Since its inception as an art form, anime has engaged with themes, symbols and narrative strategies drawn from the realm of magic. In recent years, the medium has increasingly turned to magic specifically as a metaphor for a wide range of cultural, philosophical and psychological concerns. This book first examines a range of Eastern and Western approaches to magic in anime, addressing magical thinking as an overarching concept which unites numerous titles despite their generic and tonal diversity. It then explores the collusion of anime and magic with reference to specific topics. A close study of cardinal titles is complemented by allusions to ancillary productions in order to situate the medium's fascination with magic within an appropriately broad historical context.
English painter John William Waterhouse (1849–1917) communicates his aesthetic vision through his use of color. Throughout his career, he experimented with color as an element with seemingly spatial qualities. His works have an unusual formalism—figures and settings often appear not merely realistic but somewhat hyperreal. Yet paradoxically Waterhouse’s works border on the abstract, prioritizing chromatic features over content. They invite us to focus on colors—and through them line, shape, texture and rhythm—in much the same way as works by Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse or Pollock.
This study addresses the relationship between Japanese aesthetics, a field steeped in philosophy and traditional knowledge, and anime, a prominent part of contemporary popular culture. There are three premises: (1) the abstract concepts promoted by Japanese aesthetics find concrete expression at the most disparate levels of everyday life; (2) the abstract and the concrete coalesce in the visual domain, attesting to the visual nature of Japanese culture at large; and (3) anime can help us appreciate many aspects of Japan’s aesthetic legacy, in terms of both its theoretical propositions and its visual, even tangible, aspects.
Suddenly anime is . . . exploding. But where did Japanese animation come from, and what does it all mean? Written for fans, culture watchers, and perplexed outsiders, this is an engaging tour of the anime megaverse, from older arts and manga traditions to the works of modern directors like Miyazaki and Otomo. Read about anime standbys like giant robots, samurai, furry beasts, high school heroines, and gay/girl/fanboy love--even war and reincarnation, plus all of anime's major themes, styles, and conventions. At the end of the book are essays on 15 of fandom's favorite anime, including Evangelion, Esca-flowne, Sailor Moon, and Patlabor. "A good resource and guide to the foundation, historical development and overall themes in Japanese animation and serves as an excellent reference source whether you are an established fan or a person who wants to learn about the cultural aspects of this specific and increasingly popular genre. It is an easy yet thorough read on the myriad of societal aspects and cultural references Japanese animation holds." -- Active Anime
A tribute to top-selected Japanese animation films currently available in English profiles movies from a variety of genres from science fiction and fantasy to romance and historical fiction, in a reference that is complemented by character assessments and filmmaker evaluations. Original.
The thought-provoking, aesthetically pleasing animated films of Hayao Miyazaki attract audiences well beyond the director's native Japan. Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away were critically acclaimed upon U.S. release, and the earlier My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service have found popularity with Americans on DVD. This critical study of Miyazaki's work begins with an analysis of the visual conventions of manga, Japanese comic books, and anime; an overview of Japanese animated films; and a consideration of the techniques deployed by both traditional cel and computer animation. This section also details Miyazaki's early forays into comic books and animation, and his output prior to his founding of Studio Ghibli. Part Two concentrates on the Studio Ghibli era, outlining the company's development and analyzing the director's productions between 1984 and 2004, including Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and his newest film, Howl's Moving Castle. The second section also discusses other productions involving Studio Ghibli, including Grave of the Fireflies and The Cat Returns. Appendices supply additional information about Studio Ghibli's merchandise production, Miyazaki's global fan base, and the output of other Ghibli directors.
"The main body of the text comprises nine chapters, each of which is a detailed analysis of a production and explores the developments in works such as Ninja Scroll, Perfect Blue, and Howl's Moving Castle. The final chapter examines the impact of the medium within Western contexts"--Provided by publisher.
The idea that the cultural history of the United States has been shaped by religion(s) is a truism few would question. Scholars in American Studies, however, have been reluctant to engage this issue in a manner appropriate to its significance and complexity. This volume of scholarly articles approaches the challenges posed by the topic "religion in the United States" from an interdisciplinary perspective, examining the ways in which religious heterogeneity, a multitude of religious practices and holy scriptures - as well as resistance to such religiosity - are interwoven with American literature, culture, and history. The contributions address three general areas of interest: evangelical empowerment in the United States since the 1970s, religious interventions in major nineteenth-century American cultural conflicts, and contemporary negotiations of national/transnational narratives of religion and spirituality in fiction, film, and performance.
A Semiotic Approach to Reading Japanese Film and Anime
Author: Yoshiko Okuyama
Publisher: Lexington Books
A cyborg detective hunts for a malfunctioning sex doll that turns itself into a killing machine. A Heian-era Taoist slays evil spirits with magic spells from yin-yang philosophy. A young mortician carefully prepares bodies for their journey to the afterlife. A teenage girl drinks a cup of life-giving sake, not knowing its irreversible transformative power. These are scenes from the visually enticing, spiritually eclectic media of Japanese movies and anime. The narratives of courageous heroes and heroines and the myths and legends of deities and their abodes are not just recurring motifs of the cinematic fantasy world. They are pop culture’s representations of sacred subtexts in Japan. Japanese Mythology in Film takes a semiotic approach to uncovering such religious and folkloric tropes and subtexts embedded in popular Japanese movies and anime. Part I introduces film semiotics with plain definitions of terminology. Through familiar cinematic examples, it emphasizes the myth-making nature of modern-day film and argues that semiotics can be used as a theoretical tool for reading film. Part II presents case studies of eight popular Japanese films as models of semiotic analysis. While discussing each film’s use of common mythological motifs such as death and rebirth, its case study also unveils more covert cultural signifiers and folktale motifs, including jizo (a savior of sentient beings) and kori (bewitching foxes and raccoon dogs), hidden in the Japanese filmic text.
Revelations is an exploration of the unique storytelling style of the critically acclaimed anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It deciphers the visual symbolism, narrative metaphor, and literary themes of the series to give the reader enhanced insight into the characters, their motivations, and the story hidden beneath the surface of this surprisingly dark and complex tale. Why would Homura rebel against her best friend? What does the half moon represent? This book answers the big questions, while giving the reader the necessary understanding to decode the rest for themselves. Interspersed with insights from the cast members who brought the characters to life, this is the ultimate companion to the show that is redefining the magical girl genre. This edition has a black and white interior. Color version available at https: //www.amazon.com/Revelations-Depth-Themes-Symbols-Puella/dp/153715446X/ref=tmm_pap_title_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1477674497&sr=8-1
Angela Carter, a prolific author who worked in numerous genres, remains one of the most important British writers of the last century. She was particularly renowned for her investigation of cultural mythologies, which shape our lives but which we often leave unexamined. This text explores a selection of Carter’s novels and short stories, supplemented with her perspectives on politics, society and aesthetics, and her attempts to redefine popular genres such as the fairy tale. This critical work is a strong addition to the scholarship on this important but often overlooked writer.