What is Anime: Art vs Nationalism

One conventional definition of anime reads something like “animation created in Japan for a domestic Japanese audience”. This definition offers a false sense of clarity: it does not cleanly map onto what most people think of when they hear the term — neither in Japan, where it simply means ‘animation’, nor elsewhere, where it’s shorthand for not merely a large partially-overlapping set of stylistic and narrative conventions but also a difficult to define ‘vibe’.

It makes sense to basically everybody to imagine ‘non-Japanese anime’: this doesn’t provide any of the…