One question I answer frequently is whether there are any academic/scholarly journals that specifically focus on anime and manga. No, at least right now, there are none – but there are a number that have, over the years, consistently welcomed articles on these, and related, topics.

This a guide to many of these journals, organized by broad subject area, with background information on each one, such as its scope of coverage, availability in major academic databases, and sample articles. As I discussed elsewhere, it can serve to accomplish several goals.

Authors who already have completed papers can use it to identify potential journals to submit papers to. At the same time, students and scholars who are just beginning the research and writing process can review the journals’ tables of contents to see the kinds of topics that other scholars are exploring and the specific approaches that they are taking. Additionally, the directory may be useful for librarians who are developing a “core collection” of academic journals to support research on anime/manga, or who are providing reference/research assistance to patrons, whether faculty, students, or the public.

Note that as with the other resources on this site, this list will be updated on a continuous/rolling basis.

[Last updated: October 30, 2023]

*** NEW ***
The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies

Launched: Fall 2020
Publisher: independent
Publication frequency: 1-2 issues per year

Scope: “The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS) is an open-access journal dedicated to providing an ethical, peer-reviewed space for academics, students, and independent researchers examining the field of anime, manga, cosplay, and fandom studies to share their research with others. JAMS is peer reviewed by scholars with experience in these areas. The goal of JAMS is to explore anime as an art form and bring visibility to the deeper meanings, understandings, and/or cultural significance of anime, manga, cosplay, and their fandoms.”

Mechademia: Second Arc
Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and Fan Arts

Launched: 2006 (on hiatus: 2016-2017)
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (non-profit)
Publication frequency: 2006-2015: 1 issue per year; 2018-present: 2 issues

Mechademia originally appeared from 2006 to 2015, with the subtitle “An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga, and Fan Arts”. Each annual volume had a particular thematic focus and carried a unique additional subtitle, such as “Networks of Desire” (volume 2, 2007), “User Enhanced” (volume 6, 2011), and, for the final v. 10, “World Renewal”. Mechademia has also presented itself as a book series, rather than a journal, though the distinction matters primarily to librarians, who have to decide how to catalog the actual volumes, and where to shelve them. In addition to original papers (many on anime/manga, but not all), the issues have featured translations of seminal Japanese criticism and scholarship, as well as photo essays, interviews, reviews and shorter commentary-style pieces, and some creative works, including both original comics and translated manga.

After a two-year hiatus, publication resumed, with the title changed to Mechademia: Second Arc, and the focus expanded to encompass “the study of East Asian popular cultures, broadly conceived”. The first issue (“Childhood”, cover date – Fall 2018) was numbered Volume 11, no. 1, and so, the numbering has remained consecutive. Subsequent issues have included “Transnational Fandom” (12.1, Fall 2019), “Queer(ing)” (13.1, Fall 2020), and, most recently, “Media Platforms and Industries” (16.2, Summer 2024).

Going forward, the publication calendar is currently set through at least 2028.

– 17.1: Cosplay, Street Fashion, and Subcultures (winter 2024)
– 17.2: Methodologies (summer 2025)
– 18.1: Death and Other Endings (winter 2025)
– 18.2: Studio Ghibli (summer 2026)
– 19.1: Aesthetics (winter 2026)
– 19.2: Graphic Narratives (summer 2027)
– 20.1: Game Studies (winter 2027)
– 20.2: Erotic Bodies – Hentai, BL, and Beyond (summer 2028).

Calls for papers for upcoming issues will be announced closer to the expected publication dates.

Online access: JSTOR, Project Muse (open access to Volume 4, “War/Time”)

Sample articles:

Horbinski, Andrea. What you watch is what you are? Early anime and manga fandom in the United States.
Lamerichs, Nicolle. The emotional realism of anime: Rewriting characters and affective reception in Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time.
Ruh, Brian. Conceptualizing anime and the database fantasyscape.

Ed. note: in April of 2018, a Call for Papers for a launch issue of  The Journal of Manga, Manhwa, and Manhua, to be published by the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Texas Tech University, was announced. As of the Fall of 2020, it shut down before publishing any issues.

