This class will examine the arts and culture of Japan through a history of its globally popular art and entertainment form, anime. The structure of the course revolves around watching anime and discussing its aesthetic and socio-cultural significance. After an introduction to animation and manga, students will explore traditional and popular music and theatre of Japan from Noh and Gagaku to J-pop and Kabuki, witnessing their influence in anime. Students will understand the role of film music, while exploring themes of national identity, gender and sexuality, environmentalism, and the complexity of realism in animation. We will cover mainstream TV animation such as Pokemon and Sailor Moon, as well as delve into more complex narratives such as those of the infamous director Hayao Miyazaki and his films Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Additional films will include Garden of Words, Your Name, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and others based on student input.
Our work will be conducted remotely, using Zoom and Canopy. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.
Course Reference Numbers
Students should expect to spend $9 a month for access to Netflix for required film viewing.