazines and manga. In Mass communication in Japan (pp. 83-103). Ames: Iowa State University Press.

Bartlett, Natalie, & Bellows, Bradley. The supernatural ronin: Vampires in Japanese anime. In Carol Margaret Davison (Ed.), Bram Stoker’s Dracula: Sucking through the century, 1897-1997 (pp. 283-320). Toronto, Canada: Dundurn Press.
[Vampire Hunter D; Vampire Princess Miyu]

Kotani, Mari. Techno-gothic Japan: From Seishi Yokomizo’s The Death’s-Head Stranger to Mariko Ohara’s Ephemera the Vampire. In Joan Gordon & Veronica Hollinger (Eds.), Blood read: The vampire as metaphor in contemporary culture (pp. 189-198). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
[Hagio Moto; The Clan of Poe; Vampire Wars; Vampire Hunter D]

Raffaelli, Luca. Disney, Warner Bros. and Japanese animation: Three world views. In Jayne Pilling (Ed.), A reader in animation studies (pp. 112-136). New Barnet, UK: John Libbey.

Shiraishi, Saya S. Japan’s soft power: Doraemon goes overseas. In Peter J. Katzenstein & Takashi Shiraishi (Eds.), Network power: Japan and Asia (pp. 234-272). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Journal articles (Total published: 20)

Adams, Kenneth Alan, & Hill, Lester. The phallic female in Japanese group-fantasy. The Journal of Psychohistory, 25(1), 33-66.

Berndt, Caroline M. Popular culture as political protest: Writing the reality of sexual slavery. The Journal of Popular Culture, 31(2), 177-187.

Brophy, Philip. Report: Manga & anime in Autralia. Comickers, 6.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Cohen, Adrian. Gender differences within Japanese language use in comic books. Research Reports of Niigata Seiryo Women’s College, 27, 117-124.

Eynon, Matthew. Japanese modern religious manga: An ancient tradition in new clothing. Tenri Journal of Religion, 25, 77-111.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Hamilton, Robert. Virtual idols and digital girls. Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life, 35.

Hirota, Akiko. The Tale of Genji: From Heian classic to Heisei comic. The Journal of Popular Culture, 31(2), 29-68.

Irie, Yoshimasa. The history of the Japanese textbook controversy. Japan Echo, 24(5).

Kuwahara, Yasue. Japanese culture and popular consciousness: Disney’s The Lion King vs. Tezuka’s Jungle Emperor. The Journal of Popular Culture, 31(1), 37-48.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Levi, Antonia. Using Japanese animation to teach about Japanese religion. Education About Asia, 2(1), 26-29.

Okamoto, Rei. “Fuku-chan” goes to Java. Images of Indonesia in a Japanese wartime comic strip. Asian Journal of Social Sciences, 25(1), 111-123.

Ono, Kosei. Manga publishing: Trends in Europe. Japanese Book News, 17, 6-7

Pointon, Susan. Transcultural orgasm as apocalypse: Urutsukidoji: The Legend of the Overfiend. Wide Angle, 19(3), 41-60.

Sato, Keiji. More animated than life: A critical overview of Japanese animated films. Japan Echo, 24(5), 50-53.

Schilling, Mark. Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli: The animated film factory. Japan Quarterly, 44(1), 30-40.

Takamura, Kaoru, & Noda, Masaaki. Japanese society and the psychopath. Japan Echo, 24(4), 9-13.

Troost, Kristina Kade. Surfing the Internet for Japanese popular culture. The Journal of Popular Culture, 31(2), 23-28.

Tsurumi, Maya. Gender and girls’ comics in Japan. Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 29­(2), 46-55.

Wells, Paul. Hayao Miyazaki: Floating worlds, floating signifiers. Art and Design Magazine, 53, 22-25.

Woznicki, Krystian. Towards a cartography of Japanese anime: Anno Hideaki’s “Evangelion”. Blimp Film Magazine, 36, 18-26.

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