Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

The Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is a unique feature of Anime Expo’s programming – a special line-up of talks and lectures on Japanese comics and animation by leading scholars from colleges and universities around the world. Some of the topics that will be explored in this year’s Symposium include depictions of Japanese history, uses of themes Western literature, the roles of female characters and female audiences, the copyright status of fan art, anime’s adaptation into videogames, and many more.

The symposium will open with a keynote address by Marc Steinberg, author of Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan, a roundtable discussion on teaching anime and manga to American college students, and a special guest lecture by Eiji Otsuka, one of Japan’s leading writers on anime and manga subcultures – and the author of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, MPD-Psycho, and numerous other manga.

Keynote Address by Marc Steinberg

Marc Steinberg“Media mix” is a guiding principle of media production and consumption in the worlds of anime, manga, games and fan culture. In fact it refers to the ways media properties cross from one medium to another – asking fans to read, watch and play across media in order to get the full experience of something like Haruhi Suzumiya. This presentation will give an outline of media mix history and practice in the Japanese context, taking a peek at the principles of cross media creation. In doing so Steinberg will also discuss the process of writing his recent book, Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), and his current work rewriting it for Japanese translation with Kadokawa.

Marc Steinberg teaches film, animation and media studies at Concordia University, Montreal. His work covers multiple aspects of Japanese visual culture, focusing on the relation between industry and creative practice around the phenomenon of media mix in Japan – in anime, manga, toys and games in particular. He is especially interested in how transmedia franchises develop and transform over time and in the different models of the media mix. His recent work digs deeper into the history of media conglomerate Kadokawa, famous for mid-2000s media mix hits like Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star, as well as earlier titles like Record of Lodoss War.

Special Guest Lecture by Eiji Otsuka

Otsuka EijiEiji Otsuka is manga scriptwriter and critic. He is a professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, as well as visiting professor at University of Tokyo’s Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies. He is the author of works in the modern horror genre such as Multi Personality Disorder Psycho and The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. As a critic, he is known for such works as The Theory of Narrative Consumption.

Eiji Otsuka will be speaking on “The Rebirth of the Saga and the Fabrication of History: Gundam, the Aum Cult, and Attack on Titan.






Special Presentation by Northrop Davis

Northrop DavisThis talk pulls back the curtain on the historical and rapidly evolving relationship between Japanese animation and Hollywood. When Stanley Kubrick asked Osamu Tezuka (who was heavily influenced by Hollywood animation/movies and American comics), to be art director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the seeds of this exciting relationship were planted. A fascinating inside look at how major Hollywood movies and television shows were adapted from/influenced by Japanese manga/anime and Hollywood’s major role in the origins of manga/anime. Packed with amazing images, it will vibrantly illuminate the history of this relationship between Japan and America from WW2 to the present.

Northrop Davis is a screenwriter and director who teaches feature and television screenwriting and manga/anime studies. He has sold three projects: his science fiction script Cyber Ship to Warner Brothers and two pitches, one to Columbia/Sony Studios and another to 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, both of which he subsequently wrote as screenplays. He has lectured at the Writers Guild of America, Duke University, Cal Arts, UCLA, Screenwriting Expo, UFVA, and the Asian VC Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America; and he taught three courses on manga/anime at the University of California at Irvine. Professor Davis’s book, Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood will be published in 2015 by Bloomsbury Academic.

Roundtable Discussion

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of Anime and Manga in the Classroom

Humanity and the Future in Japanese Animation

Here and There and Then: Space Dandy, Science Fiction, and Recursion
Andrew John Smith, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Good, or Don’t Be: Post-Humanism in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass
Sarah Colclough, University of Georgia

Japanese Visual Culture’s Female Characters and Female Audiences

Girls Gone Wild: Anxious Times and the Weaponized Shoujo Body
Elizabeth Birmingham, North Dakota State University

Kanoko Sakuramoji’s Refashioned Tengu: Using the Japanese Supernatural to Explore Female Coming of Age in Black Bird
Tara-Monique Etherington, University of Exeter

Fan Art and Fan Comics in Japan

Queering the Media Mix: Fan Comics and the Female Gaze
Kathryn Hemmann, University of Notre Dame

“Why am I the Uke?!”: Performing and Changing Identity Through Language Styles in Dojinshi
Ryan Charles Redmond, University of Arizona

Who has the Copyright of Fan Art? A Case Study of Controversy Between Manga Fandom and the Japanese Contemporary Art World
Kohki Watabe and Yasuhito Abe, Univesity of Southern California

Fan Communities and Other Fan Activities Around the World

Extending the Database: Japanicized Image Production in Global Online Communities
Danielle Frankel, University of Florida

TwitchPlaysPokemon: Flash Fandom, Interactivity, and Tracing Fan Behaviors
Alexander Leavitt, University of Southern California

Connecting the World: The Worldwide Visual Lexicon and Terminology of Anime, Manga and Fandom
Lawrence Brenner, Cornell University

Japanese Society and Japan’s History

Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ooku
Andrea Horbinski, University of California, Berkeley

Cultural Amnesia: Constructed Images of Illicit Drug Use in Anime and Manga
Lance Mulcahey, University of California, Los Angeles

Media and Transmedia Mixes

Alice in Evasion: A Character Becomes a Symbol
Amanda Kennell, University of Southern California

“Post Smasher”: The Legend of Zelda – A Transmedia Modern Epic
Chris Foster, Sam Houston State University

Building a Cosmology for the Media Mix: The Case of Pokemon
Patrick Wauters, Southeast Arkansas College