Database for Animation Studies

Recommendations

“Battles” are the most popular subject matter for animation, but are challenging when it comes to theory. One of the reasons is that “battles” erupt within the messiness of many factors including personal desires, the premise of a group’s establishment, and the trends of the times. I selected the books on this list to offer approaches for dealing with that messiness. The publications are listed in chronological order based on the release year for the animation work being discussed.

The following list of recommended references was selected and written by researchers and experts trusted by the Research and Education Committee; however, there are, of course, other important animation study references that have not been included. This list was prepared by members of the Research and Education Committee to examine more closely certain references. (Authors: Takashi KAYAMA, Akiko SUGAWA, Kōtarō NAKAGAKI)

The title states that this list is for “anime writers,” but my main objective is to present 11 books that will give you a quick grasp of production techniques and the history of so-called commercial anime (i.e. anime that gets major distribution via TV and movie theaters). I picked these publications as an introduction to the basics, and there are also many must-read pieces about specific titles that you can find in magazines and mook publications.

This is a list of 10 English-language books contributing to the discussion of fandom in Japan. Selected are both monographs and edited volumes. Most share a focus on people and their interactions with media, material and one another, or the social dimensions of fandom in Japan. Some also go beyond Japan to explore fan practices surrounding Japanese media and material culture in global circulation. In the future, this literature could be brought into more explicit and sustained dialogue with Japanese-language books on fandom, as well as fan studies as a field, in order to overcome linguistic, disciplinary and area boundaries.

Recently it has become easier to research animation history due to theavailability of prewar and wartime animation online. But even so, there has notyet been sufficient research into the several decades between the beginning ofdomestic animation in 1917 through the establishment of Toei Doga in 1956.This list focuses on the period before Toei Doga’s establishment and presentsmemoirs and critical biographies about animation producers, as well as booksthat offer clues for a deeper understanding of their work.

I have tried to select books that primarily allow the reader to acquire the broad range of skills necessary for learning how to produce animation, either in an animation studio or in an educational facility, such as a university or technical school.
Note: Ms. Igarashi is a member of the 2018 Research and Education Committee; however, we asked her to make a selection of references in addition to the committee’s list, because the current database does not include many references about the practice of creation.

My purpose for the list as a whole was to make a list of texts that teach how to create motion with pictures. When you teach animation, you often receive questions about how to do that. So, we have created a list of reference material that can lead to practical knowledge. The selector supplied this list from her production experience, which spans more than 30 years. We hope that students will use these materials at the early stages of learning—looking, understanding, and applying—and will acquire practical knowledge about “moving,” a useful foundation for their creative activities.

Initially I was thinking about “10 References That Shaped Japanese Animation Studies,” but I revised this list to references from early animation studies through the early 1980s. I’ve grouped the list into five parts: (1) Works in the early 1960s including translations that were the “classics” of their time; (2) Works in line with the legendary F&FF circle that are as a fundamental references for animation proper; (3) Experimental cinema, experimental animation, and original works; (4) Film history and animation history, and (5) Film and visual studies, which are fundamental to this area of research (+x are listed as titles only).

My book, Nihon no animēshon wa ika ni shite seiritsu shita no ka (How Japanese Animation Was Created), covers a period of almost 100 years, starting with the Meiji era when foreign animation was first screened in Japan. I focus on animation located at peripheries and boundaries, and I examine how the concept of animation was created and developed in Japan. I wish to provide a list of books, perhaps arbitrarily, that, I believe, can be used as references in terms of the history of animation in Japan; I combined with my own book.

Animated documentaries were first written about (by animation, film and documentary scholars) in the late 1990s. Much of that work was about drawing attention to the existence of animated documentary and discussing how they fit in with pre-existing ideas of what documentary is. It was about 10 years later that scholars once again became interested in animated documentary and from that time there has been an increasing amount of books, articles and book chapters published on the topic. Hopefully this is a sign that the discourse around animated documentaries will continue to develop with new perspectives being offered.

The Japanese animation industry is a multi-faceted, unique system of intricate, interlocking businesses, frameworks, networks and processes. While much has been written on the sociocultural impact of anime around the world, as well as thematic analysis of individual works, in truth there are many aspects which still warrant further discussion, in order to more adequately understand the elements beyond the surface. This list is a compilation of sources of information which may serve as a start to help shed light and contribute to a fuller image of the inner workings and idiosyncrasies of the anime industry.

It is not easy to say what is "essential". (For myself? for everybody? for today or in all times etc.) What is essential depends by a context which does it essential or not, and all contexts are not similar...I always combine ideas that I find in different sources..In any way as you suggest "They are not necessary to deal with animation directly" I can mention books that I like and are references for me.

Given the vitality of the animation business within Japan and overseas, there is a surprising dearth of work dealing with this topic. I considered creating a list that balances publications about management/production, copyright issues, finances and overseas topics, but many quality works have become dated. I tried here to select recent publications will give you a bird’s-eye view of the animation business. Also, I emphasized statistical material, as this field is often not backed up by numbers.

The fact that I’m compiling this list means that this list will have nothing to do with “academism.” That is to say, I picked books to understand “anime history” and not the history of animation, and I focused on commercial books that probably haven’t gotten much attention in academic circles. However, I excluded my own books, and I also deliberately left off some standard references. The list is in chronological order based on publication date.

We’ve become familiar with the term “anime pilgrimage,” which happens when watching an animation motivates a person to visit to a specific place that is the setting, inspiration or otherwise somehow connected to the anime work. In addition, the “anime pilgrimage” movement is beginning to attract attention among overseas fans as well as scholars. I’ve compiled a list of useful introductory works primarily in the field of tourism research that offer a structural understanding of anime pilgrimages.

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.