Tag: journal articles

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2002 Ed.

In an earlier post, I made the case that 2001 marked the beginning of a new period in the development of anime/manga studies as an academic field or area. And while it was certainly possible that one year was just a quirk, the English-language academic publications on Japanese animation and comics that appeared in 2002 point strongly towards the development of a trend. Two particular highlights this year were the publication of a Japanese animation special issue, containing 7 individual articles, of Japan Forum, “the leading European journal in the multidisciplinary field of Japanese Studies”, and a “Japanese science fiction” one of Science Fiction Studies, with individual articles by Susan Napier on Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain, Christopher Bolton on Patlabor 2, and Mari Kotani on “Japanese women’s science fiction”, among others. (Interestingly, including the ones in the special issue Japan Forum has published a total of 18 articles on anime/manga, from 1996’s Change in the social status, form and content of adult manga, 1986-1996 to the four in last year’s Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism special issue. Of the 16 journals with a subject focus on Asian/East Asian/Japanese Studies that have published more than one article on anime/manga, it ranks at no. 2, after only the online-only/open-access The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan FocusScience Fiction Studies published 4 articles on anime before 2002, but only 1 since.)

Between them, these two special issues, and a special section in an issue of the Japan Economic Foundation’s English-language Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry carried 17 articles on anime/manga. A further 29 appeared in other journals – for a total of 46 individual articles, an increase of more than 100% from the previous year. Many of these journals, such as the Animation Journal, Asian Studies Review, Education About Asia, Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, the International Journal of Comic Art and the Journal of Popular Culture could be expected to publish on anime/manga – and in fact, had already published articles on anime/manga in the past. But, once again, 2002 made it clear that as long as the specific matter of a particular article was appropriate for a journal’s overall theme, it would be welcomed – as could be seen in Baby can you drive my bed: Technology and old age in Japanese animated film – a study of “tensions between the experience of old age and high technology [that]…draws attention to how technologies of care are not always socially and culturally attuned to personal biographies” – as depicted in Hiroyuki Kitakubo’s OVA Roujin Z – and published in the Journal of Aging and Identity.

Finally, 2002 also saw the publication of an article that, although it did not run in a peer-reviewed academic journal, was possibly the single most important piece of English-language writing on Japanese popular culture that appeared in the first half of the 2000’s – Japan’s Gross National Cool, written for the the influential “journal of opinion” Foreign Policy, by recent Japan Society media fellow Douglas McGray. The article highlighted Japan’s “cultural reach” abroad, as expressed in music, fashion, “character goods”, and anime/manga, and presented a fairly straight-forward question (as restated in a NeoJaponisme comment on it): “Can Japan revive its economic outlook by becoming a content-providing cultural superpower?” Since its publication, the article has shown itself to be extraordinarily influential, with over 300 citations in all kinds of academic publications. Even more importantly – and certainly unusually for a publication of any kind – it ended up playing a major role as a driver for the development of the Japanese government’s “Cool Japan” policy.

English-language books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime/manga – 2002

As usual, this list is also archived as a separate page. Any additions or corrections will be reflected on that page only.

Book Chapters
(Total published: 7)

Allison, Anne. Playing with power: Morphing toys and transforming heroes in kids’ mass culture. In Jeannette Marie Mageo (Ed.), Power and the self (pp. 71-92). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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Creator Bibliography – Osamu Tezuka (Part 2: 1997-2009)

Earlier this year, I compiled a list of English-language academic/scholarly publications on Osamu Tezuka and his works since 2010. At that point, I noted that it would be the first part of a comprehensive specialized bibliography of academic writing on Tezuka – and I am now pleased to present its second part, covering book, book chapters, and journal articles that were published before 2010.

