JFNY Continues Series on Japanese Pop Culture

The Power of Music in Anime

Thursday, November 19 from 8:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

Live Stream on YouTube

Admission: Free

The Japan Foundation, New York’s monthly online series delving into Japanese pop culture from academic and professional perspectives continues!

For the third session, three musicologists in U.S. academia will unravel the power of music in anime. You may love anime soundtracks as much as the anime itself, but have you ever thought about the role of music in storytelling, how the music affects the work itself, and what meanings might be hidden in the music?

Join the panel discussion with Stacey Jocoy, Kunio Hara, and Rose Bridges as they discuss how directors and composers collaborate to create the music. They’ll explain the role of music in storytelling and the uses of music in beloved anime such as My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Cowboy Bebop, Your Name. (Kimi no na wa.), and others.

A live Q&A will follow the discussion. If you have any questions about music and soundscapes in anime, now’s your chance to ask the musicologists! Please feel free to post it on the Eventbrite page when you register. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the Q&A session.

This is a free event. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email. To register, please visit Japan Foundation, New York’s Eventbrite page.

About Dr. Stacey Jocoy

Stacey Jocoy is an associate professor of music history at Texas Tech University and holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has presented on music in anime at the American Popular Culture Association, the Animation and Public Engagement Symposium, Mechademia conferences, and Anime Expo Academic Conferences. A guest editor for Mechademia 13.2 “Soundscapes,” she also has articles appearing in the upcoming Anime and Music Handbook (Palgrave) and Animation and Public Engagement at the Time of Covid-19 (Vernon Press). Her research explores the intersections of music, politics, and constructions of gender, focusing on the functions of musical narratives in context.

About Dr. Kunio Hara

Dr. Kunio Hara is an associate professor of music history at the University of South Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and M.M. and B.M. degrees in music history and clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His research interests include Puccini’s operas, exoticism and Orientalism in music, nostalgia, and music in postwar Japan.

In 2020, he published the book 33 1/3 Japan: Joe Hisaishi’s Soundtrack for My Neighbor Totoro. This book investigates the extent to which the world-renowned composer Joe Hisaishi’s music shaped the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki’s vision by examining the relationship between the images created by Miyazaki and the music composed by Hisaishi, with special emphasis on their approaches to nostalgia, one of the central themes of the film.

About Rose Bridges

Rose Bridges is a Ph.D. student in musicology at the University of Texas-Austin, researching film music and sound, especially animation, and popular music of the 1960s through ‘80s. She is also a regular editorial contributor to Anime News Network, the most read English-language news site for Japanese anime and manga.

In 2017, she published the book 33 1/3 Japan: Yoko Kanno’s Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack. The book places music within the context of Bebop’s influences and Kanno’s larger body of work. It analyzes how the music tells Spike, Faye, Jet, and the rest of the crew’s stories.