Park, Jin Kyu (2005) “‘Creating My Own Cultural and Spiritual Bubble’: Case of Cultural Consumption by Spiritual Seeker Anime Fans.” Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6 (3): 393–413.
The distinctive quality of Japanese animation (anime) in its descriptions of religious and spiritual realms – integrating symbols, themes, doctrines, and mythologies from various religious traditions – is a cultural manifestation of the Japanese integrative spirituality. This article demonstrates how important the religious aspect of anime is in explaining why some younger generations in the USA, who are characterized as spiritual seekers, become a loyal fan of the cultural artifacts. Anime seems to provide them with a cultural resource out of which they create their own cultural and spiritual practice, which is, they claim, not provided by the US mainstream popular culture. This article argues that since the religious aspect of anime is one of the most distinctive qualities in distinguishing itself from US pop culture, it would contribute to the more generally accepted ‘cultural difference’ account in explaining the cross-cultural popularity of anime.