UC Irvine Extension Offers New Course on Manga & Anime

Jun 23rd 2006
Leading Expert Northrop Davis Offers Insider Information to Fans and Screenwriters Fascinated By The Unique Artistic Culture

IRVINE, Calif. – In response to the recent surge in popularity of manga and anime in the mainstream, UC Irvine Extension is offering a new course entitled, “Manga & Anime Explosion: What, Why, How & Wow!” The course, which will take place Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. from September 26 through October 24, supports a growing fascination with manga, Japanese comic books; and anime, Japanese animation influenced by the drawing style of manga.

“Manga and anime have had a significant influence on today's entertainment medium in recent years, including films like ‘Kill Bill’ and 'The Matrix,'” said Dr. Kirwan Rockefeller, director of UC Irvine Extension's Arts and Humanities program. “UC Irvine Extension is pleased to announce this innovative, cutting-edge course that is reflective of our global society's interest in these fascinating art forms.”

Big-budget films such as “Superman” and “X-men” have brought a fresh interest to the craft of writing comics, from storytelling, to character development and dialogue formatting. Manga is the fastest growing segment of the United States' fiction market and, along with anime, has had a growing influence on video games, films and other art forms. Southern California has become a thriving community for the manga and anime industry, with industry leaders like Bandai, Tokopop and DelRey making a presence locally.

“Manga & Anime Explosion: What, Why, How & Wow!” will look at the historical and cultural significance of these two art forms and how they have shaped the look and feel of many of today's Hollywood productions. In addition, students will apply methods of story and character development found in manga to screenwriting, advertising, information publishing and other creative endeavors. The course is aimed at both screenwriters seeking to expand their writing skills and add a new technique to their existing portfolio, as well as the growing number of passionate fans who seek greater knowledge of these art forms and how they've grown to become a phenomenon.

“I'm honored to join UC Irvine Extension in launching this course and am excited to communicate my knowledge and experience with those who share an intrigue for manga and anime,” said Northrop Davis, the instructor of the course and a professional screenwriter, commercial director and manga expert. “I look forward to sharing with students an insider's perspective on these art forms to help them understand the philosophy and culture, as well as how to pursue a career in this industry.”

Davis, an accomplished screenwriter who has sold pitches which he subsequently wrote as screenplays to Sony and 20th Century FOX, is also an expert in manga and has extensive contacts with Japanese comics publishers. He pitched the "Battle Angel Alita" manga series to FOX, which subsequently acquired it for James Cameron who is in production on the vfx-heavy film franchise. Davis will offer his expertise and experience to students, including advice on pitching projects to studios, and also plans to bring in other accomplished professionals as guest speakers during the course, including speakers from U.S.-based manga magazines and anime production companies.

The five-week UC Irvine Extension course is open to the public and begins September 26 on the UC Irvine campus. The cost for the program is $185. To register for the course or for more information, visit www.unex.uci.edu or call (949) 824-5414. The course is for Fall 2006, Reg. # 00147, Film Studies 811.3.

About UC Irvine Extension: As the continuing education arm of UCI, UC Irvine Extension is dedicated to providing a university-level learning experience for students, offering thousands of exciting courses and programs to local, regional, and global constituencies. UC Irvine Extension offers a rich array of academic and community programs to support a diverse audience, from a wide selection of academic programs to numerous campus activities. For more information, please visit www.extension.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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