God of ComicsThe sources for the list are the individual annual bibliographies of English-language academic publications on anime/manga. These are based on searches in various general and subject-specific academic databases, as well as resources such as Google Scholar and Google Books, Microsoft Academic Search, and the Directory of Open Access Journals, major library catalogs, reviews of the bibliographies/notes/works cited sections of items that were already identified for inclusion, and direct contributions by authors. As with any enumerative bibliography, its scope is necessarily limited to only certain types of publications – books, chapters in essay collections and articles in academic/scholarly journals, but not book reviews or articles in newspapers/general-interest magazines. In addition, while I of course acknowledge that plenty of other academic publications mention Tezuka and his works, I make a conscious decision to also limit this bibliography’s scope to publications that deal with Tezuka extensively or significantly. Therefore, this bibliography does not cover broader essays on Japanese comics/animation, such as, for example, Kinko Ito’s A history of manga in the context of Japanese culture and society, or papers on general topics that mention one of Tezuka’s works in passing – such as The frenzy of the visible in comic book worlds (Angela Ndalianis, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal).

Creator Bibliography – Osamu Tezuka
Part 2 – 1997-2009

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Creator Bibliography: Shigeru Mizuki

Shigeru MizukiWhen manga artist Shigeru Mizuki died last week, news sources not just in Japan, but all around the world – New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Reuters, and numerous others – published articles about his life and work. Mizuki had been involved in creating manga since the 1950’s, but it is only relatively recently that his work began appearing in English. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (originally published in Japanese in 1973) received a “Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia” Eisner award in 2012, Nonnonba and Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan, were nominated in 2013 and last year, and earlier this year, the next two volumes in the non-fiction series, Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953 again won in the category.

So far, Mizuki’s work has received only a small amount of scholarly attention – certainly compared to the number of academic publications on Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka. Why this is so is a valid question. Obviously, Mizuki is still largely unfamiliar to Western audiences. In addition, the few works of his that have been translated differ significantly in their style and subject matter from most other manga available in the West, so it is plain-out hard to analyze them comparatively. In fact, I would argue that the most direct way to approach Mizuki’s writing would be to de-emphasize the manga aspect of his work, and to read him alongside authors like Erich-Maria Remarque, Gunther Grass, and Yuriy Bondarev – writers for whom the War (whether the First World War or the Second) was the defining event of their lives and the single event that directed their entire careers. It is no surprise, for example, that Christina Knopf includes Mizuki’s work in her survey The Comic Art of War: A Critical Study of Military Cartoons, 1805-2014 (McFarland, 2015).

So, as I have already done for Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii, Satoshi Kon, and Makoto Shinkai, and as I am in the process of doing for Osamu Tezuka, I would like to begin compiling a bibliography of English-language academic writing on Shigeru Mizuki. The entries in it are drawn from items that are already included in the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, and correspond books, chapters in edited collections, and articles in academic/scholarly journals that discuss Mizuki’s life and work extensively. I am, of course, aware of other academic publications that mention Mizuki in passing or include discussions of his work – an example is the essay “Early modern past to postmodern future: Changing discourses of Japanese monsters”, in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous  (Ashgate, 2013) – so this bibliography is selective, rather than comprehensive. It is also a work in progress, and will be updated continuously as I identify new items to add. Any new additions will be reflected on a separate page, not in this post.

Shigeru Mizuki: A Bibliography of English-Language Scholarship

2015

Olutokun, Deji Bryce. The Showa masterwork of manga pioneer Shigeru Mizuki. World Literature Today, 89(3/4), 24-28.

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2003 Ed.

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.

Books
Total published: 1

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

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2004 Ed.

Stray Dog - 1st Ed.2004 marked another year of steady growth in the number of academic English-language publications on anime and manga. One clear highlight was Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii, the first book-length examination of the works of an anime director other than Miyazaki. Interestingly, it grew out of work that its author, Brian Ruh, completed while he was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Susan Napier, already the author of 2001’s Anime From Akira to Miyazaki: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation.

Pikachu's Global AdventureThe one relevant essay collection published in 2004 – Pikachu’s Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon – is notable immediately for its rather unfortunate title. As the years since have shown, 2004 was clearly too early to talk about a “fall of Pokemon”. Having said that, the book itself was certainly timely, and included a very wide range of approaches to the “Pokemon phenomenon” in Japan and around the world, such as an excellent case study of the process of “localizing the Pokemon TV series for the American market”. Perhaps because of its timeliness – and maybe because it was coming from a high-profile academic publisher (Duke University Press), it received favorable reviews in several different academic journals, such as Popular Communication, Social Science Japan Journal, and The Journal of Asian Studies.

