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.

Total published: 1

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

Book Chapters
Total Published: 7

Desser, David. Consuming Asia: Chinese and Japanese popular culture and the American imaginary. In Jerry Kwok Wah Lau (Ed.), Multiple modernities: Cinemas and popular media in transcultural East Asia (pp. 179-199). Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Jacobs, Katrien. Queer voyeurism and the pussy-matrix in Shu Lea Cheang’s Japanese pornography. In Chris Berry, Fran Martin, & Audrey Yue (Eds.), Mobile cultures: New media in queer Asia (pp. 201-221). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

McLelland, Mark. Japanese queerscapes: Global/local intersections. In Chris Berry, Fran Martin, & Audrey Yue (Eds.), Mobile cultures: New media in queer Asia (pp. 52-69). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Nakamura, Karen, & Matsuo, Hisako. Female masculinity and fantasy spaces: Transcending genders in the Takarazuka Theatre and Japanese popular culture. In James E. Roberson & Nobue Suzuki (Eds.), Men and masculinities in contemporary Japan: Dislocating the salaryman doxa (pp. 59-76). London: RoutledgeCurzon.

Sabucco, Veruska. Guided fan fiction: Western “readings” of Japanese homosexual-themed texts. In Chris Berry, Fran Martin, & Audrey Yue (Eds.), Mobile cultures: New media in queer Asia (pp. 70-86). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Wells, Paul. Case study: Adult animation: Ghost in the Shell. In Jill Nelmes (Ed.), An introduction to film studies, Third ed. (pp. 228-229). London: Routledge.

Yomota, Inuhiko. Stranger than Tokyo: Space and race in postnational Japanese cinema. In Jerry Kwok Wah Lau (Ed.), Multiple modernities: Cinemas and popular media in transcultural East Asia (pp. 76-89). Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
[Patlabor, Patlabor 2, Ghost in the Shell]

Encyclopedia Articles/Entries
Total published: 1

Perper, Timothy, & Cornog, Martha. Sex, love, and women in Japanese comics. In Robert T. Francoeur & Raymond J. Noonan (Eds.), The Coninuum complete international encyclopedia of sexuality (pp. 663-671). New York: Continuum.

Journal Special/Theme Issues
Total published: 1 issue, 5 articles

U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal
Number 25

Behr, Maiko. Undefining gender in Shimizu Reiko’s Kaguyahime (pp. 8-29).

Spies, Alwyn. Pink-ness (pp. 30-48).

Mizoguchi, Akiko. Male-male romance by and for women in Japan: A history and the subgenres of “yaoi” fictions (pp. 49-75).

Nagaike, Kazumi. Perverse sexualities, perversive desires: Representations of female fantasies and “yaoi manga” as pornography directed at women (pp. 76-103).

Orbaugh, Sharalyn. Creativity and constraint in amateur “manga” production (pp. 104-124).


Allen, Kate, & Ingulsrud, John. Manga literacy: Popular culture and the reading habits of Japanese college students. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(8), 674-683.

Allison, Anne. Portable monsters and commodity cuteness: Pokemon as Japan’s new global power. Postcolonial Studies, 6(3), 381-395.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Broderick, Mick. Spirited away by Miyazaki’s fantasy. Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, 9.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Bryce, Mio, & Stephens, Josh. Japanese popular culture and character fashioning: The quest for subjective agency in the animated films, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Perfect Blue. International Journal of the Humanities, 1, 311-321.

Buckingham, David, & Sefton-Green, Julian. Gotta catch ’em all: Structure, agency and pedagogy in children’s media culture. Media Culture & Society, 25(3), 379-399.

Chan, Angela. Japanese identity through anime. Maryland Essays in Human Biodiversity, 2(1), 65-66.

Chandler-Olcott, Kelly, & Mahar, Donna. Adolescents’ anime-inspired “fanfictions”: An exploration of multiliteraciesJournal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy46(7), 556-566.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Chen, Jin-Shiow. The comic/anime fan culture in Taiwan: With a focus on adolescents’ experiences. Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 23, 89-103.

Clancy, Sue, & Lowrie, Tom. Multimodal meanings: The Pokemon networks. International Journal of Learning, 9.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Colman, Felicity. The sight of your god disturbs me: Questioning the post-Christian bodies of Buffy, Lain, and George. Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media3.

Croissant, Doris. Sexualizing cultural memory – the manga hermeneutics of The Tale of Genji. Review of Japanese Culture and Society, 15, 90-91.

Cureton, Darius M. The new age in animation. RAMA.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Elwood, Kate. A comparative analysis of requests in Majo no Takkyubin and Kiki’s Delivery Service. The Cultural Review, 22, 77-100.

Gunston, John. The inverted quest of Ashitaka: A Jungian analysis of Princess Mononoke. Ecclectica.

Hodges, Kenneth. Drawing on tradition: Translation, martial arts, and Japanese anime in AmericaGenre: Forms of Discourse and Culture36(1-2), 189-210.

