Anime Programming for the non-otaku librarian you’re gonna be king o f t h e li b r a r y ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Monkey D. Luffy of “One Piece” p r e s e n te d @ NYLA 2007 by K e n Pe t r i l li Te e n S e r v i c e s L i b r a r i a n N e w Ro c h e l le Pu b li c L i b r a r y
What is Anime? B o y , i s t h a t a lo a d e d q u e s t i o n . . . .Quite honestly, we could sit here all day and I still wouldn’t have finished explainingexactly what anime is and isn’t. For our purposes, let’s go with the following:Anime is a Japanese abbreviation of the word ‘animation.’ In Japan, ‘anime’ refers toanything animated, but in the west, it refers to animation from Japan. The Japanesewere experimenting with animation as early as 1905, and went through a longdevelopmental period that ran through the war years, with most animators being heavilyinfluenced by Disney and other American animation.1948: ‘modern’ anime comes onto the scene in the form of Toei Studios, who beginproducing successful films such as Hakujaden.1962: Creation of Mushi Studios in 1962 by Osamu Tezuka.Often called “The Father of Manga,” Tezuka was already a highlysuccessful mangaka (comic book artist). Mushi’s first TV seriesTetsuwan Atomu (‘Mighty Atom’) became a huge hit and openedthe door for many more successful anime series to be produced,including Tetsujin-28-Go and Mach Go-Go-Go.1970’s: A slow period for anime, notable mainly for the 100,000 Horsepower anddevelopment of several science fiction space operas which a heart of gold! It’sbrought anime into a more complex storytelling arena. Among Atom Boy!these were Kagaku Ninja tai Gatchaman and Kidō SenshiGandamu. With the worldwide success of Star Wars in 1977, the shift towards sciencefiction became pronounced, and this, along with the development of the otaku (super-fan) subculture, led to the anime boom of the 1980’s.1980’s: First ‘boom’ period. Massive success of such anime as Urusei Yatsura and Chō Jikū Yōsai Makurosu. Studio Ghibli is formed by Hayao Miyazaki after the enormous success of Kaze no tani no Naushika in 1984. Otaku subculture gains more influence over the anime world. Home video leads to the OVA revolution. The late 80’s sees a large number of big budget experimental films such as Ōritsu Uchūgun - Oneamisu no Tsubasa and Akira. By the end of the decade, overspending and commercial flops have led to a doldrums period which will last until the mid 1990’s.Princess Nausicaa and Teto 1990’s: In 1995, Hideaki Anno’s Shin Seiki Evangerion reenergizes the anime industry and leads to a new ‘boom’ period.
The worldwide success of Poketto Monsutā, Bishōjo SenshiSērā Mūn, and Doragon Bōru Zetto bring anime to a newlevel of success in the USA.And here we are. Anime now has a foothold in american popculture, and is therefore something we need to know aboutand learn to take advantage of. A few other things to keep inmind: Asuka Langley Soryu of Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime is not American, it’s Japanese. It is an art form being created by a culture that is very, very different from our own, and will often present scenes, themes, elements and ideas that will leave you scratching your head. American animation has always been considered something only for children. Not so in Japan, where anime and manga are produced for all age groups. They often contain violence, language, sexuality and dramatic elements not appropriate for younger kids. While it has never been as popular as now, anime has been coming over to the US since the 1960’s, often heavily edited and redrawn. Didn’t know that? Take another look at the anime I’ve already mentioned and see how many you recognize:Hakujaden - Tale of the White Serpent, In the US: Panda and the White SerpentTetsuwan Atomu - Mighty Atom, In the US: Atom BoyTetsujin-28-Go - Iron Man #28, In the US: GigantorMach Go-Go-Go - Speed RacerKagaku Ninja tai Gatchaman - Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, In the US: Battle of thePlanetsKidō Senshi Gandamu - Mobile Suit GundamUrusei Yatsura - Those Obnoxious Aliens!Chō Jikū Yōsai Makurosu - Super Dimension Fortress Macross, In the US: Became theﬁrst part of RobotechKaze no tani no Naushika - Nausicaa of the Valley of the WindŌritsu Uchūgun - Oneamisu no Tsubasa - Royal Space Force: Wings of HonneamiseAkira - Akira was the first feature length anime to gain a wide release in the USShin Seiki Evangerion - Neon Genesis Evangelion, or simply ‘Eva.’Poketto Monsutā - Pocket Monsters, or as it is better known: PokemonBishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn - Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, in the west simply Sailor MoonDoragon Bōru Zetto - DragonBall Z
Why is anime so popular? Lots of reasons: It’s there. With the success of DragonBall Z and Pokemon in the late 90’s, programmers began bringing more and more anime over to show on TV. As the Pokemon kids have grown up, the imports have grown with them. Unlike most American animation, anime focuses on story and character. Any young teen can easily identify with Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) or Kagome Higurashi (InuYasha), and the serialized stories will easily keep anyone coming back. Anime is supported by an enor- Naruto Uzumaki and fellow mous (and often obsessive) fan Hidden Leaf Shinobi community, often referred to as Otaku. In the online age this is an easily accessible world, one full of people, clubs, conventions, and fun. And anime is more than film - it is music, art, food, literature, video games, technology and more. Japanese popular culture is quite unlike anything in AmericaOtaku in full cosplay mode and is a highly attractive curiosity. It will make your parents say “What in the heck are you watching/doing!!!????” Why do anime related programming? Lots of reasons: As we’ve already seen, anime & manga have become part of the modern teen culture, which means it is something our patrons are looking for. It’s a multicultural experience, introducing a whole new world to American kids. It’s a multi-educational experience, combining film, literature, art, music, technology and social and cultural studies. IT”S FUN!!!!!!!!!!!
