The Italian anime boom: The outstanding success of Japanese animation in Italy, 1978–1984 | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2047-7368
  • E-ISSN: 2047-7376



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.


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