Hikikomori: Social Isolation in Anime, Manga, and Japan

Panel 4

Friday July 28, 2023 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Hikikomori, hiki, and neet are descriptors thrown around in anime and manga. But what do they mean? In this panel, we link these familiar anime tropes with their real-world social and mental health concerns. We’ll discuss the history and research into social isolation and share the present and recent insights that psychology has given us. We’ll also talk through examples of how social isolation impacts our collective fandom. This panel is meant to educate attendees about how familiar anime tropes are influenced by real-life society and science. As a published researcher, the main panelist shares historical and present information about social isolation and how these tropes came to be. The panel then covers current research about social isolation and what it can tell us about anime and fandom.