The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies 2021-11-29T12:51:18-06:00 Billy Tringali Open Journal Systems <p>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. Please review our <a href="">Author Guidelines</a> before submitting your piece.</p> <p>The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies<br><span class="il">ISSN</span>&nbsp;2689-2596</p> The Spectacular Mundane in the Films of Studio Ghibli 2021-02-01T11:34:50-06:00 Zoe Crombie <p>This article examines how Studio Ghibli constructs the mundane activities shown in their films as spectacular. Looking at the history of the ways in which domestic and routine events are depicted in Japanese animation, I will use various methodologies, beginning with formalism and phenomenology before moving on to feminism and Marxism to critically analyse several Ghibli films as case studies – <em>My Neighbors The Yamadas </em>(1999, <em>Hōhokekyo Tonari no Yamada kun</em>), <em>Only Yesterday </em>(1991, <em>Omoide Poro Poro</em>), and <em>Howl’s Moving Castle </em>(2004, <em>Hauru no Ugoku Shiro</em>). Using these methodologies, the films are placed into a broader cinematic context, and the filmic legacy of their treatment of the mundane is explored.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Zoe Crombie Boy with Machine 2021-04-20T13:10:47-05:00 Betty Stojnic <p>In this paper, I provide an analysis of the anime series <em>Neon Genesis Evangelion</em> and the feature film <em>The End of Evangelion </em>through the theory of French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari as outlined in their seminal work <em>Capitalism and Schizophrenia</em>. I tackle the authors’ concepts of Oedipus and absolute deterritorialization in order to provide a philosophical consideration of the series’ central plot points and developments. My aim is to employ Charles J. Stivale’s concept of academic “animation” to critique <em>Evangelion</em>’s emphasis on the nuclear family structure and its influence on subject-formation, as well as to demonstrate that a Deleuzoguattarian framework is uniquely suited for this task. I conclude that <em>Evangelion</em>, through its experimental use of animation as a medium, produces a compelling depiction of absolute deterritorialization in the form of the Human Instrumentality Project. However, the series ultimately remains loyal to its prioritisation (rooted in psychoanalysis and the Oedipus complex) of the family unit, with the protagonist Ikari Shinji rejecting Instrumentality and preferring, instead, to live as a unified subject defined by familial relations.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Betty Stojnic A Survey of the Story Elements of Isekai Manga 2021-07-21T10:10:54-05:00 Paul Price <p>This paper presents a survey of the story elements in isekai (other world) manga. The large number of available isekai manga series allows the use of a survey to investigate patterns in story elements. These patterns can be used to generate hypotheses about relationships between story elements, authors’ intent, and readers’ interests. The paper begins with a review of the characteristics of isekai manga stories and places the stories into existing speculative fiction ontologies. A brief history of isekai manga and their relationships to roleplaying computer and tabletop games is provided. Finally, descriptions of the survey framework, instrument and results are presented. The survey includes data on 746 manga series identified as isekai manga by publishers or fans. The series are divided into four types (portal-quest, immersive, intrusion, and liminal). A detailed survey was performed on the 427 series identified as “portal-quest” stories (the most common type of isekai stories). The survey results are captured in a database of story elements that is organized based on plot points dictated by the form of the portal-quest stories. The survey found that the majority of the manga series are inspired by first-person shônen and otome computer games. The characteristics of the stories vary with the gender and age of the protagonists (here taken as surrogates for the gender and age of the stories’ target audiences) and this variation allows the generation of hypotheses on the motivations and interests of the different reader demographics and how they are satisfied by the stories.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Paul Price Rethinking 3.11's Mediascape through Japan Sinks 2020 2021-07-26T09:09:06-05:00 Yaochong Yang <p>This paper examines Science SARU's Netflix show, <em>Japan Sinks 2020</em>, notably its departure from the general apocalyptic ideology of previous primary Japan Sinks texts. By reframing it through the disaster lens of 3.11, <em>Japan Sinks 2020</em> sheds light on significant inequalities between global and regional images. As the first internationally aired <em>Japan Sinks</em> media, <em>Japan Sinks 2020</em> leverages contemporary streaming practices to propose ongoing counter-narratives of the Japanese state, its actors, and the urban-rural divides which have preceded – and continue – in the face of 3.11. Drawing upon Komatsu's last words on the international status of the 3.11 disaster, <em>Japan Sinks 2020</em> is a post-3.11 text addressing aspects of Japanese disaster fiction mainly ignored by previous Japan Sinks texts and simultaneously reignites less-discussed challenges associated with the 3.11 mediascape.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Yaochong Yang “In the name(s) of the moon!”: ‘Japaneseness’ & Reader Identity in Two Translations of Sailor Moon 2021-10-19T22:58:44-05:00 Morgan Sleeper Daphne Iskos <p>Manga has become increasingly popular in the United States since the 1990s, and over time, the strategies employed in translating these texts for English-speaking audiences have shifted. As translation practices have changed, so too has the status of the sociocultural construct of 'Japaneseness' – a commodified branding of Japanese elements – in translated manga. A striking example of this shift can be seen in two English translations of Naoko Takeuchi's 1991 manga <em>Bishôjo Senshi Sêrâ Mûn</em> (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) for the U.S. market, released 13 years apart: the 1998 Mixx/TokyoPop translation and the 2011 Kodansha translation. In this paper, we examine the use of four linguistic features – loanwords, honorifics, onomatopoeia, and iconicity – in both translations, and find that each version broadly employs a different strategy to either erase (in the case of the earlier translation) or amplify and actively create (in the case of the later translation) 'Japaneseness' within the text. These strategies in turn afford two different ways for readers to engage with <em>Sailor Moon</em>, so following our analysis of the texts themselves, we then examine fan discourse to show how readers construct distinct identities by drawing on salient linguistic features of each translation. The shift from a preference for domesticated reading experiences to a desire for translations to retain as much Japanese character as possible reveals the construct of 'Japaneseness' as central to the commodification of Japanese language and culture in both manga publishing and Anglophone fandom more broadly.