Other Core Journals in Anime/Manga Studies (by subject)

/ Animation Studies

Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Animation Cover

Publisher: Sage (for-profit/corporate)
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year
Published since: 2006

Scope: “The journal addresses all animation made using all known (and yet to be developed) techniques – from 16th century optical devices to contemporary digital media – revealing its implications on other forms of time-based media expression past, present and future. Special features include new theories and methodologies, radical contemporary practice, microanalyses of individual films, archive news, teaching, learning and research resources and industrial innovations foregrounding specific disciplines and their interrelations with others.”

The highest-profile academic journal on animation, broadly defined. Its inaugural issue featured Thomas Lamarre’s Platonic sex: Perversion and shôjo anime (Part one), and since then, Animation has consistently welcomed articles on Japanese animation.

Sample articles:

Chen, Yen-Jung. Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress: A feminine journey with dream-like qualities.
Paik, Peter Y. A tale humans cannot tell: On Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.
Steinberg, Marc. Media Mix mobilization: Social mobilization and Yo-Kai Watch.

Animation Practice, Process & Production

Animation Practice

Publisher: Intellect Ltd. (for-profit/corporate)
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year
Published since: 2011 (Ed. note: Only the first volume actually had two individual issues. Every volume since 2012 only had a single one.)

Scope: “Animation Practice, Process & Production is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal presenting, analysing and advancing how animation is created and shown. From Pixar to Parn, Aardman to X-Men, motion capture to mobile phone, GUI to gallery, all forms of animation will be revealed and assessed.”

To date, this journal has published one article specifically on Japanese animation – The particular visual language of anime: Design, colour, and selection of resources.

Animation Studies
OPEN ACCESS / online-only

Publisher: Society for Animation Studies (non-profit)
Publication frequency: 1 volume per year (articles published on a rolling basis)
Published since: 2006

Scope: Animation Studies primarily publishes papers presented by members of the Society for Animation Studies at its annual conference, and at other academic conferences they participate in. It does not have a formal scope statement.

Sample articles:

Akimoto, Daisuke. A pig, the state, and war: Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta).
Broderick, Michael. Superflat eschatology: Renewal and religion in anime.
Gan, Sheuo Hui. To be or not to be: The controversy in Japan over the “anime” label.

Animatrix: A Journal of the UCLA Animation Workshop

Animatrix was launched in 1994, as the official journal of the UCLA Animation Workshop. Volume 21 appeared in 2016, but it is not clear if it still being published. Articles that appeared it it included “Air Master: The art of perverted feminism”, “Comedy’s use as an aide for melodrama in Japanese animation”, and “Flying with Miyazaki: Flight as a metaphor for power in ‘Spirited Away'”

Animation Journal

Launched in 1991, and published until 2017, Animation Journal presented itself as the “first peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted to animation history and theory”. Over the years, it featured a number of articles on anime, including “Stillness and style in ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion'” (2000), “The parts and the whole: Audiovisual strategies in the cinema of Hayao Miyazaki” (2010), and “Anno-mation: Hideaki Anno from animation to live-action, and back again” (2014). The issues are not available electronically, and the journal remains very difficult to access outside of major research libraries.

/ Comics Studies

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
OPEN ACCESS / online-only

The Comics Grid

Publisher: Open Library of Humanities (non-profit)
Publication frequency: 1 volume per year (articles published on a rolling basis)
Published since: 2013 (earlier, The Comics Grid was published in a blog format without a division into specific volumes)

Scope: “This journal’s purpose is to make original, media-specific contributions to the field of comics scholarship and to advance the appreciation of comic art.

Our research is inspired by, but not limited to, the following questions:

– How are form and format interconnected in comics?
– What is the meaning of “content”?
– How are page sizes related to what is contained in them?
– How do different technologies affect the processes of creating and reading a comics page?
– How do different panel arrangements work?
– What is the media-specificity of a comics page?
– What are some of the different possible ways of reading comics pages?”

