The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story

The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry, Duke University Press

The Soul of Anime
Ian Condry
Duke University Press

In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the emergence of anime, Japanese animated film and television, as a global cultural phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic research, including interviews with artists at some of Tokyo’s leading animation studios—such as Madhouse, Gonzo, Aniplex, and Studio Ghibli—Condry discusses how anime’s fictional characters and worlds become platforms for collaborative creativity. He argues that the global success of Japanese animation has grown out of a collective social energy that operates across industries—including those that produce film, television, manga (comic books), and toys and other licensed merchandise—and connects fans to the creators of anime. For Condry, this collective social energy is the soul of anime.

Ian Condry

About Ian Condry

Ian Condry s a cultural anthropologist of Japan and professor at MIT since 2002. He is the author of two books, Hip-Hop Japan and The Soul of Anime, both of which explore globalization from below. The books are available for free, thanks to Creative Commons and Duke University Press: mit.academia.edu/IanCondry. In the fall of 2019, he launched the MIT Spatial Sound Lab, a community production studio for immersive, multiperspective, sonic experimentation. Among the goals is to provide a space for using sound to disrupt hierarchies, reduce inequalities, and cross borders. He is co-organizer of Dissolve Music, a sound conference and music festival, in 2018 and 2020 (mitdissolve.com). Since 2018, he is the radio DJ for Near and Far, a Japanese hip-hop show, on WMBR 88.1FM Cambridge, and online at wmbr.org, alternating Wednesdays, 6-7pm. Archive at mixcloud.com/iancondry. Since 2006, he has organized the MIT / Harvard Cool Japan research project, which explores the critical potential of popular culture. He is currently working on a book about musicians on the margins in Tokyo, Boston, and Berlin.

 
 

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