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School of Otaku and Anime Studies

School of Otaku and Anime Studies is the class we all want to take but no one offers: a class dedicated to loving anime and deconstructing that love. So join Anthea, Jeanne, Kash and Rice in their weekly “classes” of this unofficial SOAS course as they get philosophical about what it means to be an otaku, the study of otaku culture, anime analysis and fan-spazzing at the same time!

Nowadays otaku culture is far from being the niche phenomenon it used to be. Dedicated conventions keep on popping up all over the world, therefore SOAS-SOAS’s crew has gathered one of the most diverse, multicultural and numerous roundtable so far to debate how otaku are perceived in various countries and to discuss how ComiCons are consequently enjoyed and organised. Cosplay comes back once again under our professors’ lens as the quintessence of conventions, this time with in depth details about how cosplay competitions work. Plus, your professor Anthea had the honour to meet (more than once!) one of Japan’s most prolific and talented video game producers: Hideo Baba!

It has already been five years since when Satoshi Kon passed away and left Japanese animation mourning one of its most talented creators. The SOAS-SOAS’s crew has then decided to dedicate an entire episode to this brilliant artist’s career, going from his early collaborations with eminent mentors such as Katsuhiro Ōtomo, to the Dreaming Machine, an unfinished project which would have been Kon’s fifth feature film. Listen to our roundtable’s reviews of each one of his works and discover why the dreamlike world of Japanese animation’s illusionist is going to be very much missed.

Who lives in London has surely many occasions to enjoy Japan's pop culture. As every Londoner otaku knows, the biggest summer event is HYPER JAPAN, the three-day festival entirely focused on every aspect of J-culture. In this week's episode the duo composed of Anthea and Rice tells what your professors experienced during both the editions of Hyper Japan they attended in 2014. The common theme underlying both trips turned out to be Vocaloid, therefore your professors decided to dedicate this episode to Hatsune Miku & Co. as well!We even got an exclusive interview with not one, but TWO personalities linked to the Vocaloid software! We met Yanagi Nagi, the first vocalist of Supercell to replace Miku as their singer, and Yoshiaki Masaki, the representative of the mega-Miku-fan-group Mirai no Neiro. We rock, don't we?!

When it come to judging it's always difficult to distinguish between our subjective point of view and the objectiveness of facts. The path to an impartial perspective is studded with the traps of our biased criteria.
That's why they say that "someone's trash is another's treasure", right?
In this week's class Kash, Anthea, Rice and Eran confess what their guilty pleasure anime are and say out loud what they cannot help but think about those series that, although being surely masterpieces, they don't really appreciate that much. Time to speak the truth, pupils!

Otakus love to categorise characters into stereotypes as much as anime creators and mangaka love to create them.
Here at SOAS, we also love to question and critique such stuff and so, this week’s class is a bit more nerdy and geeky than usual as Anthea, Eran, Jeanne, Yeng and Kash don their academic personae and talk about female stereotyping in anime.

There couldn't be a better way to celebrate our 10th episode.
Two of our professors had such a great honour that we HAD to dedicate an entire episode to it.
Last MCM London Comicon brought back to London the great anime director Shinichirō Watanabe: Anthea and Rice interviewed him for all of you, pupils!

Our anime a-listers sessions are one of our favourites: we get to FANGIRL/FANBOY over things we love. Join Eran, Kash and Yeng along with Ana and Serena as they trace One Piece's voyage from start till date, often becoming nostalgic in this 18-year journey.

Just like ramen, music breathes life into any anime. Ok, so maybe that analogy isn’t exactly right, but you get my point. Whether it’s bubblegum pop, grunge rock, instrumental, jazz, R&B, basic pop or rock, we all LOVE our anime music in all their diverse and dynamic glory and the amazing artistes who create them. This is why we felt it was high time to share a few of our favourites with the class! It’s time to discover your musical flavour so join Anthea, Eran, Jeanne, Kash and Rice as they share and squabble over their top 5 anime Openings and Endings! They are perfect for any weather and who knows, you might discover a few new tracks to add to your collection from our list of 29!

It's been a long time returning, but SOAS-SOAS is back just in time for the Spring Holidays. And we have the perfect episode for all those otakus who have been saving up on their vacation time just to indulge their otaku hearts. Join one of our biggest panels to date as Jeanne, Anthea, Rice and Kash are joined by Yeng, Eran and Hattie to navigate the waters of what is known as The Anime Pilgrimage.

The music choice for the week is one to fit the mood, Hare Hare Yukai from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by the voice actors Aya Hirano / Minori Chihara / Yuuko Gotou.

Winter break has begun and while we scramble to finish our essays on time, the anime spirit of fun still continues and so we approach the holidays with the "genki" spirit of our anime alter-egos! In the time it takes to make and eat a bowl of instant ramen, Kash, Anthea and Rice get together with a few special guests to wish you happy holidays! Siro-A says Merry Christmas!

SOAS's own personal anime class is back in session with the new academic year! And we start the year with a few questions: do animation studios make remakes because they’re out of good ideas? Or does this all just boil down to profits? These are the questions with which we approach this week’s class on remakes. From anime series, to movies to games, Anthea, Kash and Rice cover a wide range of remakes past, present and future aided by Eran, co-prez of both SOAS Anime and Gaming Societies, who joins in as the visiting expert on the panel. So, it's time to find out, to remake or not to remake?

If you're an otaku you know the importance of never letting a good anime viewing opportunity go by, so when the BFI Anime Weekend came around, we knew where we wanted to be. Join Anthea, Kash, Rice and Yeng as they review the neat list of anime movies they got to see, invited by the BFI and a very special moment with Yoshitomo Yonetani-kantoku, director of 'Tiger and Bunny: THE RISING'!

Exams took a toll on us but we're back with a class perfect for Spring and the upcoming Summer! From Captain Tsubasa, to Teni Puri, to Initial D, to Slam Dunk to Free, anime dedicated to sports have always enjoyed enormous popularity. Anthea, Jeanne, Kash and Rice deconstruct why this is so, why over-the-top sport anime are so enjoyable and present their personal picks from the giant selection pile.

At SOAS, we love our ‘study showdowns’ as we call them. Bring us a good anime or manga and two opposing perspectives and watch us bake them, inside out that is. In this class, Zach and Jeanne take centre-stage with our ‘Shingeki no Kyojin Showdown’ as Anthea and Kash try to play referee. CAUTION: MASSIVE SPOILERS

The second class of SOAS is a tribute... to the master animator Hayao Miyazaki. He might not have won the Oscars for his final film before retirement, but he has won our hearts. Yeng joins Anthea, Jeanne, Kash and Rice in a special dedication to this very special animator.

Sit down with Anthea, Jeanne, Kash and Rice in the first ever “class” of this School of Otaku and Anime Studies course as they get philosophical about what it means to be an otaku, the art of cosplaying and how they were introduced to the world of anime.