Representations of Europe in Japanese anime: An overview of case studies and theoretical frameworks


Miyazaki Hayao
Anime genres
Anime settings
Media pilgrimage
Iconography in audio-visual media
Themes in motion pictures

How to Cite

García Aranda, O. “Representations of Europe in Japanese Anime: An Overview of Case Studies and Theoretical Frameworks”. Mutual Images Journal, no. 8, June 2020, pp. 47-84, doi:10.32926/2020.8.ara.europ.


Europe, as a cluster of cultural elements related to nations, cities, and historical periods, has experienced different representations and recreations in Japanese animated series and films (anime) in the form of European (or European-like) settings. The following article discusses the creation, aesthetic appeal, and uses of these contents. First, tracing a theoretical retrospective that displays the different concepts and conceptions used to understand these contents, to then focus our study in reviewing the European settings of some of the main anime productions that contain this kind of contents: the 1970s sh?jo manga and anime series (comics and tv anime series addressed to girls), the Nippon Animation-originated so-called “Meisaku” group of series, and more “singular” cases, such as Miyazaki Hayao’s films. The review carried out shows the use of different sources and intense fieldwork by Japanese creators to recreate particular visions of European (or European-like) settings and the narrative and communicative strategies or even commercial implications of these settings according to the genre, demographics, and media specificity of each project.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Oscar García Aranda