Japanese Animation: Still Pictures, Moving Minds

Mihama Chiyo, Azumanga Daioh
Mihama Chiyo, Azumanga Daioh
© Kiyohiko Azuma, Dengeki Comics

You have reached the website of MIT's course on Japanese animation. SP.270 provides an integrated approach to the world of Japanese animation in four sections, covering the historical development, artistic styles, fan culture, and industrial operation of anime in Japan, the United States, and the world. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines. No previous experience with or exposure to anime is required, but the final project will provide opportunities for students with experience to pursue advanced studies in the field.

SP.270 was offered in Spring 2002, Spring 2003, and Spring 2004. Past websites and links appear below. SP.270 will not be offered in Spring 2005, as the instructor is on sabbatical purusing several anime-related publications. It is anticipated that SP.270 will return in 2006.

Spring 2004

5/18/2004: Grades were submitted today. Thank you everyone for a great term, and best wishes for your future studies and pursuits.

3/29/2004: The course schedule was updated yesterday.

3/18/2004: Suggested series for analysis have been posted. Please e-mail the staff if you have any questions, comments, or corrections.

Thanks for your interest in MIT's course on Japanese animation.

About SP.270

SP.270 explores Japanese animation, known as anime, and its associated institutions in terms of media theories, aesthetics, and fan cultures. Students analyze significant series; debate over global and local reception, including fan culture growth and function; compare the anime form to other artistic works; and connect anime with contemporary and historical trends in Japan. They examine works by specific directors (Oshii Mamoru, Ishiguro Noboru, Miyazaki Hayao) and studios, supplemented with readings, screenings, and guest speakers from the US and Japan. The course is taught in English.

View the SP.270 description on the Undergraduate Seminars page in the catalog, then register on WebSIS today!

Class Meeting Times

W 3:30-5 (1-379); M EVE 7:30-10pm (4-249)

Primary Resources for Spring 2004

Read the Course Syllabus (PDF 04-Feb-2004)

Check the Schedule (PDF 28-Mar-2004)
Please note that the schedule has undergone revisions to keep it updated with the pace of the class (3/29/2004).

Access the DVD Discussion App.
There is also a list of undocumented keyboard shortcuts (PDF 06-Feb-2003) to control DVD playback. Check it out; it should help when watching material through the program.

Weekly Work

Almost all weekly work for Spring 2004 will be posted and due on H2O. Go to the H2O website to post your work!


Students may use Jim Breen's WWWJDIC if they wish to expand their Japanese vocabulary. Special instructions, including a helpful shortcut for Internet Explorer, are available here.


Posters advertising the Spring 2004 anime course!! Please feel free to download and print them to hang on your wall or in your living group.
Note: The posters are provided as color PDF and PS files. They also print okay in black and white. You can print the PS files on Athena directly using the lpr command. The PS files are coded to print 5 copies per individual poster, and 2 copies (14 * 2 = 28 pages) per poster pack (the _pack file).
Access the posters

Past Courses

View the website of the Japanese animation course taught Spring 2004.

View the website of the Japanese animation course taught Spring 2003.

View the website of the Japanese animation course taught Spring 2002.

Faculty and Staff

Sean J. Leonard

Office Hours:
   M 6:15-7:15pm
   (alternating weeks)
(or anytime by appointment)
Faculty Sponsor and Advisor
Dr. Peter Dourmashkin
   Senior Lecturer in Physics
   and Associate Director of ESG

ESG Staff
Bo S. Kim

Office Hours:
   M 6:15-7:15pm
   (alternating weeks)

Affiliated Programs

SP.270 is offered through Experimental Study Group, and is affiliated with Comparative Media Studies.

mit Last updated 6/10/2005 by Sean Leonard.
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