The 45 articles on anime/manga that were published in 2004 in English-language academic journals were spread out over 33 different journals. The International Journal of Comic Art published 5, Femspec, another 3, and 6 journals had two articles each, with 25 others only publishing one. Some of the journals that accepted publications on anime/manga in 2004 included English Journal, M/C: A Journal of Media and Communication, Publishing Research Quarterly, Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, and Sex Roles.

Only 6 of the articles (13%) appeared in journals published by for-profit publishers, rather than university presses, academic departments, or non-profit organizations. 20 of the articles were published in open-access journals or are now available in open access. And, two of the 45 articles are particularly worth highlighting:

Oishinbo’s adventures in eating: Food, communication and culture in Japanese comics, by Laurie Brau deserves the award – if there was ever such an award – for appearing in the most unlikely subject-specific academic journal to accept a paper on anime/manga. It was published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies.

In The creative commons (Montana Law Review), Lawrence Lessig, then a professor of law at Stanford University, and recently, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, specifically uses dojinshi as an example of the kind of creativity that can only flourish when it is not subject to the kind of burdensome copyright regime that is currently in place in the U.S.

English-language books, book chapters, and academic journal articles on anime/manga – 2004

This list is also permanently archived as a separate page. Any additional items will be added to the archived list only.

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New Issue: Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art

One of the most interesting trends in the development of the academic field of comics studies over the last two or so decades has been the emergence of several academic journals focused specifically on comics – broadly defined, and including manga. This trend started with the launch of the International Journal of Comic Art; since then, it has been joined by the online-only (and so, open access/free-to-read) Image [&] Narrative and ImageTexT, as well as the more traditional (i.e., distributed primarily to libraries that pay a subscription price for electronic access and/or print issues) Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and Studies in Comics. Another, The Comics Grid, was first launched as a WordPress-driven blog, but has since converted to a more traditional format, with all pieces published in a given year assigned to a unique volume and given an individual article number – so, The relationship between personalities and faces of manga characters can be identified – and cited to – as being published in Volume 5, and as Art. 3. Its editor provided an in-depth explanation for the reasons behind this change.

SJoCA-CoverOne more such journal – and one that I was not previously aware of – is the Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art. The journal’s first two issues were published in 2012, none in the next two and a half years, but a new one is now available. As per its profile, it is “global in scope and aims to publish high quality research regardless of national or regional boundaries” – the “Scandinavian” in the title refers primarily to where its editors are originally from and/or are currently based. The theme of the issue is “Nordic history and cultural memory in comics” – and one of its three articles deals specifically with manga.

Yamazaki, Asuka. The body, despair, and hero worship: A comparative study of the influence of Norse mythology in Attack on Titan (pp. 25-49).

“The Japanese comic Attack on Titan has become greatly popular, currently with a circulation of more than forty million. Its worldwide popularity crosses national and generational boundaries, and it has been translated into numerous European and Asian languages. Attack on Titan presents a more than a century long battle between the human race and the Titans, whose ruthless hunting and devouring of human beings has forced the last of humanity into a fortress surrounded by three enormous, concentric walls. This article studies the influence of Norse mythology on Attack on Titan from an aesthetic and philosophical perspective. It focuses in part on the Titan legend, including Attack on Titan’s unique figure Ymir, who is compared with an important creature in Norse mythology, the giant Ymir. It also focuses on similarities between the motif of the wall in this comic and of the Miðgarðr in Norse myth. Finally, the paper analyzes the structure of hero worship in Attack on Titan in relation to mythological concepts, especially the metaphorical ritual of extracting a warrior’s heart and the image of the damaged body of the warrior.”

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2001 Ed.

The years from 1993 to 2000 constituted the beginning period of the growth of English-language anime/manga studies, as scholars such as Susan Napier, Anne Allison, Antonia Levi, Sharon Kinsella, Mary Grigsby and Kinko Ito first began to publish scholarly writing on Japanese animation and Japanese comics.