Sample articles:

Chen, Ming-Hung, & Cheng, I-Ping. The relationship between personalities and faces of manga characters.
de la Iglesia, Martin. The task of manga translation: Akira in the West.
Ursini, Francesco-Alessio. Themes, focalization and the flow of information: The case of Shingeki no Kyojin

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies
OPEN ACCESS / online-only


Publisher: Department of English, University of Florida (non-profit)
Publication frequency: 1 volume per academic year (initially, 2 issues, recently, 3-4 issues)
Published since: 2004-2005

Scope: “The objective of ImageTexT is to advance the academic study of an emerging and diverse canon of imagetexts. Chief among these are comic books, comic strips, and animations, but also represented are illustrated fiction, children’s picture books, digital-concrete poetic forms, visual rhetoric, etc. Any work or works, tradition, school of thought, or critical method that foregrounds the intersections, interrelations, and disjunctions between text and image is an appropriate subject for inquiry and debate.”

Sample articles:

Darlington, Tanya. The queering of Haruhi Fujioka: Cross-dressing, camp and commoner culture in Ouran High School Host Club.
Mahmutovic, Adnan, & Nunes, Denise. Maxime miranda in minimis: Swarm consciousness in Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Simmons, Caleb. Erotic grotesque redemption: Transgressive sexuality and the search for salvation in Katsuya Terada’s The Monkey King Volume 1.

In addition, in 2010, ImageTexT published an “Anime and Utopia” special issue.

International Journal of Comic Art

Publisher: independent
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year
Published since: 1999

Scope: “International and multidisciplinary in scope, IJOCA aims to publish scholarly and readable research on any aspect of comic art, defined as animation, comic books, newspaper and magazine strips, caricature, gag and political cartoons, humorous art, and humor or cartoon magazines.”

Sample articles:

Fondevilla, Herbeth L. Contemplating the identity of manga in the Philippines.
Owj, Sara. Portrayal of massacre: A comparative study between the works of Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Fumiyo Kono.
Yamazaki, Asuka. The motif of the wound in Attack on Titan.

Ed. note: Although it was not the first English-language academic journal on comics, IJOCA has played a major role in promoting academic approaches to comics around the world, including Japan. Most of its issues include several individual articles on anime/manga, making it the single most “popular” source journal for English-language anime/manga scholarship. As I found, for the period from 1993 to 2015, it published 78 such articles, by far the highest number to appear in any single journal over that time frame, though only 8% of the total. However, the IJOCA has never been available electronically, and has only a very basic online presence – this has likely had an impact on its influence and impact, and even on how familiar scholars, students, and non-academic readers are with it.

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

Journal of Graphic Novels

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (for-profit/corporate)
Publication frequency: 6 issues per year
Published since: 2010

Scope: “Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics covers all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. The emphasis is on the production and consumption of comics in their cultural, institutional and creative contexts…We are interested in the production and consumption of comics and their context within culture and the mass media, for instance within promotional culture, digital technologies and fandom. The journal aims to reflect and encourage the widest breadth of approaches to the comic, as a mass medium, and its associated forms.”

Sample articles:

Robertson, Wes. Scripted voices: Script’s role in creating Japanese manga dialogue.
Meyer, Uli. Drawing from the body – the self, the gaze, and the other in Boys’ Love manga (in a Boys’ Love Manga (Yaoi) special section)
Tsai, Yi-Shan. The characteristics of manga fan communities – preliminary observations of 16 teenage manga readers in the UK.

Studies in Comics

Studies in Comics

Publisher: Intellect Ltd. (for-profit/corporate)
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year
Published since: 2010

Scope: “Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address the medium’s formal properties. The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and in this spirit this journal welcomes all approaches. This double-blind peer-reviewed journal is international in scope and provides an inclusive space in which researchers from all backgrounds can present new thinking on comics to a global audience. The journal will promote the close analysis of the comics page/text using a variety of methodologies. Its specific goal, however, is to expand the relationship between comics and theory and to articulate a ‘theory of comics’.”

Sample articles:

Madill, Anna. Men on the market: Feminist analysis of age-stratified male-male romance in Boys’ Love manga.
Gangnes, Madeline B. Static action, silent sound: Translating visual techniques from manga to film in Katsuhiro O-tomo’s AKIRA.
Pino, Camilo Diaz. Sound affects: Visualizing music, musicians and (sub)cultural identity in BECK and Scott Pilgrim.

