The Italian anime boom: The outstanding success of Japanese animation in Italy, 1978-1984

Marco Pellitteri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Japanese animated series and films are, today, commonly named ‘anime’. Italy is the western market where the highest number of television anime were aired and theatrical anime released: it is a crucial context to assess the impact of anime on Western audiences. There is a lack of literature in English on the topic. This article provides information on the success of anime in Italy, with reference to the theatrical films released before the boom and a bibliography in Italian; indicates the main differences between the booms in Japan and Italy and gives hints on other national markets for anime; discusses the historical reasons of the arrival of anime in Italy; offers explanations on the stages of the success in this country (and in Western Europe) and in the United States before and during the boom, with the US market being a relevant touchstone; outlines the consumption model of television anime in Italy in the 1980s; provides critical remarks on the social-cultural features of the Italian anime boom as distinguished from the impact of anime on other national contexts. The article is informed by a multidisciplinary approach: cultural sociology, comparative media studies and animation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-381
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumption models
  • International fluxes of pop cultures
  • Italian anime boom
  • Japanese animation
  • Japaneseness
  • Quantitative record
  • Subcultural Japonisme
  • Trans-acculturation

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