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The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story (Experimental Futures) Hardcover – February 11, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Does anime have a soul? In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the lives and work of the creators and consumers of one of Japan's great contributions to popular culture. Condry shows how the genre has moved from the margins to a place of respect and influence. This is a book that will appeal to all the otaku out there, as well as to those with a more moderate love of anime in all its forms."
(Eric Nakamura, President, Giant Robot)

"Through an exploration of multiple dimensions of the anime object, from studio production to fan production, piracy, remix, and virtual idols, The Soul of Anime issues a bold challenge to our understanding of the social side of media. Ian Condry's attention to the singularities of this universe takes us far from the normative horizon of analysis of fans and commodities, highlighting how intimacy arises from impersonal affective life. The social side of anime is the soul of anime, and the dark energy of fans is nothing other than the psychosocial stuff, the vibrant matter, of this emerging constellation."
(Thomas LaMarre, author of The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation)

“This book is highly recommended for all lovers of Japanese history, Japanese culture, anime, manga, and animation.”
(Sally Bryant Library Journal (Starred Review))

“It’s a pleasure to have Condry guide us through the complex and ultimately rewarding world of anime.”—
(Animation Magazine)

“An anthropologist by training, Condry bases his arguments in part on fieldwork consisting of interviews with studio personnel and direct observation of working practices.  One may question (as the author himself does) how representative these anecdotes are, but they stimulate numerous intriguing interpretations. . . . Condry writes thoughtfully and occasionally displays wry wit. His book contains much of value to scholars of Japanese popular culture.”
(Alexander Jacoby TLS)

“Condry is no armchair theorist – there can be few Westerners who’ve explored the industry as energetically as he has. . . . For readers who do like amassing anecdotes, The Soul of Anime offers oodles of them, often gained first-hand by the intrepid author, ploughing through the anime multiverse.”
(Andrew Osmond Manga UK)

“Get this if you’re interested in the depth of anime, the pioneers and renowned figures within the anime movement (yes, of course including Miyazaki), and significant anime milestones. . . . For the serious anime lover who wants to move from fan to expert . . . this is a must.”
(Gini Koch It's Comic Book Day blog)

"For students and teachers who wish to gain a full understanding of the inner workings of the world of anime and to do serious research of their own in this area, a careful reading of ... Condry's ... book is definitely a must." 
(Michael McCaskey Journal of Japanese Studies)

“Superb critical, historical, and ethnographic study of the anime phenomenon; a model of cross-media analysis.”
(Science Fiction Studies)

“Part of the appeal of the book is the many popular assumptions about anime it disavows and the new information it provides. … In addition, his work underscores the fact that the production process has really only begun with an animation’s release: fans’ ‘consumption’ of animation is inherently productive as they draw existing characters into storylines of their own invention, compete to produce the best subtitles of their favorite shows, and do innumerable other creative things with animated worlds and characters that ultimately determine not only their success but also their global reach.”
(Elise Edwards American Ethnologist 2015-08-01)

About the Author

Ian Condry is Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization, also published by Duke University Press.


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