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Green, Laurence (2022) From score to song — The rise of the 'star composer' and the role of music in contemporary anime. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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From the late 1980s 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, anime releases have become some of Japan’s highest grossing films of all time. 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

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Media and Film Studies
SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Griseldis Kirsch
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 10:59
Funders: Other

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