Anime From Akira2001, and in particular, the publication of Napier’s Anime From Akira to Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, marked the start of the next stage. Napier had already established herself as a well-regarded scholar of Japanese literature, and this book, coming as it did from a major publisher, introduced the idea of academic approaches to Japanese animation to both scholars and non-academic readers. It was received favorably, with positive reviews appearing in journals such as the Journal of Asian Studies and Monumenta Nipponica, and even made an appearance in Entertainment Weekly, even if the magazine’s response to it was dismissive to say the least – “Why would anyone who loves anime’s unbridled vibrancy want to slog through the antiseptic dryness of a textbook?” And in fact, in addition to the book, that year, Prof. Napier also authored a book chapter on “the body in Japanese pornographic animation”, and articles on anime in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique and the Harvard Asia Pacific Review – making herself known even further as a “pioneer in the scholarly study of anime”.

(As a caveat, Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke‘s hard-cover edition actually has a 2000 copyright date – but it wasn’t until the 2001 paperback that the book really started getting noticed – both inside the academic world, and by the general public.)

The two major essay collections with chapters on anime/manga that were published in 2001 essentially present the two major approaches to studying anime that scholars took at that point – within the context of a focus on Asian animation, and, separately, on Asian comics – the implication being that at this point in time, it was just too early for a full essay collection that would focus specifically on either anime or manga. Though, of course, it would only be another several years before such collections began appearing. Finally, another noteworthy publication that appeared in 2001 was the catalog for the exhibition My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation. Featuring works by over a dozen Japanese and Western artists, it opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on July 28, 2001, and traveled around the U.S. through 2004. The highlight of the catalog was Takashi Murakami’s essay on the relationship between anime and Japanese art.

Books, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles on Anime/Manga – 2001

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2000 Ed.

Adult MangaIn 2000, it was becoming evident that academic interest in Japanese animation and comics was surging across different publication formats – books by single authors, edited collections such as A Century of Popular Culture in Japan and Japan Pop! The World of Japanese Popular Culture (with 9 chapters on anime/manga between them), individual chapters in collections on other, more general topics, and articles in peer-reviewed journals. It was no surprise, for example, that a “global science fiction” special issue of Science Fiction Studies would include papers on Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor II, and a review essay of “books on Japanese comics and animated films”. In addition, 2000 marked the launch of the open access journal Image [&] Narrative, at that point, only the second academic journal on comics and related topics. Its subject focus on “visual narratology and word and image studies in the broadest sense of the term” clearly included manga, and three articles on Japanese comics appeared in the inaugural issue. In total, 26 individual articles on anime/manga appeared that year, across 21 different journals. Once again, beyond the perhaps expected publications such as the Animation Journal, the International Journal of Comic Art, Japanese StudiesJapan Studies Review, and Senses of Cinema, scholarly essays on Japanese animation, Japanese comics, and related topics could also be found in the Journal of Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and the main academic journal of the international Society for Advancement of Management.

As always, the following list will be permanently archived in the Bibliographies section of this site. If I identify any new publications, they will be added to the permanent list only, not to this post.

English-Language Books, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles on Anime/Manga, 2000

Books
Total Published: 2

Kinsella, Sharon. Adult manga: Culture and power in contemporary Japanese society. Richmond, Great Britain: Curzon.

Poitras, Gilles. Anime essentials: Every thing a fan should know. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge.

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“Anime in the US: The Entrepreneurial Dimensions of Globalized Culture” – What Could Have Been

In my critique of the Pacific Affairs article Anime in the U.S.: The entrepreneurial dimensions of globalized culture, I argued that one of the most frustrating things about this essay is that it actually contains the basic shape of a vastly article on the role that individual entrepreneurs played in introducing Japanese animation to American audiences. So, how would this much stronger paper actually look like?

