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How Japanese is Anime?

Tom Mes
language: English
subtitles: Polish, English, Dutch, Finnish, Italian


Anime is usually seen as something typically Japanese, even as representing the country and its culture. But the Japanese animation industry has a long history of interaction with Asia, North America, and Europe. From the early days of Astro Boy, via the roots of Studio Ghibli, to the latest made-for-Netflix animation, such interaction continues to shape “anime” to this day – including a little pitstop in the Netherlands along the way.

Tom Mes

Tom Mes is the co-founder of the website Midnight Eye and has published two books on director Miike Takashi and one on Tsukamoto Shinya. He also co-authored The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film. As a film critic he has contributed to publications suchn as Film Comment, Sight and Sound, Rue Morgue, De Filmkrant, Kateigaho and many others. He has provided liner notes and audio commentaries for numerous DVD and blu-ray releases of Japanese films. As a screenwriter Tom worked on Shinji Imaoka’s pink musical “Underwater Love” (“Onna no Kappa”) and as an actor he can be seen in Kiki Sugino’s “Taksu” (“Yokudo”).


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Further reading

Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World (2020), Matt Alt, New York: Crown.

Anime: A History (2013), Jonathan Clements, London: British Film Institute / Palgrave Macmillan

The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition (2015), Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press

The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story (2013), Ian Condry, Durham & London: Duke University Press

Anime: Critical Introduction (2015), Rayana Denison, London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic

The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation (2009), Thomas Lamarre, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle (2005), Susan Napier. London: Palgrave Macmillan

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