Dissertation Introduction


This dissertation will answer the question “What makes Japanese animation so Japanese?” the aim of this dissertation is to answer this question describing and analysing in detail the findings of the research. Japanese animation is so different to any other type of animation, the visual style, and the messages that it is used to send etc. the purpose of this dissertation is to look at the influences behind the animation industry in Japan. Looking at the stages of development in storytelling throughout the strong history of Japan and how the vast cultural heritage influenced Japanese animation.

Also this dissertation will answer a few more questions like, besides the influences from Japan, were there any other influences involved in the development process to create what is known today as Japanese animation? And if so, in what way did they influence it? Just for starters. This dissertation will be essentially a detailed insight into everything that has happened leading up to the creation of what we know now as anime and its close older cousin which has influenced anime more than anything, manga.

The process of gathering all the information to give this detailed insight into what makes Japanese animation so Japanese will be one that will involve a lot of reading, searching, viewing and analysing. The plan is to gather what is needed to answer the question from as many sources as possible, books, blogs, websites, documentaries, questionnaires, interviews, emails, articles etc. to make the findings more reliable and the conclusions that will be forged stronger.

The methodology that will be taken towards this dissertation is one of heavy research, all points and facts stated will be backed up and then analysed well. The process for researching will be carried out before the writing of the dissertation is begun. Although even during the writing phase of the dissertation, research will still be carried out to strengthen and back up points and facts that are brought up. Timekeeping will be a strong factor throughout this entire dissertation, in actual fact it could be the key to it.

To aid to the motivation levels while researching and writing about Japanese animation, watching it will be extremely helpful. The way in which Japanese animation and manga can grab a person and hold that grasp making them loyal viewers and readers is something that is not seen very often. The bond if you will that is formed from watching or reading these unique art forms, clings not only to the curiosity of people making them want more but it also makes them want to know more about the history, the influences, the culture that is passed through the viewing and reading of anime and manga.

Leading to the reasons why this question “What makes Japanese animation so Japanese?”, is the focus of this dissertation. Not many cultures have such a strong and vibrant heritage like the Japanese culture does. So when something as interesting and rich as that has been injected into the creation of art forms that have not been rushed, but carefully moulded and shaped over time, experimented with, and influenced by a vast number of sources, the final result is something that people not only admire and cherish, but something they follow, religiously.

Japanese animation over time has become more than just a way of entertaining, more than just a way of educating and informing, more than just a way of controlling even. It has become a way of life in Japan. The Japanese animation industry is so strong that it has become one of the main sources of income from tourism for Japan, this is supported by the Japan National Tourism Organisation,(jnto.go.jp, 2011).


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