This course examines the nexus between the Japanese music and manga (graphic novel) industries and the consequent symbiotic relationship between animation (anime), live-action TV drama and film, popular literature, and advertising in contemporary Japan. Through the consideration of such relationships, we will come to engage with larget questions of artistic autonomy versus the commodified production of art, connecting them to an understanding of the history of literary and artistic production in Japan and elsewhere. We will analyze the poetics and aesthetics of the Japanese popular music that is used as opening and ending theme songs for anime and live-action dramas. What is the significance of the fact that on any given week it is not uncommon for nearly half of the songs in the Top 10 chart to be theme songs for not only anime and TV dramas, but even for weekly TV sports shows or advertising selling anything from fleeces to station wagons? In addition to examining the relationship, or lack thereof, between the music and the shows, by tracing the life-cycle of stories such "Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit" and "Fullmetal Alchemist" through their incarnations as popular literature or serialized graphic novels, animation, cinema, etc. students will be guided to consider the distinct features of each genre and medium, as well as the aesthetic principles involved in adaptation from one genre/medium to another. As the semester progresses students will acquire skills of close reading and analysis of various kinds of texts, focusing on their narrative, poetic, visual, and musical components. Throughout the semester we will also engage in a literature review of the expanding body of academic publications on Japanese popular culture. Pre-requisites: EALC 002 or EALC 069 or permission from the instructor.
Section 001 - LEC
T 0600PM-0900PM