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Drawing on TraditionManga, Anime, and Religion in Contemporary Japan$
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Jolyon Baraka Thomas

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835897

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835897.001.0001

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Recreating Religion

Recreating Religion

(p.57) Chapter 2 Recreating Religion
Drawing on Tradition

Jolyon Baraka Thomas

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter plots manga and anime along a continuum ranging from casual diversion to explicitly religious recreation. One the one hand, it provides a typology of religious manga and anime based on criteria related to the attitudes that characterize their production, allowing for differences in intentionality while examining the rhetorical techniques ranging from satire to sententiousness that manga artists and anime directors use in the service of amusing, educating, and persuading their audiences. On the other hand, it examines the side of reception, highlighting the different ways in which audiences interpret products with apparently religious content and plotting those responses on a continuum from apathy to reverence. It looks at the exegetical commentary of fan groups, ritualized activity derived from fictive manga and anime worlds, and the emergence of formal religions (groups that are legally incorporated as religious juridical persons, with clearly delineated hierarchies and doctrines) out of fan groups.

Keywords:   religious manga, anime, religious recreation, fan groups, manga artists, anime directors

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