The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Caroline Ruddell

Urban Nightmares: Anime City Spaces
(preconstituted panel: ‘Urbanimation’: representations of the city in animation)

Abstract: This paper will chart some of the prominent tropes in the representation of the city in anime. Sci-fi, fantasy and even noir generic conventions are used to channel the representation of the city into an imposing presence. The paper seeks to understand the pleasures available for viewers when cities are often ‘rewritten’ (Staiger, 1999: 97) or ‘imagined’ (Orbaugh, 2006: 81) and cityscapes, or lines, redrawn. The paper also considers how this relates to theoretical models of spectatorship and the pleasures animated city spaces might hold for viewers outside the context of Japan.

Biographical statement:
Dr Caroline Ruddell teaches at St. Mary’s University College, UK, in the areas of animation, popular culture and identity, North American cinema, and critical methodologies. Caroline's research interests are in animation and representations of identity and subjectivity. She has published on the representation of witchcraft in popular television, fissured identity in film, and on anime. Her current research focuses on anime aesthetics and spectatorship in relation to issues of movement, space and the animated ‘line’. Caroline is a member of the Editorial Boards for Animation Studies (the Society for Animation Studies online peer reviewed journal) and Watcher Junior: The Undergraduate Journal of Buffy Studies. Caroline is also Reviews Editor for animation: an interdisciplinary journal, published by Sage.