To the best of my knowledge, 2010 was simply THE high point to date of English-language scholarly interest in anime and manga, with 10 new monographs, 6 essay collections (with a total of well over a hundred chapters), 29 more chapters in other essay collections, and over 60 individual articles in scholarly-peer reviewed journals.
Particularly noticeable trends this year included:
- A significant focus on homosexual themes and homosexual relationships, and fans’ responses and reactions to these, as in the essay collection Boys’ Love Manga, book chapters (‘He-romance for her. Yaoi, BL and shounen-ai’ in Imaginary Japan: Japanese fantasy in contemporary popular culture; ‘Identity unmoored: Yaoi in the West’, in LGBT Identity and Online New Media) and several individual journal articles – Drawing desire: Male youth and homoerotic fan art (Journal of LGBT Youth, 7:1, 6-28); Representations of the masculine in Tagame Gengoroh’s ero SM manga (Asian Studies Review, 34:4, 443-465); Yaoi: Voices from the margins (Annals of Human Sciences, 31, 215-228).
- With Open Court Publishing Company’s Anime and Philosophy and Manga and Philosophy essay collections, at accessible price points and distributed to general book stores, an effort to introduce the ideas and practices of scholarly approaches to Japanese animation and Japanese comics to general audiences.
As always, it is possible that this list is not absolutely complete – you are welcome to suggest additional titles to add.
And, as always, this list is also available as a separate page. Any new updates will be reflected on that page only.
2011 was a very strong year for new English-language academic/scholarly publications on anime and manga. These included four new monographs, a Collector’s Edition of Frederik Schodt’s seminal Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga (originally published in 1996), a new edited collection of essays on Japanese animation and comics, to add to Cinema Anime: Critical Engagements with Japanese Animation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime (M. E. Sharpe, 2008), 16 individual book chapters in other essay collections, and over 50 articles in various scholarly journals. In addition, 3 journals published special issues focused on anime/manga.
Once again, these books and journals spanned a wide range of fields and disciplines. While some were in the expected areas of animation and comics studies, film, literature, and East Asian/Japanese studies, some of the other areas that welcomed publications on anime/manga and related topics included urban studies, folklore, modern European history, and health communication. (more…)
The names of Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii, and Satoshi Kon are familiar to pretty much anyone who has an interest in Japanese animation. And it is no surprise that these are the three directors who have also received extensive attention in the English-language scholarly writing on anime. But, as was widely reported and discussed last year, Miyazaki has now effectively retired from working as a feature film director. Oshii’s last anime film was 2008’s Sky Crawlers – he has since been working primarily on live-action projects. Kon passed away in 2010.
The question of who will be the next truly major anime director has been raised time and time again in discussions about the current state of Japanese animation, and anime’s prospects for the future. Some names that have come up include Hideaki Anno, Kunihiko Ikuhara, and Mamoru Hosoda – but none of them have received the same kind of acclaim or attention as did Miyazaki, Oshii, or Kon. Granted, there were definitely quite a few responses in the literature on anime to Anno and Neon Genesis Evangelion, but, important – transformative – as that series was, it was also very much a product of a particular point in time, and he has not been able to follow it up with anything else that would be as prominent. (more…)
When thinking about the “best”, “greatest”, “most influential”, or even simply “most recognizable” directors of Japanese animation, the first two names are easy – Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii. But, beyond those two, who else to name? Using the simple measure of scholarly attention, the third name that comes up is of the late Satoshi Kon. And so, the next item in my new bibliographic project of lists of scholarship on major anime directors will address English-language scholarship on his work.
Kon’s career, first in manga and then in anime, spanned a period of 26 years – from his 1984 debut with the award-winning short comic Toriko, to his death from pancreatic cancer in 2010. But over the course of this career, he directed only four feature films and one anime television series. But, as I demonstrate, these five works have received significant attention in the literature of anime studies. (more…)
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. (more…)
One of the most basic things to keep in mind about “anime/manga studies” is that it is not a discreet or formal academic area, discipline, or subject. It is frequently referred to as a “field” (especially in reviews of monographs and essay collections on anime/manga) – but it is certainly not an established, “institutionalized” academic subject like anthropology or East Asian studies or history. It welcomes different ways of asking questions – and different approaches from different disciplines. And this in turn means that scholars who want to explore anime/manga in their writing are not limited to publishing in only some particular types of journals, although of course some journals may be more open to scholarship on anime/manga than others.
