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  • The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story

    Author(s): Ian Condry
    Published: 2013
    Pages: 256
    Illustrations: 32 illustrations
    Series: Experimental Futures
  • Paperback: $23.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5394-2
  • Cloth: $84.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5380-5
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  • 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
  • The Soul of Anime offers intriguing theories as to the unique appeal of anime, with the concepts of transmedia storytelling, collaborative creativity, and social energy. While I would argue that twenty-five percent of what Condry is talking about here applies to all fandoms, not just anime, it’s a good look into the medium’s specific charms.” — Clare McBride, The Literary Omnivore blog

    “Get this if you’re interested in the depth of anime, the pioneers and renowned figures within the anime movement (yes, of course including Miyazaki), and significant anime milestones. . . . For the serious anime lover who wants to move from fan to expert . . . this is a must.” — Gini Koch, It’s Comic Book Day blog

    “The critical essays in The Soul of Anime, each of which could stand as its own case study, dissect the genre at its most basic level to explore the interplay between the creative texts and the social contexts, with an emphasis on the collaborations between the artists and filmmakers who create the characters and worlds and the fans who devour them. . . . An ethnographic study on how the makers of Japanese anime and its fans work together to promote the art form on a global level. — Nancy Powell, Shelf Awareness for Readers

    “This book is highly recommended for all lovers of Japanese history, Japanese culture, anime, manga, and animation.” — Sally Bryant, Library Journal (Starred Review)

    Reviews

  • The Soul of Anime offers intriguing theories as to the unique appeal of anime, with the concepts of transmedia storytelling, collaborative creativity, and social energy. While I would argue that twenty-five percent of what Condry is talking about here applies to all fandoms, not just anime, it’s a good look into the medium’s specific charms.” — Clare McBride, The Literary Omnivore blog

    “Get this if you’re interested in the depth of anime, the pioneers and renowned figures within the anime movement (yes, of course including Miyazaki), and significant anime milestones. . . . For the serious anime lover who wants to move from fan to expert . . . this is a must.” — Gini Koch, It’s Comic Book Day blog

    “The critical essays in The Soul of Anime, each of which could stand as its own case study, dissect the genre at its most basic level to explore the interplay between the creative texts and the social contexts, with an emphasis on the collaborations between the artists and filmmakers who create the characters and worlds and the fans who devour them. . . . An ethnographic study on how the makers of Japanese anime and its fans work together to promote the art form on a global level. — Nancy Powell, Shelf Awareness for Readers

    “This book is highly recommended for all lovers of Japanese history, Japanese culture, anime, manga, and animation.” — Sally Bryant, Library Journal (Starred Review)

  • "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

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  • Description

    In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the emergence of anime, Japanese animated film and television, as a global cultural phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic research, including interviews with artists at some of Tokyo's leading animation studios—such as Madhouse, Gonzo, Aniplex, and Studio Ghibli—Condry discusses how anime's fictional characters and worlds become platforms for collaborative creativity. He argues that the global success of Japanese animation has grown out of a collective social energy that operates across industries—including those that produce film, television, manga (comic books), and toys and other licensed merchandise—and connects fans to the creators of anime. For Condry, this collective social energy is the soul of anime.

    About The Author(s)

    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.

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