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HUM Seminar Japanese Anime, Global Fandoms


Admission requirements

This course is only accessible for BA Japanstudies students.


As its nation’s highest-profile cultural export, anime has become the face of Japan for many of today’s youth. But does the key to anime’s worldwide popularity lie in its unique “Japanese-ness”, or in its appeal to transnational themes? This course focuses on the rise of anime at the turn of the millennium as a global commodity and the complex roles artists, studios, and otaku (fans) both inside and outside Japan play in the creative process, examining the themes and forces that conspired to create international anime fandom as we know it today.

Course Objectives

Through lectures, class discussions, and screenings students will consider and be able to discuss critically:

  • What makes anime a transcultural phenomenon that is at once nationally specific and globally popular.

  • Anime as one part of a multimedia platform of cultural production.

  • Anime’s relationship to genre, both in Japan and internationally.

  • Anime fans (otaku) and their role in cultural production and meaning.

  • Key filmmakers, works and genres in the history of anime and their contributions to anime’s global identity

  • Assumptions about the definition of “Japanese animation” in light of transnational audiences and production.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of Instruction

Class will feature a combination of lecture and discussion in which students will be invited to share their thoughts on the relationship between the lectures, assigned readings, and examples from anime shown in screenings as well as their own personal favorites.

Assessment method


Attendance/Participation: 25%
Essay (approx. 2000 words): 40%
Final Exam: 35%


The final grade is established by determining the weighted average of all elements. In order to pass the course, all elements must receive a passing grade (6 or higher).


There is a two-deadline policy for the paper; for those who miss this deadline, this means they have failed on the first attempt. Those who fail on the first attempt—whether by not submitting a paper by the first deadline, or by submitting an inadequate paper—will have one more (second and last) chance to submit their paper by the second deadline.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Condry, Ian. The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.

  • Denison, Rayna. Anime: A Critical Introduction. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof


Not applicable.