Reassessing Anime (7.1)

Cinephile 7.1, Reassessing Anime

Deadline for Abstracts: 28 February, 2011

Deadline for Accepted Draft Submissions: 30 April, 2011

In her book Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, Susan J. Napier states that anime “is a phenomenon of popular culture.” Japanese animation – or “anime” as it is now commonly referred to – has, as Napier observes, achieved remarkable recognition and fandom around the world. But what really is anime? How has it impacted visual culture in the twentieth and twenty-first century? And why should it merit further study in academia?

With an emphasis toward anime film, this issue of Cinephile seeks to address and tackle some of the overlooked aspects and problems of Japanese animation. Such a reassessment hopes to encourage and foster future inquiry into the evolution and value of anime, its history, and its impact on Western film culture.

Some sample topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Genre/sub-genre (cyberpunk, mecha, horror, yaoihentai, etc.
  • Anime auteurs (Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, etc.)
  • Audience reception and spectatorship
  • Voice acting/seiyu
  • The anime film soundtrack
  • Otaku studies
  • Anthropomorphism, therianthropy, or shapeshifting
  • Representations of gender, race, sexuality, and/or the (post)human body
  • Depictions of technophilia or technophobia
  • Imagined utopias, dystopias, or ecotopias
  • Theories and interpretations of kawaii/kawaisa
  • Exhibition and distribution outside of Japan (North America, Europe, etc.)
  • Manga, video game, or television adaptations to film (PatlaborFinal FantasyPokémonNeon Genesis Evangelion, etc.)
  • Influence on animation in the West/Occident (Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, etc.) and live-action Hollywood filmmaking (The Matrix,Inception, etc.)
  • Anime film and Orientalism
  • The history of anime film

Cinephile continues its pursuit toward fresh perspectives and “cutting edge” innovations in film studies research and scholarship. By devoting an entire issue to anime, Cinephile once again hopes to present new debates, developments, and interpretations regarding contemporary visual culture.

We accept submissions from both graduate students and faculty.

Abstracts should be: 1) roughly 300 words, 2) possess a short bibliography, and 3) contain a brief biography of the author. Papers should be: 1) between 1500-3000 words in length, 2) follow MLA guidelines, 3) include a “works cited” page, and 4) provide a bio of the author. All submissions and inquiries should be sent to:

Cinephile is the University of British Columbia’s film journal, published with the continued support of the Centre for Cinema Studies. Previous issues have featured original essays by such noted scholars as Matt Hills, K.J. Donnelly, Murray Pomerance, Slavoj Žižek, and Barry Keith Grant. Since 2009, the journal has adopted a blind peer-review process and has moved to biannual publication. Also, it is available both online and in print via subscription. For more information and all the latest updates, please visit our website at