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Green, Laurence (2019) Selling the spectacle of destruction - The films of Rintaro, and Japanese animation’s transnational transformation from ‘cult’ to ‘commercial’. In: London Screen Studies Group Conference, 8th June 2019, Birkbeck, University of London. (Unpublished)

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As one of the most acclaimed directors working in Japanese animation, Rintaro (aka. Shigeyuki Hayashi) has not only fronted a body of cinematic work that stretches from the late 70s through to the 00s, but provides a useful lens through which to examine the evolutionary history of anime as a Japanese creative output across the latter half of the 20th century. His work is often characterised as being cinematically epic, profiling life and death struggles against darkly fantastical backdrops. It also captures a crucial era in which the West was opening its doors to Japanese animation following the landmark screening of Akira (1988) at the London ICA in 1991. Simultaneously, the boom in the home video market - seeing both the maturation of the VHS format as well as the beginnings of the DVD as its successor - played a vital role, facilitating the development of an exciting new ‘cult’ environment where a niche medium like anime could bypass the cinema and be marketed directly to fans. It is here that the notion between cinematic spectacle and marketable medium meets - and which this paper will attempt to analyse; charting the course of Rintaro’s cinematic output as both aesthetic and transnational objects, created in Japan, yet consumed in the West.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Doctoral School
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2019 15:05

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