Where Do I Start? With an anime club, of course:1. As with most programming, your teens are your best resource. If they’re asking foranime programming, you’re already halfway there; otherwise, seek them out! If youhave a manga collection that circulates well, that’s your first point of contact: Put feeler flyers out by the graphic novel collection. Stick small flyers inside the manga. Put flyers out asking for contact information, with a box to drop them in.2. Once you’ve got some names, you’re ready to go. Keep the following in mind: BE PATIENT; it took three months before I had more than two people coming. Persistence will pay off. Check to see if there are other anime clubs in the area. The High School will often have one as an offshoot of the Japanese or Asian Culture Club. Schedule a different day and try to communicate with them; most otaku will readily come to any and all clubs.3. So now you’ve got your club, what do you do? Watch anime, of course! There are several ways to do this; have the kids bring in their favorites and vote, watch on a laptop, or watch the DVD’s provided by one of the many anime club sponsors. DDR is mega- Several of the major liscensing companies now have popular anime clubs you can join, and they’ll send you newslet- with anime ters, DVD’s and other stuff. fans! Play video games. If you can swing it, set up a game system; anime and gaming go hand in hand. Have manga available to read, circulate, swap, whatever. Most of the kids will bring their own, so you should too. Drawing supplies are always fun to have on hand for your budding mangaka.
FOOD! And it should be Japanese. Pocky, Lotte Koala March, Kasugai milk candy, Mini Jellycups, Ramune soda, Ramen noodles, and more! The Japanese are VERY good at creating snack food. It’s Japanese, It’s Yummy, It’s totally addictive: Pocky!So now what?There’s more:Once you’ve got a club up and running, there are plenty of otherprogram opportunities to explore: Anime Festivals: Like the club, only bigger and more structured. This is where you can show feature films, screen multiple episodes and more. Set up a manga cafe to go with it and you’re in business! This will take some planning, and a lot of promotion. Just make sure to get your screening permissions early - some of the licensing companies can be notoriously slow. Cosplay: ‘costume play’ is a big part of the anime world. If you have any cosplayers, set up a tournament. Art & writing programs: If you can find someone to teach manga style art, or maybe kanji drawing, and combine it with creative writing. Cultural programs: There’s more to Japanese culture than just anime; history, art, film...and of course, food! if you can find a hibachi or sushi chef willing to teach some technique, it could be a lot of fun!Well, that’s about it. Just remember tofollow the lead of your teen Otaku, andhave fun. Your anime programming willthen be a sure success! Sushi, anyone?!
Resources and other stuffInformational Anime sites: The enigmatichttp://www.animenewsnetwork.com Saber of ‘Fate/Stayhttp://www.theotaku.com Night’http://www.animeonline.nethttp://www.anime.comhttp://animenfo.com Licensing companies: (these are the big guys - there are many more!) http://www.advfilms.com http://www.viz.com http://www.funimation.com http://www.manga.com http://www.geneonanimation.com Haruka of ‘Noein’Licensed Anime Club sites:http://advocates.advfilms.com (ADV Films)http://www.bandai-ent.com/fans (BandaiUSA)http://www.operationanime.com (Funimation)
She’s cute, she’s sweet, she’s a Online Stores: vampire! Miss Hazuki of ‘Moon http://www.animenation.com Phase’ http://www.animegamersusa.com http://www.animecastle.com (located in Mineola, L.I., warehouse open to the public) http://www.animepavilion.comMisc. Japanese culture and food:http://www.j-fan.comhttp://www.jlist.comhttp://www.jpopmusic.comhttp://www.asianmunchies.comhttp://www.asiafoods.com Haruhi Suzimaya says: Go do some anime program- ming!!!! Online Video Sites: There are a ton of these sites out there, and your kids will know most of them... (provided for informational purposes. I leave the copyright issues to your individual discretion...) http://www.youtube.com http://www.veoh.com http://www.crunchyroll.com
Books:Clements, Jonathan - The Anime Encyclopedia : A Guide to Japanese Animation Since1917 (Rev. & expanded ed.)Levi, Antonia - Samurai From Outer Space : Understanding Japanese AnimationPoitras, Gilles - The Anime Companion : Whats Japanese in Japanese Animation?Poitras, Gilles - The Anime Companion 2 : More...Whats Japanese in JapaneseAnimation?Drazen, Patrick - Anime explosion! : The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese AnimationPoitras, Gilles - Anime Essentials : Everything a Fan Needs to KnowPatten, Fred - Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and ReviewsMacias, Patrick and Tomohiro Machiyama - Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide toNeo Tokyo Now go do some anime programming...or else!!!! Abel Nightroad of ‘Trinity Blood’ Ken Petrilli is the Teen Services Librarian at the New Rochelle Public Library. In addition to being a musician, sci-ﬁ nerd and all-around pop-culture junkie, he has been a rabid anime fan since the age of twelve. (His anime club, however, will just tell you that he’s old...) you can contact him @ planetﬁre@hotmail.com