York University

Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

AP/JP 3600 3.00   Japanese Popular Culture: manga and anime

Fall 2018


Lectures:  Wednesdays 11:30 A.M.-2:30 P.M.   Class Location: Stong College, room 222

Instructor: Cary S. Takagaki

Office: Ross Building South, room 509

Telephone: (416) 736-2100, ext. 30384

e-mail:  takagaki@yorku.ca  / cs.takagaki@utoronto.ca

Office hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 2:30-3:30 P.M., or by appointment


Course Description:

This course examines manga and anime, two of the most popular and influential genres of popular Japanese culture not only in Japan, but also in Asia and the West. These mediums are studied in a historical context with respect to their origins and development as commercial industries and cultural commodities.


Prerequisites: AP/JP 2700 6.00 or permission of instructor


Course Requirements:

—written assignment, approximately 2 pages, due Wednesday September 26, 2018 (10%)

—a summary of one of the supplementary readings, approximately 2 pages, due any time before Wednesday November 7, 2018 (10%)

—class presentation: all students are required to give an oral presentation on an anime or manga of their choice (10%) and submit a written summary & analysis (approximately 2 pages) of the work they have chosen (10%)

—class participation and attendance: students are expected to be familiar with all the supplementary readings for each class and be able to respond to questions about them and contribute to discussions as to the relevance of the readings in the context of the week’s theme (10%)

—essay outline and bibliography (2 pages), due any day before November 14, 2018 (10%)

—research essay: approximately 15 pages, due, November 28, 2018 (40%)


NOTE: all written assignments must be submitted in printed form to the instructor, and in electronic format to ‘www.turnitin.com’. These are also subject to an oral review before marks are assigned. Students must keep a copy of their assignments and essay, as well as notes and drafts, for their own records, and be prepared to submit them if requested.

Since this is an academic setting, it is expected that all written assignments meet a minimum standard of literacy (i.e., grammar, spelling, writing style). Accordingly, those who are not familiar with writing essays, or those whose native language is other than English, are expected to avail themselves of the various writing skills facilities available on or off campus. For more information about the various resources available to students at the York University campus, visit the following website:




It is customary in a university setting to impose penalties for late submission of written assignments in order to be “fair” to those students who have made the effort to submit material on time. Accordingly, late assignments will be penalized 2% per day unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor or a valid medical excuse is provided.


Supplementary Readings:

            There is no required text for this course. However, there are several supplementary readings that will be available on the course website or which are available through the York University library catalogue.


Course Website:

This course uses a website to make lecture outlines available to the student. However, this is only a guide to taking notes, and not a substitute. Copyright concerns will restrict the lecture material available on the website. The website is also used to provide information on assignments, the essay, etc. Students are strongly urged to check it on a regular basis.

The website can be accessed through:  



Academic Honesty

The following is from the York University 2018-2019 calendar:

Senate Policy on Academic Honesty

The Policy on Academic Honesty is an affirmation and clarification for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. As a clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, the policy recognizes the general responsibility of all faculty members to foster acceptable standards of academic conduct and of the student to be mindful of and abide by such standards.

Academic honesty requires that persons do not falsely claim credit for the ideas, writing or other intellectual property of others, either by presenting such works as their own or through impersonation. Similarly, academic honesty requires that persons do not cheat (attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation), nor attempt or actually alter, suppress, falsify or fabricate any research data or results, official academic record, application or document.

Suspected breaches of academic honesty will be investigated and charges shall be laid if reasonable and probable grounds exist. A student who is charged with a breach of academic honesty shall be presumed innocent until, based upon clear and compelling evidence, a committee determines the student has violated the academic honesty standards of the university. A finding of academic misconduct will lead to the range of penalties described in the guidelines which accompany this policy. In some cases the University regulations on non-academic discipline may apply. A lack of familiarity with the Senate Policy and Guidelines on Academic Honesty on the part of a student does not constitute a defence against their application. Some academic offences constitute offences under the Criminal Code of Canada; a student charged under University regulations may also be subject to criminal charges. Charges may also be laid against York University students for matters which arise at other educational institutions.

Information about guidelines and procedures related to this policy can be obtained from the University Secretariat website (http://secretariat-policies.info.yorku.ca/).

As a student it is your responsibility to ensure the integrity of your work and to understand what constitutes an academic offence. If you have any concerns that you may be crossing the line, always ask your instructor.

            Plagiarism will be dealt with strictly in accordance to university guidelines. It is incumbent on the part of the student to understand the nature of plagiarism and to understand the consequences of this offence.



All students are expected to familiarize themselves with the following information, available in the 2018-2019 Academic Calendar:

·         Ethics Review Process for research involving human participants 

·         Course requirement accommodation for students with disabilities, including physical, medical, systemic, learning and psychiatric disabilities

·         Student Conduct Standards

·         Religious Observance Accommodation


Course Schedule

The following is a tentative schedule of lecture topics. The interests of the class may result in certain topics receiving more, or less, attention. Therefore, the topics may not necessarily be covered on the dates assigned to them.


