Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Margaret Case, Ph.D.


Japanese animation, known as “anime,” is one of the most rapidly expanding forms of visual popular culture. Studio Ghibli, arguably Japan’s most beloved anime production studio, is one of the most internationally successful producers of high quality anime films. The studio’s canonical films include Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), Princess Mononoke (1997) and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). This thesis analyzes the ways in which these works, often marginalized as children’s fare, illuminate the ways in which the cultures of Japan and America coalesce. Also explored is the way in which the strong bond between Japanese and American culture may act as a motivating force for the creation of a globalized popular culture, one that is mukokuseki (i.e., without nationality).