As I’ve mentioned several times already, one of the inevitable challenges that faces anyone who is seeking to publish their research on anime/manga in a peer-reviewed academic journal is simply selecting a journal to submit to – especially given that there is nothing out there, at least right now, like a “Journal of Anime/Manga Studies”. One simple approach is to focus on the obvious and submit to one of the journals that focus on animation and comics, another is to emphasize the “Japan” angle and submit to a Japanese or Asian Studies journal. Of course, it is also possible to approach the content of the anime/manga in question first and foremost – with this approach, that the work itself happens to be a Japanese cartoon or comic is essentially irrelevant; an example of this kind of approach is Algorithmic tyranny: Psycho-Pass, science fiction and the criminological imagination, to be published in an forthcoming issue of Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal.
Nonetheless, all of these approaches call for a familiarity with the ever-growing universe of English-language academic journals. And one journal that I think will be particularly relevant to anyone who is interested in the developing field of anime/manga studies is New Voices in Japanese Studies (originally, New Voices) – “the only journal dedicated to publishing academic research by outstanding graduate-level scholars with a specific focus on Japan.”
New Voices launched in 2006, sponsored/published by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, with a specific mission of providing a venue for early-career research publishing. As per the submission guidelines, “Submissions may be on any topic related to Japan. Papers from any discipline are welcome; however, please note that NVJS primarily publishes work in the fields of social science and the humanities. Papers may focus exclusively on Japan, or feature Japan as one of several case studies.” One important note, however, is due to the journal’s institutional affiliation, submissions are generally accepted only from students or recent graduates who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. Foreign students/recent graduates are (with one exception) eligible to submit if they are currently enrolled or recently completed their degree at an Australian/New Zealand university. The exception is that submissions are also open to foreign students who presented papers at a recent Asian Studies Association of Australia or Japanese Studies Association of Australia annual conference.
The first 9 volumes of New Voices have already included several interesting papers on anime/manga:
Lee, Anne. A salaryman in centaur’s clothing: Parody and play in est em’s centaur manga. New Voices in Japanese Studies, 8, 55-76.
“This paper examines how conventions of sexuality and gender, particularly hegemonic masculinity and heterosexuality, are constructed/deconstructed in est em’s centaur manga using the framework of intertextuality, with particular emphasis on parody, pleasure and play.”
Lee, Rosa. Romanticising Shinsengumi in contemporary Japan. New Voices, 4, 168-187.
“This article will identify why Shinsengumi is appealing by comparing Shiba’s hero in Moeyo ken with its twenty-first century reincarnation in Gintama, a popular manga series, and by discerning reader response to Moeyo ken from customer reviews on Amazon.co.jp. It will be demonstrated from these studies that a likely reason for the Japanese public’s romanticisation of Shinsengumi in recent years could be their attraction to autonomous, self-determining heroes who also appreciate the value of community.”
Yoshida, Hitomi. The localisation of the Hana Yori Dango text: Plural modernities in East Asia. New Voices, 4, 78-99.
“This article examines the circulation and reception of the original Japanese shōjo manga text, Hana Yori Dango, through the three sites of Taiwan, Korea and Japan to both identify similarities and to investigate also specific differences between versions and how these differences relate to both cultural distancing and to cultural proximity.”
and, in the current Volume 10:
Flis, Daniel. Straddling the line: How female authors are pushing the boundaries of of gender representation in Japanese shonen manga (pp. 76-97).
“This paper will show the ways in which authors of shōnen (boys’) manga can offer representations of gender performance that depart notably and significantly from the conventional framework which characterises many shōnen manga works (the ‘shōnen framework’). It does this through a comparative analysis of gender performance in two shōnen manga series: Noragami [2010–], by female author duo Adachitoka, and Akame ga Kill! [2010–16], by male authors Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro.”
Lee, Kelvin K. H. “Watashi-tachi wa ningen-da”! A corpus-assisted analysis of a non-human character in the anime ‘From the New World’ (pp. 52-75).
“This paper focuses on how social meanings indexed by language use in the real world can be recontextualised in telecinematic texts such as anime to construct and convey different aspects of a character’s identity. In a case study of the science-fiction anime series, From the New World (Shinsekai Yori; 2012–13), the paper analyses three corpora comprised of dialogue from the series in order to shed light on the discursive construction of the non-human character Squealer.”
The Call for Papers for the journal’s next volume, set to be published in the summer of 2019, is currently open, with deadlines of October 15 for graduate students and November 15 for undergraduates. And, based on personal communications from one of their staff, New Voices is very much looking forward to receiving more papers that specifically discuss Japanese animation and Japanese comics.
So, if you have a research paper on anime/manga that you are working on and that you are hoping to see published – and if you meet this journal’s eligibility criteria – this could be a great opportunity!