Ito, Kinko. Japanese ladies’ comics as agents of socialization: The lessons they teach. International Journal of Comic Art, 5(2), 425-436.

Ito, Mizuko. Technologies of the childhood imagination: Media mixes, hypersociality, and recombinant cultural form. Items & Issues, 4(4), 31-34.

Kirkpatrick, Sean. Like holding a bird: What the prevalence of fansubbing can teach us the strategic use of selective copyright enforcement. Temple Environmental Law & Technology Law Journal, 21(2), 131-153.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Kondo, Motohiro. Japanese creativity: Robots and anime. Japan Echo, 30(4), 6-8.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Lane, Michael. A comic book that moveth to tears. Triumph of the Past.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Lane, Michael. Princess Mononoke. Triumph of the Past.

Mahamood, Muliyadi. Japanese Style in Malaysian Comics and Cartoons. International Journal of Comic Art, 5(2), 194-204.

Mahar, Donna. Bringing the outside in: One teacher’s ride on the anime highway. Language Arts, 81(2), 110-117.

Masao, Yokota. The Japanese puppet animation master: Kihachiro Kawamoto. Asian Cinema, 14(1), 28-44.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** McHarry, Mark. Yaoi: Redrawing male love. The Guide, 23(11), 39-34.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** McLelland, Mark. “A mirror for men”: Idealized depictions of white men and gay men in Japanese women’s media. Transformations, 6.

Mehra, Salil K. Copyright, control, and comics: Japanese battles over downstream limits on content. Rutgers Law Review, 56(1), 181-230.

Morgan, Josh. Flying with Miyazaki: Flight as a metaphor for power in “Spirited Away”. Animatrix: A Journal of the UCLA Animation Workshop, 12, 14-22.

Nakar, Eldad. Memories of pilots and planes: World War II in Japanese manga, 1957-1967. Social Science Japan Journal, 6(1), 57-76.

Nakar, Eldad. Nosing around: Visual representation of the Other in Japanese society. Anthropological Forum: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Comparative Anthropology, 13(1), 49-66.

Napier, Susan J. The appeal of anime. Kategaiho International Edition: Japan’s Arts & Culture Magazine, 1.

Napier, Susan J. The wonderful world of anime. Look Japan.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Natsume, Fusanosuke. Japanese manga: Its expression and popularity. ABD: Asian/Pacific Book Development, 34(1), 3-5.

Ng, Benjamin Wai-Ming. Japanese elements in Hong Kong comics: History, art, and industry. International Journal of Comic Art, 5(1), 184-193.

Ogi, Fusami. Female subjectivity and and shoujo (girls’) manga (Japanese comics): Shoujo in ladies’ comics and young ladies’ comics. The Journal of Popular Culture, 36(4), 780-803.

Ogi, Fusami. Shimizu Isao: A pioneer in Japanese comics (manga) scholarship. International Journal of Comic Art, 5(2), 216-232.

Onoda, Natsu. Tezuka Osamu and the Star System. International Journal of Comic Art5(1), 141-194.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Peters, Jefferson. Slam Dunk, sports manga, and Japanese culture. Fukuoka University Review of Literature & Humanities, 35(3), 163-198.

Prunes, Mariano. Having it both ways: Making children films an adult matter in Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. Asian Cinema, 14(1), 45-55.

*** OPEN ACCESSS *** Sales, Vivienne. Web watch: Manga. Library Journal, 128(2), 32.

Shamoon, Deborah. Focalization and narrative voice in the novels and comics of Uchida Shungiku. International Journal of Comic Art, 5(1), 147-160.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Shimizu, Isao. Discovering the origins of anime in ancient Japanese art. Nipponia, 27.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Shindoh, Masaaki. “Doraemon” in learning materials. ABD: Asian/Pacific Book Development, 34(1), 12.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Thill, Scott. Of psychotic environments and corporate hallucinations: The Animatrix on DVD. Bright Lights Film Journal, 41.

Tsugata, Nobuyuki. Research on the achievements of Japan’s first three animators. Asian Cinema, 14(1), 13-27.

Tucker, John A. Anime and historical inversion in Miyazaki Hayao’s Princess Mononoke. Japan Studies Review, 7, 65-103

Vasquez, Vivian. What Pokemon can teach us about learning and literacy. Language Arts, 81(2), 118-125.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Yonezawa, Yoshihiro. The worldwide phenomenon of anime: Past and present. Nipponia, 27.

 Other Publications

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Nakamura, Ichiya. Japanese pop industry. SJC-R Discussion Paper DP-2003-002-E. Kyoto: Stanford Japan Center – Research.

*** OPEN ACCESS *** Yoshimoto, Mitsuhiro. The status of creative industries in Japan and policy recommendations for their promotion. Tokyo: NLI Research Institute.

1 Comment on Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2003 Ed.

  1. Thank you as always for these helpful retrospectives, Mikhail. I have yet to look at Drazen’s 2014 update to Anime Explosion, but I’m really glad it got an update considering how many undergraduate anime courses were using the 2003 version. Can anyone reading this offer highlights on what changed in the new edition?

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