/ Film Studies

Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema

Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (for-profit/corporate)
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year
Published since: 2009

Scope: “Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema is a fully refereed forum for the dissemination of scholarly work devoted to the cinemas of Japan and Korea and the interactions and relations between them. The increasingly transnational status of Japanese and Korean cinema underlines the need to deepen our understanding of this ever more globalized film-making region.”

Sample articles:

Ellis, Jonathan. The art of anime: Freeze-frames and moving pictures in Miyazaki Hayao’s Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Gottesman, Zach. Tetsuo and Marinetti: Akira as a cyberpunk critique of futurist modernity.
Norris, Craig. Perfect Blue and the negative representation of fans.

/ Gender Studies

Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
OPEN ACCESS / online-only


Publisher: independent
Publication frequency: irregular (1-3 issues per year)
Published since:1998 (originally as Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context)

Scope: “Placed at the junction of historical and contemporary concerns, Intersections will continue to emphasise the paramount importance of research into the multiple historical and cultural, gender and sexuality patterns in Asian and the Pacific – patterns that are crucial for the understanding of contemporary globalised societies, where identities and social relations are constantly being negotiated against the background of dominant narratives.

At the same time, Intersections will continue to explore innovative ways of ‘doing’ and publishing research using information technologies. Information Technology, however, is not seen as an end in itself, but as a place where oral, written and visual sources can tangibly cross paths allowing for new connections to be made. Visual materials such as photos, maps, artistic reproductions as well as video clips and sound tracks will be included where indispensable to the argument being developed.”

Sample articles:

Lunsing, Wim. Yaoi ronso: Discussing depictions of male homosexuality in Japanese girls’ comics, gay comics, and gay pornography.
McLelland, Mark. A short history of ‘hentai’.
Nagaike, Kazumi. Elegant Caucasians, amorous Arabs, and invisible Others: Signs and images of foreigners in Japanese BL manga.

/ Japanese, East Asian, Asian Studies

Asian Studies Review

Asian Studies Review

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (for-profit/corporate)
Sponsor: Asian Studies Association of Australia
Publication frequency: 4 issues per year
Published since: 1977 (originally as the Asian Studies Association of Australia Review)

Scope: “Asian Studies Review is a multidisciplinary journal of contemporary and modern Asia. The journal sets out to showcase high quality scholarship on the modern histories, cultures, societies, languages, politics and religions of Asia through the publication of research articles, book reviews and review articles. It welcomes the submission of research articles from across the broad spectrum of the social sciences and humanities on all the regions of Asia and on international and transnational issues in which Asia is the major point of focus.  Asian Studies Review  sets out to publish a balanced mixture of articles in both traditional and emerging disciplines.”

Sample articles:

Miller, Laura. Japan’s Cinderella motif: Beauty industry and mass culture interpretations of a popular icon.
Suter, Rebecca. Gender bending and exoticism in Japanese girls’ comics.
Swale, Alistair. Miyazaki Hayao and the aesthetics of imagination: Nostalgia and memory in Spirited Away.

Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
OPEN ACCESS / online-only


Publisher: independent
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year
Published since: 2001

Scope: “The journal adopts a multi-disciplinary stance in the hope that it will contribute to a deeper understanding of Japan and Japanese people and that it will, consequently, enrich our understanding of the totality of human experience. We encourage submissions in all areas of academic endeavour that have contemporary Japan as their focus but that also relate Japan to broader developments elsewhere…The Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies will consider for publication academic articles in all fields related to the study of contemporary Japan. However, we especially welcome those articles that are able to locate Japan within a wider context.”

Sample articles:

Lozano-Mendez, Artur. Mamoru Oshii’s exploration of the potentialities of consciousness in a globalised capitalist network.
Tsutsui, William M. Teaching history and/of/or Japanese popular culture.
Yoshida, Kaori. National identity (re)construction in Japanese and American animated film: Self and other representation in Pocahontas and Princess Mononoke.


Japan Forum

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (for-profit/corporate)
Sponsor: British Association for Japanese Studies
Publication frequency: 4 issues per year
Published since: 1989

Scope: “Japan Forum, the leading European journal in the multidisciplinary field of Japanese Studies, publishes original research in subject areas ranging from archaeology, language, literature, philosophy and culture to history, economics, politics, international relations and law.”

