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I've asked the following question: What should a university-level course about manga and anime culture cover as part of its curriculum?

It is of course opinion based but I believe in this case there should be an opinion that majority can agree with and that opinion should be the answer to the question.

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    The key word here is opinion. SE sites are for questions that can be answered by facts, not opinions. Also, it's more of an academic field question than anime and manga. – Hakase May 20 '14 at 2:19
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    I personally feel that there can be a objective answer to this question. It's not too different from the anime club question. I'd say it's a reasonable question, if we cite real world examples of courses offered by actual colleges/universities. – кяαzєя May 20 '14 at 2:24
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    I mean it's probably not a good fit for the main site. A suitable answer could be found, but I doubt any users here have the expert knowledge on that – Hakase May 20 '14 at 2:35
  • I thin that some form of this question is certainly workable, but practically speaking, you'll almost certainly get better results by searching for syllabi from other instructors who have taught similar courses. I don't think we have any users who academically study anime/etc., so whatever answers you get here are likely to be sort of uninformed. – senshin May 21 '14 at 18:54
  • @senshin, user1306322 Why do people always expect that users of stack exchange are incapable of something? I see it all the time at game exchange, where people often say: "We are not lawyers" to law questions. First, there actually can be a colledge teacher among ourselves who would be capable of creating such course. Second, there are many intelligent people in the community who know so much about anime and manga that they would certainly be able to give a good overview about what anime and manga is. If I manage to ask the question right, I am sure a good answer will follow. – MartinTeeVarga May 22 '14 at 0:02
  • @sm4 I'm not saying not to ask the question on the main site - I'm just warning you that you shouldn't expect too much in the way of an answer. If a good answer turns up, then great! – senshin May 22 '14 at 0:52
  • @senshin "If a good answer turns up, then great!" Yes, exactly this. Now I just need to make the question answerable! – MartinTeeVarga May 22 '14 at 0:58
  • @user1306322 even if we don't have the experts, doesn't mean we should say it's not a good fit. We can still try to draw from other sources (reach out to the professionals or professions that have taught similar courses [e.g., Japanese Art]). I personally would like to see where this question can grow. If it works out, I think we can welcome further question of this variety, but if it doesn't it will be a testament of the unsuitability of this question and others like it. We may not be teachers, but we can still look at it from the perspective of the student. – кяαzєя May 25 '14 at 20:35
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Personally, I think this question may have been closed a bit too quickly. It's true that subjective questions don't work as well in the Stack Exchange format as objective ones. However, that doesn't mean that no subjective questions are welcome here. There are good and bad subjective questions. The bad ones tend to be a large majority on our site, but the good ones are arguably some of the most valuable questions, and shouldn't be closed.

The close reason used was "primarily opinion based", which is not synonymous with "subjective"; a question is primarily opinion based when all answers are equally valid and there's no method to distinguish between good and bad. I think everyone here can agree that, for example, Nausicaä and Neon Genesis Evangelion are more important in the history of anime than Buso Renkin or So Ra No Wo To, regardless of which of these you actually enjoyed more. There's nothing really opinionated about that.


With that said, I'm not yet going to nominate the question for reopening. As of right now, the question is rather broad. You haven't narrowed down exactly what you want. Designing a full course, complete with lectures, is obviously too broad for this site. Are you looking for just a syllabus of what sort of topics might be covered and approximately how much time will be spent on each? That could potentially work. There's a bit of opinion in which topics are more and less important, but honestly there's barely even enough time in one semester to cover the stuff that we'd all agree is important.

What would the goal of this class be? To educate people about the general trends in anime/manga history? Or to get people to the point at which they can catch most of the obvious references in the average comedy series that airs these days? Or to understand Japanese culture better by studying the particular case of anime in depth? Also, how much anime do you expect the average student will have seen going in? Each of these would require a very different syllabus.

What format of class are you planning? Are you going to show anime during lecture? Or are you going to lecture and let people watch on their own time as "homework"? Or some combination? This is important because it determines how much time you have available to you. If you're going to be showing most of it during lecture, that limits the amount that you can cover in depth pretty severely.

There's a host of similar issues that could also use clarification. It seems like you want us to answer these, but that's where your question is getting too broad and subjective. Generally, the more you can tell us about what you want, the better your question is. If you can tell us the format and goal of the class, I think we'd be able to tell you what the major time periods and themes were. If you can address some of those points above to focus your question better, I'd consider voting to reopen it.

Alternatively, I think the sub-question of whether there are any existing college courses on anime history is already basically fine for this site. I don't think there's more than a handful of such classes.


To make an analogy, if you asked "What should be taught in an introductory college English course?" on English SE, you'd probably get a similar response. The question is too free-form to work on a Stack Exchange site. There are simply too many options, and designing a course from scratch is too big an undertaking for a single question. But if you focused your question more, e.g. "What works of Hemingway would best show the evolution of his literary style in the context of a college freshman writing seminar?" and provided details in the question as to what broad topics you want to cover in the course, it would be a much better question (though off-topic on English SE which doesn't cover literature).

  • Thanks, I will try to narrow the question down. – MartinTeeVarga May 20 '14 at 9:51
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I edited the question. I am not sure if I narrowed it down enough, however this is what I want to know. If that is still to broad, then the question should be left "on hold" and closed.

Again, I'd like to ask everyone not to judge the other members of the community by saying: "nobody can answer because we are not good enough". Consider only the question form and contents in respect to the rules of the site. It's fine if the question gets not answer for long time or even never.

What should a university-level course about manga and anime culture cover as part of its curriculum?

  • Since this type of question is quite new to the site, I'm going to reopen it on a trial basis. If we can manage to get good answer to this type of question, then I think we can allow other questions of this type... as long as the scope is specific enough. – кяαzєя May 25 '14 at 20:24

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