Rayna DenisonDec 16, 2021
A Critical Introduction
Bloomsbury Publishing 2015
Rayna Denison’s Anime: A Critical Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2015) uses genre as a window into the evolving global phenomenon of Japanese animation. Denison’s wide-ranging analysis tackles the anime themselves – including classics such as Astro Boy, Akira, Urotsukidōji, Spirited Away, and Natsume’s Book of Friends – but also the mechanics behind anime production and distribution in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Tracking anime’s circulation through these locations over time reveals key differences in how generic terms such as horror, nichijōkei/slice-of-life, and even anime itself are understood. Examining production and distribution contexts like the industry and fan event, Tokyo International Anime Fair, further discloses how companies and fans contextualize and re-contextualize anime to encourage its popularization in new time periods and markets. Denison depicts anime as an intricate global phenomenon that is constantly metamorphosing even on the level of individual anime texts, which are at the extreme re-cut, re-scripted, and re-dubbed to fit new contexts in an eternal evolution.
Amanda Kennell is an Assistant Teaching Professor of International Studies at North Carolina State University. She writes about Japanese media and is currently finishing up a book on Japanese adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland novels.