Sample articles:

Denison, Rayna. Anime tourism: Discursive construction and reception of the Studio Ghibli Art Museum.
Steinberg, Marc. Otaku consumption, Superflat art, and the return to Edo.
Swale, Alistair. Memory and forgetting: Examining the treatment of traumatic historical memory in Grave of the Fireflies and The Wind Rises.

Japanese Studies

Japanese Studies

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group (for-profit/corporate)
Sponsor: Japanese Studies Association of Australia
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year
Published since: 1981

Scope: “Japanese Studies…publishes scholarly articles on various aspects of Japan, as well as book and film reviews. In addition to general non-thematic editions, the journal regularly publishes guest-edited thematic issues on such themes as postwar politics, environmental issues, literature, citizenship, the legal system, modern technology, management, Japanese language teacher education, and popular culture. These thematic issues are particularly valuable for university teachers and students who use up-to-date studies of Japan contained in the journal to supplement course readings.”

Sample articles:

Germer, Andrea, & Yoshioka, Shiro. Romantic love and the ‘housewife trap’: A gendered reading of The Cat Returns.
Pandey, Rajyashree. The pre in the postmodern: The horror manga of Hino Hideshi.
Penney, Matthew. ‘War fantasy’ and reality – ‘War as entertainment’ and counter-narratives in Japanese popular culture

Full page fax print

The Journal of Japanese Studies

Publisher: Society for Japanese Studies (non-profit)
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year
Published since: 1974
Online access: JSTOR (1974-2012), Project MUSE (2004-current)

Scope: “The Journal of Japanese Studies is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary forum for communicating new information, interpretations, and research on Japan.  Its core objective is to maintain an enduring record of highest-quality scholarship through publication of empirical and interpretive work on Japan.  Original submissions from across the humanities and social sciences are welcome, as are those on comparative and transnational topics in which Japan plays a major part.  The Journal values analytically rigorous articles that locate specialized research findings in a broader context for scholars working on Japan.”

Sample articles:

Kinsella, Sharon. Japanese subculture in the 1990s: Otaku and the amateur manga movement.
Napier, Susan. Matter out of place: Carnival, containment and cultural recovery in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
Whaley, Ben. Who let the dogs out? Race as illness in Tezuka Osamu’s Ode to Kirihito.

Ed. note: This can be considered the most prestigious English-language journal for the field of Japanese studies.

New Voices in Japanese Studies

New Voices

Publisher: The Japan Foundation, Sydney (non-profit)
Published since: 2006
Publication frequency: 1 volume per year

Scope: “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.”

Ed. note: Because of this journal’s institutional affiliation, it primarily accepts submissions from students and recent graduates who are either citizens of Australia/New Zealand or who completed their undergraduate or graduate education at an Australian or New Zealand academic institution. Graduate (master’s or PhD-level) students who do not fall into either of these categories are only eligible to submit papers if they previously presented their research at a recent Asian Studies Association of Australia or Japanese Studies Association of Australia conference. The full Eligibility Criteria are outlined on the journal’s website.

Sample articles:

Flis, Daniel. Straddling the line: How female authors are pushing the boundaries of of gender representation in Japanese shonen manga
Lee, Anne. A salaryman in centaur’s clothing: Parody and play in est em’s centaur manga.
Lee, Rosa. Romanticising Shinsengumi in contemporary Japan.

/ Media and Popular Culture

East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

Publisher: Intellect Ltd. (for-profit/corporate)
Published since: 2015
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year

Scope: “The East Asian Journal of Popular Culture journal is devoted to all aspects of popular culture in East Asia and the interplay between East Asia and the wider world. With the growth in popularity of Asian visual products in the Western world and the increasing strength of the Asian markets, this publication fulfills the need for an international journal that allows Western and Asian film, media, literary, music, fashion, digital media, television, art and cultural scholars alike to engage in discussion. In the last few decades there has been a huge rise in the interest in East Asian popular culture. The East Asian Journal of Popular Culture will be engaging directly with that trend. From film to music; art to translation and fashion to tourism, this journal will offer a forum where multidisciplinary work can come together in new and exciting ways.”

