Japanese Animated Film
Instructor:  Jeremy Robinsonhttp://home.wlu.edu/~robinsonj/Robinson/Jeremy%20Robinson.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
Since the 1990s, Japanese animation, or anime, has become both a significant domestic cultural phenomenon and one of Japan’s most influential cultural exports.  As the number of anime fans worldwide continues to grow in both number and enthusiasm, anime aesthetics have begun to have a significant impact on Western popular culture.  This course examines the anime phenomenon with a focus on Japanese animated film, from the beginnings of the Japanese animation industry and the emergence of anime fandom, to the wide range of themes explored by anime today.  Through frequent film screenings, students will explore the major genres and examine the unique capacity of the medium for social criticism and exploration of serious themes that can exceed that of more mainstream and established media.
The class is scheduled for 3-hour sessions three times a week in order to allow time for screening of films.  Depending on the day and the length of the film, this screening may take place at the beginning, end, or even middle of the class, with most of the class devoted to discussion.  For particularly long films, the allotted time may not be sufficient to view the entire film, and students may choose to either stay past G hour in order to watch the remainder of the film, or find time to view the remainder of the film on their own.  All films are available on 4-hour reserve at Leyburn Library, as well as on the computers in the TMC for this purpose.
This course makes extensive use of the university’s Blackboard online learning  environment, both to distribute readings and as a forum for submitting and responding to reaction papers.  The Blackboard interface is fairly straightforward, but if you have no experience using the system or are uncomfortable with computers, let me know immediately so we can help you get started.  Becoming experienced with using Blackboard is vital to your success in this course. 

Evaluation will be on the basis of class attendance and participation, online reaction  papers and responses, and a final project: 

Attendance and Participation                                25% 
Six Online Reaction Papers         6 x 5%     =       30% 
Ten Online Responses 	            10 x 2%     =      20% 
Final Project                                                                25% 

Given the short spring semester schedule it is crucial, both to your grade and to the  success of the class, that you keep up on the readings and come to class every day ready  and willing to discuss them.  Attendance is taken and, because active participation in class discussion is one of the only ways I have to check whether you are keeping up on the readings, it is a major portion of your grade.  Fully half of your grade will be given for participation in the online discussion board forums – See last page of syllabus for specifics.  The final project is worth 25% of your final grade, 5% of which is for an initial one-page proposal (due May 16th) and a brief presentation on your project on the last day of class.  In most cases, this will take the form of a formal research paper 10-15 pages in length, although other less-conventional projects will also be accepted provided that your initial proposal is approved in advance.  In general, the paper should apply what we have learned about Japanese animation to a work or works not covered in class, though you may choose to examine one of the films we watched provided the scope of the project goes beyond what we examined in class.  The final version of your project is due by 5pm on June 4th, the last day of final exams, but you will need to be far enough advanced with your project to make a 5-10 minute presentation on it on the last day of class.  You are strongly encouraged to get an early start, and you are welcome to submit a draft for instructor feedback at any time.

There are four required texts for this course: 
Susan Napier				Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle
Mark W. MacWilliams, ed.		Japanese Visual Culture (JVC)
Dani Cavallaro			           Anime Intersections
Brian Camp & Julie Davis		Anime Classics Zettai

All are available at the bookstore and those that are available at Leyburn Library have been placed on 4-hour reserve, along with the DVDs of most the films we will be watching.  Also on reserve at Leyburn are the following, which you are not required to read but which may be helpful for reference:

	Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy	The Anime Encyclopedia
	Philip Brody					100 Anime

All specific required readings, both those from our texts and those in electronic format, are listed on Blackboard and under the topic headings below.  However, due to copyright issues, readings in pdf format are available only through Blackboard.  In general, I have attempted to schedule readings on general themes, etc. prior to viewing the films and articles on specific films after they have been viewed.  Although readings from Zettai are not listed on the schedule, you should read the entry for each film we view, either immediately before or immediately after we view it in class, depending on your personal preference. http://blackboard.wlu.edushapeimage_5_link_0