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North Castle Books

Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime
Edited by: Mark W. MacWilliams

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1601-2 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1602-9
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USD: $95.95 USD: $34.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 368pp. Illustrations, bibliography, filmography, index.
Publication Date: January 2008.  


Description: Born of Japan's cultural encounter with Western entertainment media, manga (comic books or graphic novels) and anime (animated films) are two of the most universally recognized forms of contemporary mass culture. Because they tell stories through visual imagery, they vault over language barriers. Well suited to electronic transmission and distributed by Japan's globalized culture industry, they have become a powerful force in both the mediascape and the marketplace.

This volume brings together an international group of scholars from many specialties to probe the richness and subtleties of these deceptively simple cultural forms. The contributors explore the historical, cultural, sociological, and religious dimensions of manga and anime, and examine specific sub-genres, artists, and stylistics. The book also addresses such topics as spirituality, the use of visual culture by Japanese new religious movements, Japanese Goth, nostalgia and Japanese pop, comics for girls, and more. With illustrations throughout, it is a rich source for all scholars and fans of manga and anime as well as students of contemporary mass culture or Japanese culture and civilization.

Selected Contents:

Foreword: Japan's New Visual Culture
Frederik L. Schodt
Mark W. MacWilliams

1. Manga in Japanese History
Kinko Ito
2. Contemporary Anime in Japanese Pop Culture
Gilles Poitras
3. Characters, Themes, and Narrative Patterns in the Manga of Osamu Tezuka
Susanne Phillips
4.From Metropolis to Metoroporisu : The Changing Role of the Robot in Japanese and Western Cinema
Lee Makela
5. Opening the Closed World of Shojo Manga
Mizuki Takahashi

6. Situating the Shojo in Shojo Manga : Teenage Girls, Romance Comics, and Contemporary Japanese Culture
Deborah Shamoon
7. Intellectuals, Cartoons, and Nationalism During the Russo-Japanese War
Yulia Mikhailova
8. Framing Manga: On Narratives of the Second World War in Japanese Manga, 1957-1977
Eldad Nakar
9. Aum Shinrikyo and a Panic about Manga and Anime
Rich Gardner
10. Medieval Genealogies of Manga Horror
Raj Pandey
11. The Utopian "Power to Live": What the Miyazaki Phenomenon Signifies
Hiroshi Yamanaka
12. Heart of Japaneseness: History and Nostalgia in Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away
Shiro Yoshioka

13. National History as Otaku Fantasy: Satoshi Kon's Millennium Actress
Melek Ortabasi

14. Considering Manga Discourse: Location, Ambiguity, Historicity
Jaqueline Berndt

About the Contributors

Review(s): "This book makes such a contribution through an introductory overview of the state of the field by editor Mark MacWilliams and a sterling concluding chapter by Jaqueline Berndt, both of which are required reading for scholars and students. Japanese Visual Culture deserves praise for its broad historical framework and its diverse disciplinary approaches. It expands discussion beyond auteur theory while significantly contributing to scholarship on influential artists and directors and their works. The chapters will fructify future research in this nascent and exciting field." -- Asian Ethnology

"MacWilliams's collection of essays is a very welcome addition to the increasingly populated yet sparsely published field of manga and anime studies in North America. The topics covered and methodologies utilized are diverse and will be of interest to students and scholars interested in globalization and media policy, international relations, and the rise of Japanese soft power." -- Asian Politics & Policy

"Varied in approach and content Japanese Visual Culture is a welcome addition to the cadre of books on manga and anime that have been published in the last few years. The collection provides yet another "visual" into the worlds of manga and anime/animated films." -- Monumenta Nipponica

" Japanese Visual Culture offers significant insight into understanding how anime and manga have come to be so powerful in Japanese culture. Additionally, this collection of essays paints a vivid picture that acts as a primer for people who want a good introduction to the discourse on Japan's visual culture. Avid manga readers, or even the occasional anime watcher, could infinitely increase their appreciation for these cultures by reading this book. The book as a whole timely and structured in such a manner to still be useful years from now." -- BookLoons

"This scholarly, wide-angled presentation is a must for those seeking to understand this complex popular art form. Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above." -- Choice

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