“A Gap Between Animation and Anime Studies in Japan: A Case of JSAS"

Presented By: Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, Yokohama National University

In Japan, ‘animation’ and ‘anime’ are usually used differently; the former mainly means art animation (short animation films, installation, etc.), and the latter generally means TV animation programs and/or animation films adapted from TV animation programs (gekijoban). Although it is more internationally well-known, Anime was rarely taken up as an academic agenda. However, in 1998, Japan Society for Animation Studies (JSAS) was set up to meet the demand for academic research on Animation (art animation and anime). Because JSAS was set up on the basis of Japan Society of Image and Arts and Sciences, and key founders were mostly psychology majors, cultural/media studies approaches were not easily accepted until about ten years ago. There still seems to be a power relation between animation (art animation) and anime (all commercial TV anime and animated feature films劇場オリジナル映画). This presentation will explore how Japanese anime studies have developed by examining major Japanese and non-Japanese scholarship on anime and by following the activities of JSAS. If time permits, it will also consider the gap between anime studies in Japan and abroad.