One of the things that my work compiling the “research output” of scholars around the world who write about Japanese animation and Japanese comics allows me to do is to then examine particular types of this kind of work. I can look at publication patterns by specific journal, by year, by country of origin. I can also look at the full universe of published scholarship on anime/manga, and examine particular sub-sets of this universe. And, one particular sub-set that I think definitely deserves a closer look is anime/manga legal scholarship – the academic analysis of legal issues related to the creation, production, distribution and consumption of anime/manga. (more…)
Continuing my work in building a comprehensive list of published English-language scholarship on Japanese animation and comics, the anime/manga industry, and the activities of anime/manga fans around the world, I have now completed the Annual Bibliography for 2012. It contains 93 individual titles – among them, eight new books, including the highly regarded and well-reviewed Anime’s Media mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan and Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girl’s Culture in Japan, Mostly Manga: A Genre Guide to Popular Manga, Manhwa, Manhua and Anime (a “selection and readers’ advisory guide” aimed specifically at public librarians working to introduce Japanese comics and animation into their libraries’ collections), an excellent collection of essays by Western and Japanese scholars on otaku culture, at least fifteen individual essays on topics related to anime/manga appearing in edited collections, and over fifty articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
The titles of these essay collections and journals again give an excellent indication of the sheer breadth of the “field” that now welcomes research and scholarship on anime/manga
- Arts Marketing: An International Journal
- Journal of Media and Religion
- Linguistics and the Study of Comics (book)
- Popular Culture and the State in East and Southeast Asia (book)
- Science Fiction Film, Television, and Adaptation: Across the Screens (book)
- World Literature Today (journal)
The full 2012 Bibliography appears below. As with all editions of the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, it is likely that this list is not complete. Recommendations or suggestions for additional entries to add are always welcome!
The Bibliography is also available and permanently archived as a separate page. Any new titles I locate will be added to the archived page only. (more…)
In my work documenting anime and manga studies as a discreet academic area by compiling an enumerative bibliography of scholarship on Japanese comics and animation – a project I started (I think) in the spring of my freshman year of college (2000) – my actual practices have changed very little over the years. Locate a new “item”, add it to an ever-growing list, next. For a long time, the “list” was literally just that, a plaint-text file. For several years, I also maintained a basic database using DabbleDB, and when that application was shut down, worked with a developer to create a custom one. That is also currently on hiatus as I prepare for re-launching it on a dedicated website, However, at the end of every year, I would also create an “annual” list of books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime and manga that were published throughout that year, and distribute it on the Anime and Manga Research Circle Mailing List, and to anyone else who was interested.
Now, however, I realize that there is really no need for me to wait until the end of a year to have this kind of list. Accordingly, I am now able to present the 2014 Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies. Note that this is (and will continue to be) a work in progress. Today, it is a record of scholarship and commentary on Japanese comics/animation that has been published this year so far as of today; as I locate new items to add, or as new items are published, this list will continue to grow. But, right now, it is probably the most complete and comprehensive record of the publishing activities of anime and manga scholars around the world this year to date. (more…)
The largest and most prominent contribution that I make to anime and manga studies is compiling and editing the Online Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – a continuously expanding record of scholarly publications on Japanese animation and comics, anime fans, the industry, and related topics. The public version of the Bibliography is currently on hiatus, but I continue to maintain a searchable database of publications that I plan to use as the heart of a new and redesigned Online Bibliography.
In the meanwhile, though, the database allows me to survey the overall landscape of publication in anime and manga, to locate publications with specific titles, on specific subjects, written by specific authors and appearing in particular specific journals and other sources. I draw on it the to promote “anime and manga studies” as an established area of study and to assist colleagues in their own work. And, I can use the database to generate stable, persistent lists of publications in anime and manga studies that may be of interest for anybody who is interested in this topic.
Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, 2013 Ed.