WEEK 1: Wednesday September 5, 2018

—administrative matters; objectives of the course

—why anime/manga?


WEEK 2: Wednesday September 12, 2018

—local/global identity: the “odour” of anime and manga


—Brienza, Casey E. “Books not Comics, Publishing Fields, Globalization, and Japanese Manga in the United States,” Publishing Research Quarterly, vol. 25, issue 2 (June 2009), pp. 101-117 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

—Iwabuchi Koichi. “Taking ‘Japanization,’ Seriously, Cultural globalization reconsidered,” in Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002), pp. 23-50 [THIS EXCERPT IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE WEBSITE]

—Levi, Antonia. “The Sweet Smell of Japan: Anime, manga, and Japan in North America,” Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, vol. 23, issue 1 (2013), pp. 3-18 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

— Lu, Amy Shirong. “The Many Faces of Internationalization in Japanese Anime,” Animation, vol. 3, issue 2 (2008), pp. 169-187 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

— Lu, Amy Shirong. “What Race Do they Represent and Does Mine Have Anything to do With It?” Animation, vol. 4, issue 2 (2009), pp. 169-190 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

—Pellitteri, Marco, “Odorless Cultures, Fragrant Cultures, and Perfumed Cultures,” “Two Complex Products with a Japanese Market,” “Differences in Perception?,” “The Odor of Anime, Western or Japanese” in Perper, Timothy and Martha Cornog, eds., Mangatopia, Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World (Santa Barbara, Ca.: Libraries Unlimited, 2011),  pp. 215-219 [THIS EXCERPT IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE WEBSITE]


WEEK 3: Wednesday September 19, 2018

—manga & anime:  historical background


Ito Kinko. “A History of Manga in the Context of Japanese Culture and Society,” Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 38, issue 3 (February 2005), pp. 456-475 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

—Izawa Eri, “What are anime and manga?” (1995) [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED ONLINE FROM:  http://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html]

—Natsume Fusanosuke. “Where is Tazuka, a Theory of Manga Expression,” Mechademia, vol. 1 (2013), pp. 89-107 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

Wong, Wendy Siuyi, “Globalizing Manga: From Japan to Hong Kong and Beyond,” in Mechademia, vol. 1 (2006), pp. 23-45 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]    


WEEK 4: Wednesday September 26, 2018


—reading manga; manga genres


—Cohn, Neil, “Japanese Visual Language: The Structure of Manga,” in Johnson-Woods, Toni, ed. Manga, an Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives (New York: Continuum, 2010), pp. 187-203 [THIS EXCERPT IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE WEBSITE]


WEEK 5: Wednesday October 3, 2018

―manga genres       


            —Frenchy Lunning, “Under the Ruffles, Shōjo and Morphology of Power,” in Mechademia, vol. 6 (2011), pp. 3-19 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

            —Deborah Shamoon, “Revolutionary Romance, The Rose of Versailles and the Transformation of Shojo Manga,” Mechademia, vol. 2 (2007), pp. 3-17 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]




WEEK 6: Wednesday October 17, 2018

—Anime: Akira


            —Bolton, Christopher, “From Ground Zero to Degree Zero: Akira from Origin to Oblivion,” in Mechademia, vol. 9 (2014), pp. 295-315  [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

—Ueno Toshiya,“Kurenai no metalsuits: ‘Anime to wa nanika/What is animation?’” in Mechademia, vol. 1 (2006), pp. 11-118 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]


WEEK 7: Wednesday October 24, 2018

—Miyazaki Hayao/Studio Ghibli


—Napier, Susan J., “Matter  Out of Place, Carnival, Containment and Recovery in Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away’,” in  Journal of Japanese Studies, vol. 32, no. 2 (Summer 2006), pp. 287-310 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

—Yoshioka Shiro, “Heart of Japaneseness: History and Nostalgia in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away,” in MacWilliams, Mark, W. ed. Japanese Visual Culture, Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2008), pp. 256-273 [THIS EXCERPT IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE WEBSITE]


WEEK 8: Wednesday October 31, 2018


—Miyazaki Hayao/Studio Ghibli, cont’d


WEEK 9: Wednesday November 7, 2018

—the horror genre


—Pandey, Rajyashree. “The Pre in the Postmodern: The Horror Manga of Hino Hideshi,” Japanese Studies, vol. 21, no. 3 (2001), pp. 262-274  [THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE YORK LIBRARY CATALOGUE]  




WEEK 10: Wednesday November 14, 2018 


—the apocalypse genre


WEEK 11: Wednesday November 21, 2018     



—“Understanding Fans and Fan culture,” in Brenner, Robin E., Understanding Manga and Anime (Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2007), pp. 193-216 [THIS EXCERPT IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE WEBSITE]

—Napier, Susan, J., “The World of Anime Fandom in America,” in Mechademia, vol. 1 (2006), pp. 47-63  [THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE YORK LIBRARY CATALOGUE]

WEEK 12: Wednesday November 28, 2018