Frames of Anime: Culture and Image-Building

Carter, Chris P. (2012) Frames of Anime: Culture and Image-Building. Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 7(2), pp. 205-210.

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With the rising popularity of anime amongst animation students, audiences and scholars around the world, it has become increasingly important to critically analyse anime as being more than a ‘limited’ form of animation, and thematically as encompassing more than super robots and pocket monsters. Frames of Anime: Culture and Image-Building charts the development of Japanese animation from its indigenous roots within a native culture, through Japan’s experience of modernity and the impact of the Second World War. This text is the result of a rigorous study that recognises the heterogeneous and polymorphous background of anime. As such, Tze-Yue has adopted an ‘interdisciplinary and transnational’ (p. 7) approach to her enquiry, drawing upon face-to-face interviews, on-site visits and biographical writings of animators. Tze-Yue delineates anime from other forms of animation by linking its visual style to pre-modern Japanese art forms and demonstrating the connection it shares with an indigenous folk system of beliefs. Via the identification of traditional Japanese art forms and their visual connectedness to Japanese animation, Tze-Yue shows that the Japanese were already heavily engaged in what was destined to become anime once technology had enabled its production. Tze-Yue’s efforts to connect traditional Japanese art forms, and their artistic elements, to contemporary anime reveals that the Japanese already had a rich culture of visual storytelling that pre-dates modern animation. She identifies the Japanese form of the magic lantern at the turn of the 19th century, utsushi-e, as the pre-modern ancestor of Japanese animation, describing it as ‘Edo anime’ (p. 43). Along with utsushi-e, the Edo period also saw the woodblock print, ukiyo-e, being produced for the rising middle class (p. 32). Highlighting the ‘resurfacing’ of ‘realist’ approaches to Japanese art in ukiyo-e, Tze-Yue demonstrates the visual connection of ukiyo-e and anime in the …

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ID Code: 52031
Item Type: Review
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Animation, Japanese Animation, Anime, Animation History
DOI: 10.1177/1746847712440941
ISSN: 1746-8485
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Sage Journals
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 02:52
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2013 22:45

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