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Morgan Sleeper, Daphne Iskos Existentialism and Death Education in Anime 2021-11-07T20:05:18-06:00 Irene Iwasaki <p>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 <strong> </strong>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 <strong> </strong>our dependence on information that links us as individuals to the outside world, we can engage with media that <strong> </strong>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 <em>Cells at Work! </em>as an example of anime that is both educational and entertaining, and discusses its implications for terror management and the promotion of well-being.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Irene Iwasaki Japanese Anime Fandoms in the UAE: An Exploratory Study on Media Accessibility, Habits and Cultural Perceptions 2021-04-20T12:27:13-05:00 Urwa Tariq Sarah Laura Nesti Willard <p>The satellite TV revolution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the early 1990s precipitated the proliferation of foreign media broadcasts. Japanese anime dubbed into Arabic became the most-watched content in Emirati households, a trend that continues to date because the Japanese entertainment and digital media industry offers youngsters easy access to and diverse options for anime. This paper provides an overview and analysis of the growing popularity of anime fandoms in the UAE to ascertain the level of commitment, involvement and the moral perceptions of Emirati fans vis-à-vis Japanese pop culture. A focus group discussion was conducted in a leading UAE university among the <em>otaku</em> or aficionados of Japanese anime (males and females). The participant responses offered comprehensive insights into the fandom trends of the region and articulated interesting opinions on Japanese pop culture and digital media accessibility. Notably, the findings of this study suggested that the enthusiasm of this fan following is often obstructed rather than celebrated and thus cannot achieve its potential. Therefore, the study finally contemplates how Emirati <em>otaku</em> and their practices may be better supported in UAE.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Urwa Tariq, Sarah Laura Nesti Willard To Live is to Devour Others 2021-09-20T09:20:35-05:00 Christian Frigerio <p>This paper studies how Ishida Sui’s <em>Tokyo Ghoul</em> creates its typical sense of “tragedy,” by stressing the injustice inherent in every act of eating, and by generalizing the model of nutrition to every ethically laden act. Ishida undermines the Kantian principle that “ought implies can,” depicting a twisted world which forces us into wrongdoing: we have to eat, but there is no Other we can eat with moral impunity. Still, his characters provide some ethical models which could be implemented in our everyday food ethics, given that the tragicality spotted by Ishida is not that alien to our food system: food aesthetics, nihilism, <em>amor fati</em>, living with the tragedy, and letting ourselves be eaten are the options Ishida offers to cope with the tragedy, to approach the devastation our need for food brings into the world in a more aware and charitable way. The examination of Ishida’s narrative device, conducted with the mediation of thinkers such as Lévinas, Ricoeur, Derrida, and other contemporary moral philosophers, shall turn the question: “how to become worthy of eating?” into the core problem for food ethics.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Christian Frigerio Haunted Psychologies 2021-07-18T21:06:08-05:00 Barbara Greene <p>The anime adaptation of the light novel franchise <em>Bakemonogatari </em>was released in 2009. The story revolves around the character Araragi Koyomi, a high school student in his senior year who encounters a powerful vampire during a school break and is transformed into a semi-supernatural being himself. However, this is not merely an example of a supernaturally-focused <em>anime</em>, but rather is a discussion on the impact of capitalism on the subjectivity of the individual. The narrative and experience of viewing <em>Bakemonogatari </em>is a commentary on the trauma of postmodernity and otaku consumption’s failure to remediate the objectification of consumer-capitalism. The series’ design and narrative choices is designed to attract otaku, to whose consumption these patterns are designed to appeal, and thereby give warning to otaku concerning the potential dangers posed by their approach towards media. The characters in this series are possessed by Specters who dredge up and yet simultaneously suppress this traumatic state of existence in a world without catharsis and without justice. Otaku, attracted to <em>moe-kyara </em>to escape the drudgery and misery of the three-dimensional world, are shown that this escape itself is a form of harm—like Araragi, they turn meaning into a form of self-flagellation and heap untold suffering on the <em>moe-kyara </em>towards which they are inextricably drawn.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Barbara Greene A Message of Gratitude and the State of JAMS in 2021 2021-11-28T16:28:38-06:00 Billy Tringali <p>A welcome from the Editor-in-Chief, alongside a dedication.</p> 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Billy Tringali Table of Contents 2021-11-28T16:33:47-06:00 Billy Tringali 2021-11-29T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Billy Tringali