Sample articles:

Baudinette, Thomas. Japanese gay men’s attitudes towards ‘gay manga’ and the problem of genre.
Nelson, Linsday. ‘But I am a kid’: Optimizing adolescence in Oshii Mamoru’s The Sky Crawlers.
Wroot, Jonathan. Dubbing Death Note: Framing the authentic text.

Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media
OPEN ACCESS / online-only

Publisher: independent
Published since: 2001
Publication frequency: irregular

Scope: “The journal addresses all aspects of cult media including cult television, cult film, cult radio, cult comics, literary cults and cult authors, new media cults, cult figures and celebrities, cult icons, musical cults, cult geographies, historical studies of media cults and their fandoms, cult genres (e.g. science fiction, horror, fantasy, pulp fiction, Manga, anime, Hong Kong film etc.), non-generic modes of cultishness, theorisations of cult media, relevant audience and readership studies, and work that addresses the cult media industry.”

Sample articles:

Birmingham, Elizabeth. Girls’ fantasies, freedom, and brotherly love: Incest narratives in shojo anime.
Ruh, Brian. Producing transnational cult media: Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell in circulation.
Zsila, Agnes, & Demetrovics, Zsolt. Redrawing the boundaries of gender and sexuality: A psychological reconceptualization of the boys’ love phenomenon.

Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media
OPEN ACCESS / online-only


Publisher: Department of Media and Communication, Swinburne University of Technology (non-profit)
Published since: 2002
Publication frequency: irregular (1-2 volumes per year)

Scope: “As one of the dominant C20th & C21st entertainment forms, the cinema remains a central focus of this journal. However, the cinema has also had many competitors – especially in more recent times. Computer and console games, comic books, the internet, music, theme parks and their attractions – all have their own role to play in the history of entertainment media…Their materiality aside, entertainment media also possess a refractory nature: they are often obstinate, stubborn, wayward, perverse, and disobedient, refusing to be pinned down by critical responses that seek to homogenize their nature. Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media reflects on these and many other aspects of entertainment experiences, and seeks to explore the fun and, often, serious dimensions to their form.”

Sample articles:

Colman, Felicity. The sight of your god disturbs me: Questioning the post-Christian bodies of Buffy, Lain, and George.
Gibbs, Christy. In the eye of the beholder: Bishounen as fantasy and reality.
Graillat, Ludovic. America vs. Japan: The influence of American comics on manga.

The Journal of Popular Culture

Journal of Popular Culture

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (for-profit/corporate)
Sponsor: Popular Culture Association
Published since: 1967
Publication frequency: 6 issues per year

Scope: “The popular culture movement was founded on the principle that the perspectives and experiences of common folk offer compelling insights into the social world.  The fabric of human social life is not merely the art deemed worthy to hang in museums, the books that have won literary prizes or been named ‘classics,’ or the religious and social ceremonies carried out by societies’ elite.  The Journal of Popular Culture continues to break down the barriers between so-called ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture and focuses on filling in the gaps that a neglect of popular culture has left in our understanding of the workings of society.”

Sample articles:

Bridges, Will. The past tense and the Future Perfect: The postmodern play of Watanabe Shin’ichiro and the possibility of the coming community.
Hartzheim, Bryan Hikari. Pretty Cure and the magical girl media mix.
Kennell, Amanda. Origin and ownership from ballet to anime.

Ed. note: The Journal of Popular Culture was among the first English-language journals to welcome to welcome academic publications on Japanese comics – at least as far back as 1979, with Salaryman comics in Japan: Images of self-perception. It has continued accepting anime and manga as major parts of global popular culture ever since.

The Phoenix Papers: A Journal of Fandom and Neomedia Studies
OPEN ACCESS / online-only

Publisher: Fandom and Neomedia Studies Association (non-profit)
Sponsor: Phoenix Entertainment Media Group, LLC (for-profit/corporate parent of the A-Kon anime convention)
Published since: 2013
Publication frequency: 2 issues per volume, with some gaps

Scope: “We publish articles on fandom and media phenomena as well as reviews of media products including, anime, movies, music, games, books, and more. In this we take a wide understanding of both media and fandom.”

