Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Asian and Pacific Studies (ASPA)

First Advisor

Dr. Charlotte D'Evelyn


Anime is a complex medium that is expanding at a rapid rate on a global scale. It inspires fandoms, some of which unbelievably tenacious. My research explored scholarship concerning anime fans and asked the question: Why does anime in particular seem to create hyper-obsessed fans? I consulted fandom studies, pop culture scholarship, and sources regarding the anime medium as a whole.

The results of my study suggested that anime, at its extremes, functions in some capacity as a modern fairy tale genre. It allows a viewer to vicariously experience life through the screen, engaging with the animated characters in a profoundly somatic way. When fans enter into this fairy tale space, however, growing online communities and online identities especially common around anime have the propensity to keep the fans locked in place, away from reality.


This thesis was completed prior to Oscar King IV's senior year, and it does not reflect the additional research and the further inquiries he made on this topic during his final year as an undergraduate at LMU.