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The Soul of Anime


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In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the emergence of anime, Japanese animated film and television, as a global cultural phenomenon.

Table of Contents

Note on Translations and Names ix
Introduction. Who Makes Anime? 1
1. Collaborative Networks, Personal Futures 35
2. Characters and Worlds as Creative Platforms 54
3. Early Directions in Postwar Anime 85
4. When Anime Robots Became Real 112
5. Making a Cutting-Edge Anime Studio: The Value of the Gutter 135
6. Dark Energy: What Overseas Fans Reveal about the Copyright Wars 161
7. Love Revolution: Otaku Fans in Japan 185
Conclusion. Future Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Cultural Action 204
Acknowledgments 218
Notes 221
References 227
Index 237

About the Author

Ian Condry is Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization, also published by Duke University Press.


"Does anime have a soul? In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the lives and work of the creators and consumers of one of Japan's great contributions to popular culture. Condry shows how the genre has moved from the margins to a place of respect and influence. This is a book that will appeal to all the otaku out there, as well as to those with a more moderate love of anime in all its forms." - Eric Nakamura, President, Giant Robot "Through an exploration of multiple dimensions of the anime object, from studio production to fan production, piracy, remix, and virtual idols, The Soul of Anime issues a bold challenge to our understanding of the social side of media. Ian Condry's attention to the singularities of this universe takes us far from the normative horizon of analysis of fans and commodities, highlighting how intimacy arises from impersonal affective life. The social side of anime is the soul of anime, and the dark energy of fans is nothing other than the psychosocial stuff, the vibrant matter, of this emerging constellation." - Thomas LaMarre, author of The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation "In this informative and absorbing volume, the author examines Japan's vast contributions to the animation world and global culture at large. Using extensive interviews with auteurs such as Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Lept Through Time, Summer Wars) and Peter Chung (Aeon Flux, Firebreather), studio visits to Toei, Gonzo, Ghibli and Studio 4C, and case studies of shows such as Zenmai Zamurai and Deko Boko Friends, the author offers colorful snapshots of the modern anime milieu and the talented artists who continue delivering outstanding work despite the lack of real monetart rewards."--Animation Magazine, April/May 2013 "An anthropologist by training, Condry bases his arguments in part on fieldwork consisting of interviews with studio personnel and direct observation of working practices. One may question (as the author himself does) how representative these anecdotes are, but they stimulate numerous intriguing interpretations. Although sometimes verbose, Condry writes thoughtfully and occasionally displays wry wit. His book contains much of value to scholars of Japanese popular culture." - Alexander Jacoby, Times Literary Supplement

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