Database for Animation Studies

10 Books to Understand the Japanese Animation Industry

Renato Rivera Rusca

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.

Renato Rivera Rusca, “The Changing Role of Manga and Anime Magazines in the Japanese Animation Industry,” Manga Vision: Cultural and Communicative Perspectives, Monash University Publishing, 2016

This chapter plots the development of anime magazines from manga magazines in Japan against the development of the anime industry, to give context and insight into the essential role they played in how fan/consumer and publication/production industry interaction was fostered and evolved through the anime boom years (1977-1985).

Marco Pellitteri, The Dragon and the Dazzle: Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination—A European Perspective, Tunue, 2010

A triumphant attempt to mitigate the apparent bias on Anglophonic-regions in discussions of “Japanese pop culture around the world”—the ubiquity of manga and anime in mainland European regions tells a deeper, more complex tale of exports, localization, co-productions, etc., giving a fuller picture of the true globalization of Japanese contents.

Renato Rivera Rusca

Renato Rivera Rusca is a graduate of Japanese studies at Stirling University in Scotland and conducted his Master’s and Doctoral research in Sociology on Japanese popular culture at Osaka University and Kyoto University. After being involved in the Kyoto International Manga Museum and teaching at the Faculty of Manga at Kyoto Seika University, he coordinated the Cool Japan Summer Program from 2010 to 2016. He is currently teaching Manga Culture, Animation Culture, Comparative Subculture Studies, Global Issues and more at Meiji University, Yokohama National University, Senshu University, and Waseda University. He also writes for Anime Consortium, Co., Ltd. (


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.

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: Kayama Takashi, Sugawa Akiko, Nakagaki Kotaro)