Astro BoyThe most logical way to open it would be with a discussion of how Japanese animated television programs were first brought into the U.S. Much of this story is already described in Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas: An Insider’s View of a Pop Culture Phenomenon (McFarland, 2008). Brian Ruh provides additional details in “Early Japanese animation in the United States: Changing Tetsuwan Atomu to Astro Boy“, in The Japanification of Children’s Popular Culture: From Godzilla to Miyazaki (pp. 209-226). This process could then be traced forward to the present. Aspects of it, in particular, the kinds of changes that anime films and TV episodes were subjected to as they were prepared for theatrical releases, television broadcasts, and distribution on VHS/DVD in the West are discussed in Rieko Okuhara’s “The censorship of Japanese anime in America: Do American children need to be protected from Dragon Ball” (in the same book, pp. 199-208), Rayna Denison’s “The global markets for anime: Miyazaki Hayao’s Spirited Away (2001)” (in Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts, pp. 308-321), Ruh’s Transforming U.S. anime in the 1980’s: Localization and longevity (Mechademia, v. 5: Fanthropologies, pp. 31-49), and especially, in his Ph.D. dissertation, Adapting Anime: Transnational Media Between Japan and the United States.

It could then be contrasted with how “anime entrepreneurs” approached Japanese animation. Perhaps precisely because they were not coming from the entertainment industry, and perhaps because they also operated at much smaller scales, with much more modest goals in mind, these entrepreneurs – people like John Ledford, Gen Fukunaga, and Gene Field – did not feel any particular need to subject the anime that they were presenting to American audiences to any major changes; in fact, its non-American nature was a selling point. Academic writing on these entrepreneurial activities is still fairly limited, though two examples are Jonathan Clements’ “The mechanics of the US anime and manga industry”, in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 64, 32-44 (1995), and Laurie Cubbison’s Anime fans, DVDs, and the authentic text (The Velvet Light Trap56, 45-57), but there are plenty of articles in various general-interest publications – such as:

A great way to conclude the piece would be with a case study of Crunchyroll. Launched originally as a Youtube-like website focused on streaming Japanese anime episodes and films, many of them subtitled by fans without authorization – but also without seeking any profit for themselves (the site itself would, of course, receive income from ads), it has since reoriented itself entirely and now works directly with Japanese production companies to license anime series for online distribution to Western audiences. In 2013, The Chernin Group, a media investment company, acquired majority control in a deal valued close to US$100 million; Hollywood Reporter recently ranked it as the 8th-largest video streaming app (by revenue), and according to a Japan Times article, earlier this year, it had “the fifth largest streaming subscription base in the United States“.

This article could still reach the same conclusion as the original paper – that entrepreneurs and their activities are key to the “transnational penetration, distribution, reproduction and consumption of cultural commodities” – but the examples it would draw on would actually support the conclusion vastly more effectively than what Anime in the U.S. is able to present.

Comment/Response – Anime in the US: The Entrepreneurial Dimensions of Globalized Culture

In one of my first posts in this blog, I raised the question of why there were essentially no English-language academic articles on the “business” of anime – the history of the U.S. anime industry, the specific practices that American anime companies used to succeed, how some of these companies were able to adjust to changing economic conditions while others went out of business. Among the possible reasons that I presented were that most of the scholars who are interested in anime come from backgrounds in the humanities, and so, they simply do not have the tools to write about business and business management, that because the U.S. anime industry is primarily composed of small private companies, only very limited data is available to potential researchers, and ultimately, that “the business of anime” in the U.S. is just too small to matter or merit academic attention.

In the same post, however, I highlighted a paper that I had just become aware of, in the March 2014 issue of the journal Pacific Affairs, with the intriguing title Anime in the US: The entrepreneurial dimensions of globalized culture – and promised that I would read through it, and share my thoughts and impressions.

Between my experience as a reference librarian and research specialist, and my academic background, I have read hundreds of journal articles, in many different fields. I do not hesitate to say that I have never come across any that is as disappointing as this one. What is even more puzzling to me is that I actually think the basic argument the author presents is correct. It’s just that he fails to support the argument with any kind of convincing or coherent evidence, while also making it very hard to take him seriously.

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