Andy Henderson



This faceless, WordPress-decapitated guy is Andy Henderson — a senior English and Literary & Cultural Studies double major. He enters this class wearing my LCST hat, and began this semester with nearly blank slate with respect to Japanese culture.

The material thus far has been fascinating. We live in a small world, and culture in one place can quickly take hold elsewhere.  When this happens, the cultural expressions themselves rarely tell the whole story; a vast nexus of interrelated political and economic ties and influences are necessary to support any cultural exchange. For an LCST major who is used to looking at cultural texts within US borders, it has been great to change perspective for him a little bit and focus on the relationships between Japan and the US.

And then of course there’s Yatta! That’s the other reason he’s here.

Spirited Away and Anime in the American Cinema Market

Far more Americans saw the clips from Spirited Away shown just before its Academy Award was announced than will ever see the movie. Despite anime’s extreme popularity in certain US markets, anime films have almost universally underwhelmed at US box offices and receive little general exposure in the states. What did it take for Spirited Away to attain its relative prominence in the American market and, if any, what effect has its story tell us about the possibilities for wide scale US distribution of anime films in the States? [Read more…]