Madoka Takashiro

PhD research project:

The Evolution of Japanese Animation. Images and Technology

Japanese animation, or anime in Japanese, became an industrial artefact in the early 1960s, to a large extent due to the introduction of new technologies. Originally assumed as a mere children's entertainment, it has since then grown to appear as a major element in Japanese visual and narrative cultures and has even gone beyond the border to attain the worldwide popularity. As the representations in anime have transformed massively and continuously along with the advancement of media technology, the research project focuses on its multilayered and transversal media form (including cinema, TV, video, CGI and the Internet) and looks at the relational processes of evolution between the images and technology. To be more specific, it aims to explore the ways how media technology has functioned in the formation and transformation of iconography in anime, and also the implications of its iconography that only exists in a visionary world, yet becomes an 'entity' in the viewer's mind.

The thesis is divided largely into two parts. The first part traces the media history of anime from early films to digitalisation, taking an interdisciplinary approach to incorporate media theory, film studies and art history. In this part I describe the developmental processes of anime images, in which various techniques and signs have been accumulated, at the same time, new icons and expressions were generated. In the second part, I examine the audience's perception and reaction to anime images in the age of the Internet, when the audience themselves become not only 'users' but also co-creators. This second part is based on the ethnographic research that I have joined in 2008, where I studied amateur and professional cultures that have developed in a Japanese video-sharing community. The analysis will articulate the response of the audience to the mass-mediated images and the emergence of collective endeavour in the image-making.

Academic background:

Studied film history in BA in Tokyo, and MA in interactive media at Goldsmiths College in London. Started her PhD? at Institut für Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, and joined FAMe group since 2007. Granted a short-term stipend from the Frankfurt Graduate School for the Humanities and Social Sciences (FGS) in 2009.

Last update October 07, 2009, at 11:00 PM | Login
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