Module Catalogue 2023/24

JPN4002 : Contemporary Japanese Animation

JPN4002 : Contemporary Japanese Animation

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Shiro Yoshioka
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



•       To familiarise students with the trends in contemporary academic research on anime.
•       To draw students’ attention to and deepen their understanding of the differences between academic approaches to anime in Japan and elsewhere (especially America) as well as the different ways scholars employ to reflect on Japanese culture and society in general.
•       To raise students’ awareness of anime’s potential as a text that can inform a variety of disciplines.
•       To develop students’ understanding of the history and the main genres of anime.
•       To develop students’ understanding of the history of the exportation of anime and of its acceptance outside Japan.

Outline Of Syllabus

Anime is rapidly gaining popularity as a subject of academic research in a number of disciplines. Approaches to anime, however, vary, especially between works written in English and Japanese: different films and different topics are chosen and different methodologies are employed. The most significant point to consider is the different attitudes held by Japanese and non-Japanese scholars in their approach to Japanese society and culture. Those differences, in turn, relate to differences in the disciplines associated with research of anime and related media in Japan and elsewhere.

Anime and related media provide us with a vantage point on contemporary Japanese society and culture. However, when using anime as a source for research on Japanese society and culture, it is mandatory to overcome this split, and to do so, we need to approach anime from three viewpoints: the non-Japanese (especially American) view of anime that conceives it mainly as a film text; the Japanese view that analyses it as a representation of specific social situation and thought peculiar to contemporary Japan, and finally that of the enthusiast who focus on the technical details and the history of anime as an art form. This advanced survey course begins with an overview of the history of anime, and then explores the various ways in which anime has been treated in academic research, taking cues from critical writings. Finally, we shall reflect upon the Japanese and the American critical approach to anime in order to summarise the issues raised in the course.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

•       Detailed knowledge of the history of Japanese anime
•       Detailed knowledge of key anime texts, creators and genres
•       Detailed knowledge of contemporary academic trends in Japanese and non-Japanese scholarship on contemporary Japanese popular culture
•       Broadened knowledge of the social and the historical background of modern and contemporary Japanese popular culture

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       The ability to critically discuss and analyse Japanese anime
•       The ability to identify, and critically read contemporary scholarship on Japanese popular culture, paying close attention to the different approaches that scholars take on the basis of their disciplinary area
•       The ability to use anime in tandem with other sources in order to discuss social, cultural, political and historical issues in contemporary Japan

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminar. Present-in-Person
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide the students with knowledge and information necessary to engage with contemporary Japanese animation critically and academically.

In SGL (Structured non-synchronous discussion) the students will have opportunities to discuss questions on the texts (animation and reading) with the lecturer and the peers. This will enable the students to engage actively with reading and viewing materials as well as what they learn in the lecture, and develop their own idea, which should be eventually presented in the assessment.

While the module will introduce the students to areas for which only materials in Japanese are available, the key ideas and argument in these will be explained in English in the lectures.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M903000 words in English at the end of the semester.
Report1M101000 word report on one of the readings in English in Week 8.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal1MA proposal on an academic paper on anime with a focus on one of the topics covered in the module
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report will give students an opportunity to practice/refresh their skills in reading and commenting on existing academic research on anime, a skill essential for essay writing.

The students have to write an essay on one of the topics covered in the course (e.g. History of anime, gender, internationalisation of anime). The choice of specific agenda as well as methodology to be adopted is up to the students (The choice of agenda itself and how s/he discusses the issue of his/her choice will be also assessed).

The proposal will enable the student to reflect on possible topics, methodology, structure and other aspects of an academic paper on anime, and use any feedback for their essay.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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