Existentialism and Death Education in Anime

A Micro and Macro Analysis of Cells at Work!


  • Irene Iwasaki Alexander College




Educational anime, Existentialism, Pandemic, Terror management, Cells at Work!


As the 2020 global pandemic has demonstrated with new force, we continue to struggle with managing primal, existential fear, even during the ongoing struggle to understand and combat a deadly infectious disease. As this paper reveals, multimedia popular culture texts can provide us with tools, knowledge, and avenues to help us better express, empathize, and educate one another during trying times. In particular, this paper aims to form    part of a larger discussion on how we can better face the task of looking at death during a moment of human history where doom may seem ubiquitous. Although it is not possible to separate ourselves from   our dependence on information that links us as individuals to the outside world, we can engage with media that   provides knowledge in a more palatable or entertaining way and in so doing, support the development of better coping skills for apprehension about an unknown tomorrow. This paper analyzes the 2018 Cells at Work! as an example of anime that is both educational and entertaining, and discusses its implications for  terror management and the promotion of well-being.


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