Database for Animation Studies

10 books/articles to know fan studies in Japan

Galbraith, Patrick W.

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.

Galbraith, Patrick W.

Patrick W. Galbraith received his first Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of Tokyo, and his second Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. He is the author and co-editor of many books on Japanese media and popular culture, most recently The Moe Manifesto: An Insider’s Look at the Worlds of Manga, Anime and Gaming (Tuttle, 2014), Debating Otaku in Contemporary Japan: Historical Perspectives and New Horizons (Bloomsbury, 2015) and Media Convergence in Japan (Kinema Club, 2016). Based on over a decade of fieldwork in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood, his monograph Otaku and the Struggle for Imagination in Contemporary Japan is forthcoming from Duke University Press.


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.