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Anime History & Culture

In this 10-week course, students will explore nearly 100 years of anime history in Japan and discuss the many ways anime has influenced both Japanese culture as well as popular culture overseas.
Jennifer M. Yoo
94 total reviews for this teacher
13 reviews for this class
Completed by 77 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$10 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 10 weeks
75 minutes per class

There are no open spots for this class.

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Class Experience

By the end of class, students will:
- Be able to recognize the different "periods" of anime history as well as genres of anime and have developed an understanding of the overall development of animation in Japan.
- Be able to identify key figures (animators, artists, studios) as well as key anime titles and recognize their contributions and/or significance.
- Developed an understanding for what role anime plays in Japan and Japanese culture. 
- Have practiced thinking creatively and actively discussing various topics regarding the evolution of anime, its influence on Japanese culture as well as overseas popular culture.
I am experienced in teaching film studies, especially East Asian cinema, but I have also served as a teaching assistant for my professor's course on anime while in college. 

In terms of anime, I have been a longtime avid fan for more than 15 years. Not only do I enjoy watching anime and reading manga (Japanese comics), I also enjoy discussing it with others who have similar interests. I organized and led a Perspectives on Anime film discussion group that met monthly for 3 years while I was homeschooled during high school. I also served as the Anime Club President while an undergraduate student at Wellesley College for 3 years.
An optional quiz on the information covered will be made available after each class (save for the final class, so 9 total) for students to take to check their knowledge (and practice for the trivia game in the final class meeting).

Over the course of these 10 weeks, students will be asked to complete 2 "mini-assignments," one for the third week of class when our guest speaker joins class for the first time, and one for the sixth week of class. Students are encouraged to but are not required to share in class. These mini-assignments are as follows:
- Mini-Assignment #1: Choose a character from your favorite anime (or can be just an anime character design you like), and take a closer look at the character's design and how it reflects that character's background, personality, etc.
- Mini-Assignment #2: Choose a theme song or soundtrack piece from an anime you like that you feel really gives you a sense for the anime's theme, tone, story, etc. 

For their final assignment, students will be asked to write a short paper (can be 200-300 words) on ONE of the following:
- Choose an anime genre (i.e. mecha, magical girl, sports, etc.) and discuss why they like this genre, as well as how the genre has changed in recent years (since 2010). Students will be asked to use at least one example of an anime series from the chosen genre in their paper. Please note that students must get teacher approval for their chosen genre and example before they can proceed with this version of the final assignment. 
- Choose a recent anime title (can be TV series or movie) and discuss why they would recommend this title to others, as well as how it fits (or is different from) the anime discussed/learned about in class. The anime title chosen must not have come out any earlier than 2010. Please note that students must get teacher approval for their chosen title before they can proceed with this version of the final assignment. 

This final assignment will be due by the last class, and can either be posted in the Classroom or sent to the teacher privately. In the final meeting of class, students will be encouraged to (but again, not required) share their thoughts on the anime genre or title they chose. 
Video clips will be shared as part of PowerPoint presentations via screen-share on Zoom and won’t require any external resource to view. For any students who might have connectivity issues related to watching videos played in Zoom, or for students who would like to view the clips beforehand, the video clips for the class will be posted in the Classroom in advance (about 5-6 days prior to each class meeting). Students may want to have a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes in class. For the first 9 weeks of class, students may take an optional online quiz to test their knowledge on what they learned after each class. These will be made available online using SurveyMonkey (link to be provided in the Classroom, no login required). For the 2 mini-assignments, students may need to do research online (searching for pictures of characters, etc.). Although external viewings of anime series or films discussed in class will not be assigned, in order to complete the final assignment, students will need to be able to watch a recent anime title (can be TV series or movie, no earlier than 2010), via video-streaming service or other means. Students are welcome to choose a title they have already watched, but are recommended to review it at least in part.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Students can take an optional online quiz after each class to check their knowledge (9 total). There will also be a trivia game covering all the content in this 10-week class to test how much students can recall in the final meeting for the class.

Grades are not given for this class but a written report/assessment on the student’s performance can be provided upon request.
1 hour 15 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
Topics regarding anime discussed in class may include gender issues, sexuality, as well as references to violence.

Although video clips of anime shown in class will be limited to age-appropriate content (i.e. no nudity or graphic violence), as anime in Japan is meant for a wide range of ages, some of the titles discussed may contain more mature themes regarding violence and sexuality. Parents are advised to take this into consideration if (or when) a student expresses interest in wanting to explore more of a series discussed from class outside of class. 

Please also note that some of the video clips shown may contain some scenes of stylized (though not graphic) violence, and that most of the video clips shown in class will be in Japanese with English subtitles, which may be difficult for certain students.


Jennifer M. Yoo
Lives in the United States
PhD, University Lecturer and Experienced Teacher in Japanese Studies
94 total reviews
87 completed classes

About Me

Currently, I am only teaching for Outschool part-time as I am also working as a lecturer in Japanese culture, film, and literature at Tufts University, as well as a lecturer in theatre arts at MIT. Due to my university teaching... 
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