I completed my MA in Japanese Studies at SOAS, with my dissertation focusing on the use of genre tropes in anime (Japanese animation). I have a strong spread of practical experience related to Japan, including voluntary work as a helper at the July & December 2017 JLPT exams at SOAS, for ZOOM Japan magazine at Hyper Japan, Japan Matsuri and MCM London Comic Con, as well as for the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. My other recent experiences include conducting ‘Japan Day’ taster sessions focusing on anime and manga for SOAS’ Routes Into Language scheme - presenting to secondary school students and conducting activities such as origami and teaching students to write their names in Japanese. I have also written as a freelance reviewer for both NEO Magazine - the UK’s largest Asian pop culture magazine - as well as the Japan Society Review.
From the late 80s onward, Japanese animation (anime) has increasingly been consumed as a ‘global’ product, with iconic films such as Akira and Ghost in the Shell achieving cult-like status on both the art-cinema circuit as well as via home-video releases. The 2010s have seen anime consumption move primarily to digital streaming platforms, while in cinemas, 2016’s Your Name became the highest-grossing anime film worldwide to date, with earnings of over $281 million. Existing English-language research on anime to date has, however, mostly ignored music’s role within the artistic medium - which encompasses both classically trained composers and pop musicians creating catchy, vocal led ‘opening’ and ‘ending’ themes for televised anime series.
By examining the work of a number of composers and how their representative material dovetails both artistic and financial interests, I believe my study will form part of a developing narrative in analysis of anime which is moving away from monolithic studies of individual auteur-directors and their key cinematic output, and toward a more fully-developed discussion of anime as a product of many individual, diversely skilled creators working together in synthesis as part of defined system. I will look to locate music as a core ingredient within the wider package of ‘cultural product’ engaging increasingly global audiences with a distinctly Japanese kind of ‘media mix’. In doing so, contemporary Japanese music, its creators, audiences and their consumption habits can then be better represented alongside the existing wider coverage of the country’s traditional music and cinema scenes as a whole.
- Meiji Jingu Japanese Studies Research Scholarship Recipient
- British Association of Japanese Studies - Member
- The Japan Society of the UK - Member