The Anime Paradox

Patterns and Practices Through the Lens of Traditional Japanese Theater

Founded on richly stylized expression, Anime has developed into an art with a high degree of sophistication that is comparable to that of the traditional theatrical forms of Noh, Bunraku, and Kabuki. By analyzing Anime through the lens of traditional Japanese theater, the patterns and practices in Anime can be mapped out. In The Anime Paradox, Stevie Suan utilizes this framework to reveal Anime’s distinct form, examining and delineating the particular formal qualities of Anime’s structure, conventions, aesthetics, and modes of viewing. However, the comparison works both ways—just as Japanese theater can give us analytical insights into Anime, Anime can enrich our understanding of Japanese classical theater.

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Stevie Suan received his M.A. in Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa, and is in the Ph.D. program in the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department. He specializes in aesthetics, Japanese traditional theater, and Anime.
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