Database for Animation Studies


Dai hitto anime de kataru shinri gaku: `kanjō no tani' kara tokiakasu nihon anime no tokushitsu [Psychology as Relayed by Major Hit Anime: The Characteristics of Japanese Anime That Resolve the “Emotional Valley”]

  • Title (Japanese)
大ヒットアニメで語る心理学 「感情の谷」から解き明かす日本アニメの特質
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Watanabe, Yasushi

As avpsychology professor at Nihon University, Yokota analyzed box-office animations from a psychology perspective. He interpreted films like Your Name, In This Corner of the World, and Frozen, as well as intricate situations in the Forest of Labyrinth in The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun, by the late Isao Takahata.

Yokota, Masao

This reference develops the theory of the “emotional valley,” which holds that the main character in an anime tumbles into the world of unconsciousness after intense feelings. Then, the protagonist meets someone who will render aid and who has entered this unconscious world from outside. Finally, there will be an awakening and the main character will develop into a greater personality.

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Before World War II, Taihei Imamura’s Manga Eigaron [A Study of Comics and Films] was the only literature on animation. In recent years, there is much literature to read. I recommend literature based on my impressions while reading them, rather than as general source materials. Other than those 10 books I chose, L. Martin’s Of Mice and Magic and Takuya Mori’s Teihon Animation no Gyagu Sekai [General Reader: World of gags in Animation] were two memorable literature sources. It might be presumptuous for me to recommend my coauthored book, Nihon Animation Eiga Shi [A History of Japanese Animation Films], but I am proud to say that the Library of Congress in the United States has purchased it.

Animation has various psychological effects on the people who view it. Receptivity to animation depends on the viewer’s developmental stage, and animation can play a supportive role for people who have mental issues. On the other hand, an animator’s psychological developmental themes can have demonstrable effects on the animation, and this aspect can be explained in psychological terms. Moreover, animation can be understood as a clue for deciphering the mental issues of the modern age.

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