Sample articles:

Francis, John. Exploring queer revolt in Atsuko Asano’s No. 6.
Lorenzo, Ronald. My Hero Academia and Durkheim: A case study of blood and hair as “sacred” objects in a Japanese anime television series.
Ray, Adam, et al. “You had to be there”: Convention attendance and well-being in anime fans.

Ed. note: Many of the articles that are published in The Phoenix Papers are based on papers presented at the FANS conference, the academic program track at the A-Kon anime convention.

Transformative Works and Cultures
OPEN ACCESS / online-only

Publisher: Organization for Transformative Works (non-profit)
Published since: 2008
Publication frequency: irregular (currently, 2-3 volumes per year)

Scope: “TWC publishes articles about transformative works, broadly conceived; articles about media studies; and articles about the fan community.

We invite papers in all areas, including fan fiction, fan vids, film, TV, anime, comic books, fan community, video games, and machinima. We encourage a variety of critical approaches, including feminism, gender studies, queer theory, postcolonial theory, audience theory, reader-response theory, literary criticism, film studies, and posthumanism. We also encourage authors to consider writing personal essays integrated with scholarship; hyperlinked articles; or other forms that test the limits of the genre of academic writing.”

Sample articles:

Close, Samantha. Fannish masculinities in transition in anime music video fandom.
Koulikov, Mikhail. Fighting the fan sub war: Conflicts between media rights holders and unauthorized creator/distributor networks.
Miyake, Toshio. Doing Occidentalism in contemporary Japan: Nation anthropomorphism and sexualized parody in “Axis Powers Hetalia”.

/Science Fiction

Science Fiction Film and Television

Science Fiction Film

Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Published since: 2008
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year
Online access: Project Muse

Scope: “SFFTV encourages dialogue among the scholarly and intellectual communities of science fiction studies, film studies and television studies.

We invite submissions on all areas of sf film and television, from Hollywood productions to Korean or Turkish sf film, from SyFy productions to the origins of sf tv in Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers or The Quatermass Experiment. We encourage papers which consider neglected texts, propose innovative ways of looking at canonical texts, or explore the tensions and synergies that emerge from the interaction of genre and medium.”

Sample articles:

Howard, Christopher. The ethics of Sekai-kei: Reading Hiroki Azuma with Slavoj Zizek.
Posadas, Baryon Tensor. Remaking Yamato, remaking Japan: Space Battleship Yamato and SF anime.
Smith, Christopher. Empire as mirror: Imperialism and identity in the Crest/Banner of the Stars series.

(Ed. note: all three articles were published in an Autumn 2014 Special Issue on Science Fiction Anime)

Science Fiction Studies

Publisher: SF-TH, Inc. (non-profit)
Published since: 1973
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year
Online access: JSTOR

Scope: “SFS publishes articles and book reviews on science fiction, broadly defined.”

Sample articles:

Boyd, Nolan. The altered shall inherit the Earth: Biopower and the disabled body in Tehxnolyze.
Fisch, Michael. Nation, war and Japan’s future in the science fiction anime Patlabor II.
Napier, Susan J. When the machines stop: Fantasy, reality, and terminal identity in “Neon Genesis Evangelion” and “Serial Experiments Lain”.

Several journals have only published a small number of articles on anime/manga, and so, cannot be considered to be “core” to the field at this point, but based on their titles and scope statements, may specifically welcome such articles in the future:

Cinephile: The University of British Columbia’s Film JournalOPEN ACCESS
(the Spring 2011 issue was entitled “Reassessing Anime”)
Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction
Image [&] NarrativeOPEN ACCESS / online-only
Journal of Fandom Studies
Journal of Religion and FilmOPEN ACCESS / online-only
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
M/C Journal: A Journal of Media and CultureOPEN ACCESS / online-only
Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique
Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities
The Journal of Asian Studies

Another small set of journals are simply too new to be thought of as “core” to anime and manga studies – again, with time, this will likely change:

INKS: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society
Journal of Asia Pacific Pop Culture
Scandinavian Journal of Comic ArtOPEN ACCESS / online-only
The Journal of Comics and Culture

1 Comment on The Core Journals of Anime/Manga Studies

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