Russian Japanology Review

Advanced search

Compassionate Neo-Traditionalism in Hosoda Mamoru’s Animation Movies

Full Text:


Throughout his activity as an animation director, Hosoda Mamoru tackles important issues of present-day Japan - and of late modernity - with creative acuity and a keen sense of observation. From Digimon: The Movie and ONE PIECE: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, in which Hosoda rehearses his directing skills in the field of animation by taking over popular and familiar elements from highly successful Japanese franchises and embedding them into a more mature and more profound context of addressing challenging topics, through The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, in which Hosoda finds his way into the extremely competitive world of the Japanese entertainment industry with original storylines and powerful characters, to Wolf Children with its complex problematic of single motherhood, The Boy and the Beast with its combined topics of runaway children, of absent fathers, and of loss of masculinity addressed in a raw manner, and Mirai, in which Hosoda carefully avoids delving too deeply into the disturbing child-rearing and education politics of Japan, he constantly chooses a narrative of comfortable traditionalism, showing both that he understands Japan’s critical situation and that he does not regard it as his duty to offer alternative solutions, more in tune with the spirit of the 21st century.

About the Author

M. M. Grajdian
Hiroshima University
Russian Federation


1. Allison 2000 - Allison, A. (2000). Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics and Censorship in Japan. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press.

2. Allison 2013 - Allison, A. (2013). Precarious Japan. Durham/London: Duke University Press.

3. Azuma 2001 - Azuma Hiroki (2001). Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan: Otaku kara mita nihonshakai [The animalising postmodernity: The Japanese society as seen from the otaku’s viewpoint]. Tokyo: Kōdansha. (In Japanese)

4. Baudrillard 1983 - Baudrillard, J. (1983). Simulations, translated by P. Foss, P. Patton, Ph. Beitschman. New York: Semiotext(e).

5. Bauman 2000 - Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Oxford: Polity Press.

6. Bauman 2003 - Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid Love - On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Cambridge/Oxford: Polity Press.

7. Bolton 2018 - Bolton, C. (2018). Interpreting Anime. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.

8. Brown 2010 - Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection - Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City (Mn.): Hazelden Publishing.

9. Castells 1997 - Castells, M. (1997). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture II: The Power of Identity. Oxford/Malden (Massachusetts): Blackwell Publishers.

10. Clements, McCarthy 2017 - Clements, J.; McCarthy, H. (2017). The Anime Encycopledia - A Century of Japanese Animation. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press.

11. Condry 2013 - Condry, J. (2013). The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story. Durham: Duke University Press.

12. Eagleton 2000 - Eagleton, T. (2000). The Idea of Culture. Oxford/Cambridge (Massachusetts): Blackwell Publishers.

13. Fuller 2007 - Fuller, M. (2007). Media Ecologies - Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture. Cambridge (Mass.)/London: MIT Press.

14. Giddens 1992 - Giddens, A. (1992). Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Cambridge: Polity Press.

15. Grajdian 2008 - Grajdian, M. (2008). Das japanische Anime: Versuch Weiner wissenschaftlichen Annäherung [The Japanese Animation: Towards a Scientific Approach]. Sibiu: Lucian Blaga University Press.

16. Kristeva 1974 - Kristeva, J. (1974). La révolution du langage poétique. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.

17. Kristeva 1989 - Kristeva, J. (1989). Étrangers à nous-mêmes. Paris: Éditions Fayard.

18. Lamarre 2009 - Lamarre, T. (2009). The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

19. Lamarre 2018 - Lamarre, T. (2018). The Anime Ecology - A Genealogy of Television, Animation, and Game Media. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.

20. Luhmann 1996 - Luhmann, N. (1996). Die Realität der Medien. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

21. McLuhan 1964 - McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw Hill Press.

22. McQuail 1984 - McQuail, D. (1984). Mass Communication Theory - An Introduction. London/Beverly Hills/New Delhi: Sage Publications.

23. Ōtsuka 2004 - Ōtsuka Eiji (2004). ‘Dentō’ to wa nani ka? [What is ‘tradition’?], Tokyo: Chikuma Shinsho. (In Japanese)

24. Rimer 1995 - Rimer, J.T. (1995). Japanese Literature - Four Polarities. In: Hume, N. (ed.) Japanese Aesthetics and Culture - A Reader (pp. 1-25). Albany: State University of New York Press,

25. Schäfer 2017 - Schäfer, F. (2017). Medium als Vermittlung - Medien und Medientheorie in Japan. Wiesbaden: Springer.

26. Sugimoto 2013 - Sugimoto, Y. (2013). An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge/New York/Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

27. Suzuki 2008 - Suzuki, A. (2008). Animating the Chaos: Contemporary Japanese Anime, Cinema and Postmodernity. Ann Arbor: ProQuest.

28. Takahata 1999 - Takahata Isao (1999). Jūniseiki no animēshon: Kokuhō emakimono ni miru eigateki, animeteki naru mono [Animation from the 12th century: Movie and anime-like things to be seen in the picture scrolls categorized as national treasures]. Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten/Studio Ghibli. (In Japanese)

29. Turner 1968 - Turner, V. (1968). The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

30. Wells 1998 - Wells, P. (1998). Understanding Animation. London/New York: Routledge Press.

31. Žižek 1989 - Žižek S. (1989). The Sublime Object of Ideology. London & New York: Verso.


For citations:

Grajdian M.M. Compassionate Neo-Traditionalism in Hosoda Mamoru’s Animation Movies. Russian Japanology Review. 2020;3(2):131-151. (In Russ.)

Views: 139

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2658-6444 (Print)
ISSN 2658-6789 (Online)